Give yourself a year

An organised life allows you to have more time, less stress, more money and the ability to achieve any goal you desire. But if you’re starting at zero, I mean with nothing, then it is going to take a bit of time and some planning. Rather than getting overwhelmed, it’s important to tackle your organising process step by step. We have made the journey as painless as possible with our step by step systems so you don’t have to think about the process while you’re sorting out your stuff.

It’s important to highlight the importance of commitment when you’re on the road to getting organised. Without commitment, all the experts in the world will be of no avail. You can very easily undo many hours, weeks or months of hard work without systems to maintain your order.

We get disorganised because of one thing: our thought processes. The way we’re showing up today is a result of the way we have approached our life over the past weeks / months / years. Disorganisation is a result of being overloaded, distracted, multi-tasked and overwhelmed.

It has a negative compounding effect in that it becomes even harder and harder to think clearly, to relax and to be present when we’re surrounded by chaos and clutter. So the spiral continues downward.

Even when we know enough’s enough, and we really want to get organised, fear stops us. And when we’re stuck in fear, half our brain shuts down, leaving all our organising skills out the window. To add insult to injury, we look around at our mess and start to feel guilty, ashamed and helpless. Not a very empowering state.

As we grow older, the problems multiply. “Now is not a good time to get organised. I need to…plan my presentation for next week, I need to get the kids’ dinner, I have laundry to finish, I’m busy planning our holiday….” the list goes on.

I believe that we each have a unique calling and that everyone benefits from a calmer, more organised you. Your light shines brighter when you’ve cleared away the clutter. We arrive at ‘disorganisation’ through an unconscious process. It’s the default scenario. So to get back to our best selves, we need to become conscious of the process for a while, until we become unconsciously competent at it. You’re tired of the state of affairs your in, and that affects every aspect of your life.
So the minute you decide to get organised and make a commitment, then everything starts to change.

Give yourself one year, and you can gradually and easily learn the very best organising skills and achieve your goals. And as your physical spaces become streamlined and organised, the rest of your life starts to fall in line. You will notice a shift in your energy, your mood, your time and your money. Imagine how powerful you can be when you’re organised. How would you show up in the world if you didn’t have to worry about all the stuff that’s weighing you down?

Let’s find out….

Nearly 101 Uses for an Over the Door Shoe Rack

This post is from guest Blogger Kristina Duke from Blue Sky Engagement. We would love to hear your thoughts – please comment down below.

(maybe not that many!)

I’m sure many of you have seen a couple of these ideas floating around the Internet but I know I have some ideas that will surprise you and change the way you look at over the door shoe pockets.



Use for cleaning supplies and those pesky odd socks! (Please note that I do not recommend that you have this many supplies on hand – that is just clutter but the idea is great.)

2. Baby

Perfect for holding baby lotion, powder, wipes, breast pads and baby socks and shoes.


3. Girls room

These pockets are great for Barbies and her accessories. They are also great for any other little toys like Littlest Pet Shop and the like.

Another organiser would work also for all your daughter’s hair accessories.

Here is my daughter’s organiser with a combination of all.

4. Boys Room

The shoe racks work great for action figures, cars and even Lego pieces.


5. Bathroom

As one of the smallest rooms of the house, it demands our attention to storage ideas.
If you would prefer not to have one on the back of the door, you could cut an organiser to size and hang inside the cupboard door. Organise the hair accessories, tooth brushing supplies, makeup, bandaids, clean washcloths and more.


6. Kitchen

Pantries big and small have a habit of losing smaller items into a dark abyss. Bring these items to light by storing them on the door – packet mixes, cookie cutters or other small utensils, snack food packets, herbs and spices and more.

Could also be used to store drink bottles and travel flasks.


7. Study/ Craft room

The study is the place where everything that doesn’t have a home seems to live. We put items here because we need access to them but they never really have a spot.

Try using the shoe rack for storing cords, charging cables, small gaming devices, random hardware items, stationary items, batteries etc.

Shoe racks could also serve as perfect storage for craft supplies – those little packets of glitter or sequin, ribbon/ thread or string, buttons, pipecleaners, stamps, paints, brushes, stickers, scissors, tape, textas, pencils or crayons… the list is endless but at least now its organised.

8. Front entry

As this is the last door you see before you leave for the day, this could be the perfect organisation solution for you to never forget things as you walk out. Keys, phones, diary, dog leads, scarf, sunglasses, sunscreen or bug spray and more could all be stored ready for action.


9. Bedroom

I know I like certain items to be on display and others to be in hidden storage. So try one of these ideas to enhance your storage options available and to suit your style.

