Charlotte Jones is a Professional Organiser based in Woking, Surrey and Founder of Everything in its Place. Here she shares her tips on what must be the most vital decluttering stage of all – maintenance! If you could use some professional help (at any stage) find an accredited organiser near you here.
So, you’ve done the hard work. You’ve cleared out the vast majority of your clutter and your home is now beautifully organised. However, this is an ongoing process and keeping your home looking and feeling the way that you want it will require effort.
Clutter builds up inevitably, clothes need putting away, the dishwasher needs emptying and the kids need telling five times every day to hang up their school bags! But keep at it because a tidy environment really does lead to a clear mind and a generally more positive outlook on life.
By spending just a few minutes each day doing these chores and being strict with yourself when it comes to leaving clutter lying around you will free up more time to spend doing the things that you really love and enjoying your new surroundings.
1. Reset to zero each night: Put everything back where it is supposed to be. This means that you will wake up refreshed the following morning ready to tackle the days challenges without having to deal with any left over from yesterday. It will also probably mean that you got a much better nights sleep, content with the feeling that everything was done and put back where it should be.
2. Deal with mail as soon as it enters the house: Can it be recycled or filed straight away? If you need to do something with it, file it in your dedicated ‘to do’ file and make sure that this gets emptied at least once a month.
3. Have dedicated areas which must stay clean, clear and clutter free: For example, the kitchen worktops, don’t allow paperwork to pile up here or items which belong elsewhere, ensuring that this area stays clear means that you will notice if any clutter does start to build up and can easily rectify the problem.
4. Have a good clear out of the kids toys, games and clothes before a birthday or christmas: This way, you can get rid of any unused items or things that the children have outgrown ready for the new load to enter the house.
5. Take photos to remind you of sentimental items: Still struggling to let go of those last few items that you know you don’t need but have some sort of emotional attachment to? Try taking a photograph of these objects and then letting the real thing go.
6. Buy Less: No recreational shopping, only go into a shop if you need something. Try it for a month and see if you notice a difference in the amount of things entering your home.
7. Have a donate box at the front door: anyone in the house can add to this box and then it can be taken to the charity shop each time it gets full.