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How To Organise Your Home, Room By Room
We all have some junk in our lives, but some may have more than others. Clutter can zap our energy often causing us to waste time looking for things we can’t find.
By Holly Grattan
According to Psychology Today, "mess causes stress”. We all have some junk in our lives, but some may have more than others. Clutter can zap our energy often causing us to waste time looking for things we can’t find. After spending so much time at home recently, some may agree, our homes could benefit from a bit of decluttering and organising and so can we.
The first step is to set your goals, which rooms are you going to tackle, and in which order? Focus on one room or area at a time.
If you feel overwhelmed by clutter or have a limited amount of time, start small and choose just one cupboard or even one drawer at a time. Setting and accomplishing smaller tasks within set deadlines can be very motivating. Use a sorting system to help you categorise items as you tackle each area. My go-to system is 3 large laundry bins lined with bin bags that I label “Dustbin”, “Donate” and “Put Away”. A yellow bag is on hand for any items which can be recycled. Obvious rubbish can go straight into the dustbin. After that, you are left with things you like but do not use and precious items you want to keep.
It can be hard to decide what to do with the things you don’t use. They may have special meaning or evoke memories or emotions. Marie Kondo, a world-renowned organization consultant, suggests only keeping items “…that spark joy”. Clothes that no longer fit, can be donated to a charity shop. Seasonal wear can be stored in a suitcase under the bed, ready for that up and coming holiday or ski trip. When you are satisfied you are only keeping the best items, put them away again. Rolling clothes can save space, make things easier to find, and leave fewer creases.
Stick to your plan and move from room to room.
Bathroom: Start with your medicine cabinet. Take everything out check for outdated medications, which can be taken to a pharmacy for safe disposal. Wash and clean the cabinet before repacking. Top Tip: to keep bathrooms sparkling, clean as you use it. Use a bleach spray and rinse the shower tray or bath each time you get out to keep mold at bay. Keep a pack of Dettol wipes handy and wipe down the toilet each time you use it. Wipe the sink and taps down with the soap you use to wash your hands. It’s quick easy and, with these tips, you’ll never need to do those deep cleans ever again.
Bedroom: By making your bed you create a useful sorting and folding area. Clear bedside tables. Try to leave as few items out on display as possible and have “…a place for everything and everything in its place.” Each time you use an item make the effort to put it back in its place so you can find it the next time you need it. Throw away any make-up or products that you have had for more than a year as you can get some nasty eye infections from old mascaras and eye shadows. On to your drawers and wardrobe. Empty everything out on to the bed. Dust and wipe clean and start to put things back, sorting into your labeled bins as you go.
TOP TIP you can use with clothing & books. Over the year, when you use or wear an item put it back facing the opposite direction of the others. This allows you to see what you’ve used and what you haven’t. If you haven’t used or worn something in a year, get rid of it.
Kitchen: Think about what you do most often. For me, a kitchen is a practical space and it should work for you. Consider the best location for items to make it easier for you when you are using the space. Try to keep countertops clutter-free with bread makers, blenders, juicers stored away unless in use. Once clean, restack cupboards, keeping like items together, and checking use-by dates placing items to be used up first at the front. Top Tip: before going to the supermarket each week, take everything out of the fridge, throw away spoiled food, and wipe down each shelf from top to bottom. It is so satisfying to refill a sparkling clean fridge.
Living Room: Your living room should be a place to kick back and relax, a private space to enjoy family life but this is the hardest room to keep tidy because it gets the most traffic and lots of people mean lots of clutter. Ideally, this room needs a quick daily tidy round to keep on top of it. I like to keep a little basket on the stairs, one for each member of the family. Kids can then help with ‘tidy up time’ as part of their bedtime routine placing items and toys into the baskets before carrying them up to their bedrooms and putting them away. I also recommend investing in a Roomba to suck up all those crumbs and dust and leaving you more time to enjoy your clutter-free living room.
Home office: probably the most important space for many families at the moment is the home-based workspace. We spend so much of our time at work and working from home has introduced a definite blurring of the lines between personal life and work life. When toys and clutter spill over into the workspace it can be difficult to concentrate and is likely to cause stress. Making time to tidy up and create a clear and clutter-free desk, at the end of each day or first thing each morning can make a huge difference to productivity and overall wellbeing.
Maintaining your new organized home and keeping it free from clutter can be as simple as a 10-minute tidy round each evening and a deeper clean once a week and if that is a task shared by the whole family it shouldn’t take you very long at all.