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

Top 5 tips to decluttering your sportswear

Photo by Emma Simpson from Unsplash

Top 5 tips for decluttering your sportwear

Are you exercising more or less to unlock down? Do you like what you wear? Do you feel comfortable in it? 

Either way this is a great time to have a look at your sportswear and see what you actually want to keep. I really only have one top and legging combo I use most to exercise in. So i’m taking a good look at what I really need to keep,

 freeing up wardrobe space. Decluttering is making space in our lives for what we really want , freeing ourselves mentally and well as physically, so we make the most of the space we have in our homes. For this to work though we need to honest with ourselves about ‘why am i keeping this?’ and ‘how many items of each I really need?’. Looking a bit deeper will make it easier to let go of things you don’t need but also maintain the space you are looking for.

 

Here are my top tips when it comes to sportwear:

# 1

 

“By putting everything out on your bed you’ll probably find items you have never worn or forgot you had”

 

Seeing all your sportswear together is the best way to start your declutter. Nothing hiding, include socks, sports bras, trainers and sports footwear too.

#2

 

“You might be surprised by what you own. Consider the storage space you have and ask yourself when did you last wear each item”

 

 

How much storage space do you have for your sportswear? Consider why you want to keep an item. If you cannot remember when you last used it. Why keep it? 

Does it fit you? If not donate it to a new home. Don’t hold on to things for the ‘if only’ situations. Your life as well as your home will feel more open and more spacious.

#3

 

“Try it on each item. If there is a reason you’ve not worn it, remember why, then re-home”

If you are not sure about something in particular, wear it around the house tomorrow. You’ll soon remember if it’s the cut, colour or fit that you don’t like. Then donate it to a new home. 

You should feel good it all you wear, and that includes what you do sport or exercise in.

#4

 

“If an item is damaged or stained and can’t be salvaged put it in textiles recycling”

 

Take a honest look at your kit.  A quick way to declutter what you own is to get rid of what isn’t fit for purpose anymore. Do this with your sports kit too.

#5

 

“Make exercise as easy as possible, don’t keep items that are uncomfortable to wear”

 

Is it a bit tight? Does it ride up when you move it it? It’s time to give it a new home then. Sportwear should be comfortable and easy to have on. 

How to increase productivity working from home and get organised

We all have work that needs to get done but are you being as productive as possible now working from home is a reality and likely to continue long-term? What do productive people do to stop getting distracted and even increase productivity? Here are simple yet effective ways to unlock home working and get organised in isolation and beyond. 

Your Home Office

 

 

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

To start with, think about what you like best about working from home? Maybe it’s 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? Are you now having lunch together or have you recognised that your partner really needs you to be around for home schooling when they take work calls in the afternoon?  So 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. 

 

Secondly, 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.  

 

Consider your personal productivity in relation to these four areas:- 

Mental Health

Time

Productivity

Space

Remember to focus on elements of your work life you are able to change. Maybe you don’t have a separate home office or have a regular conference call at 8 am with your team, notice those things and move on to what you can control.

 

Choose 5 things from the following list that resonate with you. Write them on a post-it note and put it up in your work area, the act of writing and the visual prompt will help cement them into the wiring of your brain (Forbes 2018)  Try working to these principles for a week. At the end of the week consider what worked and what didn’t, swap in others to test. Stick with it and learn your version of being highly productive. 

Time

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
 

“Noticing your own habits and natural tendencies and working on 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. Get creative”

Time

What time are you most productive: Really think about when you are at your best. Morning, afternoon or evening? Book time to do your most complex or important tasks then. Make calls or do easy items in your least productive part of the day.

Set ‘office’ hours: Keeping regular times, where possible, helps set your mind and body into a productive day of working.

Take breaks: Keep fresh and allow ideas to flow but taking breaks and sticking to a regular lunch hour.

Start early, if you can: Have breakfast later, after you’ve been working a while. Get some tasks under your belt before the house gets busy and emails start arriving.

Avoid setting alarms: Sleep will aid productive work and build your resilience to the emotional ups and downs that come with change. Give yourself as much sleep as possible by allowing yourself to wake up naturally. This is the perfect time to allow yourself this benefit.

