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Monday, August 1, 2011

Quick Tips to Organise Your Wardrobe


Step One: Assess Your  Wardrobe

  • Begin by pulling EVERYTHING out of your wardrobe.
  • Go through your clothes and items in your wardrobe and honestly evaluate each piece.  Dispose or donate to charity anything that you do not wear or does not fit you anymore.
  • If you haven’t worn an item in 12 months or more – get rid of it!  Chances are, you’re not going to wear it again!



Step Two: Categorise Your Clothes

  • You can categorise by season (summer, winter, spring and autumn).  If you choose to use this method be sure to store off season clothes in another area.
  • You can categorise your clothes by purpose and type.  For example work, casual, etc.
  • You can categorise by colour – Dark to light.
  • A good system to use is to hang all your clothes in the wardrobe with the hangers turned backwards.   When you wear an item, turn the hanger around the correct way.  Anything still hanging backwards at the end of the year has not been worn and needs to go!



Clothes Storage Tips:

  • Use padded or tubular hangers – wire hangers can make marks in the shoulders of your shirts.
  • Smaller and loose items are stored more easily in a drawer and will free up more space in your wardrobe.
  • To save more space in your wardrobe, hang belts, scarves and hats on hooks that you can install on the wardrobe wall or door.
  • If you can, use a shoe rack to keep your shoes organised.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Budgeting Tips

Financial Goals

  • Set out what you hope to achieve before planning your budget.  Do you want to reduce your debt, save for something special?
  • Set your goals with time frames for example, six months, a year, five years, etc.

Create Your Budget
  • Work out how you are going to have your budget – will you use a book, a folder or a spreadsheet?
  • A good way to start is to begin with 12 columns, one for each month.
  • Your row’s will be used for expenses
  • Divide your income and expenses into categories.
Track Your Expenses
  • List your static expenses (expenses that cost the same each month) for example, rent, mortgage, car repayments, etc
  • List your variable expenses (expenses that differ from month to month), for example, groceries, utilities, etc
  • Don’t forget to go through your last twelve months of bills for any unexpected expenses to account for such as medical bills, fines, etc.
  • Go through your bills and see where you can cut down
Budgeting Tips
  • Try to avoid impulse spending.  If you see something that you really want – go away and think about it and check to see that you can afford it first.  It’s all about control
  • Be financially organised and pay attention to exactly where your money goes
  • Try to stick to your planned budget as best you can
  •  Don’t deprive yourself completely

Debt Tips
  • List all of the debt that you currently owe and also make a note of the interest rate charged to each.
  • Pay as much as you can on the  highest interest rate
  • Try to put at least 10% of your income into your savings

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Paper Management Tips For The Home

Handle incoming paperwork

  • Paperwork will come into your home in many ways – usually in the mail, email, paperwork from work, travel and school.  Set up ways for dealing with the paperwork so it doesn’t build up and clutter your areas.  Decide what to keep, what needs to be actioned and what needs to be filed.  Be tough and hold no prisoners. 
  •   Reconcile your bank statement every time you receive it.
  • Reduce paperwork that you receive by cutting down on how many bank accounts you have if possible

Keep follow up documents in clear sight so you don’t forget about them

  • Keep your gift cards in your purse so you have them readily available when you need to use them
  • Write your bill due dates in your diary and file them in a folder designated to that purpose, or keep them in a tray where they are in clear sight and you won’t forget about them and can clearly see the due date.  Schedule designated times to pay and review your bills. 
  • Keep invitations where you can see them and record the party date in your diary when you receive them and make sure you rsvp.  A great way to keep items in clear sight is to use a bulletin board.

Filing & Storage
  • Always file your bills immediately after paying.
  • Staple papers together instead of using paperclips.  Paperclips can easily get caught on other papers and muddle everything up.
  • Store your valuable documents in a fireproof safe
  • Regularly update your filing system
  • Keep your business transactions separate from your household transactions and expenditures.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tips For Creating A To Do List

Why should you use a To Do List?

