Declutter your thoughts

Overthinking to overwhelm! These two combined can take us to a place where we feel absolutely paralysed, preventing us from moving forward with our plans. Is your to do list getting longer and longer? Are you doing busy things that aren’t very productive? Do you have too many good ideas but have trouble focusing on keeping one steady? Perhaps it’s time to Declutter your thoughts!

Work Life Balance!

When you feel overwhelmed, you feel powerless to change anything, resulting in feelings of hopelessness, stress or even anxiety. Life can be demanding as we try to balance our family lives with our careers.

I’m sharing this with you, because over the past months I’ve been navigating my way through these exact emotions. Frustration and confusion of running a business and being a parent. I’ve spent days where I’ve been flat, and days where I’ve been flat out. I’ve had days when I’ve thought of giving up but, giving up is not an option. I keep going, I keep fighting, I keep seeking.

 Strategies and Techniques!

Ignoring something doesn’t usually make it go away. That’s why when your head is full of too much stuff, you need to look at it before you address it.  Learning how to offload your daily mental clutter can help you live in a more positive way.

  • Physical Clutter: Mental clutter can be the result of Physical clutter. It bombards the mind with excessive stimuli, which forces the brain to work overtime with constant reminders that there’s always work to be done. Once you declutter your physical space you’ll discover that your thoughts have also been decluttered
  • Multi-Tasking: Concentrate on one task at a time. By focusing on one thing only, it helps you to visualise what’s in front of you and not all of the other things that need to be done. If anything else tries to grab your attention, mentally push it away until you have completely finished the task at hand
  • Prioritise: The to-do list is a great way to keep you focused and your thoughts clear. Make sure you do a daily list and keep it short with only your top priorities. You can always add to the list once the other tasks have been completed
  • Support: Seek out a trusted friend or associate who is truly invested in you. Whether it be face to face or online, it’s a great way to release some emotion and get whatever it is that’s bothering you off your chest. It also helps to get a new perspective on what’s causing this overwhelm. You don’t have to go through this alone

 Tame your Mind!

Truthfully, you will always struggle with some degree of negative thinking. Unfortunately you can’t overcome this by sheer will power, however, you can manage by being more productive by what you allow to remain in your thoughts. Become aware, challenge and change them.

EITHER YOU MASTER YOUR MIND OR IT BECOMES YOUR MASTER

Occupied Home Staging

Decluttered and Staged

Not staging your home in the current housing market is like leaving money on the table. I believe passionately that every property regardless of location, size or price point, benefits from some degree of home staging.

In an increasingly competitive property market, presentation of your property is critical to selling your home. Not all buyers can envision a home if there is a blank canvas.

Occupied Staging!

Occupied staging is aimed at home owners living in their property during the sales campaign. Many already have the right pieces of furniture in place but are uncertain of how to best utilise it. Maybe a piece of furniture cuts off the flow of traffic to the kitchen or it is too big for a certain area, making the room look smaller. Taking out existing furniture or adding in something new will enhance the presentation of your property. 

Adding Warmth!

Buyers are more willing to visit a home they saw online first if it is staged! Colour, lighting, art, rugs, greenery and cushions will bring warmth to any living space. You want the buyer to make a connection to your home and it is crucial to achieve this before they step through the door. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.

Consultation!

Home staging is no longer an option. Never before have presentation and condition been as important to the sale of real estate as they are today. Every home seller deserves to get the best marketing advice for the sale of their most valuable asset and the marketing process needs to begin with a comprehensive and thorough consultation. There are some simple steps that all sellers can take to ensure the best first impression for the buyers.

If you live in the Brisbane area or simply need advice on how to handle any of what has been mentioned then do not waste another second, contact me, Shelley Giffin on 0447 799 026 to discuss how I can help you.

The Five Core Principles of Organising

Being able to find what you need at a moments notice is all about being organised. If you follow The Five Core Principles of Organising, I can assure you, you and your family will definitely be able to achieve this. They are the foundation for every organising project you carry out in your home.

A home for everything!

Give everything you own a place to call home. By creating a designated area, there is no excuse for the family as a whole, not to be able to find something at short notice. That of course only works if it has been returned to its correct spot once you have finished using it. You take it out, you put it back. Make it a habit! Once you start delaying these decisions, that’s when things go astray.

Like items together!      

It makes sense to keep like items together, right? Knowing you need a C size battery, but you can only find AA’s because they haven’t been placed together will only lead to frustration and extra money being spent because you have to buy more. It makes life so much easier for everyone, and saves time also.

Easy Access!

