There’s Always Room For Improvement
The bottom line is this: outside your health and a clean, dry place to sleep, you really don’t need anything. It’s all just confetti, it’s all “extra”, it’s all “dessert”. Granted, we in modernity are rather addicted to our “creature comforts”, as they’re called. But these things aren’t strictly necessary to live a happy life, and when we shuck our mortal coil, possessions won’t follow.
So why is it so many of us live lives that seem controlled not by us, but by our possessions? Own enough things, and eventually they begin to own you. Nowhere is this more evident than in the home of someone considered to be a “hoarder”. Nowhere is this less evident than in the life of a traveling nomad who owns all they have on their back.
There must be a happy medium between these extremes! There is, and it comes in the form of taking care of what you own through proactive organization. You can get in the habit by cleaning after yourself whenever you use something. Instead of leaving those dishes by the couch, take them to the sink when you get up to to go the bathroom. Be intentional about it.
Beyond intentionality, following are five tactics for home organization that will make your residence feel spacious, clean, and well-kept. Remember, there’s always room for improvement. Unless you’re perfect, and nobody is, there’s definitely something you could do to make where you live cleaner, and more organized; even if it’s just dusting the guest room.
1. Know Which Items Should Be In Nigh-Permanent Storage
How often do you really use that old Atari from the 1980s that came with you to your new house from your parents’ garage when you moved in 2005? Maybe it’s a collector’s item, but should it really be in the living room? Shouldn’t it have its own place? Heirlooms, family artifacts, and collector’s items shouldn’t be in “general circulation”, as it were.
Identify things you never use, but don’t want to be rid of, and put those things somewhere that is safe, but simultaneously out of the way. If you never use that “fine china”, don’t leave it front and center in primary kitchen cabinets—put it somewhere more “permanent” until that one time every six or seven years when you bring it out for a guest or family event.
2. Utilizing Floorspace And Headspace
Is the space beneath your bed totally empty? So, what, you’ve got a foot between the bottom of the bed and the floor, and the bed is five feet wide and seven feet long. So you’ve got 35 cubic feet of unused space. You could fit an entire closet down there! Why aren’t you using that space? Similarly, you’ve got space under the couches in the living room.
When you look up, rather than down, you’ll find all manner of naked walls that could be turned into shelving space. Go through your house with a fine-toothed comb and identify areas where you’ve got unused space, then find a use for that space.
3. Installing New Cabinets In Your Apartment’s Kitchen
If you’re in an apartment, you’ve got precious little space to spare, so be smart in how you use it. One thing you might do is install some new apartment kitchen cabinets above sinks or stoves. Just be sure they’re installed high enough you won’t bump your head, and voila, you’ve got solid storage in a convenient location that doesn’t impede regular movement.
4. Determine Things To Sell Or Dispose Of
You’ve always got something in your home you no longer need and will never use again. Unless your home is only occupied by you, a pair of clothes, and blank walls, there’s likely something taking up space that you would do better to sell. Go through your house from the basement to the attic, figure out what you don’t need, and have a yard or garage sale.
5. Organize The Premises Carefully
Beyond conventional means of reconfiguring possessions, you might as well go through the home from top-to-bottom and reorganize everything. During this process you’ll find new areas of varying rooms which can be used for storage, and you’ll identify things you no longer need, or which would be better kept in more permanent storage areas.
Better Storage And More Living Space
When you take care to more carefully organize the premises, determine which possessions should be sold or disposed of, install new cabinets in strategic places throughout the home, utilize headspace, utilize floor space, and understand which things should be in “deep” or “permanent” storage, you’re going to have a more comfortable living area.
Go through your home with a fine-toothed comb, find the things you need, find the things you don’t, and restructure everything for best results. You may be surprised how many things you’ve forgotten you even have, and how easy it is to more effectively store those things.