Monday, 06 February 2017 01:44

5 Ways to Clean up Your Kitchen

So, the holidays are over, friends and family have left, and life starts to get back to normal. All the eating, drinking, entertaining and hosting has taken its toll…on your kitchen. It's time to get it back in shape for the New Year ahead.

1. Ditch the dead herbs and spices

Sort out your herbs and spices. Get rid of anything you really don’t use, won’t use and have definitely past their best. Wipe done bottles, decant bags into small containers and clean out the spice rack before putting everything you will use back.

2. Sort out your cutlery drawer and plastics cupboard

It’s time to do a proper cutlery sort out and let go anything you don’t use. If you don’t already have one, get a cutlery organiser. Do the same with your utensils. Do your really need 3 potato peelers? Now move on to the dreaded plastics. Recycle all pieces without partners and any containers that don’t seal properly. The same applies to all those containers that are past their best.

3. Wipe down and clean kettle, toaster, oven, microwave and fridge

These appliances have worked overtime over the holidays and deserve a little TLC. Wipe down your kettle, toaster, oven, microwave and fridge. Squeeze lemon juice into a bowl of water and microwave on high for 3 minutes to clean the inside of your microwave. Use a paste of bicarb, vinegar and water to clean out your oven. Its non-toxic and wont scratch your surfaces. Wipe out your fridge with a vinegar/water solution which disinfects and cleans at the same time.

4. Take control of the fridge and pantry

Now that you have emptied the fridge to clean it, it’s time to see what you have, discard all those old leftovers, wipe down all condiment bottles and only put back what you will use. Do the same with your pantry or grocery cupboard. Donate all the foodie gifts you won’t eat and dry goods left behind my visitors.

5. Clear your countertops

Too much stuff cluttering the countertops? Clear the counters completely. Take a look at what there is. Now decide what really needs to be there. My rule of thumb is “as little as possible” and only items you use all the time. Everything else needs to find new homes.

Brand New Year, brand new kitchen!

Thursday, 15 December 2016 08:20

Happy Holidays

So another year draws to a close!

And what a year it has been. We have had a wonderfully busy year helping families get sorted and organised. A large part of our work has been assisting with downsizing and moving house for older clients, which is so rewarding.

In fact, we have faced challenges and circumstances beyond our control and managed to find solutions. There have been times we have laughed and had fun, and times where our clients have struggled with the changes. Each client is unique, and with each assignment we have learned new things.

Along the way there have been dogs, and cats, and birds, pet rats and hamsters and even a bearded dragon! Small children, new babies, teenagers and grown up children coming home to sort their stuff!

As I reflect on our business year, I am grateful for all the experiences and challenges we have faced. I am grateful for all the wonderful people we have met, all the pets and all the lives we have been involved in.

I am grateful that I have the good fortune of doing something I love day in and day out. It is a wonderful thing to wake up in the morning and look forward to a working day!

So to all our clients, to all our readers, to all our friends out there, thank you!!

Wishing you and yours HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 17:03

What to Do With Photos

Last week I attended my niece’s wedding which was a wonderful and magical affair. Beautiful church, exquisitely beautiful bride and the perfect garden setting for a wonderful picnic reception. All in all, a memorable occasion. And to capture the special day, there were several photographers and plenty of smartphones!

It got me thinking! When last did I look at our wedding photographs? When last did anyone look at their wedding photographs? In fact, when last did you look at any photographs?

Are you able to find your photos easily? Are they all together in one spot?

Perhaps the holidays are a good time to get your photos sorted!

Here are 5 tips to help you along …

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 15:55

Keeping Things for Your Children One Day

So often when working with clients decluttering and downsizing, I hear the words “I can’t let that go, I am keeping it for my children/ grandchildren one day”. And so the pile grows and grows…

Recently I had the opportunity of working with an elderly client whose daughter popped in periodically to see how we were getting on. Each time I would ask her to look at the piles her mom had put on one side for her. At the end of the decluttering exercise, the daughter had taken only a handful of really personal items, and we delivered boxes and boxes of the unwanted ‘treasures’ to charity.

The lesson: It’s really important to think about why you are keeping things for your children.

Thursday, 24 November 2016 18:37

Taking A Trip

My grandmother travelled quite a lot and always made packing look easy. She only ever had two pieces of luggage, a small suitcase and a large handbag. Her number one rule was “Don’t take more than you can manage on your own”. 

