I received this request from Nurchamiel a little while back – Do you have any tips for young-adults/students who only live in one room (studio etc.)?
As I said to Nurchamiel in my response the first thought that popped into my head when I read this request was – That person that nags you about keeping tidy, sensible spending, good hygiene, eating properly etc (this person is usually a parent or older adult that has a vested interest in your future well-being. You know the one you do your best to ignore because you aren’t a baby any more and can look after yourself.) – listen to that person and appreciate their wisdom for what it is. (Spoken like a true mother 😉 )
The bad news is that self control and restraint is the only cure for this problem. In order to live in a small space you need to be organised and sensible about what you can fit comfortably into the limited area you have. Which can be broken down like this…
- Sensible spending – The old saying goes -Money burns a hole in your pocket. As a young person it is hard to refrain from purchasing that next frivolous item. Be it clothing that you don’t need, books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, make-up, decor items, computer games, tech gadgets.. need I go on. Limit your unnecessary purchases, be thoughtful and informed about the purchases you do make and the organising will fall into place because you don’t own more than you can accommodate.
- Plan ahead – if you plan for the next event such as early class or a work shift soon after class and have what you need set out ahead of time it reduces the possibility of leaving a mess in your wake. If you can put your hands on what you need quickly you will eliminate the need to rummage through your belongings causing unnecessary disruption. When we loose things in the mess we replace them and that adds more unnecessary clutter.
- Setting priorities – This one can be hard when you are young and social and have many things on the go at once. The only way to keep some semblance of order when living in a small area is to be realistic about what activities you can cram into a day and always set time aside for responsibilities. Life isn’t just fun and games there are always chores that need to be taken care of. This doesn’t need to take long in fact just a minute here and a minute there to finish a task instead of leaving things dishevelled makes all the difference. I know a certain 21 year old whose room is always a mess and yet this person spends hours on the internet every night, chatting, shopping and watching worthless television shows. Yes we all need down time but we also need to set responsible priorities as well.
- Reduce/Rehouse/Recycle – If you are reading this you are already at a stage where you own more than you need or just haven’t eliminated the redundant items as you have gone along. Now is the time to start to reduce the unnecessary items in your space. You don’t have to turn the place into a war zone to do this just commit to removing perhaps a bag of items a week until you get to an acceptable level. Rehouse good items that you no longer require either by selling, giving to friends or donating them to charity. If you live in an apartment block put out a box of stuff with a free sign on and you would be surprised how quickly the stuff disappears and you don’t have to go further than the front door to donate it. Selling stuff can take a little more effort but worth it for the extra cash. Ebay, Craig’s list, notice board adds and word of mouth are just a few ways to go about this. Any of the things that are unlikely to be useful to anyone should be separated into trash and recycling piles and disposed of. Being a student there will likely be a lot of paper to be recycled.
If this advice isn’t what you wanted to hear that is probably because you knew that was the solution all along but naturally didn’t want to conform because it sounds difficult and dull but remember you can reward yourself for your efforts by treating yourself to things that don’t contribute to clutter, like a meal out, coffee with a friend, iTune uploads, facial, massage, manicure…
For a little incentive, instead of wasting money on stuff that just clutters up your space, spend some money on items that will organise your space. Don’t rush out grabbing the first thing you see really put some time into investigating the best option to suit your immediate and potential needs.
Nurchamiel has already decided not to reward herself for her efforts that the satisfaction in seeing her space improving is reward enough. Also after reading last Tuesday’s post – Space Solution – she is going to set up a similar space solution near their door to keep track of keys etc. She has also offered to write a guest post for me about the perils of decluttering with allergies. I am looking forward to reading it as I have some ideas about that topic myself. So stay tuned.
Today’s Declutter Item
A pile of papers that were decluttered from Liam’s room. The new university year is about to begin so it is out with the old and in with the new.
I am grateful from anything that brings me joy. Below are five things that gave me joy today.
- I wasn’t keen to do my housework today so I decided to use the 365lessthings approach and only focus on one task at a time. In the end I not only did the general house once over but I also cleaned out the drawers in one bathroom, tidied, vacuumed and wiped out the shoe cupboard, clean the outside of the French doors in our bedroom, cleared and cleaned my craft room whiteboard and tidied up my ribbon supplies.
- I found out my good friend went for a job interview. She works where I used to work and it isn’t good for her either so I hope she gets out. She is a beautiful person and deserves to be happy.
- Liam was in a cheeky and playful mood today. It did cause some hindrance having him tickling me while I was trying to do the housework but I enjoy seeing him happy even if it is at my expense. Just don’t tell him that!
- The day is cool and rainy oh how I have longed for this day. The balcony outside out bedroom is being repaired and the air-conditioner is not connected and the nights have been sweltering. Need I say more.
- Getting to the end of the day and knowing I have achieved what I needed to achieve and can relax and enjoy the spoils of my efforts. A clean house, a nice dinner and a happy family.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.