We often tend to neglect our bedrooms, because it’s the room visitors usually don’t get to see when they visit us. We usually invest more money in lounge and kitchen furnishings, even though we spend more time in our bedrooms.
You too can have your dream bedroom. For a start collect ideas from Pinterest and save photos of how you want to style your bedroom. Then get ready for a proper decluttering out and redecorating of your bedroom.
Bed: Your bed is the single most important furniture piece in your bedroom. Make sure that you have a good quality mattress for your back. The best ones have a combination of memory foam and natural latex foam.
Look out for beds that offer lift-up bases with hidden storage space, where you can store your bedding.
Dressing table: If you have space for a dressing table, then try not to have too many items on the table as it can easily end up looking cluttered. Only display your favourite jewellery pieces and perhaps a group of decorative fragrance bottles or flowers. Use the drawers for storing makeup, hair accessories and the hairdryer.
Alternative vanity storage options for limited spaces are narrow chest of drawers for displaying and storing your vanity items, or a floating wall shelves with drawers, which are available from Ikea.
Bedside tables: Choose bedside tables with drawers, which are ideal for storing items like hand cream, nasal spray, lip balm and tissues. Keep the bottom drawers for books and magazines, which you are busy reading. This way your bedside table will stay neat and tidy.
Wardrobes: When purchasing new bedroom cupboards, select ones with deep drawers for tops, shoes and even accessories. It should also have enough hanging space. Closets with sliding doors save space.
Check out my blog post on Wardrobe Organising with useful suggestions on how to organise and tidy up your closets.
Chairs: If you have enough space create a seating corner with one or two chairs, which you can use for reading.
Tidying up and decorating
Changing the look of your bedroom doesn’t need to be expensive. Just by painting your bedside tables or the frame of your mirror in another colour, and changing your bed linen and wall art, you can make a big difference.
Have a proper look at your room and see what furniture and decor should be removed, replaced or added.
If your room needs a fresh coat of paint or new cupboards, then start with that first.
Lighter colours are better for smaller spaces.
Do a proper clean up of the entire room and move furniture in order to clean underneath it.
Once you have tidied up the entire room, check if you want to add some decorative touches.
Essential decorative items to improve the appearance of your room are bed lamps, cushions, curtains, paintings and plants.
A large mirror is essential for checking your outfit and hair, while you are getting dressed. It also helps to make your room look bigger.
If you have extra space for a chair or an ottoman with storage at the end of your bed, get it in a colour that will fit with the colour scheme of your room.
Make a list of all the new items you want to get for your bedroom.
Remember, for every new item you want to buy, you have to let go of one or two existing items. The fewer objects you have, the more spacious and tidy your room will appear.
Is your makeup still in good condition? Does all your perfume still smell good? Do you find that your hair accessories are a mess? If you are not sure or if you would like to start organising your beauty products now, then keep on reading. I am also sharing on how you can tell when these products have expired.
Collect all your makeup items.
Discard all your old makeup. It’s advisable to replace the following products as per the guideline below, to avoid any skin impurities and eye infections.
Replace mascara and liquid eyeliner every three months.
Replace cream makeup and liquid foundation every 6 to 12 months.
Replace lipstick and pencil eyeliner every 18 months.
Keep eye shadow, powder blush and compact powder for up to 24 months.
Nail varnish can last up to 2 years if kept in a dark place.
An indication that a product is no longer in a good condition, is when a dry and clumpy texture or discolouration sets in.
Once you have discarded all the old products, only keep items and colours that suit you.
Clean everything with a wet wipe or tissues to make it look like new.
Place all same type items together, e.g. all eyeliner and mascara in a glass holder.
Use the lids of used spray cans or old glass and ceramic containers for storing smaller products.
Depending on the number of products you have, store them upright in a make-up display holder or smaller boxes inside your dressing table drawer.
Make-up should always be easy to grasp in a hurry.
Test all your perfume and Eau de toilette products to see if they still smell good.
A change in colour to a more opaque, amber hue is also an indication that the product is off.
The average shelf life of fragrances is 3 to 5 years. How long they last depends on the scent’s chemical composition.
If you keep them in a dark place they will last longer.
Store your fragrances inside your bedroom cupboard or on a shelf in your walk in closet.
Don’t store them in a place where there is a lot of sunlight or in the bathroom, as it will damage the particles of your fragrances.
Keep the beautiful empty and used bottles to decorate your vanity tray or table.
Go through all your hair accessories and only keep the ones you like and wear.
Group same category items together, e.g. hair clips in one box and elastics in another.
Store smaller items in smaller boxes or containers.
Place them in a bigger flat box or in the drawer of your dressing table.
You can also use a hair storage organiser with separate compartments.
