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Let’s go green for 2022

We are gradually overcoming Covid and its consequences, but the world is still in need of our attention. COP26 is not far, though it seems we have forgotten about it. With climate change and consumer culture, waste and pollution still need to be tackled. Whilst these issues lie in the hands of corporations who must change how they produce and manage waste, we must also be vehicles of change.

You might think, what’s the point? My small actions won’t make a difference. So why should we change our habits and care for the environment? Changing the collective outlook on the environment and how we should interact with it starts with individual reflection.
By thinking about how we consume, we can then adjust small things in our daily lives which in turn affect these big fish companies that are big polluters. Small changes must be made in order to achieve large scale change. Our homes are our habitat, and we have had to spend more time in our homes than ever before.

So Conchi’s mission for 2022 is to help people discover ways to be greener, sustainable and savvy with their homes.
We know that plastic waste is a major problem, so we should try to reduce it as much as we can in our surroundings. Especially after Covid, as we have learnt to appreciate simple things, people are realising that less is more. We need less stuff and what we do need should be good quality and lasting. Though I recognise not everyone has the resources to do so, change can still be made in different ways.

I will share some tips I use to reduce plastic in my home:

  • Reduce plastic bottles for cleaning products by going to refill shops

  • Don’t buy cling film, substitute with silicone lids/pouches, wax sheets or baking paper

  • Instead of single use freezer bags, use tupperware or reusable bags

  • Stop buying other single use plastics like cups, plates and cutlery

  • Stop using wipes to remove makeup or cleaning, instead use reusable cotton or bamboo cloths

  • Stop buying bottled water or coffee cups, use tap water or boiled from kettle if you are concerned about its quality and a flask

 

Even doing a couple of these things will help you adopt sustainable habits which can educate people around you whilst also making your home, your habitat healthier.
Let’s go green for 2022. 

Have you clearead your Christams decorations?

Today I finished my Christmas clear-out. What a relief! Personally, I don’t go crazy with Christmas decorations – it’s easy to fill our rooms with Christmas accessories which just end up making the house look cluttered and small after a couple of weeks.                                              This clear-out is something I look forward to because it coincides with Epiphany. The three wise men visit baby Jesus and have the big realization. They start a journey in a new light! For many of us the beginning of the year is this.

We give ourselves a chance to restart our journey in life, business, relationships, career, studies, etc. What a lovely feeling! Don’t you think? But it can also be a bit scary if we want to commit to the new changes. It helps if we can set up a positive environment around us. A suitable “habitat” becomes essential, even more so if we work from home. Starting by decluttering and revitalising our space will allow us to be more focused, productive and creative in the tasks we perform every day. Being surrounded by a beautiful space also gives us a sense of peace, satisfaction and accomplishment, especially in moments of despair, when we might feel like giving up or being overwhelmed.

To help start your 2022 in style and comfort, call me to book a free consultation. Book by the end of January to receive a 10% discount. #declutteryourhome #environment #workfromhome

HAPPY NEW 2022

Happy New Year! What do I want 2022 to be for me personally and my business? I want to be grateful for who I am, what I have, and to care for the people and things that are part of my life. We often forget what we have in our proximity and long for things which are out of reach or in a distant future.

However, I am sure you would agree that Covid has made us realise how vital simple things are. In particular, we have realised how vital is to have an inviting and joyful space where you relax, work, communicate, eat, sleep, and so on. But we have seen how consumerism and throw away habits are rife in our domestic life. So, 2022 is going to be about adopting a healthy, caring and respectful attitude towards our homes and the objects we buy and use.

By adopting sustainable, “green” approaches in our home routine, I am convinced that each of us can make big contributions to change these vicious habits which will change the narrative in our minds and our communities. If you agree with me, which changes have you already or would adopt in your daily life?

5 Tips for a Winter Home Transformation

The tell-tale signs are all there: the dark mornings when you can’t get out of bed, your central heating stirring into life every evening, leaves spiralling down onto your lawn in the wind (and rain), all point to one thing – Winter’s just around the corner!

For many people, it can be a tough time in a normal year. Dark, damp and dreary, many of us long to make it through to Spring as quickly as possible.

But this is no normal year. As the season approaches, covid-19 just places more and more obstacles in our way, preventing us from finding ways of beating the Winter blues. No holidays in hot countries, no parties, no pubs, (if you’ve actually still got the money to even think about things like that!)