Productivity

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

“Communicate with your colleagues and those you live with on what works best for you. Being flexible and open will help others help you. You being productive is better for your company and colleagues in the long-term so ask them to help you”

Productivity

Get dressed for work: A small but important change in your mindset to start the day focused.

Allocate your working day: Use 60-90 min time slots for tasks you need to get done.

At the end of your day write your to-do list for tomorrow: This will allow you to switch off from work and start the next day clear on what you need to achieve. Use free apps for managing work tasks like AsanaTrello or Dubsado.

Keep communicating: If something cannot be explained in 1-2 email sentences, call instead. This will avoid things getting lost in translation and save time playing email tennis.

Use tech to avoid distractions: Leave home devices in another room. Experiment with free apps like Freedom or Stayfocused to block adverts and websites in workhours. Use separate work and home browsers.

Use music to focus your mind:  Background music but not TV can help focus the mind. Change it depending on what you are doing. If I’m flagging I put on a dance track to lift my energy levels.

Space

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
 
 
“Be deliberate in your choice of work space. Don’t underestimate how important a good home working environment is to your concentration and well being.  Keep the area tidy, a messy working environment has been shown to reduce levels of concentration”

Space

Have a dedicated workspace: Whether it’s a home office, a corner of a kitchen table or even sofa, make sure you are comfortable, with all you need. The ongoing association of work with this particular area will help you focus.

Make your ‘office’ as inviting as possible: Have a comfortable chair and screen set up. Have plants and good natural light, use directable lamps if you need to. Keep the space tidy. Open the windows once a day to get some fresh air in.

Clear away at the end of your day: Tidy away papers and devices once you are done. If you work in shared living space use a basket to keep items in out of hours, this will help you switch off.

Communicate expectations to those you live with: Discuss you working hours with others in the house. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean your are off work. This might not always translate to younger members of the family but then try to fit office hours around family activities you can join in with, like an agreed lunch break playing together in garden or switching afternoon work to an evening

Mental Health

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

 

“If you are physically and mentally well then this will show in your work. Don’t allow good habits to slip while at home.  Eat your 5 a day, rest, divide work and relaxation clearly. Don’t work late and over time. A Stanford study showed longer hours didn’t increase productivity (John Pencaval, 2014)”

Mental Health

Use tech to stay connected: Plan social interaction with colleagues and friends. Keep collaboration and banter up via Slack, Zoom, google hangouts or discord.

Decide when not to be in contact: The lockdown has provided a surprising opportunity to step back and assess what you really want and how you connect with people.  Enjoy recharging your batteries and reflecting on what you can cut out that isn’t working for you.

Treat yourself: Drink lots of water & get regular hours of sleep. The REM Sleep we get in the later part of the night allows the brain to process anxiety and stress.

Keep up the exercise: There is so much free content available from online yoga, boxercise, ballet, family-friendly classes, everything. Use it and enjoy. Get out in the fresh air for a cycle, run or keep your steps up while you are on the phone.

Make the most of your time off: Decide what you really want to do out of hours. Be mindful to not fill extra time on social media or with TV. They can suck time you have. Make the most of your time. Paint your nails, get in the garden, play football with the kids, anything that makes you feel good.

And what productive people don't do....

They don’t expect one size to fit all and they don’t stop trying things out and learning, until they find what works for them. It is about taking responsibility for ourselves and our work. Never stop being curious, adaptable and focused as these are the keys to successfully working from home.

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ORGANISING YOUR KITCHEN

Photo by Pexels

Are your cupboards overflowing?
Can you find everything you need?
Here is how your kitchen can work better for you and your family

By Imogen Murphy 9 Apr 2020

Includes each area of the kitchen with a guide & checklists

1. The Kitchen
2.The Fridge
3. The Freezer
4. Kitchen Cupboards

5. Worktops & Kitchen
Equipment
6. Pots, Pans & Plastic Boxes
7. The ‘Junk’ Drawer

8. Under The Sink
9. Cook Books
10. By The Back Door
11. Meal Planning & Guides

1. The Kitchen

Our kitchens are important places for us in our homes. Before the lockdown we and our families were likely to be spending up to 3 hours a day in our kitchens and 4-5 hours a day at weekends. We use it for cooking or preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner and the clear-up afterwards of course. Our kitchens have always been areas we’ve used for study, work and socialising but now in lockdown we are spending so much more time in here, maybe for most of the day. This can present challenges as clutter builds up as each activity ends and another one begins. Multiple people using a space can be tough too, with different members of the family putting a different level of importance or effort on keeping the space workable and clear.

