If 2016 was the year you were introduced to Marie Kondo's methods, 2017 is the year of actually trying them for yourself. After the enormous success of Kondo’s “The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up” we’ve had a full year to learn her clean-up tricks (like no-excuses decluttering and that one t-shirt folding technique). Once you've separated the possessions that spark joy from the ones that are better off in the donation bin, keep them tidy with our fail-safe tips for a well-organized start to 2017.
Get Your Mise en Place
Chefs are some of the most organized people in the world- they have to be with a staff of assistants to direct and hungry stomachs waiting just outside the swinging doors. In the kitchen, chefs are trained to organize their workspace so they know where each tool is and don’t waste time looking for a rogue ingredient. This method, called mise en place, designates a space for everything you own.
Most of us limit this strategic sectioning to our closets for clothes, or maybe our pantry for pots and pans. Giving your other daily essentials- cleaning materials, jewelry, stationery- their own homes is an easy way to keep your things organized even when you don’t have time to arrange them neatly. Give each category a designated drawer or shelf, and pair like-things together to maximize space and comfort. Pro-tip - store your (covered) bath bombs in your sock drawer or linen closet for a little added fragrance.
Invest in Stationery Trays
Dividers and trays can help compartmentalize areas of your drawers or tabletops into categories for easy sorting. Not only do they look great, but they also keep little things from spilling into a huge messy flood. Use unconventional cases like our Trusco tool boxes to store everything from shoe polish to paint brushes. If you want an elegant look, our Futagami trays make it easy to look beautiful and organized. DYI enthusiasts can even make separators from lidless discarded shoe or jewelry boxes.
Place a Wastebasket in Every Room
Every room should have a trash receptacle, even rooms that don’t traditionally host desks or food items. Why? Because paper follows us wherever we go, and loose papers are increasingly difficult to throw away the farther we are from the recycling bin. Bridge the gap by keeping a trash can handy in every room so you’ll never have to rise from your couch again. Exceptions for joint living room-dining room-kitchen spaces, but even then make sure the trash can is easy to see and not hiding on the far side of your fridge.
Beware of Hotspots
Hotspots are areas in the house where clutter just seems to consistently accumulate. Every house has one, whether it’s the kitchen table where we drop off junk mail or the bedroom chair where we throw unwanted clothes while getting ready. Take note of these places and make them a priority to tidy regularly. Better yet, move the wastebasket you placed above, closer to that hotspot.
Practice Putting Things Away Immediately
Half the chore of cooking is the dread of spending an hour washing up pots and pans on a stuffed stomach. Try making time for cleaning during the minutes of idleness between tasks- putting away the milk in the fridge while you wait for an egg to boil, or washing the mixing bowls while the sauce simmers. Committing this clean-up reflex to muscle memory will save you time and energy by condensing your cooking and cleaning into just one routine.
At the end of the day, cleaning and tidying are another box on your chore list. The more things you own, the more you have to clean, so be selective when buying new things. Ask yourself the following questions before purchasing an item: “Do I own anything similar already? Do I have the space to store this? Do I want to spend time and effort cleaning this?” If the answer to any of these questions is no, take a pass. After all, the best way to keep your home tidy is to have fewer things to clean.
If your new year's resolution involves starting your own KonMari cleanup, read our guide to decluttering your home.
WORDS BY MAGALI ROMAN