A clear shoe rack would be perfect for displaying your accessories – costume jewellery, scarves, belts and even hats at a glance and easily accessible to vamp your outfit.
Maybe you prefer to sort your winter tights, or even your underwear.

For the men ties and belts are the perfect items for this inexpensive storage idea.

If you are an avid reader this could be the place to house your paperback books.


10. Garage

Similar to the study, the garage can be a catchall for miscellaneous items. Mount a show organiser to a peg board or on the back of a door to house cords, cables ties, small tools, nails and screws, electrical tape, WD40, spare keys or padlocks etc.


11. Camping

Hang one is your camp kitchen area to hold utensils, cloths, bug spray and other needed items. Keep them off the ground and easy to access.


12. Garden

Hang one on a wall undercover to hold your gloves, spade, weeding fork, secateurs, packets of seeds, gardening hat and sunscreen.

You could even use one to create and inexpensive vertical garden – perfect for herbs!

13. Car

Cut to size to fit the back of the seat, these make a cheap organisation solution for kid car clutter especially on longer trips. Pack snacks, books, gaming supplies, even comfy socks or eye masks for extended journeys.


14. Christmas

Why not make a custom advent calendar?

As you can see if you think outside the shoebox (or over the door pockets) you can find many ways to contain, order and control the things in your house from becoming clutter.

Some things just work better when they are stored so they are visible and easy to access.

The key is set limits to the space that hold your things and not exceed those limits. No one said you couldn’t max out your spaces storage potential though!

(Expert tip: For light items the cheaper brands work fine but I highly recommend spending the money on quality when storing heavier items on your door.)

KristinaAbout Kristina Duke

Kristina Duke is the Decluttering Diva! A Professional Organiser servicing the North Shore Sydney suburbs – helping fellow mums to control the clutter in their homes and create organised spaces that make their lives easier to manage.

Check out her website or “like” the FB for regular hints, tips and inspiration (

Organise your Office for Outstanding Results

This month we’ve been guiding our members to overhaul their offices for success. When you organise your work environment, you optimise your surroundings for productivity and increase your ability to work effectively. stunning office 2[1]

The actions you take today to organise your office will also save you considerable amounts of time, money and energy.

A disorganised office costs more to run. Supplies, tools and equipment go missing because nothing is organised or put away properly. Those things have to be replaced to get the job done, and twice as much money has been spent in the end. Plus, you spend valuable time searching for missing items, files or paperwork.

In fact, some studies have revealed that the average business owner spends nearly four weeks each year navigating through messy or cluttered desks, looking for lost information. Does that sound like productive time to you?

In our online course, ‘Milking It’ we cover:

  • The psychological impacts of a clean and organized workspace
  • The financial benefits of an organized workspace
  • How to audit your work environment
  • How to implement small changes in your office that will increase productivity
  • Making sure that your office is equipped with productivity tools

If I haven’t convinced you yet, read these benefits of taking the time to create an organized and well-structured office.

  • Better communication. An organised office environment encourages better internal communication. With a central area for staff communication, it is easier to share sales news, track targets, and plan and monitor projects.
  • A manageable budget. Organised spaces will allow you to quickly see what you have, what you need, and when you might need more. This supports the creation and sustaining of budgets, especially for supplies and equipment.
  • Increased work ethic and morale. When you and your staff take care of your surroundings, it makes the workplace a more pleasant place. Taking care shows that you value your work and the people who work for you.
  • Better time management. Simply put, you spend less time looking for things and more time actually working. An organized office will complement and support your time management strategies.

Stay tuned for some office organizing tips.

The dining table that lived happily ever after

The happily ever after dining tableONCE upon a time, there was an invisible dining table.

It wasn’t really invisible, but it was so long since its family had seen it that they had almost forgotten it was there.

The reason no-one could see the table was that it was covered in a mound of paper.

The lady of the house who shall remain (ahem) nameless, had three children under four, a full-time job and a perpetual dearth of sleep.

Daycare notes, mail and catalogues were all placed on the table as they arrived.

And there they stayed because there was nowhere else to put them.

Then she read two books that changed her life: Sorted by Lissanne Oliver and Paperflow by MaryAnne Bennie and Brigitte Hinneberg.

The “lady” started with her desk at work and found, as she devised a strategy, that instead of needing paperflow she could go paperless.

Hard copy documents that needed to be kept were scanned and kept in folders on her computer desktop and the originals put in the recycling bin.

The desk is clear to this day, and old documents are quickly and easily found.

Emboldened by her success, it was time to rediscover the dining table.

Step one was was to label four washing baskets “bin”, “bills”, “receipts” and “miscellaneous”.

She grabbed a handful of papers and started tossing each piece into the baskets on the floor.

But how to prevent the mess building up again.

