Absolutely Organised – Paula de Jesus
My name is Paula de Jesus and I am married to Abilio. We have 3 sons, aged between 10 and 21 and an adorable miniature daschund named Olive (who tends to put on weight and is therefore, unhappily for her, always on an exercise and diet regime!).
I am a long-time resident of Milnerton, having lived in the area for 27 years!
I am a people’s person, I thrive on company and conversation. I love my family, reading, walking along the beach, going out for a meal or a movie, spending time with my girlfriends, being creative, conversation, family gatherings, interior decorating, feeling useful, shopping (NOT groceries!), attending my mosaics class, and of course sorting and organising!
I am caring and friendly, energetic, sensitive, empathetic, enthusiastic and I love making a positive difference in people’s lives. I feel that my skills of discretion, professional conduct, natural teaching ability, well developed value structure, honesty and integrity, sense of humour, ability to work with and communicate effectively with various age groups, solutions based practical approach stand me in good stead as a Professional Organiser.
I started Absolutely Organised because this is now my time to go out and use my skills, doing something that I love! My dream is to continue as a successful professional organiser, while keeping a balance in my home and family life.
I furthered my knowledge and skills in organizing by studying with the Get Organised Academy and working alongside and being mentored by Judith Penny of All Sorted.
Absolutely Organised – The Business
My business, Absolutely Organised offers a diverse area of services which apply to homes, businesses, home offices or properties for sale
Our services include, but are not limited to:
- Hands on decluttering, sorting and organising any space in your home- from kitchens, garages to wardrobe organising, children’s rooms, etc
- Moving/relocation – managing your move – from packing to unpacking, including decluttering, obtaining quotes for movers, supplying packaging materials, packing and wrapping, overseeing the move, unpacking and organising your belongings and arranging for the removal of used packing materials
- Personal shopping/errands
- Home staging / decluttering before you list your home
- Helping you downscale
- Office and paperwork decluttering
- Deceased estates
- Space optimisation of both large & small areas
- Developing & implementing organisational systems
Where and how does one start?
Start in the place that bothers you the most, for example the kitchen. Start small by doing one shelf, counter, drawer or cupboard at a time. Plan a reward for yourself after that first small area is complete. Be patient with yourself, and take short breaks, while minimising any distractions like phone calls, children needing attention etc.
Set achievable, realistic goals, that way, you will be more likely to complete the job..
Tackle only one area or room at a time. Remember that the mess/chaos/clutter took a while to happen and clearing it will not necessarily happen overnight, but it can be done…. Baby steps at first.
The fact that you already have the desire to get organised and take control of your clutter already is a wonderful first step… you can do it.
There is also one golden rule – ‘do not rush out to buy containers before you start the project, use boxes or plastic bags to store the goods, until you have sorted them, so that you know how much stuff will need to be stored in the containers AND take measurements of the space where the containers will need to go, so that you buy the best size for the space.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
I have for a long time been fan of Marie Kondo’s books and I think she is a wonderful inspiration to us all. Now that I have been watching her show, I’m rather impressed with her client’s restraint and self-discipline. She does a home visit, then indicates to the client the order of how to tackle everything starting with clothes, then books etc and leaves them to attend to it over a number of days or weeks.
I love the results! Well Absolutely Organised goes one step further with helping our clients!
While the core principles of organising and decluttering are universally similar, I find that most of my clients struggle with various issues, amongst them procrastination, lack of time and perseverance, and low energy for tackling their clutter. I also see a great need for some support while they go through the process.
So I would meet with my prospective client, discuss options for sorting out the clutter and find out how it became an issue, THEN the most important part of my service is the hand holding and working side by side with my client and my assistant/s for a limited number of hours – I act as an accountability buddy, helping to keep the client focusses and motivated and on task – and that’s how we get the job done.
It may work for some people to be left with homework, even after we have started the process together, but generally, in my experience, I take the cue from the client. I feel that leaving them with too much to do, especially if they haven’t asked for it, is setting them up for failure. If they had the time, motivation and energy they would have got the job done without me, but they don’t and that is why this model I use works so well.
Once we have tackled the clutter, by first sorting and decluttering, we proceed to organise the remaining items and it is then that we put systems in place to prevent clutter re-occurring.
The area always looks worse than it did when we start decluttering. This is necessary because just like Marie Kondo does, we remove everything from the cupboards, etc and then we sort, categorise, declutter and organise.
There has to be a buy-in and an understanding that in order to keep things organised, the client will need to be aware of what made the problem in the first place and a willingness to follow through on systems which we have put in place together.
I love this question from Marie Kondo: “Do I want to take this into my future?”
