Is your home beautifully peaceful, neat and tidy for two seconds flat before suddenly turning into a chaotic war zone again? Do you put things away in the right place one moment, only to be unable to find them the next? When you need to get your hands on a specific item – be it a spray, spoon or sponge – do you have about one thousand and one different places where you know it might be?
If you said yes to any of the above, then you need to implement these four home organisation rules and fast. Why is that? Because it’s almost the school holidays and if your kids are going to be home pretty much all summer, think of how much worse things will be if you don’t get on top of the clutter early!
1. Give each thing a place and that place a name
Solutions don’t have to be complicated – in fact, the simpler the answer, the better. If your home suffers from having all the different things you need from one day, week, month or year to the next, spread about in a seemingly random manner, you need to assign those things a place and stick to it.
Importantly, don’t keep this system secret – share it, shout about it. Name label bins, boxes, shelves and compartments so that the whole family understands exactly where to place and find whatever it is they’re after.
2. Like to like
Don’t be creative or whacky with your organisation – play everything straight down the line, with coldblooded calculation throughout. That means grouping like with like, keeping items that are similar in material, content or use together. For example, cans of food can go in the same storage place. Kitchen utensils shouldn’t be spread about different areas because they also belong together. Bathroom toiletries should be organised so that they are all next to one another and accessible – and the same with everything else, from cleaning accessories to gardening tools. Have all your groupings visible, logical and practical, storing like items where you are most likely to need them.
3. Cull with extreme prejudice
At the very least once a year, go through your home from top to bottom, getting rid of all those things that are either no longer needed or no longer regarded. Unsure of whether to keep something or not? Mari Kondo has a great way of looking at this – get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Think ornaments, books, clothes, shoes, perfumes – if it’s not bringing you joy, it ain’t worth keeping. Perhaps we should draw the line with knives, forks and toilet rolls, but then again, maybe not. Why not only have quality cutlery whose designs you love to look at and hold? Why not have only the best toilet paper? We’ll let you make the finer choices when it comes to joy versus practicality.
4. Plan ahead
Know that before you buy anything for the home – permanent or otherwise – be sure that you really do want it. In fact, don’t simply know that you want it; know that you will be more than happy to live with it. From ever-growing food wastage to ever-shrinking wardrobe space to ever-changing trends, there is plenty of incentive to keep tight control of what goes into your living space. Don’t accumulate; regulate.