I have always been labeled a “neat freak.” My parents thought lining up my utensils before eating was silly, but it was necessary for me. They suspended me for my tardiness at school and had to rearrange books by name and year published in the library. Other kids would think this was a cruel punishment, but it was a lot of fun for me. I grew up being told my uncanny need to keep things organized was bizarre, but during the pandemic, it became essential to transition from going to the office to working-from-home (WFH). In 2019, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo came out on Netflix and created this new wave of decluttering fanatics. Articles and videos of the method started flourishing, demonstrating the Konmari Method in the most relatable way–making it possible for even the messiest person to try tidying up. But for some, it’s back to the mess it was in a month. Would you like to keep your space tidy forever? Read on to find out how to keep your space regularly tidy during the Pandemic.
There’s More Space Than You Think
With the Konmari fold, items can fit easily and can be seen properly. For example, in the closet, there’s a drawer fitting 10 folded pairs of pants. But inspect, there’s more space than you think. Instead of simply fitting 10 pairs, it could actually fit 2-4 more pairs when pushed to one side.
Another example is on a shoe rack; more pairs can fit if placed into each other’s curves. To do this, place one shoe (toe side) facing you, then its pair facing the other way (heel side).
This’ the Season to be Tidy
One misconception of tidying up is keeping things organized takes a lot of time. To be real, I only rearrange my things every few months. Specifically, it’s best to relocate items per season (e.g., storing summer clothes in the luggage to prepare for winter). Restocks (e.g., hygiene products, office supplies, etc.) And other special items (e.g., decorations) should be stowed away properly under the sink, office cabinet, or in the attic respectively so that it’s accessible when needed.
Beware of “The Chair”
Categorizing is extremely important in organizing the space. But in doing so, people place things where they think it’s “supposed to be,” like leggings in the bottom drawer of a dresser. But people use these items and end up throwing them in the top drawer or leaving them on a chair in the room because it’s more accessible. The solution is to keep things of top priority in areas considered accessible.
Babushka Them Together
When collecting similar items together, they can be put inside one another or in one of their biggest forms. For example, when finding bags and purses, they can be thrown into the biggest bag (e.g., duffel bag) then kept on the top shelf in the closet.
Designate Spots for Each Item
The key to maintaining a tidy space is to have a spot for everything. In a clothing rack, people tend to place empty hangers on either end of the rack. Instead, they should be placed back to where it came from in the first place. So, not only do the hangers maintain the system, but they also help you keep track of pieces you may be looking for in the future (e.g., missing, laundered, etc.).
Respect the Zones
Even though work environments may have changed, they should still be separate from your over-all living space. WFH stations benefit from having a designated area (e.g., separate room, floor, etc.), but if space doesn’t allow it, try to respect the zone by not leaving items not meant for work in the area or using the workstation for other activities (e.g., eating, watch parties, exercise, etc.)
These are the ways I keep my space spick-and-span, no matter if I have a lot of space or a little.
It becomes an easy habit and maintains a tidy space long term.