Question from the audience: ‘I save the photos in a folder by year, then month (yyyy mm). I used to go through and add a tag for special events but I don’t anymore. The tricky and time consuming part is consolidating photos from two iPhones and three iPads. Any tips for that?’
I answered this question in this Facebook Live session. As always in photo organising, there are different options to achieve a goal. In this video, I will only talk about Windows and will share ways and strategies about how to import, merge and sort the content of various devices and cameras into one photo hub. One thing that will make it a lot easier for you is if all devices and cameras have the correct date and time in their settings. That way, your photos will automatically be in the correct chronological order when you sort by capture date.
There are other tools I am explaining, for example Dropbox or iMazing (no affiliation) that might be helpful to do the job.
To make things even easier for you, you can also download a folder structure. There are various structures to choose from, you can download only one or all of them. The two main ones are a purely chronological structure, the other is by themes. Go here to get your free download: https://photos.simplyinorder.com.au/folderstructure.
Magazine holders can be utilised for so much more than, well …, holding magazines. Here are some ideas that show how you can repurpose these clever little storage products that not only come in cardboard versions but also in metal, wood, or plastic. The wooden ones are especially suitable to be transformed into something else.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and purchase that product or service, I will be paid a small commission; however your cost will be the same. I only recommend products or services I know and trust.
I use this storage idea in our home and I just love it! Previously, I had stored the bottles in one big container but it was a bit messy. This solution is so much cleaner and it also shows the space limits very clearly as well.
This is a very sleek solution to store onions and potatoes in your pantry. These vegetables like to be stored in an airy, dark, and cool place. Always take them out of the plastic bags.
These particular magazine holders are from Amazon.
Store your smaller chopping boards neatly in a magazine holder. I’m not sure about the plastic one used in this example. I would probably rather try with a metal or wooden one so it’s actually strong enough to stand alone.
Who doesn’t love IKEA products? Well, I really like this wooden magazine holder that is used in this example to store smaller items. If you don’t want to damage your door, you could use another favourite product of mine: 3M Command hanging strips.
Do you throw parties from time to time? How about storing your paper or plastic plates, serviettes, or even placemats in a magazine holder? As you can see in this example, a wider than usual one has been used.
By the way, if you love RV hacks, check out these awesome storage tips here:
Here’s another use for the KNUFF magazine holder that is rather simple but very effective. Finally there are no more excuses for losing the keys in a messy home because everything now has its place, right?!
An oldie but a goodie … store your hair dryer, your hair straightener, your razor, or other grooming utensils in a simple magazine holder. Whether you affix it to the door, or to the side of your vanity using 3M Command hanging strips, or just put it in the cupboard, it will keep your appliances tamed.
Since I’ve become a professional organiser, it has become clearer to me that a holistic approach is necessary to create order and, more importantly, to keep it that way.
Oftentimes you hear people talking about decluttering, but what comes afterwards? Or you buy some fancy organising and storage products and are disappointed because the mess is not going away. That’s because one doesn’t work without the other, or at least only for a very short time.
The third issue is maintenance, which is often overlooked completely. You can declutter as long as you want. If you don’t build new routines and/or habits, the mess is going to be back pretty soon. Same with storage: The best organising products don’t make you tidier or more organised as long as you don’t declutter beforehand and change your habits at the same time.
In my view, we need to fuse all three factors in order to be successful. Let me explain each of the three circles and my holistic approach in more detail:
What is decluttering anyway? If you Google a definition, sentences along these lines will come up: ‘Remove unnecessary items from (an untidy or overcrowded place)’ or ‘To simplify or get rid of mess, disorder, complications, etc.’
I think we can all agree that it’s about letting go. Usually, the first things that come to mind are, of course, physical possessions. However, I think it is much more than this. How often do I hear (after a decluttering session): ‘Wow, now I can think a lot clearer!’? Some people even lose weight after decluttering their physical spaces!
Digital clutter is becoming a serious issue in this day and age as well. So are constant interruptions and impressions that we need to deal with. Our brains are overloaded (or at least feel like they are), and we struggle, too, with the FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome.
I see decluttering as a shift in one’s attitude towards things, thoughts, and even people. Knowing where you want to go in life, knowing your purpose and priorities, is important when decluttering. It makes it a lot easier to make decisions. Does this item enhance my vision or not? Maybe it’s even a hindrance! So, focussing on the positive side and on the outcome, letting go becomes easier.
Also see my post about ‘To Purge or not to Purge …’ that gives you guidance if you struggle to decide what to let go or don’t know how to do so.
In this context, organising means arranging things systematically, putting them in order, arranging them in an orderly way.
