23 April 2018
When was the last time you ventured to the very back of your bathroom cupboards? Here are some tips to declutter and organise this area to save you time (and money).
Photo by Dulux Paint
Whether you’ve been living in your home for 15 years or 15 weeks, a bathroom declutter will save you time getting ready in the morning. Plus, you’ll be surprised by how much accumulated clutter you can easily let go of, giving you much more open space.
1. Empty out
First, grab a rubbish bag for anything that needs to go directly into the bin. Ensure some wipes are nearby to clean the cupboards and drawers down once everything is out. Then create space on the floor or benchtop where you can sort things. I usually use the floor, as you can empty every single item out of the bathroom cupboards, drawers, shelves and off the vanity top and lay them out so you can see what you have.
While the cupboards are empty, take the opportunity to give them a wipe out, as bathroom cupboards often end up covered in product, dust and hair. No doubt you’ll find some lonely hair clips living at the back of the bathroom cupboard too.
Photo by Zeitgeist Photography
2. Dump expired products
Once you have everything on the floor, the next step is to throw out any expired products. In almost every bathroom there are products that have expired (sometimes ones that are decades old) that need to be thrown away. Grab your rubbish bag and you’ll be surprised how many items end up in it.
Remember that you put these products on your skin, hair and nails, and you don’t want to absorb out-of-date chemicals into your body. If you can’t remember when you purchased it, the chances are it’s time to discard.
This is also a good time to dispose of products that you keep thinking you’re going to use, but probably never will. Orange nail polish? Out. Purple eye shadow? Out. Self-waxing kits? Unless you’ve used them in the last six months, say bye bye.
Photo by Capital Closets
3. Categories and containers
My key organisational advice for bathroom cupboards is to use storage baskets inside the cupboards or drawers, so that you both contain categories and are able to access items quickly and easily. The following categories are common to almost every bathroom I’ve ever helped declutter and organise:
- Hair products
- Tanning sprays and lotions
- Basic first aid
- Sanitary products
- Nail polish
- Eye care
I suggest using baskets with handles to make accessing things at the back of the cupboard easier. This way you don’t have dead space at the back where products fall out of sight and out of mind. Use either a black marker or label maker to label the containers, so you can quickly and easily see what is there. You can then put things away quickly, without having to pull each basket out first.
One added advantage of having products stored like-with-like is that when you want to paint your nails, for example, instead of rummaging through a drawer trying to find the polish, file and top coat you can quickly and easily grab the basket where everything is kept.
Photo by MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.
If you have a large make-up collection, it’s even more helpful to further categorise the contents into different types of products. You might like to have smaller containers, keeping lip colours, eye products, foundations and blushes separate. This will also help you know what products you have, and will save you money. When you run out of one eye liner, you can quickly and easily find another one that you already own instead of buying a replacement.
Photo by Dettling-Architekten
4. Use it
Now that you know what you have, a useful tip is to use the products you already own rather than buying new products. Use the sunscreen you have before you buy any extra. Finish the hand cream you have before you trying a new product. Rediscover lipstick colours you forgot you owned. Your wallet will thank you for it.
You may also rediscover forgotten products that inspire you; think massage oil, a pedicure set, bubble bath or hair treatments. Take some time out one night to pamper yourself a little bit… it can be your reward for doing a great job of decluttering your bathroom cupboards.
23 March 2018
It’s no wonder the co-founder of Done & Done NYC, a professional organising, de-cluttering, and staging business, is just as organised in her personal life as her professional life. Abby Löfberg has the scoop on how Kate Pawlowski’s daily routine stays on track.
Image Source: ShopStyle Photography
Our co-founder Kate Pawlowski is 28 years old and the most high-functioning person I know. (Read her bio here) What’s great about her is that she gives advice that someone like me (who doesn’t “run a home” and is not naturally organized) can actually follow and implement.
