It’s a little counter-intuitive as it seems to be all about the look of things rather than taking things on from a more long-term point of view. However, as soon as they are cleared and cleaned, surfaces give you a feeling of achievement as you will see the result every single time you walk past – and so will everyone else. Someone might mention the change and that will reinforce your desire to push forward with another project that is a little less visible and does not bring that instant gratification.
How do you deal with surfaces? Well, in the best of worlds they should only have items on them that ‘live’ there, that have their home spot on that particular surface. An example: the living room table should only have things on it that belong there: maybe a magazine or two on it, a bowl of sweets and a coaster holder. In the real world, though, all the coasters will be out of the holder, books and pens appear, maybe a candle, a vase of flowers, a tablet computer, two phones with chargers, several glasses and some things from a purse or trouser pocket, and some toys from the kids.
It’s the kind of clutter that accumulates from simply living in the space, of course, but ‘simply living’ also entails a bit of effort to keep things the way they should be. If at this point things pile up and the surface of the table becomes invisible, not only will it be an eyesore, but it will take so much more time to keep clear! Make sure to remove things that don’t belong when they are no longer needed (toys, books, pens, glasses, etc), put things that belong back in order (coasters, magazines) and find a good place for the phones to be charged without clogging up your space. Once you get used to this you’ll find that the surface will look clear and you’ll realise how relaxing it is to be sitting at a table that does not contain clutter.
Remember last time you had guests coming over? Believe me: if your surfaces are normally free of clutter, preparing for guests is much less of a hassle than it used to be because you only need to arrange things rather than moving them away to where they actually belong. If your surfaces are relatively empty, they are also much easier to clean than if you have to move things out of the way and place them back.
You see: even if you only strive to make things LOOK good, it pays to have an underlying order to get that done quickly.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.