This week Estates East talked to Andrea Lewis AKA The Organised Curator to learn some professional tips on clearing and organising. The benefits of creating order at home are immediate and positive for the whole family and, if you’re planning a move, can add value to your property.
How did you first get into organising homes as a profession?
Andrea: I used to work in event production as a producer and stylist and when Covid hit the events industry came to a standstill. I set up The Organised Curator with the sole focus to help friends and family. Organising homes as a profession was still quite niche at the time but within 6 months, I’d made the decision to never go back to working in events as there was enough demand to set up the business full-time.
Have you always been naturally organised yourself?
Andrea: I always tell clients that there is no such thing as perfect. Once I became a mother, it encouraged me to become even more organised. I’d spend my son’s naps batch cooking, or organising our home which always helped calm my mind. When I’m organising a space, I don’t think about anything else as I find the whole process very meditative.
How did The Organised Curator start?
Andrea: I have my best friend to thank! I had toyed with the idea of becoming a professional organiser for a while, and after I rang her to talk through my idea for a business, she booked me in the next day to help pack up her home ahead of a move abroad.
What is your organisational philosophy?
Andrea: I always say “start with the easy wins.” I know some clients can sometimes feel overwhelmed when I arrive for the first session which is completely normal and to be expected. We therefore always start with the easy wins and before you know it, momentum is built and we’re busy planning how to organise the entire home.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Andrea: I’ve always loved helping people and now I get to improve the quality of living for my clients. No two days are the same as well which helps keeps things interesting. I can be packing up a home one day, unpacking a home another day, and at the end of the week editing and organising a wardrobe.
What’s the minimum you can do that creates maximum impact when organising a space?
Andrea: Decluttering is still very much underrated when it comes to organising a space but it really is the foundation for creating a calmer home. When you are overwhelmed with too many belongings, it can stress out your mind without you knowing it as you spend more time than you think looking for things. Everything should have a home.
Do you need to buy equipment to be organised?
Andrea: It’s common to buy a ton of storage solutions without really thinking through the spaces in mind. I suggest decluttering first and using what you have. Storage can be really expensive so it’s best to minimise your belongings in the first instance. You’ll be surprised at how much we are storing unnecessarily which quickly eats up valuable space. You can always add storage once you’re finished and you’ll know exactly what it will be used for.
What are your go-to favourite pieces of kit?
Andrea: I love lazy susans as they can solve a lot of storage issues as well as drawer dividers. My thumb rule is to add “storage within storage.” This can be anything from drawer dividers or drawer inserts to organise your underwear through to shelf organisers you can buy online.
Open shelves or closed?
Andrea: Open shelves are great for your favourite belongings to be on display but don’t overcrowd them. One’s eye will instantly head to the busiest spot in the room so turn your open shelves into a feature, not a place to overload with unnecessary clutter. I will always suggest investing in closed-off storage over open shelves as this can be used to house whatever you like.
What are your top 3 decluttering tips?
Andrea: Be realistic and remind yourself why you’re decluttering. Most of the time it’s to gain space. Keep focused and time-box the session, so you don’t get distracted. Start with the easy wins and build momentum from there.
What do you love most about east London? And what makes it such a good place in which to live and work?
Andrea: I love how creative east London is. It's full of personality and really interesting characters. It’s filled to the brim with culture and quirkiness. I’m London born and bred but I don’t think I’ll ever leave east London – there’s no place like it.
What are your plans for the future?
Andrea: I’d love to expand the team which is just me at the moment in 2024. The Organised Curator will be 3 years old and I will have learnt many lessons along the way – enough to be able to pass them on to a new team member.
Big thanks to Andrea! For further interior design, inspo go to The Organised Curator website and Instagram.
Estates East Team
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