Guest Author - Melissa Weise
You know that time. Your entire wardrobe is on the floor while your lonely, empty hangers clang against each other in the closet. Your trash can has gone from unsanitary heap to actual compost pile and that mold growing from the rotten apple core could almost be considered the beginnings of a jungle floor cover. In fact, a few people are actually starting a petition to save the endangered insect species living in the candy wrapper pile on your desk. You know, the bugs that actually did eat your homework?
This is when -- when even you canít stand you room anymore (and your parents are probably threatening to condemn it) that you stand in the doorway, hands on your hips and mutter, ďWhere the heck do I even start?Ē
Simple. Just follow these step by step instructions. When you are done, your room will be clean, organized, and endangered-species-free.
1. Find your bed. Itís probably the place where you sleep at night Ė even if that is just a clothes heaped pile protruding from the floor. Thereís a mattress under there. Trust me. And itís your job to find it. You can do this by taking everything off your bed and throwing it on the floor Ė everything! Books, clothes, food, blankets, pillows, sheets. Keep moving things off until all you have left is a bare mattress.
This is your staging area.
2. If you want, find a furniture spritzer like Febreeze to make your bed smell better before you make it. Also, find some clean sheets and pillow cases. If you want, wash your blankets (large comforters usually need to be washed in the large machine at the Laundromat). If the blankets arenít dirty, just spritz them as well and make your bed.
Once you have your bed made (doesnít it look nice?), you can use this flat surface to finish your job.
3. But first, get two trash bags Ė one for dirty laundry and one for garbage Ė and fill them up. Some of you might even need two or three of each (you know who you are).
Once you have removed the trash to the outside trash can and started your laundry, you can get to the rest of the mess.
4. Now, it is all about sorting. This is where your creativity comes in because you need to create categories. While everyone has different things in their rooms and there are no universal categories, some common ones are: clothes, books, school supplies, fashion accessories (like watches, scarves and jewelry), shoes, personal hygiene items (like deodorant or make-up), and hobby items (like paint or action figures). You need to figure out what categories apply to you. The best way to figure this out, it to look around and start piling things on your bed in categories. You should be sorting everything from the floor and every flat surface area (like tables, desks and chairs) onto your bed. If your shelves and closets are disorganized, take everything from there, too. If you find that one category becomes very large Ė for instance if your hobby is arts and crafts and you have many things, you can break down the category into subcategories like a pile for yarn and a pile for paint instead of just one big pile for arts and crafts. When you are done, your floor and furniture should be completely cleared of stuff, and there should be neatly discernible piles on your bed.
You may now notice that your floor and furniture are rather gross.
5. This is where you need to raid the cleaning closet again (you might want to check on your laundry at this time as well) and bring back paper towels, window cleaner, surface cleaner, and a carpet spot remover. When you are doing cleaning like this, you want to work from the top to the bottom, cleaning the floors last so that if anything falls (like dust or grime) onto the floor, it will still be cleaned in the end.
6. So, look up at your ceiling first. You might not need to do anything to it, but if you happen to be the type who throws spit-wads or flicks cheerios onto the ceiling, you may need to do some work. Be careful with textured ceilings, they are damaged easily. If it is a huge mess, you may need to ask your parents for some help.
7. Then, look at our walls. Do posters need to be tacked back up? Are they dusty or dirty? Do the windows need to be washed? Like the ceiling, be careful scrubbing walls because wallpaper and paint can be damaged by cleaning it too harshly. If there are tears in your wallpaper or holes in the walls, you may need to ask for help as well. If you find that there are a lot of tack and nail holes from many posters and pictures being hung around the room, you can fix this easily with putty, but again you have to be careful if the walls are painted or papered.
8. Now, look at your furniture. Wipe down table-tops and shelves. If there is something really sticky stuck to them (like melted candy), first scrape away the glob carefully and then soak a paper towel in warm water and leave it there for a few minutes while you do something else. By the time you get back, it should be soft enough to scrub away. Again, be careful about finished furniture and donít scrub too hard or you can ruin the finish. If you want, desk the legs and complete the job by using wood cleaner to make your wooden furniture shine.
9. Now it is time to take care of the piles on the bed. You probably want to put away your clean clothes first Ė both from your room and from the laundry that you cleaned. To reduce wrinkles, try to fold them up neatly before putting clothes in your dresser. And hang more delicate items like blouses, skirts, and trousers. Match your socks and organize your dresser so that it is easy to find clothes by category (pants, PJís, shirts, etc). You might even want to organize your closet so that the colors are near each other for easy matching when you get dressed in the morning. Just depends on how crazy-organized you want to get. Then, put away your shoes. Find a place for them to go like a shoe box, a shoe hanger, or just lined up against the back of your closet.
10. Finally, find a particular place for each of the other pile categories: a desk drawer for art supplies, a box for comic books, and a shelf for art supplies. The important thing is to make sure that each place has only one or two categories so that they can easily be accessed and put away again. This will ensure that your room stays clean longer.
That is, until those pesky insects move in again.