How To Tidy Your Room: The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Home

Time for a spring clean? If you need help sorting your mess, use these home organization and cleaning tips to transform your bedroom, reorganize your cupboards, and become so tidy that cleaning gurus like Marie Kondo and Mrs Hinch would be proud.
by Uptime Staff / 2021-09-28

As the old saying goes: tidy home, tidy mind.

The benefits of a clean, organized home go far beyond the aesthetic: a spotless bedroom, kitchen, and living room is good for your mental health too. Cleanliness and organization is proven to boost our productivity, calmness, and general sense of wellbeing. 

Still, organization is a process and a skill - one that comes more naturally to some of us than others. If you’re stuck in a loop of moving your clothes from your bedroom to your chair, then use these handy, step-by-step instructions to quickly clean up your home.

How to clean your home

Mind over Clutter: Cleaning your Way to a Calm and Happy Home - Nicola Lewis

On Uptime

No matter how messy your bedroom has gotten, you can still take back control over your environment (and give your mental health a little boost in the process). This book shows how junk controls our minds, and how simple getting rid of it can be. A clean, neatly-organized space will work wonders for your brain, and Lewis is ready to help you get there. 

Clutter intensifies the cortisol levels in your brain, which leaves you more at risk of mental illness. Cortisol is higher in people who live in messy homes, and high cortisol levels increase your risk for depression and anxiety, and also makes it harder for you to concentrate. 

Lewis teaches us how we can get rid of our junk in four simple steps:

  1. Take everything out of the room you’re cleaning except furniture.
  2. Sift through everything and make four piles: keep, trash, donate, sell.
  3. Clean everything in the room at once.
  4. When you’re putting the ‘keep’ items back, organize them in a way that you can sustain. 

When it comes to cleaners, make sure to go natural instead of chemical. Chemicals can also harm your mental health.

How to declutter your home from top to bottom

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo

On Uptime

In recent years, Marie Kondo’s name has become synonymous with the power of a clean space. If you haven’t read the book that started it all, now’s the time. The uninitiated will find that Kondo’s life hacks actually come with an interesting psychological and social underpinning that will change the way you think about the space in your home. 

Start incorporating Kondo's teachings into your life by using the following 3 ideas:

  • To make the process of decluttering easier, start with items that are easy to cull, and save harder decisions until later. By the time you tackle them, you’ll be in the ‘zone’, aka, in the right headspace to make those tougher decisions.
  • You only declutter once. Instead of making cleaning a long, drawn-out process, just put aside a weekend and do a big decluttering of your entire house in one go. If you do it right the first time, the lasting impact will help you stay clean and not backslide.
  • Simplify the process: ask yourself the purpose of an object, decide if it has fulfilled its purpose, and then decide if it needs to be a part of your future.

To learn how you can start putting these ideas in action, use our The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book summary here.

How to keep your house tidy

Happier at Home - Gretchen Rubin

On Uptime

Gretchen Rubin is an author, blogger, and speaker, most famous for her books The Happiness Project, The Four Tendencies, Better than Before, and Outer Order, Inner Calm (see below.) Gretchen Rubin's steps for happiness include…

  • Learn how to declutter your home by asking yourself a couple of key questions about each object: when was the last time you used this? How much do you like it? These processes weed out items that you no longer have use for.
  • We’re all prone to overreaction. How about trying...under-reaction? When there’s a cleaning mishap, try just breathing and dealing with it instead of making it a big deal. This technique literally changes how you react to all kinds of problems, not just with cleaning, and can boost your overall happiness levels.
  • Build a community with your neighbors. The stronger your personal network, the happier you’ll be. Tons of Americans don't even know their neighbors' names; if you commit to befriending yours, you'll have an entire new network of people to make your home life more pleasant - and if you're inviting people over more regularly, it's a good prompt to keep tidying your house.

To explore this book's 3 key ideas, have a look at our Happier at Home book summary on Uptime.

How to stop procrastinating from cleaning

Outer Order, Inner Calm - Gretchen Rubin

On Uptime

Yep, that’s another Gretchen Rubin title...but for good reason. This one provides more organizational advice with a focus on mental calm. Order boosts our self confidence, and lord knows we all need some of that. Rubin dedicates time to tidiness even on her busiest days. When she feels overwhelmed, 20 minutes of cleaning actually helps her focus. 

So, what are this book's best ideas?

  • Tidying up doesn’t just fix our space - it also makes us feel serene, focused, and motivated. 
  • If you’re tempted to avoid cleaning and just relax, remember: all it takes is 20 minutes to make a change. Then you’ll be even more relaxed and be in a healthier space. 
  • Only keep the items that feel sentimental, meaningful, or purposeful. We all buy things we don’t need, but we don’t need to keep them. Ask yourself: is this something I need? Is this something I love? Is this something I use?

To explore these lessons in more detail, have a look at our Outer Order, Inner Calm book summary on Uptime.

When it comes to kickstarting your spring clean, often the hardest bit is just getting started. In fact, it can even be quite meditative, according to the experts above - and if it's more meditation lessons you're looking for, have a look at our handy guide to meditation here.

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