In the last 5 weeks, I focused mainly on personal topics such as medical check ups and finances. Now I am moving on to the home front and I will start off with the first thing guests will see when they enter your home – namely the entrance hall. Hallway sizes vary from country to country. I will focus on smaller entrances with limited space.
Many entrance halls are filled with shoes, bags, boxes, bottles and furniture that fill up the small space and give it a messy appearance. The nicest entrance halls are minimalistic with only the basic necessities like a coat hanger, chair, small cupboard for shoes and a surface for keys.
Helpful tips for organising your entrance hall
Try to remove all the small items such as shoes, bags, coats, etc. from the entrance hall.
Place same category items together and sort through it. Discard all damaged, old and undesired items.
Put crates with empty bottles in your car, to take to the shops. Discard those online boxes and take back the items that need to be stored in the cellar or garage.
Place shoes and coats that you only use seldom, back into your closet.
Only the essential items that you use nearly daily should go back into the entrance area.
Before you pack your essential items back, have a proper look at your space and see what furniture should be removed, replaced or added.
The basic furniture that an entrance hall needs is: a coat hanger, a narrow, low cupboard for shoes and bags, a shelf, a chair and a mirror.
Hallway shoe storage suggestions – have a cupboard where you can store shoes or use a box with compartments where shoes fit in.
A DIY idea is to use the front part of a wooden ladder and attach it to the wall. You can place shoes on the various steps. This will look funky and also take up less space.
If you don’t have space for a cupboard or thin table, maybe add a floating shelf where you can place your keys.
Instead of having a coat rack, you can use a beautiful wall coat hanger, which takes up less space.
I like to have a mirror in the hallway, because it’s good to take a last glance in the mirror before you leave your house and it also helps to make your space look bigger.
It’s fine to place things, which need to leave the house, in the entrance hall overnight, as long as you plan to take it away the next day.
Maybe your space needs a fresh coat of paint. Lighter colours are better for small spaces and will help to make the hallway appear bigger.
Once you have placed everything back in the entrance hall, see if you can add some decorative touches like adding a plant, painting or rug, to make it look more homely.
Get inspiration for your entrance hall from pictures on Pinterest and Instagram.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Sohn
We all have items in our closet that doesn’t fit us. Most people only wear 20% of their closet for 80% of the time. In order to get dressed effortlessly and always look your best, you need to invest some quality time in sorting out your wardrobe and clearing out everything that adds no value.
It is beneficial to know what clothing suits your body shape the best. You can visit an image and style consultant, who will help you to identify your body type and analyse the colours that suit you. Otherwise, check out YouTube tutorials on how to determine your body type and colour analysis. Once you have established your body shape you will find it so much easier to discard the unflattering clothes in your wardrobe.
Follow this helpful guideline when sorting and storing your clothes.
Plan to block an entire weekend to tidy up your wardrobe.
Remove everything you have from your closet. Also clothes stored in other closets or suitcases. This is the only way to get a good overview of what you own.
Pile everything onto your bed. Most of us are shocked at the amount of clothing we have gathered over the years.
Go through each item and ask yourself: Do I like it? Does it fit me? Does it look good on me? If yes, then keep it.
Discard all 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.
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 clothes you want to sell or give to charity.
Curate a capsule closet, which typically contains 20-30 quality pieces, which you can multiply into many different outfit combos.
Maybe you don’t want to let go of some expensive dresses, which you never wear. You can sell them to an upmarket second hand store and use the money to buy a beautiful new dress, which will suit you better.
Once you are done sorting, remove the pile of discarded clothes to create more space.
Place the charity items in large bin bags. Fold the items you want to sell and place them in another 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.
This is a good time to take a break…
Separate your winter and summer clothes.
Organise 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.
Repack all your clothing into your closet.
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.
Place items you wear more often such as lingerie, pyjamas and T-shirts, on eye level height.
Separate knickers and bras. Arrange bras in a flat box or drawer to rest completely behind one another.