Most of us have a large collection of jewellery and tend to wear our favourite pieces for the entire season. Usually, the new jewellery we received as gifts or the fashionable costume pieces, we bought ourselves.
With jewellery organisation, it’s important to have a good overview of what we have. If we don’t see everything, we forget about what we have. There are many creative ways to store and display your jewellery. Jewellery displays are beautiful to look at, so don’t hide your necklaces and bracelets in a box inside your cupboard. Show them off. I like to display part of my jewellery collection in a large glass dome.
Maybe now is the time to let go of the costume jewellery pieces you haven’t touched in years. Only keep the ones you like a lot and still wear.
Check out these storage and display ideas for your jewellery
There are wonderful cupboard systems from Ikea with drawers that have small compartments for your entire jewellery collection.
Other options are wall jewellery cabinets with doors, which open up to show all your jewellery.
Jewellery boxes are great for storing your valuable pieces or small jewellery collections.
Depending on the amount of jewellery you have, you might need to store each category separately.
Earrings: display them on a pegboard with little hooks to hang from. Otherwise, you can also get an earring organiser stand with branches or a wall organiser.
Necklaces: you can either hang them from a belt hanger, a pegboard with hooks or a necklace organiser stand.
Rings: store your rings in a flat bowl or in a ring tray organiser with rows where you can place your rings.
Bracelets: hang bracelets from a mug tree or place them around a bracelet roll.
Sunglasses: depending on the number of sunglasses you have, you can either store them in a sunglass display box with compartments or in a long flat box.
“Your jewellery introduces you before you even speak.” – Madison gems
Shoes and accessories are important to round off your clothing. They can give any outfit that wow effect. To accessorise with scarves and belts is also an affordable way of following new fashion trends.
Follow the same organising process used for Clothing (Part 1) and only keep shoes and accessories that you like and wear during the year.
Always sort by size, colour, type and brand.
It’s better not to store shoes in their original boxes because it will make it more difficult to have an accurate overview.
Depending on your cupboard design, store shoes on the bottom space or in drawers.
Small items such as high heels should be placed at the front or top and large items at the back or bottom of your closet.
Use shoe racks to stack shoes above or next to each other.
Stack flat shoes, sandals and slip-on shoes next to each other in a box.
Only store off-seasonal shoes and those you wear less often in boxes. Aim to fit more pieces in a box. Off-seasonal stuff should be stored at the top or in the back of your cupboard.
If you don’t have enough cupboard space, you can get a shoe stand where you can display your fancy heels or sneaker collection. If it is styled correctly, it will make a nice display to look at.
If you have expensive designer shoes, which you never wear, then consider selling them online and use the money to buy a new pair.
Avoid having shoes lying around in the bedroom or entrance hall. This creates a messy appearance. Always keep them in the closet or the shoe cupboard in the entrance hall.
Store big, heavier items at the top of your closets like big bags and hats.
Handbags: Group bags together by size. Place same sized bags into each other with the handles visible so you can recognize them.
Scarves: Dedicate a drawer or box for scarves. Fold them in double and roll them up. Avoid too many folds, as folding can cause creases. Stack smaller scarves next to each other in a flat box.
Hats: Place hats on top of each other. If you have enough space group them by size. Stack baseball caps behind each other.
Ties: Hang them on a hanger or fold them in halves and roll them up. Store them in a flat box.
Belts: Depending on the number of belts you have, either hang them on a belt hanger or if you only have a few, roll them up and place them in a flat box.
I will discuss organising and storing jewellery and sunglasses next week.
Your wardrobe is such an important part of your life. Knowing your unique body shape, colouring and personality, will simplify the decluttering process of your wardrobe. The result will be a closet with clothing that will always fit you and reflect your individual style. Having an organised closet will also save you time and effort.
Remove all your clothing from your wardrobe, so you can get a good overview of what clothing you own.
Pile everything together on your bed.
Pick up each item and decide if you want to keep it or get rid of it.
Discard clothing that:
you have not worn in over 18 months
don’t fit well – either too big or too tight
are old and worn out
make you look unattractive
you have never worn
don’t match with anything else in the closet
Curate a capsule closet, which typically contains 20-30 quality pieces, which you can multiply into many different outfit combos.
Sort clothing into 3 piles. One for items you are keeping, another for items that you need to fix or clean and a third pile of clothing you want to sell or give away.
Once you are done sorting, remove the pile of clothes you want to get rid of.
Fold and place the items you want to sell in a nice hamper bag, and put all the clothing you want to give away in a large bin bag.
Put the clothes you want to fix, alter or clean in separate hampers and place them in your car, so you can drop them off at the dry cleaners or the tailor. If you can fix or alter things yourself, then place the hamper next to your sewing machine or workspace.
Separate your winter and summer clothing.
