37 Expert Professional Organisers Share Their Favourite Tip

Round up blog post

I am often asked for that ONE hot tip that will help YOU get organised… Though if I am honest, there’s no one tip to quickly fix all the organising issues that we experience on a regular basis. Being organised is hard work, it’s about constant up keep and continual mindfulness. What works for some individuals or families won’t necessarily work for another.

This is why I have been working with 37 of the most successful Professional Organisers worldwide, from Marie Kondo based in Japan, to our very own Peter Walsh here in Australia, to bring to you their invaluable advice.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy their wisdom and become inspired to not only get organised, but take charge and stay organised!

 

 

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TIP #1  Take everything out! It seems dramatic, but it really is the only way to go through each individual item that you have, making sure you are keeping things that are really important, and letting go of items that are not – Cathleen Simmons

Assembly, Los Angeles | www.assembly.la

 

 

 

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TIP #2  Setting, and sticking to, boundaries around the volume of possessions I have. Having rules to live by that ensure I never end up with more stuff than I can easily control – Rebecca Mezzino

Clear Space, Adelaide | www.clearspace.net.au

 

 

 

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TIP #3  When trying to de-clutter your space sometimes we can bite off more than we can chew and are only left with disappointment as to the amount that was accomplished.  Schedule small chunks of time in your calendar to de-clutter and make sure to have a very specific goal as to which area you will be tackling – Pamela Morrone

Creating Clarity, Los Angeles | www.creating-clarity.com

 

 

 

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TIP #4 Getting organized requires sorting, purging, homes for everything and habits of using them. Staying organized requires mindfulness – Ashley Moon Stanfield

Creatively Neat, Los Angeles | www.creativelyneat.com

 

 

 

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TIP #5 Decluttering and organizing is the mind’s work. During the sorting part, move slowly through the process so as to let insight guide you. Turn off all noises and conversations; let silence fill the space. Even your favorite music can be distracting and derail your focus. Be present with your belongings—and the attendant memories – Yvette Bowlin

Declutter Code, San Diego | www.decluttercode.com

 

 

 

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TIP #6 Remind yourself of what is important to you and what your best life possible looks and feels like. Then ask if what you are holding onto supports or prevents you achieving this – Danielle Atkins

Declutter Life, Sydney | http://www.declutterlife.com.au/top-tip-for-living-clutter-free/

 

 

 

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TIP #7 If it takes less than a minute to do something, just do it now – Sarah Michul

Declutter With Sarah, Kentucky | www.declutterwithsarah.com

 

 

 

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TIP #8 Convert paper documents and bills into digital files and online statements – LeiLani

Design And Order, Los Angeles | www.designandorder.company

 

 

 

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TIP #9 Clutter is often the result of postponed decisions so learn to make decisions on the spot. Don’t put back in your cabinets something you know you don’t need, that you won’t be using again or that you don’t love anymore e.g. that dress that for action. Things you can give away or sell.  When the box or bag is full, take doesn’t make you feel good, that toy that is broken or that your child has outgrown etc.  Throw right away what is not in a good condition and can’t be fixed and have a box or bag in a closet action – Nathalie Ricaud

Get Organised and Beyond, Singapore | www.getorganisedandbeyond.com

 

 

 

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TIP #10 Live life with less: It will make you feel lighter, happier and more creative – Anna Roberts

Get Sorted, Abergavenny, South Wales | www.getsorted-uk.com

 

 

 

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TIP #11 Make a “world” for your favorite things. Whether it’s coffee, yoga, tea, champagne or perfume. Whatever you enjoy most; have everything relating to it together in one place. For example: if you’re a frequent yogi, have your yoga clothes in the same cabinet as your water bottle, towels, mat, blocks, essential oils and anything else you use before or during class. It’s way more fun and functional – Morgan Ovens

Haven Home, Los Angeles | www.havenhome.la

 

 

 

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TIP #12 Everything in your home needs a place, it’s the easiest way to keep your home neat and tidy. My trick is to keep likes with likes. For example, all your dishes in one cuboard, all your cups in another – Kate Millard

Kate and Tidy, Toronto | https://www.instagram.com/kateandtidy/

 

 

 

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TIP #13 The KonMari Method. Through this once in a life time event of tidying thoroughly, completely, in one go, please experience the magic that will change your whole life – Marie Kondo

KonMari, Japan | konmari.com

 

 

 