I grilled her about her entire day, and gleaned a couple of great habits that she does unconsciously and without thinking. She says that these are so easy, they don’t feel overwhelming — they become ingrained into your habits, and you end up looking forward to the feeling of relief you get after such little effort, like brushing your teeth in the morning.
When she wakes up, Kate fills her kettle and turns it on. During the three minutes it takes to boil for her morning tea, she unloads the dishwasher, so she never has to keep dishes in the sink and just pops them straight in the dishwasher all day. Imagine never having to have a terrifying sink full of dirty dishes! (I actually do this too. It works!)
She keeps a magic eraser in her shower and wipes down the walls right after she shuts the water off to keep it clean and mildew-free. This prevents slime and grime from building up in the grout, and she never has to do a deep shower clean other than during her seasonable deep cleaning sprees.
3. Getting dressed
She is all about stylish basics that work for multiple purposes — especially with her underwear. When Kate buys her undies, she makes sure they match a few of her existing bras, so she can quickly pull out a pair and be in a matching set. When she takes off her clothes at night, her bra and undies go right into the mesh delicates bag she has hanging on her closet door, so they’re ready to pop in the wash once a week. (She actually has a bunch of these bags in different sizes and washes most of her clothes this way to take care of them). This way, she never runs out of underwear and has to do a last-minute wash while wearing granny panties.
She spends seven to 10 minutes every night tidying her desk, her coffee table, folding throw blankets, and starting the dishwasher so she can wake up fresh in the morning and get right to coffee and work.
Living in an organised way is not just about where you put your things — it starts with what you let into your house in the first place. Kate is vigilant about her shopping habits — she does research on clothes and reads reviews before she buys them. She knows what cuts work for her and which materials she is most comfortable wearing. She also takes care of her clothes really well by washing everything on a delicate cold-cold cycle. This way, her clothes stay in top condition and she doesn’t have to buy as much. This is part of a philosophy we at Done & Done NYC call Owning Well — in other words, how to own less things that work perfectly for you is a more efficient and less expensive way to have an organised space.
30 January 2018
The linen closet: if you are lucky enough to have one, you’ve likely asked yourself the question, “So what goes in here, anyway?”
In most homes, it’s the junk drawer of closets, but if stocked correctly, your hall closet can be a sanctuary and a one-stop shop all in one. At least, that’s what the founders of The Home Edit are determined to show us with their latest project. Professional organisers Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are teaming up with Target to reveal simple, stylish ways to make over the typical linen closet using affordable finds from the retailer.
So, what should every linen closet have? And what needs to get tossed for good? Read on for their expert recommendations.
What should every linen closet have?
Although most of your storage potential depends on the size of your space, a bare-bones closet should have the following, according to Clea and Joanna:
- Extra sets of sheets
- Extra towels
- Toiletry items, especially toilet paper rolls
- Bins and labels to easily sort and identify each category
Everything else — from extra pillows, blankets, and spare toothbrushes to hair straighteners and phone chargers for guests — are optional.
And as for those must-have bins?
It’s all about picking items that are practical and fit the dimensions of your space. “If your shelves have extra height, you want to choose something stackable,” they said. “If your shelves or drawers are extra deep, pick a bin with depth. Once you determine what makes the most sense, then make a selection that matches your aesthetic. Some people prefer natural materials to clear plastic, or opaque to transparent.” Bottom line? “The style of the bin should always come second to the function.”
What should every linen closet not have?
Image Source: Target
There’s such a thing as too many bath towels, the two pros told POPSUGAR. “People often avoid editing items out before organizing the contents,” they revealed. “Purging duplicates, damaged items, or items you no longer use will ensure you have room for your necessities without overstocking.”
10 November 2017
Image Source: Flickr user Emma Story
Letting go of clutter is hard to do. Anyone who has encountered the teachings of Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo knows that minimalism is currently all the rage; her housekeeping manual, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has inspired legions of readers to throw away their unneeded belongings. We love all things related to organisation and have to admit to clearing out our drawers and closets in a fit of aspirational tidying ourselves.
