clean

On Decluttering and Tidying

I’m lucky in the sense that tidying and decluttering comes pretty naturally to me. I just prefer living in a space that has a sense of order. It helps me to feel calm and helps me to sort through my mental clutter if my physical space is tidy. I thought I’d share some stuff on tidying and decluttering – everything from my own advice to resources I continue to find beneficial.

So, first off, I’m going to write in terms of a clean bedroom because that’s my point of reference, but these ‘rules’ can be applied to any part of your home.

The first step to cleaning your room and making sure it stays clean is to declutter. If you’re a Marie Kondo fangirl like me, then decluttering is nothing new to you. But essentially, it refers to the removal of unnecessary items, be it clothing, papers or anything that has no use to you and just takes up space. I cannot emphasise the importance of this step enough. There is honestly no use in organising and tidying things that serve no purpose to you. Whilst it can seem like a daunting task, especially if you haven’t done it in a while and a lot of things have accumulated, doing it in smaller chunks will feel less overwhelming. Work through your things category by category. I generally split things into a toss/recycle pile and a donate pile.

After deciding what things you need or want to hold onto, it’s time for my favourite part – organising. The reason why many people struggle to keep their spaces tidy is either because they have too much stuff (enter decluttering) or because their things don’t have designated “homes” so everything just ends up lying around until it gets used again. Having a specific place for everything will make keeping your room neat so much easier because when you’re finished using something, you just put it right back, and when you do need to clean up at the end of the day or week, it’ll go quicker too because you don’t have to think about where to put things.

Another thing to try is to keep the same kinds of things together. For example, I have a beauty drawer where I keep all my skincare (that isn’t on my dresser for daily use), unopened products, make-up, hair things, etc. All my jewellery is in one shelf and all my papers and books are together too (well, mostly). I find that this helps immensely too, and you’re also less likely to loose your stuff.

Here are some other quick things you can do every day (or as often as you feel necessary) to keep your room looking and feeling orderly:

  • Make your bed! Honestly, don’t underestimate the difference this can make. It’s always the first thing I do when I’m clearing up. It instantly makes your room feel more put together.
  • Throw papers away immediately when you don’t need them anymore. By doing this, you will avoid the need to sift through huge mounds of papers to see what you need/don’t need.
  • Following on from the last one, put papers that you do need into their respective files/folders as you work to minimise unmanageable piles of paper. I usually have one stack of papers on my desk with stuff I’m using (like assessment rubrics/design briefs/etc.) and need to consult often, but I sort through it every week or so, to avoid having too much stuff pile up.
  • As boring as it sounds, pack away your laundry as soon as you can. Again, this will hopefully prevent a mountain of laundry from piling up, and you’re more likely to pack neatly if you have a more manageable amount to pack away.
  • Try to avoid too much clutter on your surfaces. My surfaces certainly aren’t bare, but every few days or so, I just walk around and put things (that don’t need to be there) away.

I hope you find some of this helpful! Remember, your room doesn’t have to look like something off Pinterest. It’s a space that you’re supposed to live in, so don’t bother if it doesn’t look like a styled photograph. Also, experiment with different tidying and organising methods and create a routine that works for you, and is suitable to your schedule and life. You don’t have to spend all your waking hours trying to keep your room clean! (This took me a while to learn haha). However, you will find that having a tidier space helps to calm your mind. It is often said that the state of your physical space is a manifestation of your mental space and I tend to agree.

Here are some resources you might find helpful.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Honestly, this book is so good. Pretty sure I’ve read it two or three times. It really helps you to get a sense of tidying and understanding that physical stuff shouldn’t weigh you down. Find it here (e-book version).

A Considered Life blog

This blog by Sophie is really well written and has new content on a regular basis. Read it here.

Simple Life Pinterest Board

I’ve linked a bunch of resources that I reference on my Pinterest. Find the board here.

Happy tidying, everyone. I sincerely hope you reap the benefits of having a tidy space. If you have any more questions about this topic, ask away.

