Monica’s Cupboard

Gioia Decluttering News

I was pondering yesterday what to write about in this month’s newsletter and asked a couple of friends what areas they struggled with in their homes. I was intrigued when Sue mentioned that she has “Monica’s Cupboard” and asked her what she meant by that. Those of you who were avid watchers of the TV show ‘Friends’ may have caught the episode where Monica talked about her cupboard, which as I understand it was a catch-all for that stuff that needs to go somewhere but doesn’t have a specific place.

I asked Sue what sort of things she stores in this cupboard and she said ‘everything’, by which I gathered she meant items that didn’t have a home elsewhere. Now my friend Sue is a very organised person and her home is fabulous, and definitely not cluttered. Next time I visit I am going to check out Monica’s Cupboard though as I’m intrigued.

Sue also said she has a ‘useful drawer’ and my other friend said she calls hers ‘the third drawer’. I don’t have such a cupboard or drawer because I live in a small space so I really do need to be very organised and tidy.

However I totally understand both concepts, being the cupboard and the useful drawer. In our busy lives there’s sometimes not the time or the wherewithal to work out where to put something so it’s good to be able to tuck it out of place in a cupboard or drawer until another day. It may also be that you know exactly what is kept in that cupboard and that ‘third drawer’ and they may be the perfect home for whatever you’ve put there.

[Read more…]

DIY Work Plans

Gioia Decluttering News

I’ve worked with many people over the last eleven years who have been motivated to declutter and organise their home, and felt confident enough to feel they could follow a DIY plan. Kiwis are masters of Do It Yourself and ‘number 8 fencing wire’ and we love to muck in, roll up our sleeves and work out how to do what needs to be done.

While I think we can be proud of our ‘can do’ attitude, we do sometimes need to consult an expert and get some guidance on exactly how to do it! Once the clutter becomes unmanageable all sorts of emotions can come into play such as overwhelm, shame, frustration, and sometimes desperation, all of which lead to unnecessary stress. At this stage you need a tailored step by step plan that is going to tell you exactly what you need to do next, and how to do it.

So how does it work?

[Read more…]

Crowded Linen Cupboards & how to sort them

Gioia Decluttering News

Linen cupboards can become hopelessly messy and some of the reasons for this are that they are often quite small spaces, sometimes awkward to organise, and contain often non-related objects which could potentially be stored elsewhere.

My linen cupboard is in the tiny and awkward category and has to contain not only everyday linen but also out of season blankets. And it’s awkward because it’s above my vanity unit so I have to get on a chair and actually lean into the cupboard to reach items such as sheets and duvet covers. So trust me, I totally empathise for those of you with problem linen cupboards.

Whether you have a nice roomy closet to store linen, or baskets in the spare room wardrobe, the following tips might be helpful in rendering the space more organised and less annoying. I passed on some of these to a good friend and she immediately went home and implemented them and was delighted with the result.

– When I am working with a client on their linen cupboard the first thing we do is take everything out and then work out what needs to go back in and what needs to be stored elsewhere. [Read more…]

The Dumping Room

Gioia Decluttering News

I’ve talked before about ‘dumping grounds’ which we can all experience at some time or another when things get a bit busy. There may even be permanent dumping grounds in your home, perhaps a small area or corner of a living room or bedroom where items tend to accumulate.

However what I want to talk about here is a bit more than a dumping ground. As you can imagine, I have been in many homes over the 11 years I have been practising my decluttering business and on more than a few occasions I have come across an entire room which has become the ‘dumping room’.

Believe me I know what it is like to run out of space, and my tiny unit is a prime example of a home with very little storage capacity. I do think it’s a pity though when we lose a whole room to our stuff. So here are a few suggestions on how you can get your room back if this situation applies to you:

– First think about how you would like to use this room if it was completely cleared out. Maybe it could be a spare room for guests, a study place for your teenagers, a home office, or even a peaceful retreat with a comfy chair and side table where you can spend some much deserved time away from everything to read a good book. Once you’ve got this picture in your mind you can move to the next step. [Read more…]

Are you ready for…

Gioia Decluttering News

This newsletter is not about just ‘being prepared for disaster’ although it is good to be prepared for the major catastrophes as well as the little incidents.

So let’s talk about being prepared in the case of disasters first. One of my clients gave me a very useful booklet put out by Auckland Council and Civil Defence & Emergency Management called “Get Ready Auckland”. I have to say I only just read it today, and found it very informative, and a reminder that I really should have at least a kit of the basic supplies tucked away should the unthinkable happen. The booklet contains everything you need to know about being prepared in the case of emergencies and disasters, including very helpful lists of what to put in your Get Away Kit and what emergency supplies to keep in your home. I imagine you could get the booklet from Auckland Council or Civil Defence, check the Civil Defence website:

I think living in Auckland one can become perhaps a little complacent about disasters, although we really shouldn’t given what tragically happened in Christchurch, and more recently in Kaikoura and Wellington. And some areas in Auckland have experienced massive flooding in just the last few weeks. So I believe this preparation bears thinking about.

What I want to touch on now follows along the lines of what to organise in case of emergency, but it’s also about being able to put your hand on what you need in your home when you absolutely need an item immediately.

[Read more…]