The Art of Organized Spaces
Five tips to help you reap the daily rewards of organizing your space
Life is busy, and sometimes the pace feels frantic and out of our control. But when our personal environments are organized, we can experience peace of mind. Living and working in streamlined spaces has a grounding effect that profoundly affects our health and well-being. And while it isn’t always easy to accomplish, the benefits are immeasurable.
Here are five tips to help you reap the daily rewards of organizing your space.
Break it down into manageable amounts of space or time
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Nothing is more discouraging than facing a huge mess with no idea where to begin. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything at once. Instead of tackling your entire walk-in closet, start with one section, drawer or shelf. Set a timer at 20-30 minutes and stop there until the next time. Incremental accomplishments can bring a huge rush of gratification.
Be honest with yourself
Adopt a “use it or lose it” philosophy. Yes, those perfectly tailored button-down work shirts and dress slacks were an investment and worked great when you commuted to the office more frequently. But now that you work at home and your wardrobe consists of yoga pants and hoodies, you can probably whittle your collection down to one or two.
And those craft supplies taking up half the closet? Make a realistic estimate of how likely you are to actually finish any of those projects. If you haven’t picked them up in years, it’s probably time to let them go. If having a creative outlet is important to you, start fresh with one project at a time.
Here’s a good trick to tame an over-stuffed clothes closet. Turn all the hangers backward on the rod. Then, when you use an item, turn the hanger back the right way. At the end of each season, you’ll get a good sense of which clothes you haven’t even touched.
Give yourself permission to let go
We all struggle with guilt when it comes to saying goodbye to sentimental keepsakes and gifts from people we love. After all, even if these things aren’t at all our style or useful in any way, they evoke strong memories. The important thing to remember is you don’t have to throw away the memory when you let go of the object.
Pass items on to people who will actually use them. Ask a relative if they would be interested in family heirlooms. Donate usable items to your favorite charity. And for those items you can’t bear to part with: find a way to condense them. For instance, if bins and bins of your kids’ artwork are gathering dust in your storage space, take pictures of the best of them and create a photo book that will take up only a fraction of the space. Keep the memory and relinquish these items in the name of simplifying your life.
There is no “one size fits all” solution
There is more than one right way to organize your space. It all depends on your personality and your own unique interpretation of order. Some people like everything tucked away in bins and boxes behind closed doors. If this is your style, make sure you clearly label everything, so things don’t inadvertently get squirreled away and forgotten.
Some prefer open shelves where everything is visible and instantly accessible. Invest in beautiful baskets or colorful bins to make the space attractive and practical. Create a system that supports the mantra “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
Figure out what works best for you. The most important thing is to create a system that makes your life easier and gives you easy access to the things that matter to you.
Acknowledge your efforts, large and small
There is so little we can control in this world—your home is the one place where you get to arrange things in a way that makes sense to you. Creating calm, organized spaces in your home is empowering, and the results can make a huge impact on your quality of life. Recognize how these changes tame the chaos in your life. Believe us, the results are truly transformative.
Leah Ansel is a Design Consultant with California Closets in Denver. For over 40 years, California Closets has built a reputation as the leader in premium and luxury space management with nearly 150 showrooms and 900 professional design consultants across North America. View their profile, visit www.
Content for this article provided by California Closets.