2016 is already so many different things: it’s #TeamCHAARG’s exploration of 12 Firsts//12 new friends//+ 12 new flows [habits], a leap year [yes, one extra day to #makeitcount this Feb!], + the return of the Summer Olympics [SO excited!]. For me, it’s also one more [pretty important] thing: the Year of Less. One of my personal themes for 2016 is to *live simply* + this mantra could not come at a better time. Minimalism as a lifestyle, the zero waste movement, + the life-changing magic of tidying up have all been trending right into 2016 — everyone wants to get rid of the useless, let go of what *was*, ++ accept this new minimalistic way of living.
On top of all this, what’s to lose from a deep clean [besides everything that needs to go]? Most of us can agree — our living spaces are begging for this! One of the most impactful realizations I’ve had in this newfound, minimalistic mindset is that physical chaos can quickly become mental chaos, ++ the very last thing we need is to feel anxious or stressed by the messes we create. In 2016, let’s choose simplicity in everything we do + get down for some good ol’ classic cleaning up! Check out these go-to *House Rules* for anytime life requires a much needed decluttering session…
#1] SET A TIME + #JUSTDOIT
Cleaning//tidying *as you go* can only happen once you start with a clean slate [for most of us, that’s a super tidy dorm room or apartment!]. Find an extended period of free time [that’s what Sundays are for, right?] to knock out the heavy duty cleaning + expect it to take at least a few hours. It might not happen right now + that’s okay! Just be sure to schedule your *clean-up time* — write it on your planner to help ensure it happens.
#2] IF IT TAKES LESS THAN THREE MINUTES TO DO, DO IT *NOW*
It’s as simple as it sounds! If a tidying task takes less than a few minutes, don’t put it off for later. Small chores like throwing your sweaty workout clothes into the hamper or washing out a rogue coffee mug can quickly stack up if not immediately dealt with. When it’s something this easy, don’t make it harder on yourself later on!
#3] EVERY ITEM REQUIRES ITS OWN PLACE
This is the core of organization. If for some reason, you can’t find or make a unique place for an item, ask yourself: Is this something I should really be keeping? Even better — before you make a purchase, make sure to consider if the item will have its own place. Is the item replacing something else or will you be actively creating more clutter?
#4] GET RID OF MULTIPLES
As you declutter, one of the easiest things you can do is to toss out or donate the doubles. Do you really need three spatulas? Six pairs of black jeans — when you only wear your two favorites? Duplicates create literal clutter by taking up more space, while still only performing the same use as the others. Ditch ‘em!
#5] START WITH THE *HOT SPOTS*.
Everyone’s got them… those areas of the room or apartment that always seem to wreak havoc! [For me, it’s the ever-growing pile of clothes at the foot of the bed.] Start with these areas when you declutter — you’ll be more motivated once the more prominent eyesores are tackled. ++ if you ever find yourself needing to tidy in a short amount of time [i.e. unexpected guests are on their way!], make sure these are the first to be tamed — so, even if you can’t get to it all, your space still feels warm + inviting.
#6] ASK YOURSELF THESE THREE QUESTIONS WHEN EVALUATING IF ANY ITEM [KITCHENWARE, CLOTHING, MAKEUP ITEM, ETC.] SHOULD STAY OR GO:
- Have I used this item in the last six months? If the answer’s “no” — great! Say goodbye + make more room for the items you truly love + use. Only make exceptions for truly seasonal items.
- Is this item still in good condition? By nature, our favorite items will receive the most wear + tear. Make sure you’re keeping something that is still usable, + not just because of the emotional attachment to it!
- Can I do without this item? Be honest with yourself. If you can easily do without the item, there’s no reason to continue holding onto it! Think of any close family + friends who might enjoy the item or donate it to your local community.
#7] MAINTAIN A SCHEDULE
Finally, keeping the clutter away comes down to scheduling it into your day-to-day lifestyle. Larger, more prominent tasks like doing your laundry or deep cleaning should have their own time + day — don’t just wait for things to pile up again before your next decluttering session! ++ taking ten minutes at the end of each day to put items away + back into their places will help refresh + bring your living space back into a zenful mood.
How do you keep your living space tidy? Share your tips + tricks with us in the comments below!
+ Jessica [@jessicasmith_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG NYC