Easy ways to declutter your home during coronavirus lockdown
More mess equals more stress — especially when you’re trapped inside that mess until the coronavirus lockdown ends.
“Clutter brings stress and anxiety into your life because you don’t know where things are,” says Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer based in Hell’s Kitchen. “Being clutter-free is about having things at your fingertips, the gracefulness of moving between time and space effortlessly.”
Starting Monday, Mellen is hosting a “de-stress your mess” five-day challenge on his site and Facebook page “to have some laughs and get our s–t together.”
Here, he and other pros share their tips for cleaning house during quarantine.
Everything has a 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.”
Mellen suggests practicing this for all things in your life. If you have multiple pairs of reading glasses, each pair has a home in each room.
“I have a rice bowl that sits next to the front door of my apartment,” Mellen says. “If I’m looking for my keys, I know they can only be in one place.”
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.”
Don’t have a toolbox? 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.”
For shoes? You guessed it: sneakers with sneakers, heels with heels. He’s a fan of inexpensive shoe trees to keep them orderly.
Something in, something out
OK, now you’re organized. To stay that way, you have to be strict. Items have to stay in place, and new clutter can’t accumulate. That means if you buy a new pair of shoes, one pair goes. No exceptions.
“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
“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
You’ve made the piles. The bags are in the corner ready to be donated. But donation centers like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are unfortunately closed during lockdown.
“We’d appreciate if readers could wait it out for a few weeks to drop off their donations at our stores,” Goodwill reps tell The Post.
The Salvation Army is also unable to accept donations at this time.
“We are encouraging our donors to hold on to their items for a few weeks as we are hopeful we’ll be able to accept donations again soon,” reps tell The Post.
If you are looking to sell individual pieces while waiting for donation centers to re-open, sites like eBay, Poshmark, ThredUp, the RealReal, and others are all still operating, although shipping times are slower than usual.
If you have the space, 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.”
Source: Read Full Article