Trying To Build Better Cleanliness Habits.

Have you ever found yourself being stressed out because you couldn’t find something you were looking for? Does the mess in your home bring you anxiety? Then you might want to take a few tips from Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer based in Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y.

“Being clutter-free is about having things at your fingertips, the gracefulness of moving between time and space effortlessly.” – Andrew Mellen.

Mellen began hosting a “de-stress your mess” five-day challenge on his site and Facebook page yesterday in an attempt “to have some laughs and get our stuff(sic) together.”

Here are some tips to help:

Everything has a home

You need to figure out where the best place for each item you own is. Then designate that as its home. “Items live in one place,” Mellen says. “Your keys go on a hook or in a dish by the door. You don’t set them down on a countertop and you don’t leave them in a bag. There needs to be a dish on the counter and that becomes the home for your keys.” That means you will always know where those keys are, they are in the dish by the door.

Like goes with like

Mellen says all common objects should live together. “Not most, all of them,” Mellen says. “You don’t keep some office supplies in your desk drawer and randomly in other spaces in your apartment. You don’t keep the hammer or screwdriver in the junk drawer in the kitchen because you sometimes need to fix a drawer. You keep them all together in one place in a toolbox.” If you don’t have a toolbox you can designate a drawer to serve as one.

The same goes for your clothes. “Closets are super simple: short sleeves with short sleeves, slacks with slacks, skirts with skirts, jackets with jackets,” Mellen says. “From light to dark, white to black, tight-checks together, wide-checks together.”

Something in, something out

Keeping this kind of organization only works as long as you can fit everything you own in your home. That is difficult to do if you have six pairs of identical scissors; especially if three of them are broken. So when you buy something to replace an item – be sure to replace it!

“Don’t save broken or unwearable things like shoes because they were a reminder of happier times or were ‘so expensive’ or ‘such a great deal,’ ” Mellen says. “Those are excuses for keeping clutter. Something in, something out. Otherwise, the new item won’t have a home.”

Manage your mail

One of the most prolific bits of clutter is mail. It’s incredibly easy for batches of advertisements from businesses and other junk mail to build up all over your home. There’s a simple way to handle it according to Mellen. Handle it at least once a week.

“Don’t just set it on a counter,” says Mellen. “Find a vessel, whether it’s a basket or bowl,” and keep it there. “Don’t cherry-pick the fun stuff out of the mail and leave the rest ‘for later,’ because if you didn’t want to open it today, you won’t want to open it in a week either. Pick one day a week and go through all of the mail.”

Mellen notes that places like Staples and the UPS Store offer bulk shredding to help you declutter when businesses re-open.

Get it out of the house

Once you have acted on removing the clutter from your life you might find yourself surrounded by piles of things you have decided you no longer need. Now comes the tricky part. You have to get it out of your home. But donation centers like Value Village, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army are unfortunately closed during lockdown.

If you have a space by the entry way or even out of the home itself then that is ideal – Stack your bags and boxes “neatly on the floor of a coat or entryway closet,” says Mellen.

If not, “I’d compress everything into those space [saving] bags and stash under a bed or in a closet.” And whatever you do, “don’t go shopping in them and start pulling things out.”

Those are some tips to help you get started on building better habits when it comes to your home cleanliness situation. If you don’t think this is enough there are resources out there that go more in-depth and offer different levels of assistance. One, is The Fly Lady over at who has many tips, tricks, and schedules to follow to get your home out of CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and make it a place of love.

Source: NY Post.

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