Our spare rooms are catch-all rooms for boxes and junk that we just haven’t sorted since moving. We tackled our guest room, but the second spare room stayed chaotic. Finally, I got tired of looking at the mess, so Ryan and I got a jump start on organizing and cleaning the room.

organizing and cleaning

Organizing a room is SUCH a PAIN. But the reward is incredible, so it’s well worth it. Here are some things I’ve learned.

1. Before it gets cleaner, it must get messier

That’s just how it is. We had junk placed so we could strategically walk around the room, but as we started organizing and pulling things out, the floor became less visible.

This rule is sort of true for organizing any space, and I think that’s why it overwhelms me. I get to that point where everything is laid out, and I just want to throw my hands up and say NEVERMIND! But then I remember cleaning a room like this is like organizing your catch-all junk drawer in the kitchen. You’ve got to pull everything out, examine what you have, and put only essential items back in, neatly.

organizing and cleaning

2. Organize your things into piles labeled Keep, Trash and Donate.

This is a tried and true method. We kept big items, donated small things we would never use (like the previous owner’s drapes), and trashed piled up old mail and the like.

Our Keep pile is a little different though…

3. Then, make sub-Keep piles labeled Find a New Home, Sell and Stays Here

So we kept big things: our chest of drawers, the desk, the exercise bike and speakers. But only the chest of drawers made the cut to stay. If it’s something we don’t really want, but we think we can get at least $30 on Craigslist, we’ll try to sell it – but not before asking family if they want it first. So the computer desk ended up going to my parents’ house, but the bike went to a new owner through Craigslist. The speakers are a toss up though. We haven’t quite decided what to do with those.

4. Dust as you’re going along and vacuum when you’re finished

We obviously neglected this room, so it wasn’t the cleanest room in the house. As we pulled things out, we wiped them down with a damp microfiber cloth. It made the whole room feel fresher. Then, we topped it off with a quick vacuum.

spare room organzing

Finally, we have a spare room we can walk around in without stumbling. And it’s not 100% organized. That doesn’t ever really happen. But it’s functional, looks clean, and is ready for a coat of paint on the wall!

organizing spare room

What are your tips and tricks for surviving a full room organizing and cleaning overhaul?

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