Sort out your space with great tips from a professional organiser!
What’s the one decor trend that never goes out of style? A tidy, organised, clutter-free space. Heidi Meyer, CEO and owner of Cloud 9 Organised, shares expert tips for keeping your home organised and clutter-free.
Where do I start?
- Actively decide to create the change you desire.
- Visualise how you’d like the room to look when you’re finished.
- Commit to the process, set the time aside, and be patient. Sorting a basic room with lots of clutter can take five to eight hours. Take your time and don’t feel pressured to do it all in one session, but finish each area you’ve started.
- Have rubbish bags, boxes, and markers at hand.
- Decide on zones for different activities in a room, and keep activity-related items in their zone.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes, put on your favourite music, and start!
- Begin at the door, working clockwise around the room.
- Work from top to bottom, clearing out one shelf or container at a time. Touch each item, categorise it, and
sort it in a specific container.
- Don’t just empty the contents of the whole cupboard or toy box. Get rid of anything you don’t need,
love, or want.
- Decide immediately where unwanted items will go (your domestic helper, a charity shop, or family member) and place them in the appropriate bags or boxes.
- When the timer goes off, break for five minutes, then begin again.
- Don’t move items to another room, it just creates chaos in another space, too.
- Clean shelves and containers, and label containers as you go.
Keep, throw or donate?
Financial records for the current year and past six years
- Bank and credit statements
- Income tax returns
- Pension, annuity records and pay slips
- Medical invoices
‘Keep all documents in one file with a dated list of which documents were used during the year; recycle anything that wasn’t used,’ says Heidi.
Vital records for your ‘Life File’
- Adoption, birth, and death certificates
- Marriage and divorce certificates
- Letter of last instruction, living will, power of attorney
- Medical records
- Insurance records
- Identity and citizenship documents
‘Examine why you have this stuff to begin with. It’s an opportunity for self-discovery, growth, and release,’ says Heidi.
- Damaged, stained, or broken items no one else can use
- Invitations to past events
- Expired warranties and service contracts
- Unread magazines older than three months
- Receipts for non-tax-deductible items
- Recipes you haven’t tried in over five years
- Poor quality photos
- Articles or clippings you haven’t read in over five years
- Unfinished projects
- Items that don’t make you happy, make you feel guilty, haven’t been used in a year
- Recycle plastic, paper, glass, and cans
‘Don’t donate rubbish; it costs charity shops to sort through donations,’ says Heidi.
Items others can still use
- Clothing that doesn’t fit but is in decent condition
- Electronics, appliances, ornaments, files, stationery, toys
- Craft and hobby materials
- Unused greeting cards
‘Organising isn’t just about removing clutter or being more productive, it’s about freeing yourself up for new opportunities and letting go of what’s holding you back from doing what you love,’ says Heidi. ‘It’s about giving yourself the balance you need to lead a more fulfilling life.’
Heidi says de-cluttering has a cascading effect: as you clear one area, you free up mental space, giving you the energy to clear another area. ‘The beauty of the process is that any amount of clutter you release helps you move
forward,’ she says.
More perks of tidiness
- ‘You work more effectively and get more done, leaving you revitalised and open to new possibilities.’
- ‘More space to breathe and think, and for things you really love and use.’
- ‘You’ll have more time when you’re not wasting it constantly looking for things.’
Clean up quickly
We’ve all experienced the panic of a messy home half an hour before guests arrive. Take a quick walk through to see what your guests will notice first, and then follow Heidi’s easy steps for a quick tidy up:
- Put all those out-of-place items back where they belong.
- Wipe surfaces.
- Fluff pillows and open windows for fresh air.
- Check that the bathroom’s clean, replace towels, and ensure there’s extra toilet paper.
- ‘This totally goes against good organisational advice, but sometimes it’s great to have a big basket with a lid, or an empty drawer for your unsightly clutter,’ says Heidi. ‘But as soon as your guests head home, sort out the clutter to avoid a bigger problem.’
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