In college, we all know what it’s like to be busy- to come home and rather do anything than clean up a messy dorm room. Personally, I concentrate a lot better when the space I am working and living in is neat and clean.And even if you don’t have a messy room and are a fairly neat person, it still needs to be cleaned and decluttered.
Erin Doland of unclutterer.com, referencing an organized living study done by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, said on the topic:
“When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.”
If you want to declutter but don’t know where to start, here are my tips on how to keep your space clear on a daily basis.
Task: Get rid of junk every day.
What you’ll need: Ruthless perseverance.
How to: Every day, go through your room with a careful eye and throw away anything taking up space.
“It’s important to stay on top of clutter consistently, so that it doesn’t accumulate over time and become too intimidating to tackle.” said Jenna Goudreau of Forbes Magazine.
Maybe your paperwork needs to be sorted through or gum wrappers have taken up residence on your dresser. Get rid of garbage and anything you don’t use or have not used in the past month or two. Chances are, you probably don’t need it.
Task: Put everything back in its place daily.
What you’ll need: A keen memory for where everything goes.
How to: When you move into your dorm or apartment, have a plan.
Thinking ahead will really help! It is understandable, or, most importantly, inevitable, that our rooms become cluttered throughout the day. Try to put everything back where you found it after you use it, and if you cannot, and least you know that when you come back later it has a home waiting for it.
Task: Set-up a cleaning routine for each day.
What you’ll need: Discipline.
How to: An easy way to declutter daily is to make a habit of it. If you keep a planner, schedule time into your daily routine to organize your room for 10 minutes. Doing so will immediately give you a sense of accomplishment, however small it may be, before you are off to the next task. It would also be to your advantage to do different cleaning tasks everyday, so that you ensure nothing is skipped throughout the week.
Task: Don’t be lazy.
What you’ll need: Motivation.
How to: When you’re sitting in your dorm after a long day, relaxing and eating a snack, make it a point to clean up your mess. If you don’t have the energy to put things back in their place at that moment, the least you can do is pick up any crumbs or give the floor a quick vacuum. If you skip this step, a semi-messy person can turn into a slob in a second. You have to be somewhat motivated to do the easy parts to ensure a stress-free morning.
Task: Make your bed.
What you’ll need: Muscle memory and some ambition.
How to: As soon as you get up in the morning, make your bed. I promise this makes a difference. Even when I was in high school with two minutes left to get downstairs, out the door and to the bus stop, I would make my bed. Having your bed made makes your room look much more presentable, and is the number one thing you can do to declutter your space.
Writer Jolie Kerr of esquire.com offers the psychological benefits of making your bed everyday:
“Getting into a well-made bed feels really good. Bearing that in mind can also help you to make the mental switch from viewing making the bed as a chore to thinking of it as a gift you give to yourself.”
It takes two minutes in the morning, and if you really want, you can lay/sit back on top of the covers while you drink coffee, scroll through social media, study, etc.
I declutter my room every day with these little tasks so that why I am not overwhelmed by the weekend. Just a little thought and motivation can go a long way in terms of keeping your space neat and your mind at rest. Many people find that they perform better both mentally and physically in a tidy space, and you might find you are the same.
And if you still are not convinced, people all over the world swear by author Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”, which you can find here.