Declutter and Destress

News| 11th July 2021
Declutter and Destress
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By Sally Flower

As a home wellness coach and a Master KonMari Consultant who was trained by Marie Kondo, I am all too familiar with a chaotic home.

Scientists at the University of California have found that being surrounded by too many things increases the body’s level of the stress hormone cortisol, and reduces our ability to focus. As a result, the world is going wild for an organised life thanks to its vast health and wellness benefits.

Even the smallest of organisational changes can make a world of difference, helping you feel just that little bit more on top of things on the day-to-day.

To get you started, here are seven of my favourites organising tricks to ignite a mid-year refresh.

1.     Create a confident closet

Overflowing wardrobes and piles of shoes at the door do not evoke feelings of clarity and calm. Make time to look through your wardrobe and declutter anything that doesn’t make you feel happy and confident. If a whole wardrobe declutter feels a little overwhelming, start by focusing on a type of clothing, for example pants, then follow with shirts, sweaters and exercise gear. It will be much easier to make decisions reviewing likeminded clothes together - not to mention save you time! A pared back wardrobe is a quick and easy way to reduce clutter - and start the day peacefully with easy outfit selection!

2.     Master the in-tray

No one likes paperwork, let alone piles of it stacked on the kitchen bench! Limit excess paper by creating an in-tray and filing system. Start by bringing together all the paper you have lying around the house, removing anything that doesn’t meet one of these three criteria; it will bring future joy, make your life easier or make you smile. Once decluttered, file away what you have remaining and create a dedicated in-tray for paperwork as it comes into the house (above the fridge and top drawers in an office make good in-tray spots). Set a fortnightly reminder in your phone for a paper file. This will not only help you to keep on top of your admin, but it will also eliminate those large piles of paperwork!

3.     Give to-do lists a central hub

To-do lists are an extremely effective organisational tool, however they can spill out into all corners of our lives – from the kitchen fridge to apps on our phones. Create one central place to write down what you need to do, ticking them off as you go. The only thing worse than a long to-do list is a lost one!

4.     Do night-time prep for day-time success

Organised mornings lead to organised days! As tempting as it is to leave the dishes in the sink and look for the kids’ lunchboxes in the morning – try to tackle it the night before. Turning the telly off just 30 minutes earlier than usual to reset your living space or get ready for tomorrow is guaranteed to pave the way for a positive start to the day.

5.     Organise your home in categories

“Where would you go to looking for it”’ is a common question I ask my clients when putting things away in cupboards and drawers. Grouping items in your home into similar categories is the easiest way to quickly grab what you want. For example, place all games in the same drawer, all beauty products on the same bathroom shelf or all stationery in the same cupboard.

6.     Empty your bag at the end of every day

It may sound counter-intuitive, but emptying your bag (gym, school or other) at the end of every day will improve your organisational skills and limit clutter. Put away anything that you can’t see yourself using in the immediate future, bin old receipts and find a home for anything new you are bringing into your space. 

7.     Give all your items a home

As a professional organiser, I can assure you that the easiest way to keep on top of clutter is to give everything in your house a home. A ‘homeless’ item often cause the most trouble when it comes to tiding up. Start by taking a walk through your home and picking up anything that doesn’t have a dedicated place to return to after use. If you live with other people and the items are not yours, locate their owner and ask them to give it a dedicated home. If it doesn’t have an owner, you will need to either take ownership and relocate it, or discard it entirely.

About Sally Flower

Sally Flower was Australia’s first KonMari consultant trained by Marie Kondo, making her one of the country’s top organisational and decluttering expert. A regular on leading breakfast television show, Sunrise, she is also a wellness consultant, mindfulness coach and sustainability advocate. On a mission to help people find a lighter way of living that sparks joy, Sally is passionate about encouraging Australians to live a simpler life, minimising their environmental footprint in the process.

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