Messy homes don’t tend to be very uplifting and joyful places to spend a lot of time, all things considered.
While we all tend to love our own homes and to feel comfortable within them — whether they’re perfectly organised, or are the very definition of disorder — messy home environments tend to create a certain atmosphere of inertia and frustration, for many people if not for all.
In addition to the fact that it can be psychologically unpleasant to be in a home that feels messy and the gives you the sensation that you’re surrounded by dozens of chores that you’ve still got to get around to, there’s also the fact that a messy home can allow things like mould spores to accumulate, and may even lead to pest infestations that require you to get in touch with a pest control company.
Here are a few practical tips for transforming a messy home into one that is tidy and harmonious enough for you to feel comfortable in, virtually overnight.
Use checklists for each room in the home
First things first: it’s always going to be difficult to tackle a project like tidying up a very messy home, if you approach it in an unorganised way, with only the goal in mind of “making this tidy, as soon as possible.”
Instead, it pays to be a bit more systematic in your approach, and especially to use checklists to keep track of the tasks that you need to get done in each room.
Depending on how you want to structure your checklists — or what checklist tools or programs you might want to use — it might even be a good idea to subdivide your checklists by room type, and then by sub-task to complete within each room. Such as things like “tidying the floor, organising the shelves, setting aside recycling and general waste…” and so on.
In addition to having the psychologically beneficial effect of helping you to “chunk down” the bigger overall project of decluttering and tidying your home, using checklists in this way can also give you convenient “stop points” that serve as a natural end to the day’s tidying.
Although you should ideally strive to get your home organised as quickly as possible to avoid backsliding, you’re almost certainly not going to do it all in one sudden burst without taking some breaks or going to sleep.
Make the process of tidying up more engaging for yourself by using music, audiobooks or podcasts
One of the things that often ends up getting in the way of efforts to tidy up a home, is the simple procrastination that comes from feeling sure that the errand you’re about to undertake will be extremely dull and boring.
Finding ways to make the process of tidying up more engaging for yourself — and maybe even outright entertaining — can do a lot of good when it comes to dissolving some of this hesitation and actually enabling you to get the ball rolling.
A pretty straightforward thing you can do, which is likely to nonetheless be quite effective, is to listen to fun and interesting audiobooks or podcasts, or upbeat music, while you’re setting about tidying and organising your home.
This way, the more mundane and automatic parts of the tidying up process end up being an opportunity for some fun and entertainment, in and of themselves.
Consider trying out the Konmari Method
The “Konmari Method” for home tidying and organising, is the name of the method created by the Japanese celebrity cleaning guru, Marie Kondo — as described in her globally famous book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
Essentially, the Konmari method rests on a pretty simple principle: holding each of your belongings in your hands, and noticing whether or not you feel a “spark of joy” when you do so.
Belongings that cause you to feel that spark of joy, you hold onto. Belongings that don’t cause you to feel that spark of joy, you get rid of.
In the details of her method, Marie Kondo lays out an order that you should declutter in — and it involves working by item type rather than by room, and putting all the items of one type in the middle of your living room floor in one go to sift through.
While this method should be taken with a grain of salt — don’t get rid of important medication because it doesn’t cause you to feel a “spark of joy,” for example — many people have found that the Konmari method has helped them to transform their homes dramatically, and often rapidly.