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

This is why kitchens are a great place to start and focus your decluttering and organising energy. Once you start to make progress here you’ll really get to appreciate what you’ve done and see everyday the impact of living a more organised life. Once a kitchen has been decluttered and organised it’s easier to keep it that way long-term.

Consider involving all members of the household to some degree in this process:-

  1. If everyone can agree or see where things live then everyone can be involved in putting things back there.
  2. If there is an understanding of what each member of the family needs close to hand regularly, this can be taken into account organising where things should live, this makes putting things back easier for every family member, e.g. whoever walks the dog most, it would help if their wellies live near an exterior door or if someone uses the juicer to make their breakfast everyday it needs to be accessible.
  3. This is about getting everyone to be responsible for maintaining an organised space and putting away items which naturally build up in daily life, which is more sustainable long term.

2. The Fridge

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

The Fridge Declutter

1. Remove all of the contents
2. Throw away expired food and condiments
3. Clean and recycle jars, plastic & tins
4. If you find something you know you’re never going to use, give it to a new home
5. Wipe down and clean with mild soap and water, including shelves and drawers

Organising Your Fridge

Containers can be a helpful way to keep your fridge organised once the decluttering is done.

Photo from popsugar.com.au
  • Use clear containers so its easy to see whats in them e.g condiment jars
  • Label containers and drawers so everyone knows where to find what they are looking for
  • Put items you use most in easy reach e.g children’s yogurts / cheese
  • Put items you use less often like sauces or unusual spreads at the top of fridge but in long thin containers you can pull out to be able to access the items at the back
  • Taller items should go at the back or along each side of the fridge

I’ve read some interesting things about where we should keep certain foods in each area of the fridge to keep them better for longer. For more information https://www.consumerreports.org/refrigerators/how-to-organize-a-refrigerator/

3. The Freezer

The same process applies for decluttering your freezer as well as your fridge, see above.

In terms of organising it very much depends on what style of freezer you have. If you have a freezer with open shelves or chest freezer then you can use labelled containers to keep the same things together. If like me you have a freezer with drawers then I don’t find containers work so well. I try where I can to allocate certain items to each drawer and label it such as, all meats in one drawer, vegetables or frozen fruit in another and breads/wraps.

Making a list of what you have in the freezer is also a good idea. Keep it on the front of your freezer. Cross off what you use and when you use it. Add on items to your list after shopping. That way you can get inspiration of what to use without having to open the freezer.

Use clear containers and label them where it’s not obvious what it is such as homemade stock or garlic – I freeze garlic pieces in tubs which works really well.

To learn more about what food you can freeze and for how long – see NHS link https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-store-food-and-leftovers/

For possible fridge & freezer storage have a look at https://www.containerstore.com/welcome.htm & https://www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk/ I don’t get any income for this, I just like what they have.

4. Kitchen Cupboards

Food Storage

Photo from Containers.com

The Cupboard Declutter

1. Remove all of the contents
2. Throw away expired food and condiments
3. Clean and recycle jars, plastic & tins
4. If you find something you know you’re never going to use, give it to a new home
5. Wipe down and clean

Organising food items

As always you’ll find items when you declutter you forgot you had. So the next step is keeping everything visible so you see it is there before buying a new one or it goes out of date. To ensure this I suggest working to the the basic principles of putting all the same items together, keeping things you use often to the front of cupboards and keeping items easy to see in labelled jars & containers. Try these suggestions:

Non-food Storage

Photo by Amina Journal Kitchen

The Cupboard Declutter

1. Remove all of the contents
2. Throw away chipped, broken items
3. If you find something you know you’re never going to use, give it to a new home
4. Wipe down and clean

Organising non-food items

As always ask yourself how many of each items you need? That’s why getting all items out at the same time is so useful. You might be surprised how many of one thing you have. Consider your current situation and what you and your family actually use now. Don’t hold on to something or lots of the same thing based on what you used to do or might in the future. If you are going through the declutter process, you probably recognise something is not working for you, hold that thought as you consider keeping each item. Maybe you don’t do large group dinners but instead eat out for celebrations now or perhaps your children are older and don’t use sippy cups so much so decide only to keep what you really need.

