With another new year approaching, most of us have hopes and dreams of becoming healthier and happier in 2018. It seems that every year we start out strong; joining a gym, eating more salads, throwing out some clutter. But no matter how determined we are, our busy lives build a pile of mail and papers on the counter and our gym visits become shorter and less frequent. Sometimes being surrounded by “stuff” and not feeling organized can be demotivating and suck up our precious time.
That is why this year, maybe we should focus on decluttering and organizing the space we spend most of our time. Having a clean and junk free space can be motivational in itself. I am not necessarily talking about minimalism, so don't run off just yet. I am talking about creating a home that is an escape rather than a long list of chores to be dealt with. This year, why not try organizing your home like the queens of organization and dream worthy living spaces, yacht stewardesses.
Just imagine if your home often moved and rolled around like a boat. Imagine the mess; shattered dishes, stacks of papers littering the floor, bottles of cleaning supplies toppled over, and spilled makeup staining your carpet. On a yacht, if the stewardesses have done their jobs, everything will be safe and snug in its home and any decor that belongs on a table is packed between pillows or secured safely. Of course your home is not likely to roll around like a yacht, but applying some of the techniques that stewardesses use can help declutter and organize your home in no time.
Let's start with a yacht stewardesses most visited closet, the cleaning closet. When cleaning the interior rooms on a yacht, stewardesses are responsible for expensive and delicate surfaces. To protect these surfaces from leaky bottles that could damage the finish, they use cleaning caddies to hold all of their cleaning supplies. A cleaning caddy also helps with organization and efficiency.
By having one of each cleaning product for the surfaces in your home, along with any rags or dusters, you can just grab it and go. There is no need to make multiple trips to the couple different spots in your house where the window cleaner might be. You may not need to the q-tips, toothpicks, or toothbrushes for cleaning like stewardesses, but adopting the cleaning caddy is a key organizational hack you should adopt in 2018.
So you've got the cleaning caddy, but what about the bottle of leather conditioner you rarely use, or the extra bottles of toilet bowl cleaner that came in the four pack? Yachts have extras of everything too, especially when traveling to remote places. Keeping all of your extra cleaning supplies in the same place, organized in a way that you can see what you have by looking and not digging, is ideal. That way, if it isn't in the designated cleaning area, than there is none in the house and you'll need to purchase it.
Another way yacht stews stay organized is having a home for everything. There are a couple reasons for this. One reason is so that if any stewardess or other crew member need to use the vacuum, they will be able to find it immediately in its designated home. Another reason goes back to the rolling boat on the high seas. It would be difficult to relax not knowing that the vacuum may or may not be secure in the spot it's in today, whereas if it has a home it only takes one trip to know if the sacred vacuum will be safe for all trips to come.
Apply this practice with everything possible in your home for easy accessibility. Never rummage around your home for twenty minutes looking for the scissors or keys. Have a home for everything and you will never lose anything. This is especially helpful for documents, mail, and other papers you may have laying around the house. A simple filing system of your choice is all it takes to free up that counter space drowning in ‘important' papers that you don't really use, but shouldn't throw away.
So we have talked about cleaning supplies and other household items having a home. Let's go to where many people really struggle, the bedroom. A yacht's crew quarters are very small. And most crew members only have one or two small drawers and a miniature closet for all of their personal belongings, including clothes, shoes, makeup, books, electronics, etc.
Of course, since you are living in a house, you have a bit more space which typically holds a lot more stuff. Most of us have heard about the six month rule; if you have not worn it or used it in six months than throw it out. That is one way to rid your closet of extra clothes you do not need, but sometimes this isn't enough.
Living in northern Michigan, I have found this rule to not really apply to a lot of people that live in areas with hot summers and cold winters. Of course I haven't worn half of my wardrobe in six months, because it would be crazy to where a bikini during a snowy winter.
Another way to declutter your closet is to categorize your clothes by type or style and eliminate multiples. If you have eight pairs of jeans, choose your favorite two and donate the other six. A yacht stew lives out of a large backpack or small suitcase. Try to dwindle your wardrobe down to maybe two suitcases.
You will have less clothes, but also less stress when it comes to choosing what to wear. Keep basics and ditch the fad pieces that will go out of style quickly. Of course style and clothes are some people's hobby or identity, so this type of decluttering will not resonate with everyone.
Another declutter technique is getting rid of makeup and bath and body products, or simply not buying anymore until you have used up what you already have. A yacht crew shower is big enough to stand in and that is about it, quite difficult to shave your legs inside one. Having multiple bottles of shampoos, body washes, scrubs, conditioners, and shaving creams is just not an option.
Using a similar technique to the extra cleaning supplies system can greatly reduce the amount of bottles in your shower. Keep one of each staple product in the shower, while putting all extras in a closet for future use. And don't buy more until you need it. This will save you money if you actually use what you have, instead of buying new products all the time and throwing away half used bottles to make more room.
For makeup, nail polish, and other small items that you have a lot of, get makeup bags. A yacht stewardess may or may not have a medicine cabinet in her shared bathroom. Being able to grab a small bag with all of her makeup for the day is ideal. This will save your makeup from being lost or damaged too, being kept safe and secure in its home bag.
Some other tips to simplify your home:
-Buy cleaning products that can safely be used on multiple surfaces.
-Buy body products that can be used for more than one body part.
Ex: I use Dr. Bronner's soap for my hair, face, body, and to shave.
-If something is broken, fix it or toss it.
-Go paperless, cut down on mail. Most companies offer paperless notifications by email.
-Simplify your beauty routine. Find the products that actually work and stick with them. Trying new products all the time costs money and adds extra bottles to your dwindling space.