Wallet Clutter – New APP Organises Your Loyalty Cards

Hands up who’s got a wallet chock-full of loyalty cards? We have the answer for you!

Stocard, a free app from iTunes and Google Play, allows you to select from hundreds of pre-set loyalty cards (or input your own) capturing your loyalty details simply and effectively, ready to be used immediately. The Wall Street Journal enthuses that it’s ‘a clever way of turning a smartphone into a virtual wallet’.

Use your phone’s camera to quickly scan your loyalty cards, and store them in your phone.  As technology moves forward, many stores can already scan your smartphone to access the card information. No registration is necessary, so you can start using Stocard as soon as you have uploaded your cards. No login is required either…your information is safely kept on your device.

We believe many people underuse their loyalty programs because they have too many cards in their wallet, lose track of what they have, or just find the process messy or time-consuming. We LOVE this idea as a way to get organised and stay organised.

How to Find Help Treating a Shopaholic

Courtesy of our Guest Blogger This Month – Melissa Fallon


Giving in to the occasional impulse buy is normal. After all, the majority of people enjoy shopping. The problem occurs when you or someone you know has succumbed to obsessive shopping. When it happens to you, a negative change in your spending habits is noticeable. For instance, you are likely tempted to dash off to the mall to buy items you don’t really need. Being constantly exposed to shopping ads on TV and the Internet makes things even worse. If you think you or a loved one is showing the telltale signs of compulsive buying or shopping addiction, you should seek treatment before the situation worsens.

Understanding Compulsive Shopping

The irresistible desire to shop is known as compulsive buying disorder or oniomania. According to a research by World Psychiatry, 5.8 percent of Americans are afflicted with the disorder, with women comprising 80 percent of the total number of affected individuals. Commonly known as shopaholics, these people are overly focused on buying and suffer from disruptive anxiety that can only be relieved by shopping. People with compulsive buying disorder are also likely to have other mental issues, including mood disorders, anxiety and substance addictions.

How to Diagnose an Addiction to Shopping (or Shopaholism)

Ruling out normal buying behavior is important. Given that the US and other wealthy industrialized countries have citizens whose leisure time is often spent on shopping, spending a lot of time shopping does not necessarily mean a shopping addiction. The holiday season, for instance, is often a common time for people to splurge on things that are normally outside their budgets. Shopping sprees are also common among people who have recently acquired a large inheritance or won a significant sum of money. As such, the apparent impulsive buying done by these people does not necessarily constitute an addiction to shopping.

How to Recognise a Shopaholic

Identifying if someone is affected by a shopping problem can be achieved by referring to the signs listed below. Manifesting four or more of these behaviors possibly points to shopaholism:

  • Spending over your budget
  • Buying more than what is needed
  • Keeping the excessive buy a secret from friends and family
  • Returning bought items because of guilt
  • Alienating relationships due to a shopping preoccupation
  • Preferring the use of credit cards to cash
  • Shopping in order to eliminate feelings of anger, depression or loneliness
  • Arguing frequently with other people about your shopping habits
  • Experiencing guilt and shame after a spending spree
  • Mulling over money matters
  • Delaying paying bills and opening new credit accounts to allow more shopping

Steps You Can Take to Help Someone With Compulsive Buying

When you recognize that someone is dealing with shopping addiction, several measures are available to help manage the disorder. Your presence and advice are very important during the whole process, especially when you’re a parent trying to assist your teen in overcoming addiction. The road to recovery isn’t an easy path, which means patience is needed.

Talking to a Shopaholic

One essential step to curb compulsive buying is to avoid scenarios that can lead to shopping binges. Indiana University professor Ruth Engs compiled a list of these possible situations. For instance, convince the shopaholic to enter a store with a shopping list in hand, instead of arriving unprepared. All credit cards must be paid off, cancelled and destroyed, save one that must only be used for emergencies. Furthermore, talk the affected person out of carrying a wallet all the time. After all, without financial means, the temptation to shop cannot be fulfilled.

