Top 10 books and TV to inspire a home declutter

home organizer tunbridge wells

Get inspired to sort out your home…

Book & Community hub

The Year of Less - Cait Flanders

Great story of how she worked her way to clear $30,000 of debit  and the process learnt about her own patterns of unhelpful behaviour around food, shopping and money.

Personal and honest. Lots I felt I could relate to my own life and simple if challenging lessons for all. Also available free on the UK Library audio app’ Libby’, which is how I found it. See her on IG @caitflanders

Book

A Life Less Throwaway: The lost art of buying for life - Tara Button

Lifts the lid on the selling psychology we are exposed to everyday – includes the reasons why things don’t last the way they used to. Understand the history, science and reality of how we are persuaded to replace what we already own. 

Informative and you cannot unlearn this stuff once you know it. Founder of Buymeonce – Selling items fit to last from umbrellas to cooking pots at  www.buymeonce.com

You Tube TV

Living Big in a Tiny House - Bryce Langston

Inspiration and great ideas from amazing homes with incredibly small storage, beautiful places all around the world. Hear interesting stories of how, why people made the change to debt fee living.  

Multiple 15-17min episodes 

Amazing Tiny home Washington

Podcast

Declutter Hub

Professional organiser’s Ingrid and Lesley based in the UK talk you through how to declutter and organise different parts of the house.  A comprehensive resource with real-life examples from their work with clients. Find on IG @declutterhub

100+ 1 hour episodes from your podcast app

Podcast

NPR - Planet Money

A podcast I love from the US’s equilivent of the BBC. Economics to awe and explain the real world.  The link between clutter and our money is maybe not talked about enough and this opened my mind to how finance defines the world and my own too. Amazing storytelling.

100+ 20min episodes

Netflicks

Get organised - The Home Edit

A social media success story @thehome edit and Professional Organisers Clea and Joanna. 

Join them on Netflixs as they organise a room for clients, including celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, who also produces the show. Buy their organising  products @thecontainerstore and @johnlewis

8 x 1-hour episodes

Book, Netflixs & You Tube

Spark Joy with Marie Kondo

Growing up in a 1 room apartment with her family in Japan instilled the art of making the most of any space. Read her book ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ or watch her programmes to understand her category based method of decluttering. Also, see her online training course.

8 x 1-hour episodes www.konmaire.com

Podcast

The Art of Declutting

Professional Organisers Amy Revell and Kirsty Farrugia are Professional Organisers based in Sydney, Australia. A chatty podcast where they talk in-depth about how they help their clients get homes organised and decluttered. Find on IG @theartofdecluttering

100+ 1 hour episodes from your podcast app

Book

Nudge - Thaler & Sunstein

Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Richard Thaler, and Cass Sunstein. Improving decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. How small decisions you make every day can have big results. Eye opening.

Again I found it on the Library audio app’ Libby’, which is free in the UK. I find non fiction books easier to listen to than read.

Podcast

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Author of the 4 tendencies theory of personality – explaining why we do what we do.  Advice about happiness and good habits in this lively, thought-provoking podcast, often with guests and her sister.

‘Act the way you feel’ GR

Find her on IG @gretchenrubin

Hall storage ideas

How to make space in your hallway

Start by putting the kettle on. Make a tea/coffee and move a chair to your hallway, drink it here. Have a look at what’s there. You’ll probably see something straight away you can remove or re-home. Decide if everything there is used often and needs to live there. Consider storing seasonal items elsewhere. Making more space here will be really noticeable.

 

Do the well-used items have a designated location, which is easy to access and so easy to put away? 

 

Consider:

 

  • Putting seasonal items else and swapping out 
  • Do all the shoes need to live here, how many per person?
  • Do regularly used items have a place to sit/hang e.g purse, handbag, keys, shopping bags
  • If well-used items just sit on the floor then other items will magically build up around them
  • What do you do with your post? What would make it easiest to deal with it?

Hallway storage ideas...

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Pinterest Shophomebasics
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Etsy
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House Beautiful
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Southern-living
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Top 3 Declutter Projects in Lockdown

Where do you start when you want to get cracking on decluttering and editing your home?

