Pinterest stole my life… and it’s coming for yours too


Pinterest is a tricky thing. When I first discovered it, I spent many, MANY hours diving right down that rabbit hole. After that, I had to go cold turkey or risk never seeing the light of day again.


pin-all-the-things

Yup, that’s about right



Having said that, I think it might be time to dip my toe tentatively back in the waters of infinite wisdom. (More and more bloggers I know are now turning to Pinterest rather than Google when they have a question about something.)

The beauty of Pinterest is that it’s visual. It gives you a snapshot, so that you can scan at your leisure rather than always being bogged down with words.

With that in mind, here’s my Pinterest board for all things cleaning and organising:






Do I implement all the tips? No. Do I implement any at all? Yes. So that’s something. And the rest are there for when I win the National Lottery and buy my dream home. Any day now! πŸ˜‰

If you only implement one tip from here, or it inspires you to get your junk drawer in order (here’s mine), it’ll all be worth it.

But maybe leave it until you’ve got a good few hours to spare…


Do you use Pinterest? What do you mainly use it for?




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Got Paper & A Pen? Then Get Cracking On A Better You


If you were to ask my nearest and dearest to describe me, I’d be surprised if “organised” wasn’t a word that appeared quite frequently. I’m forever writing lists to keep myself on track. I used to scribble notes on anything that was close to hand – a scrap of paper, a white board, the back of an envelope… In fact, I still sometimes come across old letters and things with ‘to do’ lists scrawled on them.

Recently, I’ve ratcheted it up another notch, by trying to keep everything in one place. (I say “trying” because I use both digital and paper calendars and ‘to do’ lists.) It’s still a work in progress but, today, I’d like to share how I keep myself and my family organised, and some tips for how you can do it too.

Get organised

Source: bringitonni.info

The answer is pretty simple – a calendar. Ours hangs in the kitchen and keeps track of anything that affects the household – appointments, times when one of us will be out of the house (for meetings, lunch dates, business trips, etc.), birthdays, anniversaries, visitors, etc. It means my husband and I can both see upcoming events and plan accordingly.




(I know a lot of people use digital calendars these days, and most of the tips below can be applied there too, but for the purposes of this post, I’m sticking with paper. Keep an eye out for a future post on digital calendars!)

I also colour-coordinate our calendar, which may be a step too far for some people, but I can tell at a glance which one of us is busy at a given time, rather than having to read through an endless list of black ink to try to figure out who’s supposed to be where. My appointments are green; my husband’s are purple; our daughter’s are pink; anything involving just my husband and I (e.g. a wedding invitation, date night, etc.) is blue; all 3 of us is orange; birthdays are red; and, finally, miscellaneous (e.g. someone coming to visit or do work on the house) is black.

(I know, I know. I’m a crazy person. πŸ˜› )

Colours

Source: annwood on Flickr – paintbox 2/09/09



I also use paperclips to attach things directly to the calendar. So, for instance, a wedding will be written directly onto the calendar, but the invitation will also be clipped to the bottom so we can refer to it for directions, accommodation, dress code, etc.

 

So here are my tips to keep yourself (and others) organised:

 

1. Any calendar will do – just get it set up.

There are lots of options to choose from, but don’t spend too much time thinking about it. Some people use a fancy white board, some use a calendar customised with photos of their kids, and some (like me) use a store-bought calendar. Anything will suffice. In the beginning, I used to print out Google Calendar pages. If even that presents a problem for you, just grab a piece of paper, write the month at the top, and divide the rest of the page into numbered squares. As long as there’s adequate space for you to write, it’s good enough. It’s that simple.

Blank January 2014 calendar






Function first, fun later (see #6).






2. Capture everything relevant.

In the beginning, sit down and write in every appointment you can think of. (If your calendar covers other people, get them involved too.) If it has to be done on a certain date, it goes in the calendar. Pull out appointment cards, invitations, flight details, etc. and get them all down.

Note how I said everything “relevant”. These are for things that have a date attached to them. For instance, you may WANT to get a particular errand done on Friday, but unless it absolutely HAS to be done on Friday, it goes on your ‘to do’ list, not on your calendar.

(BUT you could clip a little reminder to the side of the calendar, as long as it doesn’t start getting cluttered. For example, every January we get our oven cleaned so we can clear out the Christmas gunk. It doesn’t have a specific date, but it will once I call the guy and find out when he’s available. I clip his business card to the bottom corner of the January page.)

