We generally promise to do so many things in January: starting the fitness regime, managing weight, cleaning up the yard, reading a book are amongst the top ones.
So why not add ‘getting organised’ to that list?
If you can take control over your time, your inbox, the paperwork and your possessions, you will feel much more optimistic and – of course - organised in 2015. Maybe even unstoppable!
Here are some top life hacks for getting some organisation and structure into your life at home.
1. Create one calendar for scheduling the activities of everyone in your household
Include daily/weekly/monthly checklists for each member of your family. Display the lists and calendar in a central location of your home, like the refrigerator, a pinboard in the family or media room or in the laundry. That way, everyone in the family knows when there’s an important family occasion; you know if one of your children has something important coming up; and it helps everyone with getting ready, pulling together when needed and budgeting.
2. Hold off on container shopping
Clutter victims often think the solution is to stock up on organising products, so they head to the nearest superstore and stock up on bins and boxes. Big mistake. Shop for storage items only after you've done some de-cluttering - to understand what you really need. It may be you don’t need to buy a thing!
3. Dump duplicates
We don’t wish to sound like we’re picking on coffee mugs but how many do you have? 4? 8? 25? Have you ever needed 25 at once? Probably not, but even if you did, it’s probably only been once. The rough rule of thumb is approximately three times the number of people in your household to be really comfortable with crockery – but, truth is, you can also get by on far less. However, if you get given something, make a rule of also getting rid of something.
4. Beware nostalgia
We’re all doting parents and, of course, little Jack or Ruby could be the next Alex Perry or Ellyse Perry (no relation), so you want to keep every drawing and every trophy.
Well, there comes a time – unless you’ve got a big house and lots of space, in which case you’re probably not reading this – when it’s going to be too much. We’re not going to tell you when that time comes, but be conscious of it. Perhaps a solution is to take a photo of little Jack with his fabulous frock creation or Ellyse with her cricket and soccer trophies, and make that the keepsake – because that’s going to keep better anyway.
Of course, if your child creates something truly special, you'll want to keep it, maybe even display it in your home.
5. Your wardrobe
Odds are your wardrobe and bedroom cupboards are chock-a-block with clothes that are rarely worn. We tend to wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.
It’s worth sorting out your clothes (as well as those of your partner and your children) at least once a year. Does a particular garment no longer fit, or maybe it's uncomfortable? Toss it into a bag for a favourite charity or a consignment store. Or, if it’s fabulous quality and you’d like some spare cash, try taking it to a second hand store or selling it on e-bay. Don’t hold onto things because you think you might need them someday. But don’t keep it because you may need it one day: chances are you won’t!
6. Check the date
If something is out of date – put it in the bin! This means food in the ‘fridge, the freezer, the pantry, toiletries, medicine and over-the-counter tablets.
7. When did I last use this?
Whether it be a household item such as a bread maker or juicer, or something personal, like a piece of jewellery, when did you last use it? 1964? Are the children’s toys antiques? There’s your answer!
Seriously, if you don’t love something, if you don’t use it or wear it, and if it’s not broken, you don’t want it and you don’t need it. Give it to a good home if it’s still useable and not too old, or put it in the Council general clean-up day. If it’s broken, throw it out!
8. The spare room
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, or an attic, or a garage, chances are you have way too much stuff that you don’t need because you’ve used the space to make things look tidy! Make a day of it!
Go in there, and ask yourself whether you really need all those things. Again, if you’re keeping it because you might need it one day, chances are you won’t need it or, if you ever do, it will be out-of-date. It’s time for it to go!
Just remember: the key to being organised is getting rid of things, not simply rearranging them. Tidying up, and putting things away, is not the same as being organised!
We hope these help. And we hope you and your loved ones have a happy, healthy and fabulous 2015.