I thought you might find her packing tips useful! Here goes…

Before you start:

Friday, 18 November 2016 09:19

Road Tripping & Moving House

I recently took a trip up the coast, not for a holiday, but for work. Oh it felt like a holiday! Our client, wonderful 90 year old Helen, moved our of her home in Cape Town, and relocated to a retirement village in Knysna, where her daughter lives.

Helen spent months slowly working through every room in her home, cupboard by cupboard, sorting and clearing. Our job was to pack up her home, manage the movers on moving day, and unpack on the other side. The day we started packing, Helen handed over her keys and went off with her daughter on a slow road trip to her new home town. We packed and wrapped, managed the movers and the cleaners who came in afterwards.

Thursday, 03 November 2016 22:49

Excuses for not Decluttering

Can’t let go of your things? Excuses I hear every day!

This week the All Sorted team has been working with a client struggling to let go of stuff. She has a newly renovated home and really wants to have a clean, fresh and uncluttered look. And she is using all the excuses in the clutter book!

As a professional organizer, I hear the same excuses all the time. So today we are going to tackle five excuses head on:

1. I might need it one day

Maybe you will! But, it’s very likely that you won’t if you haven’t needed it up til now. My question is: What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen if you did let it go? Could you get another one, borrow one or actually do without?

Thursday, 27 October 2016 06:11

Holiday Planning

Christmas is just 60 days away! Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us! Friends, family, festivities, outings and traditions; so much to look forward, but also lots to plan and organise. It’s so important to take time to prepare so that you can enjoy stress-free holidays with your loved ones! 

This is a 15 step checklist I work off every year starting now, and thought you might find it good to use.

  • Make a To Do list to take you through to the end of the year
  • Break it down into smaller lists - Food, gifts, cards, activities etc
  • Delegate tasks, and cheat where possible - buy your Christmas pud, don't make it!
  • Set a budget. Know what you have to spend, allocate and stick to it.
  • Do half as much as you want to do.
  • How much is enough? Keep it simple
  • Spend twice the time and half the money
  • Resist the pressure of too many invitations, too many expectations
  • Try and maintain a little routine - meal times, bed times, treats etc
  • Schedule appointments and dates further apart to allow for holiday traffic
  • Set boundaries and say no sometimes
  • Think ahead
  • Take shortcuts, don't do too much
  • Remember one stunning dessert is better than a few average ones!
  • Take some ME time - small breaks just for you

Ready, steady, enjoy!

  • “I don’t know where to start organising!”
  • “I don’t have the time to declutter!”
  • “I take one look at the mess and give up!”

Comments I hear over and over again, when talking to people about decluttering and organising. And thinking about clearing out the chaotic garage, the guest room filled with junk or a playroom overflowing with toys can be overwhelming. ..

So don’t try and tackle it all at once!  Start small, start with five minutes, take one box, one drawer, one counter and sort that. Then take another five minutes tomorrow. And five minutes the next day. Before you know it, you’ll see the difference. You’ll love the clear counter, the organised drawer, the uncluttered bookshelf!

Here are six quick decluttering projects to get you going:

  1. Clear one space. This is your no-clutter zone. It can be a counter, your kitchen table, or the area inside your front door. Wherever you start, make a rule: nothing can be placed there that doesnt belong there. Once you have that clutter-free zone, keep it that way!
  2. Clear off a counter. Clear everything off the counter, and only put back one or two essential items. Touch everything else and decide if it needs to stay and if it does find a home for it. Everything else goes out to recycling, charities, or returned to rightful owners!
  3. Pick a shelf. Now that you’ve done a counter, try a shelf. It doesn’t matter what shelf. Could be a shelf in a closet, or on a bookshelf. Don’t tackle the whole bookshelf or cupboard — just one shelf. Tomorrow you can start on another shelf!
  4. Pick up 5 things, and find places for them. Easy peasy! Start with things you can see, and think about where it belongs, and where you would look for it. NOW put it away.
  5. Pull out some clothes you don’t wear. As you’re getting ready for work, and going through your closet for something to wear, spend a few minutes pulling out ones you haven’t worn in a long time. Let them go.
  6. Clear out your medicine cabinet. Go through all your medical supplies and medicines. Get rid of all out dated medicines, stuff you’ll never use again, dirty-looking bandages, the creams and ointments that you had forgotten. Now find one spot for all things medical..
    Learn to love the uncluttered look. Once you have decluttered a space, enjoy it! Get used to the light, airy feel of an uncluttered space. Learn to hate clutter! 

LOVE the space!

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