Beautiful and useful

thoughts May 15, 2019

Often when people hear that I am a professional organiser, they assume my home is a stark, minimalist haven. “Your house must be spotless” and “You must not have much stuff” are common refrains. Actually, I do have stuff; I have hobbies that require a certain amount of kit (and so does my husband), and we have a small child who has toys, books and other toddler paraphernalia. This is the day to day stuff – those items that we use regularly enough to justify having within easy reach.

Then there are the treasures – our precious mementos and keepsakes. Souvenirs from our honeymoon; photos spanning decades (printed and digital); family heirlooms; quirky collections and so on. These are the items that aren’t regularly used, so the temptation is to shove them in a box and push them to the back of a cupboard. I’m going to seriously challenge the perception of a professional organiser here and say pull those treasures out and be proud of them (with a caveat of course)!

Something I challenge all of my clients with when we sort through their treasures is to actually use these items in everyday life. A beautiful set of wedding silver deemed "too good" to use is going to waste sitting in a box in the garage. In my opinion, it is "too good" to NOT be used (and if I'm brutally honest, in my experience the silver will not be treasured by your children in the future so I don't recommend saving it for them unless they have explicitly asked for it). A beautiful porcelain milk jug salvaged from your grandmother's estate could become cracked and useless after languishing at the bottom of a flimsy box, or it could be filled with cheerful flowers to brighten your dining room AND remind you of your grandmother.

Here's that caveat: if it is good enough to keep, then it should be in use. If it isn't something you want on display, then ask yourself: why am I keeping this?

There are many complex reasons we hang onto objects that we don't actually like or want; identifying those reasons with the help of a professional organiser can be transformational. An expert can gently assist you in letting go of objects that add no value to your life, leaving more space for those things treasures you truly love and have use for.

This article was originally published in the May 2019 edition of Channel Magazine, a publication I proudly write for each month.

Cover photo by Ignat Kushanrev on Unsplash

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