A friend asked me a question the other day: “Where do you start?” Meaning, do you work on the public areas of your home first? Or do you work on “your” areas, the ones where you spend time?
I said to work on wherever you spend the most time, and I still stand by that answer. It makes sense to tackle the areas where you always are, since you then get to enjoy the results more often. I jokingly call our living room “my happy place:” if I can sit in my spot on the sofa, and everything in my viewing area is uncluttered, I can pretty much ignore the Legos all over the dining room table in the other room.
I would add to that answer, though: whichever area is making you craziest, that should probably be tackled first. Maybe you spend most of your time in the living room, but your bedroom closet is so full that you can hardly get in the door, and it’s a trial each morning to just get dressed. Every day you have to deal with the mess. No one else sees it, but it’s a hassle to you, each and every day; maybe multiple times a day. If there is something that is making your life miserable, constantly, even if no one else sees it, then work on that; your life will be more peaceful for it.
My laundry room closet is my favorite example. Really, who is going to go digging in my laundry room closet besides me? Absolutely nobody. But when I reach in there to grab an extra bottle of detergent or a couple of rags, do I really want things falling on my head? Obviously not. I referred to the closet as “the pit of despair” when the caseworker came over to do our adoption home study a few weeks ago; while I doubt it’s in such a condition as to prevent us from getting a child, it’s not exactly my pride and joy. So keeping it cleaned up, even if no one else is looking, really does turn into a priority for me. I’m in there often enough that it makes life much easier to have it cleaned out and “company ready,” even though company will never actually come.
Whichever you choose, most-used areas or private spaces, I encourage you to start.