How to declutter a bedroom in one day – expert tips to tidy wardrobes and slay storage in record time

A few hours of blood, sweat and tears will be rewarded with the best night’s sleep of your life

bedroom with sloping eaves with king sized bed with pink bedding
(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Decluttering a bedroom in just one day might seem ambitious, especially if your bedroom is so full of cosmetics, clobber and other random tat that it’s groaning at the seams. But with a strategic approach and our experts’ advice, decluttering a bedroom in record time is absolutely doable. Not pleasant, granted, but not impossible.

‘The trick for a speedy bedroom declutter is not to linger,’ advises Siân Pelleschi, President of APDO and founder of Sorted! ‘Do a sweep of the room with your eyes and then pick out the items that immediately attract your attention in the room that you know you don’t want to be there. If you come across anything that you’re unsure of, move on and come back later.’ 

Another really good tip for keeping motivated through the day is to visualise the end result and how happier you will feel once it’s all done, and you can get into your bedroom without a crowbar. Oh, and put on some banging club/disco/show tunes (delete as applicable). There’s nothing quite like an uplifting beat to keep you moving.

Portrait of an expert
Siân Pelleschi

Siân's love of organising led to the launch of her Cheshire-based decluttering service Sorted! in 2016. She became president of the APDO (Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers) in 2022 where she continues to grow the Professional Organisers community, supporting inclusivity and global recognition.

How to declutter a bedroom in one day

By prepping your supplies, systematically sorting each area and ending with a decent clean, even a total pigsty of a bedroom can be transformed into a serene, clutter-free sanctuary. Follow these seven steps and look forward to a more peaceful night’s sleep. On your marks, get set…go.

1. Get prepared

cleaning bucket

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Avoid wasting time running up and down the stairs by gathering everything you need before you begin. Load up a cleaning trug with an all-purpose cleaning spray, glass cleaner, plenty of cloths (including at least one microfibre cloth for dusting) and a roll of black garden waste sacks. Carry the vacuum cleaner in your other hand – you may need to make another trip for cardboard boxes. 

‘Boxes are best for storing any items headed to the charity shop or gifting, but there’s no need to buy any, cardboard packaging boxes are perfect,’ adds Siân Pelleschi. ‘Having all your supplies ready from the start will help stop you from getting sidetracked later in the decluttering process.’

2. Clear away visible clutter

a black bedroom with metal framed bed and bedside table and a gold sunshine decal on the wall

(Image credit: Future/Katie Lee)

Begin decluttering by tackling the easiest task, clearing the clutter you can see when you step into the room. ‘Remove every unnecessary item from your bedside tables and other surfaces, such as dresser units and shelves. Keep only essential items that you use regularly and a few meaningful ornaments, and store or discard the rest,’ recommends Penny Moyses, Home Expert and Founder of the Clean & Tidy Home Show

‘Go through your bedside book collection and keep only the ones you are currently reading. Organise any remaining books you plan to read again on a bookshelf or in a storage container. Donate any books you don’t think you’ll reach for again. Similarly, assess your jewellery and accessories, keeping only the pieces you love and wear regularly,’ adds Penny.

Penny Moyses
Penny Moyses

As founder of the Clean & Tidy Home Show, which takes place at Excel London in October, Penny is a passionate advocate for the power of a well-organised and functional living space. She is dedicated to helping people create a living environment that supports their needs, wants, and dreams.

3. Conquer your wardrobe

Wardrobe with storage

(Image credit: Future PLC)

You may need to grab a caffeine hit before working out how to declutter your wardrobe but once you get going, we promise it won’t be the nightmare you imagine. 

First take everything out and lay it on the bed, relegating any obvious losers (eg. broken, stained, too tight, or old-fashioned clothes) to a bin bag as you go. Anything you haven’t worn in the past 12 months can also be ditched without too much mental trauma. ‘Only keep the clothing that fits well, is in good condition, and aligns with your current style,’ says Penny Moyses. 

Donate any unwanted items to friends or charity – clothing banks are a good, low-fuss way to move on textiles but do make sure they’re clean and any shoes or socks are paired. Damaged clothing can often be repurposed for household rags. Anything of value can be sold on Vinted or eBay but save that job for another day. 

4. Muck out under the bed

Become a nation of keen declutters

(Image credit: Ikea)

The gap under the bed may not be huge but it’s all too easy to shove things under there, out of sight and out of mind. No more. Get down on your knees and drag everything out, being prepared for a whole lot of dust to come with it. If you’re allergic or asthmatic, we genuinely recommend a dust mask at this point. Once you’ve weeded out anything that you don’t really need or can live elsewhere, it’s time to return them in a more organised manner.

‘Invest in underbed storage boxes, preferably with lids to keep out the dust and wheels to make them easy to slide in and out,’ says professional organiser, Helen Constantine

‘Underbed storage requires a lot of bending to access so is best used for things that aren't worn or used very often, such as ski or beach wear. Do be organised with your approach when repacking – grouping similar items together and labelling the boxes so there’s a clear system in place will help you find what you need quickly and easily.’ 

