I Tried the “Ski Slope Method” and It Helped Me Declutter the Messy WFH Space in My Bedroom

published Feb 1, 2023
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Credit: Lauren Wellbank

I have been overwhelmed with the state of my bedroom, which also serves as my work-from-home office, since before the holidays. In early November my entire family was hit with a virus and we spent the next two months trading germs back and forth, essentially putting at least half of us out of commission for weeks at a time. That, combined with all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season (for those times when we were all well enough to take part in parties, holiday pageants at school, and more) I pretty much went into survival mode and anything that didn’t have to get done, well, didn’t.

Unfortunately for my bedroom, that meant cleaning and organizing. My closet and desk pretty much became a dumping ground for anything and everything that I couldn’t take care of immediately, thanks to the fact that I could simply close the door behind me and live with the illusion that things weren’t too out of control since the rest of the house looked okay. 

Credit: Lauren Wellbank

Once we were all relatively healthy again and the holidays had passed, I was faced with a huge mess. And since I still had to keep up with all of my other work responsibilities and extracurriculars (hello, winter sports season), the mess in my bedroom-turned-office seemed too impossible to tackle. 

That is until I discovered Anita Yokota’s approach to cleaning, the “Ski Slope Method,” which she shares in her new book, “Home Therapy.” The therapist turned interior designer’s philosophy to organizing is a simple one: instead of looking at a room (or mess) as a whole project, it’s best to break it up into sections where you can glide slowly from one spot to the next until you’ve crisscrossed your way across the problem.

Credit: Lauren Wellbank

I applied her logic to the disaster in my bedroom, starting with the top of my closet because it was both the highest and easiest spot to begin. After I went through and tidied up the collection of hastily folded sheets and overflowing bins of winter gear, I moved across the room to my desktop, where I was able to toss some old paperwork that I no longer needed and move more important documents into a central pile lower down on my “slope” so that I could sort them into collections for shredding or filing. 

From there it was easy to pick up speed — and more importantly, as a busy working mom, take breaks when my time was up since this method doesn’t require creating a bigger mess in the process — and then slowly finish the entire project over several days.

Credit: Lauren Wellbank

Since trying this method at the start of the new year, I’ve continued to use it to stay on top of things at my desk. I no longer feel like I have to do everything at once, which always makes the job of staying on top of things seem insurmountable. Now I just glide through the tidying process throughout the week, always ensuring that I stick to Yokota’s crisscross philosophy so nothing ever gets missed. It’s been a lifesaver and made me feel so much better — I can even keep our bedroom door open now!