Embrace a clutter-free life

These rules are simple and practical. Organising one’s space is easier than you think

Ever walked into a spic-and-span home and wondered about how the residents keep it that way?

Japanese organisational and minimalist maven Marie Kondo may have achieved worldwide fame with her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and exhorted everyone to try her KonMari method to keep homes tidy and spark joy, but there’s a simpler way to go about things! It involves making cleanups a part of the everyday instead of dedicating specific hours or days to these can’t-get-away-from-them tasks.

People are the same the world over; it’s just their habits that keep their home clean and free of clutter. Try them, and you’ll see.

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They take off shoes at the door

Turns out the age-old Indian habit of taking shoes off before entering a home is the most sanitary of them all. No dirt tracking in, no mud falling off. A shoe rack by the door ensures you put shoes in their place sooner rather than later.

They don’t toss their clothes everywhere

Sure, it’s your own room but tossing your clothes on a chair every time you change leads to a clothes mountain. Why not hang them up to air or fold them? A set of hooks behind bedroom and bathroom doors makes it easier to tuck things away.

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They don’t look for extra storage space

Instead of buying new racks or baskets, we suggest you look for ways to lessen the things in your home. The lesser you have, the lesser the clutter. Edit, edit, edit ruthlessly till you only have things that you need and use; not things that are labelled “someday”.

They edit their displays with unflinching regularity

All designers worth their salt know that making under is often the best way to make over a room or space. That’s why the advice to purge what doesn’t seem to belong. A minimalistic look often does more for your spaces than a stuffed-to-the-gills setting.

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They don’t have a special cleanup day

People who always have a clean home are doing small cleanup jobs on the go. Put things in their place as you go along, wipe down a drawer if free or arrange the bathroom shelf while brushing.

They never neglect the kitchen sink

This is where you get your dishes clean, so shouldn’t you make sure the sink is clean? Spray an antibacterial solution (even Dettol will do) every night and scrub clean till the steel is glistening. Don’t forget the taps.

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They look at how to value-add to their room

It could be a small bud vase on the entryway table or a floor lamp in the corner that’s reeling on empty — a small touch can make a huge difference. Personal touches like books, photos, and souvenirs work better than store-bought props.

They organise their kitchen for maximum efficiency

Be it tapping the kitchen triangle or placing their spices/ condiments, organising the kitchen right is an art. One that people who live the clutter-free life know well. Organise your kitchen in a way that you know where everything is and can put a hand on the jar that’s needed even in your sleep. It won’t be easy, but it will make life oh-so-easy.

They don’t wait for Diwali to give the home a cleanup

If you don’t keep cleaning in small instalments, the clutter piles up into a monumental being — one that overwhelms you. Simple chores tackled everyday take the work out of cleanups. And it ensures that you don’t have to wait for the Festival of Lights to come round at the end of next year to get started.

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