So, let’s analyse this a bit closer. It’s about systems and order. For me, it answers the question about where and how things are stored. Again, this is not only for physical things but also for digital ones. We need to create a storage system that suits us. And because we are all different, there is, of course, no one-fits-all solution.
In short, it’s nothing other than about, everything needs a home! If things don’t have a storage place, they will be put in random places. An example that is quite common: People don’t have a place to put their keys (or don’t use it) and constantly waste time looking for them.
As mentioned above, a system can’t stand alone; it always includes habits and routines. Let me give you an example: I really like my SpaceCube. Let’s say you use it as a command centre. If you don’t change your habit to drop your paper mail on the kitchen bench top instead of using the SpaceCube as an inbox, it won’t help you at all. The letters will still pile up on the bench top.
That brings us to the third circle: Maintenance.
Maintenance means preserving a condition or situation. So, after we have decluttered and found a home for everything, we want it to stay like that. This is only possible if we invest some time and energy into maintaining the current state.
I like to compare it with dieting. After shedding 10 kilos, we can’t just go back to the old eating habits. If we do, we’ll carry the lost 10 kilos plus possibly more around again a few months later. We need to change habits to sustain our new self.
Of course, changing habits is often difficult. It takes discipline and some time until a new routine becomes a habit. However, we may not have to change everything at the same time. Pick one new habit and only work on the next one when you actually get used to the first.
As the three circles imply, I think the three topics are interlocked. They are not necessarily in sequence though. For example, before I start working with a client, I often ask them to start working on one new habit. It’s a myth that you can only start a new system or habit once you’ve decluttered and reorganised everything.
If, for example, paperwork is an issue for you, nothing stops you from creating an inbox and throwing all your mail in there instead of piling it up on the kitchen bench. This is a habit you can easily get into before you start decluttering the piles and piles of old paperwork.
As you can see in that example, organising and maintenance go hand in hand. Having a physical inbox and putting the mail in there is organising. It’s a system. However, the actual action of putting the mail into that box is going to become your habit, hence maintenance.
By the way, if you are wondering about the heart in the centre of it all … decisions are usually not made based on logical and rational reasoning. I encourage clients to listen to their heart (or guts), especially when they are decluttering. There is no right or wrong, it has to feel good for you.
This hopefully gives you a better idea of my holistic approach to organising. If you’d like to learn more about how I’m working with clients and what packages I offer, don’t hesitate to call me on 0413 216 589 or email to Chantal@simplyinorder.com.au.
We can declutter and organise as much as we want. However, without routines that eventually become good habits, we will be back to Square One after a while and be frustrated because the decluttering and clever storage solutions don’t work – or so it seems.
Not everyone is a fan of routines because they feel it’s boring and too hard. Personally, I think routines and habits are one of the keys to both a more orderly home and a simpler life.
Some of the tips below are actually more about cleaning and tidiness than about organising. Even if an organised home is not the same as a tidy home, I feel these habits help create a calmer, healthier and more functional environment, which helps us thrive.
Just pick one or a few of these suggestions to try out, and I’m sure you will see an immediate positive impact!
21 Habits of Organised People
Never walk empty-handed– if you leave a room and see something lying around that doesn’t belong, take it with you and put it away.
Always do the dishes while you’re cooking – start washing up, loading the dishwasher and keeping the bench top clear instead of watching the pasta water heat That way, you can sit down for a more relaxed meal, knowing that you only need to put the used crockery, cutlery and pans in the dishwasher.
Tidy up and clean your kitchen every night– before you sit down or go to bed, make sure the dishwasher is loaded (and turned on if full), and that the surfaces and the sink are clear and clean.
Empty the dishwasher in the morning and leave the house with a clean kitchen – nobody wants to come home to a kitchen with dishes piled up in the sink or dirty bench tops. Allow enough time in the morning to clean after
Make your bed – it takes less than a minute to make a bed, but it makes a huge difference coming back in the room later. It automatically looks so much tidier.
Put things away immediately– have a home for everything and put it back after every use. Throwing the dirty clothes into the laundry basket doesn’t take any longer than dropping them on the floor! (Read more about putting things back here.)
One in – one out– when you bring something new into your home, let go of another one to avoid clutter build-up.
Have a laundry routine – whether it’s a load a day or per week, it doesn’t matter. Find a routine that works for you, stick to it and you will always have clean clothes in your wardrobe.
Tidy up every day – take 10 minutes every night to quickly tidy and straighten things up.
Deal with your mail daily – whether it’s paper mail or e-mail, go through it daily, immediately recycle envelopes and junk mail (having a sticker on your letterbox so you don’t get it anymore would even be better). Action things immediately or throw it in an inbox to deal with it later.
