Cleaning up your space is one of those things that you never want to start doing. It means work, dust, old vitaminwater bottles, finding pants you can't fit into anymore, and books you haven't started and absolutely cannot give away. It means that you have to take responsibility for your life, and it sounds like a less than pleasurable pursuit.
Yet, cleaning is also a therapeutic activity that is purportedly good for the mind. A cleaner living space is a sign of a less cluttered thinking space, or something like that. And so, every year around the next two months we take out our gloves and paper towels and watch folding tutorials on Youtube, in order to set our lives and rooms straight once again.
Everyone has their own different cleaning methods. Some dust, and some don't. Some leave it for a year, while some only wait a week. Some need to create a Spotify playlist to dance to beforehand, and some are seasoned pros. Go find your cleaning groove. This is my number one step to being able to clean well. Cleaning is something I look forward to, because I know I'll be doing good for myself and basically get to spend hours singing to Robyn. The first step is starting.
Once you have come to the conclusion that you want to begin the arduous process, you should focus on one task first. If it's easiest for you to organize your bookshelves start there and work your way to the desk, then do it that way. It's always better to categorize and separate your work into lists or sections.
Once you know how you want to do it, don't think about time. Let the time slip away and put the clock face down. Don't procrastinate, and separate yourself from sites like Tumblr and Facebook. You'll be surprised how much you can accomplish without a time constraint. Make sure you're doing this on a day you can relax, so you don't miss anything. You could even set an alarm for when you need to be done.
If you don't like the space you're in when you're cleaning, feng shui it or make room for cool new pieces as a motivator. Make your room something you want to come home to.
Learn to let go of things. Emotional attachments to every little item are dangerous. If that doesn't sway you, go watch an episode of A&E's Hoarders. Clear the clutter. Chances are that there are papers from the tenth grade in a folder somewhere.
When working on clothes, think about how many times you've worn a shirt in the last year. Sort your clothes into three piles: keep, not sure, and donate. This way you'll give yourself a bit of a break before finalizing decisions on parting with that old -- admittedly ratty -- favorite.
Actually use a vacuum and/or duster. You can go months without doing it, but by then it's too late and the dust bunnies will have won. Put in the effort and you'll get what you put in. Use scented sachets to keep your clothes smelling fresh and flip over the mattress every once in a while. Laundry is non-negotiable and so is washing your sheets. Don't be a college freshman and just do it!
Get inspired and go look at tips. Clean your floor. Read cleaning blogs. Wash dishes. Clean out your fridge. You'll find that these activities are all very meditative, and though you may not be doing other work you will feel energized and productive!