Room Reset – The Secret to Keeping a Clean House

I love waking up to a neat home, and for years, I struggled with this. Until I learned a little gem that changed everything. A room reset is the secret to keeping a clean house that you will love and can start using today!

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Room reset decluttering hack

You’ve worked so hard on your home. You gathered the extra things and followed all the advice and checklists. You cleaned, decluttered, and even organized every square inch of your room. And now, days later, it’s a hot, chaotic mess all over again.

And just like that, the wind has been knocked out of you as you stare at the state of your home.

Does it help to know you are not alone? More often than not, this re-cluttering of a cleaned-out area is happening in tidy rooms all over.

Grey love seat, in a living room, with teal, grey, and white pillows. A wooden tray with white coffee cup sitting on the couch.

When we first start cleaning out our cluttered homes, our focus is to just get it done. We work fast and furiously to clean out the mess so we create a neat and tidy room. We focus on the stuff and not the process in the hopes that, like magic pixie dust, it will fix everything.

When you are a clutter bug like I am, cleaning out everything is the easiest part of all of this. I know that might sound crazy where you are right now, but bagging it up and then getting it all out of the way is actually the easiest part of changing.

Because the hard part doesn’t hit until days later when you are faced with keeping your home organized and free of clutter every day for the rest of your life. And that might be the hardest mountain to climb.

But here’s the thing, maybe it’s not our room that needs to be decluttered at this point, but actually our mindset. We need to retrain how we look at our homes and how we look at our things. And that takes time. That takes intention. That takes practice.

Oh no, clutter practice? Sounds just awful, doesn’t it?

But unfortunately, when we have spent the better part of our lives living with clutter, practice is just what we need to do. We need to teach ourselves to see things differently.

woman with a pen to her mouth thinking at a table

We need to create simple systems, habits, and routines that will help us to keep our things in order as we learn to do this on autopilot. And as we learn only to keep the things we need, use, or love, we can wear our clutter-free badge with pride.

White bedroom with a white bed. Added text quote: "If I love it, use it, or need it, then I may keep it."

Okay, so I know I may have gone just a little overboard, but speaking as a former clutter bug myself, I understand how significant this shift is. And once you make it, your life will change for the better.

So, yes…clutter-free badge! Maybe only in theory, but life-changing all the same.

The number one complaint I get from folks who have just cleaned out and organized a room in their home is, “How do I keep it that way?” And with our overwhelming habit of just setting our stuff down anywhere, this can be a tall order. Let’s face it: keeping things neat and tidy all the time sounds dull, boring, and a lot like constant “June Cleaver” work.

And who wants to live like that? An apron is always on. Dust mop is always in hand. Cleaning all the time?

A women with a grey shirt, yellow cleaning gloves, jeans, and a blue bandana, cleaning a kitchen and living room.

Not me, and I am sure you do not want to live like that either. But good news, I have the lifeline insider hack that will help you and you are going to laugh at how easy it is.

Over the years, I learned a few tricks that have helped me keep my home clutter-free. Easy tips that keep me from taking five steps back into old and frustrating habits.

Today, I want to introduce you to my number one tip. The key to a neat and tidy home and one so simple most folks skip it altogether.

It’s what I like to call a Room Reset.

A room reset is super basic and one of my top home cleaning tips to use. It’s resetting the room to its original state. That place where it was when you first decluttered it. And you are going to reset that room. Every. Single. Day.

Why is it so important to keep a room clean and tidy?

To answer this question, let’s think back for a minute. Remember your room when you finally decided enough was enough. That feeling of frustration, overwhelm, and maybe even anger. Maybe coming home was not something you looked forward to, and maybe your family felt the same way.

Then you got busy. You dug your heels in and got to work. You cleaned out, cleaned up, and organized your messy room, maybe your entire home, into a neat and tidy one. And as you stood there admiring the hard work, you felt amazing, right?

a counter in a kitchen with nothing on it but a flower and a basket of papers

You felt so good and at peace, and that’s when you realized you wanted to spend time in that space. To soak up its calm and serenity. That feeling. That peace and joy you felt in that room is why you need a room reset. So you can start your day out on the right foot every single day.