Unsubscribe from unread newsletters – when you receive newsletters and updates you were once interested in but realise that you haven’t read the last few ones, immediately unsubscribe.
Take the rubbish from your car with you – whenever you come home and have rubbish or other stuff in your car that doesn’t belong, remove it immediately.
Meal plan – you can save so much time and money when you plan your meals and don’t have to run to the shops every night. (Read blog here – link).
Cook more than necessary – and freeze the leftovers for the days you can’t cook, or for lunch the next day.
Allow buffer time when going somewhere – if you have an appointment, always consider travel time and add some buffer time. If you’re early, you can always read a book, catch up on emails or just relax for a bit.
Have a donation box – place a box or a bag near your garage. Whenever you no longer want something, throw it in there. Go and donate it when the box is full.
Plan, plan, plan – take a few minutes on Sunday to plan your week ahead and don’t forget the buffer time! Also do a quick calendar check every night to plan the next day.
Prepare the night before – if mornings are stressful for you, prepare everything you need the next day the night before: put out your clothes, pack your briefcase, and maybe even prepare your lunch as far in advance as possible.
Think twice before buying something – do you really need another pair of shoes? More toys? That fancy kitchen appliance? If yes, what can you let go to make space?
Have one – and only one – place to write down your to-do list – have a master list with all of your to-dos and ideas. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a physical notebook or a digital solution as long as it’s all in one place.
Have a filing system– having a home for everything includes paper or digital files. Create and use a system that works for you and always file documents as soon as possible (if you actually need to keep them).
Have you got any habits or routines that help you to be organised? I’d love to hear about it. Just leave your comment below.
Most children these days will sooner or later be involved in one or several sports which in itself can be an organisational challenge for the whole family. Part of sportive activities also involves looking after sports gear which can be anything from really small to rather big and also expensive equipment.
I never really gave much thought to the concept of children and sports except that it’s a good and healthy thing. As it happens, I became a soccer mum because Mr. 11 has loved ballgames ever since he learned to walk. Throughout the last few years he’s had several soccer training sessions per week, and of course a game every Sunday. I have to admit: I was rather glad that his brother chose not to do soccer as well, as this would have become quite an organisational challenge. Instead, he practices Judo, and they both have swimming lessons for a fraction of the year.
Of course, we support our children in their sport activities and we invest quite a bit of time as a family. However, I also find it important that children learn from an early age that we don’t do everything for them. Organising their sports gear independently is one of the many things they can learn early on. Here’s how:
Have a home for everything
This is a very general rule that, of course, also applies to sports gear, however big or small. When deciding where the sports gear will live, consider these aspects:
Size and numbers – how much space is it taking up and how many do you have (maybe you can get rid of some)?
Seasonality – is the gear used throughout the year, or can it be moved to a different place when not used?
Shape – some things take up a lot of space due to their shape (e.g. balls).
Ventilation – think shoes … it’s better to keep them in a well-ventilated container and room.
Accessibility – make sure the children can access their gear without your help.
Dirtiness – how dirty is the equipment? Let soccer boots live in the garage or the entryway so your child doesn’t walk through the house with them.
courtesy of www.diynetwork.com
Storing sports gear
Make it easy for your kids to put their gear away. It doesn’t need to look great; it just needs to be accessible and practical.
Possible storage options and some examples of what you could use them for:
Clear plastic containers (shoes, balls and pretty much anything)
Wire baskets (things that need ventilation)
Racks or hooks (helmets, skate boards)
Umbrella stand (cricket bats, pool noodles, hockey sticks)
Net bags (balls)
Special hooks (bikes)
Special bags (swimming gear)
Laundry baskets (balls, shoes, helmets)
If you need more inspiration, have a look on Pinterest.
Image courtesy of www.landofnod.com
Routines around sport activities
Another key to achieving organisation success is having a routine before and after sport activities. Let your kids prepare and pack everything they need for the activity, including water and snacks – of course with your help depending on their age. You also might want to create a checklist with your child.
Using our family as an example, this would be:
Take off soccer boots in the garage
Put them on the shoe shelf in the entry hall
Put drinking bottle in the kitchen
Put sports bag away in the laundry (where it lives)
Get undressed and throw everything in the laundry bin (or hang on the wall rack in the bathroom if it’s wet)
Take a shower and get into pyjamas or fresh clothes
Clean and polish sports shoes before you put them away for the next season. Otherwise, the leather will dry out and the shoes will be too uncomfortable to be worn.
What sports do your children pursue and how do you organise their equipment? Make life easier for the family by applying these organisation tips to your household today!
Join the mailing list to receive photo organising tips and news directly in your inbox.