The last 2 years have made our physical and mental health more important than ever. Does your environment help or hinder you on a daily basis? How does your home make you feel? Can you benefit from clearing any clutter that does not add to your life.
Springtime is a period for renewal and growth. Tthe days are getting longer and you may find you have an increase in energy levels – you’ve got a spring in your step.
Take stock of what you want to achieve in the coming year (you don’t have to do everything at once). Is you home working helping you achieve this?
I can work alongside you to help create calm from chaos and find a path through the clutter and the stress it causes leading to a calmer life and home.
You wouldn’t be alone if you are starting to think about a new home.
The new year inspires many of us to consider a change, and with all the upheaval of the previous 2 years, then why not. Property valuation requests have increased on RightMove and the expectation is of a closer to normal market in 2022 and it being a strong sellers market.
In many cases our working lives have changed. More people are working from home and being in lock down certainly prompted many people to reassess their living spaces. Many people are looking further away from cities to take advantage of countryside living and the space this provides.
When I look at houses online (I’m nosey), the homes that I am attracted to are those with clear spaces, rather than those with cluttered rooms and overfilled shelves. It doesn’t matter if the home is small or large, how a home look on first sight is so important, and I’m not even buying! So to make your home memorable for the right reasons, taking some time to declutter and organise is well worth the effort. This could be working on your own or using a professional service.
Don’t Take What You Don’t Use
It also means that you won’t be paying to move items that you no longer need or love. Sometimes boxes get moved from one house to another and never get opened! Many people really only get around to a good declutter when moving. It’s easy to see why, it’s a big job.
Spaces that aren’t accessed in daily life such as storage cupboards, lofts, garages, sheds/outbuildings are easy to overlook. Do you push items into a cupboard and shut the door quickly so they don’t fall back out again, knowing that it will be weeks or months before you open the door again? Buyers will be looking at the available storage and if it looks like you can’t fit all of your possessions into the home, they may well think that they can’t either.
Show your buyers the best version of your home, with possessions that you clearly love, in a space that has been cared for.
Not everyone is in the position to move (or would want to) but there are things you can do do to make your current home work for you. Investing time in decluttering and organising will certainly make daily life easier. Take inspiration from homes online, check out Instagram and Pinterest, see what you like and how you could do this in your home. You also have more time, so break down the rooms you need to tackle into manageable chunks. Maybe just start with a draw, cupboard or wardrobe, you don’t need to do the whole house in one go.
Maybe choose the areas that cause the most concern and tackle those first. Spaces such as entrances and kitchens where the items have less emotional attachment may be easier for you and give you the most impact.
We are currently decorating our hall and stairs, just taking out one console table and taking pictures down really changes the space and gives a true blank canvas. This is the same for decluttering any area, take everything out and start fresh. Although we will still be using the same furniture and pictures when it all goes back (maybe not in the same places), just having that area clear really hit home on the importance of completely emptying a space. You can see more clearly, just like that time when you walked into your new home with no furniture or anything else to distract you.
So if you are looking to move or staying put, taking time to declutter and organise is time well spent. If you want to get organised once and for all, if clutter is causing chaos or you want to start on the right foot in a new home get in touch. I can help you and make the process fun (and nobody says that about moving).
I have a confession to makes and I’m sure many other people do this as well, I have kept hold of clothing “just in case”, and which I didn’t need any more,
When deciding to venture out as a professional organiser after working in corporate offices for many years, I kept some (but not all) of my old workwear. It wasn’t for sentimental reasons, it was mainly for the safety net that I had them there if I ever needed another office job. Maybe my new career path wouldn’t work out, maybe I would need to supplement my income at some point.
The “just in case” wardrobe
Although I had enough space to store these clothes, I felt that by keeping them it was holding me back. If I ever needed an office role again I could buy suitable clothing. Keeping hold of these clothes was making me feel that I could go back, but that isn’t what I wanted, so out they went.
Clean slate, fresh start, whatever you want to all it, by discarding these items it felt as though a weight had been lifted. Of course, letting go did not determine how my new venture would work out but I wouldn’t have the idea of “old life” in the back of my mind, or wardrobe.
“I payed good money for that!”
The same can be said for holding onto clothes for may other reasons; someday they will fit, this outfit reminds me of a special place or person, I’m sure one day they will be fashionable again, maybe one of my kids would like them, and the obligatory “I paid good money for that”. The pressure is always at the back of your mind, letting go not only frees space in your home but also in your mind.
So eventually I let go of the final “just in case” items, I sold or donated and moved on without my old life holding me back or giving me a perceived safety net.
if you need help or advice on decluttering and organising your wardrobe; workwear, casual or children’s clothes, please get in touch.
Remember, I’ve been there!
If you’re ready to get organised and streamline your home, pleaseget in touch.
APDO is the UK’s membership association for decluttering and organising professionals.
Do you need guidance and support to organise your home, your office or you life?
If the answer is yes, I offer practical help, with no judgement, to help you on your decluttering and organisation journey.