Not everyone, though, is on board with KonMari, the nickname Kondo gave her techniques. As with any good trend, there’s a corresponding backlash. In The New York Times this month, a contributing writer extolled the virtues of living a life surrounded by things in an article called “Let’s Celebrate the Art of Clutter.”
Whether you’re pro- or anti-clutter, you must admit there’s a certain calmness to be found in a well-organised drawer. And that’s why we’re big fans of KonMari, even if her work is becoming a tad controversial. Read through to see 25 examples of Marie’s method at work, and see if you aren’t a little inspired to take a turn at organising your own home.
1. Reduce the Number of Clothes You Have
Image Source: Instagram user edenlighthipe
Kondo believes aspiring KonMari adherents should begin with their clothes, going through belongings and keeping only those things which “spark joy.”
Image Source: Instagram user 21sunshineave
One Instagram user posted a photo showing her newly tidied closet, with all the shirts facing the same direction with space between the hangers.
Image Source: Instagram user AfterGravity
According to Kondo, a well-organised closet should be able to hold many belongings.
Image Source: Instagram user justagirl_abby
There should be enough room in a closet for two people’s belongings, and more.
Image Source: Instagram user gammonje
A well-tidied closet will soon be able to store other belongings besides clothes.
2. Get Rid of Papers in the Office
Image Source: Instagram user marijneline
Kondo believes that people keep too many old papers they simply don’t need. Keeping office space tidy will make life a lot easier!
Image Source: Instagram user naominevitt
The method works especially well in small offices.
3. Store Belongings Vertically
Image Source: Instagram user GoingZeroWaste
Not a fan of piles, Kondo urges storing belongings vertically. One reader employed the advice with tea towels.
Image Source: Instagram user Beck_Morgan
The vertical stacking method is good for drawers, too. That way, you can see everything!
Image Source: Instagram user janerichmond
Kondo also likes when things are organised by colour.
Image Source: Instagram user susanneschipper2
The vertical stacking method should also be used in closets.
Image Source: Instagram user tresarandanos
Vertical stacking in drawers makes organising a child’s clothes simple.
4. Rethink How to Store Small Items
Image Source: Instagram user StacyWalkerMyers
Kondo is a big proponent of folding small items, including socks and stockings.
Image Source: Instagram user pinkandbling
She also believes in rolling socks, which helps preserve the elastic.
5. Use Small Containers
Image Source: Instagram user clarkie.chick
Kondo is a big proponent of using boxes of all sizes and shapes for organising small items, like jewellery.
Image Source: Instagram user LuckyMaya
She thinks it’s best to keep small boxes on hand for future storage solutions.
6. Say Bye to Your Books
Image Source: Instagram user stacywalkermyers
Kondo believes people keep books for far longer than necessary.
Image Source: Instagram user dani.catastrophe
Kondo urges her readers to get rid of most of their books, only keeping the ones that “spark joy.”
Image Source: Instagram user madebyfeixi
Reducing the number of books in one’s home will free up a great deal of space.
7. Attack the Bathroom Too
Image Source: Instagram user mikedickson
Kondo urges paring down bathroom items and keeping what’s left in small containers.
Image Source: Instagram user konmari_lifeproject
She believes in wiping down products after use, and then keeping them out of sight until the next time.
8. The Kitchen Should Be Orderly
Image Source: Instagram user noz__ie
Kondo’s methods extend to the kitchen, where even containers can be stored in containers.
Image Source: Instagram user wijeisenijs
Kondo urges keeping counters clear and most items out of sight.
9. Make Your Entryway Tidy
Image Source: Instagram user sarahfought
Kondo personally uses a cabinet by her entryway to hold everyday belongings and shoes.
Image Source: Instagram user midwestwannabe
Kondo believes cabinets, even when used as storage, should be orderly behind closed doors.