Please raise your hands WHO LOVES TO WORK IN A CLEAN DESK?! And how many of us keep our house and office in perfect order? During the pandemic, no thanks to that Covid-19 virus, it kept me at home & thus began my frustrations in searching for things. Thus I needed to reset my life!
Years back, my ex-boss gave me a gift – a cartoon picture which said “My desk isn’t a MESS – it’s UNIQUELY ORGANIZED“. Though I know exactly where my things are then, but that is a stark reality of my life, extreme busyness 🙁 No more excuses, I must clear up my work place so I can think, plan & do with one thing at a time!! So no more excuses!!
In 2020 I came across a ST article about a De-cluttering guru, Marie Kondo. Her profession was to go to her customers homes & offices to get rid of their “clutters”. Today you are going to take away 2 great tips out of hundreds of great tips she gave in her book which you can borrow from the National Library! She sold over 7 million copies of this book. I waited over 1 month to get this book to help reset my life!
Tip #1: Storing Your Books & Everything Else
Many people find it one of the hardest thing they just can’t part with are their books. if you have shelves filled with books, first thing lay them all down on the floor. Books left untouched on the shelf for a long time are ‘INVISIBLE’. Then ask yourself “Does this spark JOY?” On the floor they are easier to assess & you are exposing them to fresh air & making them ‘conscious’. Then divide them into 4 categories:
G E N E R A L – books you read for pleasure
P R A C T I C A L – references, cookbooks, etc.
V I S U A L – photograph collections, etc.
M A G A Z I N E S
Once you have piled your books, take them in your hand 1 by 1 & decide whether you want to keep or discard each one. The criterion is, of course, whether or not it gives you a thrill of pleasure when you touch it. Please don’t start reading it as it will cloud your judgement. Ask whether you NEED that book – not what you feel. Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled with only books that you really love – happiness!
Unread books “sometime” means “never” so get rid of all those unread books! Even those that are half read! Even after reading it, forget that you may want to re-read again in the future – because you wont! Instead take each book in your hand & decide whether it moves you or not.
Similarly, this action can be applied to anything in your home or office such as:
DVDs CDs Toys Souvenirs Photographs
Clothing Groceries Accessories Cooking Utensils Custom Jewelries
Magazines Laptops Excess Gifts Electrical Appliances Other People’s Namecards
And any other good items that no longer spark JOY for you, may be beneficial to other people, so donate them!
Tip #2: Never Pile Things: Vertical Storage Is Key
When comes to storage, vertical is best. I now stack everything vertically. For T-shirts, socks, pants, I fold & stand them on edge in my drawers. The same is true for stationery & writing tools. I even store my laptop in the bookcase. Try standing things vertically. You will find that this solves most problems – space especially.
Why? If you stack things, you end up with what seems like endless supply of storage space. Things can be stacked forever on top, which makes it harder to notice the increasing volume & difficult to retrieve important papers. But when things are stored vertically, any increase takes up space & you will run out of storage area then you realise “I’m starting to accumulate stuff again”.
Another reason is stacking is very hard on the things at the bottom & they get squished. When we pile our clothes one on top of the other, the clothes at the bottom are used less & less frequently. This too applies to papers and documents.
When we keep placing another document on top, the first document recedes a little further from our awareness & before we know it, we put off dealing with it or even forget about it. So try standing them up. You will become more aware of the volume of things in that pile. Vertical storage can be used anywhere, example your fridges – try standing your carrots in a cup – neat and easily retrievable. Your real life begins after putting your house in order.
I hope you will gather a strong desire to change your current situation, to reset your life, to improve your lifestyle, to gain happiness, to shine. For this very reason, I can guarantee that you will be able to put your house in order. My mother-in-law is amazing as her HDB home is spotless and neat with minimal amount of things and dust of course!
I believe that it is best to tidy up quickly & get it over with. Why? Because tidying is NOT the purpose of life. All you need to do continuously for the rest of your life is choosing what to keep & what to discard & of caring for the things you decide to keep. You can put your house in order now, once & forever. Pour your time & passion into what brings you the most joy – your mission in life. I am convinced that putting your house in order will help you find the mission that speaks to your heart. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order… This is the magic of TIDYING. You too can do it!