If you’re renovating your home, extra storage space is probably top of your list of priorities. But sometimes it’s not just a case of stuffing it all in and forgetting about it …
It’s all very well buying pretty boxes, jars and shelves to hide away all your bits and pieces, but sometimes you need to do the dreaded task of “de-cluttering”.
Some people love streamlining their belongings and getting rid of what they don’t use or need but for others, parting with possessions is a lot more difficult.
So where should you start?
Lisanne Oliver runs SORTED!, a professional organising company with branches in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. In her experience, the best place to begin is with an area you haven’t used for a while — maybe that cupboard under the stairs not explored for months or even years.
“There’s a bit of distance in terms of time and it’s a lot easier to let go of,” she says. “Make a judgment about what you want the space to look like before you start and how much time you’re going to spend. You don’t want to end up stuffing it all back in again!”
So do you really need to keep that dress you haven’t fitted into since 1972, or those French language tapes you listened to once and don’t intend to use again? Be brutal! According to Lisanne, if you don’t love it, want it or need it, it’s clutter and it’s time to say goodbye!
She says, “Cleaning the clutter makes way for the good stuff — the stuff you really need — and you’re also not going to waste time looking for things you know that you’ve got.”
Top tips: how to de-clutter your home
1. Hire a professional. The Association of Professional Organisers lists some at www.aapo.org.au.
2. Pass it on. If you have items you don’t need but think other people might want, look up your local Freecycle group on the internet. You can post items you don’t need but that somebody else might want and no cash is exchanged.
3. Complete or delete. Finish projects, tasks and repairs. If it’s important to you, do it or let it go.
4. Purge your stuff. Love it, want it, but don’t use it or don’t have room for it? Loan items to friends or family who might be able to use it but you technically still own it. Draw up an agreement if it’s of sentimental or monetary value.
5. Use containers. A container is a boundary. Boundaries set limits. Choose storage that sets boundaries on the quantity of things you own. Aim never to fill your storage to 100 per cent — there’s no room for the future if you do.
6. Don’t collect it in the first place! Be ruthless about collecting stuff. If you’re shopping, don’t make a purchase unless you’re passionate about it. Aim to have things in your life for a long time, if not a lifetime.
7. Make time to maintain. Schedule time for maintenance: filing bills, clearing out drawers, sorting out the crockery or pantry. Even five minutes a day sorting the cutlery drawer while the kettle boils will make your space clutter-free and more organised.
(With thanks to SORTED!)
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Interstudio’s Montana Wire Cube by Verner Panton & Peter Lassen is a great show-off storage piece for a modern home and is based on the Wire Cube, Panton’s design from 1970.
You can’t get much more organised than this! The office storage system unit by XimulA.com will keep everything in its rightful place.
02 9319 2841
02 9281 1771
02 9332 2390
02 9360 9377
Parker & Morgan
02 9356 8200
03 8795 1100
02 9906 5472
1300 767 813
02 9360 3199
Top 3 by design
02 9906 4433
Available at Space Furniture
02 8339 7588
03 9329 3542