I help to declutter and organise homes to make them flow and function in the best way possible. I help with anything from general decluttering and home organisation, house moves, both moving in or moving out, upsizing or downsizing, changes due to bereavement or other life changing events.
I love working with my clients and every job is different, from kitchens to garages, bedrooms to office spaces, bathrooms to living rooms.
If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.
As the saying goes, “one man’s rubbish is another mans treasure”, and similar can be said for clutter. What one person sees as clutter someone else may find useful or loved.
Clutter – A collection of things lying about in an untidy state
So what can be classed as clutter?
Items that don’t have a home can become clutter, this doesn’t mean they aren’t needed, they may still be used, there just isn’t a dedicated home. This then leads to the item becoming clutter.
The solution – find a home, it may be in a completely different area of the house, or you may just need to define a storage solution.
Make sure to throw away all the rubbish!
It’s easy for letters to be left in piles rather than actioned (or filed), which means they are then clutter. Empty drinks cans left on the kitchen work surfaces, along with crisp packets or food wrappers, can be another culprit, but an easy fix.
Bottles of used hair products that are still in the shower cubicle, make-up that is all but finished, the empty toilet roll on the shelf!
Get into the habit of sorting through items which easily build up to clutter, it’s different for everyone. Spend 5 minutes a day checking that you have thrown away/recycled everything that is now rubbish.
But it was a bargain…
It’s so tempting to buy an item when it is sold to you as a “bargain“, possibly a “one time only” deal. But did you really need it?
If you stopped to really think about it’s use, rather than the price, would you still purchase it. It’s only a bargain if you already had considered purchasing it before you saw the advert.
Would you buy it at full price?
Over the last few years your shopping habits may have been affected by an implied risk of shortages. Many people bulk buy to feel safe and secure, if you have the room to store these items (and they are not perishable, or will get used in time), then this isn’t necessarily an issue. But when storing these items causes a problem in day to day life then it becomes clutter.
You can either create systems to ensure these items are stored well and are then used, or you can donate, there are many worthwhile causes.
Do you buy for the lifestyle you aspire to?
It is easy to fall into the trap of buying items that we think we will need for our future self. This isn’t the same as buying a winter coat in the end of season sale and then storing it away until it is needed. It is buying items that reflect a life-style we would “like to live”.
Maybe a formal dress for a function that we would probably never even attend, a ski jacket for a holiday that isn’t likely to be taken, sports wear for an activity we will probable never participate in. Craft items for a project that you possibly won’t even start. A bread maker because you feel that’s what you “should” be doing.
Even if in the future you has the opportunity to use these items, how much space have they taken up in your home before they have been used? Are they in fashion, usable, appropriate?
Keep only the items that you are using now, if items are seasonal, store them away but make sure they are relevant to your needs.
What about sentimental items that we are holding onto?
Do you keep items because you feel you “have to” or because they are sentimental and bring back memories.
Letting go of these items doesn’t mean you loose the memories. Maybe keeping just one item will remind you of a particular person, time or place. You don’t need to keep a whole box of stuff to achieve this.
These items can be, understandably, one of the hardest to let go, calling in a professional can help you along the way, without telling you what you have to throw away, that’s always your decision,
if you’re ready to declutter and get organised, please get in touch.
Sometimes there is a specific reason (with a time scale) for decluttering and organising, such as guests coming to stay.
I recently worked with a client where we had previously planned to organise the loft, but things change! On arriving and discussing our aims it was obvious that we needed to alter the plan. We decided to work on my clients spare room as she had guests coming to stay.
My client had boxes and bags of items collected over the years to scrapbook. There were also family photos and other bits and pieces both on the bed and stored inside.
Everything for scrapbooking was mixed together so my client had left the projects “for another day”. Who can relate to that!
By decluttering and organising my client felt inspired to start scrapbooking – the whole point of keeping these items in the first place.
By editing out the items that she didn’t need, my client now knows what to keep for future projects. It’s easy to keep every flyer, ticket, handout or sticker thinking that you will use them.
By having everything organised my client was inspired to start scrapbooking again, which was the whole point of keeping mementoes.
The mementoes are easily accessible for future scrapbooking, but the room is much tidier and organised. There is now space for guests – especially as the scrapbooking has started.
Is you spare room ready for guests?
Do you need to use your spare room for another purpose?
I love learning and am pleased to announce that I have completed the Centre of Excellence Professional Decluttering and Organising Business Diploma with a distinction.
We have far more stuff today than ever before, the average woman in the 1930’s had less than 40 items of clothing and wore them regularly (Cladwell). Today, she has up to 120 items of clothing but only wears 20% of them. That’s 80% taking up space and never worn!
This is the space you can claim back…
Many of us would like an organised home that works well for us, but then claim not to have the time or willpower to organise. Living in a cluttered home can cause stress and frustration,
This is where a professional organiser can step in, I can see a path through your clutter and can help you create systems to keep your home organised.
The thought of moving home fills some people with dread, the thought of preparing your current home for market, the stress of boxing up all your items and then unpacking in your new home.
It doesn’t matter whether you are purchasing/renting a larger home or downsizing, the upheaval can be immense.
So why not use the services of a professional organiser?