Some ways to maximise space and keep organised in your cupboards:

For possible storage solutions have a look at https://www.containerstore.com/welcome.htm https://www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk/, Ikea and Pinterest. I don’t get any income for this, I just like what they have.

5. Worktops & Kitchen Equipment

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

What and how much you keep on your worktops or counters is a very personal choice. We might typically keep daily use items here like fruit bowls, kettles, toasters, tea/coffee canisters, upright kitchen roll holders or food waste caddys. We might also keep any number of kitchen gadgets like a food mixer, blender, juicer etc. Along with the supposedly temporary items like post, catalogues, magazines, phone chargers & opened cook books.

Because of all of these items worktops can easily become crowded places, which can be frustrating when you want to use this for actual food preparation or want a kitchen to feel open and tidy. Look at everything you have on the worktops now and ask yourself do you still need it? If so, why is it on the worktop? Can you find a better home for it in a cupboard? My friend kept her baking food mixer on her worktop because she likes baking. This is a great reason to keep the mixer but she actually only uses it every couple of months. Now she’s found a home for it in a cupboard freeing up valuable worktop space.

I suggest if items have found a home on the worktop, because you don’t have any remaining space in your cupboards, then think about doing a cupboard declutter. Do items in there need to be sold or given away?

If I use an item infrequently I ask myself, do I need to have this in my home? Could I borrow or buy a second-hand one if circumstances change in the future? Would someone else be getting better use out of it than me? This frees me up to let go of items for the ‘if only’ scenario.

Photo by Le Creuset Pintrest

As always when decluttering ask yourself the questions:

Is what I have in my kitchen working for me at this present time?

When did I last use this item?

How often do I use it? Could it live in a cupboard?

For those temporary items like post or catalogues have a basket or open container before you deal with them. Not to be put in a drawer and forgotten about, tidy yet visible to remind us to read and action sooner rather than later.

6. Pots, Pans & Plastic Boxes

The Declutter

1. Remove all of the items the storage area
2. Match each item with its lid
3. Throw away if it does not have a pair or is damaged (recycle where possible)
4. Consider how many of each item you actually use
5. Donate or re-home what you no longer need

Some lid-less containers can be used to organise other areas of the kitchen, like your cutlery drawer or food cupboard. Keep what you actually use, don’t keep ‘just in case’.

Organising pots, pans & plastic boxes

These items can take up lots of space in a cupboard so once you’ve decluttered think carefully about how to maximise your space.

Here are some organising suggestions:

7. Under The Sink

This is an area of the kitchen which can get cluttered and disorganised easily. Maybe you have a utility cupboard or room but the same thing often happens here. This is because so many different items end up here, everything from dishwaster tablets, shoe cleaning brushes, scouring cloths, stain remover, pegs, dust pans, bin bags and any number of cleaning products. Tackle it as any other area of the kitchen and declutter, but take your time to organise it properly, as this will make it easier to find what you want and also and keep it that way long-term.

Photo on Pintrest by Etsy

The Declutter

1. Remove all of the items
2. Throw away out of date or used
products (recycle where possible)
3. If you find something you know you’re never going to use, give it to a new home
4. Wipe down and clean

Best ways to organise under the sink or utility area:-

  • Add storage to cupboard doors
  • Use clear labelled containers to keep the same items together e.g cloths
  • Utilise tall storage between the sink pipes
  • Add cord or pole to hang spray bottles
  • Put items you use most at the front
  • Take smaller items out of big packaging and put a clear container e.g dishwasher tablets
  • Maybe consider buying adjustable storage which fits your cupboard to maxamize the use of space
Photo on Pintrest by Holly Taylor Atchison

For possible storage solutions have a look at https://www.containerstore.com/welcome.htm https://www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk/, Amazon, Ebay, Etsy and Pinterest. I don’t get any income for this, I just like what they have.

