Updated: Apr 6
Last week, in Step 1 we began looking at putting things back when we move on to something else. I will be the first to acknowledge that this is not easy unless you were trained to do it from a young age. We are really trying to teach an old dog new tricks. It takes commitment and willpower and self discipline - things that a disorganised person, or someone who struggles with clutter may have in abundance in some areas of their life but be lacking here!
But - it is something that is needed to be mastered if you want to live a life which is more organised, has more space and where you can spend your time doing the things you love with the people you love most.
So HELP ME! I hear you cry! Give me some techniques which make it easy for me, my housemates, my family to pick up after ourselves.
This is where Step 2 becomes your friend.
Step 2 : Create Homes and Zones
As I said in the previous blog
nobody will put something away if it has nowhere to go.
Therefore we need to make sure that there is somewhere. And if I can pass on to you probably my most useful tip of all, which is welcomed by customers and friends alike, make sure the home you give to something is in the right place.
DO NOT MAKE THE HOME FOR PENCILS IN THE KITCHEN IF THEY ARE ALWAYS USED IN THE LIVING ROOM.
This is SO important and will make such a difference when you are asking other people to jump onboard this organising train. It needs to make sense. The homes you create for all these objects must be in an obvious place, put it where people will look for it.
Before you go out and buy lots of lovely new baskets, boxes and bins or even a whole new piece of furniture, use what you have to hand. Even if it's old Amazon boxes. This will be a work in progress until you find where you want everything to live.
Your first idea may change a couple of times before you settle on what works for you and is right for how you all live in your home. The type of storage you decide to buy will also be greatly affected by how you live in your home. Some of us want to be able to put something away in a box and put the lid on it so that it is completely away and very uniform. Others may want to drop things into a basket so they can see where it is and access it easily next time they want to use it. This is where the expertise of a professional declutterer and organiser can help enormously, but with trial and error you will find what is best for you and your family.
The other stage in step 2 is to set up ZONES.
By setting up zones in your home you will cut down on all the time you spend looking for your keys, wallet, school books or dog lead.
These are the 2 ZONES I think are most useful:
Drop Zone: This a specific area near the entrance to your home where you have somewhere to leave all the things you bring into the house with you that you will need next time you leave the house.
Shopping Bags etc
Paper Zone: This can be linked to your Drop Zone or a separate area - but make sure it is close to your front door or put it where you tend to drop the mail - on a counter top or desk for example. This is where all your paperwork gets put. This zone needs to be dealt with regularly. It is up to you how often, daily, weekly, however often you feel it needs to be done in your home.
Letters from School etc
So, this is the second stage on the journey to gaining time everyday to spend on the things you love. As I said in Part 1 changes will not happen overnight but they certainly will happen when you start putting things away and you have a home for your belongings. And by having set zones for your easily misplaced items and all the paper coming into your house you will begin to see positive changes taking place.
Spend time this week setting up your Homes & Zones. If you want some ideas of how a Zone could work for you and what it could look like when you are ready, visit my Pinterest page - linked below.
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/