How to organise (6) – maintaining your organised space

How to organise | Organising Queen

The most important part of the whole organising process is maintenance. And this is often the place where things get out of control.

When I first meet with an organising client, I ask them, “what’s working and not working for you?”

Often, people tell me, “I can get it organised but two days later, it’s all a mess again”.

This tells me they don’t have a maintenance system.

I can have a beautifully organised bedroom but if I leave clothes, empty mugs and glasses, books, etc. to pile up everyday, after a few days there’s going to be a royal mess.

Making a daily habit of some very simple steps like throwing clothes in the laundry bins, taking empty dishes to the kitchen, returning items like books to their homes will maintain your organised room.

My 3-step solution:

1. Do a quick 5-minute check of your trouble areas every day. Train your family to do the same.
2. Build this time into a current routine that already works for you. If you make an evening cup of coffee/ tea like I do, when you turn on the kettle, use the time while you wait for it to boil to do your maintenance check. This is key!
3. Make time on a weekly basis to check through your house. This is the time to catch up just in case a couple of days didn’t go according to plan.

Do you have a maintenance plan? Please share in the comments.

How to organise (5) – organise according to your personality

The key to organising successfully is to have a system that works for you.

It’s okay to be different!

You don’t have to feel guilty about being a visual person and wanting more around your house than a minimalist has.

How to organise | Organising Queen

A corner of my desk, mid-project

If you try too hard to adapt yourself to a style that’s not comfortable, it will not be sustainable in the long-term (and by long-term, I mean more than a week).

I recently ran a tidy desk competition on this blog, and the different types of desks are testament to the different personalities we all have.

I personally like to start with an uncluttered workspace and have just the project I’m working on in front of me because I get distracted if I see lots of other papers.

However, I know someone else who works very comfortably with piles of paper all over her desk.

My way freaks her out and her way doesn’t work for me either. But that’s okay because it works for each of us.

Remember to note down your requirements before you go shopping for a new desk so you’re sure that it suits you.

  • Do you like things visible?
  • Do you want a small desk to fit into a corner of a room?
  • Do you need a full-on desk with lots of drawers?

The way to make sure that your system is still effective is to keep asking yourself, “does this still work for me?”

If circumstances change, change the system!

Next time
How to maintain your organised space

How to organise (4) – how to declutter

Decluttering is the first step to an organised home. It’s also my personal favourite step 🙂
How to organise |Organising Queen
Why the first step?

Because you can’t organise clutter. You have to get rid of it first.

What is clutter?

1. anything you don’t love
2. anything you don’t use
3. any mess/ disorder/ confusion

Ask yourself, does this _______ make me feel at peace?

No? Then it’s probably clutter.

The key to an organised home is making regular decluttering time.

It doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time – once the space is organised, five minutes once a week is enough. For example, while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, quickly check your kitchen cupboards and drawers.

It’s all about baby steps.

Next time
Organising according to your personality

How to organise (3) – what’s your vision?

How to organise | Organising Queen

We’ve already covered that you should start with the area of your home or life that bothers you the most.

After you know which area to start in, decide what you want to have happen in that space.

In other words, what is your vision?

What do I mean when I say you need to have a vision?

Well, if it’s your family room that needs organising, decide what the purpose of that room is.

1. Do you want an entertainment area?
2. Do the kids need a play area?
3. Do you use a portion of the room as an office area?

In this example, you need three distinct zones and everything else must go!

In the picture of the bedroom shelf above, what is the purpose for that space?

It’s to store hair accessories, and some extra linen. Everything else that doesn’t belong, needs to go.

Your action plan
1. Decide on your vision for the space you’ve chosen
2. Remove everything else that doesn’t belong

See? It’s totally doable 🙂

Next time
How to declutter

How to organise (2) – start with your worse area

How to organise | Organising Queen

This is going to be a brief how to organise tutorial answering the question “Where do I start?”

I thought it would be fun if you joined in and worked on something that’s bugging you in your own home.

Start with the area of your home or life that bothers you the most.

If you can’t bear to choose clothes every morning because your wardrobe is too cluttered, then your wardrobe is a good place to start.

If you don’t know whether you’re coming or going, and you constantly feel overwhelmed, then maybe you need to start working on your time.

If you don’t even feel like going into your kitchen, then you know that’s where you need to start.

The point is that it differs from person to person and also according to your situation. Why do I say this?

1. You will be most motivated if you tackle your worst room first.
2. You tend to get results quicker.
3. Once you start, it becomes easier. And it’s kind of addictive once you get organised in one area.
4. You gain momentum!
Let me know in the comments if you’re playing along and which area of your home or life you want to tackle first.

Over to you…

Next time
Your vision for your space

How to organise (1) – where do I start?

Where do I start | Organising Queen

This week I’m answering the ONE question I get asked by clients more than any other question.

Marcia, I want to get organised but it’s all so overwhelming. Where on earth do I start?

First of all, relax and take a deep breath.

1. Start with the area of your home or life that bothers you the most
If you can’t bear to choose clothes every morning because your wardrobe is too cluttered, then that’s probably a good place to start.

2. Decide what you want to have happen in that space.
Do you only want clothes in your wardrobe, or do you want shoes and handbags in there too?

3. Declutter
You can’t organise clutter. Get rid of everything that shouldn’t be there. Some things need to move to other rooms and some need to move right out of your house!

4. Organise what’s left according to your personality
Not everybody is a minimalist. Some of us need to surround ourselves with our treasures and that’s okay. Your system works as long as you can find what you’re looking for relatively quickly (within a minute).

5. Maintain
Last but not least, do a quick, 5-minute maintenance session in each major space every week so that your space remains organised.

In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be posting on each of the points 1 – 5 above, so stay tuned.

Have an organised week!

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