How a professional organiser declutters their home
We ask a Sydney-based professional home organiser and the founder of My Organised Home what she personally does to keep her own home organised. Notepads ready, people…
With busy schedules, large households, messy children and generally too many possessions, it can take just a split second for your home to turn from calm to chaotic.
According to Sharne Kuper, founder of My Organised Home, it is possible to keep an orderly space day-after-day, month-after-month. While Sharne organises homes for a living, we know she knows the way to a tidy and structured home. But what does she personally do to keep her own home organised?
“Being at the forefront of unwanted belongings on a daily basis has changed my relationship with ‘stuff’,” says Sharne. “I practise what I preach to my clients and try to live simply surrounded by things that are useful, that I love and that I have a need for.”
Ready for your most organised home yet? Read on to find out what professional preaches Sharne actually practises herself.
Regularly declutter clothes
Rather than only cleaning out your clothes once in a blue moon, Sharne suggests that doing it on a regular basis will not only keep your wardrobe and drawers tidy, but it’ll make getting dressed a breeze. “Go through your racks and drawers and be honest — ask yourself when was the last time you wore it, does it fit you and do you love it? There is nothing more satisfying than opening your wardrobe of a morning and seeing only those items that meet this criteria,” she says.
Attend to kiddie clutter
For a family home, kids’ toys are generally the biggest contributor to clutter. Sharne admits she uses key gifting times during the year to inspire her children to let go of some items from their collection as to make room for the new. “I use Christmas and birthdays as an opportunity for my kids to declutter their toys and other belongings. They know there will be new gifts coming and this can make it easier for them to see what they no longer like or play with,” she says. Sharne believes that by doing this you give your kids a gift by reducing the clutter and enhancing effective play.
Be mindful of what comes in to your home
One of Sharne’s key tips to avoiding clutter in the home is to buy consciously. “When out shopping and before buying, I always ask myself if I need it,” she says. “If I am buying something and bringing it into my home I need to find somewhere to store it, I need to look after it and I must have a need for it otherwise before long I will be pushing it out the door and wishing I hadn’t wasted my money.” She suggests always take a moment to consider your purchases, and in turn, you’ll end up with more money for experiences with your family. “Create memories, not clutter!” she adds.
Get the family on board
While it might take a bit of nagging, it’s time to get your family on board to achieve a consistently clutter-free home. Sharne has trained her family to always tidy up after themselves and believes this is key to an organised home. “There is a home for everything in my house and we all know (generally!) where that is,” she says. Sharne ensures her entire family know where every item in the home belongs so there’s no excuse for clutter, and in turn, her home remains constantly clutter-free.
Create an exit box
If you don’t have an “exit” box in your home already, it’s time to get one says Sharne. “The idea behind the “exit” box is that there is a place to put items that need to be taken out of the home — this can be everything from library books to be returned, cake plates to go back to Aunty Helen, dry cleaning, shoes to be re-heeled, items to be donated, for example,” suggest Sharne. Not only does this create an efficient flow of items that need to be attended to, but it saves them being strewn all over the house.
Be realistic about memorabilia
For the sentimentalists, this decluttering suggestion might pull at the heart strings, but Sharne says keeping all of your children’s memorabilia — think artwork, birthday cards and crafts — is one of the most common contributors to clutter and it’s time to consider keeping just the most momentous items. “To avoid this common clutter dilemma, I started at quite a young age with my kids to choose only the best,” says Sharne. “I collect the artwork throughout the term and at the end of the year we go through their creations and choose what to keep.” Sharne suggests storing their best work in a large A3 binder as a beautiful display of their collection of their best work.
Declutter a space at a time
When it comes to organising and decluttering each space in your home, it’s all about starting small if you ask Sharne. “If you are going to declutter your home, don’t look at the whole picture and feel overwhelmed before you have even started,” she suggests. “Take it a room, a cupboard or even a drawer at a time — if I am wanting to declutter and rearrange my pantry I am not going to start just before I need to rush out the door for an appointment because chances are I won’t have the time to finish.” Sharne recommends setting a realistic goal each day or week so you can finish the task and then feel satisfied and motivated to continue.
Attend to your paperwork
Don’t let paperwork stack up – get on top of it and tackle daily or weekly says Sharne “When I receive mail digitally or by snail mail my rule of thumb is to open it — if I don’t need it then I delete it or bin it, of I need to keep the email or letter then it belongs in one of only two categories: to “action” or to “file”,” she explains. “My physical action pile is next to my computer and my email action pile is “flagged”.” Sharne suggests making this a habit to keep the office clutter at bay once and for all.