When should you do a room reset?

When you reset your room is entirely up to you. It can be at the end of the day before you head off to bed—or first thing in the morning when you get up. The trick is to do it daily so it’s a quick and easy task instead of an annoying chore.

A neat kitchen with bar stools and a clock on the wall

How many rooms should you reset?

You can do this in one room, a few main ones, or all. The choice is up to you. If you are starting, I would suggest one room until you get a feel for how things go; then, you can add on others. Remember, we are learning a new habit here; for that reason, you will want to start small and work your way up. Build up your clutter-free stamina and work your way towards staying organized on autopilot.

Before you know it, you can reset your entire home daily and keep everything neat and tidy without having to devote hours each week to decluttering all over again.

The best part is that you probably already do this without realizing it. Think of your bedroom. I am sure you make your bed each morning when you get up. You may also gather up the laundry off the chair and put it into the basket, Then you may straighten up your nightstand as well, removing what doesn’t belong and putting away what does.

That is a room reset.

My secret to keeping a clean house. And this new daily chore will eventually become a simple habit that your entire family can chip in on.

How to do a Room Reset and Keep a Clean House

Up next is a list of steps to reset a room. There are a handful, yes but they are simple to do and take seconds to finish.

Step #1. Decide When

Decide when you will do your resets. This will all depend on a few things.

First, are you a morning person? If so, you may want to do your resets in the morning before the chaos of the family gets up.

Are you a night owl? Then this evening may be the best time to do your room resets.

I like to split my resets up doing a few in the evening and a few in the morning.

Morning Reset:

  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom

Evening Reset:

  • Family Room
  • Kitchen

Breaking things down this way ensures I can reset each room without spending too much time altogether.

Step #2. Gather Your Tools

To do a quick reset, you will need just a few items.

  1. A basket – I like to use a clothes basket for my resets and find them incredibly useful in so many areas other than laundry. This is used to hold any items that belong in another space.
  2. A trash bag – This is used for trash. You can also have a second bag for recyclables.
  3. Cleaner and rag – This is used to do a quick wipe down of any surfaces.

Step #3.  Tackle One Room at a Time

In the beginning, I would suggest picking one room to reset. The main area in your home such as the kitchen or family room. As you turn this new task into a simple daily habit, you can add more rooms.

For the rest of our list, we will use the family room as an example so you can see how well it works.

Step #4.  Trash and Recyclables

It’s incredible how much trash we create in a day and my first task in my reset is to gather it all up and toss it away. To do this quickly, walk around the room with a bag or trash bin in hand gathering up any trash as you go. Don’t forget recyclables as well.

  • Newspapers
  • Napkins or crumbled papers
  • Junk mail
  • Empty food bags and water bottles

Step #5. Gather up What Doesn’t Belong

Once the trash is gone, work on the stuff that doesn’t belong in this room. Use a laundry basket for this because it works great to hold a lot without dropping things as you put them away.

  • Dishes- go to the kitchen
  • Food – goes in the pantry
  • Clothes – go in the laundry room
  • Toys – go in the playroom
  • Shoes – go in the mudroom
  • Papers – go in the office

Toss the things you find in your basket. Set it aside to deal with in a later step.

Step #6. Put Away What Does Belong

Next, if you see any items that do belong in this room, put them away. Since we are working in the family room for this example, you may have:

  • Blankets and pillows
  • Pet toys
  • Remotes
  • Movies
  • Books or other reading material
  • Tidy up end tables and coffee tables, straightening any books or other items you keep in these areas.

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Step #7.  Do a Quick Clean

Before you leave this room, take just a few minutes to wipe things down. This will not only make this room sparkle and shine but also keep you from having to clean as often as you were before.

A gentle multipurpose cleaner and cloth will work to tackle most areas in your home without risk of damage.

If you hate to clean, learn how to put that task on auto-pilot!

Step #8. Put Away Your Basket

When you are finished in your room, you may find yourself with a basket full of random things from step #5. This is the time to put all of those items away. To make this step easier, take a stroll through your home basket in hand.