You have already used professional services such as an estate agent, lawyer, mortgage company, removal company and maybe a cleaner. So using a professional organiser can be another service that you use to make the whole experience much easier and less stressful.
Make sure your current home sells as quickly and easily as possible
I bet as you browse websites and look in estate agents windows, the homes that you are drawn to aren’t the ones full of clutter.
Homes with work surfaces, drawers and cupboards overflowing won’t inspire buyers. Removing items makes your home much more attractive to prospective buyers. Using an organiser before you move can be just the boost you need to sell your home and start as you mean to go on. Why take items to your new home that you don’t love or need.
Why pay to move items that you have hardly used in your current home?
Having a good declutter before you move is a great idea and saves you paying for items to be moved that you don’t use, sometimes boxes are unopened since the last move!
Make moving day easier and less stressful, I can help in the run up to the big day.
I make sure that everything will be packed so it is easier to organise when you unpack, creating systems so you and your removal company have a guise as to what goes where.
New home, now where do I put everything!
I can help so that the key areas in your home are organised from the day you move in, and beyond.
Even if you are moving to a larger property, I can help to ensure that you are using this space in the best way possible for your lifestyle. It can be easy in a larger property, or even one with more storage space, to quickly put items away without taking time to think how and when they are used.
Creating storage systems can be even more important when downsizing, I can help when the size and quantity of storage spaces is reduced.
Move in day and beyond
I can help at any time, you may just need to get into your new home and worry about organisation later. You may want to live in your new home before deciding exactly how you are going to use the rooms. What you thought might be a playroom might be better as an office. Homes and lifestyles change over time, and so will the the organisation systems. As children move out you may find that bedroom is great as a hobby room.
If you’re ready to get organised and streamline your home, pleaseget in touch.
As you may have seen on my social media pages I carried out a 40days40items challenge for Lent and I just wanted to share my thoughts of what I felt during and following the challenge.
I would often say I would give up chocolate or something else for Lent (but hardly ever followed through – I love chocolate!!!) so this year I thought I would challenge myself to something which would benefit me, my family and my home. So I decided to carry out a decluttering challenge, 40 days seemed ideal. All I had to do was find one item each day that was not used or wanted.
The aim was to donate, gift, recycle or find another use for an item.
So the items were really random, from nutcrackers, cheese knives and hair bands, even a coat which didn’t fit the dog, to the usual clothes, ornaments, books and jewellery.
There were a few days where I wasn’t sure if I could find enough items for the 40 days, but it actually became easier as I went along. It’s amazing what you can actually see when some clutter is removed, whether this clutter is in plain sight or hidden away in a cupboard or drawer.
So what went, as we were coming to the end of winter it was an ideal time to let go of clothing that I didn’t need any more. Be honest with yourself, does that jumper or dress fit, does it fit your lifestyle and does it suit you. Leaving items in drawers and wardrobes which will never be worn leaves feelings of guilt.
We also had a number of items that I had kept after my parents had passed away, initially keeping the items for sentimental reasons, but realising that the memories of my parents were not defined by keeping a paperweight or ornament. By donating, you give someone else the opportunity to use or the love that item.
My husband also had a large DVD collection but hardly watched them any more. We had a good sort through and were quite ruthless. Many of the films are accessible on Netflix or Sky now, we just kept some stand-up DVDs and some of our favourite films which we will watch again. He also agreed to let go of a large CD collection, everything is on iTunes anyway, again we just kept a few that we would keep for the car.
We were able to donate some thick sofa throws to the local kennels and doggy day care business we use, they took up so much space in the cupboard and I had started to use different throws so these were rarely used. I also had some old duvets which we will donate to the local rescue centre when we can travel, which didn’t even manage to make it onto the 40 days list, showing that when you start to declutter, it gets easier to keep going.
At the moment many of the items are boxed up ready for charity shops to open but I have also booked collection or postal services for clothes, jewellery, DVDs and CDs, other items have been passed on to family and friends (only if they need or want them)
I found that letting go of clutter was actually an incentive to revisit little used items. I have really made the effort to use products that I’d not used in a while, lockdown was the perfect opportunity to try different hair and makeup products, if they didn’t suit, then out they went.
Just getting in the mindset of letting go of items that really don’t work for you becomes easier as the days go by. Benefits can be seen quite quickly, use that feeling of achievement to carry on with your goals. If you wanted to do a similar challenge you could choose any length of time, 40 days, one month, one week or day, you could even choose to declutter a certain number of items or items from a particular area in your home. Whatever is best for you, the biggest step is getting started.
So what did we let go of;
2 bags of clothes
Another random knife
Collection of hairbrushes
Another set of nutcrackers
Hair product that didn’t suit my hair type
Spare hair dryer that was never needed
Collection of takeaway menus
Framed Egyptian papyrus
Folders and notes
Glass “Cat & Mouse” ornament
2 pairs of never worn Ugg boots
Selection of scarves
Set of Shakespeare books
Another hair band
Diffuser found which fitted the donated hairdryer
If you’re ready to get organised and streamline your home, pleaseget in touch.