A professional organiser of nearly twenty years, Amanda Sullivan knows what it takes to get your house in order. But she also appreciates that very few of us are perfect. This is why her new book, Organised Enough, is the anti-perfectionist’s guide to getting – and staying – organised.
‘The most wonderful homes are those that are both alive and serene,’ Sullivan writes in the book’s introduction. ‘When you come home, you should feel a sense of peace and order, not stress and anxiety.’ The Organised Enough approach is not about throwing everything away and living in a white box. It’s about observing your home from a fresh perspective, and creating a space that works for you and your lifestyle. Straight from the pages of the book, here are some things you can incorporate today to help set you on a path to keeping chaos at bay.
The Power of One
One idea I like to impart to my clients is what I call ‘the power of one’. A funny thing happens when you just have one of something, whether it’s a hair elastic or a water bottle (or even a child!): you are aware of where it is at all times. When you have multiples of everything, they are everywhere, underfoot, overflowing; in contrast, having less means fewer objects to keep track of and store. Everyone has an excuse: ‘We need extra water bottles in case we lose them.’ ‘This carrot peeler is just so great I bought three in case one wears out.’ Trust me, you are better off with one. One water bottle, one carrot peeler. When you organise, you must confront your duplication and let stuff go.
Two Questions to Ask Yourself
At the most basic level, all organising is just grouping like items with like, in one location. Two questions to always ask yourself when organising your space are ‘Is it logical?’ and ‘Is it accessible?’ It doesn’t matter how well I fit a bunch of stuff into the top of your closet – if you don’t remember it’s there and you can’t access it, I haven’t really helped you very much.
Fresh Eyes, Fresh Space
One of the biggest keys to my success, and I think the success of any organiser, is that we bring fresh eyes to a space that may have been evolving organically but not always logically. Get an actual pair of ‘fresh eyes’ in the form of a friend or organiser, or simply walk through your home as if you were a guest, and suddenly you will ‘see’ all the niches where clutter lurks. Try it. It works.