How to Organize Your Home and Take Control of Your Life
The space in which live is well-known to be a largely influencing factor for our overall physical and mental well-being, therefore, it’s not surprising that there are a wide range of benefits to organizing this area, and in turn improving our lives.
Go about it Marie-K style
If you haven’t seen or heard of the popular Netflix show ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo,’ Marie, also known as KonMari is a Japanese organizing consultant who has also written four books, collectively selling millions of copies. She has a very gentle and calming nature, her motto is to keep only the things that spark joy, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”
the more items you neatly box and color code, the less your own life will feel boxed
In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing she also encourages you to create your living space keeping in mind the person that you are, or becoming and not who you were in the past. We often hang onto things and their energy can physically hold us back, influencing decisions, jobs and relationships. Even for her philosophical quotes she’s worth a follow!
Lay it all out, yes all of it
Every. Single. Item. Of. Clothing. You. Own. Put it on your bed… (if it will fit!) I challenge you to find nothing that needs to go into a charity shop bag or even the bin. A large source of stress is clutter and more clothes means more washing, more washing is more work and let’s face it no one needs more washing.
When you can lay items into piles and see everything you have it’s much easier to see what you need/want and what you don’t. Clearing that space will give you the feel-good factor when you open the wardrobe and have more space. As Gok Wan is renowned for saying that any items unworn for 6months should be donated, “The simple rule is, if you haven’t worn something for three months, you should put it in a bag or store in another wardrobe. If by the end of six months you still haven’t used any of those pieces, donate them to charity.”
At the risk of feeling and sounding like my mother, clever storage solutions really are the antidote to a stress-free environment. Clear boxes and labels are a great way of organizing your life and it’s actually a small financial investment considering the long-term benefits and time saved by having your things in order. The other thing worth considering is that the heat here makes it a more susceptible environment to larvae invasions, and where the kitchen is concerned (especially if you have a holiday home that you leave food in) investing in food storage sealed containers is a worthwhile job. Not to mention it makes your kitchen super organized, and gives peace of mind that no little critters will be making their way into your food!
Go Label Mad
Those pesky things you store in bags and boxes at the top of the wardrobe that you forget you even own, label them and store with labels all facing out so that when they’re stacked up you can see what’s what before you even take it down. Using chalk labels is also a great way of temporary labelling so that the containers can easily be repurposed. If you have multiple items in a large box it may even be worth adding in a checklist of items at the top of each box so that you can efficiently scan over the contents without disrupting it each time you need to find something! This little tip sounds dull but would actually save a lot of time and mess, we like this idea and someday we will put it into practice…
Identify Doom Hotspots
Doom hotspots are affectionately named areas where piles of clutter breed, seek out all the usual suspects like the bedroom chair, the area near the front door as well as the stairs, these typical places where we leave stuff should be our mindful intention to dealing with it then and there if we want a clutter free home. If things aren’t left in a space to collect then there will be less encouragement to add to it and once, we have cleared the area we will be much more likely to keep it that way. Some things are inevitable, especially if you’re a large family, washing can be a massive bug bear for many and in this case it’s not always possible to be absolutely on top of everything all the time. The best solution would be a place to store the ironing/clean clothes pile out of sight so that you aren’t looking at it in the corner of the room driving yourself to distraction!
To summarise most, if not all, of us are familiar with that feel-good factor when we walk into a clean and calm environment. Taking little steps every day to ensure your living space stays this way is not only rewarding but allows your space to remain a place where you can actually feel relaxed and genuinely enjoy being in. The main practices are; to ensure you adopt a good routine, as well as regularly revaluating your belongings and the space in which they’re kept. As we all know that familiar saying, ‘consistency is key,’ which is true as it’s one thing to have an entire overhaul but another entirely to actually stick to it, good luck… see you on the other side.
Photo by Sarah Brown