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 Remove out of date products, put duplicates together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
Newsletter

Where to sell your stuff online or even give away free

By Imogen Murphy
 
2/6/20

So you want to sell your stuff? Online seems a good way. Even if you want to sell locally an online platform can be a great way to reach lots of people.

Does it matter which site you use?

The simple answer is yes.

 

Where you list your item and how you describe it makes a difference to the price to get for it and even if it will sell at all.

If you want to know the common mistakes people make when listing their belongings to sell – see my blog link further down the page.

Selling sites

Ebay

Sell and buy most categories of goods from clothes to cars. Electronics and accessories are the most sold items on here. Seller fees 10% of an item sold value. Additional cost options available e.g 4% extra to have a reserve price on the item. Add on Paypal fee of 3% if you use this, other options available. I normally estimate fees 14% in total including Paypal. eBay fee calculator available www.ebayfeescalculator.com. Refund policy and funds held until goods received. A dedicated dispute resolution. A bit buyer-centric so make sure you protect yourself with a good descripton. App easy to use. Desktop version available. Some restrictions on brand words you can use in the description as e.g Velcro. Will auto re-list if the item doesn’t sell. Max 12 photos. Max 40 listings a month.

Gumtree

Sell and buy most categories of goods from clothes to cars even find jobs on here. Less audience reach than eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Typically lower £ offers than eBay. Free to list but optional fees to promote your items. I often find items on Gumtree that are not well presented this a great chance for a bargain if you are buying. So make sure your photos and description are up to scratch. App easy to use but not as good as eBay. Desktop version available. No dispute resolution. No restrictions on brand names or descriptions. Max 8 photos.

Shpock

Really growing in popularity. Sell and buy most categories of goods from clothes to cars. Free to list but optional fees to promote your items. Funds held before goods received.

Vinted

Sell and buy clothes, shoes and accessories. Free to list but optional fees to promote item up to 19%. Buyers pay a fee. Refund policy.

Pre-loved

Sell and buy most categories of goods from clothes to cars. Even find jobs on here. Focus is on used or secondhand items where other sites have new stuff too. Free to list but optional fees to promote your items. Upgrade your account to get unlimited items listed and unlimited photos.

ASOS Marketplace

Sell and buy new, pre-owned and vintage clothes. Popular selling platform for the vintage clothing market. You must create a boutique at £20 per month plus a 20% commission. Operating on a monthly basis so can cancel when you like.

Depop

Sell and buy clothes, shoes and accessories. Aimed at the young and trendy, this platform is growing fast. Designer, preloved, vintage and streetwear. High-end online platform. 10% fee on total transaction amount (including shipping).

Rebelle

Authenticated designer clothes is Rebelles target market for buying and selling. High-end online platform. 17-33% or £20 commission depending on price of item sold.

Etsy

To sell homemade craft and homewares with some vintage items. Listing fee and 5% transaction fee + £0.20 transaction fee. High prices commanded due to the audience drawn to the items and overall look of website.

Music Magpie

A broker who buys your CDs, DVDs, Games and Books. Easy to use app and barcode scanning system. Typically get between 30p and £5 for each item. They send you packaging and you send off the stuff. For the profit vs effort I usually don’t bother but pass on to a charity shop for someone else to enjoy. Amazon is another option for selling books but do a little research to see what your book is really worth.

 

“How much you sell your items for will depend on how you describe and photograph it. It often makes the difference between it selling or not at all. For the top 5 most common mistakes I see people make when selling online” – read my blog

Locally focused selling and 'for free' sites

Considering if the profit you will make from selling an item outweighs the hassle and cost of selling. Picturing your item well-loved in a new home will help you consider the pass in on for free idea. Here are some sites you can use, which also have paid for options too.

Facebook Market

Sell and buy most categories of goods from clothes to cars. No fees. Typically lower £ offers than eBay. App easy to use. Desktop version available. Variable restrictions on brand names or descriptions. Max 10 photos. You can post items on Individual Facebook groups to sell but opens you up to have a public discussion over item. Allowed 5 relist option for an item.

Facebook Group

 You can post items on Individual Facebook groups to sell but opens you up to have a public discussion over an item. It gives you more options to advertise your item on a specialised group. Often local pick ups.

Next Door

Free community app and desktop site. Based on your postcode. Options to post in your very local area (a few streets from your house) or out to about 3 miles. Used for anything from finding lost cats, asking for trade recommendations but also buying, selling and for free items. Typically low-cost items sold like furniture or home items. Collection only. I use this a lot to re-home items for free. Occasionally I’ve asked for donations to charities for free items. If you are selling make sure description and photos appealing and clear. 

