Tidy Space = Clear Mind

This is one of many blog posts I started writing during the year and never got around to finishing, mainly because I already squeeze so much into every day, leaving little to no time for blogging. I decided to take a month off this Summer (technically three weeks) from my store Beau Monde Babe simply because it is crazy and chaotic running an online store from home and I needed a breather from packing orders and answering hundreds of emails daily! The bonus of this decision is that I now have some free time up my sleeve to do a few things I love, like writing. I always seem to have quite a few ideas running through my head and they often stay as notes or drafts due to me not having enough time to finish them but I’m determined to get a few posted while I’m on my break! These are the types of posts that made me want to start blogging in the first place – the ones where I blab on about anything and everything that takes my fancy, I like to call them ‘musings’, thoughts, ideas, knowledge I like to share. They might not be everyone’s cup of tea but that's the beauty of a personal blog, its personal!

Before I dive in deep I just want to note everyone is different, some people keep a pristine home, others live in organized chaos and some are extreme hoarders, I pass no judgment and understand that it's a personal choice/way of life. This post is coming from personal experience, I’m a perfectionist and self proclaimed neat freak and I know there are lots of you out there who love an organised/clutter free space so this ones for you!

My theory (I guess you could call it that) and something I religiously live by is that a tidy space = a clear mind. I truly believe that living and working in a tidy/clutter free environment helps me to focus and be more productive. I also find that I can’t relax and enjoy my down time if I’m surrounded by clutter. If my home and workspace is a mess I can't focus and find myself easily distracted, I wonder where the day went and question ‘what have I actually done today?’. This is what I refer to as a ‘wasted day’, you know the ones where its suddenly 9pm and you haven’t achieved anything and feel overwhelmed? Just me? I try to avoid those types of days because I am extremely busy and like to keep on top of my ‘to do’ lists. Having a tidy space gives me clarity; I feel organized, motivated and am at my most productive. If I see clutter and mess my thought process is also in turmoil. Just to note there is a difference between having a day off and having a wasted day, I guess you could say no day is truly wasted but if I have multiple things to accomplish and do little (or nothing) all day I feel unmotivated. So how do I put this theory into practice?

-The Daily Tidy Up
I find the main thing is to keep on top of mess, if I let clutter build up it becomes a big job but if everything is put away in its place I find it is much more manageable. If I use something, I put it back when I’m finished, pretty simple. I pop a load of washing on every morning to keep on top of it and also do a quick tidy up every night before bed so I can start the next day fresh.

-The Weekly Clean
Once a week (usually on a Friday morning) I do a full house clean; bathrooms, kitchen/fridge, carpets, mop etc., I can pretty much do our entire house in an hour or two because I do it frequently its not so much of a big job. If I let it go for two weeks it takes way longer!

-The Seasonal Clear Out
At the start of every season we do a big clear out, I sometimes also do this over long weekends like Easter etc if we are home. When I do a seasonal clear out I’m ruthless, like legitimately one of those professional cleaners on TV shows that go into hoarders homes and go for gold with a giant trash sack. I’m talking every drawer, cupboard, storage box…. Random bits of paper, general crap and all the un-necessary junk we have accumulated goes. Everything left then gets re-organised and sorted. This is my Hubby’s favourite time (I’m sure) when I announce ‘we are doing a BIG clean this weekend’ haha!

-Living Clutter Free
This is more of a lifestyle choice and something I practice everyday; I don't do clutter, piles of junk, or keep random stuff that I don't love or need. I find having less ‘stuff’ makes tidying up so much quicker. I prefer to buy quality over quantity as I find it just lasts longer, wears better and is generally a much better investment. We don't have excess of anything really, i.e.: we have two nice sets of bed linen, only a handful of good quality towels etc., my general rule of thumb is that if I buy something new, something else goes. I LOVE shopping but I’m selective. I apply this concept to all areas of my home and lifestyle except for Thea’s toys, she has quite a few and most are plastic but I’m ok with that.

Everything has a place, simple but effective. Storage solutions are good but the key is to have less ‘stuff’ to store. I’m not really sure how to explain it further other than give examples of how I put this into practice in different areas of my home, so here goes…

This is a really important space for me, I work from home so need my office to be organised so that I can be at my most productive. My desk space is pretty minimal; I have a few lovely visual objects that I find inspiring but no piles of paper building up or any mess. I am still searching for the best solution for storing stock (due to increasing volumes) but it is currently organised in storage containers and on shelving categorised by brand. I spend a lot of time in front of a computer so I believe it is also important to have a clear desktop to remain focused. Everything on my computer is filed into folders and sub folders, my email is also very structured with categories and sub categories making it super easy to find emails. Keeping devices organised is really important, we spend so much time using them so this helps with productivity if they are also clutter free. For paper work I store everything in labeled folders, anything six months to a year old is then filed in boxes and put into storage.

