If you're drowning in paperwork and overrun with clutter at home or work, then now is a good time to clear the decks and press reset for the new year.
"Research shows that mental clarity, productivity and endorphins increase when you're living and working in an organised space," says Erin Boyce, owner of Your Organised Life, a professional organising service for individuals, families and businesses. Here are Erin's top tips for sorting and storing your stuff.
1. Baby steps. Often thinking about tackling a big job such as clearing clutter, can feel overwhelming. Start with one room - the sense of achievement you feel when you've finished will help you move onto the next.
2. Sort it out. Sort your stuff into piles of store, throw and recycle. Bag up and remove the throw and recycle items so you are left with just those you want to store. Already, you've got rid of more than half your clutter. If you haven't, then take a second look and be firm. If you haven't worn it or used it in a year or more, then it's time to say goodbye.
3. Storage. Choose the right storage for the job. Storage containers should always be functional over pretty. In my opinion, see-through and stackable storage will always win. Keep it simple.
4. Central station. Create a 'command' station somewhere in the home full of all those useful items we use often like batteries, stationery and sticky tape. Group items together and store them in storage drawers or plastic takeaway containers. Label each box on the front with a permanent marker (I like Pilot's Permanent Markers as they're long lasting and don't fade out) so you'll always know what's inside and you'll never have to rifle through a drawer full of junk again.
Group items together and store them in storage drawers or plastic takeaway containers.Erin Boyce
5. Toy time. Give your kids some sticky labels and a fine-tipped marker pen and ask them to draw pictures of their toys (dolls, soft toys, games, etc.) and stick them onto the storage containers. They'll have fun and it's a great way to get them involved in sorting their stuff from an early age.
6. Paper trail. Keep the majority of your paperwork virtually to ensure paper clutter doesn't start taking over but with the important documents, store hard copies into a space saving expanding file folder, then group and label into categories, e.g. 'bills, 'receipts', 'school' and 'health'.
7. Freezer pleaser. Keep track of food that's stored in the freezer and pantry. Use freezer labels or masking tape to label the food item and date stored. Store in the freezer by food type and date to save searching next time you're looking for a quick and easy meal.