Balancing Order and Chaos
With busy schedules and the constant bombardment of technology, it can be difficult to live an orderly life. The moment you start to clean the house, a friend sends you a text message and wants to go out. As soon as you put your mind to a project, an urgent email comes through on your phone. Right when you go to do laundry, you remember that your favorite TV show is on. Even with all of these distractions, not to mention partners, kids, and going to the gym, it is possible to bring order from chaos. The secret lies in balance. By incorporating a few routines into your daily life and utilizing some tricks in your home, you can relieve some stress from your days and pave the way to a more zen-like lifestyle.
Routines and Rituals
Does clutter rule your home? Living in a cluttered environment can add stress to your life, but figuring out the reason for the clutter is the first step in conquering it. If you tend to let paperwork pile up or leave laundry scattered throughout the room, chances are you don’t have healthy routines in place. An outward mess is always a sign of an inward situation, meaning you may feel out of control in one or more areas of life. The best way to remedy this chaotic pattern is to set up little routines and rituals in your daily life.
For starters, stay on top of mail and paperwork. Every day when you bring the mail in, immediately place it into one of three categories: Trash/recycle, read later, and attend to immediately. All junk mail can go straight to the trash or recycle bin, all letters or catalogues can be placed on a desk to be looked at within the week, and all bills or urgent documents can be dealt with that day. Setting up a filing system is also a great way to keep things organized. If everything has a specific place to be filed, it won’t be taking up valuable space on tabletops. Another wonderful habit to get into is to keep the kitchen clean as you go. Every time you dirty a dish, it either goes into the dishwasher or is hand washed right away. After each meal, make it a ritual to leave the kitchen spic and span. Clear the countertops of anything that doesn’t belong, and wipe them down. Make sure the sink is cleared of dirty dishes, and take the garbage out. The same principle can apply to the bathroom. Every day, when you are finished getting ready, make sure countertops are clear of clutter and that everything is in its rightful place. This will also save you time on searching for misplaced items.
Finally, take five minutes each night before you go to bed to take a walk around the house. Fluff throw pillows on the sofa, fold blankets, put laundry away, and coral random items like remote controls, dirty dishes, and shoes. Going to sleep with everything in its proper place allows you to wake up to a clutter-free house, which will help you feel more balanced in the morning.
Unite With Color
If you walk into your home and don’t feel relaxed or soothed, chances are you have too much going on when it comes to decor. Lots of different knickknacks and several colors and patterns can be overwhelming to the eye. Try unifying things with one color palate. For instance, if you love blue and white, why not display a collection of blue and white pottery on a table, and then hang a favorite art piece that incorporates those same colors above the table? What you’re doing is visually uniting all these various items into one “unit” so that the eye reads everything as one vignette rather than as a bunch of stuff thrown together. Color is a fantastic way to bring disparate pieces together in order to form a cohesive look.
Whimsy is Wonderful
Some people are over the top organized and keep their homes tidy to the point of obsession. Even if you like to keep things practically perfect, it’s important to keep balance in mind as well. Adding a bit of fun and whimsy to your home gives it a personal touch and leaves people feeling less rigid. Try to incorporate a few less serious pieces into your home that will make you smile every time you see them. Perhaps it’s a child’s artwork, framed and hung on the wall. Maybe it’s a sculptural chair in the corner. You could even hang a chalkboard by the back door that you could write loving messages on each time you pass it. Whatever you choose, be sure to have some fun in your house.
Whether you have a small apartment or an imposing mansion, it seems that we all could use more storage space. When shopping for furniture, look for pieces that can do double duty. Ottomans that open up for storage or deep shelving units that can hold baskets of necessary—but not so pretty—objects are ideal options. Increasing storage possibilities will help keep tabletop surfaces free of clutter, which will make your home more visually appealing.