I have a confession to make. I wasn't always a clean human. When I was younger I was a train wreck, never putting things back where they belonged, never doing my dishes as I went along throughout the day. Older me is appalled at a lot of things that my younger self did but all I can do at this point is learn from them and move on. For this post we're going to go all the way back to the basics of curating a home and talk about cleanliness and what it does for your health and how it ties in to all those perfect instagramable spaces you keep seeing online.
The new year is often a time when people are freshening up and tidying their homes post Christmas. We all love putting up our Christmas decor but there's just something so refreshing about taking it down.
The truth is, keeping things clean and well organized can actually benefit your health, and for those nah sayers thank goodness we have science to back that fact up!
"A 2010 study published in the scientific journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin used linguistic analysis software to measure the way 60 individuals discussed their homes. Women who described their living spaces as “cluttered” or full of “unfinished projects” were more likely to be depressed and fatigued than women who described their homes as “restful” and “restorative.” The researchers also found that women with cluttered homes expressed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol." -Physchology Today
So I ask you, what's the current state of your home? Would you say it is "cluttered and full of "unfinished projects" or are you one step ahead and your home feels "restful" and "restorative"? In all of my years in the home design community and social media sphere I can assure you that one thing all of these perfectly curated homes has in common is that they're well organized and everything has it's own place, therefor nothing ever appears to be out of place and almost all corners of the home are photograph ready at any moment. (Key word there being ALMOST, you should always remember that even the most instagrammable homes of influencers have their moments of disaray, I've seen them!)
The day after Christmas I picked up a copy of "The Organized Home" from the folks over at Remodelista. This book was a game changer for me because although I considered myself a relatively clean and organized person once I took a look at this book I realized I had a long way to go. I quickly got to work on my pantry, my junk drawers, and my hall closets discarding things I hadn't used in the last year and making space for things that actually served a purpose to us. This created space for things that we used on a regular basis, got them off of the table and countertops and created a more concise look around the house. So before I even had to step foot in the Container store or Ikea I had already made vast improvements around the home. That night I fell asleep fast and excited to wake up in the morning, make my tea, and relax in my favorite chair.
If you're overwhelmed and aren't sure where to start I recommend with 1 drawer. Toss out things that are mismatched, of no use to you anymore, or that you haven't used in a year or so. If it's still a useable item that someone else might benefit from start a donation box and drop it in there. With the internet there's almost no need to have carry out menus anymore so I recommend tossing those or creating a binder or file folder that you keep them in. The same goes for recipes, keep those in a recipe book or file for later use if you don't have digital copies. Once you've gotten in the rhythm of cleaning from this one drawer I can almost assure you that you're going to move on to the next drawer, closet, or pantry.
So, pick up the book and get to work. You're only a few junk drawers away from a more relaxing and photographable atmosphere.
"Simplicity, carried to an an extreme, becomes elegance."
- Jon Franklin