It isn’t earth shattering, it isn’t huge, but it is the one thing that helps me stay on top of clutter and reign in the chaos that is “stuff” out of its home. I never go from one floor to the next or one room to the next empty handed. That’s it.
Simple I know but it works amazingly well and it definitely works for me. For example, if I’m going from the living room to the kitchen I take a quick look around and take with me anything that belongs in a space on my way….cups, papers, newspapers, etc. If I’m going from the living to the study, I’ll not only take a look around for anything that lives in the study but anything that resides upstairs as well. The reason for this is because on my way to the study I pass the stair landing and I can leave whatever needs to go up on the landing for the next time I go upstairs. Or if I buy shampoo or bandaids etc. that belong upstairs I’ll also leave those on the landing so I can’t miss them the next time I go up. I also do this with the downstairs stuff. I’ve even known some people to keep a basket on their stair landing to catch and contain these items which is also an idea that might work for some. For me a basket on my stairs would just be something to trip over but that’s just me. Now without even thinking I know to check the space and not just walk over it or around it but be conscious of where I am going.
I am in the habit of always taking a look around when leaving a space in anticipation of putting it away in the space that I’m going. It saves me time in the long run because I’m not leaving it all to clean up at one time. I’m always on top of it.
Still each night before I go to bed I do a quick tour of the main floor of my house and do what I call my 10 minute tidy. This means I simply ensure everything is tucked back into its designated space. It’s now a habit and it makes all the difference in the world to how my next day is going to go. For example, loose papers on the table are dealt with including any school papers that are required for the next day, items needed to go somewhere are put on the I’m outta here shelf, kitchen is tidy, etc. This is something I know I need to do for my sanity. The days I don’t I’m a growly bear the next day because I find myself scrambling and that just sets the wrong tone for the whole day.
So you see taking the time to create a designated space for everything and then staying on top of the clutter everyday will save you so much time not just in the long run but each and every day. All those minutes add up and contribute to keeping stress levels at a manageable level…..at least it does for me and I hope it will do the same for you.