One would think that, as detail-oriented as lolitas are in our fashion, we'd be that driven to keep every aspect of our lives impeccable. Our cars would be shiny, the foods we cooked would always be beautiful as well as delicious, and our rooms wouldn't have so much as a stray speck of lint on the floor, let alone half our wardrobes. Funnily enough, it seems to be that many lolitas - myself included - are the exact opposite! It's like we can only focus on so many things, our perfectionism can only be spread so thin, and if we go out for the day with perfect hair and make-up it'll look like there was a mini-earthquake in our bedrooms or apartments as a result.
As someone who spent much of her life treading carefully around little piles of books, papers, and clothes stacking on the floor, I've had a lot of experience with clutter. For a long time, I just accepted it - it's part of my personality! "Organized chaos" was a perfect phrase for the rest of my life, why balk at the idea that that would apply to my personal space as well? But when I first moved into my own apartment back in 2007, I realized that the cramped, cluttered, precarious form of "organization" that I'd used in my bedroom was not going to work for my kitchen, bathroom, or living room, and it was time to make some changes. In the years since then, though I've been in and out of various living arrangements - dorms, house-shares, even back in my old room at my parents' for a few painful months here and there - I've found some tried-and-true techniques for keeping the clutter at bay.
♥First and foremost, make your bed! The easiest way to make a room look cleaner is to have a made-up bed. It's easy, quick, and makes hitting the hay in the evening way more tempting - I love the idea of getting into tight sheets and mussing them up!
♥A place for everything, and everything in its place - isn't that the old adage? Well, it's true - especially for lolitas! Having a place to store your jewelry, hair accessories, socks, and shoes makes tidying up a messy room that much quicker and easier, especially if your places are quick things - bowl on your vanity for rings, an old hat box for headbands, and a dolled-up shoe rack - where you can just toss things without having to worry too much about organizing them, etc.
♥Obviously, though, having too much of anything can be a bad thing, so if you find yourself completely unable to keep up with your possessions, it may be a sign that it's time to de-clutter. Go through your problem spots and get rid of anything that you honestly, truly don't need - being brutal with yourself at this point is the only way to truly beat your inner pack rat!
♥Have some type of chair or bench in your room. It's for more than just sitting! This is a great place to put lolita garments for a while before re-hanging them, or to keep piles of laundry off the floor or your bed (which is usually just a halfway house before they end up on the floor for me). As long as you're strict with yourself and make sure you actually put the clothes away at least twice a week, this keeps your floor AND your laundry cleaner!
♥And speaking of laundry, having a cute laundry bin is a great way to keep on top of those dirty socks and bloomers. I usually hang a mesh bag for laundry on the inside of my closet where it can be kept out-of-view easily, but, you know the other old adage - out of sight, out of mind! It's too easy to forget about laundry if it's secreted away somewhere, so instead, find or craft yourself a cute hamper that will enhance instead of detract from your decor, and you'll be much more likely to actually use it! The adorable one to the right was customized by Violet LeBeaux.
♥Also, you'll be more likely to keep things off the floor if your floor is nice to look at! We aren't all lucky enough to have beautiful, antiqued hardwood floors, so the rest of us can improvise with cute rugs. These can cost you anywhere between fifteen dollars and hundreds - mine is a nice, neutral grey one with big, abstract flowers on it from Ikea a few years ago. Even subconsciously, I'm less likely to clutter it up, so it always surprises me that it's the tidiest part of my floor!
♥Similarly, having a well-decorated room which suits your aesthetics is an often-overlooked part of keeping your space clean. It should go without saying, but you're more likely to take care of and keep tidy a room you love. Great reasoning to paint your room bubblegum pink, right? I dunno, I wouldn't try it on MY landlord!
Readers: What are your clutter-busting tips? I'd love to hear them, because though I've certainly come rather far in the past few years, I'm still quite the clutter-bug!