Adolescents and Teens

If you are a parent or responsible adult helping out a teenager, the first step is to get the child to acknowledge the problem. You can expect the teen to deny the addiction, hence the need to be persistent. Convincing your child to open up is usually the best tactic. You can also point your teen to other activities that do not involve shopping. Exercising, jogging, reading and listening to music are just a few examples of healthy ways to keep your child occupied.

Learning to Cope With Shopping Addiction

To successfully deal with shopaholism, knowing what goes in the mind of an affected individual is important. Contrary to popular belief, shopping addicts are not always easygoing young women who are only concerned about the latest shoes and handbags. Truth be told, the shopaholic often suffers from emotional problems, has low self-esteem, and desires the approval of other people. Positive encouragement is a great way to help the addict follow constructive advice. Let the person realize that self-worth is not related to the items that they buy.

A shopping addict also has trouble controlling impulsive behavior, which can be addressed by dealing with the underlying issues. Finally, the shopaholic often has a profound sense of materialism, with the assumption that affection and admiration can also be bought. A real social connection with other people helps to reduce this problem.

How to Treat Shopping Addicts

According to WebMD, the origin of addictions remains unknown, although some evidence indicates that the addictive behavior may be partially exacerbated by genetics. As such, no standard treatments for shopping addiction are available, and current treatments involve a couple of sophisticated approaches. For instance, antidepressants may be prescribed to shopping addicts who have also been diagnosed with underlying depression. Therapy, on the other hand, involves addressing maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes. Support groups and credit counseling are also used in dealing with shopaholism.

Deciding Between Shopping Addiction Solutions

Different people respond well to different therapies. For changing unproductive thought patterns, such as negative thoughts that influence the behavior regarding money and shopping, one approach may involve cognitive behavioral therapy.

Sharing experiences with people in an empathetic atmosphere is available via Debtors Anonymous, an organization that offers a free 12-step program for people who want to stop acquiring unsecured debt. If you prefer self-help, you can buy books or join online support communities. For help in managing debts, you can try credit counseling. Companies who offer this service also have debt management plans to help you create reasonable payment arrangements with your creditors.

Where to Find Shopping Addiction Treatment for a Friend or Family Member

If your own efforts are not working and you want to seek outside help, you can consult professionals or organizations to treat shopping addiction. Remember, recovery begins with acknowledging the addiction and seeking help.

Given all the personal and professional measures available, overcoming shopaholism is entirely possible. On the other hand, breaking free from this insatiable need to spend requires time and effort. You can’t expect recovery to happen in a few days. In fact, temptations and relapses can happen while attempting to change for the better. Patience and perseverance are essential when trying to defeat your addiction.

HAD TO SHARE – I feel like a Very Lucky Girl

Here is a gorgeous B & B called Cottonwood Cottage – a stunning space to relax and unwind in beautiful Bellingen, NSW Australia, an inspiring country town on the North Coast of Australia. (Visit www.cottonwoodfarm.com.au) to see this stunning website.

I am lucky to stay in this B & B each time I visit my twin sister and her husband. The style and taste is exceptional and one doesn’t want to step outside the door of this amazing space once you have arrived. Every inclusion has been thought of – every touch placed to perfection.

Suzanne and Daniel Maher, have built Cottonwood Cottage to share their amazing country property with the outside world and the build was a years labour of love. Lorance McLashan, their builder is an absolute perfectionist, clearly demonstrated here.

For many years, Suzanne & Daniel have travelled the world, selling their inspirational cards and books (visit www.affirmations.com.au) and in their downtime have collected the coolest things – books, magazines, art and momentos from Paris and regions of France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Japan and New Zealand – everything you find on the shelves in Cottonwood Cottage has a special place in their hearts. I am sure you will love these too.

