December 14, 2018

BY LEAH MORROW

“You should see my room, it is a giant mess,” said Naween Mehanmal, a second-year software engineering student at Conestoga College.

Heidi Kachel, a Kitchener-Waterloo based professional organizer, said that clutter can be summed up as postponed decisions or actions. She believes that clutter begins to become a problem in people’s lives when it interferes with their ability to function on a day-to-day basis, or the ability to enjoy being in a space.

“It can also impede a person’s ability to concentrate since the clutter tends to distract you from the task at hand. There are many surveys that have been done on the subject,” said Kachel.

Recently, Ikea conducted a survey of their customers which found that 31 per cent were more satisfied after clearing out their closets than they were after sex.
Mehanmal said he often feels like the mess and clutter of his room hold him back from doing the things that he needs to do.

According to a study published in Newsweek, the average person burns 55 minutes a day – roughly 12 weeks a year – looking for things they know they own but can’t find.

“I feel like it really holds me back,” said Mehanmal.

Kachel said organization is a skill that anyone can learn.

“Whether you are living at home or on your own for the first time, one of the suggestions that I make to clients is to create ‘zones’ within their space that will identify the function of the area,” she said. “The key is to store items in the zone where they will be used. Try keeping like-items grouped together. You need to have a home for everything. Prime storage areas that are often overlooked are under the bed and behind the door. Having furniture that makes use of more vertical space is very worthwhile – you can store more on the same footprint.”

Rhonda Erb, one of the owners of Heart of the Matter, a Kitchener-Waterloo professional organization company, suggests setting aside just 15 minutes a day or even 15 minutes a week for tidying up. She said your space does not have to look immaculate overnight as long as you are moving forward.

Kachel said, “How you organize will evolve as your needs change. Be kind to yourself and open to trying new suggestions.”

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