Store off-seasonal clothes, such as knitwear and winter accessories or swimwear and shorts in containers, and place them on the top shelf of your closet. Hang coats at the back of your closet or in a spare closet.
Repack all your clothing into your closet.
Group them by garment category, e.g. all skirts, pants and shirts together, so you can access and style outfits more easily.
I prefer to colour code each category, as it makes it easier to mix and match items.
Always fold items in rectangular shapes. With kids clothes, reduce the no of folds.
Clothing which you store on shelves such as, shirts, jerseys and gym wear, should be folded wider and flat, so that you can stack them.
Items placed in drawers should be folded small and stacked behind each other.
Place items you wear more often such as lingerie, tops and pyjamas, on eye level height.
Store smaller groups of items, e.g. socks in a box to contain them better.
Keep bras and knickers separate. Arrange bras in a flat box or drawer to rest completely behind one another.
Improve the appearance of your hanging space by purchasing same coloured hangers. Also use the same colour for any boxes that you might need. Neutral colours such as white and light grey are always a good option.
Repeat the process for all your family members and store each person’s clothing in their own designated closet. Let each family member choose and store their own clothing.
When purchasing new closets, select closets with deep drawers for tops, shoes and even accessories. It should also have enough hanging space. Closets with sliding doors save space.
“If you want to improve your life immediately, clean out your closet. Often what we hold onto holds us back.” – Cheryl Richardson
A quick and easy way to improve the appearance of your bookshelf is to simply straighten everything out and line it up. It can make a major impact. When everything’s askew, it can look far messier than it actually is.
Follow these steps to sort and tidy up your magazines and books.
Collect all books and pile them together.
Sort them by category, e.g. biographies, crime novels, hobbies, etc.
Hold each item and only keep the items that delight you. This includes books like coffee table magazines that are fun to look at.
Items that don’t create a joyful feeling, you might want to discard.
If you find the task of separating books that don’t create an emotional response, then start by putting all obvious books you don’t like in a box.
When you discard “old“ books you make space for new books.
Don’t keep books because you think you will read them again, if it doesn’t create a sense of excitement during the process of tidying up. It’s very unlikely that you will read it again.
Try not to start reading any of the books, as this will distract you and complicate the process.
Store books on a bookshelf, floating shelf or in a vertical shelf. Check out vertical shelf ideas on Pinterest.
Keep items of the same category together.
Ideally keep the books standing up. If you stack them in a pile, then place the spine to the front so that you can see what book it is.
Maybe it’s time to rearrange your bookshelf by adding plants or large ornaments.
If you subscribe to magazines keep a limited amount.
Every time you want to keep an issue you have to discard an existing one.
If you only keep it because of an article, then rather cut it out and file the clipping in an appropriate folder, e.g. travel clippings should go in a travel folder.
Throw unwanted magazines away, as it’s very unlikely that you will read old magazines, except for comic books.
Keep magazines piled up with the spine to the front in your bookshelf or store them in a magazine holder.
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Cicero
The living room is a central part of our home and we use the space to relax, work, eat, play and socialise. It can easily look messy with magazines, drinking glasses and toys lying around.
I usually declutter and tidy up the entire space in one session, but for the 52 week Organising Programme, I have divided it into two parts. This week comprises of tidying up the entire living room, as well as all CD, LP and DVD collections. Next week I will focus on sorting and storing of magazines and books.
CD, LP and DVD collections
Nowadays, most of us use music and video streaming services, leaving our DVD’s and CD’s to accumulate dust. If you listen to your collections frequently or if it sparks nostalgia, then hold on to it. If you are in two minds, continue reading…
Start by sorting and clearing out your collections.
Go through each item and check if you still want it. Does it generate a feeling of happiness? Will you ever watch or listen to it again? Our taste and preferences change over the years.
Keep the most memorable and let go of the rest.
You can sell items online or give them away.
Rearrange the items you keep, by grouping them by music genre or movie category.
Before you put anything back, dust and wipe off the storage space, e.g. CD racks or shelf.
If you have a cabinet, allocate some space to store your CD’s and DVD’s. Stack them upright in boxes. Having more items packed away will create a neater appearance in your living room.
TV cabinets with doors are the perfect furniture units, for storing items out of sight. If you don’t have one yet, maybe it’s time to invest in one.
Start by emptying the TV cabinet and any other storage cabinets.
Sort items by category, e.g. DVD’s, candles, general household items, etc.
Discard anything that is old and broken. Remove anything that belongs in another room.
Wipe the inside clean with a wet cloth and soapy water.
Store each category together in boxes or containers.
General living room
The less objects you have, the more spacious and neater your room will appear.
Remove anything that doesn’t belong in the living room and return it to their proper storage spaces.