There is nothing worse than having to pull out, push aside items to get to something that’s  frequently used. Too high, too low, too heavy! It has to be stored in a practical manner that makes sense. Heavy items down low. Seldom used items up high. Laundry items in the laundry. You don’t want to be caught off guard when least expected because your in the bathroom and the toilet paper is in the kitchen.

One thing in one thing out!

You’d be surprised how much stuff people want to hold onto, even if it’s no longer used. Whatever the reason, if you are bringing in new items, you must let go of the rest. Space can only hold so much. If it’s full, then it’s time to do a cull. Make room for the future and let the past go.

Maintenance!

Once you have followed The Five Core Principles of Organising and you have created a beautiful, calm, organised home, it’s really important that everyone in the family is on board with maintenance. You have invested your valuable time and effort so it would only lead to disappointment if you didn’t follow through. Maintenance is the key to a successfully organised home.

WHAT YOU DO EVERY DAY MATTERS MORE THAN WHAT YOU DO EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE!

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Organising Using Zones

 

Kitchens, we all need them, right? After all, it’s where we prepare our meals and where we gather as a family to nurture and converse. So, why wouldn’t we want to do some kitchen organising so that it functions well for everyone! In the end, it’s all about easy access and efficiency.

Have A Vision For Your Space

With any project, always begin with a vision of how you want your space to look and feel. What is the best way to set up your kitchen? Who will be using it and what would be the best layout for everyone?  It is essential to create well thought-out zones in order to utilise it effectively.  Let’s break it down so you can understand the basics required for an organised kitchen.

Divide Your Kitchen Into Five Zones 

With zones, your kitchen will feel balanced which will make life more efficient, allowing for the whole room to just flow. It’s a necessity to allocate items in order for your family to find things easily and efficiently. The ultimate purpose of any kitchen is to carry out a variety of different tasks and activities. With this in mind, divide your kitchen into five separate zones, keeping only the items you need and use.

Creating your zones

  1. Food Preparation Zone: This is the area you prep most of your food. It’s where you chop, peel, mix, and make things. Keep this area clean, clutter free with easy access to ingredients and utensils.
  2. Cooking Zone: This area is where our stove top, oven and microwave go. Ideally, the cook zone should have easy access from the prep zone. Pots and pans should be kept close by this area.
  3. Cleaning Zone: Typically, this area consists of the sink, dishwasher, and rubbish bin. Due to a large portion of our time being spent cleaning up after ourselves, it is important the setup is geared towards a quick result. Keep your cleaning products in a container/basket so they don’t take up valuable space under the sink.
  4. Storage Zone – Consumables: Both pantry and fridge items come under this category. Be sure to have these items stored in such a way that they are easily accessible and hard to miss. Keep your essentials front and centre within easy reach, saving you from throwing out any expired food.
  5. Storage Zone – Non Consumables: The area is used to store your every day items such as dishes, glasses, cutlery, as well as pots and pans. In order to organise this particular zone, your items must be sorted into suitable groups. Your cookware should be situated around your cooking zone for easy access. Dishes and glassware are better suited near the sink and/or dishwasher, making it quick and easy to put away after cleaning. Cutlery, is typically kept not far from the cleaning area as well, making for easy access.

Maintaining Your Organised Kitchen

Having your kitchen and its contents organised efficiently can make for a smoother cooking experience, allowing for easier maintenance and functionality. It may not always be possible for items to be placed in their allocated zones, possibly due to the size of your kitchen or space available. If this is the case, just do your best to find what works for you. If you follow the simple layout of these zones, you are well on your way to not only an organised kitchen, but also a beautiful space in which your family can gather and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Steps to an Organised Garage

If your garage is filled to the brim with stuff, making it difficult to find things and causing you overwhelm, then it’s time to get organised.

Our garage is a place where we store our things, dump our stuff, so with a little thought and organisation, we can get so much more use out of this space.

 

It’s time to get organised!

I must admit, organising the garage isn’t the most fun job, it can be hard work. It’s very important you stay well hydrated during this project, and, I would even recommend wearing closed in shoes for protection. Set aside at least a full day, or even a full weekend or two to get the job done. Preparation and planning are the keys to making this a success.

Visualise! Plan! Action!

It may seem daunting by all the accumulated stuff, so its best to have a vision for how you want this space to function. What is its purpose? Park your car? Use as a workshop? Store your belongings? Or a little of each. Once you get clear on it’s purpose, it will become easier to declutter items you no longer need and you can begin the organising and clearing process.

Begin with a clean slate!