The walk-in wardrobe with two long glass shelves, is designed to unpack your clothing on to with french vintage crystal knobs in different designs on the wall to hang clothing. The kitchen is fully equipped and self-contained. Beautiful tiles from Jatana Interiors line the benchtops. On arrival you will be welcomed with a fridge full of nibbles, fresh eggs from a friends farm down the road, fresh bread from Hearthfire Bakery in Bellingen, wine (and they are good at choosing wine!) all to set you up to relax amidst pristine views and the quiet of country life. If you do visit Cottonwood Cottage one day, you will appreciate the fine selection of interior design books and magazines.

I particularly love the full wall of shelving which stores a constantly changing display of much loved collectibles. I must mention the bed. I have never in my life slept on such an exquisite bed – it feels like floating on a cloud.

The wallpaper is a rare historical book called ‘The Book of Palms’ which includes watercolour paintings from an artist who travelled the world by boat for three years in 1623, on an expedition to find and document for the first time, the worlds palm species. The pages were trimmed to create this wallpaper – how stunning and unique!

There is also 400 metres of Never Never River to swim in – fresh water from the mountains and you can even become a member of the ‘Cottonwood Swimming Club’ whilst there. How cool! Sit by the river on colourful lounges and doze to the sounds of rippling water or read and swim in total privacy.

And I MUST mention the bird life, which is growing steadily due to the planting of thousands of trees on the property which adds so much to the scene…You will hear the beautiful sounds of ‘Pukekos’ calling out to each other, ducks quacking and racing over the paddock being chased by Charcoal the resident black rabbit, a cute and funny sight, plus colourful Rosellas come to visit, and of course Charcoal will come to visit you. She’s very social and loves being fed wild bird seed and is up for a cuddle – so CUTE.

Enjoy, if you ever get to experience this dreamy place!

Do You Really Need a Big Office?

I recently decided to downsize my own home-office space, because I realised that a BIG office isn’t absolutely necessary now. This advice is something I ‘impart’ to my customers regularly, but in running my own office from my home, I was adamant that I wanted a big office to run my business from.

It’s time for change – for a shake-up. It must be in the planets, as I feel like changing my life completely, and in feeling that, like synchronicity, many things are happening. My business is reshaping and being refined, my attitudes are transforming and adjusting and therefore I don’t want the same things. I want my whole life to change – now.

I live in a 2 bedroom apartment, so making the switch between bedrooms was going to take some energy and organising knowhow…

I planned it for about a week prior, whipping out my tape measure a number of times to ensure it would work, and I drifted off to sleep each night visualising my new office space and new larger bedroom.

I lined up a friend with a trolley (and his handy mate) to help me and was SO excited all week.

When my friends arrived to move the big furniture, they both commented…”gee you’re organised”, I think without realising what they were saying…Of course I was organised! I wanted it to run like clockwork! My friend had already told me he only had an hour to help, so I had to maximise the use of their time and this meant being totally ready when they arrived.

I vacuumed, cleaned, wiped skirting boards and dusted after I had taken out all of the small items from both rooms – all before they arrived, so all they needed to do was to move the furniture.

It took them half an hour to make the move, and within a few hours I had both rooms back to normal – fully functioning and operational again.

It felt wonderful to make this change, shifting my life, ready for some new energy to unfold. I think it is important to change things around a bit – as they say, change is as good as a holiday and now I feel like I’ve moved to a new home and that also feels amazing.

Of course, the key is having the right storage for filing, paper and resources – and then you definitely don’t need a large space to operate a business from. My 3 staff members are all virtual assistants so I don’t need a second desk space, nor to rent another office space – just yet anyway.

It was a revelation (even to me) to realise that I could fit my large desk and my lateral filing cabinet into this smaller, compact space, and be happy to juggle all the tasks needed to run this company in this smaller environment.

If you have recently made a shift in space, realising it was for the best – send me your comments and I will share some stories…

Do We Really Need All of Our Stuff?

We de-cluttered and sorted out one clients spare bedroom and it turns out she didn’t need most of the stuff in the room. It was jammed packed. Now she has a spare room to set up as a gorgeous guest room or home office.

One of our consultants recently packed up the majority of her household contents into plastic tubs (labelled, organised, listed and backed up, of course!) because she was undergoing a messy renovation and figured she would rather live without her ornaments, spare clothes, unique linens and grandma’s crockery for a while, than shunt them around the house or continually have to dust them. 