Not even the prospect of Christmas, a time for socialising, a chink of light, offers much comfort – the memories of “Christmas past” come flooding back: lunches out with work colleagues, family shopping sprees in brightly-lit cities, the family round the table for turkey.

Except, this year, things are going to be different.

If you’re working from home, you might not have seen your work colleagues in person for several weeks, maybe even months, and if you’re lucky you the largest gathering you’ll be able to host at home this Christmas will be six people!

No, this Winter it looks like we are going to spend most of our time at home as opportunities for socialising and visits to friends and relatives are going to be few and far-between.

5 Tips to Create Your Winter Space

But this Winter doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

There are still lots of ways to beat the blues, keep Christmas merry and give ourselves the annual dose of the yuletide comfort we all crave. As many of us are forced to spend more and more time at home, it makes sense to do everything we can to create a cosy, comfortable space that makes us happy and accomplished.

  • Think! Start by identifying the spaces you want to spend time in. Where do you want to feel cosy on those long Winter evenings?
  • A vital step! Create order and space in those areas. Remove clutter, organise toys, books, documents, make sure you have a system in place to stop clutter building around you again (this can be a link to my Free PDF)??
  • Be bold! Try moving some pieces of furniture into different rooms, this may lead to a new room layout, but this is the exciting part. A new room! Also introduce objects to give them a new purpose and life.
  • A bit of shopping! Spend the money you save on not going out on trendy accessories to a quick revamp of your cosy spaces. New lamps, cushions, throws on sofas, plants can all help to transform rooms instantly
  • Be creative! Regenerate old pictures, including photos, posters, different types of artwork. Reframing them can give them a new lease of life and change the atmosphere in a room. Also try clustering them into a single wall gallery to create a bespoke feature

 

 

Click on this link (to be provided) to claim your free PDF.

15% discount on on-site decluttering and organising service if you book before Christmas!

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Declutter Your Home Office Today With These 15 Expert Tips

Published on March 5, 2021 by 

Don’t miss the recent Redfin article I was featured in: “Declutter Your Home Office Today With These 15 Expert Tips”

Declutter Your Home Office Today With These 15 Expert Tips (redfin.com)

Over time, many people begin to accumulate more things than they get rid of – and this is especially true in a home office.  It’s easy for paperwork to pile up in your home office and begin to get out of hand. A cluttered and disorganized office doesn’t just make you feel distracted, but it can also increase stress levels and decrease productivity.

Decluttering and organizing your home office is not an easy task, and you may be a little intimidated at the thought of it. We’ve asked experts, from Philadelphia, PA to Sacramento, CA, to share their best tip on how to declutter and organize your home office so you can be more productive working from home.

A large home office with artwork, two velvet lounge chairs, and a leather sofa

Maximize focus and wellness by organizing your time and systems

In this era of remote work, between web conferences and the many one-off phone calls, it can be difficult to make headway on any tasks and projects. Protect your time by blocking off one to two hours in your calendar each day and putting up “Do Not Disturb” signs on your company chat apps (and on your office door if your housemates are distracting) and silencing your devices during this period of focused work. I also recommend gifting yourself 10 minutes at the end of each day to mentally tidy up, so that you set yourself up for success and don’t feel overwhelmed when you return to your desk. Recycle, shred, or archive anything that you’ve already taken action on, and then open your notebook to a clean page and identify your top three priorities for the next day. – Make Room by Monica

Tackle the digital clutter

Schedule a weekly tech duty day where you clean up that computer desktop, update your software, and purge your trash. These little changes will make a big impact. – Tech Savvy Creative

Establish a system

Create a system for incoming paperwork and a filing system that is labeled to help you find things when you need them. Another way is to find a home for all the office supplies by sorting and creating categories for everything. – Simply Neat and Tidy

Use a scanner to eliminate paper clutter

When cleaning out papers and files, if you need the information but not the actual file, consider scanning it using the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner or a scanner app on your phone.- Systems by Susie

Keep two things in mind: clarity and inspiration

In order to achieve this successfully, you need to digitise your work management and its content as much as you can. Classify, label, and place in boxes, folders, or drawers only crucial docs and objects which cannot be in electronic format. Keep your workstation fresh and inspiring with plants, your favorite wall art and colours, and a stylish box or tray for things to be actioned. Hiring a professional to help you with the above is the second-best tip. – Conchi the Home Coach