Nabeela x

On Keeping Your Room Calm and Tidy

Your environment can have a big effect on your mood without you even knowing. It has been said that a clear room equals a clear mind. Sound far-fetched? Try it. I have definitely found that the state of my room has a direct effect on how calm I feel. I can’t work (or sleep well, for that matter) in an over-cluttered, messy room- I simply find it too distracting and overwhelming. I’d like to think that I’m finally reaching a point where I’ve figured out a few ways to keep my room in a general state of orderliness without it feeling stiff. I’ve also been working towards having a calming space that is easy to unwind in. This can be difficult to achieve as a student, because chances are that you study in your room too, so it is important that you allocate certain spaces for certain activities, no matter how small your room is – but more on that another time.

Here are some things that I find help me in keeping my room clutter-free and calming. It also helps me to ensure that my room doesn’t turn into a complete mess within a few days of life’s general crazy busyness.

01. / Clear daily 

Although this might seem annoying, by doing a quick 5-minute tidy-up daily, you can keep the clutter at bay. I usually just spend a few minutes picking up dirty clothes, packing away anything that belongs in cupboards or drawers and throwing away unwanted papers. I usually do this in the evenings before bed (it can be quite therapeutic actually – or is that just me?! LOL) but pick a time that suits you and run with it.

02. /  Keep your surfaces clear

This is just about the easiest way to instantly make your room look and feel clearer. Cut back on the excess (be flexible though. Your room doesn’t always have to look Pinterest-perfect. You live there, remember?). Best advice I’ve ever been given. Best advice I can give.

03. / Give it a home

You might find that there’s always that one object that kind of just floats around because you don’t really know where it goes. To avoid having any of your things just floating around, ensure that everything, no matter how small, has a home. This way,  when the time comes to pack it away, there is an actual place to put it.

Here are some things you can do to create calm vibes in your room.

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01. / Candles

Candles don’t only create a calm mood, but they also leave your room smelling positively delicious. I currently only burn candles that don’t have any whack ingredients – don’t want any nasties floating around in the air. My current faavourite is this lemongrass one from Wellness Warehouse. It’s made from soybean wax, so it can be used as massage oil when it melts – double whammy. My other favourite candle is from Rain, but it’s quite old (as in, I found it in a chest somewhere in our house), so I don’t think it can be bought anymore.

02. / Colours

I’m the kind of person who actually really adores colour, but chooses not to show it in my dress or decor choices all that often. The only place in my room that is really colourful is my workspace, but that’s just what I like. Find a colour story that works for you, and try and stick with it. It’ll make your space feel less crazy. I find that having a more cohesive colour palette in my room makes for a more relaxing space, and is easier on the eye.

03. / Plants

Anyone who knows me well enough in real life (or even online) will know that I adore plants. Not going to lie, if I could, I’d pack up my room and move into someone’s greenhouse in a heartbeat. But seeing as that’s not exactly realistic (yet – some day maybe), I bring greenery into my space by keeping houseplants. They’re air-purifying, beautiful and quite literally add life to the space. Not a very good plant parent? Don’t despair. Just pick up a cactus. The only way I’ve ever killed one is by drowning the poor thing from too much water. (Oops).

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So there you have it, folks. My best zen room tips and tricks. (How am I not a Hygge spokesperson yet?) Hope you found this helpful. Until next time x

Nabeela x

On Being Organised

Although those who know me now would never say, I was an extremely untidy child. Upon entering senior primary, I made a complete three-sixty turn. I guess you could say that I went from zero to one hundred real quick. As I grew older, I quickly saw the immense value in being organised and planning my days out properly. It made my life a hundred times easier, and still does.

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I often get asked how I stay organised, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite methods for organizing my life, and keeping it that way.

01. / Write it down

Although I love the digital world (I am a blogger after all), I find immense value in analogue tasks such as writing my to-do lists down on paper. It may seem like extra effort, but by writing down lists instead of typing them, you’re also calming yourself down by making your tasks seem finite and not just a pool of thoughts floating around your head and phone. The very act of writing a physical list is useful. Everyday, when I get in from school, I take ten minutes or so to write a list and prioritize my tasks for the afternoon and evening ahead. This helps me to feel less overwhelmed too, and makes everything feel a bit more doable.

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02. / Sort daily 

It may sound laborious, but by spending a few minutes each day sorting through papers I have and filing them or tossing them, I never end up with piles of filing or papers I no longer need. I have honestly found it the most streamlined way to keep up to date with filing my school notes and other papers.

