Archive for the ‘Storage’ Category

Too Much Clutter? – interview with Warren Moore, 2GB

January 4, 2013

Yesterday Warren Moore and I had a good chat about the benefits of downsizing and how to keep clutter at bay.

Listen in here.


How to Avoid Organising Mistake #2

December 31, 2011

In the 7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects, mistake #2 was

Buy the storage solutions at the start of the project

Why is that a big mistake?

Frankly, it’s not uncommon for me to arrive at an organising consultation to find a room piled high with neat boxes and baskets and containers, all as yet unused, all representing a significant $ investment, and actually causing some of the clutter problem I am there to help out with.

And what’s more…

  1. Until the first stages of the project are completed – sorting, purging, organising – you can’t accurately determine how much, which type or size of container or other product you’ll need.
  2. Storage solutions are very often someone else’s (typically a manufacturer or retailer) idea of what you need.
  3. They can rack up to quite an investment, and that’s not something you want to take a stab in the dark at.
  4. And you may well not need anything new at all.  Often it’s possible to reuse things already on hand.

The right time to think about storage solutions is towards the end of the project when you will get a much clearer picture of what sort is required, what will look good in the space and how much you will need.

Read more in The Truth about Storage Solutions.

Next time we’ll tackle mistake #3.


7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects

December 29, 2011

For many this quiet time between Christmas and New Year has been set aside for tackling an organising project.  And for many more, getting organised is a New Years resolution.  There are several things that can turn good intentions into a failed attempt.  Here are the most common mistakes people make.

  1. Underestimate the time it takes to work through a project
  2. Buy the storage solutions at the start of a project
  3. Have unclear goals for the space or the project
  4. Have unrealistic expectations from the space
  5. Let the unwanted stuff hang around
  6. Stop before the project is done
  7. Listen to well-intentioned but ill-informed advice

Look out for future posts on how to avoid making these mistakes.

Related Posts:

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #1

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #2

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #3

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #4

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #5

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #6

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #7

Ready Set Christmas – Deck the Halls

December 9, 2011

Have you decorated your home yet?  Do you go all out, or are there just a few special decorations you put out each year?

Whichever the case may be, think about the other 11 months of the year, when those decorations are not in use.  Do they cause a storage problem?  Are there some decorations you use less frequently or not at all, but hang on to anyway?

As you take out your decorations this year, make some decisions about each piece and whether it’s earning its place in your home.

You could even do away with storing Christmas decorations altogether and go for a combination of other options like …

  • edible decorations
  • items you have on hand, like cookie cutters or candles
  • things you can repurpose after Christmas like fabric or ribbon
  • consumables, like fake snow spray

or not 😉

Lids with No Pots

September 22, 2011

My mother always used to say,

For every pot, there is a lid.

She was referring to love, meaning that for every person, there was a good match out there, someone who could “complete” them.

But let’s think about this literally for a moment.  Is there a lid for every pot in your kitchen?  Is there a pot for every lid?  Are there lidless pots and potless lids lurking in the deep corners of your cupboards?  Why are they still there?  And what are they waiting for?

If your kitchen has extra cupboard space you don’t need, and you have spare time to search through that space, then keeping extra lids or pots will work just fine for you.

But for the rest of us, who want to save space and time, let’s keep only those things which serve a purpose, ok?

Paprika – my favourite app not too spicy just sweet!

August 25, 2011

Thanks to Helen Crozier for this product review. You can read more reviews and posts by Helen, Business Productivity Genius, at her blog

Paprika  is an easy to use, time saving and fun app available for both the iPhone and iPad.

I’ve been using it for over 12 months and am slowly adding my collection of recipes to it. This app is ideal for those who’ve seen the light and like to plan their menus at week or even month in advance.

Here’s how I use Paprika during my week.  On Monday morning I evaluate my pantry and freezer to see what’s in store. I also find out who’s around for meals. I am generally able to take one-two home cooked meals out of the freezer if I have a busy day. For the other meals I select 1-2 favourites from within Paprika and I also add in 1-2 recipes so that my database slowly gets larger! There is a browser inside the app so when you’ve located your desired recipe on the web you simply click ‘add recipe’ and it does all the formatting for you. A photo of the meal is added, ingredients and method all appear in the right columns.

Each recipe has the option to add to meal plan or add to shopping list so I do this as I go and then tick off any items that I already have. The next part is brilliant –  my Paprika account actually syncs my recipes to all devices. Why this is great is that I don’t generally shop with my iPad but often take my iPhone. When I’m out at the shops I can quickly call up my shopping list or if I decide to spontaneously add something to the week’s menu I can call up the recipe to see what I need for it.  I often put the iPad on a stand on the kitchen bench and keep checking the recipe regularly. It has an inbuilt timer and stays on until you turn it off avoiding sticky smears across the screen.

