Top 3 wasy for an Eco Christmas

See 3 easy ways to be eco-friendly at Christmas (and give yourself more time too)

  1. Gifts

 

What is enough? Try to avoid last-minute buying. You’ve probably got enough already. Everything we buy will eventually be thrown away. So consider this with what you buy and consider what extra clutter you might be adding to your loved ones’ homes.

 

For the person who really has everything they need, give an experience present or charity donation gift (to their favour charity or even an animal adoption)

 

2. Food waste

 

5 million puddings, 2 million turkeys, 74 million mince pies go to waste each Christmas.

 

– Try not to overbuy

– Put waste food in to food caddy for recyling

– Freeze leftovers and label

 

 

3. Christmas Tree

 

Fake or real? Either way, you can make a significant eco-friendly impact at Christmas.

 

Plastic – buy the best quality you can afford, store carefully and keep for a minimum of 10 years

 

Real – if it is cut at the base – the tree will capture carbon from the atmosphere as it grows (yay) but this will be lost back into the atmosphere on disposal or even increased depending on what you do with it after Christmas.

 

Going into landfill (where anaerobic digestion) takes place releases 3 times as much carbon back into the atmosphere – adding to climate change

 

Just making sure you take to the green composting at the recycling centre or arrange council or charity collection for composting will prevent any carbon from being released.

 

It might seem like an extra hassle at Christmas but it was worth the effort of getting it into your home, so you can drop it off after.

 

Which green tree is best to buy is a little more complicated. For more on Christmas Trees – listen to Sliced Bread podcast 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001svkh

 

References: Belfast University, BBC, UK Gov.com and The Soil Association

 

Top 5 ways to organise toys

Lizreneedavis com

Top hacks for Organising Toys:

2 minute read

 

 

 

1. Ikea Kallax storage

 
Ikea - Kallax unit
Pinterest - source unknown
Our Doherty Life - Pinterest

Add Ikea Kallax storage unit(s):

  • Use for larger toys and games
  • Label each container by toy type
  • Use a photo label to help kids keep their own stuff tidy
  • Use new box dividers if necessary to keep categories separate
  • Create additional storage and add on top of other cabinets (secure to the wall)

 

2. Sort by Colour

 
Pinterest - Freshexchange.com
John Lewis - @the_home_edit
Pinterest - Studiodiy.com

Divide toys or games items by colour:

  • Humans are very visual, categorising by colour is a great way for any child or adult to find something.
  • Use with clear containers or jars
  • Works well with books, games, books, lego, clothes and craftstoys

 

3. Use a trolley

 
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Create flexible storage:

  • Compact, fun and easy to move around 
  • Easy for kids to see what they have
  • Store items upright where you can

 

4. Hang stuff up

 
Pinterest - thecottagemarket.com
Ikea - Fangst
Ikea

Make more space using vertical storage:

  • Get creative
  • Use backs of doors, walls and ceilings

 

5. Zone the room

 
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Pinterest
Pinterest - kireei com

Divide playroom into areas (do this even if you don’t have much space):

  • Stand back and look at the activities your child or teenager does now
  • Categorise and put similar things together
  • Then match the storage to each of these

You might want to consider zones for
Dress up
Desk for homework 
Messy play
Lego or Duplex
Boardgames
Books
Large toys
Collectables
Soft toys

How to Organise an Annoying Cupboard

4 min video – Get Organised: How to sort out that Annoying Cupboard

 

How to make a cupboard work better for you

 

  • Edit and declutter
  • Remove and recycle out-of-date, crusty or broken items
  • Decide if something really needs to be in here 
  • If it’s backstock or rarely used,  store it in harder-to-access places (I put a few items in the attic in a storage box) 

 

Why? The less stored in a cupboard the easier it will be to access what you actually need 

 
  • Measure up the cupboard
  • Choose containers that fit exactly

 

Tip: Cut baking parchment to fit the bottom of a drawer or cupboard then take this to the shops and try out what fits

 

  • Add drawers or shelves to maximise the storage space
  • Choose quality products, more likely to be functional longer term, reducing waste
  • Group the same times together
  • Use smaller containers to divide up larger containers if required
  • You might want to separate out different people’s stuff – if this helps keep it organised
  • Label containers if required
 
Products used in the video:
The home Edit & Idesign storage drawer @Johnlewis
The home Edit & Idesign bin organiser Small @Johnlewis
Various fridge bins from @homesense
 
If you have any questions about what I did or the products get in contact.

