By: Kristen Murney, Organizer and Owner of TEN by Kristen
We have all heard the saying, “you are what you eat”, and so it makes perfect sense that what goes into our bodies affects our well-being. But, what about everything that is surrounding our bodies? As an interior decorator, I frequently refer back to the basics of feng shui – the ancient Chinese methodology of bringing balance and order to a space. Feng shui addresses the question, “How does this space make you feel?” With that in mind, look around the room in which you are currently sitting. How does your space make you feel? In balance? Chaotic? Something else?
Feng shui has been around for thousands of years, but it is rooted in one simple concept: organization. It holds the belief that the only way to bring balance and order to a space is to keep it tidy and free of clutter. The more clutter and chaos you have surrounding you, the more cluttered and chaotic your mind tends to be. With the current COVID-19 pandemic keeping so many people indoors, I can’t think of a better (or more urgent!) time to focus on tidying up the spaces we spend so much time in!
As you start to consider organizing and tidying up your home, my first piece of advice is to include your whole family in the process. You may have to use your powers of supervision, but you’ll find that many hands make for lighter work… and it might actually be fun! Additionally, by involving your family in the tidying project, you’ll find that they have a stronger connection to maintaining the results of their efforts.
So, how do you get started on tidying up a space? We’ve all been there. Face to face with the insurmountable task of tidying something. Be it as small as your wallet or as large as your basement or garage, we have all looked at a project and thought, “It’s too much!”
But, just take a deep breath and know that the first step to getting organized is simply taking the first step. Start small. Decide on a small area such as a closet or pantry for your first project. From there, break that down into even smaller segments, such as a shelf or category of items (like canned goods or shoes).
For example, if you are working on your coat closet, begin by taking out everything that is on hangers. Try on every item. Create a donation pile for items that don’t fit, are out of style, or that you simply know you won’t wear. Next, empty out the floor of the closet and examine each item carefully. Make sure nothing is damaged or missing pieces before deciding to keep or donate it. Now repeat these steps for the items remaining on the top shelving. Finally, with the closet completely empty, give it a good “spring cleaning” (wipe down shelves, sweep floors) before returning anything back into storage.
*Pro Tip: clear plastic over-the-door shoe organizers make great storage for things like scarves, gloves, and umbrellas!
Now is a great time to focus on your mental and emotional well-being, which is strongly influenced by your surroundings. Take some time each day to tackle one small project at a time. It will help keep your mind focused on something positive and productive. Not to mention the fact that you’ll have something to show off to your friends and family once they are allowed back within six feet!