Home Environment

From having a clean desk to keeping the kitchen countertop free of food and utensils, some people seem to have no problem keeping their home spick and span, while for others, clutter always seems to get the better of them. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that most people create rules or classification systems to deal with items moving in and out of their living space. When disruptions to these systems occur, some people either modify the rules or simply tolerate transgressions, and the result can be a willingness to live in an untidy home. Sticking to rules is vital, but it’s just one of many practical tips to follow if you wish to stay on top of clutter.

Letting Go Of Possessions With A Psychological Hold On You

Scientists have found that one reason we hold on to possessions we do not need is that they have a psychological hold on us. To put it simply, many of us identify the idea of ‘home’ with the things in it, and while this is fine to some extent, when things pile up to unhealthy levels, getting rid of some items is key. A 2017 Ohio State University study found that there is one way to feel a little less despondent about this process. They noted that people become more willing to give away unneeded goods that had sentimental value when they took photos of these items first. This way, they continued to preserve memories without hanging on to possessions.

Is Lack Of Storage Space The Problem?

As mentioned above, a primary consideration when cleaning up a home, is getting rid of things that you don’t need. However, sometimes, you do occasionally use specific equipment (think bikes, vacuum or steam cleaners and water pressure cleaners) that may not fit in typical areas like the garage. Additionally, you may have items such as baby chairs or exercise equipment that you don’t need now, but may very well wish to rely on in the future. If so, you will need to add storage place both inside your home and out. If you have the budget for it, a renovation may work well to use empty spaces for built-in closets and storage furniture. Look for empty spaces that can be used, such as large hallways, and space under the stairs. Outside, storage sheds can be used for sports equipment and machinery in a neat, orderly fashion that won’t pose an injury risk to your family as it might if left piled up in your garage.

Classifying And Sub-Classifying Items To Store

Keeping things tidy is easy if everything has its appointed space. If you’re trying to keep your kitchen consistently neat, food should be stored according to sub-types. For instance, one shelf could have all your spices and seasonings; another all the baking ingredients; yet another all the canned goods, and so on. This way, you will always know where ingredients are when you need them. Similar classification and sub-classification should occur in spaces such as desks and computer areas. Is your desk full of clutter that is not immediately needed? Think books, jewellery, bags, food, etc… All these items should immediately be placed in the appropriate drawer.

Getting The Whole Family Involved

Research shows that many women in America are still doing the lion’s share of the housework. However, this can be solved by listing down all the tasks and creating a fair division among all family members. Let kids have say regarding the tasks they choose; after all, we all tend to perform best at chores we most enjoy or are skilled at. Feeling you are supported in terms of home duties will increase your motivation to stick to your classification system, even if you can always clean up ‘tomorrow’.

Tidiness can be more difficult than it seems, both because we can fail to determine a precise place for each item type, but also because we can feel deeply connected to our possessions. The KonMari de-cluttering method recommends throwing away anything that does not bring you real joy. To soften the blow, take photos of your treasured possessions, give them away to someone you love, and be mindful of any new items you bring into your home.