The astronaut’s guide to home organisation

Astronaut at home

UK astronaut Tim Peake has jetted off to join the International Space Station (ISS), where he’ll stay for the next six months. As well as having to follow a highly planned daily schedule, Tim will face many challenges while living in space.

According to a BBC report which shows what life is like on the ISS, astronauts typically spend their first few days aboard losing things. Items such as toothbrushes therefore need to be secured using magnets, tape or elastic bungees.

The ISS doesn’t offer the biggest living area either and with room at a premium they need to be super-organised to make the most of it.

Here are four astronaut-inspired home organisation tips.

Make sure things don’t float away

Obviously things won’t just float away, we have gravity to thank for that. The daily churn of clutter however can easily hide items from view. Ensure things don’t get swallowed up by a black-hole and use your notice-board wisely. Pin tickets or important mail before they get buried in the stack of junk mail.

Writing notes helps us to remember more easily and become more organised. Avoid the scrabble to find a working pen by attaching one by string or Velcro to your board.

Avoid the black-hole

Kitchen drawers are the worst offenders for sucking up random debris. Assign a drawer for a set of items – craft supplies or tools for example.

Tiny bits such as paperclips, balls of blue tack or odd batteries can be kept in tins, or even better – glass jars, so you can easily see what’s there.

Store only what you need

With minimal space to store things, astronauts only take the essentials with them. Life on Earth isn’t quite that simple, but you can use this philosophy to rationalise your belongings. We tend to keep things out of sentimental reasons or for security – what if something comes in handy one day? The fact is, we would get along happily without most of this stuff.

A key area for over-stocking is usually the kitchen. Do an inventory check of your cupboards or pantry; throw out anything beyond its use by date and decide if there’s anything you won’t use – perhaps donate to the local food bank instead. Only buy food for a couple of weeks ahead.

Be organised with other belongings. Keep clothes in your wardrobe that are seasonal. Store away anything else until needed. Check the toy boxes regularly and bin broken ones; use birthdays or Christmas as a reason to rationalise and get rid of toys the kids no longer play with.

Schedule your time

Astronauts have a strict and well-planned maintenance schedule to follow while in orbit with each task carefully scripted. Unlike astronauts, you won’t need a lengthy to-do list of all your activities, but becoming more organised does mean setting yourself goals and deadlines.

Create a daily or weekly list of tasks that definitely need doing. Whether it’s giving the house a top to bottom clean, de-cluttering the junk mail or sorting out your wardrobe. Ticking off items on your list will give you a sense of satisfaction and keep you in control of your home organisation.