The Abodus Student Living Team
Why is it that the smallest spaces seem to get the most cluttered and disorganised the quickest?! We understand that your flat might not be the most spacious, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be the most cluttered! Read on below to find out how you can organise your flat in a simple, effective way, without causing total burnout and overwhelm.
- Choose your area(s) of focus. What is it that you are hoping to tackle? Is it your room, your bathroom or the kitchen? Or is it all three rooms? Are you focusing on just one area of a room? (i.e. Your wardrobe or desk area.) It is key that you have a clear goal in mind for your organisational project. The is the foundation for ensuring that you complete your project, and that it is a smashing success!
- Make a to-do list. Now that you’ve got your area(s) of focus nailed down, it’s time to make your to-do list! If you are organising a specific area within a room, write down what specific items need to be tackled within that area. For instance, if you are organising your desk area, you will likely be decluttering paperwork, or even testing all your pens, pencils and highlighters to see if they work. Each and every step that you plan to take should be written down. There’s nothing worse than thinking that you’ve finished a project, then turning around at the end and finding things that are left to be done! (All you need for your to-do list is a pen & paper, but if you do like for them to look a bit glammed up, why not choose from one of several free ones here?)
- Set a realistic timeline. Look at your to-do list and really evaluate what needs to be done in your organisational project, then think of how long each task within your project will take you. Can it be done in two hours or is this more of a two day project? Based on this information, give yourself a realistic timeline of when you would like to have your overall project completed, and— this piece is key —stick to your timeline.
- Start small and keep it simple. There is no reason why you need to dive into your project head first. This is why you have your to-do list and your timeline. Stick to them both and pace yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should you finish your organisational project all in one day. Furthermore, you might not have to have the latest and greatest items to organise your space. The Home Edit’s newest show on Netflix has people wanting to run out and grab the prettiest containers and labelling them all with vinyl decals, but these flashy items simply aren’t a necessity in having a nice, organised space. You can easily use what you already have lying around in your accommodation to get it looking and feeling organised. For example, you can use your old shoeboxes or even shipping boxes to store socks, scarves, paperwork or even your kitchen cutlery and utensils in! Check out Marie Kondo’s method of reusing old boxes and containers to organise your space here.
- Stick to one place. Once you start a project, commit to finishing it before moving forward to your next project. For instance, if you are organising your entire flat, go room by room. If you are organising one room, go from project to project. Don’t overwhelm or distract yourself by bouncing from project to project. (This is where your to-do list might come in handy!)
- Purge your stuff. Take everything out of boxes and containers and lay them all out together so that you can see them. Then you will need to make a keep, donate and trash pile. What items are you wanting to keep? What items have no use anymore and can be thrown away? And lastly, what items still have lots of life in them and can be donated for someone else to use? If you’re having trouble letting go of some of your stuff, give The Minimalists’ 30-Day Minimalism Game a go and watch how quickly you can declutter your space! (Check out their podcast here if you’re needing some ongoing inspiration.)
- Group like items together. Now that you have gotten rid of the items that you no longer need or want, you can move your focus onto the items that you are keeping by beginning to group them together into like items. For example, if you are organising your wardrobe, put all of your scarves into one pile, all of your shoes into another and all of your handbags going into another. Compartmentalizing your items is key in keeping your space organised and tidy.
- Assign a “home” for the items that you keep. Find a space for each item or group of items that you have compartmentalized, ensuring that they live there forever. In other words, when they aren’t in use, they should go right back where they came from. You’ve put a lot of work into organising your space. Make it a habit of putting your items back in their designated place so as to keep it that way!
- Give yourself a break. Don’t try to do everything at once without any breaks and cause yourself to become overwhelmed. If you do this, you will burn out and will likely quit your project altogether. (This is something you do not want to do if you are halfway through organising your space. Imagine stopping in the middle of the purging stage. What a nightmare would that be?!) Be intentional about setting aside breaks for yourself and recharging your batteries. Do something that is relaxing and will take your mind off the task at hand. This could consist of watching a feel-good documentary, or even taking one of our virtual wellness classes. As mentioned above, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s okay to pace yourself and take breaks. That’s what you made your to-do list and timeline for, remember?
- Set up a system and stick to it. Your “system” might look like doing a major purge and clean once per week, or it might look like cleaning, picking up & organising as you go. We suggest making a habit of doing things as you go, so as not to overwhelm yourself or spend more time than necessary picking up and organising. As the fabulous Hinch always says, doing your cleaning and organising little and often is the way to keeping a tidy space without the overwhelm. No matter what you choose, do what works best for you!