03. / Prioritize

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when six tasks are handed out on the same day, even if the due dates are staggered (I’m looking at you, Grade 11). I find that working back from the due date is the easiest way to make sure everything is done on time, without feeling as if everything has to be done at once. Break down each task into smaller, daily tasks you can do so you don’t have to slave away for hours the night before its due. Chances are it’ll also be done more thoroughly if you don’t feel rushed.

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04. / Don’t hoard

I mentioned something about this in point two, but just by having too many papers, one’s head and space can feel cluttered and unorganised. If there’s one thing I’ve seen people do often, it’s hoard old papers they don’t need. As soon as I no longer need a paper from school or anywhere else, I put it in recycling immediately. Again, it keeps things so much more streamlined. If you think you may need to information at some point, scanning it in or taking a photo of it and putting it in your Drive or Cloud also works well.

Something else I’ve found that helps me generally to get tasks done in a productive manner is by setting a timer for 25 minutes and working flat out and then taking a break. I find that when I know exactly how long I’m going to be working for before my next rest, I get a lot more done in a short space of time. Having a tidy, clutter-free space to work in makes me feel a lot calmer and more focused too.

Lastly, some wise words on organizing…

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Anonymous

I hope you find these tips helpful! I’ve created a fun printable to-do list for you here.

(Enjoy it, and tag me in your pictures on Instagram if you use it! I’d love to see x It is my own creation, and to be used for personal use only, please). 

Nabeela x

Simple

Hello

Minimalism. That’s what’s on my mind at the moment. Every little thing about it interests me. The simplicity that radiates from it all is what really attracts me. I am find myself constantly downsizing. My clothes, papers, craft stash, accounts I follow and mailers I’m signed up to. I find myself constantly cleaning up and clearing out. Its as if all I want to do is get rid of the things that drain the calm and peace from my mental and physical space.

I’m young. I’m only in high school, which means I obviously don’t live in my own house. The only space I have that is completely mine is my bedroom. There are other spaces in the house that I share with my siblings and the rest of my family, but my room is mine alone. I love that. I love knowing that I can do what I want in and with that space, and it won’t really affect anyone else. I feel like excess stuff detracts from the calm. Extra papers, old clothes, unused lotions, unworn jewellery, they all just add to the clutter. I don’t hoard things at all. As soon as I don’t need something anymore, I get rid of it.  A part of me has always been a minimalist. Now I just know what to call that part.

Minimalism is something strange too. The thing that makes it strange is the fact that its so difficult to define it. I’ve been doing research, reading lots about it and listening to TEDTalks and podcats about topics like simplicity, stillness and ‘less is more’. The funny thing is that sources contradict themselves. One article I read gave tips to becoming minimalist. One of them was something along the lines of “Remove everything hanging on your walls as far as possible.” Another one said “People seem to think minimalism is about having less. It’s not. It’s about having enough to make you happy and no more.” This baffled me at first. I was trying to understand a concept and I couldn’t fine a place or person that would explain it to me. Then, I realised its because actually, minimalism has a different meaning to everyone. To some, its all about possessions. To others, its about living a life that you enjoy fully and wholeheartedly. It all depends on you.

I decided to think about what minimalism actually means to me. It means simple. Only hanging onto possessions that make me happy. Thinking before I buy something. Being mindful of what I say, think, do, taste, hear, smell and see. Only keeping the necessary things in my life. Not letting unpleasant or negative people get to me. That’s what minimalism is to me. Its exciting. To have a goal that doesn’t revolve around money or things. Its like having a saving-up list, except instead of saving up money, you just have to learn more and more about yourself to be happy. I find myself finding more joy in the simple little things that are now pleasures to me. Sunday morning runs around the block, weekend ice-cream cones, getting into bed and just thinking, ocean air, comfy shoes.

A really good TEDTalk I listened to recently, which I highly recommend is called Less Stuff, More Happiness by Graham Hill. It’s a very old one, but it’s still very relevant and I love it.

Stay happy.

Nabeela

(Yes, I will be signing off my posts like this instead now. Its my name and it feels more genuine)

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