At surface level, this yearly ritual may simply appear to be about dusting with gusto and deep cleaning the rugs, but the very act of restoring order to your home can create a sense of solace and satisfaction quite unlike any other. As we busy ourselves with the simple task at hand – be it colour coding the spines on a bookshelf or decanting dried goods into labelled storage jars – the whirring mind stills and calm is restored. There’s no doubt that the outcome is gratifying, but it’s the action itself – of asserting control over what’s right in front of you – that’s particularly rewarding if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.
Of course, organising isn’t just a once-a-year occurrence. These rituals are quietly and conscientiously carried out across the year, from the Saturday morning sort-out to the cyclic rearranging of cupboards, shelves, dressers and drawers. In doing so, we often come to rediscover possessions that have slipped out of sight and out of mind. The tactility of a certain piece, the way it catches the light, or its specific scent can all evoke memories and spark joy – and if an object doesn’t, perhaps it’s time to let it go.
By taking the time to organise our belongings, we come to appreciate our homes more. In her how-to tome, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo says, ‘It is only when you put your house in order that your furniture and decorations come to life.’ By clearing the clutter, we can truly celebrate those designs that make our spaces places of joy.
No two of us will go about organising in the same way – it’s pretty personal like that – but there are a few factors to keep in mind to aid the process. Firstly, start small. Trying to tackle too much in one go can feel insurmountable. Choose one room, or even one area (the neglected sock drawer, perhaps) to begin with. When in doubt, baskets are a great storage solution – woven styles are endlessly versatile and enduringly charming left on display. Allow yourself plenty of time. There’s no use rushing something that’s intended to be taken slowly and enjoyed. And finally, setting yourself an end goal can help with motivation, but it’s also good to acknowledge that organising is an act that’s never really finished. As our homes evolve over time, so too will the ways we find joy in organising them.