Welcome to Clean Sweep, news.com.au’s home organisation series featuring exclusive advice on how to declutter your home direct from Aussies who have spruced their way to success.
Laura Sharp is a seriously busy woman.
The mother-of-five is a self-confessed “perfectionist”, but organisation is an absolute must with her five energetic kids, Hayden 12, Amelia 7, Sophie 5, Emily, 2, and seven-month-old Bonnie.
So when the 35-year-old decided to overhaul her walk-in wardrobe last month, she knew she had some planning to do to make it just right.
“My husband, Ian, travels all over the country for work and isn’t home often, so I need systems in place that are sustainable for myself and my children,” she explained.
The couple’s home in Kellyville, 36km northwest of Sydney, was purchased in 2017, and Laura describes it as “spacious and functional” with plenty of hanging space, shelves and drawers.
Laura’s walk-in wardrobe — large and crammed with clothes, hats and shoes — was in need of a revamp early last month, so she posted a series of videos on her newly launched Instagram account.
She explained her walk-in wardrobe had become “a bit of a mess”, with things crammed in odd spots and the entire space lacking a sense of cohesion or flow.
Whenever Laura starts a new project, she knows the space needs to be “accessible and functional”.
“Otherwise, it won’t stay in that organised state for long,” she said.
Her first and only stop for this project was Kmart, where she purchased a stack of grey felt boxes and collapsible bamboo laundry baskets to sort through her “crap”.
Firstly, she removed every item from her wardrobe and sorted them into piles to either sell, donate or keep.
“From there, I grouped my belongings and filled the storage boxes and baskets,” she said.
The result exceeded her expectations, and attracted comments from fans who loved the chic space.
According to Laura, Kmart’s storage items, which cost a total of $120, were functional, affordable and “added a touch of luxury”.
“Clean lines, colour co-ordinated clothes, matching grey storage boxes with a touch of bamboo and wicker,” she said.
Laura’s favourite DIY home project so far has been her kitchen pantry.
“I can’t stand clutter and mess just laying around, so when I have established a great system for organising, there’s no excuse for untidiness,” she said.
She ordered spice jars, oil bottles and labels from Little Label Co., and all other storage items were bought, on the cheap, from Kmart.
“The OXO airtight containers were from David Jones and were quite expensive, so I waited until they went on sale for 40 per cent off,” she said.
Her freshly organised pantry – finished late last week – had fans admitting to some serious “pantry envy”.
Laura has also become popular for her time-lapse videos, where she films herself clearing spaces in her home to show just how much work goes into keeping a house tidy.
“Yes, I do this everyday,” she wrote on one video of her clearing her kids’ playroom.
“The kids ‘tidy’ first, then I come along and tidy properly.
She said she wants to show people that it only takes a few moments to make a bed but that single act makes an entire room “look presentable and tidy.”
Another popular time-lapse video shows her cleaning a bedroom.
“This x 6! Every. Single. Day.” she wrote.
The video clearly struck a cord with her followers, attracting more than 600 views and likes from those who felt the pain and pressure of cleaning entire houses on their own.
Laura also conducts a “deep clean” of her house once a week that involves dusting and disinfecting all surfaces.
‘CLEAR THE CLUTTER’
This is a motto Laura lives by each day.
“Everything has a place,” she explained.
“If it hasn’t been used or worn in six months, I either sell, donate or dispose of it.”
One of her favourite rooms, her master bedroom, is a space she attempts to keep clutter-free at all times.
Her king-size bed has drawers cleverly built into the base of the bed, where she stores large blankets and linen.
The spacious room also features a nursery nook, for her youngest daughter Bonnie, and a stunning bassinet and feeding chair that has attracted plenty of praise from Laura’s followers.
One of Laura’s most successful posts so far is her beloved linen cupboard, a space that shows just how brutal this mum can be with unused items.
REAL LIFE ISN’T PICTURE PERFECT
Despite her love of organisation, Laura says she isn’t a perfect mum, living in a perfect world, because that is simply unattainable.
“I’m a mum, I have bad days where I feel swamped,” she said.
“My house isn’t as pretty as a picture, it’s clean and tidy, but there are dishes in my sink and a toilet that needs to be cleaned.”
Ever the realist, Laura said she lives in a house with six other people, so naturally, “at times, it’s a mess.”
“That’s where my passion for organisation comes from,” she explained.
“It helps me stay on top of housework.”
‘REAL MUM’ ROLE MODEL
Laura only started her Instagram account last month — but her work has already amassed more than 430 followers.
Rather than perpetuate an image of domestic bliss, like so many other Instagram accounts are guilty of, Laura simply wants to help “real mums” get the job done.
“I don’t claim to be superwoman, and my Instagram page isn’t graced with professionally filtered photos,” she said.
“I’m just an average, suburban housewife who wants to share my passion for interior styling and organisation.”
TIPS FOR DECLUTTERING
Laura lives by a few simple rules when it comes to decluttering.
“Have a box for each person in your home, for keepsakes and sentimental items,” she said.
Every six months, she urges people to do a thorough spring clean of their entire home.
“Not only is this a great way of decluttering, but it’s also good for your mental health,” she said.
“A clear mind starts with a less cluttered home.”
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For now, Laura’s aim is to look after her family and help mums to “keep on top of day-to-day chores”.
“Those are the mums who work, study, stay at home full time or are single parents,” she said.
“We are all doing our best. We’re all just real mums, in real houses, with plenty to do.”
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