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!

Thursday, 13 October 2016 07:25

When Collections Become Clutter

The All Sorted team recently packed up for a client who had lived in her home for 35 years. Lots of treasures, but also lots and lots of stuff. And every single surface (and I mean EVERY surface!) had at least one frog. Ceramic frogs, glass frogs, pottery frogs, wooden frogs, paper mache frogs, all kinds of frogs…they were everywhere!

I chatted to her about her collection and how it came about. It turns out she had never meant to collect frogs at all. Her first frog was a glass ornament that she liked. A while later she bought another frog, a friend bought her a frog, and then it snowballed from there. Friends and family bought her frogs for special occasions and so the collection grew. Over the years she acquired nearly 300 frogs!

Thursday, 06 October 2016 05:58

10 Tips To Get Your Garage Organised

Is your garage the family dumping ground? Do you struggle to find things? Here are some simple tips to get your garage decluttered, sorted and organised…

Before starting your garage sort, take time to think about what you want to achieve. How do you want your garage to look and function?

You need a plan!

  1. Break the project down into small manageable pieces. By breaking the job down, your goal becomes more realistic.
  2. Take a quick look around and start with the obvious things that can go - broken items, trash, empty boxes etc. Start on one side of the room and work round. 
  3. Group things into major categories and types: tools, sporting goods, camping, toys, gardening etc. Now take another look and see if you can let go of more items. Keep only what you use.
  4. Now that you have everything sorted, decide where everything is to be stored.
  5. Assign specific areas for different categories.
  6. Remember to keep things you use most often near the entrance. Tools should be near the work bench, and so on.
  7. Lift things off the floor, use hooks and shelves, clearly marked boxes and containers.
  8. Remember to store heavy items lower down, and keep dangerous tools and containers out of the reach of children.
  9. Store ladders horizontally, or on hooks, so they can’t tip over on children or vehicles.
  10. Install task lighting so you can see clearly.

Enjoy your organised garage!

Thursday, 29 September 2016 09:11

Moving Home is a Big Deal for Little People

Last week I talked about assisting the elderly with that BIG move. While we are on the subject of moving house, I thought it would be good to talk about how to make children feel as comfortable as possible during a move

Prepare your children for a move

Tell them about the move in good time, giving them the opportunity to adjust to the idea. If possible take them to see the new home, or show them photos. Allow them to choose their rooms if possible, and point out advantages such as a lovely climbing tree, or a park across the road

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 05:58

Downsizing Tips

In the last couple of weeks we have worked with several elderly couples moving from their large family homes to much smaller retirement apartments. Moving is an emotional and physically draining experience, and much more so for the elderly. I thought it could be helpful compiling a checklist for downsizing


Thursday, 15 September 2016 07:56

Clutter Caused by Guilt & Nostalgia

Let go of clutter caused by guilt and nostalgia

Last week we helped a client clear out a room full of stuff, so that she could have a space for her painting and photography. She mentioned she had not been in the room for ages, and did not have a clue what was in the room.

We cleared the room, sorted everything into categories and then called our client to come and make decisions.

This is where it gets interesting! Most of what was there either belonged to other members of the family (grown up children, and parents who had died) or stuff from the children’s school years long past. Tons of stuff.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016 05:09

Usefull Links: Mindful Decluttering Infographic

“Mindful decluttering is about more than just throwing things away. It’s about taking the time to remove unnecessary stuff from your life while being observant and aware of the process” Amelie Bentley

I love this bright, colourful and visual article about decluttering and thought you would too…

Thursday, 08 September 2016 04:41

Spring Organising Tips

Here’s to an organized and carefree summer!

So last week I shared my SPRING CLEANING checklist with you and hope it motivated you just a little bit! I got so excited about the prospect of Spring I had to do something, even though I didn’t have enough time for much. So I tackled our linen cupboard, sorting it out, swopping winter for summer linen, had the washing machine working overtime, and filled a charity bag with linen I no longer needed. Afterwards I thought about all the smaller SPRING CLEANING jobs we could tackle too!

Clothes: If you have too much in your wardrobe, sort your clothes by season, and pack away out of season clothes. Don’t forget to empty pockets, clean or dry clean all items and check for stains or damage before storing. Use bay leaves or lavender to keep moths and other creatures away. (For more details on how to sort and organise your wardrobe check out my blog post )

Your fridge and pantry: Empty fridge and freezer, clean thoroughly (with vinegar and warm water) and only put back what you know you will use. Let go or toss all foods that you have will not use, all foods that are past their best and obviously any leftovers that don’t look too good. Do the same with the pantry or kitchen cupboard and be ruthless, especially with spices, herbs and condiments.

Linen cupboard: This is the perfect time to check all the pillows and all the linen before you change to summer linen. Throw or donate all pillows that are not at their best, and any winter linen that you didn’t use and can’t see yourself using. Remember to thoroughly clean or dry-clean any duvets, blankets or winter linen before your store them.

Children’s toys: Winter is a time when children play indoors a lot, and their bedrooms and playroom tend to get disorganized and messy. Get them involved in sorting out their toys. Discard anything broken or incomplete. Donate toys and books they have outgrown. Organise them in a way that makes it easy for kids to keep tidy. Use Ziploc bags for small pieces or puzzle pieces.

Magazines and newspapers: Go through the magazines and newspapers. Take out the articles you want to keep, and recycle the rest.
Television: While you are at it, do you record TV shows to watch later? Do you have a lot of shows piled up that you haven't watched, but at the same time you still keep taping them? It's probably time to tape over or delete some of them.

Computer: Now do the same with your computer. Clear out your emails, and go through your files. Delete as you go, and backup where necessary.

Here’s to an organized and carefree summer!

Contact Us

Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531