Freecycle

Freecycle aims to keep items out of landfills by providing an internet listings service to help people give unwanted items to someone else for free in their own community.  It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free. Freecycle groups operate in specific towns or areas. Can post items you want as well as those you giving away for free. Basic platform and search function. No photos. Collection only.

Swishing

Pre-lockown swapping party for clothes, shoes and accessories.  “You might bring one sweater and take two pairs of shoes, or hang a party frock on the ‘Swishing Rail’ and take a pair of skinny jeans and feather boa”. Time will tell how the develops as social distancing eases.

Your front door

The old fashioned but reviving art of putting items outside your door with a ‘free, help yourself’ sign. Saves landfill waste and easy to do. Less reach than using Freecycle or Next Door.

Selling online? How to get the best price for your second hand stuff

 

 

By Imogen Murphy

1/6/2020

You have decluttered and decided some of your stuff is worth selling or ready to giveaway? Maybe you have an eBay or Pre-loved account?  How do you make the most of your item? What fees are involved? Here are the common mistakes people make when using online platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace or gumtree.

 

If you want to know which sites you should use -I’ve a blog that tell you all you need to know ‘Where should I sell my stuff online?’  See link at the bottom of the page.

Think carefully about selling an item of yours online rather than giving to charity or someone who would appreciate it. Some second-hand items sell better online than others. Just because you think it was worth money or you paid a lot for it doesn’t mean it will sell or sell for much.

If you think an item is below a certain £ threshold for you don’t sell it but pass it on to charity. The effort of photographing it correctly, listing with specialist details, communicating with buyers throughout the sale, packaging and arranging the delivery, needs to be balanced by the reward. Rejoice in benefiting a charity or a new owner who is getting the items for free.

Similarly, if an item is very expensive don’t sell it online like diamond jewellery, take it to a specialist jeweller on the high street. They can advise if it has the potential value you think it does and where best to sell it.

1. What to sell?

Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

 

 

“Don’t assume because you think it is worth money or you paid a lot for the item that it will sell”

What to sell?

The top-selling category on eBay in 2019 was ‘electronic and accessories’.  And this has been my experience of what sells best on eBay. I would avoid selling items like used sofas or furniture, books, DVDs, toys or clothes unless they are for a niche market, a high-end brand or if they are still in packaging. 

Branded items with a good quality reputation do better. Be sure to mention this in your listing and add a Brand name to your keyword description, so it comes up in searches a buyer might use e.g. Black & Decker or Ted Baker.

If you want to sell your own crafts or handmade items Etsy or Not On The High Street might be a better choice. It attracts more of these products and usually commands a higher price.

If an item is broken check if there is a market for spares to sell. Although a local app like Next Door might be a better choice in case someone wanted to look at it first.

2. Research is key

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

 

 

“Doing research will help you learn more about how best to list and describe your items and how much technical specification to add, which is important for selling items like electronics or camera equipment”

Research

Research is the key. Spending time looking up eBay listings for the same item as yours, will pay off. It will help you find out an expected sale price, which might be much lower than you expect. See how many bids and watchers the item has currently.  If there are lots of bids at an appealing price early in the sale time (usually 7 days) this is a good sign.

The research will also help you learn more about how best to list and describe your items like which category to use to help buyers find it or what technical specification detail to add, which is so important especially for electronics.

3. Best presentation wins

declutter
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

 

 

“Consider the background. Choose something appealing and neutral e.g if you are selling a drill take it out of the garage and photo on a nice surface like a kitchen worktop or carpet”

So many times when I have bought second-hand items online at a bargain price it’s because they have been poorly photographed. I have seen this myself too when I’ve not taken the time to show the buyer how great my item is with good photos. Add as much detail as possible to your listing. Use as many photos as you can. Use a manufacturer’s website, or where you bought it from, to gather details about the specification of your item. Remember to include all dimensions of your item, this will save additional questions from buyers during the auction. I find it is helpful to add some personal detail about where you bought it and how much it has been used. Maybe when you bought it and why you are selling it e.g. we bought the spare bed for my mum to use years ago from John Lewis but it has only been used about 3 times since then. It adds authenticity which helps the seller to trust they will get what they want and see the value in your item over another. 

Photos

When taking photos remember:-

Make sure the item is clean and presentable.

Ensure good lighting by a window and daylight if possible.

Consider the background. Choose something appealing and neutral. For example, if you are selling a drill take it out of the garage and photo on a nice surface like a wooden kitchen worktop. Avoid mess in the background, which might suggest it has not been looked after.

