Monday, August 7, 2017

101 Ways To Live Better: Organize Your Space

Welcome to my 101 series, which explores 101 little things you can do to improve your day to day life, and the world, just a little bit.

Our fifth post is: ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE

Everything you own should have a home, somewhere in your house where it belongs. That includes your handbag or wallet, incoming and outgoing mail, your remote controls, your keys, your shoes and all those other miscellaneous things that end up lying around on the dining table and kitchen bench. After all, its very hard to tidy your house and put things away if they don’t have anywhere to go!

I am a firm believer in the KonMari method of cleaning out clutter, which boils down to clearing your home of everything you don’t use and don’t love. Paperwork that must be kept can be scanned and stored digitally, but for a few vital documents like birth certificates. Clothes that don’t fit, that you don’t love, that don’t suit you, should all be donated. You don’t need as many clothes as you think. I have two dresses, about ten shirts and five pairs of pants. I don’t own any skirts. I also have three jackets and two pairs of shoes. That, for me, is plenty for all seasons and all occasions. Buying new clothes is a big deal for me and I only buy good quality things I can wear most days.
Even if you don’t like the KonMari method, it still helps a lot to have places to put everything, to make life more manageable.

If you are like most people, you will struggle to find homes for everything simply because there is not enough space in your house. However, it will be easy if you have cleaned out all those hundreds of items you don’t like, don’t need and never use.

I am someone who can’t tolerate what is referred to as ‘visual noise’. Remember when you were a teenager and you put up a collage of your favourite bands and actors on your wall? Or maybe you have a displace case full of trinkets. Or stacks of books everywhere.
I find that stressful. I like empty spaces and clean lines. So, my workspace is quite sparse with one or two focal items that I love.

Yours doesn’t have to be. Some people love visual noise and having collections and art all around them in a riot of colour and shapes. That’s great too, but make sure all the things around you are things you have chosen. There is a huge difference between posters and figurines from your favourite movies and a pile of dirty washing you haven’t put away.

It is also important a space be functional to you and what you want to use it for. Before decorating and arranging a space, write down how you would like to spend your time in it, what its function is going to be.

If you want your dining room to be a place where the family connects, don’t situate the table in a way everyone can still see the TV. If you want your office to be where you work, don’t store the kids’ toys, or set up your Xbox in there.

Sitting down and really thinking about how you want to use your spaces, will probably lead to you thinking about what is most important to you in life, how you wish you were spending your time. You might decide to get rid of your TV completely! Or at least put it in a cupboard you can close, so it’s not always there—a huge unblinking void in the middle of your space.

Not me though, I love my TV. Mine pivots so I can see it while I am cooking and while I am on the treadmill, but I also use it for audio books and music.

Organize your space and take pride in it, it’s your space, organized for your needs, not just a dumping ground for your stuff.

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