Almost any person you ask about New Year’s resolutions will say something about getting organized. Whether they want to better organize their calendars, their wallets, or their eating habits, a person’s living space will always reflect their discipline to organize other areas of their life. No matter how much you eat, how you spend your time, or how much you spend on any given day, you’ll always come home to the same space, and there’s a deep effect the home we live in can have on the view we have on our lives.
This will not be a lecture on what needs to be done to get every room in your house organized, and this will not be a quick list to check off to make you feel better. If you want to see real change in the way your house is organized, these are some organizing questions you need to ask yourself. They may require you to be creative, hopefully in a fun way, and in a way that will bring about real, lasting change.
Where do I need to start?
Oftentimes just sitting down and thinking about what needs to be done to get organized can be daunting. Try to narrow things down to small, bite-sized tasks. Find a small thing that needs to get done (like clearing off a counter space) and move on from there. Don’t get too bogged down with big-picture plans until you know you’re willing to get up and do something about it.
Does this item have a place it belongs to?
If there are tricky, floating objects in your house that stubbornly refuse to stay out of the line of fire, think about whether they have a home or not. Things like laptops, purses, and briefcases need to have places to belong, no matter how frequently they are used, otherwise, they will simply continue to contribute to the commotion of clutter.
What is this space being used for?
Every corner of your home ought to have a purpose that is conducive to building a more relaxing and welcoming environment. Examine those mysterious areas in your house that continue to cause organizational issues. If you’re drawing a blank on this question, think of creative ways to repurpose the space, or even consolidate it with other mysterious spaces.
Can I do more with this space?
A follow-up to the previous question, if this space does have a purpose, how can it be maximized? Perhaps more space can be freed up in other areas of the house if this one space can take on more. Maybe an office space and a library could unite to free up a room for grandchildren to play in, or perhaps it’s time to convert that baby room into a guest bedroom. Think about what phase of life you’re in and how the spaces around you can adapt to that.
What would make this room more maintainable?
Problem areas throughout the house don’t have to continue to be problem areas. A huge change that’s helped a lot of people has been converting their coffee tables into storage ottomans. Fabric ottomans can still hold things from within and don’t need to be dusted every week. It’s subtle changes like this that can make the load lighter for you and allow you to spend your shortened cleaning time on areas that need more love.
Do I need to buy another one of these?
Clutter creeps up in seemingly untraceable ways, but one easy way to slow that progression down is to shop more consciously. It’s easy to chuck one more thing in the shopping cart without a second thought, but when it’s sitting in your house taking up space, suddenly you’ve created one more problem for yourself to solve. Avoid buying duplicates of things at all costs and think carefully about whether something will contribute to the environment of your home or drag it down by dishing out more disorder.
Did I make my bed this morning?
This one’s easy and can make a world of difference not just for your bedroom, but for your brain. Accomplishing this one, minuscule task of order can shift your mentality about cleaning that day, and even more than that, give you a better attitude about getting everything done throughout your day, even at work.
How can I stay on top of things?
Once you have answered this question, you carry the key to maintaining a healthy space that keeps the mess at bay. This doesn’t have to be a code you keep to yourself; sometimes having your partner or a friend hold you to your plan of pristineness will motivate you to keep it up. Be intentional and imaginative about how you keep your home in order! Perhaps Washroom Wednesday should find itself on your calendar this year (unless using British terminology is too much of a stretch), or every 14th of the month is the day you throw out 14 things in your house you don’t need. Things like that will help you remember, and hopefully, make it more fun for you and your family.
I hope at least one of these questions can inspire you to bring about permanent change in your home. For more information on keeping your home organized, see The Inspired Home and Working Mother’s articles. If you have any questions about real estate, you can reach me at (765) 744-9951, as always. Have a wonderful new year!