I can tell I’m getting stressed by how messy and disorganised our flat is. For me, outer order greatly contributes to my inner calm. Part of my personal happiness project, is trying keep clutter and the background noise of everyday objects to a minimum.
This week I finally tackled something that had nagged at me for ages: my wardrobe.
When we moved into our flat, which I adore, one of few compromises was the bedroom layout. With the inbuilt wardrobe and floor to ceiling windows running down two walls, once we put in our bed there was almost no space for other furniture.
So both of our chest of drawers went into our bedroom wardrobe leaving us with almost no hanging space.
All of my party frocks, suits, winter coats and handbags were relegated a wardrobe in the office down the hall. My going-out tops I kept in a drawer beneath the bed. My jewellery boxes I kept magpie-like in the bottom drawer of my bedside cabinet. And between the bedroom door and the en-suite was what was ‘affectionately’ labelled my crap chair. I mainly used the chair and mat as a dumping ground: for my bag, laundry, to-read pile (always teetering), mail, and stuff to file. Which in times of stress, would start growing past the edges of the mat. The only useful thing behind the crap chair was a calendar and to do lists I had pinned with magnets to the radiator.
This set-up nagged at me for years. All of my clothes and accessories in different rooms and there was no central focus. I grew very envious of other people’s space. I wanted a dressing table to get ready at.
Finally I gave into that frustration and I did something about it. First, I got rid of the crap chair. It was just encouraging my chaos. I needed to start putting things away in their rightful places. I moved my chest of drawers out of the wardrobe and in front of the radiator where my crap chair had been. I was really worried that it would be too wide and block the access to the en-suite. But actually it fits really well.
I took all of my jewellery boxes out of the drawer and put them in the light. I’m already wearing a lot more jewellery because it’s on view. I added a treacle tin for my hair brush and deadorant, which makes my heart sing everytime I look at it. (I love re-purposed tins and jars.)
It still needs refining, I’m not sure about whether the bowl is a mini crap chair or a useful place to keep sunglasses, invites etc. And I still need to find a good place to hang the calendar (the kitchen maybe?). But on the whole it’s a big improvement.
Moving the chest of drawers gave me the space to hang all my clothes together in my wardrobe. I moved the handbag boxes containing all my beautiful babies into the bedroom. And voilà my revamped wardrobe, look at all the hanging space (ignore how messy the top is, baby steps people, baby steps).
I hesitate about publishing this post as it seems really trivial. But for me that minor annoyance about no hanging space was daily drain on my mental energy. By paying attention and keeping my environment organised, I notice a big difference in my mental well-being.
Next on the decluttering list: whether to dump or display (and if so how?) the memory boxes I have kept since University. Any ideas, dear readers?