A few months back I did a lengthy blog post about how I create a wardrobe consisting only of the pieces I really love, read it HERE.

The kitchen is a busy space in the home and gets messy quickly. Ideally the best place to start is with a kitchen that is cleverly designed with lots of storage, this is only doable if you are about to embark on a new build or renovate. We renovated our Kitchen two years ago and I put so much time into planning the layout and space so that it functions beautifully. However if your existing kitchen doesn't function how you would love it to here are a few tips: keep your bench space clear and clutter free, I have a few plants, salt and pepper grinders and a coffee machine on display. The more things on your bench = more to move when you wipe down the bench. Allocate a ‘junk’ draw for all those bills, keys and other bits and pieces that accumulate on your bench space but make sure you give it a good clear out when you do a seasonal clean. Have a look through all your appliances; do you even use them? Do you really need 20 miss-matched coffee cups when you only use the front few in the cupboard? Or those random shot glasses from your 20’s? I’m pretty much the queen of culling so anything excess to requirements goes! The pantry: this is a space I also clear out seasonally, I don't have labeled containers for baking goods as I only buy these as need be but some people find this really helpful to create an organised pantry space. Once the kitchen is clean and clutter free it is so much more manageable to keep tidy.

Our bedroom is pretty minimal – bed, bedsides, a tallboy and slim tallboy, plus a few prints on the walls and a hanging planter. I keep the laundry basket in the laundry so washing doesn't accumulate in our bedroom and we don't have much on top of our bedsides or tallboys. This is the easiest room to keep tidy; I love it because it’s clutter free and a calm space. We are lucky in that we have a walk in robe so all hanging clothing, footwear etc is in there. My top tip would be to purchase bedsides with storage – that way books, magazines, personal products etc can all be stored out of sight but are easily accessible. A blanket box is also lovely if you need additional storage in the bedroom or vacuumed pack bags that can be put under the bed, although I don't have either of those because I don't have much to store! If something is unused in our home it is sold, given away or donated.
Thea’s bedroom is an exception to the rule, her space is fun with lots of little things she loves (as a child’s room should be), it is still styled however I’m not strict on what she can and cannot have. We do however have a good cull of her toys every so often, it amazes me what kids accumulate!

Again our living and dining room is what I would refer to as clutter free, we have minimal furniture and ‘things’ in this space but enough to give it that homely feel. This is the part of our home where we spend the most time as our living, dining and kitchen is open plan. Our coffee table and TV cabinet has storage (that is mostly utilised for Thea’s toys) along with a big basket where we keep her toys that she likes to play with frequently. I keep some beautiful books on the coffee table and selected décor objects displayed on a large A frame furniture piece and a lower shelving unit. My weakness is indoor plants, I do have quite a few in this space but it adds to the homely feel and aesthetic I am trying to achieve. Other than that we have no other storage in this space as we don't have anything else to store.

All bath and personal products and kept hidden in the vanity with the exception of a nice hand soap and a plant on display. Again I just like to keep this space clear and clutter free. Towels are kept in the linen cupboard and we don't have any unnecessary items on display like grooming products or appliances such as a hair dryer or straighteners, all of that is kept in drawers.

I often get asked how I find the time to keep my home so tidy with a toddler - I cant even count the amount of times I have heard ‘good luck keeping that couch white’ or ‘just you wait until your child starts moving/crawling/walking your house will never be tidy again’. To be honest I find it completely manageable as we don't have a lot of ‘stuff’, I didn't change my home to accommodate a child, I taught my daughter to live in the home she was born in (not literally – hospital birth over here), meaning I didn't move a single pot plant, object or piece of furniture. I taught her to respect our home and the things in it. That's not to say she doesn't have fun or isn’t allowed messy play at home, actually quite the opposite, we just tidy up afterwards.

I think the most important thing to remember is that the less amount of ‘things’ you have = less clutter therefore making a tidy home easier to maintain. For me a clean space = a clear head and when my head is clear I am focused, relaxed and motivated. I guess it's the visual connection of seeing a clean/tidy space that puts my mind at ease. Anyway thanks for reading if you made it this far! I would love to hear if others feel the same?

I hope everyone has a safe and happy summer!


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