MANY people have extra time at home due to the coronavirus. Why not tidy things up? Organisation experts offer their advice.
Where to start?
The first step in any room is clearing the floor, says tidying-up coach Rita Schilke.
“The living room is usually a manageable place to start, where you don’t immediately get the feeling that it’s too much,“ says organisation coach Sabine Haag. In addition to putting away electronics, books and games, “do everything that usually falls through the cracks, like washing the curtains.”
Be on the lookout for remote controls and cables for devices you no longer own. Consider which games you actually play and which jigsaw puzzles have all their pieces. “Toss the rest,“ she says.
Schilke advises tackling the spot in your home where stuff naturally accumulates – like the untidy hallway with all the jackets and coats.
“This is the perfect place to start tidying up. We are most motivated at the start, and you’ll see the results right away,“ she says.
Is it better to go on a tidying spree, or break up the tasks into chunks? It’s best to choose an amount of time where you’ll see results but won’t exhaust yourself, Schilke says – perhaps three hours. Otherwise you’re in danger of taking on too much at once.
“And then you won’t get started at all,“ she says. “If the time is manageable, and I can enjoy the cleared hallway or the free work space in the kitchen, then my motivation to continue increases.”
Haag recommends a process of focusing on one room per week. During the week, you do a little bit of work every day, such as cleaning out a drawer or a cupboard – and only do more if you feel like it.
“It’s important to approach it in a playful way,“ Haag says. For example, you could write down all the places that need to be cleaned on scraps of paper and draw the respective tidying target of the day out of a hat.
Enlist the children
Any kids in the household should participate in tasks appropriate for their age. Younger children could tidy up their toys with the help of parents, while older children can be given household assignments to complete on their own.
Consider every object
Put away things you want to keep, and sort everything else into piles of things that need repair or mending, things to give away, and things to toss. You can also make a “don’t know” pile to reconsider later.
Give yourself a hand
If you’re on a tidying marathon, it’s important to regularly take a short break, step back and take pleasure in what you’ve achieved so far. “That way, we don’t tire so quickly and are more motivated for the rest of the chores,“ Schilke says.
Schilke says it’s important to reward yourself for completed tasks, even if it’s just taking a sunny break with a cup of coffee on your balcony or having a dance party in your freshly cleaned living room. – dpa