Ahhh, the joy of existing – as long as you are breathing, you are never exempt from the ownership of “things”. The struggle 99.9% of humans experience is the organization of said things.
Mari Kondo has great suggestions: get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy, assign each of your belongings to a dedicated spot, imagine your ideal lifestyle. My favorite philosophy behind the KonMari Method is “the question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life”. As it turns out, the thought of your home being an extension of how you see yourself is a very simple idea that turns out to be much harder to execute than one would imagine. However, by doing some deep soul searching, imagining the kind of life you want to live, and cultivating an environment you thrive in, it becomes simpler to keep only what brings you joy.
But that’s not the point of this post. The reason you’re here is because you’ve decluttered your little heart out. You’ve KonMari’d the ever-loving schnitzel out of your home – but even with the minimizing of “things”, you’ve found the living room still gets messy, the kitchen counter continues to be the perfect home for mail, keys, junk, or anything else that’s brought in from your car, and after an hour of trying to pick out an outfit, you find your closet floor covered in unchosen clothes.
Well, let me introduce you to a little idea called “Resetting”. I’ve put this idea to practice and let me tell you. It’s life changing. It’s the idea of leaving a room the way you’d want to find it.
How many times has someone come over to your house unexpectedly and the throw pillows are unfluffed and scattered, your shoes are still in the hallway, or the kitchen is still cluttered with your latest attempt at baking? This is your ticket to save yourself from another “So sorry for the mess! It’s been a crazy week.”
There are countless articles, books, and Ted Talks about the benefits of simply making your bed in the morning. Imagine after a long day at work, you come home to a made bed, clean countertops, an organized bathroom vanity, and the living room lookin ~pristine~. All you have to do is reset the room after you leave.
This is what you’re going to start doing. When you leave the couch from a cozy night of Netflix binging and popcorn consumption, you’re going to throw away the popcorn bag, refluff the pillows, fold the blanket and hang it over the couch, and set the remote on the coffee table. Each time you take a piece of clothing off the hanger and then decided its not what you want to wear, you’re going to take the flippin’ 3 seconds it takes to hang the sucker back up. Before you leave the bathroom, you’re going to screw the caps back on, put everything back in the drawer it belongs, and for the love of God, put the toilet seat down. After cooking or even simply making a bowl of cereal, you at least toss everything in the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, and put all ingredients back in the pantry/ refrigerator.
Are you starting to get the point? The idea is to leave a room so that if someone were to come over, you won’t be scrambling to clean up. It’s a great way to keep organized AND relieve stress.
This applies to your car, too! Keep a plastic bag or cup in the car door cubby where you put all trash and take it out whenever it’s almost full. Went to to the beach or on a hike? Take all the equipment out of your car when you get home and put it back. where. it. belongs. Not haphazardly tossed in the garage for you to climb over later.
I know, I know. “But that could take so long!” Ummmmm, aren’t you reading this because you’re sick of living in a messy house? I didn’t say the answer would be a fairy godmother to clean up after you. Take pride in your home. You should enjoy the things you own and enjoy taking care of them.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you find yourself constantly in a rush; running out the door only to find yourself running back in to grab something you forgot. ….and then running back in because you forgot something else. In moments like these, because the idea of having a room look organized is my goal, I may or may not have been known to have a secret corner in my closet where I throw clothes or not exactly take my dishes to the kitchen, but organize them in a way where it doesn’t look too messy. As long as you come back and clean up, hang clothes back up, and reset at some point, then you get the hang of it. You want to stay organized, but sometimes life simply doesn’t allow for perfection and you have to go with the flow. This is when you tell yourself “I am a person who values a clean and organized home. It’s how I live my life.” Not ‘I try to stay organized’ or ‘I do my best to clean up after myself’. So when you’re rushing out of the house and it doesn’t look 100% perfect, you can leave knowing that you will “reset” when you get home because it’s a priority to you.
I’ve been practicing this method for 6 months now and it’s come to the point where I can’t even leave my table at the coffee shop without making sure there’s not a puddle of coffee on the table or stray napkin under the chair. It’s not an obsession, just a habit. Why would you want to leave a place you’ve occupied in any condition other than how you’d want to find it? There’s such a satisfaction in taking ownership of your most used spaces.
Here are some awesome books for encouragement, inspiration, an extra push, to not only live in an amazingly clean home, but also apply other life-changing habits for a life of organization and happiness.