Spring Cleaning: seven steps to get a room cleaned and organized in a day

A few weeks ago I got fed up and finished an item that had been on my to do list for far too long. On December 22, 2014 I added an item to my to do list. "Finish Clean and organize the playroom closet" No you didn't mis-read that... 2014. We finally finished the job on April 9th, 2016.
a brush
A Brush - Stock image from used with permission

I use www.toodledo.com to manage my tasks lists. I love toodledo. It’s a great tool that helps me stay organized. One of the advantages of using a task list like Toodledo is that you can move the due date of an item multiple times. This, however, can also be a challenge because you can keep pushing back a due date over and over again forever. And that's what I kept doing. You see, I knew I wanted to get the playroom closet cleaned and organized so that I could also get our playroom clean and organized. But I was missing some steps in the process. I didn't have a clear next action, and so I kept putting off the task.

A while back I read the book The Fast and Furious 5 Step Organizing Solution: No-Fuss Clutter Control from a Top Professional Organizer.This book became an awesome reference in the process of getting this to do item done. I HIGHLY recommend The Fast and Furious 5 Step Organizing Solution: No-Fuss Clutter Control from a Top Professional Organizer to anyone who is having trouble getting a room cleaned and organized or decluttered. One day, with the principles of this book in mind, I finally decided it was time to get an area clean. But oddly I decided to start with the shed first not the playroom.

Here are seven steps that I followed to finally make my spring cleaning happen.

Step one - make some room.

I discovered in the process of cleaning the shed that the main reason I had not finished cleaning the playroom was that I did not have anywhere for extra items to go. We had a similar problem with the shed. It was so full of junk, that there was really no where for any extra items to move into. So step one was to make some room. One of the reasons that Springtime is a great time to do some cleaning is that there's plenty of room outside on a nice spring day. I decided to use this outside space, and literally just took things out of the shed and placed them in my yard.

Step two - pull everything out and place items into piles (keep, donate, trash).

As we took things out of the shed, we would place them into one of these piles: keep, donate, trash. We had the keep pile further subdivided into smaller piles, one for each room that things need to go back into. For example, if we found books in the shed that really needed to go to our living room, we would put them in the living room pile. We would also split items into different piles to go back into the shed, we had a beach pile, a yard pile, a tools pile, and a other supplies pile. Everything coming out of the shed had to go into a particular pile, there was no miscellaneous pile. Everything needed a name on its way out of the shed: keep, donate, trash. This is a key point. Everything must have a name. If you can’t decide what pile it needs to go in, spend some time thinking about if you really need this item. Nothing should go back into the shed and nothing should go in a wait for later pile.

Step three - get the kids to help.

OK, this one might be a little bit out of order. But then, so are the kids. ;-) This was a perfect opportunity to get my kids to help with the cleaning process. Most the time they would help by just taking things from the shed and putting them in the right pile. This became a game for us. "Eden, take this to the beach pile." "Matthew, what pile do you think this hammer needs to go in?" It was a wonderful way to get them involved in the activity, and they enjoyed playing the game.

Step four - start moving piles to their appropriate places

Once we had everything out of the shed, it was time to start taking piles to their appropriate places. At this stage, we did not take everything back into the shed, but we did start moving trash to the street, items that need to go to the house to their appropriate rooms, and we got the items that need to be donated to a specific place where they could wait. Again, this was a great time to get our children involved in moving things around.

Step five - make sure to get everything out of the room.

This is important. You want to get absolutely everything out of the room. If you leave anything in there saying to yourself, "oh that's OK I know what that is", then it will keep hanging in your subconscious as undone. Get everything out. This will also help with the next step. Having everything out of the room will help you to see that you really have accomplished your goal of cleaning it out. Then when you put things back you can get everything into in the right space not just back into the old space where it was before.

Step six - once everything is out, clean the space.

This step will seem very obvious once you get to this point. While we had everything out of the shed, it made sense to give it a good cleaning. For us, this meant sweeping and using our leaf blower (Affiliate link) to get dust and cobwebs out. This is the first time that this particular shed was cleaned out since we moved into the house.

Step seven - put things back into designated spaces.

Ok. This is a crucial step. Put things away in the designated groups that you assigned earlier (beach items, yard supplies, etc.) Having a named place for each group of items will help you to keep those items more organized in the future. This was one of our main issues with getting the shed organized before now. Since items didn’t have a designated place, things would just get thrown in there on top of everything else. Now that items are grouped into a labeled place, it is much easier to keep them together. When we take out the lawn mower, it’s obvious when we put it back that it has to go with the other yard supplies.

Bonus step - Use the new found space to give you the room you need to clean other areas.

Having a room clean, clear, and organized really propelled us forward in cleaning other parts of our house. Before we cleaned our shed we had been storing our four bicycles in the playroom closet, this in turn kept us from putting some things that were loose in the playroom into the closet (where they really belonged). After getting the shed set, we moved the bicycles out to the shed and that helped the dominoes fall. In the same day we were able to finally get that elusive task off my to do list.

"Finish Clean and organize the playroom closet” Added on December 22, 2014. Completed April 9th, 2016.


Getting cleaned and organized is not impossible. In fact, it can be a fun activity to get your kids involved in the activity. Happy Spring Cleaning.

Question: What item has been hanging out on your to do list for far too long? Leave a comment by clicking here.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more about affiliate links