How to

An expert’s guide to keeping your home clean and clutter-free

From everyday habits to long term solutions we get expert advice to help you cut the clutter and achieve a more organised, happy home

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The top three rules of professional organiser Natalie Jane of Be Organised 

1.  My number-one rule for a clutter-free home is the ‘one touch rule’. Every time you touch an item, put it back where it belongs, rather than moving it from one place to another. (If I take off my shoes, I put them away. When I get out of bed, I make it.

2. Every item in your home needs a functional place to live that makes sense to you and the people you live with. Once you have established a place for your items, the ‘one touch rule’ becomes much easier to implement.

3. Tidy up every day. All homes require daily maintenance. You may choose to tidy up once a day or several times throughout the day, depending on your lifestyle. Choose a time that will suit you, get the family on board and make it fun.

Choose well, buy less

+ Before you buy something, think about whether you really need it, and if you have the space for it in your home. You could go so far as to throw something out (or donate or recycle) each time you buy something. That new bowl might seem less appealing when you have to get rid of an old favourite.

+ When you do buy something, unpack and put it away straight away. That way you won’t have unpacked bags, receipts and tags lying around. Say no to bags when you can, too, to save on clutter (and help the environment).

+ Get in the habit of putting items you don’t use in a donation box. When it’s full, deliver it to the nearest op shop. Make sure items are in good condition, and that you wrap any breakables.

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Get organised with Kristina Karlsson founder of Kikki.K

+ Ensure that everyone in the family is accountable for their own spaces. Organising and keeping your personal space looking great is a rewarding task – if everyone does their bit and enjoys doing so, it will make your home a beautiful, functional place.

+ The key to staying organised is not getting cluttered in the first place. Surround yourself with useful tools to make the task of keeping organised easier. It’s easy to let things slip, but once you turn chaos into order and feel the freedom it brings, you’ll be motivated to keep it that way.

+ There is a place for everything – it may seem an impossible task, but having the right tools and information is the key to being organised.

Tackle that junk

+ Keep handy those items you use daily. Items which are used less often can be stored away.

+ If you know junk will accumulate – and it is bound to, even in the most organised home – designate a basket or drawer where clutter can live until its rightful owner claims it.

+ Keep a basket by the door or in the garage for items related to errands, and grab things you need en route to the car. This includes gas bottles to refill, eco bags to use at the supermarket, mail to post and library books to return.

Words by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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