Thursday, 12 October 2017 06:20

My 7 Reasons For Wanting to Own Less

The benefits of owning less

Over the years working with clients in their homes I have become aware of the impact that our possessions have on us. I see people spend money on storage and storage items, accumulate things they hardly use, hold onto heirlooms they don’t like or use, and constantly worry about security.

I joke with my colleagues that after most sessions of decluttering and downsizing, I want to let go something more in my own home. And I do! And it feels great!

Here are 7 of my own reasons for wanting to own less

1. I spend less on stuff: Once we choose to have less, and have what we need, we spend less on stuff

2. I buy quality: Needing and wanting less, and usually buying second-hand I go for quality, which lasts longer.

3. I can find things quickly: Having fewer things will make it easier to find what you need quickly and easily

4. My home is easy to keep clean: Having less in your home means less to keep clean and take care of

5. I enjoy my favourite things all the time: Only having things around that you love and use means to get to enjoy your favourite things all the time

6. My environmental footprint is shrinking: Owning less and consuming less, buying with consideration means less impact on our environment

7. I want to set an example for my children: Focusing on doing stuff, rather than having stuff creates wonderful memories and teaches valuable life lessons.

Just think about it! It doesn’t mean doing without, it means doing more! More doing, more fun, more memories.

That’s the legacy I want to leave my girls!

Thursday, 28 September 2017 05:33

Spring Wardrobe Sorting

So you have decided to spring clean and this means your clothes too! I might covered some of these points before, but I think you will find them helpful if you are keen to sort your wardrobe. 

Thursday, 21 September 2017 04:23

Six Tips On Getting Organised For Summer

Spring is in the air in the Southern Hemisphere and our days are getting longer and warmer. Now is the perfect time for clearing out the cobwebs and a lot more. Time to get your home and yourself ready for summer!!

We recently had devastating fires in the Southern Cape, with many people evacuating and many losing their homes. I asked one of my friends, Alix Coxon to write about her experience and her advice to others should they find themselves in this awful situation. This is her story

Having dinner at friends recently, we got talking about our parents and the challenges that go with growing older! One of our friends had been trying, without much success, to help her mom with the huge task of decluttering and letting go of years and years of accumulation.

“I get so impatient, I just want to do it without her”

“I don’t understand why she wants to keep everything”

“Most of it is old and not even very nice. I would just throw it out!”

Children and family members are well meaning, but often do more harm than good. They don’t have the patience to listen to the stories or pore over the memories. They are often too emotionally involved. Ultimately, they just want the job done as quickly as possible.

This is where an Organiser who understands and works with Seniors comes in.

  • A professional organizer who works with seniors will have lots of patience. They are willing to listen to the stories, look at the photographs and allow time to reminisce.
  • The organizer knows that getting organized will be a slow process. It took a lifetime to accumulate all of the possessions, so it will take time to go through everything.
  • The Senior needs an organizer who understands the physical limitations and adjust the length of an organizing session accordingly.
  • The professional organizer has to build trust with the senior client. It is hard to have strangers go through your things.
  • Senior citizens need to feel they are being treated with courtesy and consideration, and take time to listen to their concerns regarding the downsizing process.
  • A professional organizer needs to be able to communicate effectively with the Senior, as well as their family members and any caretakers involved.
  • Most importantly, our Mantra should always be “Do NO harm”. We know when to slow down and when to back away

Don’t wait until there is a strained relationship, or emotions run high.

Let the professional organizer do the hard stuff, and you get to do the fun stuff!

Thursday, 13 July 2017 08:46

How Much is Enough?

Our youngest daughter has just landed her first full time job! Last night we were celebrating over dinner and discussing her immediate future. She would now be earning her own money, paying her own way, and dealing with monthly bills, savings, insurances and other expenses. Would she be earning enough to live on, save and still have fun? Quite daunting when you are just starting out….

It got me thinking about money. How do we make money work for us, rather than the other way around? How much is enough?

All around us, people get into debt, spending more than they should on things they don’t really need. It’s so easy with store accounts and credit cards to overspend and lose track of where our money is going.

It comes down to choices, the choices that we make.

Here are some ideas on how to make your money work for you and have enough:

Be wise with your money

  • Be accountable to yourself about your money
  • Know where your money is going. Check till slips and bank statements.
  • Save, save, save. Always have a “slush fund”, a “rainy day” account, a coin tin to fill up!
  • Give and donate a portion. Spread it around and make a difference!

Ways to save

  • Keep a minimum balance in your account. Beat the overdraft.
  • Use banking loyalty points to pay banking fees. Investigate banks with better terms.
  • Keep your credit card in credit, pay the full amount off every month.
  • Check, compare and update short term insurance regularly.

