Your go-to guide, at the tap of a phone screen.
Want to get organised as the nation slowly tried to head back to reality? Professional organiser Sarah Griffin of Harmonised Home has the answers.
You can’t (or won’t want to) reorganise your entire wardrobe/kitchen/life in a day, so focus on one category at a time. “You can say, okay, I’m going to sort out my shoes today, and that’s going to take a half an hour,” says Sarah. “Do it in stages, then it’s not such a big mountain to climb all in one go.” Bite-sized tasks for the win!
“Colour-coding clothing that is hung up or folded in drawers makes it a lot easier to put outfits together. If you’re not already rolling your clothes or folding them in a way that you can see everything at once, that’s a good project to take on one afternoon.”
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Forever rooting for stuff at the bottom of your handbag? Implement a little system so you can always find what you need. “Use little pouches or even food and freezer bags to store smaller items like lip balms, hair clips, or tampons, which often get lost in the bottom of a big bag.”
And we mean everything, from meetings to appointments to drinks with friends. How you do this is up to you – some people like a paper diary, others stick dates into their phone. “A shared family calendar is always a great idea,” says Sarah. “People used to and still do rely heavily on one being up in the kitchen, but there are amazing family calendar apps now where everyone can look in to check for football matches, dentist appointments, holidays…”
Like your diary, your daily tasks is entirely up to you – but whatever method you choose, get your priorities straight. “You might have ten things on your to-do on any given day, but look at the items that are really important and highlight them so you know that these are the main focus,” Sarah advises. “It’s already going to take a little bit of pressure off looking at this big monster of a list that’s staring at you, to break it down that way.”
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“Scheduling your time isn’t just for meetings and appointments – it makes sense to block out the time to complete [your to-do list] too. You know that that’s your time to get these things done.”
If your ‘filing cabinet’ is more of a random drawer, and you’re not really sure where any of your important documents are at any given time, you need to up your stationery game. “An accordion file or lever arch folder that has dividers are excellent ways to start categorising the paperwork that you need to keep. Even if you don’t file as you go and a couple of items pile up, it’s only going to take you five minutes to do it because that system is already in place.”
Every few weeks, go through your phone and delete all the apps, memes, and blurry photos you don’t want or need any more. Make use of folders here too for organising photos and apps – and please, back up your device regularly so you won’t lose anything if you should drop your phone down the loo (or something equally horrific).
Some people can be perfectly happy with 12,938 unread emails in their inbox. If you are not one of those people, it’s time to unsubscribe from all the marketing emails, all the random newsletters, all the mails blasts from hotels you once checked into to use the Wifi – get rid. Tidy inbox, tidy mind.
You can’t prepare for everything, obviously but identify your weak spots and plan accordingly. If you’re always caught on the hop with birthdays, for example, get into the habit of keeping some extr acards, stamps, and neutral wrapping paper at home. And if you want to be extra organised, start a gifting drawer: “Pick up extra things in sales, so you have universal gifts that are appropriate for most occasions, like candles, stationery, wines, toiletries. Then at least you have something that’s ready to go at the last minute, and save you some embarrassment.”
“You can’t do absolutely everything perfectly all the time, so go easy on yourself,” says Sarah. Figure out what makes you feel like you have it together (maybe it’s reaching inbox zero, maybe it’s making your bed every morning) and progress from there. Happy organising!
For more information on Sarah and her work, visit harmonisedhome.ie