The next step is to remove everything from this space. Set up an area outside and begin grouping like items together as you remove them from the garage. This will give you a clear indication of what you own, what is useful and what you no longer need. Once everything is out, give your garage a good clean before putting things back in. Shelving will be beneficial for this space and there are plenty of options available and are essential for a successfully organised garage. Creating zones for the return of your items is also essential.

Establish Zones!

Establishing zones for your space is a very important step in staying organised, as well as making it a better place to work. Consider your layout. Keep camping gear together, sports equipment together, gardening tools etc. and have the most used items easily accessible. Tools near the workbench, if you have one. It will make everything so much easier.  And last but not least, label where everything goes. What comes out, goes back exactly where it came from.

Labels are your best friend! 

Once everything has a designated zone, its time to label, label, label. Who doesn’t like labeling?  It makes things so much easier for the whole family having everything clearly marked. No excuse for not being able to find what you’re looking for or putting things back in their rightful place. It is another very important step to staying organised.

 

 

Staying organised!

I wish there was an easy way to say this, but, now you have your garage looking amazing, there is only one way it’s going to stay organised, and that’s maintenance.

You have put so much effort into this. You had a vision for how you wanted this space to look and feel. You’ve cleaned, created zones and placed labels on everything. Spending a little time every week will definitely keep overwhelm out.

Enjoy you newly organised space!

 

 

 

Attachment to Stuff

At some point in time, we have all been guilty of having an attachment to our stuff, connecting it to a memory or a moment. We have created value for an item because it was gifted to us or perhaps it belonged to a family member.

We have many different stories we tell ourselves as to why we should hold onto these things. It isn’t the object itself that is creating value, rather it is you who is doing this by adding value to the object through attaching your memory to it. Remember, the object is not the person or the moment.

Letting go of attachment to your things is not always easy, but once you realise your relationship between memories and possessions, it then becomes EASIER! The problem is that holding onto all the stuff that belonged to the past, is interfering with the life you live now. Try to figure out a way you can treasure your memories or deal with your emotions in ways that do not involve keeping physical objects. Some of these items you may not even like or they simply don’t suit your style. If you have things around you that are causing you overwhelm, then give yourself permission to set yourself free. Build a life you don’t need a vacation from. Free yourself from being a slave to your possessions.

Different thinking will bring about better results!

Remember that owning less is actually more. Less stuff means more time, more energy, and more money spent doing what you love. Figure out what enough means to you and then stand by that. Set yourself boundaries to decide on what you keep and what you let go of. Boundaries can be determined by choosing a set number of the same category.

Do you really need twelve coffee mugs when you only have three people living at home?

Do you really need four vases of different shapes and sizes when you only use your favourite two?

By keeping only your favourites, you will begin to see results and feel as though you are accomplishing something. Boundaries play a huge role in getting and staying in control of your belongings and are a helpful habit to maintain your space.

Here are some suggestions that may help you when you are trying to detach from your possessions.

Tell yourself “I am not my stuff, I am more than my possessions. Our memories are within us, not within our things”.

Select five of your favourite memories and honour them by displaying them around your home.

Take a picture of the item, frame it and put it on your wall or upload to your computer.

Scan your old photographs, keep your favourites and display them in an album, let the rest go.

Create a shadow box with some of your special memories and hang it on your wall. One glance at a shadow box can have so many memories come flooding back.

Donate your items to someone who will be grateful for your stuff.

You have to be honest with yourself when it comes to the items you own. Yes, you may have invested your hard earned money and yes you may have had good intentions to use them. If you haven’t used them in the past 12 months, the chances are you won’t. Make an agreement with yourself, put them into storage. If you haven’t used them within the next six months, get rid of them. Sell, donate or give them to a family member or friend who truly has an invested interest in them.

You cannot move forward without letting go of stuff that weighs heavily on your heart, stuff that no longer fills a need, stuff that no longer suits your lifestyle. Physical stuff holds old energy that prevents you moving forward. If you don’t release the things you no longer love, use, or need, you can’t fully grow into your next stage. What’s most important is how you spend your time right now. Live a life with purpose rather than falling back into the comfort of possessions.

Each time we let go of something, we experience another level of freedom – Traleg Kyobgon Rinpoche

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Wardrobe Makeover

WardrobeIs your closet screaming out for a good ol’  Wardrobe Makeover?

Does it consist of an overwhelming amount of  unused items? You’re drowning in stuff but its hard to throw things out. 

We hold onto these items just in case we might get to wear them again, or because they cost a lot of money.

