That’s right, I’m letting my inner little Marie Kondo take the wheel on the blog today! It’s not always easy, you know, having no one to share chores with and keeping the apartment clean and clutter-free all on my own. And while I’m definitely (definitely!) not perfect, I have learned a couple of tips and tricks in these two years of living alone that I’d like to share with you. Here goes!
KEEP THINGS WHERE YOU USE THEM & TRY TO GIVE EVERYTHING A HOME.
Sounds logical, doesn’t it? I find that it’s much easier to put gadgets, tools, stationary, etc. back where they belong when they’re closer to the spot where I actually use these things. AND at the same time, keeping things in close proximity (and in their own, designated spot) to where I spend most of my time, instead of putting them away somewhere, inspires and motivates me to be more creative or fill in that journal or finish that to-read pile, or…
I mean, you wouldn’t stack your herbs and spices in the bathroom either, would you?
THE ONE MINUTE RULE.
The simplest of tricks and probably the one that’s proven to be the most useful and mind-blowingly life-changing for me: the one minute rule. The deal? Everything that can be done in under a minute, do it right away. Putting my coat away, throwing that thing in the bin, making my bed in the morning, folding my clothes, putting that mug in the sink so I don’t forget it when doing the dishes later,… I’m definitely not saying I always follow this rule, but when I do? Boy, do I feel so accomplished for such a small effort.
WORK IN DAILY THEMES.
Instead of tackling every organising or cleaning task on a day off, I try to spread chores - like cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, litter boxes, etc. - out throughout my work day evenings as much as I can. Mind you, I do have the tendency to keep going once I start (believe me, it’s a problem), and whenever I do spend a whole free day cleaning and organising, I DO kind of enjoy it. It’s at the end of that day, however, that I feel quite sad that this was the only thing I did in my free time instead of writing, reading or relaxing in general. Sometimes even instead of eating a (healthy) meal, so you see how important it is for me to try and keep it up with the daily themes. And, hey, cleaning - for example - the litter boxes on a work day evening can easily be combined with a couple of tv episodes or a film, so win-win!
WHEN DECLUTTERING, LAY IT ALL OUT.
It’s the easiest way to put it back neatly, and it’s the best way of knowing how much you actually have that you really need or don’t need. Seeing what you already have may well be a bit awkward and confronting but, you know… That’s actually the whole point, you’ll see.
STAY AWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING WHEN YOU PUT THINGS AWAY, BUT MAKE IT FUN.
Keep your head in the game when you need to. Really. I, personally, NEED to keep away from my laptop or phone whenever I clean my apartment or closets, because I know it’ll keep me from really making progress. So, yup, I actually turn those off completely. The only thing running is my Xbox for Spotify, because choosing the right playlist as a companion is my favourite way to make these chores fun. Lately, it’s this one. Gosh, the nineties where so good, alternative-wise, weren’t they?
DARE TO LET GO OF THINGS.
This is where Kondo’s ‘does it spark joy?’ comes in. To be honest, I chuckle every time that line comes up in my head. It’s so cheesy, but can actually be quite helpful nevertheless. A better thought, however, (at least to me) is: ‘do you actually use or need this item? OR can you imagine a time in the future where you will?’. Believe me, this WILL result in a bigger throw-away pile than the ’spark joy’ thing, but that’s exactly what I (and many others with me, I’m absolutely sure) needed. There’s not that much space in my apartment for stocking things I’m not using without making it look like an absolute mess (even if it’s not that many things), which I truly can’t stand. So. It had to go. Letting go of those things might sound daunting and is more difficult to some than others, but combining all the questions mentioned in this paragraph and keeping them in mind from start to finish should put you on the right track!
That’s about it when it comes to my favourite tips, but there’s just one more useful insight that might motivate you to start organising right away:
A GOOD PURGING WILL MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU BUY IN THE FUTURE, AS WELL.
Knowing where I went berserk when it comes to buying stuff that I didn't actually need only made me more aware as a shopper afterwards, especially when it came to clothing. I realised that all I needed were my personal staples (basic outfits I tend to reach for when I don’t know what to wear, you know the deal), and a couple of more notable pieces I can combine with just about everything else in my closet. The one thing I do still splurge on sometimes is household gadgets and plants, but I still never buy something new without having a free spot for it.
Q || What are your go-to organising tips?