  • A to do list can help you manage your time better
  •   It allows you to visualise what you need to achieve
  •   A to do list can help prioritise
  •   It can help improve your memory by writing everything down
  •  It can help keep you organised
  •   A to do list can help reduce stress

How to create a To Do List

  • Create a master list with ALL of your activities and tasks that you need to complete
  • Break large projects into smaller tasks
  • Code the items according to priority.  For Example: A = Absolutely must complete B = Should do  C = can wait

Tips for using a daily To Do list

  • Put tasks in order of importance that need to be completed
  • Allocate a time frame for each task
  • Include no more than two large tasks
  • Try to list no more than 10 items that you aim to complete
  • Include appointments and commitments to others
  • Always try to leave room for interruptions and urgent items that may come up unexpectedly
  • Track your time to see exactly where your time goes
  • Know your energy cycles – when you are most productive and when you are not and plan your to do’s around these.
  • Delegate tasks where possible
  • Cross or tick tasks off once you have completed them

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quick Tips To Maintain Your Computer

Back It Up

  • Back up all documents that you create on an external drive
  • Make good use of external disk drives, CD roms, zip files
  • Keep back up copies of all of your computer programs just in case you need to re-install
  • Back up your entire system regularly

Safety

  • Use firewalls to prevent others from accessing your computer from the outside
  • Use a good virus protection program
  • Use a surge protector for your computer
  • Change passwords regularly

Maintenance

  • Empty your recycle bin on a regular basis
  • Delete .tmp files – you would be amazed to see just how much space they take up
  • Use disc clean up regularly
  • Regularly delete your browsing history
  • Remove programs that you do not use
  • Clean out your email on a regular basis
  • Defragment your computer regularly 
  • Use “air in a can” to clear out your keyboard and your computer


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quick Organising Projects

Try our quick and easy organising projects to help you get started on the way to an organised and clutter free life style.


  
Clean Your Handbag Out - A handbag clear out will help you keep better track of your phone, purse and keys and will also help cut down the amount that you need to lug around.  For some quick handbag tips, see our post here




Wrangle Your Cord Clutter
Clear the tangled mess of cords behind your computer, tv and gaming consoles.  This only takes a few moments and there are loads of cord control products out there that can help keep your cords neat and organised.  Don't forget to label the cord near the power point end which will help you save more time when you are moving appliances around.  Another great tips is to use an over the door shoe hanger for spare cables ,charges and cords.



 Organise Your Junk Drawer
This is a great quick project for you to do when you have a spare half hour.  See our previous blog post here for some fantastic tips.  You never know what you'll find. 

A recent client of mine found some serious cash that she had stashed in her drawer.  A lovely surprise for her.  What are you waiting for - hop to it!


Other Quick Organising Projects:
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet - dispose of any expired medications.
  •  Clean out your recipe folder
  •  Clean out your sock and underwear drawer
  • Clean out your linen cupboard



Friday, May 20, 2011

Bathroom Organising Tips


Step One: Clean It Out 
  •  Begin by pulling EVERYTHING out of the bathroom – this will make your sorting and cleaning process easier. 
  •  Clean drawers and shelving. 
  • Dispose of creams, make up, hair products & various other products that you haven’t used for six months or more or have expired. 
  • Dispose (or take to your local pharmacy) of medications that have expired. 
  • Dispose of old razors and other items that you simply do not use any more.

Step Two: Create Extra Storage
  • Only store what you use on a daily basis on (or near) the basin counter.
  • Keep only what you absolutely need in the bathroom.
  • Use a magazine rack for magazines.
  •  It can be a good idea if you have the space to assign a shelf, drawer or container for each family member to store their personal items in.

