Tips for Keeping Your Space Tidy

21 Apr

Whether you live in a house, an apartment, a dorm room, or your parents’ basement things get messy. Whether you live alone, with roommates, or with children things get messy. Mail, dishes, bills, laundry- they all pile up. I’m guilty of it. You’re guilty of it. Even your friend whose apartment is ALWAYS spotless if probably guilty of it.

Because I come from a family that could probably headline the next season of hoarders, I am particularly conscious of clutter and mess. If my space is messy I get unbelievably stressed out (so basically I’m stressed out all the time… haha). Cleaning and tidying up is actually therapeutic for me. It assures me that I did not inherit the hoarder gene.

I’ve come across several blogs that have tips for keeping your space tidy. A lot of these are common sense things, things we heard our moms tell us (regardless of the example they themselves set), and things we know that we should do, but being a lover of lists- I thought it would be handy to aggregate a few of them that I’ve found particularly helpful into one place!

1) Put Something Back After You’re Done Using It

This is the lesson every parent tries (but ultimately fails at) teaching their child. But don’t punish yourself if you could never get the hand of it. Sure it takes some discipline and determination, but maybe there’s another reason for your bad behavior. Does the object in question need to be shoved into an already overstuffed closet? Does it live on top of a high shelf? Is there a specific reason you don’t put it away right away? If your answer is just laziness, buck up and get yourself a red bull or something. But if you can relate to the stuffed closet/high shelf dilemma, maybe it’s time to reconsider the organization of your space or at least where you keep the object in question, which leads to…

2) Keep things where you use them

Sounds like common sense, but keeping things in the most convenient place isn’t always what we do. Think about why you don’t put things away (see #1) and also think about the things you don’t do because gathering the necessary supplies is a chore. Or as things like this occur, realize your space may be in need of reorganization. Find a new place for your difficult objects to live and see if that makes life a little simpler…

3) Quality Over Quantity

Yes you could buy those $10.00 jeans from Forever 21 instead of the more expensive pair you really want, but how long are they going to last really? (BTW- 99% of my clothes come from Forever 21…) The same concept applies to your home. Instead of buying a half dozen sets of cheap sheets from Walmart, splurge a little and get two sets (one for the wash and one for the bed) that will last a lot longer, reduce clutter, and really give you bang for your buck! (This is definitely a concept my previously mentioned relatives need to grasp!)

4) Use a “landing strip”

This has been the single most helpful decluttering tip I’ve ever received. A landing strip is a small table or designated area near your front door that acts as a catch all when you walk in. It’s so easy to walk in and throw your keys and mail and who knows what else on the kitchen table and that’s where the clutter piles up. It’s not only a place to put down the mail and the keys, it’s also a launch pad where you can put stuff that you’re planning to take with you the next day. While this may seem to be more of an organizing tip rather than a cleaning tip, once I started using it, I found that it was much less likely that I was going to rip apart the apartment looking for my keys when I’m already running 10 minutes behind. I started out my day on the right foot, came home to a calm home and I felt relaxed. Since I put this into practice my landing strip has since been re-purposed as a TV stand and I am desperately searching for a new one that will function within my space.

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