Top 3 Things You Can Do To Kick Off An Organised New Year
By Professional Organiser Julie-Ann Douglas
A space for everything and everything in its space
Julie-Ann Douglas is the Professional Organiser behind 2B Organised. A self confessed neat freak, says systems and orderliness come naturally to her. This is not the case for everyone, and it is her passion to assist others overcome some of the chaos surrounding them and bring a little order into their busy lives.
Julie-Ann is also a member of the Institute Of Professional Organisers (IOPO) International.
The New Year often brings thoughts of starting fresh and resolutions. How do we stick with and maintain these thoughts throughout the year? How do we move on and create real change? Louise Smith says, “You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk’. There have been reports in the media lately about FOTO (Fear Of Throwing Out), however most of us have too many things, and some of it needs to go!
As Mrs Beeton said in the Book of Household Management, make “a place for everything, and everything in its place”. Decluttering can be overwhelming, so don’t look at all the little choices, look at the BIG picture with the end goal in mind. I think it’s helpful to create an idea of how you want your space to ‘feel’ after you declutter. When you are struggling ask “will this bring calm serenity” or “will this help me find things easily”? If it doesn’t meet your end goal, then it needs to go.
I find the kitchen an excellent place to start organising, it can help motivate you to kick off your organised new year. You may have heard the saying, “The kitchen is the heart of the home”? The kitchen can reflect the state of your home. Much of the clutter you have sitting on your bench tops or in cupboards and drawers, can be a direct result of a delayed decision. You put something down anywhere, because you don’t know what to do with it. Being organised means creating a place for those items that are constantly piling up. The bonus is once the original decisions are made, you make less decisions every day, as you now know where items belong.
Only keep the items you use, need or love
The best way to get organised is to grab some garbage bags or boxes. Label them ‘throw’, ‘keep’, ‘sell’ and ‘donate’. Take a deep breath, start with your pantry and pull EVERYTHING out, clean the space left and then be ruthless! “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”, William Morris. Questions to ask are:
Is this in date?
Do I use this?
Do I need this?
Do I love this?
Am I storing this for “one day”?
Remember things often look worse before they get better. Don’t become discouraged, keep going! There may be some items that other people can use, need or love. Once the pantry is completed, move onto the fridge and then through all your kitchen cupboards. My hope is you will become motivated to complete other areas in your home.
In 2011, researchers at Princeton University found clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organised, and serene environment (J Neurosci. 2011 Jan 12;31(2):587-97. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3766-10.2011.)
A lot of people see organisation as tidying up, but organising is implementing a system that works for you. An organised space has a system which allows you to find, exchange and evaluate items quickly and easily. Creating systems will go a long way towards organising your 2018, allowing you to be efficient and productive. A tidy space simply results from items being cleared up and put away in a systematic fashion.
Create the new environment
Put like items with like, create systems to help you place items where they belong. Clear storage boxes are wonderful for seeing things easily, and coloured boxes/containers can bring brightness to a space (or more muted tones of baskets if this is your preference). It is much easier to simply grab or slide out a box or basket, select what you need and then pop the box or basket back where it belongs. These work on shelves, in cupboards and in drawers. Some even have easy to grip handles and wheels to help glide smoothly. I find labelling the boxes or baskets is a fantastic way of prompting where items belong (not only for you, but also those you live or work with).
Store the most accessed items at the front which makes them easy to get to, and everything else falls behind it. There are stands, tiered shelves and turn tables which help keep items in sight and in reach. Keep in mind the ‘touch once rule’, the fewer times you are going to touch an item the more likely you are to keep that system organised.
Peter Walsh says, “What I know for sure is that when you declutter – whether it’s your home, your head or your heart, it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life and your family”. And who doesn’t want an enriched life in 2018? Why not try these ‘Top 3 things you can do to Kick Off an Organised New Year’?!