I should preface this post by saying I'm a bit of a neat-nick; I have made my bed every day for as long as I can remember, I straighten my throw pillows after sitting on the couch, and I organize my clothes in rainbow order. While this might all sound insane (and perhaps it is), doing small tasks spares me from the snowball effect that is an insanely messy apartment. What might start as a t-shirt thrown onto a chair instead of a hanger can turn into a mini Mount Everest of clothing in no time.
If you are a messier person in general you should probably ask yourself: do I care? If you prefer your space the way it is, then great! Don't change anything. But if you feel lost in a mess, lose track of your possessions constantly, or just need a good purge, then here are some tips to start the process.
First and foremost, THIS IS A PROCESS and one you need to commit to if you want to truly see changes beyond just the first day of a freshly cleaned house. If you're ready to take the leap, then continue on:
START WITH A PURGE
Before you can truly start to make strides towards an organized home, you need to make space and declutter. I LITERALLY did this today, and usually do it seasonally in order to not accrue a bunch of random shit that takes up precious storage space. If you're feeling overwhelmed, start with one area at a time. Key culprits are:
- Under the Bed
- Bathroom cabinets/drawers
- Junk drawer(s)
- Fridge/cabinets (chances are they need a scrub)
Chances are, there are a ton of items that you could easily donate or toss (be mindful of the latter). Today, I pulled together 4 donation bags of stuff that I simply do not need, and probably could have done more if I went through our storage closet. If you are struggling to part ways with your possessions, then give yourself this easy 3-question test for each item:
- Is it an heirloom/gift/one-of-a-kind piece? No, then it might get the boot. Even if it is a gift, continue through the questions (there is no need to hold onto something out of guilt).
- Have you used it in the last 3 months? Unless it is a seasonal item, this should be a "yes." If it's a no, then it's probably time to go.
- Does it bring you joy? This is a biggie for the minimalist movement. If there is something in your home that doesn't serve a functional purpose, but also doesn't bring you happiness, then why do you have it?
GO BEAST [MAID] MODE
Once you've cleared some space for your things, it's time to get down on your hands and knees and scrub that place silly. Start from the top to bottom (seriously). Some people like to break it down by room, but I usually break it out by function so I have all the cleaning supplies/tools handy. If you haven't done a full cleaning in a while, then it is probably going to take you the good part of a day, but do not quit. Quitters suck. Finish the job.
INCREASE YOUR SEE:DO RATIO
Now that your place is spick and span, you need to make little efforts to keep it that way. THIS IS THEE HARDEST PART FOR PEOPLE. It's infinitely easier to just let things slip: a dinner of dishes left in the sink, some sauce spilt in the refrigerator, your clothes left on the floor instead of hung up or hampered. CUT THAT SHIT OUT. Increase your see-do ratio. If you see something, DO SOMETHING. If you're brushing your teeth and see a big old gob of Colgate land in the sink, don't just leave it there you loon! Clean it out. You'll thank yourself when you don't have to scrub crusted toothpaste with your fingernails in a few weeks (or months from you truly messy souls). Stop letting things build up. By taking 20-30 minutes each day to tidy up, you'll spare yourself from the big 7-hour World Series of chores down the road.
Image Credit: Homey Oh My ||