Lockdown may mean daily life is more chaotic than ever, more people living and working for longer in the same space. 

 

The key to making progress on editing and organising your home is to start on projects which are:

 

  • Achievable
  • Simple
  • You can do in multiple small time chunks
  • Don’t make too much mess
  • Make you feel like you are making progress
  • You are able to re-home what you don’t want

Your 3 Quick Projects

  1. Plastic containers
    • Remove unmatched lids

    • Recycle damaged ones

    • Decide how many you actually use

    • Donate the rest

 

2. Re-home unwanted Bras

    • Remove any which don’t fit you

    • Any that are damaged

    • Or you just don’t wear

       

Post to Against Breast Cancer or @Smallsforall

 

3. Edit your sportswear

    • Decide what you actually use

    • Remove damaged items

    • Only keep what you feel comfortable in

Donate your preloved clothes online in lockdown to:

@refashionuk

https://re-fashion.co.uk/pages/order-a-donation-bag

@rethread

How products can help you stay organised in the kitchen

What’s the secret to keeping your kitchen organised and clutter-free for the long-term. A few carefully chosen organising products can really help keep your cupboards tidy and organised long after you’ve sorted them out. Here are some I’ve used myself which are still look like this months and years afterwards.

 

Here’s how using step 1, 2 & 3

Before

It is hard to find things, everything keeps getting jumbled up

Step 1.

Get everything out and do a really good edit.

Think carefully about who actually uses it and how often. Ideally, a kitchen only has items accessible which are used weekly, with maybe monthly use items in harder to reach cupboards. Decide if it’s worth taking up valuable space in your home. 

Step 2.

Choose suitable organising products

Choose products which fit your cupboards, divide up the space with products to keep similar items together. Always look to see what you already have, go for the eco option and use your old lid-less Tupperware pots or takeaway containers. In this case, something a little different was needed and these fitted perfectly from Ikea. I was inspired by @Out_Of_Hoarder on Instagram. 

Step 3. After

And finally

Add your product, try to use height of items to keep everything visible, larger items at the back. This helps everyone know where to find items and it makes it easier to put them back and keep it tidy. Use labels if it helps guide others to know where things go.

Top 5 tips to organising your kitchen cupboards

Top 5 tips to organise your kitchen cupboards...

1. Tackle one cupboard at a time

“It will take longer than you think & you want the satisfaction of finishing in the time you have.”


2. Remove everything from the cupboard

“Put it all out on your worktop, so you can see everything. You’ll find things you’d forgotten you had” 


3. Remove out of date products, put duplicates together

“Clean containers & recycle. You might want to keep some to help organise items when you put back.”


4. Ask yourself: Will I use it?

“Ask yourself this before putting items back. Don’t waste your valuable cupboard space or food if it could be re-homed.”


5. Use clear containers to keep items together

“If you can see it, you’ll use it. Keep items you use often at the front of the cupboard”

For a chance to ask questions about your own kitchen, join me on my FREE webinars… find out more here

Top 5 tips for getting you ready for Autumn

Top 5 tips for getting organised this Autumn that you might have forgotten…

  1. Clean and put away your Garden Furniture, bag up the cushions and store well out of the way.

  2. Put away your summer clothes, store in the attic in labelled clear boxes or bags if needs be, decide if any should be given to charity. Use vacuum bags to save space.

  3. Make space by the front door for wet weather gear, again donating or recycling any that you don’t use.

  4. Get cosy. Order your winter firewood, bring out your blankets, wash your slippers and get a door excluder.

  5. Start your Christmas lists, order cards, wrapping paper, ask relatives for their present wish lists and start making space and declutter your home.

For more Christmas tips – join my free Christmas Organising Webinar 

How to sort out your pan drawer

A great example of how one thing simple thing can turn part of your kitchen from annoying chaos into simply organised and easy to use.

This is what I did in my own pan drawer at home. 

 

And the best bit is it’s stayed like this.

home organiser sevenoaks

I got mine from Homesense in Tunbridge Wells but there are lots available online stores like Amazon or www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk

How to change people you live with who clutter up your house?