If you work the same hours every week, you wouldn’t put that on your calendar. But you would put holidays on it. The calendar is to remind you of things that you or your family might otherwise forget. No-one will forget that you work 9-5 Monday to Friday if you do it every single week. But they might forget that you have the first week in February off. THAT goes on the calendar.

Note: if it’s a family calendar, try to keep it to things that affect everyone. I might have a blog post to publish on a particular day, but my husband doesn’t need to know that, and it doesn’t need to clutter up the family calendar. Have a separate, personal diary for things like that.


3. Keep it clean.

Chalkboard Alphabet

Keeping a calendar is supposed to detract from your stress, not add to it. If it’s indecipherable, it’s not serving its purpose. Keep only relevant information on it (see #2 above), and keep it as neat and tidy as your handwriting will allow. Leave some space between each item so you can tell at a glance how many things you’ve got going on that day.



4. Consider colour-coding.

Also great for at-a-glance ease. You could use different colour pens, or different colour highlighters, or even stickers.

Either use different colours for different people or, alternatively, use one colour for appointments, one colour for work-related projects and deadlines, one for birthdays, one for parties, etc.

Try to keep it simple. Until you get used to it, keep a note of what each colour means right on your calendar.


5. Keep it updated.

There’s no point having a calendar if it doesn’t contain all your important times and dates. As soon as something arises, put it on the calendar. If it’s something you don’t have time to insert immediately, clip the letter/invitation/whatever to the calendar and mark the date with a star. That way you’ll still know at a glance that you have a commitment that day, and you can sit down when you have time and write in the details.

If you live with others, get them used to doing the same. If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t happen. They won’t make that mistake twice!

I keep a pen clipped to mine so I can write things in immediately.


6. Make it fun… eventually.

My calendar is a Where’s Wally one (or, if you’re from the States, Where’s Waldo). Each month I look forward to turning the page and having new things to find. It’s silly, but it keeps it fun and interesting. I like using it.

Where's Wally calendar

If you’re not used to using a calendar, function is the important thing to begin with, as in #1 above. After that, break out the colours, stickers, Washi tape… whatever makes it more appealing for you.

Just remember not to overwhelm it. You still need to be able to spot things at a glance. That’s difficult if you’ve got the page cluttered with cute kitten stickers.


6. Put it somewhere visible.

What’s the point in having a calendar if you can’t see it? If you have to go look for it, you’ll never use it. Hang it in a place where everyone passes regularly. Ours is in the kitchen near the fridge. How many times do we go to the fridge each day? Several. There’s no excuse for not knowing what’s coming up.


7. Break the rules!

If colour-coding isn’t your thing, don’t do it. If you prefer to note things in hieroglyphics, do that! The important thing is to do whatever works for you. Once you’ve got all the information down, the ‘hows’ don’t really matter.


Once you’ve got a calendar up and running, you’ll never miss an appointment again. You’ll feel more in control, less stressed, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time. (“What time was that appointment again? I better ring and double check.” “I know I put that invitation somewhere… Now where is it?”)

PLUS, seeing things on your calendar will prompt you to get other stuff done too. When you see that birthday party invitation, you’ll know to go out and buy a gift. When you see that your kid has soccer practice this week, you’ll know to throw the sports kit in the washing machine. When you see that you’ve got a particularly busy week, you’ll know to get the grocery shopping done in advance so you’re not living on takeaways… or starving.

Take a few minutes (or hours, if needs be) to set up a calendar, and a few seconds a day to keep it updated, and the benefits will be far-reaching.


Plan to be more productive – some helpful hints to get the most out of your day

Productivity1The best way to be more productive is to spend more time planning. That may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s true. It’s difficult to be productive when you don’t really know what to do next. How many minutes and hours have you wasted by just looking around and wondering where to start? That’s where having a plan comes in handy. There’s no time for ‘what now?’ or ‘I know there’s something I’m supposed to be doing…’.

So spend a few minutes each evening planning out your next day. Grab your laptop, tablet, or good old fashioned pen and paper, and start writing down a list of all the things you need to do the next day. Notice that I said “need”. These are your priorities – the things that absolutely have to get done. You have to pick the kids up from school, and you have to do that important work presentation.