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TIP #14 My number one tip is to start small and start easy. Find a drawer, a pile, a little stack of items and start decluttering there. Once you’ve had a victory under your belt and seen how much you don’t need in your life, you’re motivated and inspired to work up to tackling bigger decluttering projects. The most important thing is to just START – Bonnie Black

Little Miss Organised, Queensland | www.littlemissorganised.com.au

 

 

 

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TIP #15 Horizontal is hidden. Vertical is visible. While organizing, use as much vertical space as possible – Geralin Thomas

Metropolitan Organizing, Cary | www.metropolitanorganizing.com

 

 

 

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TIP #16 Keep it minimal! The more things you have, the harder it is to keep everything organised. De-clutter and minimise as much as you can, and you will feel a weight has lifted. You’ll also find you don’t miss these extra items that you have been holding onto for so many years – Keirra Jade

Miss OCD, Newcastle | http://www.missocd.com.au

 

 

 

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TIP #17 It’s easy to be tempted by pretty Pinterest images and the plethora of organising materials available on the market (Hello, cute wicker baskets and mini chalkboard labels!) But, before running out and buying storage materials, ruthlessly declutter and work out what storage you actually need. If you need to buy things to store your things, ask yourself if that really is “organisation”? Remember that true organising is not about making things pretty… it’s about making things work for you, to make time and space for what really matters in your life – Mel Carruthers

More Organised, Dubai | www.moreorganised.com

 

 

 

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TIP #18 The key to getting and staying organized is to create a “home” for everything, and if you can’t create a home for Everything, it’s time to edit – Suzanne O’Donnell

My LA Organizer, Los Angeles | http://mylaorganizer.com/index.html

 

 

 

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TIP #19 Implementing organizing products is a must. It is the only way you will maintain your newly organized space! Binning is winning – Marissa Hagmeyer

Neat Method, 18 cities across America | www.neatmethod.com

 

 

 

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TIP #20 Perhaps more than any other organizing strategy, “full circle thinking,” is one of my essential ones. Very simply, if you open a drawer, close it. If you bring in a bag, unpack it. When you finish eating, clear the dishes. When you get undressed, put the clothes in the hamper. It’s about being mindful of what we’re doing. It’s about completing the process instead of stopping mid-stream. Completing the circle of action helps maintain the order and organization we’ve worked so hard to create – Linda Samuels

Oh So Organized, Croton on Hudson | www.ohsoorganized.com

 

 

 

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TIP #21 Always buy storage LAST when you get organised. It’s so tempting to go out and get lovely looking containers and baskets, but if you don’t know what you really need to store, and where you will store it – chances are it will end up being wrong and create more clutter. Declutter, organise and THEN choose the right storage for the job and you will be better off – Chrissy Halton

Organise My House, Knutsford, Cheshire | www.organisemyhouse.com

 

 

 

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TIP #22 Choose an area that nags you daily.  By seeing the fruits of your labour from the beginning of your decluttering war you will feel more motivated to continue. You now know you’ve got this when you can see the result – Colleen Shepherd

Organise U, Auckland | www.organiseu.co.nz

 

 

 

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TIP #23 A place for everything and everything in it place – having a home for all your “things ” not only helps to keep your home or office tidy and organised but it also means that you will know where to find an item easily when you need it as everything has a home – Sheena Hind

Organised Me, Sydney | http://www.organisedme.com.au/

 

 

 

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TIP #24 Editing is the first step to remaining organized. Always choose quality over quantity – Nialya Suarez

Organized Simplicity, Atlanta | https://www.instagram.com/organized_simplicity/

 

 

 

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TIP #25 The most productive day starts the night before.  Mornings are short lived so spend a few minutes in the evening to prepare yourself for the day ahead. Gather any materials you need and have them ready at the door. Open your closet and consider what you’ll wear, hang your clothes on a pull-out valet rod. Assemble your bag or purse and toss in a healthy snack. Check out your day planner for appointments.  Leave early – John Trosko

Organizing LA, Los Angeles | www.organizingla.com

 

 

 

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TIP #26 Embrace Change – Ann Sullivan

Organizing People For Life®, New York | http://annsullivan.com

 

 

 

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TIP #27 You only have the space you have! You need to treat the space you have with honor and respect. If you overload your space with too much stuff, treat your home as a storage unit, you can never be happy in your space. It’s just like a relationship. If you don’t honor and respect your partner your relationship can never be a happy one – it’s exactly the same with your home – Peter Walsh

Peter Walsh Design, Australia | http://www.peterwalshdesign.com

 

 

 

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TIP #28 Label, label, label! Be sure you use attractive labels either made with a template or a label maker. It makes your organizing more visual, easier to see, and easier to put away – Ellen R. Delap