Store smaller groups of items e.g. socks in a box to contain them better.
Roll up stockings and scarves.
Organise shoes into sub-categories such as boots, trainers and sandals.
After placing everything neatly into your closet, you should give yourself a big pat on the shoulder. You have accomplished a massive task! Now that you know exactly what you have in your closet, shopping will become a pleasure. Get inspiration from blogs and magazines, but always keep in mind what clothes suit your body type the best.
“Opening up your closet should be like arriving at a good party where everyone you see is someone you like.” – Amy Collins
Successful financial organising enables you to be in control of your spending and savings. Being financially independent gives you peace of mind and an overall sense of wellbeing. When your finances are not in order and you find yourself in debt, it causes stress and anxiety.
13 helpful tips to achieve financial happiness
Creating a budget is always the first step to organising your finances.
Set up a budget template for the year with all your income and expenses.
Keep all your receipts and invoices, so you can calculate your expenses accurately. Monitor your actual spending each month in order to determine your spending habits.
If you have an overdraft or debt, then your priority should be to pay it off before you start focussing on saving money.
Cut down or eliminate any “want” spending by opting for cheaper products or putting a time break on luxury spending, until your financial situation is in order.
Financial advisers recommend that you try to allocate 50% of your income on things you need (house, groceries, transportation, etc.) and 30% for things you want (eating out, entertainment, luxury items and holidays)
The rest, which is 20% of your income, should go towards saving. If you can only afford 5%, it’s still better than nothing at all.
Your savings should include an emergency fund. Ideally you should have 6 months’ income saved, in case you lose your work. This is also includes unforeseeable expenses such as home or car maintenance.
Not all of us earn enough to follow the 50/30/20 budget rule, but try to get there and avoid falling for the luxury traps like renting or buying expensive apartments, cars and clothes you cannot afford.
Pay all your monthly payments on time. Have debit orders in place which deducts payments automatically.
Stay up-to-date with current financial news and developments by reading financial articles.
Stop comparing yourself with others, which only leads to feeling unsatisfied with what you have.
Avoid instant gratification and try to save up for something nice, instead of incurring debt.
Although many people struggle with finances, everyone can benefit from better planning and organising, which leads to financial stability and independence.
“A budget isn’t about restricting what you can spend. It gives you permission to spend without feeling guilt or regret.” – Anonymous
On the topic of living a healthy lifestyle, now is a good time to organise your medical checkups and dental appointment for the year. Don’t delay serious health issues, such as breathing problems or constant pain in your back, any longer. Make that appointment today still.
11 tips to better medical and personal care
To get an appointment with a specialist can sometimes take months. If your case is urgent, ask your doctor to contact the specialist on your behalf in order to get a priority appointment.
When going for expensive procedures like orthopaedic treatment, check what your health insurance will cover and get a written cost estimate, to avoid any financial surprises.
Make sure that you have the best medical cover you can afford. Maybe invest in an additional hospital plan to ensure that you can choose the hospital of your choice.
If you were unhappy with the service or consultation you received last time, then look for a new doctor.
Ask friends or family for referrals for new specialists or doctors with a good reputation.
If you want to be charitable then participate in the next blood donor action at your workplace or go to your local hospital.
We have a huge shortage of organ donors worldwide, have you ever considered it? If so, make sure you have the necessary identification.
Personal care also includes skin care. Use the right products to care for your skin, especially the older you get.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, go for a dermatological check-up every second year to see if you have any cancer spots on your skin.
Make sure all appointments are entered into your calendar and that you have saved the contact details in your contact list. Update or delete your existing contact details.
Make sure all the medical bills are paid on time to avoid paying extra admin fees for late payment.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
At the beginning of the year we tend to be more motivated to start exercising again and to eat healthier. Try to stick to a new plan or schedule for at least 2 weeks in order for it to become a habit. Once it becomes a habit, it will be easier for you to carry on and you will start enjoying your healthy lifestyle.
