“I’m just five minutes away from my home when an uncanny feeling creeps up on me. I have my mind set on directly starting with my chores, and then I need a seriously relaxing evening, but I know this will not be easy. I need to cook but the kitchen is full of dishes, I need to do some administration but the desk is full of all kinds of papers, and the living area is also full of stuff my husband used last night.”
Tidying up our home often takes a lot of energy, but it doesn’t have to! It costs so much energy to think about, to solve or just ignore the mess at home. I was fed up with feeling frustrated, insecure and disappointed about tidying up. That’s why I fixed this problem! Six months ago I thought of an organising method hat still works to prevent 99% of these situations. Just follow these 4 steps to banish ‘tidying up’ from your to-do-list and you are settled! You need to follow these organising tips just once. Although the time it costs will depend on the amount of stuff you own, it will save you tons of worries and hours of tidying up the place.
1.Decide which rooms to use for what activities
Often, there are already rooms that serve a specific function, like a study, bedroom or bathroom. While rooms like the atic, the garage or pantry don’t have a clear generic function. Just forget about your current situation and think of where do you wish to do specific activities or which place would be the most practical for them. Where do you hang your laundry to dry, take of your dirty clothes, put on your shoes, play a board game or do your bookkeeping? This way of thinking made me switch the guestroom/laundyroom with the study, because I wasn’t happy seeing the laundry evertime I was upstairs, and the attic was often too hot for working, which is of course great for drying the laundry. Please note that this advice also apploes to small houses, studio appartments or dorm rooms. Dedicate a specific space for every activity, even if they are close to each other or maybe overlap.
2. Dedicate a logical spot to every object
The purpose of this is to minimise the brainpower needed to put away of find things. Just getting things out of sight is not a good solution for this, as you would need to replace your stuff again and again. To banish tidying up from your to-do-list forever, you should just be able to bring your belongings back to their dedicated spot:
- Use logic and think if the functions of the rooms or the dedicated activities of Step 1. For example, I moved both the towels I regularly use and my extra supply of care products into my bathroom cabinet and the extra towel to my (linen) closet.
- Take frequency of use into account. Camping stuff or suitcases can go to the attic and tools can go to the garage.
- Think of where you’re most probably going to need the object. I store my board games in the sideboard next to the dining table and my candles in the tv stand.
- You’ll notice that a lot of objects are part of a category. Try to store these categories as a whole, otherwise you’ll still need to look for specific things in different places. For example, I store my records, CDs and codes for digital music downloads next to each other in my sideboard. I can even find my old computer games there. Using these organising methods, it takes me the least brainpower, time and energy when I’m searching for one of them.
3. Make use of smart storage methods
With storage methods, I mean processes to tidy up the place as well as the physical implementation of how to store things. The first 2 steps were to save energy – brainpower and avoid willpower depletion. These storage methods lead to a nice experience in storing and finding stuff and will also save you time. You just created order, now it’s time for home furnishing tips:
- Chests of drawers are very practical for places where you need to use lots of small and little things. I personally love my craft drawers and the deep drawers in my kitchen; they are real timesavers.
- Use curtains as room dividers and to hide open storage from sight. You can use panel curtains, blinds or traditional curtains.
- Use the Marie Kondo way to store your t-shirts. Afterwards, you’ll immediately see all your options upon opening the drawer and find you favourite t-shirt fast.It also enables you to store more of them on one shelf or in one drawer. Marie Kondo has her own show on Netflix and it’s very entertaining to watch. But for learning her methods, I recommend this fan movie. Time-saver!
4. Tricks to banish tidying up from your to-do-list
To implement all these organising tips, you probably made a big to-do-list. Don’t worry, I promise you they will be just one-time tasks. Implementing these storage tips will save time and brainpower to find or store your stuff.
Can you use some help implementing tasklists and making effective, time-saving to-do-lists? I’ll post a great new blog about this in the upcoming month. Subscribe to get an update of the newest time-saving and energy-boosting blogs.
Do you have the energy at this moment to take the fist step? Well, what are you waiting for. Go and do it! But if you are a somewhat skeptical person – like me – you now think:”Will this really delete tidying up from my to-do-list? But the stuff I use will not magically fly to their dedicated spots!” You are totally right, this is surely a valid question. In real life, I experience that I really don’t have to schedule days of tidying up and never have to put tidying up on my to-do-list, because I feel frustrated by the state of my home. I really don’t have to feel this way about cleaning up my home anymore. Very important in achieving this are two things:
- Bring stuff back to their dedicated spot when you are done with them. Make this your routine. For example, I always take the battery out of my electric bike and connect it to the charger when I get home, as biking with an empty battery takes up so much energy. I now always take the clothing from my dryer when the next run goes in, fold it and bring it to my wardrobe. And I immediately lay out a a new pill strip for my allergies when I throw out the last one. These routines really don’t bther me and save me time and energy.
- Block a weekly 30 minutes for tidying up. Pick a moment when you are consequently down in energy and don’t feel like doing anything. Because everything has a dedicated spot and you wouldn’t have to think or get frustrated, low energy is not an obstacle. Making this a habit makes use of time that you wouldn’t use for your to-do-list and will save you hours in the long run.
Make the weekly organising minutes fun with a tidy up playlist
For me, this is Friday night, when I come home from work. I would normally fall on the couch and eat candy or drink a glass of wine to unwind from a week of mental strain. Now, I start in the room I first enter and bring things that are in the open back to where they belong. It sometimes takes me just 5 minutes, sometimes 20, but I always feel great and ready to start a relaxing weekend. I always sing along to this Spotify playlist or these YouTube-playlists:
Ready to banish tidying up from your to-do-list
I have come at the end of my story about how to banish tidying up from your to-do-list. Did I forget to answer one of your questions, or do you want to share your progress? Please share your question, advice or before and after pictures!