Professional Organizer, Texas in Kingwood | www.professional-organizer.com

 

 

 

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TIP #29 Going paperless and getting digitally organized has been the single greatest thing for bringing simplicity, organization and clarity into my life – Barbara Fuller

Simplify Days, Midway | http://simplifydays.com

 

 

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TIP #30 Have a process. Decluttering your home can be overwhelming, especially if you’re working in many rooms at once and getting sidetracked. I encourage people to work room by room and my rule is ‘only handle it once’ so if you pick something up, put it where it belongs or allocate it to a sell, donate or throw away pile. If you keep going back to the same items over and over it will feel like you’re not getting anywhere – Cat Brown

Simplify Me, Melbourne | www.simplifyme.net.au

 

 

 

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TIP #31 Getting organized doesn’t require a lot of product. Take a broader look and consider how you can tweak or change the bones of your space to make it work harder for you. The very best professional organizers will tell you this is their number one too – Samantha Pregenzer

Simply Organised, San Fransisco | www.simplyorganized.me

 

 

 

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TIP #32 My favorite organizing tip is “contain with consistency.” Use matching bins, baskets, or boxes when organizing a cluttered space to conceal chaos and create cohesion. Use labels to differentiate between categories. This visual consistency system can foster serenity and create harmony in any room – Monica Leed

Simply Spaced, Los Angeles | simplyspaced.com

 

 

 

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TIP #33 If you care enough to be devastated if your photos were lost then you should care enough to do something with them….print them, share them, get them on the wall or even just the fridge and most importantly back them up.  Knowing you have so many to back up will also help you be more intentional about the number of photos you take or more importantly about the number you attempt to manage and keep.  Do you really need 300 selfies of your toddlers left nostril? – Mara Morrison

The Filing Fairies, Sydney | www.thefilingfairies.com.au

 

 

 

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TIP #34 The first step in your organising journey should be getting rid of the excess stuff in your life. All possessions should serve a purpose or bring happiness to your life – Chelsea Smith

The Organising Platform, Melbourne | www.theorganisingplatform.com

 

 

 

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TIP #35 Resist the urge to buy any organising products until you’ve actually decluttered the space! You may find that you actually don’t need to buy anything once the space has been organised. If you do need some supplies to organise the space further, then ‘shop your home’ first to see if there are any items you could repurpose as a suitable storage solution, such as boxes, baskets, jars, and containers – Jo Capicciano

The Organised You, Melbourne | www.theorganisedyou.com

 

 

 

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TIP #36 Have a smooth morning routine by establishing a place when you return home to place your keys.  Use a mount a hook near the door or use a small dish near the entrance on your dresser to place them -Janet M. Taylor

Totally Organized, LLC, Philadelphia | www.janetmtaylor.com

 

 

 

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TIP #37 Be intentional with your time and your belongings.  Use a planner, make lists and ensure the things you own are worthy of the space they take – Sarah Rodgers

Your Life Well Organized, Charlotte | www.yourlifewellorganized.com

 

 

A big thank you to all our experts for providing their tips to help you get organised!

Be sure to follow us over on Instagram @theorganisingplatform and Facebook The Organising Platform.

Now, I want to hold YOU accountable for that one space in your home that has been bugging you for months, if not years. Email me directly at Chelsea@theoranisingplatform.com with your organising goals to make a commitment to yourself, and also to me.

I will personally follow up each email to see how you have taken charge of your space and provide value any way I can.

I look forward to hearing from you. XO

Chelsea Smithsigniture


Professional Organiser, Melbourne

Chelsea@TheOrganisingPlatform.com

0401 346 565

 

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8 Steps to Organising Your Garage

How to Declutter and Organise Your Garage 

It is easy to see how so many families across the globe have garages that are literally bursting at the seams. If this is your current situation, let me assure you – you are not alone!

Garages are an easy dumping ground for just about anything.

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That suitcase that won’t fit in the wardrobe, the set of rusted golf clubs that you never use though don’t want to throw away, the box of clothes that no longer fit, and pretty much anything else that doesn’t have a set place in your home.

I believe the hardest part of tackling the garage is getting started. It is often an area we tend to neglect for months, if not years.

Here there was an overwhelming amount of items that had accumulated over a period of time resulting in this small space not being able to house the family car. This client was determined to declutter their space and re-organise what was left, ensuring that there was ample room to park the car – for the first time in 8 months.

