Ready, steady, sort out that sort drawers.
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Have you got that Friday feeling? I can’t say I’m feeling too fresh after a dinner with my favourite fellow blogging pals last night and going halves on a bottle of red wine with Ruth. This head fug has only been made worse by the fact that I stayed over in London and forgot to replenish my washbag with toothpaste after I used it up on my last trip. OOP. Nice. So I feel foggy and furry and can’t see me having the most productive day of my life today (although I do have to film tonight’s THE DAILY EDIT, so that could be *interesting*).
Maybe you didn’t drink half a bottle of wine last night and feel wonderful. GOOD FOR YOU! Well if you fancy getting a head-start on the weekend by doing a spot of organisation this evening, or want to flex your decluttering muscle at the weekend, then I have some tips for you that you can incorporate into your streamlining session IMMEDIATELY. Want to know what to do if you don’t have the time, don’t know where to start or you’re struggling to start? I’ve got your back…
What to do if you feel like you don’t have the time… SCHEDULE IT IN. If there’s a spot that you feel needs organising there’s only way to actually do it and that’s to find the time and muck in. Not having the time is the common denominator excuse that’s pulled out by us all on a weekly basis to shed responsibilities for tasks/hobbies/chores, but we somehow find time to do all these other requirements that we fill our diaries with. So schedule it in! I know I preach this parable all the darn time, but giving a task priority and making it seem like an important to-do note in our diary gives us a much higher chance of actually completing it at some point. Case in point: painting the office. I know it’s not an organisational thing per se, but it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for months. Each weekend I’d put it off till the next, saying we were too busy. Six months pass and I’ve yet to even buy paint. So I booked out a weekend, put it in the diary and safeguarded it from any plans. We knew the date, could get ourselves prepared (kinda, but you’ll have to wait to see this Sunday’s video to see what went down there), and we DID IT. The same can be done for decluttering. Add it to your diary and sprinkle a few sessions over a couple of weekends if that feels more manageable for you. I’d recommend starting with your bathroom and building up to more congested areas; moving onto the hallway, living area, kitchen, bedroom and then finally working on any storage spaces you have like the loft, garage or any miscellaneous cupboards.
What to do if you don’t know where to begin… THE SHIT DRAWER. It’s a question that often comes up during my book Q&A’s, as organising can be a bloomin’ daunting task. Where the hell is good to start? What’s one place every single one of us needs to declutter, that won’t take 298 hours to complete? Well, I propose that it’s the ‘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. Sorting it out is simple. You have to get everything out; paperclips, drawing pins, half-used candles and all. Either get yourself a cutlery insert, or some kind of inner drawer storage (MUJI do great stuff for that) – so you can organise what you put back in in some kind of formal fashion. Or do as I did and transfer it to a stand-up set of mini drawers (again MUJI is the place to go). It’s allowed us to easily find what we need and has become the most organised spot in our kitchen (full kitchen tour here if you missed yesterday’s DAILY EDIT!). It’s a brilliant spot to start with because 90% of what’s in there you don’t need; plenty to dump and just the real essentials to keep.
What to do if you’re struggling to even get started… ‘THE ONE TOUCH’ RULE. I wrote more about this two years ago if you fancy reading the deep dive as to why I reckon that this is the best method to keep in mind as you organise (read that here), but the idea is that you don’t begin a decluttering task, until you actually have time to complete it in it’s entirety. The idea is simple. Once you’ve touched ‘on’ to a task – say opening up your post in the morning – you completely finish it before you begin something else. So whether you have to RSVP to an invite or file away some paperwork, you actually do it then and there without saving it for later (a.k.a – ‘I’ll do it in 3 weeks time’). I don’t find it to work as well with physical decluttering as it’s a manual task that we often need to take a break from occasionally which is completely cool, but it works brilliantly for digital decluttering. Deleting photos, having a social media purge (more on that here), organising your inbox, even replying to emails in the first place. I use it as a daily method when it comes to my inbox; only ever opening it to read them when I know I have time to respond immediately. It sounds extreme, but give it a go and revel in your new-found ‘no messages selected’ status.
Photos by Emma Croman
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