SJA’s collaboration with A Tidy Mind

If you are looking to transform your home, SJA will turn your wish list into reality no matter what size of project you have in mind. Our in-house team of architects, engineers and surveyors will tailor our service to match your requirements. This gives you access to industry-leading design and knowledge combined with great value through a focussed and bespoke service.

In the course of our work we constantly work with and meet with like-minded professionals.  One of the talented people we have met is Kate Ibbotson from ATidyMind.co.uk

As a leading home organiser and decluttering expert, ATidyMind provides a service that works in symbiosis with SJA to offer a holistic approach to #dontmoveimprove.

So we asked ATidyMind to share their thoughts for making the most of your new space in your home. 

Below, Kate exclusively shares her top five tips to enhance your home following your home transformation project.

As a Home Organiser and Declutterer, I see a lot of homes. I’m in the lucky position of being called in to help those who are struggling with disorder and chaos and I have one simple aim – to create calm within homes. To help people make the very best of their space and to construct a sanctuary. We all deserve that refuge – a place where we feel we can truly relax and also be energised and inspired. I believe that is achievable for everyone, whether they live in a single room or a six-bedroom house, but it’s so important to lose the clutter in order to let the things of beauty and value shine brighter. And it’s essential to run a home with the right organisational systems, so that home feels ordered and the mind feels clear and full of clarity.

There are some simple rules I swear by to make your space more harmonious and create a sense of peace both in your home and head. Below I share my five top tips to enhance your home:

Declutter first 

Lots of physical possessions in a home can cause a feeling of stress and overwhelm. You pay a price for every single thing you allow into your home – you have to store it, maintain it, clean it and think about it!  If you move onto the organising and storage part before decluttering, you’ll be organising forever – so focus on getting to the stage where you only own things which add true value to your life in some way – either because it’s useful, like a potato peeler or because it’s meaningful, like a letter from a loved one. To make it manageable, declutter in bite-size chunks of between 30 minutes and a couple of hours. Focus on contained spaces such as a drawer, cupboard or shelf. Arm yourself with paper and a pen to make notes of ‘actions’ and designate rubbish, recycling and donation bags.

Have a place for everything

Assign a permanent ‘resting place’ to each and every possession, especially for items which tend to accumulate in ‘clutter hotspots’ For example, if the entryway tends to be a dumping ground for bags, attach hooks to a wall to create a specific home for them. Try not to ‘walk empty handed’ – in a modern home, things are constantly being used and moved so you need to consistently put things back in their ‘homes’ or in the recycling or the bin. The easiest way to do this is to tidy up as you move through your home. It negates the need for a regular big tidy ups and your house will stay in order.

Create ‘corners of joy’

No matter how compact your home might be, you can create happy corners and spots within it. This could be a noticeboard with a collage of cards and mementos, a reading nook next to a window, shelving containing a collection of inspiring reading and knick- knacks or a meditation area complete with cushions. These spaces can be used as retreats to escape to when you need a moment of calm. Don’t forget the power of lighting in these areas – you can also use mirrors to reflect light or lamps, candles and fairy lights to create soft pools and a warm ambiance.

Create a kitchen command station

In my experience, the kitchen area tends to be the hub of the household. Creating a ‘command station’ will provide you with a dedicated space to rule the roost with complete efficiency. The command station should include a place for sorting post, an action tray for those things you can’t deal with straightaway, a device charging station, a calendar, and somewhere to keep notes, such as a whiteboard. If you lack storage space, utilise the walls and the full height of the space you have to work with.

Be a conscious consumer

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you want a harmonious home, you have to be fiercely protective of what comes into it and work at this daily. Avoid picking up items just because they are free and be intentional about what you buy. If you have even the tiniest doubt about a purchase, don’t make it, because it will likely end up as clutter.  If unsure, exercise a ‘purchase pause’ – hold off and see how you feel in a week. Whist you’re at it, reconsider buying in bulk. It may save money but the loss of space might not be worth it. The beauty of being a conscious consumer is that you will end up with more disposable income – perhaps to use to remodel or extend your home and gain even more value out of it.

Kate Ibbotson is a Declutter Expert, Professional Organiser and Life Simplification Coach, supporting overwhelmed people across the UK (and beyond) to organise their homes and simplify their lives. She is the owner of A Tidy Mind.

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