 

See where to recycle, donate or sell your unwanted items see my Donation Directory

How to create the perfect playroom

Top hacks for Organising a Playroom:

2 minute read

 

 

1. Colour

 
Pinterest - Freshexchange.com
John Lewis - @the_home_edit
Pinterest - Studiodiy.com

Divide playroom items by colour:

  • Humans are very visual, categorising by colour is a great way for any child or adult to find something.
  • Use with clear containers or jars
  • Works well with books, games, books, lego, clothes and crafts

 

2. Hang stuff up

 
Pinterest - thecottagemarket.com
Ikea - Fangst
Ikea

Make more space using vertical storage:

  • Get creative
  • Use backs of doors, walls and ceilings

 

3. Use a trolley

 
Pinterest - projectnursery.com
Pinterest - this modern life.com
Pinterest - chalkacademy.com

Create flexible storage:

  • Compact, fun and easy to move around 
  • Easy for kids to see what they have
  • Store items upright where you can

 

4. Zone the room

 
Pinterest - mamka.moscow
Pinterest
Pinterest - kireei com

Divide playroom into areas (do this even if you don’t have much space):

  • Stand back and look at the activities your child or teenager does now
  • Categorise and put similar things together
  • Then match the storage to each of these

You might want to consider zones for
Dress up
Desk for homework 
Messy play
Lego or Duplex
Boardgames
Books
Large toys
Collectables
Soft toys

 

5. Sentimental box

 
Canva
Etsy - Haywood Engraving
Ikea - Tjena

Create a keepsake box for sentimental items:

  • Just like us if we mix up everyday items with our keepsakes it adds to the clutter
  • Get kids used to this concept early in life
  • Encourage them to store the ‘just for sentimental items’ somewhere special
  • Sit with them to edit this intermittently

The Organised Wardrobe

2 min video – The Organised Wardrobe: Before and After Transformation

If you have any questions about what I did or the products get in contact.

 

 

What my client said:

 “Imogen kept my thinking on track, she asked pragmatic questions, and continually queried how we were organising would work for me and my habits. She managed my expectations and was clear about what we would achieve offering the benefits of what we were doing. 10 out of 10″


Tips: How to Edit and declutter more from your wardrobe 

(and let go of what you don’t need)

 

  • Pick a favourite charity to donate items to before you start 
  • Picture items you donate going being re-homed for a second life (instead of unloved and unworn in your wardrobe)
  • Remove damaged, torn, or broken items
  • Remove items that don’t fit you now
  • Remove items that don’t make you feel like Beyonce or Lizzo or like your own beautiful self, you deserve this now, today
  • If you are not sure, then try it on or wear it in the next few days, you’ll soon remember if there is a reason why you don’t wear something or if you have just forgotten you had it
  • Be honest, if you haven’t worn it in a few years, let it go 
  • If you are keeping something for sentimental reasons then take it out and put it in a separate Sentimentals Box, freeing up space
  • If you are keeping something because you might fit into it in the future, consider when that change happens if this is the item you’ll celebrate that with or if you’d probably get something else even better then
  • Once you have edited, consider which choice items you need to complete and compliment what you have, buy next with this in mind
  • Remember the ‘buy cheap buy twice’ proverb when considering future purchases.
 