It was time for strategy. (See the box above centre.)

No more lost notes, mislaid prescriptions or unpaid bills.

As for the invisible dining table . . .

It was cleaned, polished and lived happily ever after at the centre of family life.

Read more online. Visit yourhomefcn on Facebook and click on the links.

Inspiration on Pintrest: yourhomefairfax.

Is being organised overrated?

Brigitte, Kelly Higgins-Devine and GraceThis week I spoke live on 612ABC radio with the lovely Kelly Higgins-Devine. She asked me if ‘being organised’ was worth the effort.  This is a great interview for anyone who wants to make some positive changes in their life but needs to know where start.  There’s a lot of laughing, but there are some very practical and motivating messages.  If you listen to the end, there’s a bit in there for the fellas too!


Continue reading “Is being organised overrated?”

Be A Basket Case

contemporary-storage-boxesThanks to bright colours and funky designs, baskets are no longer something Grandma used to store her knitting in. These days they come in a wide range of styles, shapes, colours and materials, that they are not just a great organising tool, but compliment any room in your house. Being both functional and fashionable you can use them for anything from storing clothes and books, to children’s toys or to storing the dirty laundry until wash day. With so much variety you can colour co-ordinate with your room or decor and choose the style, shape or strength you need. Strong baskets are best for heavy items such as books while less sturdy baskets are fine for clothing or children’s soft toys.

Fashionable baskets can enhance any room. In a bathroom you can use them to store towels, soaps, or bath products. A range of smaller baskets inside a drawer can make your make up easier to find and keep it tidy and all together. Matched properly to your interior decor, baskets are stylish solutions for any organising dilemmas from the pantry to the bedroom.

You can colour code baskets for specific uses or each person in your family. Assign a set colour for each child to use for their school items, clothing, toys and shoes. After all starting children off early with strategies to keep their things organised will make them a tidy and organised adult.

If you are looking for an innovative and fresh way to keep your home tidy and keep the clutter away, baskets are a great way to organise your family and your home. Another good thing about baskets is you can spend as much or as little as you want. You’re spoilt for choice so shop around; there is a basket out there that’s perfect for you.

Waste not want not with Freshbox

If you’re sitting at the desk and wondering what’s in the fridge for dinner, this handy app could be the solution. Freshbox shows you what you need to use up in your fridge by the use-by date. It would help with the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ scenario of items down the back of the fridge that you forgot about. It’s also useful for those lovely meals you froze for busy nights but forgot about. And if you’re in doubt there’s a recommended shelf-life view so you can decide if something needs to be tossed.

Found it on the iTunes App store for $1.99 – it’s from Chinge Design Co.

I’ve only just downloaded it, so I’ll keep you posted with my user-friendliness score. Please share if you have it already – would love your views.


So, what have you been doing all day?

Do any of you feel slightly explosive when asked the question ‘what have you been doing all day?’ and realising that despite your best efforts, there’s not much to show for it? Seriously, if ever a question invited domestic violence, that one would surely top the list. You know you’re ready for an overhaul if any of these apply to you:

  • You’re sick of doing laundry at 10pm
  • You procrastinate by absorbing yourself in social media, housework and emails
  • You procrastinate by over-doing the housework when a big project looms
  • You’ve overloaded your kids with extra-curricular commitments so none of you have time to stop and breathe
  • You started your business so you could have a better lifestyle…but the business has taken over your life
  • You’re tired of missing out on school sports day or other kids’ activities because you had to play catch up and didn’t plan ahead
  • You’re sick of your messy house and office and want it sorted out FOREVER
  • You do WAY too much housework…and for what purpose?
  • You’re drowning in email and paperwork
  • You were put on this earth to be so much more, but you’re trapped in ‘busy’
  • You want to reduce the stress and enjoy your weekends instead of playing catch up
  • You feel like you’re always behind and miss out on things, which costs more money and even more time
  • You want to free up more time to spend with family and friends

Thank you to all those who honestly answered the question – ‘What is your biggest time thief?” We had a huge number of responses. Eight categories stood out as the main time thieves. The chart below shows your answers. Take a look at the results and see which ones you want to knock for a six: biggest time thief chart

Here are all the activities you call ‘time thieves’. Some are obviously not ‘thieves’ but a normal part of getting through every day. But the point is that it’s about perception. If you called it a ‘thief’ it’s because you feel you’re spending too much time in that particular area. Administration, helping others, housework, email & social media, kids activities, failing to plan / procrastination, travel and work. The biggest thieves of all are the internet (which includes social media) and failing to plan. (Note – I would argue that kids activities are never a waste of time, unless they’re disorganised).

