The Ultimate Spring Clean

Dr Woog and The Original Mrs Woog moved to the big smoke late last year, after years on a property near the Blue Mountains. They downsized substantially. They left 35 years of memories up on that hill, and moved into a sweet little 2 bedroom cottage.

As you can imagine, the work behind doing so was no mean feat.

Years ago, The Divine Ms M told me of this magical service, one where people come and sweep through your house like Mary Poppins on prozac. Was this true?

Was there such a thing?

Well yes there is! And as my in-laws loved into the house, there were two magical fairies that took over and unpacked their entire house! Not just unpacked it…. BUT ORGANISED IT!

Alison Boss Lady asked me if I would like to trial the service AND I WAS ALL LIKE YOU BLOODY BETTER BELIEVE IT! You see, we had actually moved house 12 months beforehand, and although we were unpacked, things had been shoved into cupboards and left as is.

Before 1

As far as organising stuff, I would give myself a solid 4 out of 10. It is not because I do not appreciate order, I just found the state of my house overwhelming. Some folk wondered whether I minded a stranger going though my stuff, but really, I didn’t. The priorities were my wardrobes etc, and the kitchen. Alison has put together a little guide for you to get started with organising your joint.

Tips for Home Organising/Decluttering

Before Starting

Assess what you want to achieve at the end of your time.  Is it to fold and tidy wardrobes/cupboards, cull excess ‘stuff’, overhaul specific rooms or do a general home declutter?  Which rooms are your priorities?  Start small & be clear so that you can achieve what you need to in the time you have available.

If you are planning on culling, get several boxes – one for charity, one for selling and one for rubbish.

Try to make quick decisions as to which box an item belongs in.  If you can’t decide, put ‘not sure’ items to the side in a pile to sort later. You’ll soon be in the swing of things and be quicker making decisions.

General Guidelines

Select the starting room and shut the door.  Start from one corner of the room and work your way around, leaving the centre of the room until last.  You’ll see progress as it happens and get less disheartened when the job is big.

Only keep items specific to that room, in each room.

Don’t have ‘dumping’ spots throughout the house for items that belong in different rooms.  If something belongs in another room, take it there straight away.

 Kitchen

Cupboards/Drawers

Discard non-matching lids/bottoms, anything chipped or broken, double-ups & odd items from dinner or glass sets.  Stacking saves space.

Before 2

Pantry

Discard out of date or never-used products.  Place regularly used items within easy reach and less used items higher up.

Put food into glass jars or plastic containers.  Clear containers in half, 1 & 2 litre sizes can be stacked between shelves, leave contents visible, can be labeled and look tidy and organised.

Utensils

Where you have double ups, keep the best or the item in the best working order only. One layer of utensils only makes finding things easier.

Appliances

Check when these were last used if they are hiding up the back, covered in dust and taking up space e.g. bread makers and juicers.  If you haven’t used them in 12 months, you are unlikely to ever again.

Move all the non-kitchen items that find their way into kitchens, such as stationary, tools, wrapping paper, toiletries etc to their appropriate room.

Linen Press

Throw out or donate old or non-matching towels and linens.

Have separate sections for like linens i.e. bedding on one shelf, towels on another.

Fold towels and colour code in piles of same sized items.

With bedding, fold sheets, doonas, and pillow cases the same way so they all sit neatly, then store the folded doona and sheet sets inside a pillow case to keep matching items together.  Keep same sizes together (King, Queen, Single). (BEVERLY!!!!)

Wardrobes

Research shows that the average Australian woman only wears a third of her clothes and has around 100 items in her wardrobe that she never wears.

If space is tight hang seasonal clothing and fold and store the rest to swap each season.

Purchase space saving hangers and labeled storage containers for items such as belts, scarves and Jewelery.

Put aside items that need altering, fixing or stains removed. Once you have finished, put these items straight into the car to deal with quickly.

before 3

Categorise items in your wardrobe as follows:

A – Wear regularly

B – Wear for special events only

C – Love but not appropriate anymore (doesn’t fit, soiled or worn out)

D – Only worn once or twice, or never

E – Unsure

F – Sentimental

Action to take:

A put away into your wardrobe

B put into your wardrobe in its own section

C and D should be given to a friend, donated to charity or binned (as appropriate)

E should be put to one side and then checked again later in the day

F should be stored in a box in the top of the cupboard

Once you have culled, colour-code hanging clothes. This makes finding what you are looking for easy, and looks neat and tidy.

Re-fold non hanging items and store in neat, same-sized piles.  Where possible have separate drawers for t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, jumpers, sportswear etc.  If you have open shelves, baskets can be purchased to keep like items neat and together.

SO IN COMES SUE! Sue is one of The Finishing Touch’s Mega Organisers. She turned up with a huge bunch of flowers, popped on a natty purple apron before pulling out her notebook. We talked about the particular horrors that were living in my house, and she set to work.

Sue achieved more in those 4 hours, than I had done in one year.

after 1

We chatted, and she told me about some of the work that she had done. Rich and famous folks, pregnant nesting ladies, pre-move sorting, unpacking and jobs just like mine… organising ordinary people who feel a little out of control. She was delightful. She also told me about a job she did in Cowra. Yes, these ladies go EVERYWHERE in Australia!

after 2

Sue assured  me she could work magic with my wardrobe, so I left her too it. SHAZAM!

after 3

The best thing has been, since Sue had done such a great job, I have found it really easy to maintain. I love Sue with all my heart. (Congrats on being named Employee of the Year!)

More more information about this service, please click here. And you can like them on Facebook here.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.43.24 PM