01 May 2012
Living in chaos? Demented by mess and disorder? Here are some of my tips for keeping on top of things inspired by living in an open plan home…
- Establish your bottom line, the level of disorder you can live with. There may be a different bottom line for the core family, for visitors and for special occasions. Do not be seduced by picture-perfect magazine images…these interiors have been painstakingly styled and de-cluttered just for the occasion.
- Put some thought into your default furniture arrangements. The harmony this generates is tangible. Plus everything will have a known “home” to return to when it’s out of place.
- Take time to evaluate and address your storage needs periodically. This may need to happen several times a year in a family home. Again, everything will have a known place to return to.
- Every few months, spend some time putting open shelves in order. This applies especially to bookshelves which can look really awful when messy.
- Each time you leave your living spaces – when going to bed at night or going out during the day – remind yourself that what you leave is what you will return to. So take a few minutes to address those simple things that would drive you mad on your return – push those chairs into the table, put the laundry away, straighten those blinds.
- Encourage participation from children from the start to encourage good habits. As they grow, strike a balance between nagging and doing what’s necessary yourself to keep your own sanity. Remember your bottom line.
- Establish a cleaning routine and stick to it. I waver between doing it all on one day and spreading it out over the week. In reality, all in one day is great as your home is done, dusted and restored to order every seven days.
- Relieve the grind of this routine by using natural cleaning products. Housework becomes aromatherapy and the house smells great.
- We live in an electronic age but paperwork still seems to pile up. Arrange 2 A4 folders or boxes, one marked “pending” and the other “filing”. Those piles of paper will be eliminated and you will know where to find things when needed.
- And always…tidy as you go. Your Mother was right.
PS Spot the difference…the photo on the left shows how depressing an untidy bookshelf can be. When I saw this photo, it inspired me to
- Tidy the books and
- Remove the books from the bottom shelf to free the bottom shelf for “treasured” objects and to reduce the feeling of the room being overwhelmed by books…