Updated: Jun 25, 2022
In the grand tradition of Strictly Come Dancing these steps are in no particular order but implementing each one has made a big difference in my life and I know they will in yours!
Whether it is keeping my fabric stash, my underwear drawer or my partners t-shirts under control - file folding has been a real game changer!
Not only is it really easy to do, it means you can see exactly what you have in the drawer. A bonus result is that it becomes much more obvious if certain items are not going to be worn, and therefore easier to know what can go in the One In One Out rule!(see below!!)
File folding is a way of folding clothes - or fabric - so that it 'sits up' rather than stacking clothes ontop of each other. Originally made popular by Marie Kondo it seems to have taken the organising world (and my drawers) by storm! There are many videos showing you hw to do it so I will leave the technique to you! I have begun just rolling my clothes and it has pretty much the same effect!!
I’ve used a tiered shelf in the kitchen for some time - like the file folding solution for clothes - you can clearly see what you have in your cupboard, meaning you don’t buy extras and you can make a meal plan without having to root through piles of tins! I am a relative newcomer to the lazy susan but have seen the benefits already!! Again things are easier to find and easy to access!
This really should be a mantra we repeat everyday! But it isn’t always practical to put something away if it is an unfinished project - so what is the answer? Have a basket/ box or cupboard dedicated to your current project. At the end of the day when you are ready to go to bed, put the project in the WIP basket (work in progress) so you can easily pull it out next time you have a chance to work on it. Never have more than one project on the go!
The one in one out rule can cover absolutely anything! From children’s toys to your own clothes.
Once you have decluttered and organised your home you need strategies to prevent it going back to being cluttered and organised. One of the best things you can do is make sure that when you buy a new toy for example and old, unused or broken toy is taken out of the house.
I know how tempting it is to buy a lovely new collection of assorted sized, matching baskets or boxes once you have purged your home, however, let me encourage you to use what you already have! I am certain you will already own plenty of storage containers - make use of these for your storage - at least for a month after decluttering
(even old shoe boxes). Why? I encourage you to do this because there will always be a period of adjustment after any reorganising and decluttering project - a phase where items need to find their natural home. Initially you may decide the home for your paperwork is upstairs in the spare bedroom / office. But after a week or two of living in your less cluttered, more organised home you may realise that in order to keep on top of your paperwork, a box in the entrance hall to collect all incoming paperwork and a dedicated day to deal with it works much better for you. So you have saved yourself the cost of a new filing cabinet and extended your ‘launchpad/ command centre’ instead! (see below!)
Another game changer! My socks are still in pairs after months of having dividers in my undie drawer! I was always losing socks before!!
Again - use what you have you can even make your own dividers out of cereal boxes! Any drawer can use dividers from underwear to cutlery to your junk drawer. They serve to keep like things together and keep things in sight.
This is a bit different for me!! It may actually involve spending some money - but it really is worth it! Find a hanger you like, one which works with you style of clothes and buy packets of them! My preferred hanger of choice is slimline, black velvet coated. If you prefer a wooden hanger or a plastic hanger - go for it!
The reason I want you to have all the same hanger is because it looks so much better than a jumble of different hangers and is visually a lot less cluttered. When you have taken the time to declutter and organise your clothes, the last thing you want is to hang them all up and still feel that your wardrobe or closet looks like a jumble of mismatched items. Simply by changing your clothes hangers you can see a difference.
A command centre is simply an area in your home where you have a calendar and somewhere to keep important day to day information. A record of after school clubs, appointments and important contact numbers for example. Your command centre could also be a place to collect all your incoming paperwork. This can be combined with your launchpad (see No.9) or kept separately.
Your Launch Pad is the place in your home where you all launch yourselves fully prepared out into the unsuspecting world! You gather together all the items you will need everytime you leave the house. It could be school bags, lunchboxes, coats and shoes, whatever it is you know you need to pick up and have with you when you leave your house in the morning.
It really wouldn’t be a Linda J Harper list without this would it?!!
Create homes and zones for your belongings as close to where you naturally use the object as possible. For example if you always put your keys down and then have to hunt for them most mornings - take the time to think where you usually find them - is it on the kitchen counter? If so, put a dedicated box or tray on the counter for your keys. Do school books get scattered around the house? Decide where the best place is to keep them all together - is it in the bedroom or the dining room, or even at the bottom of the stairs? Wherever the most logical place is in your house, set up a basket, label it and this becomes the home for your school books. Here is where I have talked about this in a previous DOCC Blog:
If you can have a box or bag where anyone can put in items they want to donate as a matter of course you may be surprised how quickly it fills up! It is important that the items put in this bag belong to the person who actually puts them in and that nobody else interferes with their decision!! When full, take the items straight to your local charity shop and replace it immediately.
Do you always collect clutter on your bedside table? Then why not put a plant there and fill the spot with something you love instead!
Put a collection of framed pictures on your sideboard to replace the mismatched clutter you used to find there.
You can comment below ↓↓ or look at the end of the blog for all the ways you can contact me privately. I love hearing from you with all your ideas and photos of the areas you are working on!!
If you want to delve deeper into finding a ‘system’ which will work for you, you can contact me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org or using the chat bubble on my website, I would love to help you!
You can message me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Linda-J-Harper-Professional-Declutterer-and-Organiser-107805011001601.
I am also on Pinterest and Instagram if you need some inspiration! https://www.pinterest.co.uk/adnilenaj1314/boards/