The kids even chipped in and let go of the Lego and the like, and her husband finally banished the dusty books and precious paperwork he’d been hanging onto for the last however many years.

A funny thing happened. You know how it goes: renovation = time consuming = more mess + more time + lots of money, etc. The result? Two years have passed by this six month project and she is still living without the things mentioned above.

Whilst she needed to get at the Christmas decorations for the festive season (buried right at the back of her storage room because, well, the job was going to be done by then, right?) she hasn’t needed to get at anything else much since then.

What amazed her, and inspired her (an organised being…) was the truth behind the saying that we all only use 20% of what we own.  This especially amazed her, because she is so thrifty and willing to ‘let go’ of outdated, unused or unwanted stuff. Where was it all coming from? How could she, of all people, still have so much unused stuff?

Happily, she also found that she wasn’t doing nearly so much dusting, organising and housework – makes sense, really…less stuff = less work. Now, she’d be the first to admit that she wouldn’t want to live in a house without the soulful kind of energy that the family piccies bring, but it has been a revelation to her to realise just how much ‘stuff’ she lives with that contributes so little to her existence and enjoyment of living. Indeed, it costs her time and money. Remember, real estate (even storage space) is expensive.

Check out this Manhattan apartment where one Professional Organiser lives – real estate is worth a fortune here, so some small sacrifices had to be made. Have a look; you won’t believe it – unless, of course, you had similar challenges at home or at uni!

So, take another look around at your collection of must-haves. Must you? Are those things serving you, or just filling up your life, your time and your closets?

Be conscious when you handle something – look at it, feel it, consider its function. If you’re not certain if it should have a life with you, file it into a plastic tub, date the box and stash it for a minimum of six months. If you don’t need it, think of it or lament it in that time, it may be time to lose it – for good!

Get Organised Unveils Their New Flagship Professional Organiser Online Training Program.

Get Organised, Australia’s longest established and leading Professional Organiser service provider, has now expanded its very successful Training program with the unveiling of our new, Professional Organiser Online Training program. Get Organised was established in 1993 by Carol Posener, Author, Speaker, Trainer and Director of Get Organised. 

We are proud to offer the most outstanding and comprehensive Professional Organiser Online Training Program available to aspiring consultants and business owners worldwide. Get Organised has conducted group and private training for aspiring consultants for six years, and provides this training to a global marketplace in a digital presentation.

The program consists of 5 downloadable Modules, each of which contains all of the industry specific information that you will need to complete each section of our Online Training. Over the duration of study, you will learn everything that you will need to know about becoming a fully-trained Professional Organiser, just as though you would by attending our face to face Workshop Training, but in the privacy in your own home and at the pace you prefer.

Each module contains readings, templates, checklists and additional material for you to use in your business, links to further learning websites or articles of interest and, of course, a copy of our ‘Get Organised in Your Home-Office eBook’. As well, there are a variety of assignments and activities for you to complete. The assignments are practical in nature and contribute to specific outcomes in setting up your career. Each activity can be checked off the list on an ongoing basis, and they combine to form the basis of your career as the best Professional Organiser that you can be.

By following this course of study and completing the assignments set in each Module, you will be well on your way to being a fully prepared, competent and confident Professional Organiser.

You can download and work on each module as you complete them, and login to the site at any time, or download and save all of the modules at once. If it is your dream to own your own business as a Professional Organiser, I personally would be delighted to mentor you, with our Online Mentor Training Program. In this comprehensive course, you will get extra learning modules with all of the information and activities that you need to know and undertake in order to set up and operate your business as a Professional Organiser. 

This Online training is available to overseas clients also, via email and Skype or FaceTime.

Should you have any queries, contact us via email at info@getorganised.com.au and we will be happy to work through any concerns with you!

‘Like’ our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest, Twitter to keep in touch with tips, advice and ideas, and participate in discussions on Twitter by typing in or searching for #getorganised in your tweets. Call back to our blog to stay in touch with the world of Professional Organising.


