Spaces That Easily Get Messy and How You Can Avoid the Mess

By Kaitlin Hurtado on May 9, 2019

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Messy spaces are bound to happen when you lead a busy lifestyle. You may think to yourself, “Leaving this one thing here for a couple of hours won’t do any harm – I can always take care of it when I’m not in a rush later on.” It’s easy to think of it that way when you dump your dishes in the sink before class or dump a half-eaten meal of Tupperware back into the fridge to “save it for later” instead of just tossing out the food and washing the Tupperware out. However, these little instances have the tendency to add up until you are left facing an overly messy space (or several) when you finally settle down to take account of your living space.

While it may be part of your current list of habits, it doesn’t have to be a bad habit forever. You can target the messy spaces in your living spaces and take steps to prevent them from being permanent messy spaces. Here are some common messy spaces and what you can do to avoid creating a mess.


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1) Food storage (the refrigerator and pantry)

The food storage in your living space may just be one of the most used spaces and with that, it can also be one of the dreaded messy spaces you come into contact with daily. One of the most common ways that a place like your fridge or pantry can get so messy is that you forget to clear it out on a consistent basis. Yes, you may be taking stuff out to eat and cook with, but you may just be shuffling around other items and leaving them to get pushed back as you add even more items. That bottle of hot sauce that used to be at the front of the pantry? Two months later it can be knocked over and rolled to the back of the shelf and forgotten.

To avoid this, dedicate time to deep cleaning out your food storage areas to keep them organized and clean. Take everything out and evaluate what you should toss out, make note of what you may need to repurchase or what is going to expire soon. You may be surprised at what items you will forget that you had, or items that have long been expired. Wipe down shelves and bins and start putting items back.

Take steps to ensure that the messy space doesn’t happen again. Try organizing in a way that works best for you – make items you use often easy to find and grab and try categorizing your items to different bins and shelves to make them even easier to find and put away. Keeping up with weekly cleaning of your food storage areas is key – try doing it right before you go on a grocery shop so that you are fully aware of what you have or don’t have before you buy even more.

2) Study spaces (desk, bookshelves) 

Another common messy space in a living space is study spaces, such as a desk. It can easily become a mess of books, loose papers, pens and highlighters, and other study supplies. Sadly, a messy study space can hinder you from being entirely productive as it can increase your stress and make it harder for you to find what you actually need to study.

The easiest way to avoid a messy study space is to incorporate an organization system that works for your space. Here are some ideas on how to organize a study space:

  • A new desk. If your desk is fairly simple without any storage space, you may want to upgrade a desk that has shelving or drawers that you can use to organize papers and school supplies.
  • A cart or bookshelf. Keeping a storage cart or bookshelf near your desk allows you to keep all of your study materials within arms reach without it being all over your actual workspace.

Along with getting some organization in, make sure you are putting away supplies and items as you use them so that they don’t pile up on your workspace and overwhelm you.

3) Bathroom 

Bathrooms can easily become messy spaces because once you finish up whatever you need to do, you hardly will spend another minute in the bathroom if you don’t need to. This means gunk like leftover toothpaste and soap caking up in your sink, skin and hair products being left over the countertop, and other evidence of your use being left all over the bathroom.

Whenever you take a trip to the bathroom, regardless of the reason, make an effort to clean up at least one small thing before you leave. Tidy up your cabinet by organizing your products or tossing out empty ones, see if the bathroom trash needs to be tossed, or make sure the countertop is clear by putting everything back in its proper space. Keep disinfecting wipes to make quick wipedowns of your bathroom surfaces easy and painless.

Messy spaces in your living spaces are bound to happen, but that doesn’t mean they have to continue to be messy spaces. By incorporating some of these steps into your daily routine, hopefully, these spaces can stay mess-free in the future.

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By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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