Professional organiser Sophie March of ‘The Order Restorers’ offers her top tips on how to declutter your life and bring harmony to your home
Before we start, homes are for living in and making your own. Make sure you have a clear identity for each room – be that a functional clothes cupboard or a zen-like living room. I don’t advocate ‘decluttering’ in the traditional sense: if you have everything organised and labelled, you will know instinctively what you truly need and want to keep.
Airing cupboard, box room, under the stairs cupboard – a quick win to create storage for other rooms.
2. Do garages and sheds.
You can make quick progress because things have often been chucked in. Add a few nails to hang tools, bike hooks to lift bikes off the ground and this useful space can really work for outside storage.
3. Be realistic.
At the Order Restorer’s we take around one day to clear a room – and we do it all the time! Room by room, plan what’s possible and take the time you need and stick to that area.
4. Start small!
Do something you are going to achieve easily and build on your success. Start with part of a room, even a cupboard or a drawer! Once done, remove items you no longer need then recycle them or give them to charity etc… don’t put them in the garage!
5. Lay it out.
Whether it’s a cupboard, drawer or box – empty out the contents and lay them out so you can see what to put back, store or let go.
6. Group things.
Whether it is shirts (by colour, collar or season) or your larder (tinned tomatoes, sauces). See what duplicates you have got. It stops the over ordering of, say, dishwasher tablets. Also clarify your wardrobe contents by weeding out what’s tired, lost its shape or is no longer fashionable or functional.
7. Separate work clothes and party/social.
For minimal cupboard space, change your hangers to velvet non-slip and fold jeans, roll sweaters to put in drawers.
8. Seasonal storage
Make space by putting woolly jumpers away for summer. Put moth repellent in bags and make a diary note to take them out in three months.
Quick wins in household cleaning and DIY cupboards:
- Categorise your light bulbs, use sub-dividers in your household DIY drawer
- Group tapes, glues, picture hooks
- In your tool section always have a hammer, spirit level, tape measure, Philips/crosshead screwdrivers easily to hand
- Hooks to hang brooms, mops, ironing boards
And to make it all much easier to return to…
- Make a map of what you store, and where.
- Label everything properly – Christmas decorations, baby memorabilia, summer clothes.
- Take photographs of the storage boxes in situ on your phone e.g. Attic, January 2018.