Productivity2Now jot down all the things you’d like to get done. This is usually where things like cleaning come in. Yes, you’d like to tackle that pile of papers, and it will need to be done eventually, but right now it’s not as important as sitting down to a meal with your family, or helping a friend who’s going through a tough time. Put it on the list and realise that it’s not going to go away, but also recognise that it’s not a priority.

Productivity3Your priorities will be different to the next person’s, so re-jig your list until you’re happy that it really does reflect your order of importance. Me? I do mine chronologically by hour, so I slot in all the things I have to do at the appropriate time, then fill in all the blank hours with things from the remainder of my list.

What’s important here is that you be realistic — I never schedule a lot of housework on a day when I’ll be running around town because, of course, I’m going to be physically tired. However, those are great days to finish reading those library books that are due back soon. Similarly, days spent sitting at a laptop for a few hours are great for fitting in a brisk walk or some of the chores that require a little more effort than others. Also be mindful of when you’re most energetic. I like to get the bigger tasks over and done with early in the day so I can spend my evenings relaxing, but some people only come alive when the sun goes down.

It’s also important to slot in some “buffer time”. Being realistic about how long something will take is one thing, but life always throws little obstacles in our way. The washing machine will break down, the phone will ring with someone requiring attention, the internet connection will drop, an unexpected visitor will show up… Or you’ll just plain run out of steam. Don’t jam pack your day with activities; you want the satisfaction of being able to complete all your chores with some time to spare, rather than rushing and racing to keep up and feeling worn out and fed up. Being productive should motivate you, not make you feel miserable. You should want to clap yourself on the back, not collapse in a heap.

Productivity4To give you an idea of how to plan your next day effectively, here are some things to consider:

  • Write your list and prioritise it, as outlined above, not forgetting to include time for the everyday routine stuff, like meals, showers, etc. (When I first started writing lists, they would often go astray when I forgot to include time to eat lunch or to get ready to go somewhere). Include everything, even if it’s an hour of catching up on your favourite TV programme.

  • Pick out the clothes you’ll wear, making sure they’re washed and ironed, and include accessories. What’s the point in having the perfect outfit picked out in advance if you then spend half the morning looking for appropriate footwear? (A helpful hint here is to check the weather forecast for the next day. This may dictate your choice of clothing, and also prompt you to put your umbrella in your bag!)

  • Look at each item on your list and gather what you’ll need for each one. For example, if you have a presentation, you’ll need your notes, so go get those and put them in your bag, or if you’re planning a workout, make sure your gym bag is packed and ready to go. 

  • Make sure you have contact details for anyone you have to meet, and send a quick reminder to them so that you don’t waste time waiting around for someone who’s forgotten your appointment. If it’s a friend, a quick text message saying, “Are we still on for tomorrow?” will suffice; if it’s a professional meeting, an email saying something along the lines of, “I look forward to meeting you tomorrow at 2pm at the Conference Centre” should do the trick.

  • Plug any electronic equipment you’ll need in to charge.

  • Pack a lunch or some snacks.

And that’s it. Carry your list with you the next day so that at any given time you can glance at it and immediately remind yourself where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing. You’ll feel more in control, less stressed, you’ll be less likely to forget anything in your rush out the door, and you’ll get so much more done than if you were trying to play catch-up all day. You’ll also sleep better because you won’t spend half the night tossing and turning, trying to remind yourself of things you need to do.

Productivity5Try it this evening and see how much stress you save yourself and how much more you accomplish tomorrow. Being prepared = being productive.

De-junking the junk drawer

Most people have a junk drawer. Me? I have a whole cupboard (or ‘press’, as we call it here in Ireland). Whenever my husband’s looking for anything, I inevitably end up replying “it’s in the press under the table”.

I did a bit of a clear-out of it just after Christmas, but it was still looking pretty messy and disorganised when I recently peeked in.



JD1

Quite the state of disarray. Luckily, my beloved IKEA came to the rescue in the form of this set of mini drawers from the MOPPE range.


MOPPE Mini chest of drawers IKEA Untreated wood; can be treated with oil or glazing paint for a personal touch and a more durable surface.



All I had to do was sort out all the small little bits and bobs that were handy to keep around, but not so handy to keep together. I came up with the following piles:

  • light sources (bulbs, torches, etc.) – these were quite bulky so took up the two bottom drawers;


JD2


  • batteries & plugs (we have WAY more batteries than this, I just have to go around the house and find them!);
  • basic DIY (measuring and levelling);



JD3

  • nails and screws; and
  • sticky stuff (sellotape and glue).



