Organisation is a big deal. Are you organised, or like a lot of us, live in a kind of workable chaos? The cooler months are the perfect time to get your home decluttered and organised, put new systems in place and look at ways to save money. To help out, we asked professional organiser Sharon McWilliams from All Things Organised to share her top tips.
Organisation On A Budget
“When you declutter and organise you feel a sense of having a weight lifted,” explains Sharon, who’s otherwise known as the Marie Kondo of the Southern Highlands. “You feel much better about your space, and right now your space is your home and safe haven.”
Sharon works with her clients to develop organisation systems. These systems help them methodically work through the things they don’t need, use or love, so they can feel less overwhelmed and more organised – and take control of their home and life.
Based in beautiful Bowral, Sharon is is passionate about helping people get organised so they can live a healthy, stress-free life. Here, she shares her top tips for getting organized during the winter months.
Save money on grocery shopping
“Plan your meals, make a list and stick to it,” stresses Sharon. “Meal planning is a great way to save money and reduce food waste. By meal planning and shopping accordingly, you can avoid going to the shops every second day, as you will have everything you need. Try new recipes that you have wanted to try, but haven’t had time. Make enough to freeze, so you can simply reach into the freezer on those days when you just can’t be bothered cooking.”
“If you have a Thermomix it can help you save time and money with its built-in meal planning/shopping list function. It also has the ability to make delicious meals, bread, yoghurt, sauces and pastes.” No Thermomix? A slow-cooker is another great option to save time and money, and you can pick them up pretty cheaply from Big W down in Mittagong.
Declutter Your Home And Make Some Cash!
If the thought of decluttering your entire house in one go seems overwhelming, break it into bite-sized chunks.
“Set aside some time to declutter,” suggests Sharon. “Start with one drawer, box or cupboard and work in small daily increments. Sort through your photos – if you have shoeboxes full of photos or thousands of pics on your phone, sort them out and make those albums you have always wanted to.
“Remember too, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There are many groups on Facebook, or websites like Gumtree, that offer you the opportunity to sell or give away items to others. Have a donation box bag to give to your favourite charity – just check if they’re accepting donations. If not, pop them aside for later.”
Now is the perfect time to sort out your finances. Organise your bills, catch up on filing and shredding, and start your tax return.
“Set up new systems to be more organised in the home office,” Sharon advises. “Spend some time working on your budget and try to cut costs where possible. If you have a scanner, scan paperwork so you can digitise your office.
“If you’re working from home currently, chances are you are saving money on transport, fuel and daily lunches. How can you best use this money – can you save or invest it? The money you’re not currently spending on fuel, transport, clothing, eating out or going to the movies or concerts can be put toward your mortgage, savings or investments – particularly while the share market is down.”
Save money on heating bills
Energy bills often skyrocket during the colder months, but with a bit of organisation, there are ways to keep the cost down.
“If you’re feeling cold, pop on a jumper, slippers or Ugg boots before you put the heater on,” Sharon says. “When it comes to your heater, try and have it running at between 18-20 degrees. Buy some good old-fashioned draft stopper snakes to keep the warm air in and keep the doors closed for the rooms you aren’t using.
“Invest in a clothes horse, there are some great ones that even fit sheets, that way you are utilising the heat inside the house and saving on dryer running costs.”
Lastly, don’t try and tackle everything at once, just do one thing at a time. The beauty is that you’ll find there’s a snowball effect when it comes to decluttering!
Words: Nicola Conville