JULY 2024 | AN ORGANISED LIFE

July 2024 - an organised life

Image by Woods & Ivory and Pinterest

Is there anything more cathartic than a good organisational purge? The simple act of getting rid of excess is extremely liberating – especially when it involves my kids rooms! Then the organisation and storage that follows, along with some re-arranging of furniture, makes me feel like I have a whole new house.

This is exactly what I just spent my weekend doing, and today I feel like a new person!

I’ve always been someone who has welcomed the opportunity to purge, organise, clean, tidy up, rearrange and redecorate. It helps me clear my mind and I feel more focussed, more organised, as a result. When I think about the details of my job, you could easily say that elements of the interior design process are a form of organisation. When we design a kitchen, for example, we are always thinking about best storage options available. Where should the pots go, where is the pantry going to be placed, how are we going to lay out the pantry, what about kettle and toaster, where are the glasses going, and so on. We believe good interior design involves a lot of organisational planning.

While I just want to be clear that I’m not someone who has their life perfectly together twenty four seven, I do, however, pride myself on being organised and being able to turn a pile of clothes or a stack of loose papers into an orderly work of art.

Of course I’m in the minority here, and while Marie Kondo has helped most of the population get onboard with my aspirational organisational goals, I’m not sure everyone finds it quite as relaxing or therapeutic as I do. Which is fine. I get it. Life is wild enough as it is. Why bother with that junk drawer, an overstuffed wardrobe, or a plethora of unread messages when there are appointments to make, schedules to keep, and dinners to make.

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Image by Woods & Ivory

We’re not here to get you Marie Kondo-ing your homes, but we certainly do appreciate the artistry and satisfaction (serenity, calm) that comes with beautifully organised and styled spaces. We also firmly believe that these approach should apply to ALL the rooms in your home. Yes, even the laundry room, all the way down to your junk drawer

With a little time and thought, any space can be made to look beautiful.  This month we’re turning our focus to all things storage and organisation. Whether that includes the best ways to design clever storage solutions for your home, or how we organise our pantry,  we’re going to deep dive into all our favourite ways on getting organised.

For now, I’ll leave you with my favourite routines that help me stay organised.

Thanks as always for following along Xx

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Keep It Tidy (Visual Organisation)

Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that my house looks tidy pretty much all the time. It’s not that sofas cushions don’t get turned into mermaid island or that traps aren’t set down the length of the passages. It’s more that the mermaid islands and traps have to piaked away at the end of the day. 

If I can see it, it needs to be tidy. This starts with the simplicity of making the bed as soon as I get up in the morning, to putting things away as soon as I am done with them. 

In the evenings I have a short whirlwind 30 – 45 minute window ((typically multi tasked during the post dinner bedtime routine) where I work my way through the house picking up and putting away anything in my path, and jumping onto any smaller admin tasks that I can accomplish in that time. As I work from home, this includes tidying up adn shutting down my desk and office – even if I plan to work more later in the evening. 

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Image by Woods & Ivory

Give Everything A Place

On the back of this, and possibly the most important step for anyone looking to organise their life, is that everything in my house needs to have a place (everything!). I’ve spent some serious time planning (for myself and others) how and where to store everything in the house, and then working through each room going and considering the best options for storing everything. Particularly challenging in kids rooms and playrooms!  

If you come to my house and ask for a phone charger. No problem, they’re all over there. Sunscreen. Yep, in this drawer. Wipes for the kids. Right here. Kids PJs in those drawers, socks in this one, sports clothes over here. You name it, I’ve worked through it. To be clear, this doesn’t need to include glamorous storage containers (of course it can, if you want to and are happy to spend the money on it), but at times like this Mambos is your best friend!

If you’re not the kind of person that enjoys organising, then the key is to break your big goals down into much smaller ones, and only to focus one thing at a time. The junk drawer today, the Tupperware drawer tomorrow.  Forget about everything else on the list and focus on the one task you’ve chosen. You’ll get to the rest another time. It not only makes you feel like “I got this”, but it supremely satisfying to be able to tick something off my list!

