7 signs it’s time to get organised (like now)

Big transition periods – whether it’s a new job, the end of summer or the start of the school year – can often wreak havoc on our homes. Here are seven telltale signs that it’s time for some home organising.

Updated 30 August 2019

baby clothes organised in the drawer

Bare necessities: get your daily basics organised

Constantly misplacing things you use every single day? It can be so frustrating to have to hunt around for basics like your wallet, phone or keys as you’re running out the door. Having a handy spot to drop those must-haves the moment you get home, so they don’t end up spread in several different spots, is a key feature of a well-organised space.

New season savvy: declutter the old before you add the new

Tripping over plimsolls, SPF and sun hats while rummaging for your brolly and jumper? In the rush of everyday living, it can be easy to forget and that one season has ended and another has begun. It can help to have a box or drawer strictly for seasonal items (gloves and scarves in winter, sunscreen and sunnies in summer etc) that you swap out as the seasons change, so you’ll always have what you need (and nothing more) to hand.

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Find those repeat offenders: the secret to a well-organised wardrobe

Did you just buy a plain grey T-shirt only to discover – oops – you already have one, buried under a pile of tops? If you find yourself buying things you already own, it’s a surefire sign that you’re in dire need of a sorting session. Pro wardrobe organisers recommend hanging or folding your clothes first by type (vests, blouses, shirts etc) and then by colour. This means you can clearly see what you own, which will help prevent you from accidentally adding yet another doppelgänger dress to your cart.

Delete those dupes: a speedy way to tidy the mess away

Your wardrobe isn’t the only place where staying organised means cutting down on the things you need to organise. Having as little stuff as possible makes it easier to keep things tidy. One of our favourite decluttering tips is to search out and cull duplicates around your home. Maybe you inexplicably ended up with two tin openers, several similar hairbrushes or half a dozen half-empty tubs of hand cream? Ditch or donate what you don’t need and you’ll be well on your way to a more zen space.

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Nothing to do/wear/cook: declutter busy spaces for instant zen

Walking into rooms brimming with stuff but feeling devoid of ideas? Chances are you’re suffering from decision paralysis and, rather than having to go get more of something, you probably have too much. Simplify things right down: instead of piles of books, newspapers and books on your coffee table have just two or three. If you’re spending forever trying to pull an outfit together, try a donate-ditch-keep wardrobe session (80s montage music optional). And if you’re staring at pantry shelves jammed with half-empty jars and packets but have no idea what to make for dinner, you know it’s time for a kitchen clear out.

Drawer dilemmas: get organised to cut down on cupboard chaos

Whenever a speedy tidy is done, one or two random items inevitably get hastily crammed in a drawer or cupboard. But as the days – and weeks – pile up, so does all that stuff. Take the time to give your most-used drawers and cupboards a good declutter. Slow and steady wins the race, so start with just one at a time. Have a bin handy and chuck anything broken (leaky pens, full notebooks). And try to avoid filling the drawers completely – you’ll want a little bit of wiggle room to add stuff in the future.

Top tip: Reuse small packaging boxes from around the home to create mini drawer organisers.

Feeling in a funk

Sometimes it’s not something specific that tells us it’s time for a change. When you walk in the door of your home, you should feel a lightness, a sense of calm and comfort and belonging. If, instead, you feel anxious as all those need-to-get-around-to-it jobs start jumping out at you from every room, you know you need a reset. Set aside a day to first make some inroads into sorting, organising and tidying your home, tackling the biggest eyesores first. Then add a few touches that you know will cheer you up: a simple vase of flowers on the mantle or a pretty bowl to drop your keys in can make a surprisingly big difference.

Originally published 22 August 2019