JD4

Obviously, there were a few bits and pieces that wouldn’t fit into the drawers, given that they’re quite small (width 15cm x depth 17cm x height 10cm per drawer, approximately). There were a few screwdrivers, pencils, etc. that were too long, so I used this empty box of washing tablets for those:



JD5

I’ve been finding these tubs very useful lately. I’m also currently using one to store medicines, and I think I’m going to use the one I’ve just recently finished to store the million pens and pencils I seem to accumulate!


Anyway, when everything was stashed away neatly, I popped the boxes back into the press, along with the drill and box of drill bits. Here’s how lovely and organised it looked afterwards:



JD6

Not bad, even if I do say so myself. πŸ™‚ Admittedly, it all still looks a bit bland, but the next plan is to remove the labels from the box of washing tablets so that I can clearly see the contents, and also to paint and label the drawer set. They had some beautifully painted ones in IKEA, and I was sorry I didn’t take a picture of them at the time because I can’t seem to find anything similar online. But that’s all for another day! My main focus for now is just finding a home for everything. I can worry about how pretty the home is later. πŸ˜‰


The MOPPE drawer unit is great, and I can think of a million different uses it could have. For instance, it would be great for organising different threads, spices, crayons, tea lights… Pretty much anything small and fiddly. The only downside I’ve found to it is that, being wooden and untreated, the drawers don’t exactly glide out. I’m hoping to solve that by running a wax candle along the edges, or something similar. (Suggestions?)


At this stage, I’m sure some of you are wondering what happened to the other shelf of stuff that was there. Well, it’s a little more organised, but not enough to be shown… yet! That’s another little project that’s on the list!


What does your “junk drawer” look like? And is it, like mine, more than just a drawer?


9 Maximum Benefits From Minimal Effort

In a recent post, I listed a few little things you could do to “be better than you were yesterday”. Today, I want to share the one small thing I did to kick-start my cleaning and de-cluttering ways. It’s a habit I’ve managed to continue to this day, the benefits of which have been more numerous than I had initially anticipated.

So what is it? Well, the very first thing I do in the morning – EVERY morning – is dress the bed.

Bed 1

Source: alibaba.com

Does that sound ridiculously simple? Or like something you’ve tried a million times before? I know a lot of people, including my former self, give up on this quite quickly because they can’t see the point when the bed is just going to be messy again in another few hours. But here, let me outline some of the benefits for you:

1. You start the day off right. By doing this one little thing in the morning, you’re hard-wiring your brain to understand that things need to go back in their place when you’re done with them. It’s such a simple thing, but if you start the day off with a clean bed, you’ll be more likely to end it with a cleaner home. And you know what? It just feels good to look at something crisp and clean first thing in the morning, and know that it’s because of your own (minimal) effort. It gives you a great sense of achievement and satisfaction that stays with you throughout your day.

2. It ends your day right. Just like that great sense of achievement you feel first thing in the morning, you’ll be reminded of that last thing at night when you go to your room and are confronted by a beautiful, made bed. No matter what has happened that day, you’ll feel great slipping in between those straightened sheets.

3. You sleep better. For the reasons outlined above. When I lived alone, my bed was always a mess. Not only was it never made, but it was a dumping ground for clothes, shoes, papers, books, etc. I always just assumed I was a bad sleeper but, looking back, how could I have slept well when I was making going to bed such a chore? I had to move things and straighten things before I could even lie down, leaving me subconsciously frazzled and frustrated. And we all know how difficult it is to sleep when we’re annoyed about something. Even when the rest of your life is in chaos, if the last thing you see at night is something clean and organised, you’ll feel much more soothed and in control.

Source: fitnessgoop.com

4. You’ll feel calmer and less stressed. Again, this leads on from the benefits above, but having one area in your life that you have control over can make all the difference when it feels like everything else is getting on top of you. It’s similar to meditation, in that it helps you find that one area where you feel peaceful and serene, no matter what’s going on around you. Making your bed means the first and last thing you see every day is a calm environment – proof positive that you’re master of your own domain.