Step Three: Organise Your Space
  • Group similar items together.  For example, toothpaste, mouth wash, spare tooth brushes together; cosmetics, etc
  • Make use of a shower caddy for your shower items such as body wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
  • Hang your hair dryer on a hook to save on space
  • Use wall mounted cabinets for extra storage space
  •  If you are short on space you can use shooks on the back of the bathroom door for bathrobes and towels
  • Dedicate a drawer or make up container for your cosmetics.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tips on How to Organise Your Computer

If you have a lot of documents, music, pictures and other files you will know that it's easy for them to become very unorganised.  Stop spending hours trying to find that file that you know you've saved *somewhere* on the computer and get your computer organised!

Below I have set out some tips that will help you obtain a well organised computer.  Please note that these tips are for Windows users - but other systems should be similar.

Create Folders
Your files and folders should be similar to the same categories as your paper/hardcopy filing system (providing that it is organsied).  Create folders, and sub folders.  

For example
Category Folder - Financial
Financial - Budgets; Expenses,
And so on...

Transfer your current files to the appropriate areas.

Delete Old Files
Delete old files that you do not use anymore.  Just be sure that if you are using a shared computer that others do not need those files.

File Emails
File your emails the same way that you file your hard copy correspondence.  Set up folders for different organisations, mailing lists, topics, and friends.  Check your email on a daily basis to avoid email's from accumulating. 

Don't subscribe to online newsletters unless you are going to have the time to read them.

Only save emails that you need to follow up or are important. 

Organise Digital Music
Storing music on your computer is a fantastic way to store your music.  There are many media programs that are available that help you to organise your media into folders - such as by the artist or title.  


Keep your music organised by removing songs that you don't like - this will free up space and make it a whole lot easier to find the songs that you *do* like.


Organise Your Photos
Storing your photos on your computer saves space and money and there are so many options and ways to store your photos.  Follow the above rules and store them in folders - such as events, family, work, etc.  Whatever works best for you. You may also like to file them according to year.

Don't forget to always back up your files so you don't lose them in a crash!


Organise Your Bookmarks
Keep your bookmarks organised into folders as well - and make sure that you go through these on a regular basis to delete the ones that you do not use anymore.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why Use A Professional Organiser?

A professional organsier can help you in getting your home, office and life organised and under control by de-cluttering your space and assisting you in reorganising it.
We can help you identify the cause of your clutter and organising problems and support you through the process.

We can provide long term solutions and have many ideas on how you can best use your space and what storage and organising systems will best work for you. 

We can help you take control of your surroundings, your time and your life!

We don't make you throw anything away without your permission.

We don't judge you - we are professionals.

Professional Organisers can offer many services from management of  your paperwork and computer files to planning a major move.  We help by coaching not controlling.

We have the ability to ask the right questions to understand what a client needs and wants, and we can teach clients organisational skills.  We won't overwhelm you by demanding that you need to get rid of everything - we break the process down into manageable steps.

Most importantly of all - we provide support.

Clutter Busting Ideas

Clutter has such a way of getting out of control and away from us at times.  We've come up with some great practical clutter busting ideas to help you get started.

Keys: Avoid losing or misplacing your keys by allocating a certain place for them.  As soon as you walk through the door - place them on the designated hook or in a designated bowl.  You will never have the frustration of not being able to find them when you need them again.

Desk Drawers: It is easy to stash items in desk drawers so you do not have to deal with them --- out of sight, out of mind!  Try to keep your drawers as organised as possible by storing only what you need in them.


Umbrellas: Umbrellas can make a mess when it's been raining and you're eager to get inside where it is nice and dry.  Store umbrellas standing up in a stand to avoid mess - this also allows the umbrella to dry more effectively.


Bed Storage: Most beds have the provision for underneath storage which can save you valuable space and clutter. You can store pillows, sheets, doona's toys in containers underneath while using a bed shirt to conceal the storage.  This is a fantastic idea if you are running low on storage space.

Cooking Station:Putting implements and ingredients that you use on a regular basis when cooking can make your life a lot easier in the kitchen.  There are plenty of items that you can use for this such as a Lazy Susan, spice racks and many other products that you can easily find in any Ikea store.  Just be sure to leave enough surface space for meal preparation.

