The New Year is always a good chance to start fresh. It psychologically primes us for new beginnings, and one good way to do that is to make everything look new and clean in your home. You don’t necessarily need new stuff though, most of the time tidying up, throwing out the clutter, and rearranging things will already do wonders.
The act of cleaning up itself is therapeutic. It is a popular belief in Zen that cleaning and organizing puts one in a meditative state and a step towards inner peace. So if this year has left you agitated, stressed and drained like most of us, why don’t you try giving your abode a simple makeover?
You might be wondering “How do I do this?” or “Where do I begin?”. This is exactly what we’re going to help you out with. Home organizing can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you have a bigger house, but having a plan can turn this otherwise arduous task into an efficient and satisfying one.
Without further adieu, here are a few simple steps to follow to make home organizing easier and much more enjoyable this new year.
Check which areas of your home need the most work
Before you begin, you need to assess if you have enough time to clean your whole house, or just sections of it. Compartmentalize your task, check which rooms need the most attention. What you want is to start with the ones you frequent and work from there and in most cases this is the living room, your room, the kitchen and then all other rooms.
Commit a day or two solely for cleaning and organizing
You wouldn’t want to get stuck with a load of boxes sitting in your living room for weeks right? To make sure that you’ll be able to finish your organizing task, give yourself a realistic timetable and stick to it. It’s okay if you can't finish the whole house within this period, the important thing is to finish the rooms that you use most so that you’ll be spending your new year in neat and clean surroundings.
Declutter and get rid of stuff
Marie Kondo’s famous line “Does this spark joy?” may sound simplistic, but simplicity is exactly the kind of approach needed when throwing away stuff. There is a tendency to overthink when disposing of clutter and most of the time end up telling ourselves “I might need this later”. The truth is, we all need “stuff” at some point in our lives, but at what point is it essential and when is it just clutter.
Simplify your thought process when choosing stuff to keep. Ask yourself these questions and answer quickly. Don’t get tempted to rationalize!
- Would this thing be of more use to someone else if I gave it away? If your answer is yes, then donate it.
- Is this valuable? If it is and you don’t use it frequently, sell it.
- Does it have sentimental value? If it does but it isn’t useful, give it as a gift to a loved one.
More storage isn’t the solution
Putting stuff in a box that will eventually end up in the storage room doesn’t qualify as organizing. In fact, it can create a negative “clutter spiral” where you'll be tempted to get more stuff once you free up some space in your home. The idea is to exercise self-control and keep only the things you need.
Set goals and take breaks
Break up your organizing task for the day into shorter sessions to make it more manageable and take breaks at regular intervals. You should also have a clear goal on what you want to accomplish for each session. Reward yourself with a break after each session but set an alarm for the next so that you don’t get tempted to laze away. Doing this will prevent you from getting stressed and burnt out from your task.
Make it fun!
Cleaning up and organizing doesn’t have to be a chore. Put on some music or an audiobook while you do your task. Try to work at a relaxed pace, it’s a good chance to put your mind on idle for a while. If the work is too much for one person, get a good friend to help you.
Organizing your home should not only be done once a year. What you want is to maintain a decluttered, organized state that you can rearrange and touch up once in a while. Although it would be nice to do a total makeover of your space for the new year, don't stress over it. Just make sure that your living space gives you a good feeling so that you can be psyched and optimistic for this new season.