Say Yes to a New and Fulfilling Clutter Free Life

Say Yes to a New and Fulfilling Clutter Free Life

What’s wrong with clutter? I mean, isn’t clutter part of your stuff that has Just accumulated over time? Well, clutter can be in more ways than one harmful to not only your space but also your life. Many of us get used to our space the way it is; all the clutter included. In some way it may form part of our natural surrounding so much so that we tend to lose the feeling of having a clutter free life. 

To better explain the issue of clutter, I always give an example of someone who is short sighted, without correction, he or she is somehow content with the inadequacies in his/her vision. It might be a little uncomfortable once in a while but the person remains unbothered all the same. In the event that he/ she gets a pair of corrective glasses, the vision becomes so clear that you start to wonder why they ever settled on walking around without glasses. That is exactly what clutter does to you! It is the shortsightedness in your vision that needs fixing.

Was the person blind without the classes? No!

Did the person function optimally without the glasses? No! Were the glasses helpful in his/her quality of life? Absolutely!

Clutter is more like shortsightedness, it does not technically cause pain, but it is one hell of an uncomfortable position to stay in.

So back to our clutter, how exactly is it uncomfortable? 

  • Time wastage– clutter will waste your time! For starters you will always be taking an extra five minutes or ten in your day just to look for something you “misplaced” just because you cannot find it among the heavy pile of, yes you are right, Clutter! With the kind of life we are having here in Hong Kong we all know how much ten minutes means to your employer.
  • Mind clogging– the human mind is one beautiful organ in the body. It works more or less like a computer. It processes information from all the sensory inputs. And just like a computer, the more the random inputs, the slower the processing. Clutter has a way of getting into clear thinking. It is the little distractions that come from misplaced items, disorganized items, repeated purchases etc. that actively nibble into your processing capacity making you think and function at a slower pace. At least you now know why you cannot complete assignments and tasks in time.
  • Financial burden– How many times have you ever bought something only to look for it three days later and you cannot find it? This mostly happens when dealing with small items like cufflinks, socks earrings, bracelets etc. These small purchases end up amounting to an enviable portion of your paycheck. Do you really have to buy new stuff every month just because of clutter? I guess not. 
  • Cutter is just unattractive– Given a choice between a well-organized clutter free room and a poorly organized room full of clutter, every self-loving person in his/her right mind will choose the neat clutter free room. Everyone is attracted to organization and neatness. Next time friends and family are reluctant to come over, question the clutter status of your place!

To save time, avoid mental fatigue, save money and avoid heart ache, you might as well declutter your place. It doesn’t cost much, but it goes a long way in saving you a lot. It is time to see the world for the beauty it radiates! Get yourself a decluttering service today and change the way you experience life!

Best Organizing Tips for the Kitchen

If you’ve searched endlessly for the right tupperware lid, bought double the ingredients because you couldn’t find it in your pantry or struggle to keep the kitchen looking even somewhat clean, then it might be time to give your kitchen some attention. Contrary to what a lot of people think, you don’t need an enormous space to have a functional kitchen – it’s more about how you organize the space you do have!

You also don’t need a major overhaul to banish clutter and become organized – just a few handy tips and tricks to get you started. Here’s what we suggest to optimize your space and get a functional kitchen space you actually enjoy being in!

Pull it Out and Purge

To start, it’s important to literally see every item in your kitchen and start from a blank slate. So pull it all out and assess the damage!

Think about each item: is it necessary? Does it work? Do I love it?

This step can be really hard but consider the goals – to have a functional space, to have as clear a counter as possible, and to actually enjoy being in the kitchen. Once you’ve gone through your items, you should have a keep section, a toss section and a donate section.

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Do a Deep Clean

Because you have everything out of your cabinets and drawers, this is the perfect time to give everything a good wipe down. You’d be surprised how great that will feel, especially when you go to put everything back in its place.