Good news – those are precisely the issues we will help you nail in our member program. Join now and we’ll get you started immediately. Failing to plan as you know, is planning to fail.

I’m very excited about the transformations that are happening every day in our member community. The 7 ‘secrets’ that make up the member program were taught to me by some of the most influential and successful game changers on the planet. These 7 steps are the ones that bring about the most profound results with our clients. If your children get to experience you mastering even a few of these steps through you’re modelling them at home then they’ll become masters too.

So next time someone (hopefully in full body armour) asks you ‘What have you been doing all day?’ You can say “I’ve been Milking It, by working the plan.” Isn’t that what life’s all about?

Time to change the way we think about time.

Time to changeMore than 60% of Australian women say they are suffering from time pressure. This is causing stress, arguments and inner turmoil. Even our kids are struggling. Employees waste 10 weeks a year searching for missing documents, grappling with sharing files and other lost administrative tasks.

We try to play catch up by multi-tasking, better known as ‘faulty tasking’, but we lose 30 minutes of thinking flow every time we switch tasks, making it the most overrated in our list of bad habits.

When did we lose touch?

My darling grandmother would not believe the way I live my life, were she still gracing this world with her wisdom and charm. With so many “time saving” devices at my disposal – washing machine, iPhone, car, Thermomix, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, microwave. She may well wonder why I don’t swing in a hammock all day long reading a book, with all the help at my disposal.

How many devices can claim to save us hours per day? And yet here we are, more ‘time poor’ than our grandmothers. Their perspective of time was completely different.

The thing is, time is a totally man-made construct. What’s your relationship to time? What does it mean to you? Is it something to tame? To conquer, keep, spend, waste, have, make? If you could find 12 extra hours per week, would you spend it doing what you’re already doing and feeling as stressed as you do now? Or would you use it in a way that changes your life for the better?

We need to change our inner ‘talk’ about time, and remember that we already have what it takes to make a massive difference in our own lives and the lives of those around us. Of the three sources of personal power – time, energy and money – time is the only one that we can NEVER get back. The clock is always ticking. Spend money and you can go and earn it. Expend your energy and you can re-charge with a good night’s sleep. But no one has ever been able to turn the clock back.

Sometimes it feels like you’re there all alone with that massive ‘to do’ list and your mind racing about endless tasks you haven’t done, worrying about tomorrow, next week, next month. But there are millions of women who all share these frustrating time issues. Time to stop overwhelming and start living. It’s time to change the way we think about time.

Help! I’m drowning in paperwork and e-mails! Where do I start?

Drowning in paperwork? Overwhelmed with your to do list?

You’re not alone. It’s hard to focus on anything when you’re in a mess. Your confidence takes a beating and you feel anxious and stressed. Not to mention snappy with loved ones.

You just KNOW you’ve forgotten something important, you arrive late, leave early, say no to invitations because you don’t have time. If enough’s enough, read on.

Step 1 – Don’t stress. We’ve got you covered. In fact, we’ve helped around 20,000 people sort their mess out and fall in love with their new system for managing paperwork and emails. We’ve done it for big businesses as well. With our help and your determination to get and stay organised, you’ll nail it in no time.

Step 2 – Start fresh today. Don’t look back. Simply forgive yourself for getting into a mess – it happens to the best of us. Now commit to a new system and new way of doing things.

Step 3 – Set up your new paperwork system first before you touch any of your paper or emails. Your system needs to include five main features:

1. an in-tray,
2. a set of folders to separate and contain your regular ‘to dos’ – like Bills to Pay, Correspondence To Complete, Blog to Post, Transactions to enter, Items to read, Contacts to enter, etc.
3. A set of folders for each of your projects – like Summer Holiday, Sale of Car, School enrolments, Business Launch event, etc
4. A set of folders for all the other paperwork and e-mails you need to keep to refer to but you don’t need to act on. Let’s call these your reference library. Important documents like birth certificates, passports, marriage certificate. Another reference folder might contain all your vehicle information, another your health records.
5. And finally the out ‘system’ which is where the paper and e-mails ‘exit’ your life forever – either off to the next stage in the journey, or to the bin or the scanner or into archives (for family history, financial or legal reasons).

Step 4 – create some rules to live by. Each regular ‘to do’ file needs a day of the week that you’ll attend to it. Put it in your diary. Likewise with your projects – what day will you do them on? Decide how many projects is enough in your life at any one time. We recommend no more than 7 or it’s too hard to move them forward. Focus is key.

Step 5 – get an accountability partner to help you and join our member program. We’ll give you all the training and support for setting up your new system and coach you until its second nature.

To find out more, click here

Brigitte’s book Organise your Paperwork is available in Officeworks stores nationwide