Most of us follow a fast-paced, ‘not enough hours in the day’ lifestyle. We’re always busy and always stressed. This isn’t helped by a mountain of clutter that seems to get bigger with each passing day.
Everything else seems so much more pressing than such a menial task as tidying up. But keeping our living spaces organised is actually important to our wellbeing. You’ve heard of the saying ‘tidy home, tidy mind’, right? Well, it’s actually true!
So how do we deal with this mounting mess?
Realise That You Do Have Time
Our attitudes actually do have an effect on what we do. So if we go about our days thinking there isn’t enough time, then we won’t get everything done that we wanted to!
Set out your goals for the day - I find that having a clear idea of what I want to achieve that day helps me stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Estimate how long each task will take you - As with above, having a clear structure of your day will help you manage your time.
Or the bigger ones - If planning out your entire day feels too unlike you, this might make a happy medium. Even planning out bigger tasks like working or preparing food can make you feel more on top of your day.
So whether you’re doing a big tidy or little bits…
Here are some tips to help you tidy up and get back on track!
#1 Find Your Tidy Inspo.
It’s easy to see tidying up as a chore, but there are plenty of things that can make you actually want to declutter. (or at least make it more bearable!)
Look at Pinterest mood-boards - Seeing other rooms looking so clean and aesthetic could make you want yours to look the same.
Watch clips of tidying shows - We may be a bit late to the party, but it can be good to watch shows or even clips of things such as Marie Kondo. It can inspire you to get cleaning yourself and provide helpful tips. And there are lots of tips to take away from it.
Make a tidying up playlist - I find that having something to listen to can make tidying go much quicker - and be much more fun! Having something to listen to, such as an album or podcast will engage your mind as your body does the work.
Figure out your Why - It could be that you have guests coming and need the house to be SPOTLESS. Or the clutter is stressing you out. Having a reason can give you the extra motivation to get started (and finished!)
#2 Go Bit By Bit
Once motivation hits, it’s easy to dive straight in and start moving things around left and right. This can only lead to more chaos. Go one room at a time, and divide it into sections. If you’re starting with the bedroom, you could start with the wardrobe and then move on to another area. Or if you’re doing a deep clean, it might be best to move most things out of the room so you can clean the carpet and furniture.
Having said that...
#3 Sometimes Things Need to Get Messy to Get Clean
You’re moving things around, making piles of Keep and Don’t Keep and... more piles? Things are going to get messy, and it might feel like you’re going backwards. But this is natural. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and to take stock of the amount of stuff you actually have, you need to get it all out in plain view.
Don’t be afraid of throwing away
Isn’t that how you got into this in the first place? Some things may have sentimental value and it’s okay to hold onto them. But when things start to pile up, it might be time to take stock and get rid.
Throwing things away can be hard, but there are generally a few tips I follow to make it easier:
If I haven’t used it, I won’t miss it - If I haven’t used an item in a long time, at all, or forgot it even existed, then chances are I’m not going to need it.
Weigh up the pros and cons - If you find an item that’s a little harder to decide on, it can be useful to weigh up the good and bad of keeping it.
Good? You’re actually going to use it, or a precious or irreplaceable item. Keep!
Bad? It’s going to sit on a shelf or at the back of a cupboard taking up space and gathering dust for the rest of its life. Throw!
#4 Keeping Things Tidy in the Long Term
So, you’ve finally decluttered and your house is looking great! Now what? How do you keep things that way?
This is where we go back to my earlier point about wellness and time management.
Having a tidy house, or room, is good for your mental well being. It can boost your mood, and reduce stress.
Set aside time to tidy. - Doing a little bit everyday, or once a week, can make cleaning less of a high maintenance job. Once it’s adopted into your routine, it’ll feel even less like a task and more like a natural habit.
As well as this, remember to make time for yourself. It’s easy to forget that we’re only human and need time to recharge. Make sure to take a little time everyday to do something for yourself.
#5 What to do with what you no longer want
With a large amount of items that you no longer want, it can be hard to figure out exactly what to do with them. This is where storage can be a handy aid.
Keep your items out of the way while you…
Sell - if your items are in good condition, you could sell them to make some extra cash.
Donate - Don’t think you can sell your items, or don’t want to spend time on negotiating? Donating them to charity can be a better option. It's easy to do and helps towards a good cause.
Upcycle - upcycling is a great hobby to take up. It can be a creative and sustainable way to make money from and revamp your old items.
#6 Green replacements for old items
Some things have seen better days and need replacing. Or you’re looking for new ways to keep your items organised. As household waste becomes a bigger and bigger problem, it can be a good idea to turn to green solutions. There are many household items that now have green and sustainable versions available.