Need to get sorted? Where do you start?

So you feel that the “stuff” in your home is out of control but don’t know where to start?

Before you do anything, get in the right mindset:

  • Realise you are not alone – these days most of us have lots of stuff – so be kind to yourself
  • Assess realistically whether your home can ever look how you imagine if you keep everything you have
  • So how much will you need to let go to achieve this?
  • When you get off track or demotivated, go back to the “visual” you have of how you want your home to look

Maybe you have now realised that some stuff is going to have to go

Great, you can now start taking action

Often it can be best to start with the easiest or a small area in your home – maybe the linen cupboard, wardrobe, kitchen cupboards or “landing strip” (my “landing strip” is just inside my front door – the entry hall table where I unload everything when I get home – my keys, sunglasses, mail, etc).

Once one area is sorted, it’s great encouragement to move on to the next.

decluttering-melbourneSort into –

  • Keep, Donate or Toss
  • Have a box for items that are to go to other rooms
  • You may want to include a “sell” pile, but think clearly about whether you want to put the time & effort into selling?

If it’s your linen or kitchen cupboards in need of a good sort, review what you have –

  • Do you need so much?
  • Do you have so many glasses in your kitchen cupboards that you can’t find matching sets?
  • Are there towels/sheets/glasses that you never use and are just taking up valuable space?
  • Do you need so many blankets – could you donate a couple?
  • How many sheets do you actually need?
  • If you’ve had it in your cupboard for years and never used it, let it go – it’s taking up valuable space!
  • Be tough, sort and put aside what you haven’t used in ages – then either donate or toss it

Still having trouble getting started?  Why not try pretending it’s not your home?  Pretend you are helping a friend & encourage them to do it, cheer yourself on …

Understand the time cost and space cost of keeping items – often we just assess the purchase cost of an item, not the ongoing cost of retaining it


Happy sorting

(Taken from: Mary, the allsorter)

Downsizing your Possessions

Chances are that at some time in your life you will be faced with a downsizing move.  It can be an emotional and overwhelming time, particularly for anyone who is moving to aged care or retirement or has a loved one considering the move. 

Many people put it off because they can’t deal with what is in their home – years of possessions, treasures and memories. 

Although lots of possessions means lots of decisions, for most of us we only have two main choices –

  • Deciding what to take
  • Deciding what to do with what is left behind

Where to start?

  1. Keep it simple? Indecision can lead to inaction and avoidance when dealing with a home full of possessions.  Keep on track with a Keep It Simple Statement (KISS) that summarises your objectives and motivations for the move.
  2. Identify what you are taking? Knowing the exact space available and rooms in your new home will help you to make the best decisions – measure, know what fits, draw up a plan, define the function for each space and allocate furniture accordingly. Define your “must have” items and treasures.  Don’t get bogged down with holding on to stuff from previous life phases – e.g. only take clothes that fit, are comfortable and you love to wear. Create keepsakes or memory books.  Photographs can be a challenge for many – this is a great task for family to help with.
  3. What to do with what is left?  Give to family/friends, sell what you can, embrace giving to charity and then toss what remains.  Action and farewell items you are letting go of as soon as possible – acknowledge that they have served you well but can now be passed on.
  4. Still can’t let stuff go? You may need to explore your relationship to your stuff? Are you putting yourself first?  It is easy to put a monetary value on possessions but harder to value your time, space and health?   Have you fallen into the trap of being caretaker for other people’s stuff?
  5. Emotional challenges? If you have the luxury, take time to farewell items from important stages in your life and enjoy the memories. If you have inherited treasures that you have put off dealing with, then you need a big reality check – aren’t treasures supposed to bring us joy?  Leaving items in boxes for years is not treating a loved one’s belongings with grace and respect.  Now is the time to sort it all and chose the 5 Treasures from your loved one that bring you joy.
  6. Physical constraints? Assess what you can physically manage.  You may need to work in short time periods – it can be tougher to make decisions when we are tired.
  7. Helping a loved one? Understand the importance of taking time to farewell life stages. Remember this is their journey not yours.  Be non-judgmental, patient, make allowances, take it slowly and work at their pace.  Are they still capable of making decisions?  Are there other factors involved – bereavement, mental health disorders (hoarding, anxiety), depression or dementia?  Value family relationships and assess whether you can support them at this challenging time.  If needed, consider whether you need independent assistance.
  8. Get help! If you can’t handle it all, don’t be afraid to ask for help from family or friends, or call in a professional.   We all organize differently and some find it easier than others.


(Taken from: Mary J Harnan BBus, Owner – founder – allsorter – 3A organiser)

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