I think it says it all and is really helpful when considering what to keep and what to discard.
What to keep and what to throw away – how do you know?
Generally, the rule of thumb is ‘if you don’t need, use or love it, it is clutter and it needs to go’ and now with the Marie Kondo craze taking over the world, the catch phrase is of course ‘Does it spark JOY?”
While this is an absolutely beautiful way of looking at things, I’m sure we can all think of things which don’t spark joy but are necessary, like keys, light globes, garden rakes etc. which we do need to keep.
When decluttering, put stuff that is the same together. This way you will be able to see how many of a certain item you have. For example, if you have 2 or 3 bread knives, keep the one you most enjoy using and donate or give away the other 2. It comes as quite a shock to many of my clients, when we categorise and sort their belongings and they see how many of the same item they have been holding on to unnecessarily.
Generally if you are unsure of whether to give something away in case you will need it at a later stage, but it is causing clutter, ask yourself if it is something that you are able to replace at a later stage if you need it, if the answer is yes, you can decide to sell it or give it away.
In the case of an item that has sentimental value, but is something you are not using, the option is to either display it, or put it away in a box out of the way, like on the top shelf or in the garage or take a photograph of the item for a keepsake, while discarding the actual item.
With things you’re not sure of, seal them in a box and put them in the garage. Very important – write the date on the box. Only open the box if you need something in it. Anything left in the box after three months should be given away or recycled.
Regarding papers/accounts, consult the SARS website, for an updated list of what to keep and for how long.
How much “stuff” is enough?
That is relative and differs from person to person, but if your belongings are suffocating you and preventing you from enjoying your space, that is generally a good sign, that you have too much, not to mention enough!
Where does all the clutter go? What to do with it after sorting?
Absolutely Organised works on the old premise of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ – so we encourage our clients to dispose of their unwanted goods by either
- selling them, for e.g. on Facebook or Gumtree, etc
- recycle unwanted goods like batteries and globes to depots found at most Woollies or Pick n Pay stores
- collaborating with David Baris from Milnerton Recycling, to collect and recycle E-waste
- hand in expired medicines at the pharmacy for them to dispose of safely– never throw these into the bin or toilet
- glass, cardboard, paper, and other recyclable goods can be dropped off at recycling depots
- magazines can be donated to various charities, they will either use them in their organisation for example in old age homes for the residents or for art activities in crèches etc, or the magazines will be sold in their charity shops
- unwanted goods in a reasonably good condition can be donated to charity; some charities will even collect the goods from your home
Remember “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!”
Absolutely Organised’s client’s donations regularly end up in local community initiatives such as the St Luke’s Hospice Shop in Yarrow Road, Milnerton and Eric Miles Cheshire Homes in Corsair Road Sandrift.
But here’s the crucial part: Once you have decided where something is going to go — take it there. Never keep bags for charity or boxes for friends in your home to drop off days later. Do it as soon after the declutter, as possible. Finish the process. Take the bags and boxes out to the bin or recycling immediately. If you’re donating something or giving something to a friend or family member, put the items in your car or make arrangements for dropping them off. After all the work you have done getting this stuff ready to take out, finish the job!
A wonderful service that I love to use, is to arrange with charities such as Help the Rural Child, St Luke’s Hospice, Salvation Army and others who will collect donations from the client’s home, thus providing an easy win-win solution for all.
What You Need for Sorting and De-cluttering
Start with the following:
- Several boxes labelled “throw away”, “recycle”, “give away/give back”, “not for this room”, “unsure”
- Black bags, dust cloths, brush and pan – so you can clean as you declutter
- Pen and paper to note things you need to buy, or to note specific items you want to give to someone in particular
Don’t make perfection your goal, because if you do this you will be disappointed. When you are done it doesn’t need to look like it just stepped out of a decorating magazine. It needs to be functional, you need to be able to find what you are looking for in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort and it needs to work well for YOUR needs – that is successful decluttering.
How does one stay clutter-free?
Buy less, buy only what you need, schedule regular decluttering sessions so that you can stay on top of clutter.
And make sure that everything has a ‘home’ – an allocated space. Clutter is caused by stuff lying around not having a place to go/a place where it belongs.
Clutter driving you crazy?
Need help moving, down- sizing or organising?
Want to take the stress and work out of moving?
Totally overwhelmed and don’t know how or where to start?
Never enough time to do the things you want to do?
Cupboards overflowing with stuff you don’t need or use?
Want to be more organised, but need help?
Don’t agonise….call Absolutely Organised
Check out Paula’s Listing here – https://finditlocal-milnerton.co.za/listing-item/absolutely-organised/