Decluttering Cure

Room Sweep! Clear and Clean Your Home’s Hardest-Working Spaces in 20 Minutes

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Many rooms at home are sanctuary spaces for relaxing and unwinding. Some are utilitarian spaces. And others… others are for hustling.

Your hard-working hustle zones (think: the home office) see a lot of action—and collect a lot of clutter. Today, we tackle that.

If you don’t have a home office area, you can attack any area in just the same way. Maybe today is a good day to dig in on a workbench in the garage, or a place where you sit down to do crafts and DIY projects?

(Image credit: Sandra Rojo)

Today’s Assignment

Take on a timed room sweep in your home office or another hard-working zone.

The dedicated September Sweep‘ers know the deal by now: Set a timer for 20 minutes and use that time to clear as much clutter from the area as you can. The most efficient way to get it done is to carry a laundry basket or another similar container and walk the room, stashing anything that doesn’t belong into the basket.

Where to Look:

  • desk top or counter top
  • drawers
  • file cabinets
  • storage boxes
  • open shelves
  • toolboxes or caddies
  • inside your work bag

What to look for:

  • paper clutter, including papers waiting to be filed
  • books and magazines
  • electronics and cords
  • drinking glasses and mugs
  • office or school supplies
  • other materials or tools
  • just… you know… trash

When time runs out, carry your laundry basket around the room and around your home to start putting things away where they belong. If you encounter anything you don’t have a home for, but that you know you want to keep, you can put it into our “wanderers” box to be dealt with later. And of course, anything that doesn’t meet our 5-question rubric? That should get sent right out the door, to the trash or “sell” or “donate” boxes.

(P.S. If you haven’t yet filed the papers from the other day’s paper clutter project, you can tackle that right now!)

And don’t forget…

We’re slowly chipping away at the beast. Remove one more thing from your monster zone tonight!

Want to catch up with Apartment Therapy’s September Sweep decluttering plan? You can see all of the month’s assignments right here.