Use simple but complementary accessories to show your item off e.g. take photos of a bed with nice bedding on and some off. If you are going to sell clothes make sure you use a mannequin if you can or even show on someone, people will want to see the shape and fit as much as possible and nothing look less appealing than an item of clothing hung loosely on a hanger on the back of a bedroom door.

Use the best photo for the main image seen. If appropriate you can use one photo from the manufacturer to add to your other photos. As long as you are very clear in your description and classification that your product is second hand. It will draw people to your listing and show them how good your second-hand version is. Remember to photograph any branded label, tags or back up to reinforce its value.

Make sure you give clear photos of any stains or damage.  Honesty is always the best policy. This will save any hassle with returns or poor reviews.

4. Keep communicating with buyer

Photo by Jeffrey Blum on Unsplash

 

 

“I ensure an auction ends on a weekend, usually a Sunday night, when more people tend to be sitting down using their phones and you might get bidding competition”

Communication

Remember to select a reasonable bidding duration. I usually do a 7-day auction to build interest and allow more time for people to see it. I always ensure bids end on a weekend, usually a Sunday night, when more people tend to be sitting down using their phones, and you might get bidding competition.

If something is in demand you’ll get lots of communication from buyers, make sure you reply quickly and with as much information as possible. There may be questions about the product or even offers to buy it sooner than the end of the auction date.

I’ve given up on buying an item before, if the seller doesn’t respond to your questions, or doesn’t answer something you need like the dimensions of an object.

Try to hold out until the end of an auction, if people are keen to offer before, it is normally for a good deal for them, although you’ll have to take a risk that it might be the best offer you get, I’ve never had this happen though. Remember if you end an auction early for a cash offer eBay might ask for fees or give you a breach of selling contract warning as they don’t want to miss out on selling fees. If you do want to take an early offer you could agree on a price with the buyer and switch the listing to a buy it now auction price on the system and coordinate with your buyer to select that option, that way all fees go through eBay as normal.

Don’t forget to tell the buyer immediately when items are dispatched directly or on the platform’s app. It adds to the trust that their item is on its way and avoids any chase up emails asking you where it is. Don’t dispatch until they have paid. If it is ‘collection only’ and has been collected then update the app so all fees can be processed and funds transferred to you. 

5. Hidden costs

declutter
Photo by Kutan Ural on Unsplash

 

 

“Expect to pay 10-14% of your sale price with fees on Ebay, but you will have a larger audience to sell to than local selling apps with no fees like Facebook. Choose the right selling platform for your item”

Costs

Don’t forget the fees. Expect to pay 10-14% total fees on your final sale price on eBay (including Paypal). eBay will take their commission depending on the selling options you choose e.g. adding a reserve price will add another 4% on top of their standard fees for listing. Note eBay selling invoices are taken from your account the following month so don’t get caught out thinking you’ve seen all the fees and can enjoy your cash.

Also if you are using Paypal for your eBay sale, which adds some security and ease to process the transaction, they will take their cut usually 3%. 

And there are the postage costs of course unless yours is a collection only for a bulkier item. Consider using a parcel service to collect from your door if you cannot face a post office queue. The cost won’t be much different. I use Parcel2go to compare delivery prices depending on what I’ve arranged with the buyer, next day, 1-3 days etc.

Facebook local selling groups, Gumtree, Pre-loved or Next Door apps have an advantage with lower or no fees and no postage costs but you won’t have as much of an audience for your item, especially for speciality items, so you might not get as high a final price. This is why research matters so you can choose your ideal selling platform. 

So where should you sell online?...

Where?

 

 

If you want to know the most popular sites for selling see my blog ‘Where is best to sell my stuff online?‘  

5 mistakes that keep your bedroom cluttered, declutter and get organised

Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

4 May 2020

By Imogen Murphy

“Items can be seen from side angles, so you lose a sense of space & it’s too easy to hide stuff away here”

“Your bedroom is your sanctuary to recharge in. Avoid keeping bottles, make up etc on surfaces, reduce dust & create a feeling of calm”

Photo by Zara.com

“It’s just too easy to pile clothes on, it’s the easiest way to clutter your room, so don’t have it it here”

Photo from Canva

“You’ll be able to fit more in & importantly it will be easier to see what you have”

Photo on YesStyle.com

“Paper scraps, undone lists, half read magazines and multiple books will only add a feeling of stress & prevent you unwinding. Just choose one item to keep here”

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

 By The Little Organising Company 07793835800