As you walk into a room, look into your basket for items that belong there. Be sure to put those items away, and don’t be tempted just to set them on the first open surface you find.

putting-things-away-from-a-room-reset-basket-

The key to a clutter-free home is putting items where they belong. Work to train yourself to do this without thinking, and you will be surprised at how neater your home stays is with little to no effort.

Step #9. Move on to the Next Room

Now that you have the basics, repeat the steps in the next area you want to reset. In the beginning, a room reset may take you 15 minutes to complete. After you get the hang of things, all you should need is 5-7 minutes for each room.

I like to start my resets about 10 minutes before I head off to bed. This is just enough time to tidy up my top 2 rooms, the family room and the kitchen.

Room Reset Bonus tips

#1. Don’t leave a room until it is done.

If you are anything like me, then distraction is a real problem. Try to stick with a task until it is finished before moving on to the next. This will help you to get more things done instead of having a few dozen half-finished projects all over your home.

#2. Do not be tempted to clean a room from top to bottom.

If you see that larger tasks need to be done, such as washing the windows or vacuuming the carpet, rather than doing it now, add it to your weekly cleaning list. A room reset is meant to be quick and simple, so try not to overthink it. Save the heavy cleaning for cleaning day.

#3. Try to do your room reset in the same order each time.

This will help to create a habit you can incorporate into your day without stressing out about “yet another thing you have to do.” Routines are incredibly helpful and can allow you to put daily tasks on autopilot.

You can set a reminder on your phone at the same time each day for your room resets. This gentle nudge may be all you need to turn this new goal into a routine habit you can do without thinking.

#4. Call in the troops.

Teach your family to gather up their things and take them with them when they leave a room. This will make your job much easier to do later on. Before my kids headed to bed each night, I would remind them to take their things with them. This reminder eventually became a habit that they eventually took to their own homes. Again, it is a simple way to keep things put away.

I know in the scheme of things, this is such a small and minor tip, but when you worked so incredibly hard to declutter a room, why not do all that you can to keep it that way?

By doing a room reset every day, you will learn the secret to keeping a clean house and get a chance to enjoy those feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment again and again.

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7 Comments

  1. Thank you, just reading about reset with rooms, I’m sure will be so inspiring.
    But I do have one room that is a disaster-
    Books photos letters old school stuff birthday cards things I’d like to read or look at when I have time. My adult children don’t want photos in frames or even individual ones. They seem to have clutter free houses, an they have young children. I am tired when I get home from work. I very often lose things, even a diary, I try to do as much as I can. But I realize I need a home for everything, and I keep putting things off, as thought of it!!! Gemma

    1. Hi, Gemma,
      I totally understand not having time to do something as tiring as decluttering. Just try to keep things small and simple. 5 things a day. That’s a simple goal to reach for. Remove 5 things from our home a day. Or find homes for 5 things a day. Or throw away 5 bags of trash a day. Just do 5.

      Keep me posted on how it is going!
      Tracy

  2. Thank you, Tracy. The reset cleaning idea makes sense. Trying to scale down from a house, garage, etc. to an apartment is tricky, had to throw alot of “stuff” out, even had to order two dumpsters . Your ideas on scaling down on keeping photos was helpful, too!

  3. After each meal, I clean the counters and the dishes (handwash or dishwasher). I sanitize the counters again before I start fixing a meal or snack.

    I used to throw parties to get extra help from the family members for that clutter reset.

    If I ever get the house the way I want it, I want to hire a cleaner for all those spots that I have to use a kneeling bench or ladder to reach! I do either one or the other since I have limited energy and mobility.

    A trash can in each room helps with the daily maintenance.

    Don’t procrastinate! Put things back into the room where they belong each day–immediately.
    Examples include cups, snack plates, dirty clothes, shoes, toys, and clean laundry.

    If you maintain, that hill cannot become a mountain you cannot climb!

    Now that it is just hubby and me–we know where to point the fingers when something is out of place.

    Honestly, it’s mostly me not putting something up immediately since I’m into crafting.

  4. This is useful and relatable. I never thought to take a basket in, collect the things that belong in other rooms in the basket, and then take them away. I always made piles to distribute, but I like this better. It feels quicker. I’m really going to try this.

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