Helen Constantine
Helen Constantine

Almost 20 years in the fashion and retail industry has helped Helen make quick aesthetic decisions and hone her skills for turning chaos into calm. Now established as a professional organiser, she is called upon to reimagine spaces and put systems in place to help maintain order.

5. Go through your drawers

A pink IKEA chest of drawers used as a vanity

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Take a similar approach as you did with wardrobe sorting and get everything out of your drawers so you can eye-ball each item for usefulness and potential donation. Be utterly ruthless. ‘If you struggle to part with your clothes just consider these four things: when did you last wear that item, how does it make you feel, does it go with more than one other item and is it in good condition,’ suggests Helen Constantine.

‘Get rid of anything that you don’t wear, doesn’t bring joy, doesn’t coordinate and is stained or holey, no matter how much you may have loved it in the past.’ Organise everything that has survived the cull and invest in dividers or linen boxes to keep it all neat and easy to find. 

6. Pare back personal items

white cabinet with black and white framed photos

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith)

Next tackle personal items that can be hard to organise because they don’t fall into one category. We’re talking about that weird stuff that often winds up in bedside cabinets (not THAT weird stuff, there might be children reading) and storage boxes, such as spare batteries, hair care, random stuff you’ve pulled out of pockets before putting clothes in the laundry basket and sentimental items like baby scans and love letters. 

Sentimental items can be the hardest to let go, and Elaine Penhaul, director of Lemon and Lime recommends taking the ‘move out method’. ‘We use this approach a lot with our clients who are selling their homes but you don’t have to be actually moving, just imagine you are and try to visualise the kind of environment you want to create in your new space,’ she explains. 

‘Look at each item and consider whether you would genuinely want to take it with you. Ask, do I use this regularly? Do I really need this? Does it bring me joy or serve a significant purpose in my life? If the answer is no, it can go.’

This is also a good time to remove extra books and magazines, which are among the things professional organisers always remove from clients' bedrooms.

Elaine Penhaul
Elaine Penhaul

As founder of award-winning national home staging firm Lemon and Lime Interiors, Elaine helps sell properties faster by decluttering, redecorating and restyling. Clearing out clutter is a big focus of her work, and she has become something of an expert in streamlining homes to make them more desirable for both buyer and seller.

7. Get your Marigolds on

A bedroom with pink limewash walls and a gallery wall display

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mary Wadsworth)

No bedroom decluttering project is complete without a jolly good clean down. And you’ll now have lovely empty(ish) surfaces to help do it in record time. Always start from the top down when cleaning – get the vacuum brush nozzle out and blitz the corners of bedroom ceilings, light shades and tops of wardrobes. Switch to a damp cloth as you move down to shelving, windowsills and bedside tables and then down on your knees for the skirting boards. 

Change the bed sheets if necessary, and then get the vacuum cleaner on. ‘Do move any furniture if possible and lift up the rugs. This is the perfect time to tackle any dirt and dust that usually gets left behind,’ adds Elaine Penhaul. ‘Spritz the air with a scented room spray or open a new diffuser set to really make your uncluttered bedroom feel fresh and welcoming.’

Storage must-haves

FAQs

How long should it take to declutter a bedroom?

‘You can’t really put a time limit on it as it depends on multiple factors like how big the bedroom is, how many wardrobes there are, how much clutter there is,’ says Siân Pelleschi, President of APDO and founder of Sorted! ‘Having said that, if you allocate approximately four hours to do a big declutter and accommodate a large wardrobe including chest of drawers I think that would give you a good idea. Of course, if you’re just doing a mini declutter, consider it a light dusting, then you shouldn’t need nearly as long.’

Once you have spent a day properly decluttering your bedroom, every professional organiser in the land will recommend taking a little and often approach to keeping it at bay, and avoiding ever having to complete a mammoth task again.

How do you declutter any room quickly?

A full-on scrub out is not a quick fix but you can speed things up by working faster and harder. Think of it as a workout, track your step count and promise yourself a few treats if you can get a proper sweat on while decluttering and organising like a woman (or man) on a mission. 

A stone-cold ruthless approach will also help, the quicker you can let go of that bundle of ‘art’ from your firstborn’s nursery years, the quicker you can move onto the next task. Let’s be honest, there’s no corresponding bundle for subsequent offspring and you haven’t missed it! If you know you’re a hoarder, get a friend or partner onboard to make you more accountable and help stay focused on your end goal. 


Your bedroom should be a place of calmness and relaxation so a day’s hard work will be totally worth it. Reward yourself with a good book and an early night.

Linda Clayton
Contributor

 Linda Clayton is a professionally trained journalist, and has specialised in product design, interiors and fitness for more than two decades. Linda has written for a wide range of publications, from the Daily Telegraph and Guardian to Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She has been freelancing for Ideal Home Magazine since 2008, covering design trends, home makeovers, product reviews and much more.