Let’s face it, there is just sooooo much to do when you are preparing to go back to work. Getting yourself in the right head space, cooking and freezing endless food, doing the return to work dry run-though and the list goes on and on. If you are like us, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of baby stuff along the way. Returning to work is a great time to stop, take stock of what you have and spend some time reorganising and decluttering your home. Feeling a bit daunted by this task, we sat down with expert Erin Boyce from Your Organised Life, for her top tips.
So with little people comes lot of baby stuff and clutter like you’ve never had in your house before. What are your top 5 tips to declutter and reorganise your home space before going back to work?
- Keep it simple: Storage and organisation doesn’t need to fancy or expensive. People waste too much money on unnecessary storage because it looks pretty. In my opinion storage should always have a lid and be modular so you can stack and utilise the height of a space. My favourite’s are the Ezy Storage 5 x 10 litre tubs from Officeworks for $20.
- Less is more: Unless some kind of apocalyptic event is planned there is just no need to purchase items in bulk. We all need wipes, they are a lifesaver, but you don’t need a bulk buy box of 100 packs…there just can’t be that much poo!
- Make time: Organising doesn’t happen at 5PM during dinner prep. You need to devote time to getting on top of things. Set aside an hour every couple of days. Once the hour is up, stop.
- Decant Decant Decant: I can’t stress this enough! Working and juggling home life is tough and let’s face it a big chunk of our home life is spent around food. Getting your pantry right will literally change the way your kitchen flows and meal prep will be a breeze. Don’t fall for the trap of throwing everything into pretty baskets, they’ll just end up a cluttered mess. Take the time and decant items individually into containers. You’ll never purchase 50 packs of icing sugar again!
- Make lists: I carry a ‘to do’ book with me everywhere I go. It contains everything, and I mean everything that is swirling around my head that I have to do. From the big important things to the trivial like buy mince for Tuesday’s Tacos. As a working mum we have a lot of different hats on and sometimes I don’t know how our heads don’t just pop off with the pressure. Writing it all down gets it out of your brain and lets you prioritise. Work out your ‘Must do’s’, your ‘Should do’s’ and your ‘Would like to do’s’. Start on the ‘Must do’s’, then move onto the ‘Should do’s’ and if you have time then you can tackle the ‘Would like to do’s’.
We often feel totally overwhelmed by the amount of stuff and then enormity of the task to reorganise our home. Where should you start?
Small! The biggest mistake people make is thinking that they can tackle it all in one go. I advise my clients to literally tackle one shelf or drawer at a time. Work to completely clear that space, finding forever homes for the pieces in it, then stop but don’t put anything back into that space unless you intended it to be there. On your next session go to the next drawer and so on ensuring that every time you dedicate yourself to a space you complete it in one go.
So once you have finished decluttering and reorganising, how do you practically maintain it? What are your top tips?
The way I keep on top of my home is by dedicating time to each area. I keep a rolling schedule of tasks that I complete over the month…
1st Wednesday: Kitchen cupboards and pantry.
2nd Wednesday: Clothes and linen.
3rd Wednesday: Toys and crafts.
4th Wednesday: Garage and garden.
People often stare at me wide-eyed when I tell them this but because the systems of order are already set up in my house, these tasks can take as little as 15 minutes each. I’m not having to pull it all out every time and figure out where to put everything because everything in my home has a space and if it doesn’t, then it goes. It’s that simple.
Erin Boyce, owner of Your Organised Life. On top of being a wife and mother, Erin is also a passionate organiser. Your Organised Life came about after years of being told by friends and family that Erin had found her calling. Being in a space that is organised and clear is paramount for Erin.