Research suggests that a cluttered home can lead to stress, a feeling of being overwhelmed, and embarrassment. Your home is the last place you want to feel stress, so let’s talk about a way to minimize the mess and ease your busy mind.
Recently, I tackled the project of cleaning out my closet and my cluttered car (the two messiest things in my life), and in the process discovered the best way to clean up any space that may be cramping my vibes. I was looking for a method that would make a lasting impression; one that would keep me clutter-free at least for a short while.
By scouring the inter-webs and searching the latest cleaning blogs, I devised the perfect plan. Most of my inspiration came from the holy grail of simple living – Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If you would like a more in-depth look into tidying up your life, I highly recommend her books. Let me just say, now that I’ve spruced up my spaces, I feel like I can breathe easier and think more clearly, which have truly made an impact on my efficiency and general sanity.
Go ahead. Grab a cuppa hot tea and spend the afternoon investing in yourself and your peace of mind. I guarantee that if you focus on the tasks at hand, you will breathe easier, think clearer, and live a more peaceful life.
Make a List.
Ask yourself, what do you really need? Without looking at the space you are trying to clean up, make a list of the items that you actually need. Write them down and examine the leftovers. This will be a good starting point for step two, and will give you an indication of what is truly important to you. Set these items aside in a “keep” pile. In a separate column, ask yourself, what do you want to purge?
If you are thinking about spring cleaning, odds are that you already have an idea of what you you are willing to let go of. Make a list of these items and set them aside in a “purge” pile. These will serve as the piles you will build off of in step two.
Make a Mess.
Your lists were intended to get you started in the right direction, but now it’s time to take some action. Take all of your belongings in that space out of their usual places and put them all in a big pile on the floor. Make sure you can see every little thing.
One by one, pick each item up and ask yourself if the item actually brings you joy? Does this item improve my life? Does it make me happy? If you can't answer yes to one of these questions, say bye and toss it in the purge pile (or donation box).
Re-Invent Your Space.
Now that you’ve discarded unnecessary items, it’s time for a fresh start. When placing the items back in their usual spot, take a moment to consider how you could reinvent your space in a way that could prove to be more efficient and aesthetically pleasing. A slight change in scenery could supply just the creative spark to start that project you’ve been putting off or that problem you’ve been trying to solve.
Feeling refreshed yet? Now that you’ve de-cluttered your space, it’s time for you to get down to the nitty gritty. I’ll leave it to you to do the dusting and vacuuming. If you followed the plan step-by-step you should be noticing a slight change in atmosphere, and hopefully a cozy more comforting space. Let me know what you think and if it worked for you!
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Cat S.
Hadden is the epitome of "spunk." Her creative nature and desire for adventure have taken her across the world and placed her in the middle of some interesting situations.
She’s been with Campus Recreation since her sophomore year and has made it her goal to work in as many departments as possible. Along the way, she’s followed her passions from Facilities to Auburn Outdoors, and has finally found her home with the Marketing family.
A senior studying anthropology and minoring in Chinese and business, Hadden thrives with the obscure and strives to talk to everyone she sees. On her days off, you can find her planning out the next Anthropological Society meeting, walking around the woods looking for cool bugs, or working out at The Rec.