My long term plan is to have all my favourite recipes from the books I have plus any out there on the web inside Paprika and nicely categorised. As it is possible to export the recipes or share them one day I hope to be able to pass the collection on to my son and daughter in particular. You can of course manually add your own recipes with photos but if you do find the recipe on the web it is quicker to use Paprika’s add function. Browsing for what to cook is easy as you can add multiple categories to your recipes. Mine are the standard main, dessert, chicken, beef, pork, seafood etc but I also have my categories for my celebrity chefs – Nigella, Bill, Jamie.

Paprika for iPad and iPhone is $5.49AUD, with free cloud sync subscription. A MAC version of the desktop software is available for $20.99AUD which also includes free cloud sync. Unfortunately there is not a desktop version for Windows. So far I’m happy enough with just syncing between the iPad and iPhone but for those who don’t have an iPad but do own a MAC, the Desktop version is an attractive alternative.

I give this app, along with all the other reviews in the iTunes store, five stars!

Please don’t visit this week

May 31, 2011

Breaking News: I’m human.

Having recently moved into a much smaller home than I have ever lived in before, I have found it a challenge to get the place “perfect”. Well, ok it’s never going to be perfect. There will always be improvements I’d like to make, big and small. But I have felt reluctant to invite friends over to show off my new nest because it just isn’t “ready” yet.

I often tell my clients “You have to break an egg to make an omelette”. In other words, things usually get worse before they get better. You have to make a mess in the short term – sorting, collating, etc. – with things in a state of flux, before the space is organised. So you’d think I’d know to expect this.

But somehow I feel inadequate because my home is often in a state of flux these days. I unpack a box and the contents of that box have to find a home, then the box (or 10) needs to be removed. Then a certain amount of reshuffle occurs as I tweak.

Don’t get me wrong, I can find what I need when I need it. I do not waste time and it’s easy to put things away and retrieve them. I’m organised, the place is organised. It’s just not always as tidy as I’d like. And we all know by now that there’s a big difference between tidy and organised.

So this week there is another state of flux. We bought 2 new pieces of furniture. They are replacements. When you live in a small space you have to make the best use possible of the space you have. It’s worth investing in pieces that will provide storage and function as well as look good to live with for a long time. The old furniture that came with us were a little too big and bulky but did not actually offer enough storage. The new pieces will use the height of the room better and “fit” with the look we’re going for.

The problem is that now we have 2 chunky pieces of furniture sitting around. Normally I’d get it out immediately – sell or donate it – but they are waiting till my son decides if he needs them. When he gets married in 5 weeks, he’ll be moving into a new place with his bride and may welcome our offcasts. Trouble is they have not yet found their own new nest and so cannot commit to a decision. (Ever happened to you?) So meanwhile, we are stuck with imperfection.

I can cope with that. And all right, you can visit ;). But if you do, please understand we are in a state of flux.

Friday Fun One – Place for Everything

January 14, 2011

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Building my Nest

January 12, 2011

You may have noticed I’ve been laying low for a while now.  Well, I’ve been busy building my new nest.  I have moved house and office.  I have moved from a VERY BIG house to a small apartment.  It’s not that small, it’s just right for 2 people.  And it’s the realisation of a dream come true.  It’s a fantastic way to kick off a New Year.

Anyway, I have been concentrating on unpacking boxes and finding new homes for the things I need, use and love – those are the criteria required to win a place in my new nest.  I’m not saying it’s easy to relocate and downsize in such a big way, but I am LOVING it!

I thought you might be interested to know some of the tips I’m implementing, so here’s one of them…


As I put things away in my new kitchen, I find I have an abundance of pretty much everything.  One way to decide what stays is the item’s ability to nest.  By that I mean, whether it fits neatly inside other similar items.  I’m applying this to plastic containers, salad bowls, platters, saucepans and more.

Ok, back to my nest now.  See ya 🙂

Christmas Tip Roundup

December 21, 2010

There are all kinds of clever people out there with great Christmas tips and how-tos.  I thought I’d share some with you here.  Please sit back and enjoy.

Holiday Storage from Ali Edwards

Minimize Holiday Clutter by Aby Garvey

Clutter Video Tip: Organizing Gift Wrap by Lorie Marrero

and finally, 5 Tips for Surviving Holiday Shopping by Jill Chivers on Imogen Lamport’s Inside Out blog