So, who said spring cleaning could only happen in the spring?
To me, I try to really deep clean and declutter my room with the change of every season. The items I needed the previous season may not be something that I need now; so the things I valued a year ago may be something that I not only don’t value now, but also take up too much room. I never saw the point in keeping something beyond their expiration date – the point in time when you no longer need or value it anymore. Because after all, these useless items end up taking an unnecessary amount of room.
I decided to split my spring cleaning portion into two parts: the cleaning and the decluttering. After all, you can’t start to declutter when your room looks like a torpedo went through it.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
– Leonardo DiCaprio
☆ Cleaning ☆
For an excruciating long while now, my room has been an absolute train wreck — clothes and miscellaneous papers strewn on the floor, on top of my bed and just about everywhere else. Basically, there were so much random stuff that I had a lot of trouble getting from the doorway of my room to my bed or my desk. So the first order of business, before I began decluttering, was to organize and sort through my clothes and papers, particularly those on the floor.
Usually, throughout the week, I become too lazy to fold the clothes from doing the laundry, and just too lazy to toss my dirty ones into the hamper. Eventually, it comes down to it being an utter mess on the floor — a massive pile of clothes and papers thrown in an ever-growing pile.
Basically, I began by taking a seat on the floor of my room and picked through these clothes, where I put the clean clothes in one pile and the dirty/already worn ones in another. The dirty clothes went straight to the laundry hamper, almost immediately, and I picked out all of the empty hangers hanging in my closet, and collected them in one pile, so that they were readily accessible to me.
With that being said, I began putting all of my clothes back in their appropriate place — folding the t-shirts and hanging up my jackets, flannels and such. Slowly, bit by bit, the massive pile of clothes diminished until I could finally see what my bed covers and a portion of my floor looked like for the first time in a long while.
Now that the situation with my clothes were sorted out, there was still a large amount of papers carelessly tossed onto the floor of my room, and that was getting out of hand. It basically got to the point where I couldn’t find the right papers I needed for school when packing my backpack and such in the mornings. Throughout the school year, all of my papers are kept in a stack so that I can refer back to them anytime when studying for finals or for other uses.
From the shelves in my room, I pulled out my various organizational tools, such as a three-whole punch, a stapler, some binders and dividers. In the end, the papers were divided based off of the class subject, and the dividers ensured that my papers from AP Literature won’t get mixed up from my AP Statistics papers.
Everything on my floor was cleared up. Alas, I finally saw that my floor looked like:
Besides the mess on my floor, there is a large mess on the surface of my desk, night stand as well as my dresser. When I’m not nonchalantly chucking papers and clothes onto my floor, I place my various knick knacks and other articles on these surfaces, and overtime, they accumulate.
So to clear this surfaces and to make space, I grabbed a large trashcan and a small recycling, and went through these surfaces in different stages. The first stage was to clear off the obvious trash pieces, such as empty plastic watterbottles, clothing tags, etc, and to place them in their appropriate bins. Afterwards, I worked to go through the smaller pieces and slips of paper on my desk and such, reading through them to ensure that they were no longer of use to me. When all the pieces were sorted out, I had already trashed the things that had no use and/or no place in my room for it. The rest of things that I decided to keep was placed in its appropriate places.
When all of the surfaces were cleared of clutter and such, I wanted to sanitize these surfaces. Since these surfaces are made of wood, I made sure to not use any harsh chemical cleaning products. Instead, I took a dampened washcloth with a little soap wipe down and sanitize these surfaces (desk, nightstand and dresser) to ensure that it was clean and didn’t have any strange residue on them and such.
On the other surfaces in my room, I decided to take a duster and dust off the dust. Dust accumulates easily where I live as a heavy coat will just sit on my things in just a few short weeks, so this is a task that I have to do regularly. I ended up dusting off of the top of my stereo, media center, book shelf as well as old sports trophies. When I was about to put away the duster, I realized that something I haven’t done in a long while was to dust my blinds, as dust accumulates there very easily. So I did just that!
