New Year - New Beginnings


New Year - New Beginnings

Declutter and Get Organised

Every year thousands of people make new-year's resolutions but it's a well known fact that we rarely stick to them. So how can we make a resolution to get our home organised and actually do it?  It's simple when you know how and here are a few simple steps to help you get on your way.


Try something new... instead of organising by room or area try getting organised by category. There's a very good reason for this. We tend to store the same category of items in many different places, for example cleaning products... some in the kitchen cupboard, on the kitchen window ledge, in the bathroom, in the utility room, in the garage, etc. Or if you have books you may store some on the book shelf, some in the dining room, in the bedroom, in the children's bedroom etc.

Organising by category brings to your attention how much of the same category of items you actually have and also highlights the fact that you are storing them in more than one location.  How many times have you gone to get a pen, not to be able to find one; you look on the kitchen worktop, in the kitchen drawer, in another drawer in another room, and so on. If the pens were stored in one place and only ever in one place then you would not only know where to return them to after use but also would always be able to find one.


A famous home organiser called Marie Kondo has a specific order for you to follow when decluttering and organising and it really makes sense. She says you should begin with your clothes, then books, then papers for the first three categories. You may think, "Oh my living room is a mess, the last thing I want to do is sort my clothes out." You have a good point but at Organised Houselife we have tried these methods and they actually work. The reason this method works so well is because by getting all of the same category of items together you can actually see how much you 'really' have. So by getting all your clothes together (all your clothes, wherever they are stored) you see how many tops, trousers, underwear, coats, shoes, and accessories you have. When things are stored in more than one place we don't realise the quantity we actually have. It also begins to dawn on you that you don't even like most of the clothes any more and will never wear them again. 


Don't fall into the trap of wanting to sell everything you no longer need because it will take you so long to get organised that you won't achieve what you've set out to do and you will give up. Bundle up your stuff and give it to charity. You need to get it out of the house as quickly as possible. There will be some items that you may be able to sell and get good money for, but most of your items will bring you very little money and it will take you much, much longer to get your home organised. In fact you will probably give up before you get to the next stage.


You want to get the job done quickly so that you see an immediate benefit. If you take a long time over it you will get disheartened. This is another reason for working by category - you can do the clothes in one session and get it completed, then in another session work on books and so on.  If you try and tackle a room you will end up just moving things to another location rather than really sorting the stuff.


Don't be tempted to start another area until you have fully completed the one you are doing. For example, when sorting clothes, put them into categories of keep, throw away, give away (and if you 'really' have to... have a pile for selling). Put all the stuff you are getting rid of by the front door or in the boot of your car, then put away the things you are keeping. You have finished the job when every item has a home and has been put away.


Charity shops won't take everything so have a look at how you can recycle. Clothes that can't be sold by a charity shop may be taken by them to sell on in bulk but separate them so they know what's good and what's not. Recycle centres now have all different areas for different things and some even have an area where you can leave items for people to up-cycle.


You may think it's a good idea to store things for later use. It's not a good idea! By storing it you are more than likely just putting off the decision of what to do with it. There are certain things that you will need to store such as seasonal decorations like Christmas decorations but on the whole think of storage as a negative rather than a positive. Don't go out and buy loads of storage containers as what you want to do is find a home for everything you own, rather than storing it away in boxes. If it's in a box then you probably don't need it.

Jane Fern