Ways to have fun without buying and acquiring stuff

  • Invest in small pleasures - A hike and a picnic would be mine
  • Invest in local pleasures – Explore right here at home. Take a local holiday.
  • Invest in social pleasures – Have friends for a meal, go out for coffee or ice cream

Finally, how much is enough?

Enough is being able to afford your desired lifestyle without getting into debt!

Understanding why overwhelmed Seniors and elderly relatives are disorganised or surrounded by clutter.

A few months back a client, John, called to ask for assistance with his elderly mom. He was moving her to a lovely studio flat in a retirement home. I visited them both in her home to organise the downsizing process.

Every surface, every corner, every cupboard was jam packed with a lifetime’s accumulation of stuff. It was difficult to negotiate the spaces and even harder to see what we would be dealing with.

We cleared and sorted for days. Furniture and prized possessions were redistributed among family and friends. A huge amount was donated to her favourite charities, and quite a lot was simply recycled or tossed.

John was taken aback at how disorganised his mom was, how much stuff there was and how difficult it was for her to let go once we started the process. But his mom is not unique! We see this time and again when assisting Seniors with a move or simple declutter.

It’s important for the family to understand why their overwhelmed parents or elderly relatives are disorganised or surrounded by clutter. Here are 6 reasons to consider:

  • Seniors invariably do not move often, and so there is usually alifetime’s accumulation of memories and possessions.
  • They worry about memory loss, and feel that having things around them will remind them of the happy times associated with the items.
  • Often Seniors have physical limitations. They might tire easily. They might struggle to move furniture or reach high shelves.
  • They more than likely grew up in a time where saving and holding onto things washow they managed. Things were kept “just in case”. Items were fixed, rather than discarded.
  • Seniors are living for longer, and there could be a fear they will run out of money.And so they hold onto things that could possibly be used at some point.
  • They may not know where to donate items they no longer want.

John’s mom is happily settled in her new downsized home. She has a few key treasures, her favourite artwork and her special armchair. We took a lot of digital photos of memorable items that she let go, which were downloaded onto a digital frame for her.

She has everything she needs and everything she holds dear, without all the stuff!

His mom was overwhelmed and emotional at the thought of downsizing and letting go most of her possessions

For more see the following article by Alejandra Roca: The Senior’s Guide for Decluttering and Feeling at Home


One of our treats at the end of the week is sushi take-aways. I love relaxing on our veranda after a busy week with a delicious plate of sushi, catching up on the week with my family.

What I don’t like, and struggle with, is all the stuff they insist on sending with the sushi. Paper serviettes, disposable chopsticks, endless miniature tubs of soy sauce and wasabi, the polystyrene container and a double plastic bag in case of leakage! They know me now - I arrive with my own reusable shopping bag to collect my sushi without all the extras. I have reusable chopsticks at home, along with cloth napkins, and a large glass bottle of soy that I decant into our own bowls.

But I seem to be the exception to the rule. I am the odd man out! Why? Why do we automatically accept straws, disposable utensils, sachets of condiments and paper serviettes that quite often go untouched?

My Sunday coffee from Vida E is no different. Years ago, my daughters gave me a Vida E mug, which I take with me when I get my coffee. I even get a discount for bringing my own mug! Yet I rarely see anyone else bring their mug. And this is mainly a take away business. Why is that? How difficult is it to say “NO thank you” to the disposables we don’t need?

Convenience has its merits, and take-aways are a treat. But it’s so important to be aware of the waste of unnecessary disposables. 

If you don’t need it, say “No”!

Thursday, 22 June 2017 19:15

All Sorted Now Food Storage Guide

We Move People. Literally!

The All Sorted team go into homes to clear, sort, declutter and pack up for a home move. We have clients who have lived in their homes for many years, and clients who move more often. Each move is different, but in each home there are similarities.

One of the things I come across often, is the amount of food that is stored, often forgotten in cupbaords and freezers. All too often I find we have to toss a good deal of it, as its past its best.

Most foods today have a “best before” date, but if you are decanting goods into containers or freezing, you might not be able to tell.

Here is a quick and easy guide for:

  • Storage times for dry food
  • If you are decanting foods, make a note of the date.
  • Dried legumes 12 -24 months
  • Flour 6 – 12 months
  • Ground spices 6 months
  • Whole spices 18 months
  • White rice 24 months
  • Wild/brown rice 8 months
  • Pasta 24 moths
  • Grains -barley, oats etc 12 months

Freezer storage times:

  • Remember to write the date on the packet when freezing.
  • Vegetables 6 months
  • Seeds and nuts 6 -8 months
  • Biscuits 6 months
  • Minced meat/sausage 3 -4 months
  • Beef, chicken, lamb 8 – 12 months
  • Bacon 1 – 2 months
  • Cold meats 2 weeks
  • Oily fish 3 -4 months
  • White fish 6 -8 months
  • Shellfish 3 months
  • Ready meals 4 -6 months

Contact Us

Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531