Was, “De-Clutter” on your New Year’s Resolution List this year? Do you get so overwhelmed that you put keep putting it off? Whether you need to get your house ready to put on the market or are simply looking to better your interior spaces, here are a few tips and tricks to help you tackle messes (and keep them away)!
1. Start Small. Don’t try to do everything in one day or all at once. This is how many people lose interest and energy in organizing. Instead, set a goal of something to complete and if you want, a timeline. Split up the time and the amount of work reasonably. If you know you have Aunt Martha coming to visit in 3 weeks and you don’t want her to comment on your messy closet, dedicate an hour each day until then to work on it. The time will add up and you will still be able to keep up with your busy life!
2. Have a Place for Everything. When you have a designated spot for something, you will be less likely to lose your belongings. Keep your keys on a hook near the front door, your shoes in the closet, or have baskets that the kid’s toys go back into after being played with. These may seem obvious, but if you make it a point to put something in it’s place, you will know exactly where to find it when you need it.
3. Find Your Method. If you are a visual person, you might enjoy color-coding your things. If you’re more technical, it might make sense for you to alphabetize. You might sort your linens by type—“Pillowcases”, “Top Sheets”, “Fitted Sheets”, by size—“King”, “Queen”, “Twin”, or by keeping their sets together. Do what makes the most sense to YOU and how you can see yourself keeping it. You can apply these methods to just about anything in your house and they do not have to be the same. From books to dishes, clothes or toiletries, the list goes on.
4. Piles will happen, but don’t let them accumulate! It’s almost inevitable that a pile of something will form. You walk in after a long day, set your papers/mail/bags on the counter and, voila! Your kitchen is now a catchall of random things that don’t belong. It’s okay. Get in the door, change out of your work clothes, sit down, and decompress. You can go back to the pile in a little bit. Take things one-by-one and put them where they belong (see #2!). It’s easy to let a pile grow, but if you make a habit of tending to it while it’s young, you will thank yourself later!
5. Work Together. It can be very frustrating when you finally DO organize something and someone you live with doesn’t help keep it that way. First, cut them some slack. They may not have noticed what you’ve accomplished or what you’re trying to do. Let your family members or roommates in on what you’re doing if it’s a shared space, such as the hall closet. You could even recruit them to help with a bigger task and lighten the load!
Remember, your home is your sanctuary. If your goal is to improve it through decorating or design, organization comes hand-in-hand. By instilling these habits maintenance will become easy, and you can further enjoy your humble abode.