If your wardrobe is overflowing with stuff, wouldn’t it be more rewarding to open the doors and actually see what you own? To appreciate your clothes and know that each item in your wardrobe looks good on you and makes you feel great.

Steps to an easy Wardrobe Makeover:

Make time for what lies ahead by putting aside at least a few hours.

Have three or more containers on hand to sort clothes into piles – Keep, Donate/Sell or Dump.

Empty out all of your clothes from your wardrobe, placing them on your bed.

As you sort through each item of clothing, it’s a matter of asking yourself the right questions suited to the lifestyle you live.

  • Do I really love this?
  • Do I really need this?
  • Will I really use this?
  • Does this item of clothing represent who I am today?

If you hesitate for longer than five seconds, place them into the sell/donate pile or create a MAYBE pile if you’re unsure. Discard anything that is torn, stained or worn out.

Practical Ideas:

If you’re short on space, separate your seasonal items by storing them away. Whether that be in labelled containers or lower designated drawers or top-level shelves. When the weather begins to change, rotate your winter woollies with your summer garments or vice versa. Keep items out that can be used for dual seasons.
Organise your space so you can easily see your clothes, giving the items a better chance of being worn.
Hang like items together then sort by colour. Shirts, trousers, dresses, jackets, and skirts etc.
Use the same type of hanger, facing them the same way. Donate existing hangers.
Once you remove an item from the hanger, place it at the end of the rod, making it easier to find for its next use.
Baskets and drawers are a great addition to the wardrobe. You can store items such as socks, belts, gym wear etc. keeping like items together.
If it doesn’t fit, it’s time to donate/sell. Make your wardrobe fit your current body.

When it comes to our wardrobes, it is always going to be a work in progress. As we allow for new items of clothing to come in, let go of existing items you no longer love, want or wear.

Get clear on what matters by getting rid of everything that doesn’t – Courtney Carver

Presenting your home for sale

You would havStyling to sell loungee heard the saying “You don’t get another opportunity to make a good first impression”. When it comes to selling, presenting your home for sale is the key to maximising your return. 

This is an area where I, as a professional organiser, am so passionate about. I love walking into a home and seeing its potential.

Less is more!

Think of the common principle “Less is more” when it comes to presenting your home.

You will want the buyer to be able to imagine their own belongings in the property. Less clutter and the arrangement of furniture will be of great benefit. Not only will it open up a clear pathway through the house, it will make rooms appear larger.

What others think of as clutter, you may think of as memorabilia, so just try and remember, this will soon be someone else’s home, so pack away your special items, or pass them onto someone else if you are ready to do so. You may even need to find storage for your excess items until the sale is finalised.

Basic Principles!

Listed below are a few basic principles for presenting your home for sale.

Remove all clutter throughout your home. This means kitchen and bathroom cupboards, linen, pantry and wardrobes. You need these spaces to look bigger as the potential buyer most likely will be looking inside of these spaces.

Make sure you have given the indoors a thorough clean. They will be taking notice, especially if you already have their attention. Pay extra attention to the kitchen and bathroom. Keep your flat surfaces clear of clutter and ensure you have a clean oven and shower recess. Who wants to be cleaning ovens and bathrooms when you first move in?

 Master Bedroom – Set the scene by choosing calm restful colours that will have a relaxed feel about it. It is after all, a sanctuary, not just a bedroom.

 Childs bedroom – Kids bedrooms not only represent a place to sleep, but also provides a place to play games and sometimes study. Bright colours are always a favourite for the kids, adding storage for keeping toys, books and games off the floor and looking tidy.

Don’t forget to fix minor repairs such as hinges, switches, light bulbs, leaking taps and perhaps even a fresh lick of paint to freshen up any maintenance work.

Create a comforting atmosphere using essential oils to make the home smell attractive, but remember not to make it too overpowering. A diffuser will disperse the oils into fine vapour, spreading it into the air.

Brighten up your home by using some fresh flowers or artificial ones, whichever suits you best. If you choose artificial flowers, ensure they are clean and not coated in dust.

Get rid of the pet smell, cigarette smoke etc. Open up the windows and doors and rid yourself of these odours prior to the open day. You might not be able to smell these odours, but rest assured, a newcomer walking in will.

Set the temperature of your home to meet the outside conditions, creating optimal comfort levels.

Chances are, the first views of the property are going to come from online advertising. The photos need to be presented in their best possible light. Ensure your home has been decluttered, tidied and staged prior to this being done.

