Five Ways To Get Organised Over The Festive Period

…something to do when you’ve already watched Love Actually 23 times

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE! This post is coming at you freshly squeezed from under an intricately patterned floral duvet cover from the nineties – bless my Mother-in-Law. Is it even Christmas if you’re not sleeping on a bed that’s about a third of the size of the usual one and desperately trying to get shampoo lather out of your hair under a lacklustre shower head? I think not. We’ve had a great time up here in Birmingham seeing about 95% of the cities population and basically every person Mark has ever met in his life and have developed quite the addiction to Ticket to Ride (a game that appears extremely boring and hard upon first inspection, but is actually extremely fun if you play adhering to about half of the rules).

We’re doing the whole Chris Rea ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ thing today and I’m looking forward to taking the next couple of days as a time out (although they will still be posts popping up on here – keep your eyes out for a Boxing Day sales edit from me!). Although I have to say that I NEED those days between Christmas and New Year. The plan is to laze around, do a couple of household chores that we’ve been putting off and do a little bit of work here and there, just so I’m prepared for the new year. For those who are planning on doing a spot of decluttering during that time period, I thought I’d put together a post on three areas that are oh-so-satisfying to organise and can easily be done in just a few hours – taken straight from the pages of ‘An Edited Life’

Sort through your ‘shit drawer’. Every house has a shit drawer. Sometimes it resides in the hallway. Other times it might hide away in the bedroom. However, for us, it’s always been in the kitchen. You know the drawer that you have to tease with much tugging back and forth because something’s got wedged in there, and then when it jolts open screws, sellotape, paracetamol, unused IKEA allen keys and takeaway menus from the tandoori down the road that you haven’t ordered from in four years, all fly out? Yeah, that. Firstly take everything out – even the bits that have fallen down the back – and assess each item; is is something that has a function and you find yourself using it often? Keep it. Never used it and it’s basically junk? SEE YA. I can pretty much guarantee that about 80% of it can be binned. No one needs that many half-used birthday cake candles. Shit drawers aren’t best suited to being one big drawer as they’re difficult to organise. Instead, clear out some cupboard space and invest in a stacking acrylic drawer system (MUJI do some fab ones). Then categorise the shit and split between how many mini drawers you have. That way it’s easy to find what you need. Then finally if you want to go one step further get yourself a label maker (I bought the Dymo Omega Home Embossing Label Maker) and label the relevant drawers. We have ‘clothing care’, ‘stationery’ and ‘tool bits’. TA-DAH! With just a few steps the shit drawer can be the most visually pleasing spot in your home. Who knew, eh?

Sort out your bookcase. I feel like bookcases can be a big source of clutter for many of us, especially if you’re a bit of a bookworm. I’d recommend treating your bookcase like your very own library, and it’s the idea that I adopt when it comes to mine. I only keep hold of books like provide a function (things like recipe books, or books that I find helpful in my job from time to time), book that I refer back to often (I read out the hen party chapter of Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I Know About Love’ to every person who enters out home), books that I just adore and don’t ever want to part with and sometimes books that I like the look of for more ‘tarting up your coffee table‘ purposes. Books that don’t fall into any of these categories are passed on or donated once I’ve read them to keep the numbers down and pass on the literary love. Another option is just to designate a small amount of storage space to them, so you’re forced to create your own edit and constantly assess what you’d like to see occupying the shelf. In terms of decluttering I’d suggest clearing out the space and piling up your books on the floor. Make three piles: one pile of ones that you’d definitely like to keep (perhaps they fit the criteria I’ve set out above), one pile for ones that you’d like to give away (feel free to go through after and pop a post-it on the front of any that you’d like to pass on to specific people, and one pile for books that you’d forgotten about that you’d like to read (transfer these onto your nightstand if possible so that you don’t forget about them). Action each pile and get to reading through your personal pile.

Sort out your spice cupboard. Now it might seem like quite a specific space, but let me tell you that an unrivalled amount of satisfaction will come from sorting out your spices. We all have a load of them, we all have accidental dupes and there’s a high chance that they are all piled into a cupboard where you struggle to find the chilli flakes when you need them. Now I don’t normally advocate buying storage before you organise a space (as it often ends up with you buying too much and then keeping items you don’t want or need just to fill it up), but go online and grab yourself a lazy susan or two. There are a load of other options out there, but I’ve found these to not only be really *really* fun, but also the best way to pack in a load of spices in a way that’s easy to see them all. What you loose in space, you gain in easy retrieval and that’s fab. The first step is to get everything out of the cupboard, give it a good clean because you know there will be enough salt to de-ice a motorway in the bottom and then turn your attention to your spices. Find duplicates and decant them into one if necessary and if not place them back in the cupboard close together so you use them both up. Keep your most used spices and herbs in the spot that’s easiest to reach and the ones you don’t use as often stored up high. Slide your dressings and oils down the side and then whizz around your lazy susan till your wee little heart is content. HAPPY EDITING! 

Photos by Emma Croman

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