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Organisation ideas: sorting is a process

Are you forever complaining about the lack of time you have, or overwhelmed by having too much to do, and not being able to put aside time for those jobs that you know, once done, could make you feel so good?

Your home needs to be your haven, a place to escape the stresses of everyday life; that go-to place when you can feel contented and comfortable. It shouldn’t be a place where the moment you walk in and the door, you think 'OMG, look at this mess' and you are hit with all the things you haven’t done. The ones you promised yourself you would get to and then, bang ………….. the guilt trip.

NO, it doesn’t have to be this way. If everything is in its place, you will walk in and breathe a contented sigh – you will look around and feel immediately at ease, relaxed.

You can make this happen by:

a) thinking about aesthetics. They are important in a home to achieve that feeling of relaxation. Everything needs to be in place. Hence the need for sorting and decluttering (we will get to this).

b) having the house smell fresh …. Leave the windows slightly open for fresh air, treat yourself to fresh flowers once a week. It’s an instant softening, friendly and inviting way to make your home feel welcoming. You may choose to just use leaves – large tropical ones like variegated philodendrons or monstera. Use floral fragrance air fresheners , burn candles. Freshly washed laundry smells awesome while it’s drying, so pop a little bit more washing powder in the wash.

'What has all this to do with sorting my stuff?', I hear you ask. Well, firstly you need to agree on the aim of doing the ‘sorting’ job; the end result is to have a home that is amazing to walk into at the end of every day, one that doesn’t make you feel stressed.

Let us now set the scene for a more conducive physical and mental space from which to sort.

Choose a time, remember ‘there is no perfect time' so stop waiting for it. Work out how much time you spend on everyday things like having a shower, eating breakfast, taking the dog for a walk, paying bills, scrolling thought facebook and chose what time you will steal from which chore or task. All you need is to find is a spare hour.

  • Put on your favourite up beat music. Make sure it is uplifting.

  • Have great light around you. Ideally during the day is best.

  • Clear some space.

  • Pull everything out of the cupboard you want to sort out.

  • Make piles

Start making piles of the same things. Let's imagine you are wanting to sort out your linen press (my favourite cupboard by the way); make one pile of beach towels , another pile of bath towels, mats, hand towels. Sort through and put flat sheet, quilt covers, fitted sheets, pillow cases into piles. Make two different piles of pillow cases: one pile for the ones you sleep on and another pile for the ones that match your linen -you know the ones that are for decoration only. Do this for everything that is your linen press. Now step back and look at the piles on the floor. You need to decide whether they all belong in the linen press. The linen press is not a dumping ground for anything that doesn’t have a home -- plastic bags, spare wool, that stupid umbrella you picked up at some conference that is slightly bent, or anything that is not linen.

  • The three fold

Learn to fold things in three. They stack better. Try it a few times and see how you go.

To summarise:

1. Priorities - break it down to baby steps, don’t take on too much so that it is overwhelming as you run the risk of saying 'this is all too hard' and stop. Enjoy the journey.

2. Stay focused – think of the long term – home, relaxing, aesthetically-pleasing – a place to run away to, a place that is your sanctuary, know your destination.

3. Make the commitment to the task. Tell someone your plans. This will increase the chances of you following through.

If you would like help, don’t ever feel embarrassed about making a call to have someone assist you in sorting through things. Don’t think it’s such a mess I couldn’t possibly have someone come to my home to help me with this. It’s a feeling many people have. Don’t ever be embarrassed.

Being a psychologist, I understand how different we all are. The No 2 attribute of a psychologist is 'a non-judgemental attitude'. Now I can hear you ask 'what’s No 1?' The answer is empathy … I can relate to how people feel. So if you would like a non-judgemental professional person to help you, don’t hesitate to me call at dotorg. I work with you, not against you.

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