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A Simple Guide to Decluttering & Organising Your Space (In 4 Weeks!)

Get Organised Jan 23, 2019

New year, old space. But completely decluttered and organised! What could be better?

I have to admit that organisation is one area I’ve failed miserably in the past… And although I’m not particularly a fan of the whole new year, new me concept, it’s high time I prioritised an organised space. For one thing, I know how good it feels when everything has its place and there’s no clutter, and for another, my mess drives Ben so crazy that it’s quite unfair! So recently I set about decluttering and organising my space. It was a challenge! I know many of you have been bitten by the declutter and organise bug too, blame it on the genius of Marie Kondo, Netflix and that urge to clear out the cobwebs that January brings.

West Elm asked if I would be interested in sharing some simple, non fussy space organisational ideas, and I was excited to overhaul my space.  They have lots of great storage ideas and items, so I put together the plan I’ve embarked on recently (sort of a simplified version of the famous KonMarie method), and some styled spaces with ideas to inspire you to declutter and organise. Oh and if you’re interested in DIYing your own storage, we’ve got heaps of ideas right here.

An organised entryway: West Elm Mid Century Console, Basket, Throw, Wooden Platter , Lantern, Dip Bowl , Hanging Mirror,  Vintage Planters, I Love Linen bag, Ikea Runner.

Decluttering and organising your space is something that takes time, it’s a progressive process that works best as a set of steps. It’s something that you don’t want to rush, but I also know that it’s very easy to start and never finish as the piles mount up and it all seems too overwhelming. So this simplified plan focuses on getting it done over the course of four weekends, where you spend a few hours each Saturday and Sunday on targeted areas of the house. We’ve split the plan into two sections – decluttering and then organising. It might seem counterintuitive to not complete a room at a time, but in my experience, the decluttering process actually makes the house messier and more unmanageable than before you started, and it’s not until you have donated/gifted/recycled the things you no longer need that you will be able to add some better storage and then start organising.

 

Weeks 1 & 2: DECLUTTERING

The first step in the plan is to declutter the house, that means going through wardrobes, cupboards, shelves and boxes to remove anything that you no longer need, haven’t used recently, and won’t use. Marie Kondo likes to have us ask ourselves the question ‘does this item spark joy?’ which is great in theory, and if it works for you then I would definitely use it. But after trying this I found myself feeling I should throw out all my simple t-shirts (no joy there), when in fact they’re the things I wear the most! Instead, I simply focus on when I used it last, whether I like it and whether I think I’ll use it again (maybe that’s joy?).

Once you’ve done the cull, the next big step in decluttering is to actually rid your space of the things you don’t need. Pack everything up and either gift, donate or recycle what you won’t use.

Weeks 2 & 3: ORGANISING

Once you’ve cleared your space of all the things you don’t need, the next two weeks of the plan are all about setting up the right storage, and organising what’s left. Someone on Instagram recently asked me if nice decor comes at the cost of enough storage in a space, and in some cases yes it can, but there are plenty of storage ideas and hacks you can use that are both pretty and functional. As a new mother these two things are essential!

In case you’re looking for storage ideas, I’ve put together a list of a few hacks:

Baskets If there’s one thing I’ve learnt since having a baby is that baskets hide a multitude of ugly things that need storage. Nappies, toys and all the other clobber that you don’t want on a open shelf, a basket is the answer. Tuck them in the corners of rooms, underneath tables and on shelves for easy clean up.

Trays It’s unrealistic to expect that all surfaces will be completely free of items, but I have found that trays (like these) are a great option for catching things so you know where they are and also so that they’re more organised. Pop some trays or baskets into drawers to keep them organised too.

Furniture with storage When you look around your home, chances are there are so many missed opportunities in terms of storage when you consider all the negative space under and inside pieces of furniture. Which is why I am all about furniture with incidental storage like an ottoman coffee table.

Shelving More is more when it comes to shelving, so don’t feel shy about putting up another set of shelves if you don’t have enough. A simple skinny set of shelves can hold a surprising amount of your items, and to keep them organised the best thing to do is use straw or wire baskets.

Labelled Jars I am a huge convert of labelled jars in the kitchen, bathroom and craft corner. They may be a little bit more work to set up, but they make everything you need incredibly accessible.

A Functional Entryway An entryway that has all the essentials has been a game changer for me – no more wandering around the house looking for keys and dashing back to the bathroom to look in the mirror. The best thing is you can create an entry using a bench or console, and a mirror!

Organised nooks: West Elm Mid Century Planter, Wall Hooks, Basket, Vase and Throw. Ikea Runner, Vintage Picnic Basket.

Creating an entryway has made such a difference!

The perfect storage furniture: West Elm Storage Ottoman, Rug, Lamp, Wooden Platter, Cushion and Throw. Lumira Candle, Vintage Console, Bunnings Planter.

Anyone else a bit of a basket addict?

Tips & Tricks

I’ve started decluttering but the mess is just getting worse! This is completely part of the process, it can be horrifying once you pull everything out of your cupboards. But if you persevere, remove what you don’t want or need and look to organise better you’ll feel like a million dollars. I promise!

I love my things and don’t want to throw them out. In this age of minimalism there can be some criticism if you don’t want to completely declutter your whole life. But for some of us we don’t want to completely declutter, and I agree – things like books and sentimental items are worth keeping! But if you atlas rid yourself of things you don’t need and are more conscious about the things that you have, then you’ll find yourself using everything you have more.

How do I stop the space from getting cluttered again? I’m slowly learning about the concept of everything having its place… It’s a tough one for me! And to be honest, this is where we all need to be a bit more conscious about what we are adding. Decluttering and sustainable consumption should support each other.

And there you have it, I hope you find this just as useful as I did! In case you’re looking for more inspiration, check out Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix or her book! In case you’re looking for some Storage DIYs to make next be sure to check out the archive here. My faves are the Canvas Wall Pocket, the DIY Hanging Back Rack, these Two for the Bathroom, and these hanging shelves.

This post is in collaboration with West Elm.

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