IN MY previous column, I outlined the benefits of being organized and who are the Instagram accounts I'm following who are serving as inspiration for my road to organization and orderliness.
Today, I will share to my experience on how I started it. As they say, the journey of a thousand miles start with one step. This weekend, I walked the talk and started my own weekend clean up. This is what I learned -- to truly be organized, you have to throw away things that do not serve the purpose, are broken or does not spark joy, as inspired by Japanese organization guru Marie Kondo.
Most of us, me included, think there is not enough space in our homes and that is the reason why we have clutter. What I found out this weekend was, if you do want to find that space, you have to throw away other stuffs to make way for more space. For people who have money, they can afford to rent storage or even get a bigger place but that is not the reality for most of us. The best thing to do is to make the most out of our situation and our space. You can start with this list that will give you that initial push to start organizing.
You have to get rid of these items, NOW:
In your Closet:
You have to get rid of ill fitting clothes and clothes that you will not wear for sure. If you have not worn it in 3 years, more likely you will never wear it. Sell it on buy and sell Facebook groups, garage sales, or Ebay.
You have to get rid of ill fitting shoes. I know there is always that voice telling us the shoes will get better that we just have to "break into" the shoes. But if it does not feel comfortable not, it never will. It will just give you blisters or bunions so sell them.
Winter clothes can be very bulky and to keep them in the closet when you only go to cold countries like once in 3 years is not worth taking up valuable real estate space on your closet. Sell the rest and keep your tried and tested winter wardrobe capsule for the next winter trip (if that happens).
Stop hoping that you will find the other pair of socks that you have lost if you still have not found them in months. Throw them or use them as rugs or cleaning towel.
If you have no plans or no time to have zippers fixed,holes sewn on damaged clothes, just sell or throw them away.
I have to say though that I still like using my high school batch tshirts even if they have holes. But i only have 2 of those, not a cabinet full of old shirts. Also, I try to organize my clothes by color and by form. Jackets are all together and organized according to color, same with my shoes.
In your Make up loot or personal care products loot if you are a man:
Please throw expired products. Using expired products can give you very bad skin reactions that is not worth keeping it. In nail polish, if the color has separated from the rest of the liquid, throw that out. In Make up, if there is already a bad smell emanating from your mascara or foundation, throw them out. Please follow the expiration dates.
I have a hard time trying to do this as well. But this weekend, I got the push to really throw expired products after I tried to use a serum which has expired and it gave me a bit of red rash on my right cheek. I started organizing my beauty products into clear acrylic containers so i can see what i have. I also separated products in terms of moisturizer, face cleanser, serum, make up, lipsticks, etc and not mixed all in one box. This way, I can see what i still have and stop hoarding from the beauty store.
In your kitchen:
Please do a freezer clean out.
Spices, powders that are way past their expiration should already be thrown away.
Rice or old flour that has been stored for a long time will have "bukboks" so please throw them away.
Old tea or Coffee should also be thrown away or planted with your herbs or garden to drive off harmful insects.
I used clear boxes that i can pull out so that it is easy to see what we have in the pantry. I would love to have a pantry as organized as @lifeinjeneral's clients.
Your Kids stuffs:
Give away or sell toys or clothes your children have outgrown. Your friend will be delighted to receive your hand me downs.
I used to have cabinets full of paper magazines. I have collections of Preview, Mega, Lifestyle Asia, travel magazines. And i have big trouble throwing them away to be honest. I will try to get rid of them and only keep the issues where my articles came out. Writing and magazine work is a part of me so this one needs a bit more of a mental push for me.If you do not have writing as your career, I think it is best to recycle the old magazines that you have gathering dust in your homes.
This used to be hard too for me and I keep mismatched pillow cases with remaining bed sheets. This weekend though I was ruthless and put aside the mismatched sheets and cases. I am also recycling the old sheets and towels that are already torn on the sides and have holes.
Try it this coming weekend and the relief you will feel from purging will be one of the greatest feeling you will have. The sense of accomplishment after seeing you have one full empty cabinet is worth the effort. Now, you can concentrate on organizing the things left in your house that are functional, up-to date, and beautiful.
I leave you with a quote from British textile designer, novelist, poet and social activist William Morris- " Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"
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