Perhaps you’ve just received word that friends will be stopping by in 15 minutes—but your bedroom is an absolute mess. Sometimes, shutting the door to your room just isn’t an option. Maybe guests need to walk through your sleep space to access the bathroom or the only logical place to stash coats and other belongings when friends arrive is, well, on your bed. If you’re feeling stressed about faking a clean room in just a matter of minutes, don’t! Below, experts weigh in with simple tips that will help you get your space looking spick and span even when time is super limited.
1. Make Your Bed
It may seem obvious, but making your bed will work wonders in ensuring that your room appears nice and neat. Emily Matles, a professional organizer and founder of emagine simplicity in Brooklyn, NY, offers a tip for taking things to the next level. “Always remember to fluff pillows as well as the comforter insert in the duvet cover,” she says. If you have time to change your sheets, be mindful about the hues you use. “It is always helpful if the sheets are light and/or bright in color,” says Yukti Gupta, a professional organizer and productivity specialist. “It can be a distraction from any other eyesores in the room,” adds Gupta, who is the founder of Dr. Ace of Space in Brooklyn.
Wondering how to set yourself up for continued success down the line? You’ll want to keep your bed setup fairly simple, notes San Antonio, TX, professional organizer Amélie Saint-Jacques. “Ditch the decorative throw pillows on the bed,” she urges. “Most people won’t have the motivation to put them back on the bed each morning, so they often end up just cluttering the bedroom.”
2. And Don’t Forget a Bed Skirt
This is key if you’ve quickly slid items under your bed and need to conceal them, says Jason Saft, founder of Staged to Sell Home in Brooklyn. And note that down the line, you can purchase some bed risers to fully maximize your storage possibilities.
3. Take Advantage of an Ottoman
Have a storage ottoman at the end of your bed? Use that to house clutter as you clean up in a hurry. “Having an ottoman at the foot of the bed can be useful to stash some other stuff,” says Maureen Nuccitelli, founder of The Organizing Diva in Watertown, MA. “And a pretty throw over the ottoman to cover up some other stuff might be helpful in a pinch.”
4. Wipe Down Your Space
You may not have time for a full-on deep clean, but you’ll want to wipe down any visible surfaces before guests arrive, says Karie Winfree of OM Organizing Solutions in Austin, TX. “I like Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Cleaner in lavender for a clean, fresh scent that is inviting to guests,” Winfree shares. After spraying surfaces, tackle the floors quickly, too, she suggests. “Run a floor sweeper over your floor to pick up any loose dust and dirt.”
5. Utilize Storage Baskets
You’ll want to make the most of baskets and what professional organizer Aileen Mitchener refers to as “drop zones,” or “places to nicely and stylishly stow your items temporarily until you can address them.” Make sure that you fully tackle these bins and boxes later, though. “The key here is that these are temporary placements until the items can be out away in their proper homes,” adds the Alexandria, VA, based owner of Aligned by Aileen. This not only applies to large items; you’ll want to hide papers and other clutter in a small box, says New York City organizer Tova Weinstock of Tidy Tova. “Reducing clutter will make your room feel tidier and airier,” she explains. “Hide the box in your closet or under the bed and tend to it later. And hey, if you keep it closed for months, it just may be time to let it all go.”
6. Light a Candle
Organizers agree that strong, pleasant scent can work wonders in a space. As Weinstock puts it, ‘Nothing says, ‘I’ve got a handle on my room’ like a lovely scent and zen candle vibe.” Don’t have a candle on hand? Saft offers a few additional solutions. “Open up your windows to get fresh air to circulate through the room, and keep a spray bottle with a few drop of essential oil (my go to is orange) to spray your linens.”
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