Where to donate or sell your unwanted items see my Donation Directory

 

Secret to organising a shed

Shed storage ideas

1 minute read

 

The Edit and Declutter

 

  • Check the weather forcast (aim for a dry day)
  • Get spare tarpaulins or dust sheets, to lay on the lawn or patio
  • Take a before photo (so you can see what you’ve achieved after)
  • Get everything out
  • Have recycle bags, rubble stacks or a skip (depending on the scale of the project) ready for waste items
  • Dedicate an area for Re-home and to Sell items to be put as you go
  • Remove broken or un-repairable items
  • Remove items you just don’t need anymore (be honest about when you last used them)
  • Decide what’s to be kept
  • Organise into categories on the tarpaulins as you go e.g pots, gardening, tools, seeds, bike stuff etc.
  • This will help decide how best to store it once you start to put it back – match the quantity and size of items to the best place in the shed

 

If you want ideas on where to donate your unwanted items see my Donation Directory

 

How to maximise shed storage and keep it tidy:

 

  • Take a look at the empty shed
  • Does the current furniture or shelving best use the space?
  • Look to hang up as much as possible 
  • You might want to invest in wall racking to exactly match what you have to store e.g Wall storage systems and is flexible for future storage
  • Use clear, labeled containers to put the same categories together
  • Dig out old Tupperware and take away containers which can be great for storing seed packets or screw/bolts etc.
  • Choose an exact place for everything – label shelves and containers, so everyone knows where things are and where to put them back
  • Sort out the best lighting possible for your shed and budget – a dark space will be harder to use and keep tidy

 

The secret to being more productive working from home

Your Home Office

 

 

“We all get distracted, it’s how we manage this that counts”

1. Think about what you like best about working from home? Maybe it’s a bit more sleep in the morning or being able to get involved with daily family activities. What have you enjoyed doing and what really matters to you?  Think about what is non-negotiable in your day and what you don’t want to miss out on.  Book these in to your routine and remember this is the trade-off for other parts of your working day. 

 

2. We all get distracted, it’s how you manage it that counts. We get interrupted by others at home, lose focus, get frustrated or anxious as we try to keep on top of work or finish projects. 

 

Start with the physical space and set-up of your work area to reduce distractions. Be deliberate in your choice of work space. Don’t underestimate the effect a good home working environment has on your concentration and well being. Keep an area tidy, studies show a mess reduces our ability to focus on a task (Sabine Kastner 2015).

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Then think about those you share your house with. Discuss your working hours together, consider what everyone needs. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you are off work. This might not always translate to younger members of the family but explain when and what you will do together daily, and talk to them about what you do in your work time. 

 

Are you looking after yourself outside of work? If you are physically and mentally well then this will show in your work. Don’t allow good habits to slip while at home. It will be better for you and your work long-term. Eat your 5 a day, rest, divide work and relaxation clearly. Don’t work late and over time, which is really easy to do, allowing a recharge and rest will aid problem solving and decision making. A Stanford study showed longer hours didn’t increase productivity (John Pencaval, 2014).

 

And lastly, and most importantly, ask yourself when you are most productive? Noticing your own habits and natural tendencies and working with them is key to maximising your productivity. Try different things to find out what works for you: start early, try exercise before work, or swap some work hours to the evening when your children are in bed. It’s time to get creative and really work out how best you work and make the most of it. Don’t forget to communicate any changes you are trying with your colleagues and those you live with. Being flexible and open will help others help you. You being more productive is better for your company or colleagues in the long-term, so ask them to help you. For more support find an accountability partner, a person you trust, to check in with regularly regarding your to do list. You can help keep each other on track. Just by vocalising what you want to do and what you haven’t done, to someone else, will focus your actions.  

 

Distracted? Not getting your to-do list done?

