Happy February in the New Year!
Once again, I’ve been away for the last month as it’s been a heavy emotional month for me and I must apologise, I took a break from a lot of the things I did online, not just this. December was already a rush of a month and it just spiralled from there, though thankfully things have settled down now.
One of the things I’ve started to really invest my time in since then (I’m not sure where the energy comes from at all, really) is deep-cleaning my room and reducing my belongings. I’d like to say I’m a minimalist, in my own domestic, feminine style.
Keeping a well-designed, clean space not only reflects you clearly as a person, it also brings a sense of calm when you’re in it. You should always feel joyful in every room of your home, it’s you and your family’s sanctuary.
For many years I’ve been like most people, getting little knick-knacks I never really needed or receiving too many gifts from relatives that I don’t even use. I felt bad about throwing things away so I just kept it. I’ll have drawers and storage boxes of stuff (Please, Daiso! I am addicted!) and I’d sit in my room and feel swamped, it’s too cluttered, even if it’s clean.
It doesn’t help that I also do have a number of hobbies that need material and space, such as my needlework and knitting, which means storing all the yarn, threads, tools, etc.
As of the last couple of years, I can count the amount of clothing I’ve bought as less than the fingers on one hand, same with shoes. Only buying if anything breaks or is too worn out and must be thrown out. The amount I’ve decided to discard/donate are much more, starting with five large bags two years ago and then about three bags this year, then another three. With the recent clearing, I can help but sigh at the clean look of my Mari Kondo-d clothing.
That’s not even going into the physical items yet.
So how do you start?
1. Learn The KonMari Method
This. This changed my life years ago, before the Netflix show even came out. I read all her books feverishly. As soon as I read the first few pages of the Life Changing Magic of Tidying, I was already hooked, speeding up just so I can finish it and start cleaning. That is the same case for Spark Joy, I even have the manga version of it!
She will teach you how to fold in a way you’ll hardly ever redo folds again and you can say goodbye to falling piles of clothes! There’s also her amazing sorting/cleaning system, the KonMari method.
2. Get A Tidying Book With Visual References
It’s easy to get lost in Pinterest pictures of perfect Minimalist spaces and you want your room to be exactly the same, with all that blank space and the pastel/grey tone furniture and decor. It’s not realistic and only a minority of people can manage that, especially if you have interests and hobbies that actually need material things (i.e. yarn, books, crafts) or if you collect a certain hobby item. There are now plenty of other resources for tidying that will give you step by step instructions on how to clear areas of your rooms and how to pace yourself. My favourite is Less Stuff by Lindsay Miles.
3. Have A New Mindset When It Comes To Buying
I’m not going to preach (too much) here, I’m still figuring this out, since it’s still a struggle for me to tear my eyes away when I see bookstore ads or displays at their window. I get lost in looking at art projects and next thing you know, I have five different knitting projects still in the works. Concurrently. I’m pretty bad, even if my hobbies are not necessarily expensive.
Since then, I’ve established the one-for-one rule for myself.
I don’t get a new book until I finish another.
No buying for a new project until I’ve finished another.
I also have only two projects going on at the max.
Not only does this push me to finish older projects if I’m excited for a new one, it also keeps me from getting carried away.
4. Decide On A Theme
Depending on which room you are fixing, you need to decide what that room stands for. Then, the decor and all visible areas of the room are supposed to reflect that. This may take some time, as especially for your own bedroom you would need to think on it. If I look around my room at the moment, I see crafty bookworm with a splash of gamer.
What is your flavour? Is everything in the room reflecting that?
Is your living room meant to be bare or fun and colourful? This is what interior designers do, something we can manage as well.
5. Get A Friend To Help
Having a second opinion always helps, since your close friends can always tell you if you’re hanging on to something useless or missing something in a space. They may also want or need anything that you have no use for, such as clothes in other sizes (yes, old Christmas gifts) or even cute things such as extra notepads and pens. There’s also twice as much manpower so you can tidy through things faster and lift those heavy bags together. The quicker they’re out of your room, the better.
6. Run Regular Spot Checks
Once it’s all cleared and done, everything looks amazing and you can finally breathe again, get a sticky note pad and leave it on your desk, the fridge or in a drawer where there’s easy access.
We all have busy lives and don’t always have time to sit and tidy for hours, even as things build up. Tidy what you can but if you’re noticing a certain spot that needs more attention and maybe even a rearrangement, write it on the sticky note. You can also do so digitally. Continue on if it starts becoming a list and make it a priority to work on one of these spots at a time when you have a day off or a lazy afternoon. Try to do so before the list gets too long!
This is how I’ve managed to redo my whole living space and other areas of my house. It does truly help since I’m the cleaner of the family and I’m quite proud that it’s basically my handiwork that’s lead to the design and look of our living room, kitchen and decor areas. We have places for everything and it’s all organised.
The last priority is always my room though I finally got to it this time, am I glad!
I hope it helps you as well, good luck!