Tidying-obsessed mum reveals how to declutter and create an organised home

If time spent at home in lockdown made you want to chuck out all your possessions and give your interiors an overhaul, listen up.

Shaheen Pathan is here to help.

The mum-of-three swears by the saying ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ and is proudly obsessed with keeping her home incredibly organised.

Handily for us, she’s up for sharing her tips to declutter and get your house in order.

Shaheen, 37, only became serious about decluttering back in 2016, when she moved into a four-bedroom home in Batley, West Yorkshire, with her husband Sajid and their older children, Eesa, 10, and Adam, seven.

She kicked off her organisation journey by giving away five bin bags full of unwanted items to friends, family, and charity, before overhauling her pantry, medicine cabinet, and cleaning cupboard.

Soon her tidying tricks were getting attention, so she set up an Instagram to share her wisdom – and now hopes to turn her organisational talents into a career.

‘My motto is, “Put it back where you found it”. It really is that simple,’ says Shaheen.

The mum recommends Marie Kondo’s KonMari method, whereby you sort items by category and give away anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ when you hold it.

She followed this technique back in 2016 and hasn’t looked back.

Shaheen’s tips for making your home super organised:

  • Organise things into set categories, and make sure whatever you use is always returned to its rightful place
  • Labels and baskets are a useful way of neatly displaying cupboards and wardrobes
  • Colour-coordinating your wardrobe means you know exactly what you have, and will not buy copycats of clothes you already own
  • Stack clothes lengthways rather than on top of each other, so nothing is hidden
  • Rotate your wardrobe according to season
  • If you are going to dedicate time to decluttering an area of your house, clear the entire area out and carefully go through everything, getting rid of anything you do not use or need

Now, all her wardrobes are colour-coded and she stores anything she doesn’t hang up in drawers or baskets stacked on their side.

‘If you take the time to do it properly once, it isn’t that difficult to maintain,’ she says.

‘Every season, I take two to three hours to rotate all our wardrobes, storing away winter clothes and getting out summer bits, or vice versa.

‘That way, nobody has to rummage through things they aren’t going to wear.’

Her pantry is similarly spotless, with items organised into set categories, such as tins, treats and condiments.

To avoid clutter, everything is kept in corresponding baskets, which she buys for just a few pounds from B&M or Poundstretcher.

In her bedroom, Shaheen’s perfume collection is organised in height order and her jewellery is neatly stored in a tray, according to colour and style.

She keeps the beauty products she uses every day in a special caddy, while everything else is neatly stacked in her medicine cabinet in categorised 79p Poundstretcher baskets.

Shaheen explains: ‘I don’t want to just shove things into cupboards at random. It may seem easier at the time, but sooner or later, things become cluttered and you end up making more mess trying to find the things you need.

‘Keeping everything in tiny baskets is a good tip. You can pick them up really cheap.

‘I use them for everything – makeup, cleaning products, plasters, medicine and even odd household items like batteries and spare lightbulbs.

‘Whatever my family and I need, we will know exactly where to find it.’

Even the kids’ playroom is pristine, with toys categorised by type and stored in crates and baskets, while books are neatly stacked in height order.

Each day Shaheen will wake up naturally at 7am, get herself ready, then wake up the children and prepare breakfast for the family.

She then runs the vacuum around the house, does laundry, and tidies the entire house before devoting the rest of the day to her children.

To save time she preps meals in advance and cooks in batch, which she says saves the family money as well as time.

‘I want my house to run as smoothly as possible. I don’t want to be running around like mad every morning, frantically getting things ready,’ the mum says.

‘I find cleaning therapeutic. Being prepared and organised means I’m not spending every spare minute cleaning and tidying.

‘Instead, I’m able to have quality time with the children, especially now they are home from school because of the coronavirus.

‘Their childhood is precious. You never get that time back, so I’m grateful I have the opportunity to make so many memories with them.

‘I will play with them, or we’ll do some crafts together. Or, if they are doing schoolwork, I’ll have a bit of time to myself, which is so important as a mum.’

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