The mum-of-one is the founder of the region’s first accredited professional decluttering and organisational service More Organised working with families, homes and businesses.
And to mark National Organising Week (Nov 6-12), she shared some of her streamlining secrets with Be.
Mel said: “As William Morris famously said: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. He hit the nail on the head long before Marie Kondo started telling us to only keep things that “sparked joy”!
“I think we’d all benefit from more space in our lives to do what really matters – and that starts with organising your physical space.”
Inherently organised, Mel’s parents used to joke that anything she hadn’t used for a week would be thrown out.
And she’s now turned that trait into a new career, following several years spent as a qualified museum curator and a further 12 years working in international law firms in Dubai.
Explaining what she enjoys about organising, Mel said: “I like the space and the freedom that good organisation brings. And decluttering can be quite addictive.
“I am a firm believer in the benefits of living and working in a calm, organised environment. Of course, a home is to be lived in so can’t be perfectly tidy all the time – but if you have a home for everything and routines for housework, it will never take too long to tidy up.”
Wrapping paper, empty boxes, packaging, unwanted gifts, broken things and inherited items are the most common things that people hang on to, notes Mel.
But she says they could all be chucked out: “Organising is about so much more that physical stuff. We hold onto things for all manner of reasons, but usually deep-rooted sentiments or memories.
“By all means keep items you genuinely love – but if not, pass them on. You are not obliged to hang on to all of your previous generations’ belongings. Your place in their life was to love them, not to become the curator of all their worldly goods.”
Key to her role is coaching clients to recognise why they are holding onto items and how to let things go, before working through a decluttering process.
It can be done shelf-by-shelf and room-by-room, or by categorising and dealing with items in group order – and she’s an advocate of creating keep/donate/bin and recycle piles to help you make decisions.
Whichever way you choose, Mel advises: “The main thing is to get started. I also find that setting a timer helps – it’s amazing what you can achieve in 20 minutes, and often that feeling of success leads to bigger and more enthusiastic decluttering and organising.”
And there’s no need for fancy equipment, she said, adding: “Enthusiasm, time and a clear vision are really all you need.
“I advise my clients not to buy storage items until they have fully decluttered their space and know what storage solutions they will need.”
Her final words of wisdom: “True organisation is learned over time and I am continuously looking for and adopting new techniques.
“I manage my time and organise my life in a different way to how I did in my 20s and 30s.”
To follow Mel’s blog and for more advice, go to www. moreorganised.com