Happy New Year everyone! I’ve been doing a lot of purging and organizing this January and it got me thinking about the best ways to keep your home looking Instagram-worthy without feeling like Cinderella.
I live in a very small studio where I have a full kitchen, living space, sleeping space, and a work space all in one. Friends who have come to visit have asked with a look of surprise and awe, “Does it always look this clean and organized?”
The answer is: Yes.
Because my space is so small, everything must always stay uncluttered or I’d feel like I was living in a closet. No matter the size of your space, however, everything must have a purpose and a place in order to stay clean and organized.
Build daily habits
The secret to this is in daily habits.
I unclutter daily. And I mean this literally, though it’s not as daunting as it sounds.
When you are constantly putting things away on a small scale (and when I say small scale, I mean this only takes about ten minutes out of my entire day), nothing ever builds up to an insurmountable task. There is never any need for a monthly massive cleaning of your entire house. And yes, this applies to those of you with large homes with multiple children and pets running around.
Although when it comes to the actual cleaning part, having a professional cleaning service come out regularly could be the answer when one has a fulltime job. Being organized and being clean are two different things.
Everything in its Place
Along with building daily habits comes having a place for everything. If you have items that always feel they are in your way, ask yourself honestly if each of those items has a purpose. If it’s not serving a purpose and you don’t have a place for it, you might want to consider purging (or re-organizing your storage to make room for those items).
To start, I would advise focusing on organizing small spaces one at a time.
If you feel like your kitchen counters are too cluttered, start with the organization of your cabinets. Could they use some help from target or the Container Store to be more efficient? I added just a few stackable shelves to my cabinets in order make better use of the space and leave less on the counters.
Do you have that one cabinet or coffee table or entry console that is constantly collecting piles of mail or junk? Consider designating one drawer or box kept out of sight for bills and other important papers, and start the habit of actually putting those papers in that spot every time you open your mail. When everything has a place, it’s a simple matter of consistently placing those objects where they belong. A big part of being organized means you never have to wonder where you put something.
Tidy up at the end of the day
Never ending the day with a messy desk is a habit I’ve taken with me from working in an office for so many years. Trust me. Now that you’ve organized and everything has a place, all it takes is a few short minutes at the end of your work day to quickly straighten things up and put things where they belong, especially if they belong in the rubbish bin.
Even if you feel your entire house needs an organizational overhaul, again, I repeat, start small.
Start with the one spot or room that bothers you the most and go from there. Start those daily habits and over time, you’ll become more and more motivated to tackle those more time-consuming areas (like the garage or that hall closet you just can’t bear to even look inside). Those areas might take a whole weekend or numerous weekends, but that is another subject for another time.