ORGANISE YOUR LIFE

ORGANISE YOUR LIFE

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. 

Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. 

Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. 

Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. 

Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

Being organised is a state of mind that anyone can adopt. It involves a lot of decluttering, prioritising and decision-making. Once a general overhaul has taken place regular updating and review is easy. We spoke to Cape Town based professional organiser Vanessa Bourne for some general guidelines towards a well-oiled life. In her opinion, the beginning of a New Year is a great time to review and renew both your affairs and possessions.

Attitudes keeping us in a cluttered mind set date as far back as WW1 where everything, junk or otherwise had to be saved for fear of future rationing. Hoarding became the norm and through the generations we have inherited this habit. With little faith in future abundance what we have today carries the fear of ‘not having’ tomorrow. Yet, as a general rule, eighty percent of stuff we hold on to, we never use again.

Unknowingly, we project energy into everything we own or have in our space so it makes sense that piles of papers, old magazines, bottles, car parts, collections and knick-knacks could be obstructing clear thinking and contributing to fatigue.  To add to that, at least an hour a day on average is spent looking for things we can’t find, whether for keys, an odd sock, or a piece of reading matter. Time wasting and exhaustion aside, clarity of mind and a feeling of lightness are positive attributes destined to reward the well organised.

The first step is to divide your life into areas: home, finance, office, personal and family, and then prioritise. If piles of junk are making it hard for you to get through your front door, start there. If the sheriff of the court keeps ringing your doorbell, locate your pile of bills and start paying them. Do one room at a time and subject each item to ruthless questioning. When last did I use it? Can I replace it? What feel-good value does it have? Does it make my home a sanctuary?  Start by throwing away as many things as you can. This takes practise and might need a few trial runs. Often we connect who we are with the stuff we have and feel uncomfortable or empty with the thought of giving it away.

Bourne noticed that to avoid going through the emotions of empty nest syndrome some mothers keep their children’s rooms intact long after they have moved out. Change requires emotional work and shifting of sentiments and most times we try and avoid it. In the same way we keep Granny’s old kist full of knitting patterns, and Johnny’s books from grade two for sentimental reasons. Important memories can be put into context by creating a memory box with a few selected items. Timing is also a factor; you might find that second time around you are ready to get rid of stuff that you felt was necessary to hold onto previously. Most things can be replaced and giving away creates a space for more appropriate things to come into life. Use auction houses, second hand shops, junk shops, charities and recycling bins to redistribute unneeded items. Return everything that belongs to other people. Once you have removed all the items you don’t need or want ensure you don’t make the same mistake by saying no if someone offers you something you don’t want. Dealing with papers, bills and information instantly and having ample storage containers and cupboard space also helps.
You can then organise what remains. Bourne advises keeping a life file complete with all relevant details about your life. Use the suggestions below and add anything else you feel is appropriate.

PERSONAL DETAILS – I.D. number, details of spouse, children and close friends, mini CV with a document of past history, houses, education facilities, copies of birth certificate, and passport
YOUR SUPPORT TEAM – doctors, dentists, therapist, plumbers, electricians, insurance broker, personal banker, accountant, hairdresser, children’s schools, teachers, police, etc MEDICAL DETAILS -  allergies, medication, blood type, prescriptions, medical aid numbers and ambulance
ANNUAL RENEWALS – subscriptions, memberships, car and TV licenses
WILL AND BURIAL WISHES – containing an updated will with instructions
POLICIES – update insurance policies, short term, life etc
BANKS – credit cards, account numbers
GUARANTEES AND INSTRUCTION MANUALS– keep copies of both
HOME –style numbers of paint used in the house, deed of sale, erf number, account numbers for electricity, telephone, water and rates, lists of antiques, jewellery and valuation certificates

Being organised doesn’t mean being neat and vice versa, neat people may file everything away and still not be able to find anything. Further tips on being organised include having a family information centre in the kitchen which could be a draw, tray or cupboard designated for post, reminders, schedules, dry cleaning slips, homework or bills, this should be a processing area and not storage space. Use stack trays if you have more than one child. Some people prefer to use the fridge as a notice board. Encourage family members to take responsibility for items that need replacing by having a shopping list on a wall with a pencil attached. Date all reading material and if still unread after a certain time period, throw it out. Check that your kitchen is designed with stored items closest to where they are used e.g. cups above kettle, baking pans near stove, chopping board near knives, cleaning items near sink and cutlery and condiments in the dining room. Double up shelves by adding in between shelves. Store extra blankets flattened between mattress and base, pass on all unfinished projects like kites half built or jerseys half knitted. Use a trunk to store extra pillows. Throw away old creams, cosmetics and medication, and store bathroom items in Tupperware containers with smaller items in ice cube trays.

Deciding what to wear can take up more time than we like to admit and yet a well-planned wardrobe will make decisions for you. Tracy Gold, Cape Town based professional wardrobe consultant points out that if we examine our wardrobes we will be surprised at how many items of clothing we keep that we never wear. Aim to give away every item of clothing that hasn’t been worn in the last two years. This includes ‘thin’ clothing, ill-fitting garments and duplicates. If clothing is visible, packed away neatly and can be worn with three other garments it will work for you instead of taking up hanging space. Keep sentimental clothing that you are reluctant to throw away but unlikely to wear at the back of the cupboard. Hang belts, ties, scarves and shawls on a hanger, and put all similar items together - pants together, jackets together, shirts together etc. Gold believes classic or basic garments should constitute the bulk of your wardrobe, then fashion items and accessories. Work out how much time is spent in different areas of life like work, casual, party, sport and exercise and make sure you have suitable clothing for each. If a pair of trousers really works for you, get a seamstress to duplicate them in different colours. Limit shoe fetishes by deciding how many pairs of shoes your wardrobe can take, for every new pair throw an old one away. Select clothing to go with items you already have, buying single items on impulse can leave you with countless mismatched garments and nothing suitable to wear.

Useful Contacts:
For professional organising help in your home or office contact Vanessa Bourne on Tel: (021) 855-2706 or log onto www.getorganised.co.za
For personal wardrobe planning or to attend a workshop contact Tracy Gold on Tel: (021) 785-7275

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