Hey all! Sorry it's been so long. This post is going to be a little different to usual, but I wanted to share this!
For a little while now I've been using a really great method for keeping my room tidy, and it's super simple. From day to day of course my room gets messy as everyone's does, and I have to say I've noticed it more since my boyfriend moved in with me! Ha! He's pretty good, honestly, but between both of us, our belongings become scattered around the room; clothes, papers, his work things, my stationery, our shoes, etc. But rather than letting it build up and having a big clean-up, I've found a good way to keep it pretty darn tidy most of the time.
Every day or every second day, when I notice stuff lying around and beginning to get messy, I set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes. I give myself 10 minutes to do as much cleaning as I can in our room. 10 minutes might not seem like a lot? But since starting to do this fairly regularly, I've noticed that sometimes I'll be finished, and my timer still has 5 minutes left on it. Huzzah!
As soon as I start the 10 minutes, the first thing I do is gather all the rubbish. Receipts I don't need, empty packaging, opened envelopes etc, I put it all in a bag (and separate the recycling of course). Usually there isn't a lot of rubbish since this gets done so regularly. But my boyfriend does have a tendency to leave chocolate wrappers lying around... :P
Next I take things out of my room that don't belong there - something I borrowed off my Mum, an empty water glass from last night, the TV remote from the lounge room that everyone's been searching for, whatever. I put them all where they are meant to be.
Next I deal with the clothes - I gather all the clothes from the floor, the ceiling fan (just kidding), wherever they've ended up, and I chuck the dirty clothes in the dirty clothes basket I have, and pile the rest on my bed (aka sorting bench). I go through all of it and fold up the clean stuff into piles according to the drawer they go in - all the shirts in one pile, socks in another pile, jeans in another etc. and one loose pile of clothes to be hung in my wardrobe. Once they're all in piles, I put them where they need to go. Except the ones I need to hang up - for some reason I hate that job and I always leave that pile on my bed til last. And I sometimes forget about it, and they'll still be there the next time I tidy my room.... But I highly recommend just biting the bullet and doing it to begin with!
If my timer hasn't gone off yet, I do a quick dust or wipe down of surfaces. And that's it! All done!
I think using the timer motivates me to get it all done and over with in 10 minutes. It's only 10 minutes, right? So just do it! If I haven't finished before my timer goes off, I don't beat myself up about it. I'm usually nearly done, and I just finish it off and it doesn't normally take more than a few minutes extra. I think I got the idea of the timer from Alejandra who does some great organisational videos on her website and youtube. I'm fairly sure she suggested 30 minutes a day, or every two days, but for me, 10 minutes per room is enough (I use 10 minutes to tidy my desk and office space, too, or the bathroom or kitchen). I do a proper clean where I vacuum and do my laundry and dust properly when I have days off and have more than 10 minutes to spare.
+ Pinboards aren't just for Pinterest! Pinboards or something similar are a great way to keep the odd notes, letters, post-its, decoration, or whatever you need without having junk lying around. I keep things I need to remember, my calendar, things that make me happy, things people have given me, and a few odd bits of decoration on my board (because I can't put anything on my walls). I have made the mistake in the past of keeping everything on my pinboard and it becoming an over-crowded mess so now I go through it every once in a while and swap things over to keep it fresh!
+ Music is always a good motivator - something energetic or fast-paced is good! Just don't spend 3 hours making your perfect cleaning playlist in the time you need for actual cleaning...
+ If you're trying to do a really quick job, my grandma passed down a great tidying secret. The secret is neatly stacking things. A bunch of paperwork you have no time to sort? Just stack it in a neat pile at the edge of your desk until you get around to it. Neatly pile anything you don't have time to organise or tidy up for real. If you've got too much stuff everywhere for piles, and you have visitors on their way... you're going to have to do the old shove-in-the-cupboard trick, probably. :P But really, if the floor is clear, and most of the surfaces are clear (with just a few neat piles on them), it'll look near enough.
+ Light and air. Always a good idea for spaces you live in. ;)
+ Drawer dividers/organisers. I never thought putting some little walls inside a drawer to create compartments would make much difference, but it really does! Especially when it comes to small items - stationery and accessories etc.
Well thank you for reading! Hope this might have been a little bit useful to someone. ;) Good luck with keeping your spaces tidy!