While the duster may not have caught all of the dust that I brushed off, I assumed that most of it would have fallen to the floor. With a vacuum, I decided to vacuum up my room as my room is entirely made of carpet. This was a great opportunity to pick up any dust particles, loose strands of hair (because I regularly shed hair), and such.
Although not shown or talked about much in this post, I usually change my bedsheets and pillow covers when I clean my room. Plus, there is no better feeling than climbing into bed that night into new, fresh sheets. Anyways, I usually change my sheets and covers once every two weeks so that I can regularly wash them, but I didn’t do it when I cleaned my room in this post since I had just done so the week prior.
With everything in my room clean and tidy, I decided to start the next big step of my spring cleaning. And that, was to begin the decluttering process…
☆ Decluttering ☆
When it comes to decluttering, I have many sections of my room in mind that I want to declutter and straighten up. Sections like that include: my closet (racks and the floor), the cabinet besides my desk, the black cubicles of my media center, and my junk drawers of my nightstand. Basically, all of these sections over the span of months have become cluttered with my junk, and it gives me a massive headache to find the time to sort this out.
So, when I finally grasped the motivation to clear out these junk-cluttered areas, I set aside about 2-3 hours of free time. This ensured me with 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time to swiftly and efficiently clean and declutter these areas. When decluttering, playing music or listening to a podcast made this more interesting, and allowed time to pass on more quickly.
For each of these areas, I found it easiest if I sat down on the floor of my room with my trashcan and recycling bin besides me. For each of these areas, I pulled all of the items out and laid them out on the floor, so I could really see what kind of situation I was dealing with.
Like my closet clean out, I asked some similar questions to myself. They were:
☆ Have I used this in the past six months?
☆ Does this item have value?
☆ Does this item give me a profound sense of enjoy/happiness/love?
☆ Do I need this?
☆ Why do I have this?
These questions helped me figure out whether or not these items were still needed or not. If you answered a large majority of these with a whole-hearted “yes” then that is a tell-tale sign that you should most likely keep the item. If you answered it with a large majority in no’s, you should look into discarding it or donating it so somebody can enjoy it as much as you once did.
However, if you find that you’re keeping a large majority of the items rather than getting rid of it, do a double take. You might be tricking yourself by thinking that these items are valued much more than they really are. And trust me, sometimes I have difficulty parting with things that I’ve had for a long time now because of a relatively strong sense of attachment. But sometimes, you just have to discard it when the time comes. So the question I find myself asking is the last question of why I have it. If I fail to come up with a perfectly valid reason, I usually loosen my attachment on it and bring myself to discard it.
Here are some before and after photos of the area I decluttered:
☆ Thoughts ☆
After finally finishing this cleaning and decluttering project I put myself up to, I can finally say that I can walk into my own room and not feel like I am drowning in my own clutter. Just seeing the floor of my room or the wooden surface of my desk has the same effect as a breath of fresh air. It is freeing, and puts me at ease to see how clean my room really is now.
I split my cleaning and decluttering in between a span of a couple of evenings. It wasn’t a project that I cleared my entire weekend for, as this was something that I did after homework and before I went to bed each night. After each night, I saw the progress that I had made, and to see that progression was relatively satisfying.
When I clean my room, I pick up after myself, particularly tidying up the clothes and papers off of my floor, and organizing my desk. Normally, I don’t regularly deep clean or declutter my room often, but when I do, I always find that I am satisfied with the end results and feel quite content with myself.
To read more about decluttering around your home, here are some articles and bloggers to check out:
- Article: The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home
- Article: 8 Lessons Our Editor Learned from the Decluttering Bible
- WordPress Blogger: Catherine Elizabeth Gordon
For more room/cleaning posts:
- Room Transformation: Undressing The Dresser
- Room Transformation: Simple Ways To Spice It Up
- Room Transformation: The Media Centers
- Room Transformation: A Closet Clean Out
Thanks for reading, and feel free to like this if you enjoyed it.
Stay tuned for blogs every Wednesday (and occasionally, Sunday)!