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Restored to health! Re-purposing old furniture and more home tips

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In the last instalment of our series from pro organisers, Nadine Wood at Fresh Focus Design, Georgie Rees at Clutterfly and Kristina Duke at Decluttering Diva share more ways to  get organised- for life! 

Nadine Wood, Fresh Focus Design: 

Having always been a fan of re-purposing furniture, I am excited today to tell you a little story about a client’s very old wardrobe and how restoring and repurposing furniture can be part of an organised life. 

During World War II, a little brown wardrobe made of local Australian timbers was delivered to a Federation home in Roseville where a little girl in a household of boys was thrilled to have her very own storage for her clothes. 

School uniforms and her best Sunday dress, tops were hung on homemade coathangers, while pants and hand-knitted jumpers were folded into drawers lined with brown paper.

Before long the little girl grew up, married and the wardrobe followed her into her own home. But eventually, a built-in cupboard replaced the wardrobe, which was banished for the next 30 years to the garage where it stored ice-skates, softballs and picnic rugs.
But all was not lost. Eventually, the forlorn-looking wardrobe was rescued, then sanded and painted into the 21
st century, and placed into the bedroom of a little boy.

Today, his shirts hang on matching child-sized hangers, and drawers are dedicated to jumpers, socks and shorts, and a display shelf on top holds paper planes and ceramic monsters!

There’s nothing quite like resurrecting a piece of furniture with history.

In a world of instant make-overs and quick-fixes, sanding back layers of history doesn’t seem so much a chore as more a therapeutic exercise in realising the true value of something that can bring deep contentment and meaning to organising your life. 





For guidance with storage solutions or repurposing furniture, call Nadine at Fresh Focus Design.

Georgie Rees, Clutterfly:

“How do I stop the kids from messing up their wardrobes!?” This is a common frustration heard when Clutterfly visits a home. We all know that there is nothing worse than seeing a recently put away stack of folded washing end up in a pile on the floor after the kids have rummaged for their favourite top!

Whilst I can’t magically do the folding and putting away for you, I can suggest some streamline organising solutions and tips to reduce the amount for time you spend re-folding and re-putting away!

  1. CATEGORISE the drawers and shelves to keep each type of clothing separate
  2. PRODUCTS are great to keep things separated, eg use a drawer divider so categories are still clear
  3. LABEL the drawers and shelves with words or pictures – get kids involved by drawing their own
  4. USE COLOUR-CODING like labels to help identify whose clothes are where in a shared wardrobe
  5. USE LEVELS for clothes you are happy for them to access low down and use high areas for storage

Georgie Rees is an Accredited Expert Professional Organiser. Visit Clutterfly or the NSM directory.

Kristina Duke, Decluttering Diva:

In my work, I have seen a lot of kids’ rooms. Whether you are using a built-in, a tall boy, cube shelving or plastic tubs for storage, parents usually say they are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of kids clothes in the house.

  1. Take out any clothes that have been outgrown – I keep a charity bag in my house for these items. 
  2. Pool all the current wearable clothes together, then challenge yourself to reduce the quantity. Try not to be burdened by “just in case” thinking, and instead consider the cost of your time (and sanity) juggling the huge piles of laundry.
  3. Limit current possessions. I like to limit a kid’s wardrobe to around 10 of each item  – that covers you for a week  (and a bit more). Of course your circumstances may be different but it’s essential to set a number and stick to it if you can.
  4. Look at all the clothes that you have for them to grow into, set a limit and designate space for them. Put hand-me-downs that you’re keeping in a clearly labelled box out of the way. 

You work hard to provide your kids with nice clothes – so make the clothes work for you.

Kristina Duke is from Decluttering Diva

More on organising…



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