Street appeal, the first impression from the street. Make sure it has the potential to grab a buyers attention. It needs to be neat and tidy as well. The lawns mowed, hedges trimmed and plants presented well. All tools and equipment placed back where they belong. The outdoors also needs to represent a place of rest and relaxation.

Don’t forget the garage makeover. People need to be able to see their own car and belongings in this space.

If you are lucky enough to have a porch, ensure you present this as a place you would like to spend time in reflection. Keep it clear of clutter allowing for some decorative pot plants.

Now your home is all sparkly and clean, staged and ready for your big open day. You have all bases covered from inside to outside and hopefully, all that extra attention to detail and hard work will not only attract lots of buyers, it will also get you the top dollar for your home.

The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail – Charles R. Swindoll

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Downsizing – Enjoy the Benefits

Who agrees that living in a larger home can lead to greater stress and upkeep? Do you also agree that the cost of maintaining it can be stressful? The decision to start downsizing may not always be voluntary, and for some, very emotional, with attachments to their home and belongings running quite deep.

You may have recently lost a loved one or you are empty nesters with older children who have moved out. Whichever the case, downsizing can present a new chapter in your life with new beginnings and a chance to make new friends and create new memories.

Benefits on downsizing:

Having a smaller home will save you more in energy cost. It cost a lot to run a larger home, especially with cooling and heating systems in place. Smaller homes will give the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint while you enjoy a lower energy bill in the warmer and cooler months.

Having a smaller home means less space to store all those items you have used once or twice before the novelty wore off. Smaller helps you to prioritize your life, bringing in only what is necessary. Let’s face it, the more space you have, the more you have to fill.

You will be surprised by the free time you now have for leisure activities. Your daily cleaning and maintenance will be reduced. Wouldn’t you rather be catching up with friends and family, traveling, boating, exploring? The list is endless.

Finally, downsizing can reduce mortgage repayments, or better still, get rid of it altogether. That dream you’ve had a traveling holiday is looking better all the time. Enjoy life instead of working to pay the bills. After all, isn’t that what life is about?

Having a bigger home with lots of stuff can lead to stuff controlling you. Who really wants to be a slave to all those possessions? Once you let go, you will feel lighter and more in control, experiencing a feeling of relief.

Downsizing requires you to look at everything you own and how you live your daily life. You need to find a balance of what works for you and what doesn’t. Priorities change over time and you need to be realistic about what you’re going to take with you. Furniture, books, exercise equipment, dinnerware, linen, food etc. This will all need to be evaluated. If you can live without it, then let it go. Make room for the things you really love, need and use.

Living smaller can open up bigger opportunities for you to relax and enjoy the important things in life!

Clutter in our Life

For me, clutter in my life makes me flustered, agitated, confused, and not to mention downright cranky. I have realized, that, by making a few changes in my home, it has reduced my stress levels and I’m a much happier person to be around.

Our environment is a reflection of our internal mental health and vice versa. If our home is cluttered, our minds may feel scattered as well. Many people are unaware of how clutter can effect them. By discarding unneeded items in our home, it is like clearing space in our minds.

If you have items that you have held onto which no longer serves a purpose, more often than not, this is clutter. Let’s break it down so we can define which items in your home may be considered clutter.

Common types of clutter:

 Sentimental: Possibly one of the biggest reasons we can’t let go. You may feel guilty that you are getting rid of fond memories of years gone by, however, you do not need an abundance of objects to remind you of a meaningful time in your life. Unless you separate the memory from the object, it’s almost impossible to declutter.

 Just in case: Do you find you hold onto stuff just in case you might need it one day? This is a combination of fear and procrastination. Say goodbye to your just in case clutter and start living your life in a more meaningful way.

 Bargain shopping Clutter: Can’t resist a good bargain? We see a great ‘deal’ in the shops, two for the price of one, free gift if you spend $ amount. Remember, if you never use it or wear it, it’s not a bargain.

 Inherited Clutter: With good intentions, we have been given other peoples stuff. Now what do we do with it? If you find these items to be beautiful or useful, then of course, keep them and display them with pride. If you don’t like them and they hold no purpose for you, tell yourself, you are not responsible for other peoples clutter.

 Paper Clutter: Paper comes into our homes in two ways – either we bring it in or we print it. Sometimes we are too busy to deal with it straight away, we find a surface, place it down and, repeat. Creating a simple filing system to better manage paper is the key for a successful result. 

Clutter of any kind can manifest in different ways and for different reasons. If it causes you stress, then it’s time for you to take back control and reclaim your home. Emotional freedom is only a few steps away and is essential to our health, happiness and wellbeing.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful – William Morris