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A clutter free home for the new year

Hakim Hayat

Since the second wave of the pandemic, most of us have found ourselves enjoying more time indoors. Now is the time when you may notice that you could use a little more organisation around your home.

Home clutter builds up very quickly. It sneaks up on you while you’re making excuses or just simply ignoring the mess. Sometimes, it’s genuinely difficult to keep a home clutter-free and clean.

Pre-COVID, life may have prevented you from spending enough time at home. You’d wind up making piles here and there with the intent of clearing them out, but you just never would.

However, you can take charge and keep your home clean with a minimal amount of stress. It takes some dedication and determination, but you can do it.

If 2021 brought an abundance of extra things into your living space, then 2022 is all about getting rid of what you don’t need – and keeping the things that serve a purpose in your daily life.

The following are tips to help you with the process of decluttering your home for good, as listed by a friend of mine – 42-year-old supermum and homemaker Suzie Rahmani, a mother of three.

FOLLOW THE ‘ONE-YEAR RULE’

If you’ve had something for a year and you haven’t done anything with it, get rid of it. Most likely, it’s not benefitting you in any way and it’s taking up space.

Do you feel like that object has value and you’re reluctant to part with it, even though you haven’t touched it in a year? Sell it online to get some return on your investment. If no one wants it, donate it to a local charity to keep it out of the garbage can.

DECIDE WHAT TO STORE

Before you start, it’s a good idea to “assess your mess” and make a decision about how much storage you may want to buy. Go through each room and imagine the bins you’ll need to keep everything clean and tidy, whether it’s fabric bins for your children’s toys or plastic bins for a food pantry.

CLEAN YOUR CLOSET

First things first, ask yourself: “Do I really need it?” Donate items you don’t wear or don’t make you feel great, and keep the items you love. You’ll be amazed at how much easier (and more enjoyable) it is to step into a clean, and organised closet.

USE YOUR DOORS

Don’t underestimate the versatility of doors! The back of a door can be a life-saver. For instance, if a secondary bedroom is becoming tight, an over-the-door organiser, shoe rack, or hook rack will free up space while storing everything from shoes and jackets to hats, belts, scarves, and everything else.

STAY TRENDY

A beautiful storage ottoman is not only a comfortable seat in your bedroom or family room; it’s also a great way to keep items off the floor. Similarly, functional and stylish ladder shelves are perfect for picture frames, candles, succulents, watches and jewellery, books, and so much more.

Ottomans, benches, and even chairs come with storage spaces. They’re practical furniture pieces that double as storage.

Use them to decorate your home and keep your stuff out of sight. Just make sure “out of mind” doesn’t come into play, because then you’ll eventually defeat the purpose of using furniture for storage and decoration.

ORGANISE RECIPES

You may have certain recipes that you can’t live without, but you don’t need stacks of cookbooks in your kitchen. One way to free up space is to scan the recipes you love from cookbooks, cut out your favourites from magazines, and organise them into clear pages in a binder or folder.

FREE UP YOUR FRIDGE

Now more than ever, takeout meals make your evenings so much easier. But because those boxes, containers, and bags take up so much space, make sure to put food in your own tupperware and label them with the date you ordered the food. You can also do a complete “refrigerator overhaul” – take everything out, throw old items away, and keep what you need.

START SMALL

If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, a great way to de-stress is to do simple tasks. A few quick ways to clear your home, and your mind, are to fluff up and organise the pillows on your couch, straighten up your rugs, dust off counters and windows, and wipe down tables.

Use this checklist as a starting point, and keep in mind: don’t stress about tackling everything all at once. Marking off one or two decluttering tasks each day will add up quickly.

Before you know it, your dream of spending the holidays in a neat and tidy home will be a reality!

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