5. It will spread. Pretty soon, like me, you won’t be happy with just a made bed – you’ll want to clear all those clothes off the back of the chair, too. So that will become the second thing you do in the morning. One thing leads to another, particularly when you see the benefits that first thing has.

6. It sets a good example. Not only will it encourage you to form more good habits, but it will also encourage your family. It’s very easy to get complacent about a dirty house, but most people, no matter how stuck in their ways, will see the benefits of a clean home and will think twice before messing it up. Behaviour is learned – be a good teacher.

Of course, there’s no point making a bed if the bedclothes are dirty. Have a set day for changing the bedclothes, and stick to it. This will vary from household to household – some people need to change them every day, while others can go for a week or more. If you’re in the latter group, try to aim for once a week. Sundays are great for this because, not only are you starting your Monday off right, you’re starting your whole week! But find what works for you. Here are three benefits to clean bedclothes:

7. You breathe better. We spend about a third of our lives in bed, so we don’t want our beds to be dusty and dirty and covered in sweat and grime. That stuff is going right up our noses as we sleep. Β Germs and bacteria thrive in those conditions. Don’t give them a chance!

8. You’ll have cleaner, clearer skin. What’s the point in washing your face and maintaining a good skincare routine if you’re just going to go rub your face in a greasy, grimy pillow? Also, don’t put on your moisturiser last thing at night, or half of it will end up on the pillow. Give it time to soak into your skin before hitting the hay.

Source: tips4her.com

Source: tips4her.com

9. You get to enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures. Ask a group of people to list some of life’s simple pleasures and, invariably, getting into a bed with clean sheets crops up. Why deny yourself?

And if all that isn’t enough to sway you, how about the fact that all those benefits come from something that takes less than a minute? Seriously. Your bed doesn’t have to be made to hotel perfection, it just needs to be neat and tidy and clean. Here are some tips to make the job quicker if you find yourself struggling:

a) Get a fitted sheet. One of the biggest bug-bears for me was straightening and tucking in sheets. It just took so much time and effort. Enter the fitted sheet, and I never had to bother with that again. When I wake up in the morning, the sheet is still in the same place it was when I went to bed the night before. That eliminates one step from the bed-making process straight away. (There are loads of videos and sites online that demonstrate how to fold them properly, if that’s what’s worrying you.)

b) Get rid of the extra pillows you don’t use. You know, the ones that are really just there for decoration but get kicked off the bed as soon as you get in. How much time do you spend taking them off and putting them back on the bed, when they serve no practical purpose whatsoever? Why do you put yourself through it?

c) Get help from someone. Either both do it together, or take it in turns. If you have kids and they’re any way old enough, get them to dress their own beds. Teach them good habits.

d) If you really can’t bring yourself to wash and/or change your bedclothes on a regular basis, or you just don’t have the time, consider just changing the pillowcases. Any step at all is better than none.

Source: xpress.com

Source: xpress.com

And that’s pretty much that. It takes me less than a minute, perhaps even less than 30 seconds, to straighten the pillows and the duvet. But the benefits (health, happiness, a sense of calm and control, etc.) far outweigh any exertions. Try it out for a few days and let me know how you get on. I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.

 

Mastering The Master Bedroom Brings Back Memories

This was almost a non-post (or a ‘not yet’ post) but for one small detail, which I will get to shortly.

Although my husband and I moved in together a year and a half ago, I still had crates of stuff I had never unpacked lying around. The worst area for this was the master bedroom, where I had just lined everything up against the wall and left it there. Now, I’ve been chipping away at this for the past four or five weeks, so the ‘before’ picture doesn’t nearly give you an idea of how bad it initially was.

1

Here’s an “artist’s impression” of how it looked beforehand:

1.5

How Disney or Pixar haven’t snapped me up as an animator, I’ll never know. πŸ˜‰ It was actually even worse than that, because it was two crates high AND two crates deep, so there was barely any space to move between them and the bed.

Anyway, as you can see, I was already quite a ways through the mess. Unlike my previous habit of trying to completely de-clutter an entire area all in one go and getting burned out and fed up quite quickly, I decided that this year things were going to be different. So I tasked myself with just de-cluttering one crate a week. So far, it’s been going well.

