Have you ever watched an organising show and gone out and bought all the storage solutions that they advertised or bought for the home they were organising, only to find that it didn’t help at all and now the mess now has a new storage product amongst it?
Have you ever watched an organising hack on YouTube and copied it exactly and felt really proud for about 2 days before the space looks exactly like it did beforehand and you never rectify it ever again?
Have you ever woken up absolutely sick of the clutter, gone round the house being ruthless and getting rid of a whole car full in a weekend, only to have to repeat the exact same process in 6 months’ time because it has all come back again?
You aren’t alone. In fact, many people tell me that they wouldn’t both with a home organiser or professional organiser as it just doesn’t work for them. But they are wrong!
The problem is with all of these things is that you haven’t really thought about it all beforehand. You haven’t got a long-term plan, you haven’t thought about a system, your why, your goals, or how you live day to day. It just looked good or seemed like a good idea at the time.
This is the part where I usually come in. I am a home/ professional organiser and help clients declutter and organise their space to create a home that works for them.
Yes, I declutter and help teach how to let go of belongings
Yes, I help set up the systems and organisational products at the other end
However, the most important part of my job is the chat at the very beginning.
There are 5 questions I ask every single client before tackling any space:
- What is your goal for the space?
- What works well in the space?
- What doesn’t work well in the space?
- What belongs in that space?
- What will the space being perfect for you bring to your life?
This last question. That’s your purpose. That’s your motivation to carry you through the project, through the messy middle stage and out of the other side.
Don’t be fooled though, an answer of “I just want it to be tidy” is not going to cut it here, you have to go deeper. Unfortunately, just wanting it to stay tidy is never going to happen. We all have lives and unless you plan on never touching a single one of your belongings again, mess will happen, and you will have to put it back.
- How do you want the space to make you feel?
- How accessible do your belongings need to be and to who?
- Do you want it to save you time in any way?
- Will it mean finally being able to share your home with friends and family?
- Or perhaps you are looking to move house and you just want it to be easy to maintain during viewings and not seem cluttered and it is less about emotions.
Once you get to this stage you can start creating a basis for a system that will work for you.
For example. You would like to organise your playroom and you would like all the toys accessible to the children so they can choose but you want to be able to save time tidying up every night. Achieving this will mean you don’t feel stressed every time you walk in the room when you have just shoved it all in a cupboard previously and can’t find everything you need. It means that you aren’t being asked for a new toy every 30 seconds as they can see what they have and get to it, saving a small piece of your sanity too and you can finally feel like you get a bit of your evening back as tidying up doesn’t take as long.
What we won’t be doing then:
- Putting all the lego in colour order – that takes far too long when they get it out
- Displaying all the books in height/ colour or age bracket order on the shelf
- Adding a little clothes rail for all the dolls outfit changes
- Purchasing storage with lids that clip shut for all toys (how can they access them if they can’t open the lid
- Creating a craft trolly if you have little children who may want to help themselves
What we will be doing:
- Creating zones and broad categories for each set of toys
- Purchasing open baskets that are lightweight and easy to pull and go
- Adding labels (or pictures) to the baskets so children know what is inside so they can choose
- Keeping messy play items out of reach for younger children including pencils to prevent impromptu wall art
All of these suggestions from both categories come from Pinterest and YouTube. I have done this intentionally to show you that unless you have the purpose of your project in the back of your mind you can easily be steered down the wrong path when it comes to storage and organising your space.
Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and so many other places are great sources of organisational information and to inspire what to implement in your own home. Just take a second to really think about what you need to get out of the space before you go down the rabbit hole.
If you take this time to make a proper plan and discover your purpose and what a home that works for you really means then you will find whatever solutions you put in place are likely to be easier to maintain because they will have the way you work in mind. Once you start seeing the benefits of your new systems, you will want to continue.
Of course, there is more that goes into creating a proper plan and choosing systems that work for you.
Organising for your personality – we all have different organising styles, and they don’t all need the same solutions.
Your daily routines and how you and your family spend your time… and frankly how much support you have.
Whether you are new to organising or if you are up levelling your space. Phase 3 solutions (think decanting, arranging your books in rainbow order or folding your towels into parcels a hotel would be proud of) will not work for someone brand new. You need to start at phase 1 instead and then re-visit that space once you have managed to maintain a simple solution.
It is so easy to get carried away and swept up in the perfect, showroom style space when really the real perfect is walking into your home and not seeing a never ending to do list.
I hope this has helped those that are perhaps at the very beginning of their organisational journey start thinking about the process a little differently.
P.S. I will be opening the doors to my brand-new programme, The TOC Method on 30th March 2022. A rolling programme to turn your home from cluttered chaos into a home that works for you, with me by your side every step of the way. If you would like to know more about what is included and how to register, please click here to learn more.