 Following this step-by-step guide you can learn how to plan for a project of such scale:

  1. Set aside the time
    1. This task may take a number of hours, a full weekend or in some cases a number of weekends. Consider setting aside 3-4 hour working blocks at a time so you do not loose motivation.
    2. Be sure to set yourself a realistic timeline to work towards.
    3. Get your family involved, particularly if there are items of theirs being stored in the space. You should never dispose of something that is not your own.
  1. Plan
    1. It is important to have a vision for any project that you undertake – ask yourself “how do I want the end product to look and feel?” Be realistic, there is little point fantasising about vertical storage solutions filled with colour coded storage bins if you’re on a tight budget.
    2. Zones – break down the area, think about how much space is required for each zone i.e. car park, work shop or storage unit.
    3. If you know that you are going to be throwing away a lot of junk, consider hiring a skip bin or pre booking a hard rubbish collection through the council.
  1. Declutter
    1. Find yourself 4 washing baskets, boxes or any oversized bags that you may have around the house.
    2. Mark each container as categories:
      • KEEP 
      • SELL 
      • DONATE 
      • THROW
    3. I suggest removing each item from the area, one by one, taking the time to consider which pile you will place it in – as above.
    4. Don’t second guess yourself, be confident in your decision and listen to your gut instinct.
    5. Depending on your emotional attachment to your items and your ability to make decisions quickly this part of sorting and decluttering may be the most time consuming. It is easy to underestimate the time required to make a decision.
  1. Clean
    1. This is the best time for you to thoroughly clean your space. I mean getting down on your hands and knees and scrub each and every surface.
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    1. Here is where the fun really starts! Hopefully you have had the courage to purge a large portion of your belongings and
      you can now start putting it all back together.
    2. Categorise the items that you have decided to keep – putting like items together. It makes sense to store all your tools or camping gear together.
    3. Start packing these items away into smaller boxes, clear plastic bins or whatever you have decided will work best for your space.
    4. Label each of your containers to make life easier when you are looking for something specific.
    5. You really don’t need to spend a bomb to get organised – don’t be tempted with matching all of your storage containers, your garage does not need to look like it belongs in a double page spread of a storage catalogue! Try to be thrifty and utilise what you already have.
    6. If you have however decided to invest in some storage tubs or shelving always be sure to measure up your area prior to hitting the shops.
  1. Complete the taskGarage
    1. I cannot stress this enough! Be sure to make the time to finish the entire process. This means putting everything back in its place and storing it as you imagined. Drop off all the bags that are to be donated to your local Op shop and take a trip to the tip.
  1. Reward
    1. I believe it is important to reward yourself once you have reached your goal. Shout the family on a special outing to thank them for helping out.
  1. Upkeep
    1. Like every area that we declutter and organise there will be maintenance. Be sure to put your belongings away where they belong once you have finished with them and try not to collect “junk”.

Good luck and happy organising!

For daily inspiration and tips follow me on my Instagram page or check out my Facebook. XO

Chelsea Smith

 

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Professional Organiser, Melbourne

Chelsea@TheOrganisingPlatform.com

0401 346 565

 

 

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3 Simple Questions To Keep Your Wardrobe Decluttered

Mindset To Decluttering Your Wardrobe

Did you know that just 20% of the average person’s closet is worn on a regular basis?

This stat had me stumped! That seems like a lot of clothes going unworn on a regular basis, neglected in the back of the closet, pushed aside in favour of the preferred daily ensemble… On reflection, I have to admit that this was me.

A few months earlier, I had culled my wardrobe, donating bag after bag of rarely worn garments. I sold beautiful dresses that I had purchased for events, and parted ways with corporate suits that I was unlikely to ever wear again… I’d made a step in the right direction.

But not long after my massive closet purge, I found myself with still too many unworn clothes.

I wasn’t dealing with the issue at hand…

I was still impulse buying!

I would buy new pieces without considering what they actually looked like on me and how they suited my personal style. I realised that I needed to deal with the real problem. It was time to evaluate and take a good long look at myself. Who was I, what did my clothing choices say about me, and what was it that I actually needed as far as my wardrobe collection went?

I’m a mum; therefore I am always after comfort and practicality. I so rarely go out after 7pm and when I do, I like to dress up – though not necessarily to the 9’s. You will more often than not find me make up free and in my “active wear” or in a pair of comfy jeans and a T.

First, I had to learn to define myself and my style. This meant becoming comfortable with who I was at that stage in my life.

I was constantly complaining that I “had no clothes”!

Yet the abundance of what I owned and consequently didn’t like was overwhelming.