3 easy steps to follow, suggestions to have a positive impact on those you live with and their 'clutter'...

This is your home too and how other people share the space with you matters, to your physical, as well as mental health. 

 

This definitely includes belongings, yours, theirs and shared stuff.

 

Spoiler alert. I don’t really believe you can change anyone else. 

 

Can people’s behaviour change YES, but that can only come from them.

 

So what can you do?

 

You have influence & a voice.

 

Start considering these steps to have a positive influence with clutter and those you live with?  Your partner, children, step-children, grandparents, in-laws…

 

  1. Start with your own stuff
  2. Be specific
  3. Come back to subject after heated moment has gone, but do come back otherwise you’ll never address it.
 

Find out what these mean in the video…

Where to donate unwanted items now

After a fabulous declutter you just want to pass you pre-loved items to a new home but some places are still closed post lockdown  So where do you go?

 

Here is a list of places that are open and ready to take your items right now.  I’ve mentioned some in and around Tunbridge wells but I’ve also added some which should be applicable to wherever you are. Please let me know when and where you notice others.

Books, Music & DVDs

Oxfam, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge

– over 500 shops UK wide – find your local one here

Clothing

Heart of Hospice – 4a Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells

Hospice in the Weald, 30 Camden Road, Mount Pleasant, Pembury High Street & Onsite at Hospice in Pembury (with well-organised containers for all donations)

Oxfam, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge – over 500 shops – find your local one here

For broken items which cannot be donated or sold

Broken electrical items, batteries, wood can all be recycled and the raw materials used in other goods. Please don’t just put in the bin, this will just be added to landfill. Made the effort and book a slot at your local recycling centre. 

https://beta.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/refuse-and-recycling/north-farm

 

All other working items

For the best ways to give items away or sell them see my previous blog

10 things to do before selling your home

Photo by @britstrawbridge

Home staging will increase the value and speed of your house sale.

Are you selling your house? 78% of estate agents and other property professionals, said they believed home staging would increase the offer value of the property by up to 10%.

The most recent report from the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland (HSA) 2019 also concluded that staged homes sell up to 3 times faster than of a non-staged home.  Now the stamp duty threshold has changed, the housing market has taken off and everyone wants to sell.  So how do you make sure your property stands out to potential buyers?

 

What is on your to-do list before the estate agent photos are taken? You’ve tidied your belongings away, what else is there to do?  Is there anything you’ve missed or might not have thought of? See the top 10 ten below, of the obvious and not so obvious things professionals recommend you do before you sell.

What is Home
Staging?

home organiser sevenoaks

“The preparation of a private residence to make it as appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money.”

A total of 94% of estate agents said that ‘Home Staging does increase the number of viewings’ (HSA report).

Before you sell  take a fresh look at your home to make the most of your asset. When we live in a home for a while we often stop noticing details which others would see on the first viewing.  Grab a pen and paper and go for a walk around your house, and make a list of all items which need attention. Try to be objective and let go of the idea that this is your home, think of where you are moving to and why, focus on that instead.

1.

Photo by @twterrace

Kerb appeal

Take a good look at the front of your house or flat. When buyers arrive outside for their first view, impress them from the off. Does anything need to be cleared away like leaves, overgrown bushes or even builder’s waste? Does anything need to be cleaned or swept like windows, the front path or communal entrance? Is there anything broken that could easily be fixed or removed altogether like a damaged garden gate? Consider if flaky paintwork could be retouched on walls or fences. However, only take on jobs that are minimal or low cost, leave larger or expensive projects to the new owners to add their own taste choice.

2.

Finish jobs you’ve started and don’t start new ones

Half-finished decorating or building projects could give the impression that your home is poorly maintained. Moving home will take time and effort so use your energy wisely. There are plenty of things you can do to maximise your selling potential, by decluttering and styling, without adding timely DIY projects, which risk not being finished by the time your photos are taken or even at all. Kirsty Allsop is quoted in The Guardian as saying ‘What people don’t like are DIY projects that aren’t completed.  Anything that is unfinished is a real turn-off’. This was echoed recently by a local estate agent who said this was their top suggestion to their new vendors.

3.

