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How to give your home an organizational overhaul, according to the experts

As we’re spending more time at home, having a well-organized, ordered space can make the world of difference. Fortunately, the home-editing and interiors experts are here to advise on how to easily plan, declutter, edit and curate for a fresh and renewed feel in 2021. By KATIE BERRINGTON

Lifestyle

Create a schedule – and allow for extra time

Make sure you give yourself a realistic timeframe for the project, advises Nikki Boyd, author of the bestselling book Beautifully Organized. “When starting the process of organizing your home and creating workable systems, start by creating a schedule. Give yourself a reasonable timeline for each space. You may even want to give yourself one week to complete each room, as this takes the pressure off.”

Jamie Hord, founder of home-organization company Horderly, agrees. “Getting organized doesn’t happen overnight. It takes longer than most people think, if you organize properly, so make sure you set aside enough time to complete the project and try not to get ahead of yourself.”

Break it down into achievable goals

“A tip is to imagine a large plus sign over the room – or you could create one with painter’s tape – to give you four different sections in the space,” recommends Boyd. “Work on one section of the room each day by decluttering, cleaning and organizing only that corner. At the end of four days, you will have a well-organized room. Splitting it into small pieces can eliminate the overwhelming feeling many get when trying to bring order to a space. Be consistent with your schedule and you will have your home beautifully organized in no time.”

Envision your dream space and ideal lifestyle

Marie Kondo’s now-famed method is to take a mindful approach to organization. “Tidying is a powerful reset, and in my experience, there is no better time to tidy up than at the start of a new year,” she tells PORTER. “The first step of my tidying method is to imagine your ideal lifestyle. Home has become your office, your school, your gym, your children’s day care, your everything! So, reconsider what kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it. Use this vision to guide you through the tidying process. Then tidy by category – not location. Keep only those items that spark joy and give them a home to prevent clutter. You’ll find that this method not only helps with organization but also encourages a mindfulness that you can bring to all aspects of your life.”

By simply editing your most-reached-for drawers and spaces, you will be less likely to leave unsightly clutter where it doesn’t belong and are more likely to create a routine-ready space
Ria Safford

Treat it as a process and a journey

“At Horderly, we have an 11-step process that we go through for any space,” shares Hord. “Begin by fully pulling everything out of the space and putting ‘likes with likes’ (all T-shirts together, all sweaters together, and so on). Next, touch on each item individually and ask yourself, ‘Keep, toss, or donate?’ Once you’ve made a decision on everything, you can start placing those items back strategically, based on how much you use the item and how accessible you need it to be. Lastly, bring in organizing products to contain and maximize your space, and don’t forget to label them for easy maintenance.”

Prioritize purpose

When it comes to arranging your belongings in the room, “place with purpose,” says Ria Safford of home-curation brand (and ultra-pleasing Instagram account) RíOrganize. “By simply editing your most-reached-for drawers and spaces, you will be less likely to leave unsightly clutter where it doesn’t belong and are more likely to create a routine-ready space. Think about what you need where and place items with purpose.”

Consider an interior overhaul, too

For an even fresher start to the year, give your space more of a makeover by changing up a color scheme or introducing new lighting and furniture. Kate Watson-Smyth, property and interiors journalist and author of Mad About the House, says you must ask yourself three questions when designing a room. “Who, what and when: Who will be using the room? What are they doing there? And when is it happening? Knowing the answers will guide you towards the right choices on furniture, lighting and paint shades,” she advises when it comes to making focused decisions. “Then you must think about how the colors you like make you feel. If a zingy green gives you energy, put it in the office or sitting room rather than the bedroom, where a calmer shade might be better.”

Finally, aim for peace of mind

Don’t underestimate the power of an edited, organized and newly curated space. “With the start of 2021, we’re all looking to turn over a page. In life, this might not be so easy, but in our homes it’s very doable to clear our minds,” reflects Valina Brizzi, aka @TheWardrobeOrganizer. “Start organizing, and therefore minimize all of your rooms one by one – just take baby steps. Decide what to keep, sell, toss or (often forgotten) donate, and give every item its own space in the house. An organized home will give you peace of mind, and couldn’t we all use more of that?”

Tidying is a powerful reset… Reconsider what kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it. Use this vision to guide you through the tidying process
Marie Kondo

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