We hope our evolving collection of the best tips from Professional Organisers can help you make the most of your lifespace.
If the kitchen is not organised and functioning well the whole family can be affected. As a Professional Organiser and also a trained Chef here are some of my top tips for making the best of your space and time spent in the kitchen.
1. Create Zones – Emulate all good restaurant kitchens by being able to put your hand on the exact tool you need at the precise moment needed while cooking. Cupboards and equipment need to be arranged so that all the items you need to create certain tasks are together.
2. Use drawers where ever possible - if you’re designing a kitchen, clutter will be a thing of the past if drawers are the main storage facility. Best uses for drawers are pots, pans, daily china, cups, and dry ingredient items like flour sugar.
3. Designate a home for incoming papers – often the kitchen is where all the family gather so paper is normally a problem. Use an A4 box with a lid to hold papers coming into the home the lid can easily be placed on top when visitors arrive no need to hide and then forget your paperwork.
4. Use the same container storage throughout – when all the containers are identical you won’t be searching the dreaded plastic cupboard for the matching lid and the big plus for clutter is they will stack and line up perfectly in your cupboards or on your benches.
Carolyn Verhoef - Outside the Box Organisation Solutions
Tips to live by
1. Don't put it down, put it away.
2. One hour LESS screen time EQUALS one hour MORE sorting time.
3. 10 minutes folding your undies is 10 minutes you'll never get back.
4. Mess is fine. Neglect is not.
5. A little bit of work now for a lotta lazy later on.
6. Put a note in your purse: "I am saving money by not spending it."
7. Never bring anything into your space that you do not already have a home for.
8. Practice The Snowdome Rule: one in, two out.
9. Make friends with your bin!
10. "Talk doesn't cook rice" Chinese Proverb.
Lissanne Oliver - Sorted!
How To Get Organised
Have routines - Clean up the dishes before we go to bed, plan meals in advance (and we can do all of this on paper, then take that paper or list to the supermarket.)
Do a quick tidy up of general living areas (getting our husband and children to help) before we go to bed.
Teach our children to put things away where they found them when they have finished with them. Make sure there is 'one' place for that article to live.
Create a place for everything (not 5) so that everyone in the house knows where everything 'lives' - so we don't have to tell them all the time.
Planning ahead – take 10 minutes on a Sunday night to look at your diary to plan what you’ll be doing for the week. Highlight important meetings, block out appointment times in red pen, block out work commitments in another colour. Make it clear and easy to read. It's better than waking up on a Monday and not knowing what you have ahead of you... it helps you to keep on track too.
Write Lists – get information out of your head onto paper and that will clear space for new things to come in, more important creative ideas or it will make it easier for you to focus on your work without other things cluttering your mind. Have a pad of paper near the phone, one page for shopping lists – always there ready to add something to the list.
Create an efficient family or home filing system instead of filing everything in a drawer. Cull out everything that is outdated (if it's important set up an archive box listing everything you put into that) and just leave the most relevant info in the file. Set it up alphabetically and then the mind isn't confused when you look in the drawer.
If you are in a real mess - tackle the job area by area - start with one area or room and work on it for 2 hours. Then stop. See if you can do another 2 hours the next day - or do 2 hours per week until each area or room is completed. Don't work on two different areas at once. Work on one area or room until that is completed, then move onto the next. This way you will have something to measure and also you'll have a sense of achievement by seeing the end product.
Carol Posener - Get Organised.
On the go
Identify any credit cards or store cards that are surplus to your needs. Cancel the cards and destroy the cards. You will declutter your wallet and simplify your financial life.
Karen - Clear & Clutter Free
Sorting What To Keep?
Break it down to 20min sorting sessions.
This is especially true for paperwork & photo sorting. Our brains are designed to be able to perform one task repetitively for only 20min after that we lose concentration and start looking for stimulation.
When you’re sorting, that leads to reading and engaging with the material we are trying to make decisions on and it slows the process down of throwing or keeping.
Set an egg timer or your mobile phone to alert you when 20 min is up. Go make a cup of tea or do a small task and if you feel inspired come back to do some more.
Pantry Clean Out
Pantry advice from Declutter Home "Just pull everything out - sort it into categories - throw out used-by product - clean surfaces - then put it all back, keeping 'like' items together."
Tanya Lea - Declutter Home
'Fix This' Bag
Create a 'fix this' bag - to get all those pesky little jobs done that have been waiting to get fixed.
Use a reusable bag as a designated place to put all the clothes, shoes and toys that need repairing. You could even get the kids in on the act and make a game of it. Leave the bag in a central location to add to.
Take your fix this bag to the alterations shop, cobbler etc while you get your weekly shop done. Everything can be fixed while you're off busy with other things.