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Define Your Zones

Before you start to put anything back, assess your entire kitchen and group cabinets and drawers into zones. The easiest way to do this is to have a notepad and pen and write it down, including which items belong in which zones. Here’s an example of what that would look like:

  • Zone 1: Everyday (easiest to access, close to dishwasher if possible)
    plates, bowls, basic glassware, cups, serveware, cutlery
  • Zone 2: Cooking (locate close to oven or range)
    pots, pans, dishes, cutting boards, spatulas, wooden spoons, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls, any other baking items, etc.
  • Zone 3: Pantry
    dry goods, spices, larger kitchen gadgets, etc.
  • Zone 4: Accessories & Storage (near fridge if possible)
    tupperware, food storage, food wrap, ziploc bags, tin foil, to go items, etc.
  • Zone 5: Coffee and Bar
    coffee cups, pods, coffee accessories, coffee pot or keurig, barware such as wine glasses, shot glasses, other glassware, bar accessories, etc.
  • Zone 6: Under the Sink
    cleaning supplies, extra hand soap, garbage bags, recycling etc.
  • The 7th zone could be your special items, like serveware that you typically only use when hosting or special pottery/keepsakes. Our advice though would be to try and keep items you only genuinely use and if it’s not often, then perhaps storing in another area of the house like the dining room or garage would serve you better.

The same rules apply to your fridge – group items together and determine the best layout for your shelving inside!

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Position Correctly

Now that you know which items go where, think about how you position them. Keep items you use the most at eye level and the pieces that see a little less use further away or up higher. If you can’t easily see or access something, the less likely you are to use it.

Same goes for the pantry! Consider unloading cereals, baking goods, pasta and rice for instance, into clear containers. You’ll have more room, they will keep better and you’ll actually be able to see everything! Position things you use the most, like cereal, where it’s easiest to access.

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Get Creative

Want to take it a step further? Start to get creative with your organization and determine which hacks will work best in each zone.

For example:

  • Install a hanging rack for pots and pans to free up cupboard space
  • Mount a rack for spices and actually alphabetize it
  • Have a tall pantry door? Hang a clear shoe organizer to make use of that space
  • Make use of drawer organizers and dividers to keep everything super accessible
  • Use standing dividers for things like baking sheets and cutting boards
  • Wire shelving or pull out units are mega handy – especially under the sink
  • Utilize wall space (magnetic knife holders, fresh hanging herbs, hooks for hanging almost anything!)
  • Install a cork board on the inside of your cupboard doors to hang small items or display your most used recipes
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Keep On It

After a month, take a moment to reflect on how the organization is going. Define any problem areas and reevaluate. Try to stay on top of the pantry and make it a yearly goal to do a declutter.

What is a Professional Organizer?

Why Do Professional Organizers Exist?

There seems to be a profession for any problem, and organizing is no exception.

Because organizing struggles are so common, Professional Organizing has been booming to help people sort through their issues (often literally).

Here are some of the top reasons why POs have grown in popularity:

  • Because people bury important paperwork under mountains of useless stuff.
  • Physical and digital chaos is overwhelming.
  • Some folks have no system to decide what possessions to keep or toss.
  • Many people routinely can’t find the things they need.
  • Organizing your home before or after a move is serious work.
  • The difference between cleaning and organizing is lost on many people.

That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.


What a Professional Organizer Will (or Can) Do

The sky’s the limit for Professional Organizer services if your need is remotely organizing related. There are even customized memorabilia organizing systems and specialists available!

At a high level, here are the skills and services you can expect from a Professional Organizer.

  1. Collection and hoarding identification … and explaining their hazards.
  2. Process and system creation for maintaining a tidy environment (and brain).
  3. Solutions to your behaviors, personality type, or disorders.
  4. Possession management for moving or downsizing your living space.
  5. Workflow designer and spatial relationships guide.
  6. Resource connector to recycling, donation, and disposal options.
  7. Storage and action system expert (physical and/or digital).
  8. Creator of efficient email systems and how to manage your inbox.
  9. Teacher of moment-to-moment time management skills.
  10. Assessor of the elderly’s special physical, medical, and emotional organizational needs.
  11. “Document life cycle” guru.

