Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ in your home?

We had got to the point where we felt like we were constantly tidying – but still unable to find anything. Whilst there were corners of the house that had an element of organisation, these were in the minority compared to the areas of ‘doom’ where we would just shove things with the promise that we’d do something with it ‘at some point.’ The feeling of overwhelm was definitely there – so when Greta reached out to suggest a collaboration – I was more than ready to say yes!

Viva by Greta Pasin

New on the Edinburgh scene, ‘Viva by Greta Pasin‘ offers a professional organiser service helping to bring some much needed order to homes (and life!)

By following Greta’s Instagram I knew that we would be able to organise some of the house ourselves, but there were definitely areas that I felt seriously overwhelmed by so we arranged a video call to discuss what Greta could do to help.

On the call I was able to show Greta the areas of our home that I felt like were ok: by operating a strict capsule wardrobe system our clothes are really easy, we have a refill system for food, and the kids toys all have set homes. But we seemed to be seriously drowning in paperwork and miscellaneous clutter!

Greta suggested a system for paperwork that would mean we could easily locate key items but also keep on top of it in the future – which sounded great. However the key bit was that she would come visit and help us sort everything to get to that point!

Getting things in order

Knowing the date she was coming to visit, we worked really hard to get the rest of our house in order. We went through junk drawers emptying out the nonsense and finding things that looked important. We sorted books locating the random bits of paper shoved inside. We found the piles under the bed or used as drinks mats on desks. In short… we found A LOT of paper.

Finally, on a wet Autumn morning Greta arrived at our door bringing some much needed light – complete with a bag of folders and an incredible labelling machine ready to help!

The first step was to gather everything together and begin to sort into various piles. Somethings could be discarded immediately, whereas other items needed to be set aside for more consideration. We soon had piles for ‘school’, ‘health’, ‘memory’, ‘finance’ etc.

Actually progress…

At this point, we probably had two bags of recycling ready to go and things were already feeling a lot more achievable – even though my nose was beginning to tickle!

Greta helped us to not get distracted by memory lane and to keep us on track. By staying focused on the task it also became easy to think about what we actually needed or not – like why on earth did I still have my permission slip for my BCG vaccination from 1998?!

Understanding how to organise

Once everything was sorted into categories we could then begin to refine further. Like I knew I needed to keep P60s… but I didn’t know you only really need them for the last 22 months. I also really didn’t need car insurance policies for cars I don’t own anymore! But it was also really useful to be able to locate current documents and make a note of when I needed to do something with them!

Other items were definitely more sentimental, but we already had a set home for these in memory boxes and they could simply be tidied away instead of gathering dust in a corner.

Finally, we got to the point where everything could just be sorted and filed:

Some things could be put in individual folders and stored away in the eventuality they are needed. Things like birth certificates, a copy of our wills, and the deeds for the house which definitely necessary to keep but we’re unlikely to need them within the next year so they don’t really need to be directly to hand.

Everything else that we could need frequently or that would need to be located quickly went into a new binder (bought by Greta) and was then separated into separate folders before the labelling began! I was BEYOND jealous of the machine and loved that I could chose my favourite colour for the labels. Greta made quick work of identifying each category and labelling it with the key information so we could find things with ease.

Finally, Greta suggested a system for post as it arrives in the house. The key thing was to get rid of the boxes we had been using – with a firm realism Greta pointed out that if they stayed we would quickly revert back to doing as we had been… shoving things and neglecting!

So the only things left for us to do? Find a nice place for post to go before being sorted weekly and to work through a small ‘to do’ folder!

And for any upcoming appointment? I know exactly where everything is!

All those piles? Now look like this!

If you also are feeling the overwhelm in your home then please do just in touch with Greta. Although it took three hours or so, with Greta’s help the time flew and what seemed like an insurmountable task is complete.

Greta offered her expertise to organise an aspect of our home as a collaboration i.e. we would both share the images to Instagram – but I was so impressed (and grateful) I wrote this post too!

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