Sort my stuff: A write up of the decluttering workshop

At LEAP we’re frequently dealing with residents suffering from overcrowded housing issues so we asked local professional organiser and declutterer Katherine Blackler of SortMySpace Ltd for some practical ideas on how we could get more organised in our living and working spaces.

We held a free workshop on 7 November as part of National Organising Week run by APDO Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, with whom Katherine is the Head of Partnership for. We then had a productive and lively information session with 12 local parents keen to find out how they could improve their spaces.

National Organising Week is designed to encourage us to finally tackle our problem piles of clutter and get ourselves more organised to save time, money and stress and enjoy everyday living.

Here are some of the top tips Katherine shared with us on Tuesday:

  • The bathroom is the easiest room to start with. It is the smallest room in the house and the contents not usually sentimental.
  • Use the fruit bowl for fruit or remove it completely to prevent it collecting clutter.
  • Plastic boxes or ice cream tubs are ideal in cupboards and under counter fridges to easily reach and see food at the back. Transparent ones easier to see contents up high.
  • Mount a plate rack on the wall as plates are more attractive than bottles, jars and packets (that you can then hide behind a closed door instead).
  • Check if your fridge / freezer door would be better hung on the other hinge so you can stop squishing yourself into a corner each time you need to get the milk. Most do adjust.
  • To test whether you’re really using clothes or just think you are, hang all your clothes hangers back to front (e.g. with the end poking towards you). Each time you wear an item hang it back in the wardrobe the conventional way round. At the end of six – 12 months you’ll see what’s still poking at you and know you can let it go more easily.
  • Use trouser hangers that hold multiple pairs on one hanger. Look for ones that the bars can move as makes accessing lower trousers so much easier.
  • Use hanger extenders, or even coke can ring pulls to double up your hangers if need be – but do be ruthless decluttering first.
  • Review baby and toddler clothing frequently to see what they’ve outgrown. Use a mesh washing bag to save the outgrown stuff getting caught up with current clothing as it goes through the washing cycle.
  • Use vertical space, e.g. bunk beds, wall mounted shelves and racks to keep floor as clear as possible.
  • Play & go fabric play-mats with drawstring edges mean you can easily scoop up Lego and small toys when playtime is over.
  • Kids artwork: once a month have your child select their favourite piece, take a photo of them with it and gift / dispose of most originals.
  • There was so much to talk about we could have spent all day with Katherine so we’ll see what we can do in future to harness all that knowledge.

Good luck this National Organising Week.

Nicola Doal

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