How to keep your New Year’s Resolution for a clutter free home in 2018

Decluttering is a little like losing weight. No matter how well you deal with your problem in the beginning, it will keep coming back unless you maintain the same mindset that led you to tidy up in the first place.

With Christmas and New Year’s parties over you are likely to now have your home back to yourselves – and in the spirit that New Year brings of starting the year as a ‘better you’, you may well have spent time tidying up and decluttering your home.  If you like the feeling that comes from having a more minimalist home that is free of mess, here are some tips on how to keep it that way so that you never have to have another moment of panic as you view a home that looks like a bomb has hit it!

Regular Maintenance

This step refers to simply keeping things the way they are by tossing junk when you realise you don’t need it, instead of stashing it in a pile that needs to be sorted over and over. Read your post as soon as it arrives and immediately bin it, shred it, or deal with it and then put it into your filing cabinet. There is no excuse for papers to be lying all over the floor, making it impossible to find them when you actually need them.

Paperwork mess makes it difficult to keep on top of things

When you buy something from the shops, put it where it is going to be kept immediately instead of setting bags on the floor and table. After the washing comes out of the tumble drier or off the line, fold it and put it away immediately in the proper rooms and drawers. And, of course, when you are getting ready for bed put your earrings, necklaces and rings away in your Little Books rather than lying around in the bathroom or on your dressing table. This all helps to save time too as, if you know where you’ve put something then you’ll know where to find it later.  As we say at Little Shop Of, “Better to look at something, than for something.” Then, when you have five spare minutes, use it to tidy and clean up anything lying around. This is how you keep mess from forming again.

Little Book of Earrings

Declutter Regularly

In addition to your regular maintenance, it is important to declutter on a regular basis. You can decide to have a serious decluttering day every three months, every six months, or just whenever your home starts looking more like a tip! Make it a serious appointment and tidy your home from top to bottom, giving yourself another clean slate to work with.

Stop Buying Unnecessary Things

One of the biggest ways you can stop clutter in its tracks is to stop buying unnecessary things. By only allowing what you need to enter your home, you will cut down on the number of items you need to clear out later. Before you buy an item, think about whether you really need it, or if it is something you will regret at a later point in time.  As William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Wise words indeed!

Get Everyone on Board

You can’t conquer clutter alone, unless you live alone. If you are part of a family who lives together, or have roommates of any kind, you will need to make everyone a part of the decluttering team. Talk to everyone about your wishes to maintain a junk-free haven, and talk about the many benefits of living in a more minimalist way than you have been. Let the other household members know that everyone’s efforts will benefit everyone else, and that you expect cooperation and teamwork.

Decluttering is only half of the solution. In order to maintain a beautiful home, you will need to take steps to keep it that way after the original clean sweep. Use these tips to keep your home free of clutter for 2018 and years to come.

Setting Up Your Own Business? Read Co-founder Jackie’s Top Tips for Success

 

How it all began: the very first Little Book prototype

They say necessity is the mother of invention and that’s certainly true in my case. The idea for the ‘Little Books’ came about when I became utterly fed up with my earrings and necklaces getting tangled, broken or lost. I searched everywhere for a product that would solve the problem and also look good on my dressing table, but nothing existed. That’s when I came up with my own solution to the problem. Simon, my husband asked a contact who made bags for television equipment to bring my concept, the ‘Little Book’ prototype, to life. The result was so effective that friends quickly began requesting their own and the idea for a business was born!

Seven years on from the creation of the first ‘Little Book’, the business continues to go from strength to strength, so much so that I sometimes get up-and-coming entrepreneurs asking me for business tips! I have three pieces of advice for anyone setting up their own business.

1. Test demand

By having samples of our product made we were able to test demand for it by persuading a local gift shop to stock a small selection. Within 24 hours they had sold out. This gave us the courage to launch the business properly and we received invaluable feedback about product formats, colours etc., which we took on board. My advice is to identify a local shop or business that reflects your own values, and whose products/services are targeted at the same audience. Then go in with some samples and just ask them to trial them! If you’re friendly, open and honest about what you’re asking them to do for you (and why), you will be surprised how supportive other entrepreneurs can be of fledgling businesses. After all they’ve been there themselves!

2. Take criticism

When you’re setting up your own business it can be easy to get carried away with how fantastic your idea is! However, you need to ensure that your own enthusiasm is grounded in reality. Listening to the opinions of others about your idea is therefore a must.  Whether it’s your partner, your family or a mixed group of friends you get round for a bottle of wine and a chat about your concept or a research company focus group – they will all have a point of view. It’s great to hear what they love about your idea, but even more important can be inviting the criticisms. This is how you spot any pitfalls that you hadn’t thought of and can tweak your offering before you launch to make sure your product really works and is the best it can be. It is always difficult to hear the negatives when you’ve invested so much of yourself in an idea, but criticism is often the best advice you’ll ever get.

