My name is Maaike and I’m a organization-aholic. Before we can get into this post, let’s gather some facts about me shall we?
- I live my life on 30 M2 (or 90 ft2)
- I have accumulated too much junk, but am terrible at throwing things away ‘for no reason’. Just click the tab ‘collections’ above or, simply click here and you’ll see what I mean.
- I love to organize/ reorganize/ structure my life/ stuff. In fact, I can be quite obsessive about it and actually do it for fun.
Today I’ll will tell you more about some of the things I do to organize my space and my life to keep my head clear from clutter and to live my life comfortably even though I live in very very small space. I hope you can take something away from it to declutter your brain.
1.) Allocate your belongings to specific spots
The number one rule for an organized and decluttered home is to make sure that you know which things go where. And I don’t just mean ‘roughly’, I mean exactly. If you always put your pens together in the same spot, chances are it’ll be a lot easier for you to find them.
2.) Clean up your room/ house before going to bed
A cleaned up living space eases your mind and actually makes it easier for you to fall asleep. It works for me anywayz. I always clean up plates, glasses and cups that I’ve used throughout the day before I go to bed. I also put away pens or anything else that might simply be lying about. I simply put everything back in its ‘designated spot’. That way I can find it again when I need it in the morning.
3.) Write things down
I write down everything: to do lists, grocery lists, blog post ideas, songs for blog posts, when I meet up with friends, my timetable at work, doctor’s appointments, etc.. I take a note of everything. Either in my trusty Moleskin agenda or on a separate piece of paper. I for instance keep a notepad next to my bed for those last minute ideas that always tend to pop into my head right before falling asleep.
4.) Use your space wisely
If your living space is small it is a good idea to figure out the best way to use the space. It took a while until I had found mine, but now I have it, it hasn’t changed in over 5 years. When organizing your space it is especially important to keep in mind what is important to you. That is the reason why I have my desk/ office area close to a window to allow for natural light to hit it when I’m working during the day. On the other hand my couch & sitting area is located underneath my bed where it’s much darker, which adds to the coziness factor. I also keep a fairly large open space in the center of my room so I can use that to do home work outs, practice dance routines and make space for when I’m having friends over for dinner.
5.) Don’t have too much ‘junk’ in plain view
The more stuff you have, the harder this becomes, but the key is to try to put as much of your stuff behind closed doors or in boxes. The less junk you see the less cluttered your living space will feel. So investing in cupboards, wardrobes, practical bookcases, bins, decorative boxes and the like may be to your advantage if your living space is small. This also goes for little trinkets such as photo frames and candles: the fewer you have the better.
6.) Make lists
This ties in with the writing things down point. I make lists all the time. In fact, I make lists of lists. No kidding. I have a list for my CDs, my books, my shoes, my records and my DVDs. But I also make lists for blog posts and to do lists for my thesis and work. I do not leave the house without a list if I’m running errands or go out to buy groceries. My grocery list actually includes EVERYTHING I need. Even if it’s something I buy every week, I still include it on my list.
7.) Work with what you have/ is readily available
When organizing things, it is important to try and be creative. It’s very handy to simply drive to IKEA and buy everything you think you’ll need. However, when you look around your home or shops closer to home you can a) save money and b) save time. I bought some bins from a local drugstore for cheap to hold my old uni stuff and my jewelry rack is actually a kitchen organizer. Most of my shoes I keep in their boxes which I then store in my wardrobe and I am the queen of stacking.
8.) Try to come up with a ‘system’ that works for you
A system is probably a big and scary word, but that is in fact a little bit what you need if you want to become more organized. Being organized is about being one step ahead of the game. So you think things through before you do them, rather than just doing them. You don’t leave your house without a list of things you need to buy. You don’t go to bed before your space is back to its original state and you try to do things in advance. It requires a bit of planning!
9.) Do things in advance
Which leads me to my next point: do things in advance if you can. I save a tremendous amount of time in the morning because I pack my bag, lay out my clothes and pick out my make up and perfume the night before I go to work. I try to check my work email on Sunday to save time on Monday morning when I come in (especially if I’m having a meeting that day). The fewer distractions you have, the easier it is to focus on the task at hand.
10.) Divide up your time.
The first thing you shouldn’t do is procrastinate. Don’t just think: I’ll do that tomorrow. Because tomorrow that painting will still not be hung up, and the day after and the day after and the day after that. I’m like that with doing my dishes or folding my laundry: they are chores I do not like doing, but I know that once I’ve done them it gives me a satisfactory feeling because everything will be neat and organized again. This does require some preparation. If you don’t feel like doing all the little things separately (like me), try to gather several small tasks and turn it into one big one that you can work on for a while. If you don’t feel like doing larger tasks in one go, try splitting it up into smaller parts that are easier to manage.
So there you have it 10 tips which are hopefully helpful to whoever may read this. If you like this post you may also be interested in some of my other blogs on organization: