Unless you’re completely off social media or live under a rock, by now you’ve heard about Marie Kondo and her “KonMari Method” of tidying up your home. If you’re not familiar with Marie Kondo, you can read up on some of her tips here, or check out one of her books or 2019 Netflix series. Understandably, the KonMari Method isn’t for everyone. It’s both time and labor intensive and can be overwhelming, piling all your belongings up and going through them one by one. There’s no shame in trying out a KonMari Light of sorts, or just doing a quick declutter and deep clean. Whatever you’re able to do, read on for suggested steps to get it done!
Step 1: Make a Plan
Before you even start it’s important to get a game plan. Decide how much time and effort you have to put into the project, what you’d like to get done, and how the best way to go about getting it done. If you’re already a fairly tidy person you may just want to take a quick pass at your closet to donate some clothes then deep clean the rest of your apartment. For those of you who have a bit more of an undertaking decide your plan of attack, whether it be going room by room or taking the KonMari Method of categorically going through your belongings. Whatever you decide, it’s best to write down your plan and timeline. If you can only give a couple hours a week to clean that’s perfectly fine, but make sure you know what your goal is each week instead of procrastinating further.
Step 2: Donate and Clean
The first real step in an organization project should be decluttering and getting rid of items you don’t need. Again, you may or may not go full KonMari here, but you should look through some of the more cluttered areas at least: closets, cabinets (kitchen and medicine), and other areas unnecessary items tend to hide. Take your discarded items to a donation center or, if they’re in good enough condition, try to sell them at a resale shop or online. As you’re going through your belongings save yourself some time and clean as you go. If you’re going through your kitchen cabinets take a wet cloth to the inside before putting everything back. Take a vacuum or broom to those areas that haven’t been seen in a while, and dust those hard-to-reach corners of the room.
Step 3: (Re)Organize
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to keep or not it’s time to find how to best organize what’s staying. It’s not a bad idea to do a quick internet search for inspiration or ideas of what you might like to purchase. You can buy all different shapes and sizes of boxes and totes, not to mention shelves and bookcases. Think about the space you have to work with as well. Don’t overlook options for storage under the bed or at the top of closets. You may also want to rearrange your furniture at this stage of the process, especially if you’re purchasing new items like a shelving unit. One tip that many organization experts suggest is to label the boxes or totes so you know what they contain without having to open them each time. This will ensure that you 1) know what you have, and 2) know where it is.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Once you’re finally done going through each room, cleaning, decluttering, and organizing, take several moments to breathe it in and enjoy your space. You did it! Organizing an entire apartment is no small undertaking, and chances are good that this is the best your place has looked since you moved in. Remember this feeling then think about what you can do to keep it going. Do a bit of self-reflection and decide what you can do, what habits you can change, and commit to keeping your apartment cleaner for longer this time around. Sure, eventually your place will need a refresh and deep clean again (after all, Spring Cleaning comes around every year), but with small changes next time won’t be nearly as bad.
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