Sunday, 3 March 2013

Ultimate Organisation Project: My bedroom! Part 1

This is a scary post, and very difficult for me to write! I have a confession to make...     I have a VERY messy bedroom!!

Before I show you photos, let me give you my reasons (excuses) as to why it's this messy!

1) I have a LOT of stuff. I'm not a hoarder, I just have a lot of stuff that I need, or is useful and still functions well, or is sentimental to me. I can get rid of stuff when I need to, but I often don't feel the need to!

2) I am a nester. If I sit in one place (on my sofa, or in bed when the weather's cold), I have to have all the things I'll need (books, stationery, laptop etc etc) within an arm's reach of me. Therefore, my sofa and the surrounding area, or my lovely big bed, get a large amount of accumulated stuff on them.

3) I am a leaver. Comedian Jon Richardson argues that there are 2 types of people in the world: putters and leavers. I am definitely in the latter. In fact, my mum would call it 'dumping'- I just leave stuff where it is, or move it to somewhere else and leave it there. I don't sort things unless I have to, and I don't put things away unless I have my 'tidy brain' switched on.

4) I am very much an out-of-sight-out-of-mind type of person. Therefore, I have to leave things out, so that I can see them, and be reminded to deal with them! I said this to my mum once, and she said my dad is exactly like that- in fact, he would like floor to ceiling shelves around every room, and everything on show on them.

5) I don't like tidying. I don't like sorting or cleaning even more! So if I can get away with it, I won't do it! Even worse, I have a very high threshold for untidyness... my room can be really messy before I actually realise I should tidy it, and then it's usually only because my bedroom is becoming an assault course or a trip hazard!

So, these are the reasons why my room is very often messy, or even when it's tidy, why I can't finish sorting out my piles and boxes of STUFF.

Below are photos of my room this morning, after I haven't tidied it for at least 5 days. It's not normally so bad, but there are key spots that I haven't touched in ages.
I am hoping these photos will shame me into my goals of:

  • Getting it sorted and cleaned thoroughly, once and for all
  • Maintaining the tidiness and cleanliness level
  • Changing my habits and making new habits to:
  •  tidy as I go, and
  • sort my stuff on a regular basis.
So this month of March, I am going to BLITZ my room, once and for all!! I need to do this ASAP, because at the moment I don't have a job, but I will hopefully get one soon, and then I won't have the time to do it!
I am going to be using my Plannerisms planner and my A5 purple Malden to plan this!

I will be turning this into a series throughout this month, showing you how I am using my Plannerisms planner and filofax, new methods and tips I think up, and of course, my 'After' photos!

Here are my 'Before' photos: please don't judge me!!

 My desk area. I don't sit here any more, and my desk has become a dumping ground. If you can believe it, this area has been tidied and sorted a lot recently, and is a lot better than it used to be!

Between my desk area and my wardrobe- washing bin, paperwork and stuff to sort etc, and my storage area behind my wardrobe, which quickly becomes messy!

Dressing area. Wardrobe drawers open, but they are difficult to shut because the wardrobe is about 80 years old and the doors are misaligned from the frames; however, it still makes it look untidy. My bin nearby (it doesn't have a permanent home), my chest of drawers with perfumes and make up on top (I sorted all this last week). This is actually the least messy part of my room... until:

This pile of papers and stuff on the floor. It's been there for a couple of months, because I just do NOT want to deal with it!!!

My bed. Unmade, messy, covered in stuff. This morning I had to search for receipt, so it's very bad today, but normally isn't much better! The boxes on the floor to the left are little bits and bobs that I have to sort out- and keep putting off doing, because I don't want to do it! 

Beside my bed. All of my teddies sit nicely on my window-sill, but my bed-side cabinet always has used glasses on it that need to be washed up, and other stuff that shouldn't be there.

Trousers left on the floor where I undressed last night, lip balm which fell off my bed, a bag of stuff to put away, magazines I've been meaning to read and get rid of.

My 'living room' area! Clean laundry to put away on the back of my chair, boxes and containers on the floor, my craft stuff on top of the cabinet that REALLY needs organising...

The coffee table another dumping ground, and stuff all over my sofa too, so I can't sit down on it!!


  1. O_o

    Just looking at those photos makes me want to get some big boxes, bleach and a few candles. Ooo, what I could do in there with just a few hours! I love cleaning and de-cluttering. I reckon I could make your room minimalist in a few weeks!

  2. Looking at those photos makes me want to move into that room. So comfy :-)

  3. I agree with Millie up there. I'm about to hop into my private jet plane and be there oh, in a few hours to get everything sorted. :D I love your bedrooms layout--the sleeping area bit, the (couch?) and sitting area, the little office area, and the angles of the walls/ceilings, and how you have access to a bathroom(?) directly in your room. I see you have a lot of storage options (like that gorgeous wooden wardrobe for instance) so I think it's all about de-cluttering and finding a place for everything.

