Oftentimes when your space is cluttered, so too is your mind. A messy space can make us feel untethered, like we’re floating in a sea of chaos. And when we look at a cluttered space, Oftentimes when your space is cluttered, so too is your mind. A messy space can make us feel untethered, like we’re floating in a sea of chaos.
When we look at a cluttered space, it can feel like it’ll take too long to organize so we don’t do it. But once we start to put systems in place, organizing and staying organized become easier and easier. By keeping a space organized, you can see what you have, what you need, and what can be disposed of in your home. It makes cleaning a lot easier and it frees you from the worries of potential hazards that could cause fire, dust, and even mold.
Where to Begin: The Floor
Start easy—pick up any clothes that may be on your floor and either put them into a hamper, put them into your drawers/closets, or throw them into a donation bag. This will allow you to see what else is on the ground.
From there, pick up any papers or wrappers or any other little bits of garbage from off the floor. Dispose of them appropriately, whether in the garbage or recycling bin.
Look down—you’ve got a clean floor! That wasn’t so bad, was it?
Next Steps: The Surfaces
Is your kitchen or dining room table often a space that attracts the uncategorized? Perhaps you’ve got a stack of mail sitting in a pile on the table. Or some receipts you’ve been meaning to file away. Take those items and find homes for them.
Creating spaces for specific needs can allow you to focus on that task in the time you’ve found for it. So, if you have a place where you put all your bills you’ll know where to find them when it comes time to pay them. The same can be true of laundry, of class projects, of correspondence, of school paperwork that needs to be signed, etc. Having spaces where all these things “live” will ensure more organization and mental clarity.
Lastly: The Things That Collect
We all have it: the chair that collects all your “maybe I won’t wear this after all” clothes, your “let me just switch really quickly” bags and so many other things. Try to take ten minutes of your day to de-clutter the chair. Chances are it won’t take more than that to do so. And you’ll have your chair back. What about that stack of magazines you’ve been meaning to go through? Organize them by date and store them on a shelf. They are now part of your design aesthetic! We don’t have to get rid of the things we rely on; we do have to find ways of incorporating them into our daily routines.
How to Stay on Top of It
Forming habits can be difficult, especially when they’re healthy habits. But doing the same things every time will help with routine which will help with time management which will help with stress reduction which will help with…. are you seeing a pattern here? It’s a domino effect. So, if you have to set an alarm on your phone each morning to go through the steps for a little while, that’s fine. It will soon become habitual.
There are plenty of organizational products out there that you can buy. But that has the potential to create more clutter. Use things that you already have around the house—bins, baskets, bookshelves, etc. – before buying anything new. Rotate your seasons in your closets and drawers so that you get used to seeing what you have. This way you’re able to donate things you no longer wear or need. If you do need to buy things, buy mindfully – coffee tables with storage, beds with storage, peg boards for the kitchen walls from which to hang things, etc.
All else fails, remember this: you’ve found your home. Now help your things find theirs.