Join a fitness gym near your home or work place. It should be convenient for you to get to, as one tends to stop attending when it becomes a hassle, especially on days when you are less motivated.
Work out a plan, which suits your schedule.
Exercise at least 3 times a week to lose weight. Twice a week is fine if you want to maintain your weight.
Go through all your exercise clothes and trainers. Discard any worn out or old pieces.
Invest in some new clothes if you need to. Ideally get 3 sets of clothing, unless you are washing daily.
Research healthy eating options. There are so many online diets to choose from. Make sure it’s a sustainable eating plan, otherwise you will eventually stop and not be able to shed those few kilograms you want to lose.
Try to cut sugar, processed meat and refined carbs, as majority of research studies have proven that these foods are bad for us.
You might have to invest in a new recipe book with healthy foods. Or collect recipes online.
In order to be more organised, you need to learn how to manage your overall life better. It starts with you and then it will flow over into your home space. Everyone can learn to be more organised. From planning things and writing things down, to getting rid of unwanted items and getting things done. It’s all possible as long as you are committed.
9 Tips on how to organise your personal life
Keep track of your daily commitments, with the help of your cell phone calendar app.
Try the 24me Smart Personal Assistant app for free, which combines calendar, to-do list, notes and personal accounts. There is also a premium option at a cost.
Create reminders for important meetings and appointments.
Learn to say no to people and things that don’t add value to your life. Time is precious, so don’t get sucked into activities which add unnecessary pressure in your busy schedule.
Leave enough time for commuting to avoid rushing from one appointment to another.
Create a to-do list for all your daily tasks and update it steadily. This will help you stay more organised and will remind you of important tasks. No more forgetting things.
Always write things down before you forget them.
Crossing something off your to-do list will motivate you and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Prepare a goal tracker for the year. This is the best way to ensure that you will reach your goals.
May this be the year, where you will be better organised and able to achieve all your goals and dreams.
“Your future is created by what you do today. Not tomorrow.”
Many people are still on holiday during the first week of January, which is why I am starting off the year with the task of clearing your inbox on your cell phone. You can do this anywhere, while you have some free time available.
Delete all unwanted emails and junk emails.
Unsubscribe from all unwanted newsletters that don’t add any value to your life.
Flag important emails, which you need to action or use for future activities.
Create email folders for important topics such as travel, health, recipes, etc. Some topics might require subfolders, e.g. Travel (Paris / South Africa / New York) and so on.
Archive all emails you want to keep, by dropping them into the various folders, which you have created. This will help you to search for specific information quickly and easily.
Empty your junk and trash bin.
Get into the habit of deleting unwanted emails immediately, instead of letting them accumulate.
Clean out your inbox on a monthly basis.
If you are back at work, then also clean up your work inbox. I wish you all a great start to the new year!
“Clutter is one of the greatest enemies of efficiency and stealers of time.” – Don Aslett
I have prepared a 52 week Organise your Life Programme to help you create a tidy household and lead a healthier and happier lifestyle throughout the year. Each week I will focus on a new topic with suggestions and advice which you can follow and perform.
You have an entire week to work on each specific topic, which makes the decluttering less intense, then having to do the entire house in a limited amount of time. Also check out my Declutter Checklist with all the important organising elements for each room.
This is the first post of many to come. I enjoy sharing on the topic of meaningful and organised living, and hope that I can make a difference in your life. I find reading quotes very inspirational and helpful when dealing with big activities or new projects.
We all have areas where we lack order in our lives. From the email inbox that has over 1000 entries, which needs to be deleted to the messy wardrobe, filled with clothes that don’t fit you. In order to enjoy simplicity and balance, we need to eliminate clutter and only keep things, which add value to our lives. It’s not so difficult to achieve this. Take it one step at a time. Let’s start with some motivational quotes…
Look on Pinterest for inspiration and save images of storage ideas and beautiful interiors, which you would like to copy. It always helps to have a better idea of what you want your place to look like at the end.