Declutter

Make your home look and feel as large as possible by decluttering what you no longer want. You would like your buyers to see your lovely house, not all your belongings.  Also, why spend more time and money moving the excess items to your new home. Remember if your unwanted things are in working condition you can re-home them and avoid adding to landfill. Donate to charity, sell or put on free sites like Nextdoor or Free-cycle. Don’t put broken electronics or household items in the bin, take to your local recycling centre for the materials to be re-used and avoid landfill.

4.

Declutter some more

Decluttering is the most cost-effective way to make more of your home sale, so be brave. Focus on the hallway, kitchen and where toys are kept for the most impact. A hallway filled with coats and shoes will instantly make the house seem cramped, just leave the minimum here. Keep kitchen worktops as clear as possible by putting gadgets away in cupboards. Move what you can and keep only essentials in these areas, remember you only need to keep it this way until it’s sold. Donate toys and clothes which are no longer used. Be mindful of keeping a lot of items for younger siblings to use in a few years. When you eventually get them out you may well find items have become faded, outdated and unwanted, yet they will have taken up lots of your valuable space in the meantime and could have a new home now.

5.

Photo from Pinterest

De-personalise

Staging isn’t about having the tidiest version of your home, it’s about helping new owners to imagine living in your home with their own belongings. By paring down the volume of your own ornaments, family photos and individual decorating touches, your buyers will find it easier to picture their own photos and items on the walls instead.  If you find this part of the process tough remember this won’t be your home for long and start to imagine where you can display your items in your new home.

6.

Rent storage

If you have items which take up too much space and that you cannot part with, consider temporary storage. Borrow a garage or rent a storage unit for 3–4 months to allow for formalities to complete. Try not to store too much with friends and family, as sometimes out of sight is out of mind and people can end up with other people’s items for years, long beyond the move date. If something really matters to you plan to have it in your new home.

7.

Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

Furniture 

Try to make your home appear as spacious as possible. If a room has multiple or large pieces of furniture, get creative, try moving them to different positions to present the room best. Ask someone to help you move heavy items. If an item still overpowers a room put it in off-site storage where possible, or consider re-homing if you know it won’t fit in your new home either. I’ve worked with a client where simply shifting a tall chest of drawers into an alcove by a window gave the room so much more light and space, they wondered why they hadn’t done it years ago.

8.

Oversized or specialist equipment

Unless you have a dedicated gym or lots of space, put items like exercise bikes or a beloved rocking horse into a storage unit if you have one. Otherwise they will just bring attention to the fact that your house doesn’t have the room for them. Always ask yourself if you really need or cherish the item enough to take it to your new home, exercise equipment especially often gets used as an unofficial clothes horse.  Use the move to reassess what you own and free up your life by letting go of what you no longer need.  

9.

Photo by Julie Blanner.com

A lick of neutral paint

A simple re-application of a coat of paint to well-used rooms like hallways or a stairwell will cover up marks from wear and tear and freshen up rooms. If you have any bright colours, distinctive wallpaper or highly individual decorating choices, think about toning down with neutral shades. Remember this is not about your style choice but about making open space for someone else’s design imagination. For large areas of wallpaper, or old-school embossed style wallcovering it might not be worth the effort of stripping. Get advice if painting over would work with the paper type, if not, let the new owner decide to change.

10.

Don’t forget your garage, shed and attic

Rarely used for storing a car these days, garages are typically dumping grounds for things that you don’t have space for in the house. Sheds can be little better. So do a good declutter, try to organise tools or decorating equipment in labelled boxes ready for the move. Store what you can on shelves and walls. A buyer won’t expect it to be empty, but the more filled it is the more they’ll think your house doesn’t have much storage.

 

A potential buyer probably won’t look in your attic storage but start clearing your attic as soon as possible. It will take so much longer than you think. Reduce your moving stress, get ahead and start decluttering and sorting your attic now.

And finally… if you lose momentum with the declutter and staging at any point, always come back to why you are doing it. Remember you are looking to sell your home as quickly as possible and give yourself what you want in your new, exciting home. 

Decluttering and organising services kent, surrey, south-east
Photo from Pixaby
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