Pots And Pans: Pot and pan clutter can be a never ending battle in some kitchens.  A great idea is to store one pot inside a larger one which can save on the amount of space that they can take up in cupboards.  There are many great pot and pan storage utilities available now which helps keep your cookware accessable AND organised at the same time.

Kitchen Tables:  Tables can be a huge place for clutter - where everyone dumps everything that they can't be bothered putting away.  Dining tables are for eating at, not dumping paperwork or doing homework.  Create a central area in the  middle of the table where you can store items that are used on a regular basis - such as napkins, salt and pepper.

Shower Storage:  Items such as body wash, shampoo, conditioner, washcloths should be stored in a shower caddy or shelving installed in the shower to avoid clutter on the bottom of the shower or around the bathtub.  There are so many shower storage systems available which are effective and reasonably priced - you have no excuse left!

Laundry:  If you have a large family or if you need to pre-sort, having more than one laundry hamper is a great idea.  This ensures that clothes are never thrown on the floor and that washing is easier to sort.  Use a cupboard or shelving to keep your laundry items such as fabric softener,detergent and bleach all together and out of reach of little hands and paws.  If your laundry is large enough, it is a fantastic idea to also designate a folding station which will help reduce clothes becoming clutter in the bedroom or lounge. 

Car:  Keep your car organised by only keeping what you may need while travelling.  Sunglasses, cd's, maps, manuals, registrationd documents, etc.  If you don't have enough storage in the glovebox, use a visor organiser.    Remember, it is always a good idea to keep emergency supplies like jumper leads, a spare blanket and first aid kit in the boot.  I always keep a travel umbrella and spare pair of shoes in car as well - I can't tell you how many times I have needed this.

Now it's your turn --- Brash and Sassy would love to hear some of your clutter busting ideas. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5 Minute Organising Tips...

Overwhelmed by the hours ahead that it may take you to free you from clutter and get yourself organised?  Stop stressing and start small.  Try these easy five minute organising tips to help you get started...

  • Clean our your handbag - dispose of all the junk, file those receipts
  • Take out the rubbish
  • Put a load of washing on
  • Fold a load of washing up & put it away
  • Clean the bathroom sink
  • Clean the toilet
  • Sweep the floors
  • Make the bed
  • Pay some bills
  • Clean out the fridge
  • Load/unload the dishwasher
  • Water the pot plants
  • Recycle old magazines and newspapers
  • Put your shoes away
  • Dust the living room
  • Write a shopping list
  • Clean out your junk drawer (okay, this may take you more than 5 mins - but see how much you can get done in that time frame, you'll be surprised)
  • Sweep the floors
  • Reorganise a cupboard or drawer
What can you achieve in five minutes?  We'd love to hear *your* five minute tips....  You have five minutes --- now GO!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Organising Your Home

Organising your home can seem like a huge task if there is clutter everywhere and you have no idea about where to even start.  Create a plan on how to tackle organising your home and use some of the tips I've listed below...

Step One: Analyse The Clutter
Begin by looking and assessing each room - one at a time.  This can be daunting if you are surrounded by clutter, but persevere.    It can help if you can understand the reasons *why* you are experiencing a clutter problem.  This can be due to many factors such as family, time, over shopping, the list is endless - you need to see where the problems are and work on fixing them. 

To start this exercise, use a notebook and write down the problem areas in each room.  For instance, if your wardrobe and clothes drawers are overflowing - perhaps you need to reassess your wardrobe all together; you have magazines piled high under the coffee table - why are you holding onto these?.  While you are doing this exercise, it is important not to forget areas such as the garage, the dreaded junk drawer, and any areas that are out of sight.

Step Two: Create A Plan
Once you have discovered where the main areas are that so cluttered, it is time to find solutions for each area.  Address each area separately and create a plan that will help you tackle sorting through the clutter (what to keep and what should go), cleaning the space, what tools or storage items you will need, reorganising the space and most importantly - how to keep that space clean and organised.  Solutions are easy - you can donate unwanted items to charity, sell them on ebay or dispose and you can purchase additional perhaps more efficient storage solutions.