Yesterday, I had that same task. As usual, I was dreading it. Until, that is, I actually got stuck in and realised, as always, that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d built it up in my head to be. So, instead of getting rid of just one crate, I ended up emptying two (plus some extra bits). Isn’t that always the way! Here’s the ‘after’:

IMG_1056

Now I realise that there’s still some work to be done, so it’s not the OFFICIAL ‘after’ picture, but I left it at that for various reasons:

1. I had already accomplished more than I set out to.

2. The dust was starting to irritate my sinuses.

3. My back was beginning to get sore.

4. I was hungry.

5. I had other things on my ‘to do’ list that I didn’t want to neglect.

But here’s the thing: of all the stuff I emptied from those crates, about 95% of it ended up either in the bin, the recycling, or the shredder. In other words, it was totally useless junk that was just sitting around gathering dust and stressing me out for no reason whatsoever. Here’s the pile of papers (mostly old college notes!) that I was able to recycle:

IMG_1055

Yes, that’s about a 12 inch stack of paper that was serving absolutely no positive purpose in my life. Good riddance! I can’t tell you how good it felt to finally be free of it. I’ve been hanging on to old college notes with the age-old intention of going through them again someday… until I realised that day was, realistically, never going to come. And would serve absolutely no benefit even if it did.

What I did keep was the folders they were stored in, which now saves me from going out and buying more, which I had intended to do for work stuff. So, by de-cluttering, I’ve literally lifted a weight off, and saved myself money!

So if clutter made up about 95% of the mess, what was the other 5%? About 4% was useful stuff that was re-distributed throughout the house (for example, the folders went into the office); the other 1% went to the ‘memories‘ box – the big storage tub I fill with things that have no practical, day-to-day use, but are of sentimental value (tickets, letters, gifts, etc.).

And here’s the small detail I mentioned earlier that was the icing on the cake: among all the mess, I found a page that my ‘then boyfriend, now husband’ and I had scribbled notes on back and forth to each other during a college lecture. It was so lovely to read back over those memories from so long ago, particularly as yesterday marked six months since we got married. And the real clincher is that the page ended with these immortal words:

 

Me: “Imagine how much fun it’ll be tryna figure out what this is in 20 yrs time.”
Him: “Imagine what kind of loony tune keeps this dross for 20 years.”

 

Eight years and counting, my love. πŸ˜‰ x


More cleaning than usually goes on in the laundry room…

Although I’ve tackled a few disaster areas in my home in the past few weeks – most notably my kitchen and sitting room (that’s living room to all my American friends) – there was one space that I had completely neglected. My laundry room is tiny but, because it’s got a counter that runs the length of it and because it’s right next to the kitchen, it becomes a dumping ground. And, you know, the piles of laundry don’t help either. So today I decided to tackle it. Here’s what it looked like before:

Laundry 1

Pretty shameful, huh? The pile of clothes in the background is waiting to be washed, while the pile in the foreground is waiting to be ironed and put away. But, as you can see, no real sense of rhyme or reason, and various items in there that definitely don’t belong in the laundry room. Can you imagine how I feel every time I look at it? Stressed, ashamed, pathetic, disorganised… And, though I know the black jumper I want to wear is in there somewhere, I daren’t disturb the pile for fear of it toppling over. Something had to be done, if only for my peace of mind.

Luckily, I went to IKEA last week and spotted these handy little things:

IMG_1010

It’s a frame with sliding tubs (from the Antonius range), plus a basket I picked up to corral all our washing tablets, detergents, stain removers, etc. The tubs came in two sizes, so I bought two small and one large. And then it was just a matter of putting it all together (less than ten minutes), separating the piles of clothes into their new homes, and using a marker to label the handle of each tub. Et VOILA:

Laundry

Now on to the rest of the counter. After removing everything that didn’t belong there and re-homing it, I tidied up the space and was left with a lovely warm, fuzzy feeling. BEHOLD!

IMG_1017

OK, it’s not quite up to Martha Stewart’s standard, but it’s a big improvement and, for now, I’m very pleased with it. It makes me feel much less stressed when I walk in, because it’s no longer in complete chaos. The tubs keep the clothes separated so I don’t have to go trawling through a huge mountain to try to find all the whites, the ironing pile is neatly stacked in the blue and black crate, and all the cleaning bits and bobs (bar a few spares which will get used up quite quickly) are kept together in my little brown basket. Not only does everything seem much more manageable, but I can now see at a glance what cleaning products need replacing.

So not just a more organised room, but a mood-booster too. A clean home place makes for a happy head space!

Star