Create a “to-do” box or drawer

This keeps your work papers separate from your personal/home items. Even though you will spend 10-15 minutes a day packing and unpacking your box, this will help keep your workspace from becoming cluttered chaos. Most importantly, it will help you maintain a work/life balance by being able to put work out of sight when your workday is finished since you won’t actually be leaving the “office”. – Green Tree Cleaning Services

Tidy as if you’re having guests over

So you crafted a home office that inspires productivity and gives off major coziness vibes that would melt Joanna Gaines’ heart. Unfortunately, while your productivity is in overdrive, your office is in a downward spiral getting cluttered and messier by the minute. Stay productive and keep your desk looking Pinterest-worthy by having set hours, just like a brick & mortar business. Instead of dashing in and out of the office all day and night, set a non-negotiable closing time and a simple routine to wrap up the day. Tidy up your space as if someone important is coming over to work from your home office. For whatever reason, the anxiety that comes along with having a guest over makes me clean quicker and better than I would for myself. – Cleaning Club

Keep distractions to a minimum

Something that keeps me productive and organized in my office is a little motto less is best. If I have a ton of unnecessary things sitting out while trying to work it becomes a distraction. Keep the workspace neat and you will accomplish so much more all while feeling less stressed. I try to leave my work area to have as well. – Tidy Tabs

Make a playlist for your daily cleaning routine

Create a cleaning checklist and complete a small task every day. Play music and maybe even grab a drink to make cleaning your home office more fun. – Express24 Clean

Abide by the one-minute rule

Maintaining a clean, neat, and efficient workspace in your work office or home office can be really easy. One of my favorite bits of advice is the 1-minute rule. If you see something that needs to be cleaned, dusted, or in need of tidying up and it takes 1 minute or less then do it right away. These small wins will make you feel more productive and set you up for success knowing you have already accomplished something productive once you sit down to go to work. – Freedom Cleaning Solutions

An organized desk makes for a productive day

Reduce stress by decluttering

If simply entering your office stresses you out, it’s time for a decluttering session. To really make the most of your efforts, I recommend taking everything out of closets, drawers, and cabinets. Putting your hands on every item helps you to see how much you really have. The key to maintaining any recently decluttered and organized space is only keeping what you need.  – Shepard Organizing Solutions

Prioritize your daily goals

Begin each day with your top three items to accomplish. Schedule each task, even if it is small, on your daily online or paper-based planner. What gets scheduled gets done. And then you can carry on with the rest of your day with a feeling of accomplishment. – Day Designer

Consistency is key

Papers can get overwhelming so make sure to process mail immediately, shred and throw away – keep that clutter at a minimum. Make it a habit to clean your desk off at the end of the day so you are ready to conquer business the next morning like a BOSS. – 2 Green Chicks

Achieve organization by breaking tasks into smaller projects

Organizing can be overwhelming. Break up the job into smaller, easy tasks that you can do quickly. The more little organizing projects you get done, the more accomplished you’ll feel, and the more organized you’ll become. Beat organization procrastination by scheduling time once a week for tidying up your home office. When you get in the routine of staying on top of things then organizing will no longer be overwhelming. – The Home Organization Coach

Sort, purge, organize, repeat

Address your digital, physical, and mental clutter to achieve order and clarity. Working in these spaces can feel very overwhelming at times, so follow these three easy steps to organize your space: 1) Sort 2) Purge 3) Organize 4) Repeat. When in doubt, repeat those steps to yourself and figure out which step you’re on. – ClarityCo Organizing

Clearing Out Sentimental Clutter And Unwanted Gifts

We feel as if we’re throwing away memories, experiences, and even people

If guilty feelings sabotage your attempts at decluttering your hoard of unwanted gifts and sentimental items, you’ve felt the effects of ‘stuff guilt’. Many if not most people feel an unnecessary attachment to various items because of their relationship to the giver or because of memories and emotions that those objects stimulate. Those feelings make it difficult to clear out the clutter fully, and they’re a burden you don’t need.

I’ve certainly felt plenty of ‘stuff guilt’, so I know how difficult it can be. That said, I can also share the good news that it’s completely possible to overcome it and finally shed all the stuff you don’t actually need. I’m not saying that you need to get rid of every sentimental thing in your home, because there are things you’ll want to (and should) keep.