Ask a Professional Organizer if they do “that” and the answer may just be, “Sure!”


What Professional Organizers Can Do For Your Kids

People with kids can appreciate the, shall we say, distinct organizational challenges of having them. I have three children and I know exactly how tough it can be.

Although kids have some of the same issues we do, POs deal with kid-specific struggles like:

  1. An out of control toy box or accessories drawer.
  2. A haphazard mess in their room, play zone, or study area.
  3. Time management with homework and chores.

 


What They Can Do For Your Business

Professional Organizers typically work with small businesses, especially those with the same problems as individuals. But most won’t shy away from a mid- to large-sized businesses, even if their needs and solutions are way different.

A really good PO can step in, assess an overall business situation, identify needs and goals, and develop a customized organizational system for many aspects of the business. Some can even help with project management initiation and implementation.

If you have a small business and need a Professional Organizer, definitely make sure they have experience with a structure like yours (not to mention the systems).


What They Can’t Do For You

Here are a few of things most POs won’t do.

  1. Clean your house.
  2. Provide long-term manual organization of your physical or digital space.
  3. Forcibly work with someone who hasn’t requested their services (e.g. a hoarder).

When in doubt, just ask, “Do you do that?”


How to Know If You Need a Professional Organizer

What symptoms make you a good candidate for Professional Organizer services? Here’s a great starting point:

  1. Trouble categorizing, sorting, and identifying the excess in life.
  2. Struggles with document, space, workflow, and time management.
  3. Chronic disorganisation, especially the kind causing stress and quality of life issues
  4. Repeated failure to reconcile organizational problems yourself.
  5. A lack of skills, patience, or emotional balance to convince or train a family member/friend about being organized.
  6. Issues setting smart goals.

 

10 Benefits of Organization

One of the most important benefits of organizing your space is reduced STRESS. Simply having a more efficient system to keep track of your papers and appointments can help minimize stress-influenced conditions such as depression, ulcers and heart disease.

Likewise a cluttered environment is difficult to dust and clean. Prolonged exposure to dirty and dusty living conditions can cause allergies to flare up or lead to diseases such as chronic bronchitis. Some of my clients have already slipped and broke an ankle while walking on their papers accumulated on the floor of their home.

Both cases suggest organizing and cleaning your environment can help make a healthier and happier person

  1. If you are organized, you will have more balance in your life. You’ll be able to minimize the time spent on necessary things like shopping and looking for things, but increase the time spent on important things like family.
  2. You will be more productive. You’ll be focused, have better direction and get more done in less time.
  3. You will save money. Last minute purchases, party gifts, or grocery trips can be costlywithout adequate planning.
  4. You can better manage your time and prioritize your daily chores. These things tend to fall into place when working within deadlines and limits.
  5. It will reduce clutter. Most of us have too much stuff and are in the process of getting more. The new stuff continues to accumulate, adding to our never-ending clutter.
  6. It will help you set and achieve personal goals. With your goals in mind, spend a few minutes every evening planning for the next day. Make lists of the things you have to do and the things you want to do. As each day passes, you will be closer to your goals.
  7. You will learn to focus on the big picture; making sure you have room in your life for the important things.
  8. It will give you the proper tools to do your job right. Things that you need will be in their proper place. You will find what you need quicker, you’ll accomplish your tasks more successfully, and you’ll have more time to do the task because your tools will be readily available.
  9. It is economical to be organized. If you take the time to plan and be organized, you’ll save time and money.
  10. Being organized has to be a way of life. If you want the benefits of being organized, you might as well start now. The sooner you start, the sooner it will be a habit.
  1. There are many areas to focus on when getting organized. Your time needs to be organized. So does your money, your home, your family your kitchen cupboard and your mail, just to name a few. It can seem overwhelming at times, but getting organized will do wonders. Try it and see!

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