By Master Stylist Vicki Ogden-O’Fee
The new year is a great time to get organised and do some decluttering, sorting things out around the home and to make your life flow easier.
Decluttering is therapeutic and can get you organised, and you really feel as though you have achieved something.
Identify areas of your life that you want to attack and make a list starting with your worst area/issue first (a list is motivating because you can cross things off and see your progress.) Having trouble getting started? Just do one area at a time or promise yourself you’ll do just 10 minutes a day for the next five days. What you will find is once you start you will feel motivated to do more areas and you will start to feel on top of things and organised.
The kitchen can be a good place to start,
as we use this space a lot.
Cupboards with glass doors that close, colour co-ordinated in Vicki’s kitchen.
Choose a cupboard, take everything out then put back what you know you use. If the cupboards are displayed with glass doors or the like, it’s a good idea to colour coordinate so they don’t look junky. If you make this a habit, then everyone knows where items go and they always look tidy. Since the Christchurch 2010 earthquakes, we as a family now use all our good glassware, crockery, and cutlery daily. Why put all your nice things away and never use them? When cleaning out and decluttering you’ll need cleaning stuff, rubbish bags and boxes – marked keep, throw away, charity, recycle and relocate (for things that should be in a different place).
A label maker might be your new best friend!!! I have a label maker and use it all the time, in cupboards, pantry items, laundry and linen cupboard. This keeps everything in its place, neat and orderly so when others are putting things away there is no second guessing where they go.
A label maker…your new best friend.
Start sorting in an orderly fashion,
shelf by shelf, from top to bottom.
Laundry items all sorted, shelves in cupboards labelled, plus a rail for ironing that needs done keeps everything tidy and organised.
Sign at our front door.
Decluttering your life can make your life easier. For example, I used to get sick of people with dirty boots and shoes, especially some tradesmen walking their dirty footwear through the house, so I had a sign made that hangs at the front door, no more unnecessary dirty floors. It gets the message across in a friendly manner.
Make spaces work for you and your family. As a family we like to BBQ a lot all year round so we had a portable BBQ kitchen made, it has cupboards which I have put baskets in with our utensils, spices, cooking oils and cleaning items, that way its all there ready to go. Baskets are great for organising cupboards that regularly get opened and seen. I also always keep shoe boxes and any small boxes that are sturdy they make great storage containers and protect your shelves, and when they get soiled, we just replace them.
When you are having a clean out and declutter it can be a good time to spring clean art and pictures on your walls. I always use the 3M removable hooks that way I can change things up every now and then and not leave picture hook marks on the walls. Mainly I like things on the walls in an orderly display, not just plonked anywhere on the walls. Lining pictures up and in themes can be eye-catching.
Decluttering and refreshing doesn’t mean everything must be totally minimalistic. We all have our own style of how we like to live and our house to run. If you have a chair for display make sure the cushions are nice and everyone doesn’t just arrive home and throw all their junk on it.
Make spaces welcoming, I’m always on the lookout in stores and online for art and pictures that I could have framed, or buying old frames and repurposing them, this gives a personal touch to your home and you end up with some things unique to you.
For me it’s important to feel happy and motivated in my surroundings, I found these motivational quotes by Mother Teresa online on a website in England, had them sent out and framed, they now take pride of place in the entryway to our home.
We all have places and spaces in our home that you have precious things that you want to display and keep. My husband and I like to have photos of family, previous generations and friends, I don’t like photos sitting everywhere around the house as I personally feel it looks messy, so we have created a gallery in one of our hallways and it’s totally dedicated to great times and precious memories. My husband thinks I’m a bit “OCD” at times as the frames on the walls are all symmetrical, when I buy a frame, I always buy two so I can have it all in order. On the table in the hallway, I do however have a place for photos with a variety of frames and purposely mix and match them. We often take time to pause and look at all the happy memories in this special space we have created.
Enjoying the outdoors is important to me and I like our ground to be tidy and well maintained, being the neat freak that I am. We have lots of hedges in our garden which are great for separating out different areas and spaces to relax. I like nice clean lines but also greenery and flowers. So, to achieve this our garden is mainly hedges, carpet roses, camellias, rhododendron, laurels, and hydrangeas. We have feature oak and Robinia-Frisia trees to add height, colour, and texture. Plus, the added advantage of shade on the hot summer days.
Time out is important to chill and unwind, declutter your mind and take time for yourself. As I really enjoy being at home and in the garden, one way I like to unwind and chill after a busy day is to have a spa. Spas are great and have many benefits including, family orientated, a place to chill and talk, great to relieve stress and help with sore joints or injuries, generally good for everyone.
OK, so you’ve spent a day sorting out things around your home and you’re feeling fabulous. The next challenge will be staying that way and the best way to start is to pledge to stop adding unnecessary items to your home.
Avoid impulse buying and only buy something if you’ve spotted a place in your home/garden that it will look amazing or if it is an item you need. Another way to declutter and keep consistent is to buddy up with a friend and set goals together and share pictures of your achievements with each other, or better still catch up for a wine or a coffee.
So I will leave you with these thoughts…
“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” …
“Owning less is better than organizing more.” …
“Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fuelled by procrastination” …
“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.” …
“Clear your stuff.”
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