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The Ultimate Guide to Organising Your Wardrobe and Home

Want to use this extra time to clean up and re-organise your home? Professional space manager Rohini Rajagopalan offers up expert tips on how to de-clutter that closet, kitchen, living room, and more.

Cosmo: Our closets are a mess–what's the simplest way to organise them, so we can get dressed quicker, when heading out?
Rohini Rajagopalan:
“As simple as it sounds, it is, perhaps, the most challenging part—you need to declutter! Having a wardrobe where most of the items are the ones you love and enjoy wearing will ensure you get ready quicker. And it’s truly important to avoid an over-crowded, pile-up scenario, where you have to dig things out every day.
To organise a wardrobe, begin by decluttering the space. Once you have the clothes that you really want to keep, plan your cupboard space better. Optimise the hanging space and use that for clothes that you wear most often. Then use vertical folding to store t-shirts, home-wear, trousers and leggings—this not only helps in creating more space and but also makes it easy for you to access them. To store items vertically, you can also use boxes or baskets to create sections, and store each category separately.
The basic rules of organizing apply to all rooms and spaces: start by breaking down the space into mini projects. This will help you pay attention to details and keep you motivated to keep going. Always begin by decluttering–I say this often, but you can successfully organise only when you declutter. Take the entire shelf or drawer out, and go over every single item and decide what you truly want to keep. Then, move on to categorisation and group and keep similar items together. Lastly, give everything a ‘home’. Decide a specific spot for where each item in your home goes. This also makes it easier to find things when you need them.”

C: Our beauty products are also stuffed into drawers and lying all over our bathroom help with some tips?
“Categorise them, store them in sections and have out only products that you use often. These are simple steps that will make a big difference.
I tell people that purging is a total internal cleanse! The items we hold on to, the clutter in our physical environment, always has a link to something deeper emotionally. A clean, clutter-free place has a profoundly relaxing and calming effect on the mind.”

C: Oh, and did we mention...our kitchens is a bit of a nightmare, too. What are your top organising tricks for the kitchen?
“In most Indian homes the kitchen, is used by the staff, and inculcating storage habits can be challenging. The key, as for any space, is to keep things as simple as possible. Do create specific areas for each category, like spices, supplies, and crockery. This can be achieved by dividing your kitchen storage spaces into sub-zones. Use additional shelfs to create more space because most kitchen spaces are under-utilised. Stackable jars for supplies or snacks are also a great way to add much-needed space and stay organised.” 

C: What, according to you, are the mistakes most people make while organising?
“While many of us are trying to us this time to tidy up, it’s important to remember these rules: one, do not start organising without decluttering first. Next, pick small projects, taking on a large space in one go can leave you exhausted, and you might rush through it. Finally, before you begin, develop a rough mental plan about the space you want to organise and how you plan to move things around. Then begin accordingly.”

C: What about all the sentimental and nostalgia-inducing stuff we have collected over the years? 
“The process of de-cluttering and organising can either make you feel elated, or leave you emotionally drained. During delicate times, such as these ones, I would advise against anything that could upset you or cause distress. So do avoid engaging with spaces or objects that have a high emotional quotient attached to them. Instead, you could choose to create a memory box, in which you can carefully curate and store all the items that have meaning for you. Even while doing so, remember that is important to let go of things that have no contribution in our lives.
Remember: you can always keep and cherish your memories and souvenirs, for as long as they really mean something to you, and put them away when they don’t. A nice way of saying farewell to your mementos is by passing them on to someone else who could use them or by donating them. Say goodbye to your items in a meaningful and respectful manner.”

C: We’re in #WorkfromHome mode right now…do you have any tips on creating a well-functioning at-home workstation?
“Start by choosing a clean table or desk, and remove everything that’s on it. Clear it all. Personally, I would place this table or desk in a spot that gets adequate sunlight. Next, bring in your essentials—your laptop, notebook, extension cord, stationary... Then, personalise your workspace–add items that cheer you up, like your favourite coffee mug, a small plant, or a family photo. Or simply stick a motivational quote on the wall next to your workstation. Do remember to keep yourself hydrated, having a bottle of water handy is a good idea, as you work indoors.”


Rohini Rajgopalan

C: And how does one avoid being a hoarder?
“There are two basic rules to follow: one, by being mindful when deciding to buy things. And two, by gradually embarking on the path of de-cluttering and getting rid of your past, accumulated clutter.”

C: We’re also wondering: how did you decide to become a professional organiser?
“I chose to become a professional organiser when I stumbled upon a bunch of books on the subject, two years ago. Initially, I approached organizing with curiosity; it was only later that I realised there was a lot of science and logic to how one can make spaces work. Soon, cliché as it might sound, I felt like I had finally found my true calling.” 

C: And before we go, tell us a little about your brand, Organise With Ease…
“Our mantra, from the very beginning, has been to create a space that brings ease in all aspects–ease in maintenance, ease in usage and ease in terms of the kind of energy it creates.”