Plan how you are going to store things - do you need containers, hooks, shelves, labels?   Most importantly - are these storage systems going to be practical.  If you are finding this difficult - a Professional Organiser can always assist you.

Find the best solution to the clutter/organising problems that annoy you the most.  Research on the internet, ask friends about their suggestions - the most important system to implement however, is a system that is going to work for you and the people who use it.

Step Three: Put your plan into action! 
Unless you have a very large amount of time spare, de-cluttering and reorganising is going to take time!  The best way to tackle this is to perhaps allocate a few hours a day if you can spare it, or even a week to work on getting rid of the clutter and reorganising your spaces. 

You might even like to plan a weekend where you can enlist the help of your family - more hands, less work.

With any big task however, it is advisable to break that task into smaller chunks - you will get through it quicker and retain your motivation.

Step Four: Maintenance
Once you have de-cluttered and reorganised your home - allocate an amount of time per day/week to maintain it.  Taking five or ten minutes a day to put things away, quickly dust, wipe down surfaces will leave you more time on the weekend to enjoy your life instead of being bogged down with household chores.  Now is the time to develop good habits when it comes to clutter - be ruthless.

You may find that certain systems/storage ideas don't in fact work - now is a fantastic time to change this to something that does work. 

Good luck!

We would love to hear from you - share your experiences with de-cluttering, what worked for you and what didn't...

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Setting Up An Effective Filing System...

Do you have an effective filing system? Chances are - if your filing system is too complicated, you're not going to use it.


Whether you decide to set up and use a filing cabinet or arch lever files - you need a system that is going to work for you and the people who need to use it.


Some questions that you need to be aware of before setting up your new filing system will help you set up the best system to suit your needs. Consider the following:


• What are the items that you need to file?
• Who will be using these files?
• How often will the files be used?
• How big will each file be?
• How will the files be used?


There are three main steps to setting up an effective filing system:


• Categorising
• Choosing a Filing System
• Labelling


1. Categorising
All homes and businesses have different types of paperwork that needs filing. It is a really good idea to set up categories before you even begin to set up your new filing system.


You will need main categories, as well as sub-categories. For example, a "main" category may be "Pets" with your sub-categories being manila folders for each pet. For example "Fluffy", "Pebbles", etc.


If you will be using a filing cabinet system, your main category will be clearly labelled on the suspension file, with your sub-categories being stored in clearly labelled manila files that you will keep in the main category suspension file. Remember to label everything neatly and clearly.


If you choose to use the level arch folders to set up your filing system - use a different folder for each main category, and set up dividers inside for each sub category. I have noticed this way of filing to be more time consuming with having to hole punch paperwork and handle the folders - but as I have said earlier, use a system that suits *you*.


2. Choosing A Filing System
There are a few ways you can go here:


• Chronological (Date/Month Sequence)
• Alphabetical (Alphabetical Order)
• Numerical (Numerical Order)


All methods have pro’s and con’s – it really depends on what you will be filing and what works for you!


3. Labelling


• Label your suspension files with your main category using the clear tabs that match your files.
• Label your manila folders with the sub-category - it's a great idea to put your label on the right hand side for easy identification


TIP: Your filing draw or folder shelf should not be over loaded – if everything is squished and packed in too tightly – you are defeating the purpose and you won’t be able to find anything.


Don't be sure - we would love to hear from you and your tips and systems that you have set up?  What challenges did you encounter?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quick Tips To Getting Yourself Organised

Are you feeling frustrated, stressed and anxious due to clutter and disorganisation taking over you life?  Well, there is no time like the present to get yourself and your surroundings ORGANISED! 

Organised means being able to find items quickly, it's not just about being neat and tidy.  Spaces that are organised are much easier to use.  If you are not inclined to be naturally organised - beginning with one small step at a time is best.  Start with one small area and build on that as you help create your new organising habits.  You can always call in a Professional Organiser who are trained to help if you find it too difficult.


