Tidying Up

Create a peaceful, beautiful domain with these tips for eliminating clutter.

It’s no secret that living in a clutter-free home is more enjoyable than a messy one, but did you know that it can also alleviate stress, save you money, and enhance your overall quality of life? While the benefits of a tidy home are endless, it takes a strategic plan to whip your space into shape. 

The first, and most important, step is to imagine your ideal living space. What does it  look like? What about this setting makes you feel relaxed and at ease? Get specific about your vision and take a mental snapshot of how you want your space to be laid out. Let this image become your ultimate goal. Experts say that the visualization process creates the motivation needed to tackle and finish any tidying project.

Now it’s time to start getting rid of any unnecessary clutter in your home. Separate your belongings into categories and decide on which one to handle first based on the degree of difficulty involved when parting ways with those items. Try starting with something simple like your wardrobe, then move on to books, papers, and miscellaneous items, leaving belongings that may be more difficult to part with—like old photographs and keepsakes—till the end. 

Before you begin discarding, set aside three boxes designated for belongings that you will trash, sell or keep. Throw away any nonfunctioning items like broken pens, old toothbrushes, etc. Things that could still be valuable to others but hold no purpose in your home can go in the “sell” box. 

When deciding on whether to keep an item, ask yourself several questions: Have I used this item within the past year? Do I realistically see myself using this item in the future? Does this item fit into the home I aspire to live in? If the answer is no, then it’s time to part ways. Marie Kondo, organizing consultant and author of  the best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, suggests that you hold each item in your hand and “keep only those things that speak to your heart.”

When it comes to your wardrobe, Kondo recommends color-coding your clothing and accessories from dark to light and folding items for your dresser so that you can see every article of clothing at a glance. 

Give each possession a designated place and purpose. When your belongings are neatly displayed and accessible, they are less likely to get lost. You know exactly what you have and, therefore, don’t spend money on what you don’t need.

“Clearing the clutter in your physical space will go a long way toward clearing the clutter in your mind and your relationships,” says Peter Walsh, professional organizer and author of It’s All Too Much. When you rid your space of unnecessary clutter and keep only the things you love, you’ll have a stress-free happy home.

Categories: Organization