8. The Junk Drawer

When it comes to junk drawer everyone has in their kitchen, in fact it might be a stack of drawers, it’s time to get ruthless and then organised. This area can take the most time to declutter due to the variety of smaller items. It is where things often get shoved when you don’t know what to do with it and it doesn’t have a home. As always though, if it’s worth taking up your precious kitchen space then find a proper place for it to live or give it away.

Photo by Organization Obsessed.com

The Declutter

1. Remove all of the contents
2. Throw away damaged, broken items
3. Ask yourself, should this be living in the kitchen?
3. If you find something you know you’re never going to use, give it to a new home
5. Wipe down and clean

Organising the Junk Drawer

Containers are really helpful here. You can use small baskets and tubs you already have them or washed food containers like yogurt pots or jars. With pens, keep them in a jar or together with a elastic band. Also use elastic bands to store rolled up food sandwich bags. If you have take away menus, check if you can access online and recycle if so. If you have a medical kit in here it’s time to check use by dates and that it is complete. Put rechargeable batteries indifferent pots labelled ‘charged’ ‘to charge’ and ‘to recycle’.

9. Cook Books

It’s the one item people have most of but seem to use least. Even if people are keen cooks I find people only really use a few of their favourites regularly. Particuarly with so many recipies and food inspiration available online. Yet we all seem to find it hard to let go of them. Like everything you keep in your home it is only a problem when it it becomes a problem. So when you have run out of storage space in your kitchen or it is feeling too cluttered make sure you review your cook books which are taking up space too. Ask yourself with each book – What is it about a book makes you want to keep it?

Photo by Britstrawbridge.com

The Declutter

1. Put all the cook books together
2. Decide how many you have space for
3. Review one at a time

4. When did you last use it?
5. Can you find it online? Would a photo of particular recipe work instead?

Keep only those which you love

Ideas to organise cook books:

10. By the Back Door

Tips to organise

You might not have door to the outside from your kitchen but the same suggestions can be used in flats or apartments for front doors. Only keep items here if you use them everyday and make a home for it in a container, hook or rack. Use walls storage as much as much as possible to keep the path clear. For smaller items like keys and sunglasses have a space for these together, which is close at hand, like a wall organiser. If you have space have labelled containers or hooks for different members of family, so everyone knows clearly where their stuff lives. This can save time and help everyone take responsibility for their own belongings. Shoes, school bags, hats, gloves, sunglasses, keys & wallets can all be sorted by the owner’s name.

11. Meal Planning

Photo from Pinterest

Why do it?

Planning ahead for weekly meals can – Save you time, adds more variety, helps you make the best of the food you have, avoids waste, allows others to prep food too, taking pressure off you and keeps up healthy eating, since quick food can sometimes be more processed with more salt & sugar.

We are making more meals at home than ever at the moment. Here are my top tips for organising the weekly food preparation, collected from my friends and family:

  • Plan your meals before you go shopping & make a shopping list
  • Sit down on a regular day to plan meals 7 days ahead included lunch & dinner
  • Keep breakfast easy with cereals and fruit but have a few fun options for weekends like pancakes
  • Be flexible, have a quick meal option in your plan you can fall back on if you want
  • Ask others in your house for ideas and preferences, this will keep up variety
  • Don’t do same base food 2 nights in a row, like pasta or rice
  • Do use the same ingredients in multiple meals e.g cheese or peas, to make the most of groceries you have in
  • Do some meals with set meal & some with help yourself options, e.g. toasted sandwiches vs bread, cheese, ham on table. Adds variety and save prep time
  • See instagram photos of lunch baskets laid out in the morning for each child – with allocated snacks, fruit & sandwiches. Allowing kids to help themselves to what they normally eat
  • Mix up who makes the meals or snacks, get kids baking safely
  • If some makes a meal they don’t tidy away after – others do that

Recipes – www.bbgoodfood.com
Quick family meal ideas – www.justhethreeofus.co.uk & www.daisyandpie.co.uk
Food Planner – www.kaitlynmoorehead.com
Family meal planning (inc fussy eaters) –https://www.facebook.com/feedthebrood
How to food plan – Declutter hub podcast – Episode 54

The secret to decluttering your house or any space

THE SECRET TO DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME

The hardest thing about decluttering your house is noticing that a space is no longer working for you and deciding to do something about it. Notice & commit. Remembering a few simple principles will help you get the most impact for the time you have to declutter.