Digital Wardrobe

Get Organised with a Digital Wardrobe

Do you sometimes forget what’s in your wardrobe? Within quite a short space of time – most people do, and we only use 20% of it most of the time.

Upload photos of your clothes to the Digital Wardrobe site and create and an online wardrobe categorised by type of garment. 
Here are 10 Apps that will help you organise and sort out your wardrobes.

  1. I Wear – If you’ve ever wanted to share outfit ideas with your friends to get several opinions before a big event, would rather choose your ensemble for the day while still savoring those last few moments in bed or are going to attempt to match an existing item in your closet to one you’re thinking of buying, this free app may be a dream come true. Unlimited wardrobes and an increased number of showrooms are available as in-app purchases, which let your app expand along with your wardrobe!

  2. Ease My Wardrobe – Snap a photo of an item, add brand, color and style information, then sort it into one of several categories in order to completely digitize your closet with minimal effort. Ease My Wardrobe can help you keep track of what you already own, including clothing, shoes and accessories. Free in the app store, Ease My Wardrobe also allows you to save your favorite outfits for future reference.

  3. My Fashion Closet – Organize your clothing by storing images of every item you own with this free app, which will allow you to sort through and collect various pieces in order to plan the ultimate outfit. Not sure if your ensemble is right? Share it with friends for a second opinion with the share function!

  4. Wardrobe Assistant – The free version of Wardrobe Assistant is limited to one wardrobe, four wardrobe sections, two categories and six looks. With an in-app upgrade, however, you can manage a staggering number of pieces with ease. You’ll never leave your bedroom in a state of upheaval after mixing and matching several outfits again; with Wardrobe Assistant, you can just scroll through until you build the perfect look!

  5. Cloth – Snap pictures of your favorite looks with the free version of Cloth, or customize your outfit to current weather conditions by springing for the Cloth Weather in-app upgrade purchase. Chronicle a series of looks on your Tumblr, Twitter feed or Facebook timeline for feedback and collect badges or points for saving and sharing your outfits.

  6. Netrobe – Not only will this free app help you manage your closet by allowing you to photograph all of your clothing for virtual outfit planning; it also removes the pesky background of your wall or bedding so that you’re able to access distraction-free versions of everything you own.

  7. Stylebook – One of the pricier apps on the list at $3.99, Stylebook is also one of the most beloved in the realm of closet organization and digitized wardrobes. In addition to storing and managing your existing items, Stylebook lets you track inspirations for future purchases! Called “a must for Cher Horowitz types” by Vogue Australia and “the ultimate wardrobe manager” by InStyle, Stylebook is one of the best virtual closet applications in the app store.

  8. My Wardrobe – Take pictures of your clothes to digitize your wardrobe and keep track of when you wore an item last to prevent those embarrassing repeats to special functions. This $0.99 app also pushes a culling angle, helping you determine which items can be donated or sold to make room for new additions!

  9. Pocket Closet – Clothing items and accessories are easy to track and manage with this $0.99 app, which allows you to load your wardrobe piece-by-piece through photographs and add tags. Track when you wore each item on the built-in calendar and even plan for future events. Can’t decide what to wear? Simply give your iPhone a shake and Pocket Closet will suggest an outfit on the spot!

  10. 123DressMe – Whether you’re just trying to organize a chaotic closet or plan to use your digital wardrobe to help pack for a trip, this free app may be for you. Simple and easy to use without a lot of extraneous bells and whistles, 123DressMe is a perfect no-frills choice for techie fashionistas.

    I hope this helps you to tame your overflowing wardrobes and to identify what you actually wear. We all need it!

Living in a Small Space? Need Ideas to Get Organised?

Living in small spaces means that the need to be organised is heightened compared to others who have the luxury of ample room. 

