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How to Reorganize Your Apartment


It’s a brand new year, so it’s time to take the bull by the horns, or the tiger by the tail, as the case may be, and roll up your silk sleeves to tackle that mess that you laughingly refer to as your apartment. But just like the ancient orientals told of the man who could eat an elephant by chewing on one piece at a time, you, too, can confront the elephant in the room, or in your apartment, by breaking it into bite size pieces and going to work on it. Here’s how:

Be your clutter

Before you touch a single solitary thing in your apartment, take the time to inventory all of your possessions and become one with them. That tennis racket in the hallway closet; what is it trying to tell you about your physical fitness and social skills? Is it full of cobwebs and coming unstrung, or is it well used and glowing with an inner light that symbolizes your success in love, life, and business? See it in your hand, then see it hung up on a special hook, like a trophy, in your living room. Now it becomes a symbol of your success, or of your goals. It’s no longer clutter; it’s a mantra! Treat all your material goods like that and soon they will each have a place of honor in your home — or you’ll fling them away in disgust as reminders of dark deeds and foul moods you no longer wish to indulge in.

Round hole, round peg

Every item in your apartment, especially if you’re living at Fairbourne Station, from the biscotti warmer to the vial rack of essential oils, has a place specifically designed for it in the universe. Nothing is created that does not fit in somewhere. Your challenge is to find where your belongings fit, and then see to it that they are put there. Sometimes you may not know just where something belongs, such as your teakwood backscratcher. Don’t worry, if you just take the time to imagine that backscratcher floating in space and then being pulled down by the force of gravity, you will be guided to the exact spot where it was meant to be put — perhaps hanging in your shower stall or tucked under your eiderdown pillow. Never place a possession someplace where it clearly doesn’t belong — this leads to bad karma and upsets the entire chi of your household.

Be contained

Some items, like unicycles and kite string, belong out in the open. But many of your possessions are happiest when they are contained, locked up and out of sight. Such things include liquor bottles, stamp collections, utensils, flatware, and Hudson Bay 8 Point blankets. Every physical thing has an innate desire either to be on display or to be hid away. You must be able to interpret just which of your possessions needs a container in a dark closet or walnut paneled drawer, and which yearn to be free to roll around on your parquet floor or climb up a wall. Once you have that figured out your clutter is gone, and peace of mind enfolds you.

The divine digital

Go paperless immediately, if you haven’t done so already. Everything that’s important can be sent to the Cloud so that filing cabinets, folders, wall calendars, diaries, and notepads should disappear from your life like baby fat after liposuction. Whatever you need to know, wherever you need to be, whoever you need to remember, is on your tablet or smartphone — where they belong. Paper clutter is so 90’s. Get over it.