1. NOTICE 2. VISUALISE 3. MAKE SPACE 4. PLAN

1. NOTICE When a cluttered room or house is no longer working for you. Enlist friends or family if starting to tackle clutter in your home feels a little overwhelming. This is normal, once you’ve started and you’ve seen what you can do, there’ll be no stopping you.

2. VISUALISE What do you want the room to look like when you’ve finished decluttering? How will you organise, & decorate it? Look at photos in magazines or on Pinterest to get a visual in your head. This will help motivate you while you work.

3. MAKE SPACE So you can get into the room to start to work.

4. PLAN Removal of your items before you start. Lay out bags labelled with ‘Recycling’, ‘Charity Shop’ etc. to easily see where it is all going when you’ve finished. Remove unwanted items straight after the decluttering, so you really see the impact of what you have achieved

Then stop & be proud of what you’ve achieved.

NEXT: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ORGANISING YOUR KITCHEN

The secret to organsing your home

Professional organiser declutter

TOP 3 TIPS TO ORGANISING ANY SPACE
Once you’ve decluttered your wardrobe or home it’s time to organise. The fun bit.

A few simple changes can make it easier to find what you want when you need it.

Before you start moving things around, stop and take a good look at the space you have and then items you want to store. Consider over all how you want the space to look at the end. Having a clear image in your head of what you want it to look like at the end will help motivate

you to keep it looking as you want longer-term because you. are more invested in it emotionally. So take time to google images or look at pinterest for photos to give you storage ideas and decide on the over all look. Even if this is your garage and the photo you like is of a clever storage system which helps you see everything, so tools are easy to find, having that picture in your mind will really helps you maintain it. So go get on pinterest.

Don’t forget to consider the furniture and larger items you have in the room. Do they take up too much space for their usefulness? Could a wardrobe be moved into an alcove to allow more light into the room or give better access? Do you actually only need a table half the size in your kitchen? Try out a few options, move things around if you can, you might be surprised at how much better it makes the room feel. If you want to downsize an item, like having a smaller bookshelf than the one you have, then look on NextDoorapp, Freecycle, Ebay or Gumtree for free or second-hand furniture in particular. Furniture tends to have a low resale value so you can get quality items for a lot less than they were brought for. We can be emotionally attached to items we own but, if appropriate,

By Rumman Amin on Unsplash

consider selling or giving away anything that does not work for you. If you want more tips on how to let go of items see my declutter guide.

Annie Spratt

Next consider who is using the space. Make sure you involve everyone in this step, and have a household conversation. This way you’ll get ideas, suggestions and requests you can make sure are included. If everyone in the household knows and agrees where things they use live then putting it back there won’t just be your job. Does your living room need to accommodate kids toys, gaming consoles as well as evening chilling? Or is your kitchen also where your teenage kids do their homework. Organising any space needs to take into

account all uses, otherwise clutter will just build up. Working on the principle that ‘everything has a home and a home for everything’, which you’ve probably heard before, make sure you have a space in your living room for that toy storage and those consoles, and a tub that homework to be collected together in at dinner time. .

When considering storage follow these 3 simple principles which will make it easier to find you’re belongings when you need them:-

1.KEEP VISIBLE use clear boxes, glass containers, open boxes & don’t hide things behind or underneath each other in drawers. If you can see what you have you won’t find yourself buying duplicates & will see your fav items first.

2. KEEP TOGETHER use containers, pots, rubber bands to put everything of same type in one place, like felt tips in a drawer. So much easier to find & put back after. Keeping your home as you want it.

3. CLOSE BY: put items you use most frequently in easiest reach, to save you digging through cupboards to find what you really want. Use hooks on the backs of cupboards or doors to get what you use often quickly.

