I wanted to cover the topic of ‘Decluttering for the New Year’ and felt I should get in an expert to discuss this rather then me stumbling my way through. I know as an Interior Designer it’s always great working in spaces that aren’t over crowded with clutter, and spaces that are clear always make way for a stunning end result. I also know we can all have tendencies to gather around us our treasured things but how can we turn down the clutter volume? I’ve invited local Professional Organiser, Kirsty from Feels Like Home to share her pearls of wisdom with us.
Hi There Everyone,
Have you ever tried to get organised in the past only to find after a few weeks that you just give up and life goes back to how it was? It’s probably because you tried to tack it on top of everything you were already doing. Being more organised isn’t about doing more and it is actually about doing less. It is stopping the procrastination that inhibits you from ever starting or ever completing a chore, task or project. To become more organised and stay organised you need to eliminate things, reduce the stuff you have in your home, reduce the things on your schedule and change your thinking about your stuff and time. It is only then that you can look to give yourself more space and time to be organised over the long term.
Here are a few of my tips to reduce the things in your home, help you stop procrastinating and transform your mindset.
Just do it now!
This one tip has been game changing for me and my clients! Just do it now! I’ve learnt that every task has to be finished, because for me ‘later’ or ‘someday’ either never comes or makes me stressed when it does come! So when you think about a task, remember it has a beginning and an end, and if you “JUST DO IT NOW”, you’ll get rid of the anxiety of having to remember to get back to it or the stress of rushing around doing it when it’s become urgent! So here is an example. Laundry; the beginning of it is finding dirty clothes and putting them in the washing machine. The end of this task is the clothes have dried and been put back away and the washing basket is empty back in the laundry (or near empty and just waiting some more dirty clothes). You could procrastinate at a myriad of points during this task but having the mantra of “Just Do IT NOW” will help you to finish the task.
Ask the Right Questions
Marie Kondo’s famous question of “Does it Spark Joy?” can be helpful but not everything that you need in your home necessarily sparks joy (my wooden spoon I use daily for cooking dinner doesn’t spark joy in me!). There are lots of useful questions that you can ask to help you decide if items are supporting your goal of decluttering and to help keep you focussed on creating the space you desire, here are a few of them;
Does this item support my values and priorities? Does this item fit in the vision I have for my ideal space? Does this item feel essential and meaningful to me? Could this item be of more use and helpful for another person? Have I used it in the last year? If I were shopping would I buy this item again? Do I have a realistic plan to use this? Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose? Would it impact my daily life not to have this item? Is this item really worth the space it is taking up in my home? Do I have the space to keep this item?
Keep like with like
This will help you to find things and to be able to set limits. It is hard to know that you have have 20 black tops if they are spread across 3 closets in your home. So keep like with like, for instance, all the mugs should be together, coffee and tea and sugar should be together in the cupboard/pantry, hammers and screwdrivers need to be together with other tools, not having one hammer in the junk drawer and the measuring tape in with the kids toys.
Give everything a home
This means that everything that lives in your home needs to have a specific place where it is stored so that you know where to find it when it is not in use. For instance, your keys should either be in your hand turning a lock or it should be in their home (hook, bowl or handbag for example). Throwing them on the kitchen bench and hoping that you will then be able to find them again when you’ve also piled the unopened mail and the shopping on top of them, and then the kids school bags is generally not going to work. You see where I am going with this… So this has to applied to everything in your home. A place for everything and everything in its place.
One in = One Out.
A good rule once you have decluttered is to live by the “One in=One out” rule. So when you buy a new pair of jeans, you need to choose one that you will either donate or put in the bin. You do not then relegate the old pair to the “round the house” pair, you need to let it go! Let things go!! Now I’m not saying that you all have to be minimalist and live with just 1 of everything but if you are serious about living an organised and decluttered life, I promise you that having 20 pairs of jeans is not going to be moving you forward in this lifestyle change!
I hope these tips and actions will see a transformation in your mindset towards your clutter and transformed home in 2017.
About the author: Kirsty is a wife to THE most organized man alive and has learnt most of her organisational skill through the osmosis process of living with him for the last 12 years! She is the mother of two cheeky and wonderful children aged 7 and 5. Kirsty has been a Professional Organiser for the last 5 years helping people organise their houses so it feels like home. You can connect with her on http://www.feelslikehome.net.au and http://www.facebook.com/feelslikehomepo for more inspiring and practical tips on organising.