3. Create something you love

You’re likely to end up living and breathing your product/service once your business is off the ground, so make sure it’s something you love! I can guarantee there will be times when you’re frustrated, stressed out and questioning everything you’re doing. But if you’ve created something you love and believe in, your enthusiasm will overcome the doubts and your drive to see your product come to life will keep you pushing on through the toughest of times. And I can assure you, it’s worth it.

Good luck!

 

Little, Little Books – The Ultimate Travel Companion

Holidays! Aren’t they fantastic? A time to relax, re-charge and indulge your sight and your senses with new experiences and local delicacies. But a recent study conducted by Little Shop Of revealed that more than two in five of the UK population find packing for holidays stressful. Over half of people surveyed said this was because they couldn’t decide what to pack and 20% said they get anxious about forgetting their accessories.

Well Little Shop Of is here to help! Did you know that as well as our Little Books we also make Little, Little Books? Measuring a compact 11cm x 15cm they make the ideal travel companion – taking up minimal suitcase space. Despite their diminutive size they have all the same helpful features as the larger books, with soft padded pages for protection and a clever design that ensures jewellery will never get misplaced, tangled or tarnished. They can also be discreetly stored amongst other books in your hotel room to give you peace of mind about taking your precious pieces on vacation.

Indeed our Little, Little Books love nothing more than a holiday adventure! So to celebrate the start of the summer holiday season, we are launching a new competition. Each month we will upload to Twitter and Facebook a photo of one of our lucky books on holiday and invite our followers to guess where in the world it is. We will then pick a winner at random from the correct entries who will receive their own Little, Little Book of Earrings, Necklaces or Rings to take on their summer break.

Everyone at Little Shop Of HQ is keen to be involved in the fun as well so next time you’re on a trip, why not take a photo of one of our books enjoying some down time to get us guessing too! Upload it to our Twitter @LittleShopOfLtd or Facebook account @LittleShopOfLtd using the hashtag #LittleBookBreak

Start Your Holiday Happier!

We love a holiday! With cheap city getaways, competitive flights and endless accommodation options, from camping to castles, there’s never been a better time to book that break! However, we also know how stressful packing for holidays can be. Pack too much and you end up burdened with heavy bags and excess luggage fees. Pack too little and you spend the first day running around buying missing items.

This year, over 12 million of us are expected to take winter holidays (source: ABTA)- that’s a lot of packing and unpacking! With this in mind, co-founder of Little Shop Of Ltd, Jackie McLaren, shares her top packing tips, so you can start your holiday happier…

  1. Make A List

A few days before, start jotting down everything you need to take with you. Make a comprehensive list and then leave it in a prominent place so you can easily add to it. By the time you come to open your case, you’ll have a succinct record of everything you need.

  1. Keep It Fresh

Unless you are a perpetual jetsetter, it’s likely that your suitcase will spend a lot of the year zipped shut, stuffed in a cupboard or loft. Pop some fabric conditioner sheets or lavender bags in amongst your clothes to stop them inheriting that musty smell.

  1. Lay Out Your Clothes

Before putting anything in your suitcase, lay out all the clothes you intend to take on your bed. This makes it much easier to avoid those packing mistakes such as a favourite top that doesn’t go with anything or three pairs of jeans for a two day trip!

  1. Roll, Don’t Fold

We’ve all read that too much sun can cause wrinkles but did you know that they can appear before the plane has even landed? To save space and stop creasing, roll your clothes instead of folding them.

  1. Layering Is Key

Wearing layers can add colour, texture and pattern, providing a simple way to expand your travel wardrobe. It also allows you to pack light even if you’re visiting multiple climates.

Packing in layers is another effective method for preventing clothes getting creased in your case. It also means you can easily find key items without having to unpack your entire bag.

  1. Bring Out The Bling

Jewellery can help transform any outfit- making your clothes work for the beach and the bar. However, if the thought of sifting through all your accessories to find the perfect match leaves you needing more than just a holiday, why not invest in one of our stylish Little Books (link) or Bundle Bags (link) offering the perfect space-saving solution for your suitcase.

  1. Cushion Your Compacts

To prevent your powder or eye shadow compacts from cracking during your travels, place a flat cotton wool pad in between the pressed powder and the lid.

  1. Leave Space In Your Case

If like me, you enjoy shopping make sure to leave room in your suitcase for the all-important souvenirs!