Real estate equals dollars and many people are choosing to live with less square metreage to save on the big ticket home purchase. 
Also, the demographic of single, couples or ‘partners living separately’ is growing, and coupled with exorbitant rents and interest rate repayments, more people are thinking twice before committing themselves to the stress of owning larger properties.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to pare down your possessions to fit into the storage capacities of your space. You have to be clever and organised. Tidy is great, minimal best. 
Living with mess will only cause stress, frustration and angst, turning the feeling of calm we should have returning to our homes into anxiety and nagging concerns. (Image Source Courtesy of alkemie.blogspot.com.au).

Here are some tips to help you get organised for small space living.

·   Get rid of clutter. Obvious, I know, but really important. Every single thing that you have in your space should be something that you need or love. Preferably both. No exceptions. Tough love. If you can (when you buy something) buy the best quality, most gorgeous looking and physically streamlined product that you can so that it gives you long life (ultimately saving money), pleasure in using it (meaning it satisfies those pleasure sensors – may save you thoughtless feel-good purchases in the future…) and looks great (so that if you need to have it in view, it only adds to your decor).

·   Every time you handle something – decide – do you need/love it? If not, discard or recycle. Great successes come from fast decisions. You can do it!
·   Choose products and items which are sleek, see-through, foldable, and stackable or have double uses. Think glass coffee tables (less visual ‘weight’,) boxes that double as seating, bookshelves as room dividers.
·   Hide clutter behind doors. Get rid of outdated linen and store winter blankets in well-fitting plastic boxes, with silica bags to prevent damp, or keep the clear plastic, zipped bags that linen often comes in and use the linen cupboard as a bookcase – less visual cacophony and dusting! YAY!

·   Use tailor-made products that maximise usefulness of space. Remember the iconic Hills Hoist? Now they make a couple of great products for small space or apartment dwellers a pull-out clothes line that you can attach inside or out – to pull out when you have light washing to dry. The other – we LOVE this one – is a folding clothes rack airer…wait for it…that’s tall enough for sheets, but folds away to hang on the back of a door – out of view! Perfect! Simple google for these products to find a solution near you.
·   Choose furniture or cabinets that have legs which elevate them off the floor, so that you can see under the piece. More visual floor space equals more perceived room.
·   Invest in storage. Setting yourself up with quality storage products needn’t cost you a fortune and will last for years. Stackable tubs with well-fitting lids, see-through boxes for convenience, gorgeous decorative boxes which double as ornaments, lateral filing systems instead of the conventional filing cabinets. I have a classic white cupboard specifically made for lateral files at home and I LOVE it! Double up with books and office supplies. 
·   Invest in pieces, keep details to a minimum. Avoid ‘ornaments’, opting instead for beautiful bowls and vases, boxes, candle holders etc. for interest.
·   Buy CD pocket cases, and banish the endless collections of dust-gathering, space-eating CD cabinets. (This is a toughie for most people!) Better yet, buy your music from iTunes and go digital – how many songs can you store on your iPhone?? Ridiculous! (Back them up, of course!)
·   Try the ‘less-is-more’ approach. Only buy what you LOVE, not just what you fancy, or think you ‘should’ like or ‘may’ need. If you are adjusting and fiddling with the blouse that you loved on the hanger before you even leave the shop, leave it at the shop. Do you really need 20 t-shirts? 
·   I have read about some people who keep their spare sheets between their mattress and box spring! Now that’s inventive – and just a bit scary! Whatever works…
·   Use the walls! I am constantly encouraging people to use walls as storage areas – these are hugely under-utilised in most spaces. Install shelves, ledges and hanging cabinets or containers to give you more storage space without taking up floor space. In the kitchen, hang pots and pans from the ceiling.
·   Visit places like IKEA visit http://www.ikea.com for ideas and products for more storage savvy for home, business and home-office storage ideas.

We always LOVE to get feedback and ideas from our readers, clients and friends. Please post YOUR ideas onto this blog and help other people out with your advice. We’d love to hear from you!

Gardening – Get Organised In Your Garden

A girlfriend of mine recently set the task of building a propagation cottage on her property so she could manage the maintenance of all her plants.

