Here are some quick ways to organise your realm and keep things in their place …
1) Assign specific living quarters to everything you own.
2) If the zip’s gone, it’s the wrong size, empty or you’ve never used it, chuck it in the bin/recycling or drop off at a charity shop.
3) Observe where certain ‘stuff’ accumulates and design the house around that rather than trying to get your family to fit your systems. For example, if the kids bring their crayons and colouring books onto the kitchen table and you always have to tidy the table before tea, why not find a small basket or box that can store art materials in the kitchen.
4) Store toys in wicker baskets or storage boxes with lids. A lid means you can put everything away out of sight at the end of the day and enjoy a few toy-free hours before you head off to bed.
5) If you're the sentimental type that dislikes throwing things out, get a big box and store things up in the loft, or find a cupboard/drawer/shelf for well-loved items to live happily without invading any floor space.
6) Leave a shoe basket (much more likely to be used by kids than a shoe rack) by the front door to avoid those excruciatingly long searches through the house for a matching pair of shoes.
7) Place a two-compartment hamper in the kids’ rooms so they can sort lights from darks as they undress, rather than just leaving their dirty clothes in a pile on the floor.
8) Create separate files for letters, bills and school information so you can locate documents quickly when you need them.
9) Organise future events with a monthly accordion file. Put birthday cards, directions to a family get-together, a note to check on furniture deliveries, even holiday brochures in the appropriate months.
10) Construct a ‘Just for Me’ pampering kit so lotions, scented candles, nail polish and cosmetics aren’t scattered in three different rooms.