Q is for QuestionsAre you Q-rious? In the A to Z of Organising, Q is for…

Questions – Being able to ask the right questions is one of the most effective ways to help someone get organised. Some of the simplest questions are the best. Here are three that work for me.

  1. What has worked in the past? And what hasn’t worked? There are clues hidden within the answers that will help set up future systems that will also work. I believe that even the most disorganised person has one area of their life that works well. Discover what that is and try to replicate that success in other areas.
  2. How much is enough? This question comes in handy when acquiring, e.g., shopping or collecting, and also discarding. If you can master this question at the acquiring stage, you’ll never have to worry about decluttering again. Here’s an example: a couple of boxes of tissues in your home are handy. It’s useful to have a spare box ready for when you run out. What about 35 boxes? Or 100? Where will you store them? Why is your money tied up in spare tissues? Are they in short supply? Or will the store have them on sale again next week?
  3. Does this say “me” “this year”? This question works really well when choosing which clothes get to stay, and which can find another home. Here’s how it works – Does this say (insert your name) (insert this year)? For me, right now, I would ask, “Does this say Angela 2022?” If your corporate life is in the past, those corporate suits won’t say “you, this year”.


Quick wins – Sometimes organising is complex, requiring new habits, new systems, new products. And sometimes it’s not. I always look for a quick win, some small action that will have a big impact. Here are a few quick wins.

  1. Add a laundry hamper to a teenager’s room to clear the “floordrobe”. This worked well for a client’s disabled son who found it too difficult to take his dirty clothes all the way to the laundry.
  2. I added a toy basket near the door of the parents’ bedroom. This worked for a family with little ones who liked to bring their toys into mum and dad’s room and leave them scattered there. It was quick to toss the toys into the basket, it cleared the floor and eliminated arguments. Even better, it was the start of everyone in the family learning new habits.
  3. One tiny thing I carry in my organiser kit bag is a shelf support pin, or several (see the photo). I’ve lost count of the number of wonky shelves I’ve been able to set right with a simple shelf support pin. Suddenly my client can use the shelf again and has gained at least a metre of great space.
  4. Change the language you use. Over the years, I’ve encouraged my clients to stop calling their spare/guest/all purpose room a “junk room”. That word “junk” attracts junk. Change the language to something more considered and it changes the attitude and habits as well. One client called her extra room a storeroom. It became an organised space to keep extras of everything needed. Another client called hers a guest room and it was always ready for guests to visit.


To read more about the A to Z of Organising, click here.


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