How to Deep Clean Your Bedroom and Achieve a Soothing Space

Beachy bedroom with two large banana plants.

Design: Pure Salt Interiors; Photo: Vanessa Lentine

Your bedroom is the very first thing you see when you wake up and the very last thing you see at night. It’s a special space that exists only for your personal wants and needs, and should be treated as finely as you, yourself, deserve to be treated—right?

Try to think of deep-cleaning your bedroom as a “spa day” of sorts, which might make it easier for you.

Things You'll Need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer sheets
  • Soft cloths (like microfiber)
  • Long-handled duster or soft mop
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Boxes or laundry baskets
  • Garbage bags
  • Glass cleaner

Step 1: Put Your Clothes Away

Do you have a week’s worth of sweaters thrown over the back of a chair or a basket of clean laundry hiding beneath a pile of (also clean) sheets? All of these things need to go away before you can start doing any meaningful sort of cleaning. Put them all back where they belong now, or take them out of the room and stash them somewhere else.

Step 2: Strip Your Bed

Blankets, sheets, pillowcases, mattress protectors—it all has to be washed, and since that’s going to take a long time, you’re going to want to get that started right off the bat. To keep your mattress clean while you scrub and dust the rest of the room, cover it with a clean sheet or blanket.

Step 3: Wash Your Bedding

Comforters and blankets take the longest to dry, so they should be the first thing to go in the washing machine. Follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions as printed on the tag, which should be located in the bottom right corner. 

If you have to tightly scrunch up a comforter or blanket in order to jam it into the dryer, there won’t be any room for the hot air to move around the fabric and, you know, dry it. If your linens are too big for the dryer, it’s best to hang them out to air dry.

An outdoor clothesline will dry them the fastest, but if you don’t have one, or are having bad weather, drape them over a set of dining chairs, preferably in a room with a fan. By spreading them out and keeping the air circulating, comforters and blankets can dry within a matter of hours. 

Bedroom with pink pillows

House of Harvee

Next, wash your pillows. If you haven’t removed the tags from your pillows, check them for the manufacturer’s washing instructions. Usually, pillows that are filled with down, feathers, cotton batting, and fiberfill can be cleaned in a washing machine set to the gentle cycle using warm water. Memory foam pillows are not machine washable, but if they have a removable covering, check its tags to see if they can be tossed into the wash. If you’re unsure what sort of pillow you have and you can’t find any cleaning instructions on its label, check the manufacturer’s website.

Pillows can be left out to air dry and should be occasionally fluffed as they dry to help them regain their shape. If you’d prefer to speed things along by using the dryer, first and foremost, check the pillow’s label to make sure it’s okay to do so, as some fillings can melt or catch fire in the dryer.

If it’s safe to do so, put a few tennis or laundry balls in with the pillows to keep their fillings from clumping, and stop the dryer periodically through the cycle to fluff them by hand, pulling the filling as needed to help the pillow stay in shape. 

Finally, wash and dry your sheets and mattress protector following the instructions on the label.

Step 4: Remove Clutter

Anything you see that can be put away immediately should be put away immediately. Gather all loose paper, make sure anything important is put in a safe place, and throw out the rest. Toss any garbage into a bag and take it outside of the room. 

Next, start putting all the small things on your nightstand, dressers, and vanity into a box or laundry basket, wiping them down with a damp cloth as you go to remove dust. Throw out anything broken or expired, like old makeup or medicine. Decide what items you’d like to keep in your bedroom and place the remaining items in a box to put away in other rooms, resell, or donate.  

Step 5: Purge Your Closet

This is perhaps the hardest part of cleaning your bedroom: To get your bedroom truly clean, you have to make a bit of a mess first, not to mention the highly emotional process of sifting through your old clothes. Take everything that is hanging up in your closet and put it on your bed. Scan your closet floor for any clothing that fell off its hanger and toss it in the laundry. 

Next, if you have a shelf at the top of your closet, take everything off of it and put it on top of a dresser or on the floor. Decide if you’d like to donate any items, and if so, set them aside. Repair or replace anything that is broken or damaged, like old shoe boxes or organizers. Give everything a quick wipe down with a soft microfiber cloth to remove any dust, then turn your attention back to the closet and dust the shelf before replacing your belongings. 

Closet with shoes on the back of the door

Neat Method NYC

Once the top of the closet is organized, it’s time to get to the bottom. Pull everything—yes, everything—out, and throw out any garbage or broken items. Use a vacuum or broom to clean the floor. Sift through your belongings—setting aside anything you’d like to donate—return them to the closet, and organize as best fits your lifestyle. 

Now for the clothing: Pick things up one at a time, give them a light shake and a quick brush of the hand to remove any dust, and place them back into the closet. As you come across things you would like to donate or consign, set them aside. Once all your clothes are back in the closet, take all the items you have decided to donate, pack them up, and remove them from your room.

Step 6: Organize Your Drawers

You can skip this part if you want to get your bedroom clean and get over it, but since you cleaned out your closet, you may as well get this over and done with too, right? Throw anything you don’t want into the donation pile, close your drawers, and move on to the next step feeling a little bit more accomplished. 

Step 7: Clean Under Your Bed

Just like you did with your closet, pull everything out from under your bed, throw away garbage, toss dirty, unpaired socks in the hamper (oh, that's where they were hiding!), put all the pet toys in a basket, and replace or repair broken storage containers. Use a broom or vacuum to clean the floor under your bed frame, then put all your things back in an organized manner. 

cozy bedroom ideas

Proem Studio

Step 8: Dust the Walls and Windows

Before you begin this step, you may want to put on a soft cloth face mask to prevent sneezing fits or allergy attacks.

Run a long-handled cloth mop around the room where the wall meets the ceiling, checking the corners for cobwebs, then continue dusting down the walls from top to bottom. If you have a ceiling fan, use a step stool to clean the blades with a damp cloth.

Use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to clean curtains and blinds, working from the top down; clean the window panes with glass cleaner, and wipe the window sills down with a soft cloth. 

Step 9: Clean the Surfaces

Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the dust off dressers, shelves, bookcases, door frames, lamps, headboards, and all other surfaces. Pull furniture away from the wall, and use a cloth or vacuum hose to dust the back and sides. Use glass cleaner on mirrors. 

dresser for storage

Domm Dot Com

Step 10: Tidy the Floor

Make sure everything has been picked up off the floor, then vacuum or sweep and mop. Move the furniture back into place, and clean any spots you missed. 

Step 11: Put Your Room Back Together

Bring back all the boxes and baskets you removed from your room and put everything back in its place. Fold and put away all the clean clothes, and put fresh clean sheets on your bed with your fresh, clean pillows. Maybe light a few scented candles to make the room smell good and give it a whole new vibe. Call someone to pick up the donations, or put them in the car. Take a shower, lay down in your clean bed, and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

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