How to Organise Your Home (& Your Life)

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The end of the year is getting pretty darn close now. Before you know it your social schedule will be jam packed with Christmas parties and your work schedule will be pushed to the max as you scramble to get through everything before the holidays. So before madness sets in, it’s time to re-focus, get re-organised and dabble in a little spring cleaning. A clean home makes for a clear mind after all.

To get you on your merry way (see, the Christmas lingo has already started to make a comeback) we asked Tina Clark, organisation extraordinaire and founder of chic storage range Sagitine for her top tips to organise your home… and your life.

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What’s the first step to organising your home?

Don’t try to do it all at once, it’s far too overwhelming. It’s much better to break your home into rooms or segments to attack separately to make the task feel much more manageable.

Where is a good place to start?

Pick one room at a time, and even break that space down further by picking one drawer at a time. When looking at clothing, I find it much easier to pick one drawer or hanging rail, sort it out into the keepers, give away, dry cleaning, mending and then usually I’m so excited how much space I have that I quickly move onto the next drawer. The same principal can be applied to any room of the house, not just clothing. Use the same approach for kids toys, kitchen cupboards, even the medicine cabinet!

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What are your five top tips for organising your home?

  • Don’t throw treasured things out on a whim – put them in a storage box for a while and revisit (unless of course they are damaged or stained). I really regret throwing some gorgeous Prada flats away about five years ago – I’d carried them around for 15 years, I should have held onto them.
  • Try to have a place for everything. For instance, find a drawer for kids activities; boxes and baskets for swimming gear; or beautifully ordered Sagitine shoe stands. It is easier to keep things in order if you know where they are supposed to go, and you also feel much more organised when you can easily find something.
  • Don’t get disheartened if progress is slow, once you get in the routine of a little bit at a time, then it tends to be a habit. If the habit doesn’t form, then make an effort to do an organisational blast twice a year – the start of spring and autumn can be great cues to remember!
  • Keep Sagitine cedar blocks and aromatic pouches in all of your drawers and storage boxes. They keep your clothes smelling fresh, and keep the pesky moths away, which means no nasty holes or stains when you go to pull on seasonal favourites as the weather changes.
  • Have fun, it really doesn’t matter if everything isn’t perfect. Homes are to be lived in and don’t need to be museum pieces.

What are your top tips for making sure your home stays organised?

A little bit every day makes a difference. I have small children and it’s a constant battle keeping everything in its place. I do find that if I keep the living room clean each night, it’s a good start.

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What advice do you have for people in small homes with limited cupboard space? Any sneaky tricks?

I have plenty of experience in this area having lived in Hong Kong for years. In fact, it was the lack of storage in Hong Kong that led me to develop the Sagitine range as I wanted a stylish way to store my treasured items. Under-bed storage is an amazing way to store bulky boots and sweaters, or even spare linen and blankets. Grab a couple of our large Marrakesh boxes and slip them under the bed; they look stylish too. Another great tip I’ve learnt is to fold your sheets up (top and bottom) and then store them inside the matching pillow case. It’s neater and takes up less space and you can always find the matching set!

Any expert tips for organising our wardrobes?

Try to reorganise with the seasons – put sweaters away at the end of each winter and even bulkier jackets if hanging space is scarce. Of course it’s imperative to ensure they are clean – moths love food particles. I recommend a gentle hand wash rather than dry cleaning, and then store in Sagitine muslin bags with cedar blocks and aromatic pouches either in your drawers or put them away for next winter in boxes like my Sagitine Miami or Marrakesh boxes. I also regularly use Murchison-Hume Bag Butler on all my leather goods; it keeps them so soft and the best thing is that it actually repels mould.

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Any need-to-know organising tips for specific rooms in the house?

Personally I find my girls’ room to be the hardest. They are constantly tipping everything out of drawers and throwing every single toy out of the toy box. Plus they grow so fast, it’s tricky to keep up with the clothes. We try to go through their clothes every couple of months and hand down to the next cousin. We have large baskets for the toys and dress ups. It might not be super organised really but it’s a practical and quick way to tidy the room up and one even the girls can master (with encouragement from mum!).

What’s the biggest mistake people make when trying to organise their home?

Attempting to do it all in one day.

What inspired you to create the Sagitine brand?

I was living in Hong Kong and was always going to glamorous events (oh how things have changed!). I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and realised they would be very annoyed with me if I didn’t take care of my gorgeous dresses so they could inherit them one day.   That kick-started a two year search both online and in stores around the world for stylish yet practical storage. Needless to say I couldn’t find anything.

You must keep pretty busy running a business and looking after your two girls. What are your top tips for an organised life?

Outsource as much as you can afford to – no-one is capable of doing everything and remaining sane. I’m lucky to have some wonderful support structures in place, but of course when things do get hectic, I just try to go with the flow as much as possible.

Any favourite apps that help you keep your life organised?

The Sagitine app is going to be released very soon. It’s a super simple way to catalogue your shoes and clothes which means no more scrambling to find a certain pair of shoes, or a particular element of an outfit you know works well together. Users can catalogue by item, style, designer, and even add images to make the process entirely seamless.

I also love Notes on my iPhone– I make endless lists!

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