Recently, a lot of people have come to me with the same question: “Do you spend your entire weekend tidying?” When I ask for more information, they all confess to feeling like they spend all of their spare time playing catch-up – picking up piles, doing heaps of laundry, and generally just trying to keep up with all of their belongings.
I started thinking about this common problem and realized that the act of “tidying” doesn’t actually address the root cause of the problem. Organized clutter is still clutter, and moving piles around for the rest of your life is not a great use of your time.
Here’s what I suggest instead:
Reduce the Volume
Most people try to get organized before addressing the sheer volume of items they own. Trust me, if you’re spending your entire weekend tidying, you probably have too much stuff. Not sure where to begin? Start small. Declutter a single closet, a surface, even a drawer. Dedicate a chunk of focused time to reducing your belongings each week so you can start feeling major progress. The less you own, the easier it will be to manage.
When you realize that every item that enters your home will need to be organized, cleaned, cared for, and managed, you may start to think twice about the volume you allow through the door. Commit to being more intentional and thoughtful about what you bring in. In addition to being the gatekeeper of your home, consider trying a spending freeze. Curbing your consumerism will not only save you money, but it will also ensure that you start using and appreciating the things you already own. A win-win.
Give Each Item a Home
Consider the items you frequently lose or misplace. Assign each of these items a designated home. This can be as simple as putting a small bowl by the front door for keys, or a basket in your office to corral bills and mail. If you create and maintain clear and intuitive homes for the items you use most, you can avoid spending your precious time tracking them down each day.
The truth is, even if you eventually want to declutter and organize your entire home, you can start implementing some of these small changes and feel some relief right away. Reduce volume, stop spending, and give each item a home. And, please, make sure to carve out time to actually enjoy your weekend.
Images: Vivian Johnson Photography