Organization and tidying are arguably at their most popular right now. Thanks in part to Marie Kondo and her new Netflix series, piles of clothing and other belongings are appearing in homes all over the country as Americans go through each of their possessions to decide if they “spark joy”. This is the perfect time of year to complete a large organization project as well, since February’s weather is so unpredictable and there are a good two to four weeks of cold weather still ahead of us. By starting a large indoor project in mid-February you’ll be able to stay productive and fight cabin fever, and by the time you’re done you’ll be able to enjoy your nice, clean, organized apartment with the Spring air flowing in.
Make a Plan
Before starting you need to have a plan of attack. Are you going to go full KonMari, piling all your belongings in the middle of the room to go through one-by-one? Or would it be better to tackle the apartment room-by-room? If you’re already a tidy person maybe you just need to do a deep clean, in which case the top-down method of starting at the ceiling and working your way down may be best. You could also try the inside-out or outside-in way, going through cabinets, drawers, and closets then going to surfaces (or vice versa). Whichever method you choose make sure it’s something you’ll stick with. Give yourself a time limit and write down what needs to be done by when to get the job done.
See What You Have
While Marie Kondo’s method might be a bit extreme, she does bring up many good points. No matter if you’ve lived in your apartment for 2 months or 5 years, there’s a good chance there are items you own that you forgot about. We humans tend to accumulate possessions and apply sentimental value to the strangest things. The first step in cleaning and organizing is analyzing what you have and what you can work with. What spaces could you be utilizing better? Should you rearrange your living room? What about the space under your bed or at the top of the closets?
Get Rid of What You Don’t Need
Before you can fully start organizing you should go through your belongings and decide what stays or goes. Fill boxes or bags for a local donation or see if you can take nicer items to a reseller or sell them online yourself. As you’re going through everything it’s the perfect time to do a deep clean as well. Take a vacuum or broom to those corners you haven’t seen in a while, and run a wet cloth over any cabinets and drawers.
Once you’ve decided what you want to keep, now is the time to figure out where to put it! A quick online search will give you plenty of articles and listicles to give you inspiration. Most of those times those articles also have links to show where you can purchase boxes, totes, shelves, and any other organizational tool you may need with a click of a button. As you’re putting things away make sure to label or note what goes in where. In a few months you may not remember exactly what you put in that bin at the top of the closet, but if you labeled it it’ll save you time and work taking it down to find out.
Quit Bad Habits
Once you’re finally done cleaning and organizing your apartment you should take a few moments to enjoy it. You put in a lot of time and effort, and organizing isn’t an easy task. After that you should also take a few moments of self-reflection to see how you got there in the first place, and what you can do to keep your place cleaner for longer this time around. Commit to hanging up your coat and putting away your shoes as soon as you get home. Don’t let mail pile up on the counter, but instead sort it right then and there. Take care of the little things right away. A good rule of thumb is that if the task will take less than 90 seconds to complete, don’t put it off.
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