Let’s see how to take the smart approach to decluttering when it comes to sentimentality and all those gifts you don’t really like nor want.

Focus On What You’re Keeping

As contradictory as it sounds, focus on what to keep when clearing out unwanted gifts from special people and sentimental items such as heirlooms or mementoes. Most of us would usually focus on what to clear out, but when you’re dealing with stuff that tugs at the heartstrings, we need to take a slightly different approach.

According to decluttering doyenne Marie Kondo, most of us have many sentimental items from the lives of our grandparents, parents, children, and from our own lives. When we focus on what to clear out, the task seems too overwhelming. I think that, for some of us at least, we feel as if we’re throwing away memories, experiences, and even people. When we focus on what to keep, however, we make the task manageable and give ourselves the assurance that there are a few things we’ll hold on to for at least a little longer.

Keep Objects That Evoke Joy

So, how do we decide what to keep, if that’s what we need to focus on? I love Kondo’s advice, which is to hold each sentimental item in your hand, hold it to your heart, and be aware of the emotions that stir inside you. While still holding the item, ask yourself if it ‘sparks joy’.

If the answer is yes, keep that item, because you’ve just proven that it does have a place in your life and your home. If the answer is no, you can let go of the item because what would be the point of keeping it?

Dealing With Childhood Mementos

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably amassed a pile of mementoes from the lives of your children. You know what I mean – first booties and baby clothes, weird ceramics from art class, handmade holiday cards, the guest list or menu from their 10th birthday… and the list goes on.

Initially, deciding what and what not to keep may seem impossible and it may put you off decluttering. But Kondo’s thoughts on the subject make it easy. Consider how you could display or repurpose each item in a way that puts it in view, such as framing artworks, baby clothes, or other suitable pieces.

Ask your children if they would like any of the items you’re discarding before you donate them or throw them out. When you get rid of any of those items, do so with gratitude for the role they played in your children’s growth.

What To Do With Heirlooms

Heirlooms and similar items that usually inspire strong sentimental attachments should also be subject to the test of checking whether they spark joy. If any do not, and there will surely be some, it’s time to say a respectful goodbye to them. Even though they don’t make you feel joyful, those items may have been important to your late parents or grandparents.

When parting with those items, do so with gratitude for what it meant to their previous owners and for the roles they played in the lives of those people. You’ll be surprised at how effective that moment of recognition and thanks is in allaying any guilty feelings for clearing out that clutter.

If no other family members want the heirlooms or nostalgic items that you don’t want, find a respectful way to part with them. If there are items of potential historical interest, donate them to the local museum. If there are antiques among them, offer them for sale to a reputable dealer. You’ll also have no trouble finding buyers for silver plate ware, vintage jewellery, and other items online.

Regifting Unwanted Gifts

Over the years, Christmases, birthdays, and other occasions can bring a slew of unwanted gifts into your life. The problem for many of us is that we feel obligated to keep those gifts because of our relationships with the people who gave them to us, or simply because they were gifts. As children, our parents taught us to always be grateful for what we received.

When tackling all those unwanted gifts, it’s important to separate the sentiment from the item. It’s possible to appreciate that someone thought of you and cared enough to take the time to select a gift, even if they misjudged your taste. Acknowledge the sentiment, and then put those unwanted items in a regifting box or cupboard. Make a note of who gave each item to you on a removable label or in a book stored along with the gifts.

Whenever you need a gift for a particular occasion, look for something suitable in the box – it could save you a trip to the shops, and it’s one less piece of clutter at home. Make sure you read (and remove) labels, or check your notebook to avoid the embarrassment of gifting items back to the original givers. If you’d rather have it all gone in one go, donate those items to charities or charity shops instead.

Personal Sentimental Items

Some of your sentimental clutter, such as movie ticket stubs, photos, and high school love letters, might spark painful memories and strong emotions other than joy. When you come across items that are not wise to keep but are difficult to clear out because of sentimental attachment, dispose of them ceremoniously. One way to do this is to burn those items, releasing their associations as you do it.

Clearing out sentimental clutter and unwanted gifts isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it’s necessary. Use the tips above to help you decide what to keep and what to move on from. You’ll feel better for it!

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