5 expert tips to declutter and get organized for your sanity

With work and family life all occurring under one roof these days, if you’re like us, the clutter accumulating at home is driving you crazy! Regain some control and fall in love with your place again by reorganizing and decluttering. (But really, no pressure to create Insta-worthy spaces or spend hours you don’t have.) Organizing expert Erin Boyce from Your Organised Life shares her top tips.

So with kids comes a lot of stuff and clutter like you never had in your house before. What are your top five tips for working parents to declutter and reorganize the home?

1. Keep it simple. Storage and organization don’t need to be fancy or expensive. People waste too much money on unnecessary storage because it looks pretty. In my opinion, storage should always have a lid and be modular so you can stack and utilize the height of a space. My favorites are the Ezy Storage 6 x 10 liter tubs from Officeworks for AU$19, or something similar would be these Rubbermaid 16 qt tubs from Amazon.

2. Less is more. Even with product supply shortages, there’s rarely any need to purchase items in bulk. We all need wipes — they’re a lifesaver — but you don’t need a bulk-buy box of 100 packs… there just can’t be that much poo!

3. Make time. Organizing doesn’t happen at 5pm during dinner prep. You need to devote time to get on top of things. Set aside an hour on the weekend. Once the hour is up, stop.

4. Decant. Decant. Decant. I can’t stress this enough! Working and juggling home life is tough and, let’s face it, a big chunk of our home life is spent around food. Getting your pantry right will literally change the way your kitchen flows, and meal prep will be a breeze. Don’t fall for the trap of throwing everything into pretty baskets; they’ll just end up a cluttered mess. Take the time and decant items individually into containers. You’ll never purchase 50 packs of powdered sugar again!

5. Make lists. I carry a to-do book with me everywhere. It contains everything, and I mean everything, that is swirling around my head that I have to do. From the big important things to the trivial like buy mincemeat for Tuesday’s tacos. As working parents, we have a lot of different hats on, and sometimes I don’t know how our heads don’t just pop off with the pressure. Writing it all down gets it out of your brain and lets you prioritize. Work out your must-dos, your should-dos, and your would-like-to-dos. Start on the must-dos, then move on to the should-dos, and, if you have time, then you can tackle the would-like-to-dos.

We often feel totally overwhelmed by the amount of stuff and then the enormity of the task to reorganize our home. Where should we start?

Small! The biggest mistake people make is thinking that they can tackle it all in one go. I advise my clients to literally tackle one shelf or drawer at a time. Work to completely clear that space, finding forever homes for the pieces in it, then stop, but don’t put anything back into that space unless you intended it to be there. On your next session, go to the next drawer and so on, ensuring that every time you dedicate yourself to a space you complete it in one go.

So once you have finished decluttering and reorganizing, how do you practically maintain it? What are your top tips?

The way I keep on top of my home is by dedicating time to each area. I keep a rolling schedule of tasks that I complete over the month…

1st Wednesday: Kitchen cupboards and pantry.

2nd Wednesday: Clothes and linen.

3rd Wednesday: Toys and crafts.

4th Wednesday: Garage and garden.

People often stare at me wide-eyed when I tell them this, but because the systems of order are already set up in my house, these tasks can take as little as 15 minutes each. I’m not having to pull it all out every time and figure out where to put everything, because everything in my home has a space, and if it doesn’t, then it goes. It’s that simple.

Written by Erin Boyce, owner of Your Organised Life. On top of being a wife and mother, Erin is also a passionate organizer. Your Organised Life came about after years of being told by friends and family that Erin had found her calling. Being in a space that is organized and clear is paramount for Erin. 

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