If you’ve been following us in our Dust Devils Facebook group, you may have noticed that we’ve been sharing some fun organizing hacks. We thought we’d kick off our blog by sharing some of our favorite methods to keep things organized and tidy.
We’ve likely all heard of Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of organizing and tidying up. And if you look for organizational tips on the internet, at least 80% of your results are likely to produce some form of KonMari. What is the KonMari method, and is this the only way to organize?
First off, of course this isn’t the only method for organization. While an internet search for organizational tips, etc. will bring up mostly this method, before a few years ago, most people had never heard of KonMari.
For those of you who have perhaps been living under a rock (or let’s face it- too busy!), Marie Kondo wrote the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and has a show on Netflix “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” Kondo is a Japanese organizational expert who advises keeping only things in the home that “spark joy.”
Her method does require some hefty time upfront, an open mind, and a willingness to let go. KonMari is a lifestyle, and for it to work for you, you must really work at it and allow yourself to believe in it.
It’s not just five minutes here and there, once or twice a day. It’s not just organizing your “stuff.” It’s letting go of things that don’t contain mental, sentimental value. Letting go of things that don’t bring you joy. No more “I might need that one day” and finding a place for all of your stuff. Read a quick synopsis below of the KonMari method, how to maintain order in your home and tips, tricks and hacks to keep things organized.
Quick Run-Down on the KonMari Method:
1. First, you must prepare, both physically and mentally. Ideally, this should be done in one go, so be sure to block off an entire day. You’ll also want to prepare by mentally imagining your life not bogged down by clutter.
2. The next step will be to go through everything. You’ll decide whether you really need to keep or discard each item. Rather than working room by room, we will work by category. You may have similar items in different rooms, and the way we’ll get through each category will be to grab all of those items to work on at once.
Start with clothing. Grab all articles of clothing. Pick up each item. Does it spark joy for you? Do you really enjoy this article of clothing? Are you keeping it because you have it? Are you keeping it just because it fits? If it doesn’t spark joy for you, place in a discard pile. Kondo will tell you to thank the item, thank it for serving you and let it go.
While I feel gratitude is powerful, I, personally, don’t feel the need to thank my belongings. But you do what you do.
Do this for each article of clothing, then move on to books, then papers, then miscellaneous (break down into smaller categories like kitchen utensils, small appliances, office supplies, etc) and lastly, sentimental items/mementos. Mementos are saved for last, as it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of remembering the sentiment of the item.
3. Now that we know what we will be keeping, we can begin to really organize our items. We can’t organize before we decide what we won’t be keeping.
How to keep your home tidy and organized once you’ve decluttered
Decluttering can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. You’ve put in all this time, but to keep your home tidy, you’ll need to stay on top of a few things. The best way to maintain your tidy home is to build and maintain organizational habits. Here are a few:
1. Make your bed- right when you get up. An unmade bed gives the illusion of a dirty room, even if the rest of the room is clean. Conversely, making your bed will make your bedroom look just a little more clean, even if it’s a mess. Make your bed the moment you get up. It should be pretty quick.
If this is too much when you wake up, or if your partner is still asleep in the bed, then make sure the habit of making your bed is consistent. It’s easiest to build habits in chunks together. I wake earlier than my partner, so once he’s awake, I brush my teeth then make the bed (then continue a small string of other habits).
Making your bed will help you feel a sense of order that carries on throughout the day. That’s why making your bed when you wake up can be very useful.
2. Put everything away after you use it. This seems pretty obvious, but it’s easy to get off track. Whether you leave things out because you’re in a hurry or just procrastinating and lazy if you put things back where they go after you use them, you’re creating a habit of this, and both cleaning and tidying up will be much quicker and effortless.
If your home is constantly tidy and organized, you’ll feel better and more organized, mentally. Creating a routine of instantly putting things back where they belong will eliminate the need to actually spend real time tidying up.
3. Do dishes right after you use them. If you primarily use a dishwasher, then rinse your dishes and put them in the dishwasher right away. Be sure to empty the dishwasher when it’s done- all at once. Make a rule that clean dishes don’t get left in the dishwasher. When you pick clean dishes out of the dishwasher without unloading it, you’re only solidifying a bad habit.
If you don’t use a dishwasher, or if you used a dish that doesn’t go in the dishwasher, wash it right away. Doing this takes a few seconds per item, and washing dishes is no longer a chore.
4. Before you leave a room, be sure to scan the room for any items that belong in the room you’re going to. Going to the kitchen to grab a glass of water? Scan the room you’re in to see if there’s anything that needs to go to the kitchen. If I’m leaving my desk to grab a glass of water from the kitchen, I’m going to grab the mug from my morning coffee and wash it as soon as I get to the kitchen. It takes a few seconds.
5. Take a few minutes each day to tidy the area you’re leaving for the night. Whether you work from home or work in an office, take a few minutes before ditching your desk to put everything back where it belongs. If you do this throughout the day, then it should just take a second.
6. If you just finished dinner, wash your plate and quickly wipe down the counter. When you come back in the morning, the clean and tidy kitchen will give you a good start in the morning.
Check back soon for some tips to help you stay organized!