It's a good idea to de-clutter and clean out your belongings before even considering getting yourself organised with new systems, storage and furniture.  If you do it back to front, not only will you waste valuable time - but money too.  It is also a good idea to "de-clutter" on a regular basis. 

Some good questions to ask yourself when going through the de-cluttering process are:
  • Do I really need this?
  • Have I used it in the last twelve months?
  • Could someone else use this item more than I?
Don't Put It Down - Put It Away:
Once you have de-cluttered and set yourself up - you need to get yourself into the habit of putting things away - not just putting it down wherever you feel like.  For instance, when you come through the door - don't just put your keys down - put them in a designated place each time.  You will thank yourself when you are in a rush and can find your keys without tearing the place upside down.  This goes for pretty much everything - your mobile phone, bills, etc.

Use A Calendar/Planner:
Introduce the use of a calender into your daily routine where you can refer to it every day.  Your calendar can remind you of things that you need to do when  you need to do it --- no more late fees on those library books, your bills can be paid on time, etc..  You can even go high tech here and sync your computerised diary/planner with a smart phone - that way you will have your planner with you no matter where you are.

Save Time By Combining Similar Activities:
Do all of your errands at the same time, do all of your shopping in one trip instead of two or three, pay your bills at the same time --- this will not only save you time, but also some of your hard earned cash.

Don't Rely On Your Memory - Write It Down
Keep a notebook in your handbag - any appointments, ideas, notes that you need to remember can be written down so you don't forget.  Smart phones also have many functions and "apps" that can help you record notes, numbers, etc when you're on the run --- embrace technology.

Make Lists:
Make a "To Do" list for your day ahead.  Mark tasks off as you complete them - this will not only help you stay focused, but will also help you prioritise.  Don't forget to be flexible - interuptions and unexpected things WILL happen.

Follow Through:
Be disciplined and stick to your to-do lists and complete the tasks you've set out for yourself.  Eliminate distractions and try not to procrastinate.  Set yourself goals and allocate an amount of time to complete them.  Keep to your agenda.

Post It Notes:
Post It's are a fantastic tool for "reminders".  Put them on mirrors, computer monitors, doors, etc to stop yourself forgetting something important.

Tip:  Always ensure that you have what you need for the day ahead with you.

Tip: Keep all of your surfaces clear and free of clutter - this helps reduce mental clutter and will help you feel instantly calmer --- this doesn't mean that you can just shove clutter in draws (out of sight out of mind) --- refer to my previous point of "Don't put it down - Put it away".

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tips For A More Organised Handbag


I know that my bag has at times been so full of clutter that I have been too scared to put my hand in there just in case I was bitten by something poisonous!  We have all been guilty of it at one time or another.

Save yourself the embarrassment and frustration of having to tip the contents of your handbag out in public just so you can find your keys or your lipstick and declutter your hand bag today!

Step One: Empty the contents of your handbag onto the counter and clean the inside of your bag with a damp cloth.  Now is the perfect time to fix any tears in the lining and get rid of all the rubbish that you have accumulated in it. 

Step Two:  Organise your bag.  Now would also be a good time to purchase a bag organiser - you can get these from any storage store or even ebay.  They are a great investment and they will help you spend less time trying to find your lipstick.  Alternatively, you could use little containers or ziplock bags to categorise your essentials.  Assign spaces for everything that you need such as keys, makeup, phone, and other items.  This will make it much easier for your to maintain an organised bag.

Step Three:  Is it really necessary?  Do you carry items that you could perhaps store at the office such as make up, lipstick, spare pair of shoes?  Storing these items at the office will make more room in your handbag and make it lighter for you to carry.

Step FourClean your bag out on a regular basis - or better still - don't store junk or rubbish in it at all!  Take your receipts out and file them on a daily/weekly basis.  Make sure that you only keep what is absolutely necessary in your bag and it will save you time and stress in the long run.