ContainersIt’s true that containers can help store items neatly, but buying containers is a long way down the list of tasks when you are trying to get organised, especially in a heavily cluttered home. In fact, all those pretty containers can just add to the chaos.

Whether you are tackling a hoard or just spring cleaning your cupboards, it can help to follow a methodical process, and my favourite is “SPACE”, coined by organising guru Julie Morgenstern. SPACE stands for Sort, Purge, Assign a home, Containerise, and Equalise. (Equalise is a fancy word for maintenance because the M wouldn’t make for a very memorable acronym).

Let’s look at how we could use the SPACE method with a heavily cluttered dining table.


We would start by sorting the items on the table into broad categories such as paperwork, craft supplies, clothes, kitchenware, toys and books and so on.


Review each category and dispose of anything you no longer want or need.  For example, looking at the paperwork, catalogues, flyers and newspapers that are now out of date can be recycled.

Assign a Home.

Still thinking about paperwork. Bills and notices that need to be actioned need to be placed somewhere where you will remember to action them. Photos, cards and children’s artwork might live in the bedroom. And magazines to be read could be placed where you would normally do your reading.


This is where you get to use the containers and organising products!  Perhaps the bills and notices are kept tidy in a tray near your computer or with a bull clip on the fridge. The memorabilia deserve to be kept safe and contained in a beautiful box. And the magazines can be kept neat in a basket under the coffee table.


Organising is not a onetime job and you will need to have a plan for regularly repeating the process. After all, you wouldn’t get your teeth cleaned and then complain if the dentist reminded you that you still had to take time to brush them every morning and night.

If you are facing mountains of clutter and feeling overwhelmed the answer is not at the container shop. All you need is a small chunk of time and the resolve to get started.  Then, choose one small area and let the SPACE acronym guide you through the process.

Written by Wendy Hanes

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