One of our favorite topics here on the Renter’s Bent is organization, from how to organize paper clutter to how to organize your storage unit. A clean, well-organized space means a clearer mind, less stress, and greater productivity.
Still, many don’t enjoy straightening up, making it tough to get to that wonderful decluttered state. Cleaning messes can be a drag, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to change your attitude about cleaning, so that organizing feels less like work.
The worst part about cleaning is taking care of garbage. So, if you have papers, soda cans, and the like around your house, get that cleaned up first. Throw junk away as it appears, do your dishes shortly after you eat, and take out your garbage regularly. If you have kids, teach them to do the same.
For many of us, it’s all about lists. Start keeping a to-do list every day.
Perhaps on the first day, you’ll start with “Clean and declutter workspace.” The next might be, “Clean and declutter bedroom closet.” This can be relatively small, such as a closet, or bigger, like your entire living room or kitchen.Every day, in addition to your decluttering task, include “Straighten up” to remind you to keep the areas you already decluttered nice and clean. Once an area is clean, it’s pretty easy to keep up with it. Do this every day for a few weeks, and you’ll build the habit.
As you declutter, it’s important to figure out what you want to keep at home, what you want to put in storage, and what you want to sell, give away, or recycle. All that is up to you and your sensibilities, though we often give helpful advice on how to decide what belongs in which category.
One amazing thing about going through your clutter is discovering old things you’ve forgotten. Maybe it’s a book you want to reread, letters from an old friend, or even things you’d like to donate or sell. Going through your things can be like discovering treasure.
As you declutter, put on something to listen to, such as a podcast, audio book or music.
Do not put on a movie or a TV show. You need to be looking at what you’re doing, and videos will just draw your attention too far away from what you’re doing.
Now, get to it! Once you get into the habit of decluttering and keeping your space organized, you’ll feel much better.