Sadly, my wardrobe was filled with guilt. I could barely stand to look at these outfits which represented all the time and money that I had spent on items that never properly suited my body shape or never truly connected with my style. All these pieces were constant reminders of the mistakes I had been making over the years, reminders that took up valuable space in my wardrobe.

IMG_2899This second time around, I edited and culled what I already owned with a vision in mind. I now only ever invest in new items that really connect with who I am and what I already have. Let me tell you, I only own a fraction of the clothes that I once did, and yet I have more outfits to mix and match. I now spend more time finding clothes that seamlessly blend into my wardrobe. Every piece fits together to create an overall theme, one that expresses my personal style.

It has taken some time to honestly love every item that is hung or folded in my wardrobe (to see how I fold a t-shirt using the KonMari Method check out my Facebook page).

It feels so refreshing! Not only does it take me less time to get dressed in the morning but my bank balance (and my hubby) thank me for it!

I had to share my newfound mantra – so that you’ll never swing your wardrobe open, stare blankly at the abundance of clothes and complain that you “have nothing to wear”!

When you find yourself pondering over a top that is tempting you – simply take the time to ask yourself the following:

Do I actually love this?

Do I need it?

Does it suit my personal style?

Be honest, and let your senses guide you. Your answers may just surprise you.

Following this rule of thumb will grant you optimal use of your items and a guilt free wardrobe that you can be proud of. XO

Chelsea Smithsigniture


Professional Organiser, Melbourne

Chelsea@TheOrganisingPlatform.com

0401 346 565

 

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A Little Bit More About Me

Why I Started The Organising Platform

I wouldn’t say that I had an addiction to shopping (my husband may disagree) although I found myself continuously cramming my home with clothing, nick knacks and homewares that I had brought on impulse. There was a sense of guilt when I looked around at the belongings that filled my home, and consequently my life.

I felt I needed a monumental change. Not solely in terms of decluttering, although with a new baby on the way and a house bursting at the seams, decluttering was certainly called for. But I also knew that I needed a life change.

Chelsea SmithI had been immersed in the corporate world for a number of years. And while I had a level of respect and appreciation for the job and my company, I lacked that essential fulfilment that we all crave. Did I see myself there forever: no. Was I satisfied as far as what the job meant to me and ultimately gave me: no. Once I became a mum, I sought a greater meaning and role. It was at this time, during maternity leave, that I finally decided to make that substantial change and pursue the life I was meant to live.

First and foremost, my husband and I decided to relocate from Sydney’s inner city to the beautiful Sutherland Shire. We wanted a yard for our son and to be closer to the ocean. We knew that even though we’d essentially be downsizing from our large apartment, we were doing the right thing for our family and for the health and happiness of our lives. Though I must admit, the change scared me at first – what was I going to do with all the things I had accumulated over the years?

Deep down, I knew I always wanted to live a simpler life, less possessions, less social commitments and less multi-tasking. Life was busier than it needed to be. I yearned for an existence defined by what was truly important, my family, friends, love and happiness.

I asked myself…

How could I use this effectively to help others

FullSizeRender-3Organising and simplifying (particularly since my son’s birth) has become a way of life for me. I’ve consequently learnt to let go of the collectibles and stop giving in to the large homeware sales. I streamlined my life, our life. This is how I have come to help other families.

I learnt that things no longer owned me but were simply possessions that I could let go of once they no longer served a purpose. It has been a journey to gain a greater understanding of what was actually important and to suppress the role of physical belongings.

I began The Organising Platform with a very simple mission in mind: to convey my own journey of self-discovery and renewal to others. It is not just about organisation and decluttering, but rather, it is about understanding the bigger picture, finding peace within your life and your home. Subsequently, it is getting motivated to make the essential change especially if you feel stuck or stagnant in your current situation. In the long run, I discovered what brings me comfort and makes me feel whole. This is what I teach my clients. They need to belong to themselves first and be true to that self. In this way, they can spend more time doing what is most meaningful to them.

The lessons and experiences I’ve encountered have shaped me and led me here today. Now I want to share this journey and my knowledge with you.

I want to offer my clients more than just a decluttering service.

My thoughts and reflections are a big part of my story because they underpin who I am and how The Organising Platform came to be.

Please comment below and share your story. What are your greatest organising and decluttering challenges? I like to think of this blog as a place to dream and more importantly, a start in helping you to realise those dreams. XO

Chelsea Smithsigniture


Professional Organiser, Melbourne

Chelsea@TheOrganisingPlatform.com

0401 346 565

 

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