Where Do I Begin? A Short Guide To Start You On Your Home Organisation Journey.

Updated: Jul 4

Ever looked at a cupboard and thought 'Yep today's the day I'm going to clean it out?'

Then you get distracted by something (anything), close the door, and never to be seen until next time? Out of site out of mind. Can you fit your car into your garage, or is it full of stuff? (Which has to be stored somewhere!). Have you been really proactive after binge watching Marie Kondo, or The Home Edit and cleaned out half your kitchen draws, then school pick up time arrives, kids come home, and it goes back to square one? Don't worry, you are not alone.

It's not just a healthy dose of motivation which you need to create a fulfilling space, but time, tools and a to-do list. Declutter Designs uses a four step approach to creating your calm and liveable space starting with a healthy declutter, organising your effects, creating a simple system and knowing how to maintain your new system regularly.

Step 1. Declutter.

According to Marie Kondo, effective tidying involves two actions; discarding and where to store things. Discarding does not mean get rid of everything, in fact discarding could involve donating, regifting, upcycling or returning any of your unwanted possessions to where they belong.

To start, choose a room, space or cupboard to declutter. Start small and once you gain momentum you'll want to declutter more and more. Block out time to do this. Put it in the calendar, and get the kids looked after. Make sure you have water on hand and a snack to get you through. If music motivates you - make a Spotify playlist. Speaking of lists, list all the spaces you want to attack. There is nothing more satisfying than crossing off a list.

Step 2. Organise.

Organise a space (I call it a blank canvas), to place the decluttered items. Organise your items into piles - 'keep' and 'not keep'. Organise your 'keep' pile into store, fold, wash and pack. Organise your 'not keep' pile into charity, recycle, sell, return, on gift. You may not need all these sub categories - it's up to you. Make a list of where you want things to go. You will have an 'to action' list as well. Things which need mended, or posted, or saved onto a disk. If you have an 'to action' list this will keep you accountable for getting stuff done (then cross it off!).

Once you have organised your items to keep, it is time to take a breath and start thinking about the next step which is organising where they go back into their space. Fewer items means better systems. At this stage you probably have created more space. Better systems means less thinking which takes us to the next step of creating a simple storage system which meets your needs and lifestyle.

Step 3. Simplify.

This is where a professional home organiser can really help as they have assessed your needs and observed you in your space. Moving furniture, creating shelves, making items more accessible is easier with a fresh eye. We see functional first then design. Are the items you use regularly at hand? Are you making the most of natural light? How can we improve your experience with the things which spark joy? Do you have any greenery to filter your air?

Home storage tools such as baskets, lazy Susan, dispensers, labelled glass jars, plastic containers and space dividers are all useful and helpful in the right places. Don't think you might need them because you saw it on an Instagram post and it looked good. Never compromise functionality for aesthetics. You will set yourself up for frustration and failure.

Step 4. Maintain.

Getting you and your space organised is a whole new way of thinking and establishing new behaviours. There are many 10 minute routines, where at the end of the day you take the time to maintain and keep tidy everything in your home, putting it where it should be. Here is a great one from Certified Organiser Coach Carolyn Verhoef This is a repetitive behaviour - like brushing your teeth, it's just something you end up doing, without thinking.

Sharing and communicating your refreshed storage and calm spaces and how they work is also a big step which is easily forgotten. Often it's not just you living in your space, so if others don't know where things go or how to store something correctly - the wheels will fall off.

If reading this sounds daunting, a Professional Organiser can really help and guide you on your home organisation journey. It is not just a physical process but a period of mental challenge and clarity - eventually. Start your journey today.

Adi is a professional declutterer and home organiser living in Brisbane with her husband, three boisterous sons and a lovable Burmese cat - Milo.

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