Dear Landing: How Do I Organize My Space With What I Have?
I’ll admit, I am not always the tidiest. It’s never really been an issue for me because I know where to find things when I need them, but now that I am stuck at home all of this mess is making me anxious and blue. Can you help me get organized?
Trying to Tidy
Dear Trying to Tidy,
We’re so glad you asked!! This is the perfect time to start getting organized; spring is here, spring cleaning is on the mind, AND we’re all stuck at home so an organized space is more important than ever. Research has shown that there are positive linkages between cleanliness and mental health. An uncluttered space is an uncluttered mind - and as we try to work, workout, relax, and generally LIVE at home 24/7, a tidy space is more important than ever for productivity and general sanity.
Normally we would recommend planning your big clean around an event, but in the time of Corona the clean IS the event. We’re throwing ourselves a Cleaning Party; here’s what it looks like if you want to join along!
1. Pick a Date and Commit!
Carve out at least a half a day to give yourself time to get in the flow, and enjoy the space once you're done. Truly commit! Sharpie it in the cal to hold yourself to it!
2. Plan Ahead
Create some space to sit down and plan ahead - write out goals for your space, what you want to feel and why you are doing this in the first place. Outlining your intentions like this will help you meet your goals, and find more clarity and ease within an organized space that works WITH you.
3. The Starting Line
You have to go back before you can go forward - this is the chaos part of the process - take EVERYTHING out, lay it on the floor, and go through item by item to decide what you need and love (we love putting on our favorite jam music to make it feel festive)...this IS a Cleaning Party!
4. Make 3 Staging Areas
Dedicate three specific areas for items that A) you use on a daily basis, B) you love and use semi-frequently, and C) don't love, and don't use. As you may have guessed; A and B are for keeps, C is for donating.
5. Now The Fun Part!
Store A's in easily accessible but contained areas (i.e. writing pens in a cup or pencil holder, every day t-shirts in the top drawers), and B's in out-of sight areas (under bed, top of closet, hard to reach drawers). C's go in the donation bags!
6. Consider Your Line of Sight
When finding a place for each item, remember that the more you have out of sight, the less cluttered and distracting your line of vision will be. Save the primo visible spots for well loved art, bookshelves full of favorite reads, and vases of fresh flowers - this is key for your mental health. What you see influences how you feel, so looking at nice things while you work or relax is a key factor for your overall happiness. :)
7. Test Test Test
Take a dry run of your ‘daily routines’ - practice getting everything *AND* putting things away in their new spots to see how it feels. Adjust accordingly if you run into any hiccups, or annoying placements.
Congrats! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and appreciate all your hard work. :) The trick now is to keep your space organized!! Our favorite way to hold ourselves accountable is to use the “touch it once” mentality - i.e when you come home from a walk and take off your coat, immediately put it in its home rather than tossing it on a chair. If you take it off and put it directly on its hanger in the closet, you’ve touched it once! If you leave it on the chair, and then move it to the floor when you sit in the chair, and then throw it on the bed later, and then finally put it away...you’ve touched it 4 times before getting it back to where it belongs. Think about that on a scale of EVERYTHING that you interact with each day - ultimately, you could cause a lot more work and time, and set your organization back. Things to consider!!
We’d love to see how your organizing is going! Let us know @thelandinghome or via writing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in #CreatingSpace,
Ellie and The Landing Team