Good places for find storage:
Lots of storage ideas from UK company https://www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk/
Really Useful boxes are a great option http://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/uk/

NEXT: THE SECRET TO KEEPING KID’S TOYS TIDY

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5 Top tips to keep your houseplants looking gorgeous

Photo by Lisa Moyneur

TOP 5 TIPS TO CARE FOR YOUR HOUSEPLANTS

You want your house to be as gorgeous as possible at the moment.

Healthy house plants are an important part of this.

Making sure they are fit and healthy will make your house look better and you feel great.

1. WATERING Be consistent. Keep the potting soil oist, but not wet. Use water that is at room temperature. Let the surface of the compost dry a little before applying more water. Allow the plant to take up water as it is needed or allow excess to drain away. Do not let the plant sit in water. Waterless in winter, allowing soil to dry out between waterings. Tip: Set weekly alarm on your phone to ‘water plants‘. If you ignore this put in a differnt time tha suits you better

2. LOCATION Choose the right place. Don’t move your plants around a lot. Read the label when you buy a plant. Choose the right amount of daylight for the plant. Most houseplants thrive in warm rooms and even temperatures all year around. Tip: Take a quick walk around all your plants now. If they aren’t thriving, notice and try a differnt spot.

3. FEEDING Liquid feeds are generally best for flowering plants. Foliage plants do well with controlled release fertilisers. Most plants should only be fed March to September. Tip: Set a 2 weekly alarm on your phone to ‘feed plants‘. No need to feed in winter.

4. TIDY Remove old brown stems or leaves to avoid disease and pests. Late winter is a good time to prune and encourage new growth in the spring. Tip: This is really theraputic to do, get your kids or housemates involved. It can be fun, and teaches kids about plants, check labels for toxic plants first.

5. REPOTTING Check if your plants need repotting. Look for roots growing out of the bottom of drainage holes. Plants may need repotting every 1-2 years. Never repot unless it needs it. Tip: Spring is the best time.

By Imogen on 27th March 2020 https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice

5 Great ways to recycle you bras

Not all charity shops will take your bras to be re-homed. But there are still loads of places that want them.

1. Against Breast Cancer – bra bank, raising money for research into breast cancer
https://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/recycling/bra-recycling/

2. Smalls for all – distributes underwear to help women and children in Africa and the UK. https://www.smallsforall.org/

3. Oxfam – bras are used for social enterprise schemes in Africa https://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate/donate-goods/what-happens-to-your-donation/inside-frip-ethique

4. Bravissimo & Mind Charity – for every kg of bras a donation is made to Mind https://www.bravissimo.com/bra-recycling/

5. M&S Shwopping – bring old clothing into M&S store for Sparks points or voucher. Items then sold by Oxfam. https://www.marksandspencer.com/c/help/charities/how-do-i-find-out-about-shwopping#shwopping

5 Easy ways to Declutter your bathroom

5 EASY WAYS TO DECLUTTER YOUR BATHROOM
– YOUR 15 MINUTE CHALLENGE.

Your bathroom is a great place to focus precious decluttering time. For Minimum effort you can get maximum results. Use these top 5 tips…

1. OUT OF DATE Start by getting rid of out-of-date products or anything that looks old and crusty (medicines, makeup, etc).

2. DUPLICATES Put duplicate items together so you can see what you have, decant anything appropriate into one. You’ll see you have loads more than you thought of the same item and this will save time looking for it and money re-buying what you already have.

3. DAILY ITEMS AT THE FRONT Anything you use daily should be easy to access, at the front of any cabinet or drawer. If your bathroom storage is limited ONLY have frequently used items in your bathroom this saves time and frustration.

4. CLEAR CONTAINERS Separate items into clear containers according to type. This helps you find it quicker e.g. all makeup brushes upright in a glass jar. Keep everything visible in drawers and not hidden behind or underneath other things so you can remember what you have & find it quickly.

5. USE ALL AVAILABLE SPACE Maximise use of space everywhere you have. Using the inside of cupboards keeps work tops clutter-free. Think about using hooks or spice racks to help keep things visible and so easy to find.

Remember to recycle anything you no longer need.

NEXT: How to organise your wardrobe

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The Little Organising Company 0779 383 5800