Organising your home

Organising your home can go a long way to freeing up some time to spend with the family, but sometimes we look at the clutter we accumulate and wonder where to start… Try incorporating some of the tips below into your daily life and you could be well on your way to having an organised household!

Good news, there are ways to stay ahead of the game - making small changes to the way you do things will have a big impact on important family time. Here are some tips to start you off:

Reports show that we don't use 80% of the stuff we keep, we wear only 20% of the clothes we own and 25% of adults say they pay bills late because they lost the paperwork. Lost car keys, manic morning rushes and misplaced papers can cause such a headache, but just a few small changes can make a huge difference.

"Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up" – A. A. Milne


  1. Make sure everything has a place in your house and teach family members to mind their own clutter: "if you open it, close it"; "if you throw it down, pick it up", etc.
  2. Put waste bins in each room to encourage people to throw their trash away instead of leaving it on the living room table to take to the kitchen later on.
  3. Keep toy baskets in each room for fast pick up and storage, include the kids in the clean up and make a game of it, read our article on this here.
  4. Create an in box for bills that need paying. Once paid, remove and file or place into filing tray.
  5. Put an extension cable in the lounge to keep all rechargeable plugs: iPhone, iPad, camera, handheld video games, this way you'll not have to search for an outlet for charging or ask someone to call your phone to find out where you've left it.
  6. Make a master grocery list on a computer and sort the groceries into categories: frozen, dairy, vegetables, etc. - highlight the products you need for that week, leaving a space for any miscellaneous items. This way you don't over-stock or buy anything you don't need. Keep it up to date by removing/adding items that you use/don't use regularly.
"How many things are there which I do not want?" – Socrates

Kitchen clutter

  1. Store things near to where you use them; keep pots and pans near the cooker, mixing bowls near the counter for food preparation and plates, glasses and crockery near to the dishwasher.
  2. Can't find the spice you want? Get a spice rack so keep all the spices in one place, putting the most used spices at the front – alphabetise them if you're feeling really daring!
  3. Put frequently used items such as plates on cupboard shelves that are eye level, store heavier items below waist level and rarely used items on higher shelves.
  4. Get rid of unused, damaged or duplicated cookware.
  5. Use the kitchen counter space for things you regularly use like cookbooks and kettles; store the food processor and knife block away!
  6. Stack pots, pans and bowls on top of each other – this will reduce space taken up. Place paper towels between layers to prevent scratching.
  7. Hanging baskets or wire baskets can organise the cleaning cupboard.
  8. Put all packet mixes and stock in a basket on the shelf, this will make it easier to track down what you need.
  9. Once you've done a big shop, remember to empty the fridge of old food before stocking it up with new produce.
"Happiness is a place between too little and too much" - Finnish proverb

Bathroom blitz

  1. Group things together in a basket, for example all skincare products can go together, shampoos and conditioners under the sink or in a drawer.
  2. Throw out all products that you no longer use and have passed their sell by date. Securely dispose of out of date medication.
  3. Despite the common concept that medicines are kept in the bathroom medicine cabinet, put all medication elsewhere as the heat and humidity from the bathroom causes drugs to lose potency. Use the cabinet for dental care or hair grooming products.
  4. Hang a squeegee in the shower, the thing you use on your windows – then wipe down shower doors once the shower's been used, I swear by this and it really cuts down on soap scum.
  5. If you have trouble storing bathroom towels, roll them up and display in a basket as an extra feature.
  6. Put a clock in the bathroom so there's no excuse for being late!
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it" – Mary Englebreit

Bedroom blowout

  1. An organised wardrobe can simplify the morning rush to get to work; get a couple of short rods installed one above the other: the higher rod can have shirts and tops while the bottom rod can house skirts and folded trousers.
  2. Adjustable shelves allow you to change the arrangement of your closet.
  3. Hooks on the inside of wardrobe doors can be installed as an extra way of storing off-season clothing such as hats and scarves or belts.
  4. Separate clothes by season.
  5. Take a look at what you no longer wear, sort through it and take it to a charity shop. We always find this hard to do, but think about clothes you haven't worn in over a year – in all likelihood you won't wear them again so be ruthless and free up some valuable space!
  6. Store clothes that you want to save in vacuum-sealed bags, making it easier to store under the bed or on shelving.
"Organise, don't agonise" – Nancy Pelosi

The goal of organising your home isn't to make it immaculate but rather to make life a little calmer and more efficient. Working with even just a few of the ideas above will reduce disorder, improve productivity and most importantly reward you with more quality time for you and your family. As the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers UK say: "It's not possible to declutter effectively without implementing organisation" – yes, there is an actual company for decluttering!