Eleven ways to declutter your room and your life in 2017

Virginia Aabram, Head News Editor

Being a normal teenagers means that I’m not the neatest person. I tend to throw things in random places while tidying up about once a week with the old “out of sight out of mind” mentality.  But twice a year, I do a deep clean of every crevice of my room, and the result is lighter and more cheerful atmosphere in my personal space. I’ve done this many times and here are my tips:



  • Pick something interesting to listen to.


You’re going to be spending a lot of time alone, so make sure you have an audiobook, music playlist, or set of podcasts to listen to while you work.  Getting an audio book is easy and free from audible.com or your library through the Overdrive app. Podcasts are also free and can be found on the default podcast app on your phone or in some cases on Spotify. My favorite podcasts are This American Life, The Moth, Serial, and the Cracked Podcast.


  1.     Start with your closet.

This is the black hole of many bedrooms, where you’ve undoubtedly tossed whatever was cluttering your floor space because putting it in its proper place was just way too hard.  And I’m not being sarcastic about putting it away being too hard, we’re busy people and sometimes that drawer is just too stuffed to open. Make pile of things that go in the same place, such as downstairs, your sibling’s room, the garbage, or Goodwill.  


  1.    Be ruthless.

You’re going to find “keepsakes” like old notebooks or clothes that you loved but don’t fit anymore. Weigh their sentimentality and ask if you need it.  If it’s truly a treasured memento, find a place of honor for it or give it to your parents because they might have a place for things like that.  But those should be few are far between.  You don’t need that tiny t-shirt from your first summer camp or the broken fan that your parents got you in Mexico. Get rid of it if you don’t wear it or use it.  This will get easier as the cleaning process goes on.


  1.    Next, tackle your dresser.

This is going to involve the most objective eye.  Really ask yourself if you need all these clothes. If you don’t wear it (even if you like it), give it to Goodwill.  If an article of clothing is wrinkled, hang it up in your freshly cleaned closet.  When you’re ready to put the clothes back in, I’ve found that rolling works better than folding to create more space.


  1.    Move on to your desk and/or bookcase.

Books can be very sentimental for many people, myself included. Keep all your favorite books, but give away any that you only kinda liked but won’t read again.  Find a way to organize them that makes sense for you, possibly in order of importance, alphabetically, size, or color, which adds to the decoration.  If you have a desk, go through every drawer and shelf and get rid of what you don’t need. Don’t forget to dust the shelves while they’re clear.


  1.    Declutter all other shelves/surface areas.

This refers to the top of your dresser, nightstand, windowsill, wall shelves, and any other place in your room that hasn’t been covered yet. Really judge any tacky knick-knacks that you’ve had since you were eight, especially if you made them yourself. Dust and windex accordingly.


  1.    Don’t forget to clean under the bed!


  1.  If needed, organize your jewelry and/or makeup.

In this case throw away most anything you’ve had since your childhood, because it’s probably tacky and you don’t wear it.  If you’ve had makeup since your childhood, really throw that away because it’s expired.


  1.  Do some light redecorating and repairs.

Now that you can see your room clearly, make some changes to suit how you’ve changed since you first decorated.  This could mean rearranging furniture or pictures, adding a string of Christmas lights, fixing a hole in the wall, or touching up paint.


  1.     Change your sheets and make your bed.

You simply must have a clean bed to match your clean room!


  1.    Vacuum really well.

This is the last step because all the other cleaning will shake loose a lot of dust.  Take the stick and get into the corners too.


It’s a lot work to completely organize a room, but at the end you’ll realize it’s worth it.  Spray some air freshener or light a candle and enjoy your space!