These photos below show the results of a carefully planned, delightful
little garden cottage with the essential blackboard for writing planting reminders, things to do and dates for m
anaging her lovely garden. 

It is so well thought out and organised, I thought I’d share it with you…Love it Armineh!

Once Used Containers – How to Re-Purpose

Get organised with Packaging Containers

Do you find that many times, when you purchase something, you end up with a box or container that’s nearly as beautiful as the item that you purchased? 

Only, it has the logo of the company that you purchased it from emblazoned all over the lid or (like shoes) down both sides? (Wouldn’t mind so much if it were Tiffany’s or Ralph Lauren…Especially the shoes…).

As well, when you do decide that you need a box for something, you end up paying good money for something that’s not as good quality as the one your candle came in last week?

Boxes and containers are incredibly useful things, but somehow we are in the mindset that they should be seen (aka the $35.00 one) or that if the items needing to be contained will be in a cupboard, they don’t need to live in a beautiful box. 

Can you imagine how many people whose homes and offices we organise have beautiful containers on shelves with NOTHING in them? At the same time, they will have mountains of stuff spilling over itself behind closed doors for the want of a container?

Whenever we organise a space, we put aside every container we can find, be it a Ziplock bag, a clear plastic Ferrero Rocher® box, a gorgeous rattan basket, a child’s pottery effort, shoeboxes, designer carry bags (especially Tiffany’s – don’t see too many of those!), clear, zipped bags that quilts and linen comes in, and anything, tiny or large, that we can lay our hands on. 

The reason? Everything needs a place, and any containers, no matter how apparently useless or unattractive, can serve a viable use and have a second life. We love that!

Especially useful are square or rectangular shapes as obviously these save more space and are readily stackable, but we also love squishy containers, like Ziplock bags and linen bags, because they are flexible enough to fit into tight corners. 

Never underestimate the usefulness of containers. The other day, I found myself in possession of 2 gorgeous, quality, boxes – beautiful, but I need boxes to display like I need… well, I have lots! Besides, they were branded with the company name and that doesn’t work for me (to have on view). (Remember, OCD?).

People regularly peek inside my cupboards to see if I am as organised as I say I am, and guess what? That’s where they’ll find the lovely, branded boxes and clear plastic linen bags. In fact, I used those two boxes to store some delicate Christmas baubles which were then hidden inside another box – totally out of view! But totally useful, and gorgeous to touch and use next Christmas!

On the subject of Ziplock bags, well, have you got an hour or three? We LOVE them! They are such useful devices that we think every home should have a stack of them in a variety of sizes. I was organising my Christmas ribbons the other day (including leftover, once-used lengths) and I found that the tiny ones were PERFECT for the task! Keep a selection of fresh, clean ones for frequent use, and a place for used but useful second-hand ones for appropriate recycling (for the laundry, shed or garage?).

They are clear (so you can see inside them), strong (to use frequently), sealed against air and water (don’t drown one to test my word…!) and they fit into awkward places for storage. 

Get Organised with Boxes

They have millions of uses, too many to mention here, but we guarantee that when you get a stash, you’ll understand our enthusiasm. It’s important to get a range of sizes in stock, because it is simply frustrating to put a tiny item in a big bag, and this tends to stop people from using them, so the ‘thing’ ends up in a junk pile. Once you have something in them, you become more inclined to find its proper home. Plus, they save on labelling, our favourite activity (now that is OCD!).

Sticky labels can be taken off by using Oil of Eucalyptus (not on porous cardboard, of course) but this alone can make an odd container feel better to use. Every home should have a small bottle of this pungent oil for removing stickers from fridges, computers and so forth. Try it on an unseen area on the item just to be sure – we’ve never had any problem with it… We love this product too!

So, next time you have a container in your hand which has served its initial purpose (like the FABULOUS iPhone box…) find a use for it straight away, or file it into a ‘useful container’ spot to be filled at a later, not too far ‘down the track’, place. 

You could recover it in beautiful paper to make your own mark on it.
Label it if the contents aren’t visible and pat yourself on the back. Job well done!
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