A tidy house gives a sense of peace and order. For some, the very act of tidying up makes you feel Zen. But if the virtues of storage are accepted by all, we can feel a little discouraged when it comes to getting started. Here are some tips for how to tidy up your home efficiently and make you feel good no matter where you are going from. Take advantage of a time when you have free time, like summer for example, or a new start, like January or back to school. Ready to live in an orderly home where you feel good? Let’s go!
Sort To Declutter
If you are reading this article, chances are you will find your house a little crowded. In the world we live in, there is a tendency to accumulate a lot. The first step in any overall arrangement is therefore decluttering.
The Japanese Marie Kondo popularized the concept and showed that any house submerged in the bazaar could be transformed by a well-managed decluttering. The idea is simple: keep only what makes us happy. Marie Kondo suggests taking each object in hand is to wonder if it does us good. If so, we keep it. Otherwise, we get rid of it. Cluttering is therefore obviously a very personal matter where there is not necessarily a question of utility. A souvenir can be kept even if it is not useful to you on a daily basis.
Note: to succeed in decluttering, you must treat each category of objects at once and not operate by room. For example, you will gather all your clothes for global sorting, even those lying in the bathroom and those of the dirty laundry bin. Ditto for books or dishes, or administrative papers:
- Step 1: we gather.
- Step 2: we sort.
- Step 3: we throw away or give away what we no longer want at home.
- After that? We start again with another category of objects. So yes, decluttering takes time.
Create Sufficient Storage Spaces
If you have operated by categories of objects for your decluttering, you will take the measurement of the volume necessary to store them. You will, therefore, be able to proportion your storage accordingly.
If you love to cook, your kitchen should have lots of cupboards. If your thing is fashion, chances are your wardrobe is overflowing. Again, the amount of storage required depends on each.
For this, no miracle, it is necessary to install practical storage. You can now easily find customizable storage modules or cupboards of all sizes. Of shallow shelves along the corridor can allow you to store cubic meters of books.
Your winter clothes can find their place in a compartment above a door. All household linen (sheets, towels, tablecloths) can be installed on a shelf in the laundry room. Only one rule: find a designated place for everything.
Open Storage Or Closed Storage?
The open storage can give charm to the decor but as they leave their visible content, they can quickly give a sense of overload. Conversely, closed storage gives an impression of order but can be an excellent excuse to never store and accumulate things “just in case”.
It’s up to you to find the balance between your own decorative tastes (ha the bistro kitchen with its shelves open) and your need for order.
Common sense also invites you to store things where you need them. If you sweep the kitchen daily but the laundry room is at the other end of the house, invent a broom cupboard in the kitchen and you will avoid pacing.
Likewise, it is better to store towels in the bathroom. If you’re the kind of person who tinkers all the time, you can put away a toolbox in the living room with the essentials (hammer, screwdriver, and drill) and put everything else in the garage. The key is a sweet feeling of fluidity on a daily basis.
Think Of The Interior Fittings To Find Everything
Do you know someone who likes to tidy up? What makes the difference is often the quality of its interior fittings. In her super tidy wardrobe, she has a box dedicated to tights and another to socks, and everything is well labeled.
As for scarves, her folding technique allows her to see everything at a glance when she has to dress in the blink of an eye.
Ditto of course for the kitchen where the spices are labeled and the garage where we find his tools in an instant.
It’s up to you to organize the interior of your closets. Baskets, boxes, compartments, labels, it’s time to give your all.
And if you choose beautiful boxes, you will have as a bonus a little aesthetic pleasure each time you open your closet.
Develop Routines To Keep Everything Tidy
Now that you’ve sorted it out and found a place for everything, your home is a dream of organization. But how do you make it last? How do I keep mail from piling up in the hallway, clothes don’t pile up on an armchair, and dishes are always in the closet or dishwasher (no other options accepted)?
The solution is to establish routines. The Flylady method of Maria Cilley gives you tracks. Once the house is clean, you can set up a morning routine, an evening routine, and a weekly routine, for example.
In the evening, we put the kitchen away, we dry the dishes, we prepare our clothes for the next day for example. In the morning, your sponge in the shower and in the sink and get ready. In your weekly plan, you will include shopping for Saturday, laundry on Tuesday and Thursday, and cleaning floors on Sunday, for example. It’s up to you to compose the routine that suits you and above all to also put some time for you in the routines.
Indeed, the FlyLady method invites you to tidy up to get better and also to reward yourself. Massages, nature walks, reading sessions can also be part of your routines. That’s good news! To keep track of all your routines, you can keep a logbook (the bullet journal may be suitable).
You will find on the internet many files on the FlyLady method and forums to exchange tips.
Define Storage Rules In Common And Personal Spaces
When you live with your family or roommate, you experience a universal truth: it’s always the bazaar of others that is unbearable.
For common areas such as the kitchen, living room, and possibly the bathroom, it is better to take the lead and define storage rules, again with a place for everything.
The magazines must be replaced in their basket after reading, the towels be spread on the towel warmer and the cups stored in the dishwasher. Take the time to explain the rules to each inhabitant. You can even display them in each room.
What about personal items? It is up to you to define what is acceptable to you in everyone’s rooms. For some, it will be essential that everyone make their bed and tidy up their room daily, for others, weekly storage will be the maximum acceptable.
In Small Spaces: Store Smartly!
The smaller space, the more you have to be square on the storage box, otherwise, you will feel overwhelmed. In Japan, we have mastered the art of living in very small dwellings. Dominique Loreau learned the lessons and shares them with us in his books. If you live in a small space, you can take inspiration from it.
Favor multifunctional objects: a quality shawl can become a plaid on the sofa, your large format glasses will be perfect vases and this smart stool is at the same time a table for drinking tea, a side table to put your book and a seat when you have guests. All multifunctional objects free up space and save you from storing away.
Small is better: Choose small objects instead because it is easier to combine small objects than to go out and use large objects. This applies to dishes, small furniture, boxes. And your accommodation will have the added bonus of a delicate style.
Favor the harmony of colors and materials: In small spaces, so that the gaze circulates and that one does not have the impression of overload, it is better to choose neutral and bright colors and to favor a harmony of materials for the floor, walls, and furniture.
With Children, Transform Storage Into A Fully-Fledged activity
From the moment a child has the physical capacity to disturb, he has the capacity to tidy up. It remains to teach him. The Montessori approach gives some clues to help you.
- The first is to organize each activity with a start, an unfolding, and an end and to associate the child with it from A to Z. Show him first how you take out the cubes, how you build a construction then how to store the cubes. Then offer to do the same.
- The second is to offer him objects of his size. The storage box must be able to be lifted easily by the child. Likewise, the shelves must be at his height so that he can use them comfortably.
- The third is to have a carpet on the floor and suggest to the child that it be his work area. The space of the activity (and therefore of the dispersion of the games) is defined by the carpet. And once the activity is over, we put away!
Take A Step Towards Minimalism
In our society, fighting against congestion is a constant challenge. Some aim to reduce their possessions and become minimalist, a real lifestyle. Fewer objects mechanically mean less cleaning, more time, and a feeling of inner peace. Minimalism is not necessarily synonymous with an austere interior. Some minimalists also favor luxury and loudly proclaim “little bit better”.
As there is not minimalism but as many variations as there are individuals, it is difficult to give generic advice. You can be tempted by a version “one who enters, one who leaves”, which means that each object you bring into the house must take the place of another.
You can have a zero-waste vision of minimalism and favor rental for example. Or choose a radical version by deciding to live with only a hundred objects for example. Far beyond storage, it is a way of giving less importance to equipment and making room in your life for the experiences you want to live.