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Image by The Local Project

Creating Your Schedule

You can be the most organised person in the world and still forget things during your day. To overcome this it helps to create a daily or weekly schedule that allows for similar tasks to happen at similar times during the week. Sounds simple right? It is! But it is also amazing how many people don’t do this (and don’t stick to it!). It doesn’t mean that every day has to be the same, but its as simple as knowing which day of the week your rubbish is collected.  

A family calendar is also a no brainer, and I don’t know how anyone functions without this transparency. In a busy household, the schedule needs to include everyone. Adding playdate arrangements and school pickup times to everyone’s calendar is an essential part of your organisation. Our family calendar is digital, but a calendar taped to the fridge (or somewhere very visible) can function just as well – especially if your kids are able to read it too. 

I am a devotee to an actual diary when sitting on my desk for my personal organisation, but these days it can take a lot more to stay on top of all parties involved. 

In addition to that, using reminders throughout the day to prompt activities is another great way to stay on track with your time. This is also great for time keeping. Adding in travel time to meetings and appointments, school pick ups, plus 10- minutes “get ready reminders” to help get you out the door, are all ways to keep your organisation on track.  

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Image by The Local Project

Plan and Plan Some More

It used to be that when I needed to clear my head or work through life frustrations, I would go on a cleaning frenzy. And while I LOVE the results of a beautiful clean house, my new method of forward planning is far more efficient. 

We do this for all our work projects, and taking that time to sit down and forward plan has been a real game changer for me. At home, I started this on a smaller scale – outlining maintenance jobs at home, household supplies needed, upcoming kids parties and presents needed. Then it’s about action.  Don’t forget to leave some time for the doing!

My biggest weakness is meal planning. I just can’t bear it, and I’m wondering if anyone else struggles with thus, but I just found that what I feel like cooking and eating is so dependent on the day, and we never stuck to the schedule. On the back of that, we ended up wasting so much food too. 

With a schedule in place, my next focus is prioritising tasks – business and personal – and attending to them only during designated times. If there is one things I’ve learnt, is that responding to emails is taking care of someone else’s to do list! The same applies to responding to WhatsApp messages. 

When I sit down to work, I switch off all distractions and focus only on the work at hand. Often referred to as time batching, this has been one of the biggest game changers in my productivity. It keeps me focussed on a specific project or task, so that I don’t get sidetracked. 

And remember, as soon as you arrange something, add it to the calendar immediately! 

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Delegate Like A Boss

Definitely not where I am thriving in life, but I am working hard on this. Sometimes you find it much easier (and quicker) to just do something yourself? But this is where you can easily overload your own time. At home delegating certain household tasks to your partner and /or kids is a must, regardless of your home setup.  It not only eases the burden on you, but gives everyone in the house an awareness of how much goes in to keeping things running smoothly. 

It took a lot of time for my type A personality and control issues to hand over the reigns, but my housekeeper has become indisepdnable to me.  I know all too well how lucky I am to have someone like her in my life, helping me free my headspace for the more ‘important’ tasks in life.

My work delegation skills area work in progress. 

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Image by Abi Interiors

Saying No

Learning to value your own time is a very important step in staying on top of life. I’m slowly learning to reduce the scheduling in my calendar, and especially to say No. .

For me, this applies to projects that don’t align with our business values and to social engagements that are going to leave me feeling drained.  I’m definitely guilty of trying to pack too much into my day, so just saying no is an important organisational tool.

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Image by Veranda

Self-Care

In addition to being organised at home, there are a few life lessons that I’ve also learned are essential to me functioning at my best and keeping on top of being organised. Self care, is top of that list, and I’ve reached the age where that includes getting at least 7.5 – 8 hours of solid sleep a night. Any less than that and I feel like I am running on empty. Those days of pulling into work after a big night out are well behind me. 

We all know about the benefits of regular exercise. Getting a sweat on and the heart rate up is not only extremely cathartic to me, but it also doubles as “me time’ and meditation time. I know it’s really difficult to set that alarm clock extra early to squeeze it in, but it is so worth it. This uninterrupted quiet time to mentally work through any problems really sets me up for the day. 

Shoo, that was a lot!, 

and pretty much everything I could think of. I’m sure we do a lot of similar things, but reinforcement is good for keeping us on track.

What about you guys? Any other tips on how you manage your busy lives?

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