Do a proper clean of the entire room and move furniture in order to clean underneath it. It might be time to clean your windows, carpets and curtains.
Maybe your space needs a fresh coat of paint. Lighter colours are better for a smaller space and make a room look bigger and brighter.
Maybe rearrange your lounge to enhance the room or improve the seating arrangement.
A large coffee table can fill up the room. Go for smaller side tables, which will provide enough surface space.
If you have a huge collection of trinkets, then invest in a display cabinet. It will look great and remain dust free. You get beautiful metal and glass cabinets from Ikea, in various colours.
Store remote controls in a wooden box or decorative bowl, to avoid having them lying around.
Use table lamps to create soft and ambient lighting.
Create a reading corner with a comfortable armchair and floor lamp.
If you have kids, use a large box to store toys, which will help to keep the living room more organised in future.
Once you have tidied up the entire room, check if you want to add some decorative touches like new cushions, plants or a painting, to make it look more homely.
Make a list of any new items you want to get.
For every new item you want to buy, you have to let go of one or two existing items.
“The living room should be a place where we feel totally at ease.” – Terence Conran
Many of us have limited space at home and find it challenging to organise and store gift cards, wrapping paper and themed decorations such as Christmas and party accessories.
If you have a spare closet or cupboard, then allocate some space, to store your gift bags and decorations. Otherwise, use the bottom space on your bookshelf, to store boxes. Always keep everything together in one area.
All you need are a few boxes and clear plastic bags. You don’t have to buy new boxes and containers, you can use existing boxes which you have lying around at home.
Gift bags and cards
Collect all your gift wrapping items and check if they are still in a good condition.
Discard damaged or tacky looking items.
Group your gifting items by categories such as gift hampers, ribbons and cards. This will give you a better overview.
Store all gift hampers in a bigger hamper or upright in a box.
Keep tissue paper in another hamper or in a box. Tissue paper is ideal for wrapping gifts before you place it in a hamper.
Put gift wrapping rolls upright in a magazine holder or round container. It will keep them neatly together and prevent them from getting damaged.
If you have gift boxes, stack them inside each other to save space.
Place ribbons together with your gift card supplies. If you have a lot of ribbon, then group them by colour and place each colour group in clear plastic bags, which you can store in a separate box.
Store gift cards and card making supplies in another box.
Themed and special occasions decor
This includes all decor for birthdays, Easter, Christmas, etc.
Go through all your decorations and discard old and broken items.
Keep each special occasions category separately.
Place smaller groups of items in clear plastic bags or glass jars, e.g. birthday candles or table confetti.
Store each special occasions category in a separate box or clear container, so you can see what is inside.
You can stack the containers on top of each other.
Label them appropriately.
Christmas decor is usually made up of many items. Store smaller items, such as tree accessories in clear plastic bags and place them in a smaller box.
Roll up light strings around a piece of cardboard, after you have checked if they still work.
Store all your Christmas décor together in one or more large clear containers, which you can keep in the garage or cellar.
“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” – Pierre Corneille
Updating and removing your contacts on the Contacts app of your smartphone, shouldn’t take much of your time. Most of us neglect to keep our contacts up to date and then we sometimes end up having to scroll through an endless list of names before we find the name we are looking for.
You might think it is such a straight forward task, which it is, but I am here to prompt you to action and follow tasks with my weekly blogs. Follow these easy steps:
Open your Contacts app
Scroll through your contact list and delete all the people with whom you no longer have any contact.
In order to simplify your search for restaurants, add the abbreviation in front of all restaurant names e.g. Rest. M Steakhouse.
Immediately save important contact details under your Contacts, before you lose or misplace the information.
Try to add as much information as possible when saving new contact names, especially when adding a new Doctor.
Add the birthdays of your friends so that you can be automatically reminded of all birthdays throughout the year.
Ensure that your contacts are saved in the cloud to make it easier to transfer your contact list to a new smartphone. You will also benefit from the cloud storage when your smartphone gets lost.
“Time is everlasting, but people aren’t. Keep in touch with people whom you love.”
Keeping your personal files organised on your laptop or computer will save you time and effort. It will enable you to easily find any specific information you are looking for and contribute to your overall productivity.
The following steps will help you to manage your files and folders more effectively.
Go through all your files on your hard drive and delete any unimportant or old documents.
Save files in the relevant folders.
Create new folders with sub-folders if needed.
Give files logic and specific names.
Clear your desktop and downloads files on your MacBook.
Save important email attachments to your hard drive.
Have a digital copy of all your personal identifications and documents such as passports, contracts and certificates. This will give you easy access to your documents.
Back up your files on an external hard drive or in the cloud, to avoid losing data when your electronic device gets stolen or damaged.
Immediately file new documents in the relevant folders.
“Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.“ – Peter F. Drucker