Take a large garbage bag and fill it with any and all obvious garbage. If you have to decide whether or not something is "garbage", it probably is.
Evaluate all remaining items in the room. Ask yourself, "would I notice if someone threw this away?". Parting with objects is difficult for some, however eliminating thing you do not need is the most important part of keeping a clean room. If everything you pick up has sentimental value, you will never have a clean room. Learn to let go of things, and you will find that the very next day you cannot even recall what you threw out.
Take as many things out of the room as you can. Place them temporarily in a nearby room so that you have space to work. During this process, keep a garbage bag close at hand so you can continue discarding paper, trash, and useless items.
Use a broom, shop vac, or conventional vacuum to completely remove all dirt and dust from the room. This is a good opportunity to clean out desk drawers. If you can bear to do so, empty the entire drawer into the garbage without even checking what is in it. Useful or important items are NEVER kept buried in a drawer. If you examine all items in the drawer, they will remain in that very same drawer for an eternity.
You should now have a relatively empty room, save for large items and furniture. You can bring all of your things back into the room, and place them down in an organized manner. Now you must change your habits drastically, as the next step describes.
Keep a filing box for any and all papers you may accumulate. Not only will this prevent papers from piling up around your house, it will help you recover documents when you need them.
Choose a place to keep each of your things and be consistent. If you find yourself loading up a drawer with useless things, you should consider putting them directly in the garbage instead. This can include (but is not limited to) Christmas cards, your old cellphone that you lost the battery to, old instruction manuals, and things that you keep meaning to sell on eBay (but never get the chance).
Things You Will Need
- Large garbage bag
- A nearby room with space
- A desire to organize your life
- Willingness to part with useless items
- When in doubt, throw it out!
- Use your drawers for storage, not as junk depositories
- Keep a garbage can in every room