  4. I'm with Millie and my OCD is squeaking... You have lovely stuff though!

  5. Kate,

    It appears that you and I are much alike in this respect. I have always struggled with keeping the house sorted and while I don't mind cleaning (hoovering, mopping, sweeping, dusting, washing) I absolutely hate tidying. Over the years I've developed a few habits which might help you:

    1. Don't let it in in the first place. Try not to bring things home. Don't buy things which could easily just turn into clutter.
    2. Make your bed first thing every day. This sets a tone for the room and makes you want to make the rest of the room tidy.
    3. If you're not a minimalist by nature, don't try to be one! It's a lesson in frustration. Look to utilize your storage options well, perhaps buy new ones, put like items together, etc. Many times, for those of us who are not minimalists, the problem is not what we have but the lack of proper storage solutions. It's much easier to put things away every day if you know exactly where they go.
    4. Horizontal surfaces can be your enemy! I'd chuck your coffee table and desk if they become parking places for "stuff."
    5. Shelving is your friend. Ditto labeled storage boxes. IKEA sells lots of decent stuff at reasonable prices. Have a box for "magazines to read" or "CDs" or whatever.
    6. I too struggle with "out of sight: out of mind" issues. This is where your planner can come into play! As things come in (such as a new magazine) write a note to "read magazine" in your planner and put the magazine straight into your "magazine" box. When you get to the day in your planner you see the note and read the magazine. If there isn't anything you want to keep in the magazine, bin it.
    7. Set a 10 minute cleaning time every day. Just clean (remove junk, put things away, hoover, dust, etc.) for 10 minutes each day. It works beautifully.

    I'm in no way a tidy person but all of the above have really helped me get control over my clutter while not tossing stuff I think I may want down the road. I think the planner is a super tool to maintain order, but not sure that planning the cleaning process too much is a good use of time. I'd start with big boxes for different categories (cosmetics, planners, clothes, trash, etc.) and go through and direct everything into the right box. Then go through each box one by one to sort out their contents and establish a home for them.

    Finally (geez, this is long!) don't worry if you don't get this done before you start working. I find for myself that when I'm busy and getting things done at work I start to get much more efficient at getting things done at home as well. When I'm on vacation I dawdle and don't feel much urgency. When you're working, you don't contribute to the mess as much and need to tidy efficiently and in smaller doses, which makes the process more tolerable.

    Good luck! You can do it!

  6. Thanks for your comments, guys!

    Josh- Your comment makes SO much sense!! It's so helpful!! I will be copying out your tips into my Filofax!

    LJ- Thank you!!

    Millie, Carla and Amanda- Like Josh said, I'm definitely not a minimalist, haha!! I love 'stuff'... it makes me feel comfortable, I guess! But I do agree that it DEFINITELY needs organising, and I sure could use your help! I understand what you say about OCD, and I think I would give someone a panic attack! I have my own kinds of OCD (an over-used term, I think), but tidying isn't one of them!

    Carla- Thanks for your comment about my bedroom's layout! When I first moved my stuff in 6 years ago, I tried hard to make the room work. My mum says it's like I have my own apartment up here (I'm in the attic), minus the kitchen. I love the layout, but the problem comes with all my STUFF!!

  7. You are so lucky to have such a big room! I love planning room make overs & shopping for storage solutions but getting started with all the decluttering is often something I struggle with but once I start I find getting rid of stuff quite therapeutic. My husband and I can be terrible with flat surfaces, they seem to accumulate stuff & while I tell myself we need more storage I know a lot of it is about developing good habits of tidying regularly. Start small & build on things I guess. Good luck with your task & thanks for sharing this goal. I look forward to reading about your progress & seeing the 'after' pics! :)

  8. Ohh, you haven't seen anything yet. You should see the state of my room. If anyone wants to put their hand up to clean it, you are more then welcome to come to my house.

    I despise cleaning and tidying. My poor mother has a heart attack everytime she walks past.

    My aim is to tidy one area of my room a week. So far I have picked my desk (because it has the fun things on it)...I don't see this aim happening for more than a week.

  9. Glad it's not just me, i'm actually supposed to be clearing all my clutter today but as usual i've been sidetracked to the computer :-0

  10. I used to be the same way, actually I was probably worse. The thing that changed everything - moving into a SMALL room. If I didn't clean my room, I had no place to walk, sit, or sleep. I only lived there for a total of three months so I've since moved back into my old room, but as soon as it starts getting remotely messy, I feel like I need to clean it.

    Good luck!

  11. Oh,you are sooo cute :o) you will copy the things that Josh said into you Filofax *LOL* that time it takes,I would tidy up your room ;o))
    You need more space!!!

  12. Hi,a new reader here and a little late to the party, but I agree with what Josh posted, particularly 2 things: making your bed first thing every morning, and setting a timer for a 10-minute pick-up session every day. Even if you must (every day) pile things onto the floor to make your bed, you will be pleased and amazed at the clean area that immediately creates for you. It will spread. Tidiness grows and spreads the same way that messiness and clutter do: a little bit at a time. Am enjoying your blog!

  13. Your reasons(excuses)why the mess is me too. Cute teddies! My little sister does not understand that I can't part with them & well about everything else. I also think that part of my trouble is that I am a crafty person... I have sewing stuff everywhere & a table sewing machine (takes up room). It is the time for me to claim back my room... orgainize it. Oh, I have an attic room too; well part of it. Watched your youtube on your clean room... way to go girl! I found it completely inspiring! :) ~Mary