 

Productivity tips:

  • Use Pomodoro timer*
  • Dress up for your day
  • Leave your phone away from you
  • Choose 3 things you need to get done today
  • Declutter your desk/workspace
  • Do one thing a day which aids your mental health
 

* breaking tasks into easy to achieve, focused slots, Pomofocus

 

For more: What productive people do to stop getting distracted (3-minute read)

Top 5 ways to organise shoes

Shoe storage ideas

1 minute read

 

How to maximise shoe storage and keep it tidy:

 

  • Get editing, are you holding on to shoes you don’t use?
  • If you are keeping a pair of shoes just for sentimental reasons, put them in a mementos box or on display – don’t keep them with your everyday shoes.
  • Add actual storage to where you keep your shoes (not just in a pile)
  • If this is overflowing – can you store less-used shoes elsewhere?
  • Consider storing out of season footwear away
  • Maximise hanging space (inside a cupboard/downstairs toilet door)
  • Don’t overfill the bottom of the wardrobe with shoe storage, this can add to a cluttered feel and it’s tempting to pile other stuff on top of it.
  • Consider investing in a simple modular wall unit (this way you can make it fit exactly what you have. See video for where to get.
  • Baskets work well for children’s shoes – label one container for each child – so they know where to put them away after use.
  • Change your shoe storage to reflect any change in lifestyle or hobbies. Make it work for you.

 

If you want ideas on where to donate your unwanted items see my Donation Directory

@ Buzzfeed com
@ Kippiathome com
A place for everything. com
Pure salt interiors.com
@ Pinterest
@ Pinterest
@ Decornob
Something good blog. com

Quick Labelling Hack

Kitchen Storage Hack – 30 second video

Using glass jars in the kitchen

1 minute read

 

Why use jars?

 

Anyone can easily see what stock you have and how much is left of it. It looks great and there is the simple pleasure of pouring rice into a glass container. For an extra touch add a label – see my video hack above.

 

My top tips are:

 

  • Use glass (a bit more sustainable) or plastic containers
  • Use sturdy jars or washed out produce jars are fine
  • Measure shelf/cupboard before buying jars to make sure you get the right fit 
  • Match jar size to produce e.g I use Risotto rice more than normal rice so I have a larger jar for that.
  • Try square jars, to use space more economically, see Eden and Willow
  • For a better look – buy all the same jar style and if on display, use groups of three or fives, looks more appealing.
  • I use a combination of Maddison jars, Eden and Willow square jars and M&S on a pull-out rack. I tend to use jars with wooden lids.
  • At end of life check if the glass can be recycled (toughen glass can not be recycled in the normal way)
  • See the video for more ideas

 

For more ideas join my Organise your Home like a Pro class.

Best Basket Storage

Basket Storage – How to use baskets in your home – 3 min video

How you can use baskets in your home

1 minute read

 

Why I use baskets for storage in my home:

 

  • Eco-friendly, coming from fast growing crops
  • Biodegradable at end of life
  • Long-lasting if cared for
  • Available from Fairtrade companies (helps communities generate own income)
  • Look good, obvs 😉
  • Versatile, I use baskets in my own bathroom, wardrobe, kitchen and office

Can be used for – toiletries, as drawer dividers for clothes, linens, towels, toys, packet foods in the kitchen, and office items like paperwork and stationery (anywhere except where they might be exposed to sustained damp)

 

While researching some baskets this week I noticed some lined baskets were on offer @La Redoute – 35% sale on these (see below).

 

Why I like lined baskets:

 

  • Easier to clean (the material comes out and can be washed in a machine)
  • The material protects what’s in it, like clothes
  • Comes in 3 sizes so you can match the size to what you are storing.

See fairtrade baskets at Bolga Baskets, Ethical Superstore and Natural Collection

 

Also see lined baskets at @ The Basket Company. You get non-lined baskets at @Wilkos @John Lewis @Ebay

La Redoute
La Redoute

P.S I don’t get any incentive from recommending them. I just like the product and the brand

 

How you could use:

La Redoute
Home.Orga_2021 @Instagram
Idesign @Pinterest
Our Perfecting Manor @ Pinterest
Brit Co @ Pinterest
Interiors storage and declutter @ Instagram
I organise by daniela