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De-cluttering tips: How to organise your home


Clutter has a tendency to build up. So, even if you are not moving home in the near future, it’s worth having a de-cluttering session at least once a year.

Here are some tips to work through your home room by room, and how to get started. For each object, ask yourself: Do I love it? Do I need it? Is it essential? Does it enhance my life? Then, sort your belongings into three piles: Keep, Donate or Bin.

Bedroom: Clean out wardrobes and chests of drawers. Sell, donate or throw away anything that you no longer love or that no longer fits. If it’s beyond repair, out of style, unflattering or useless, then let it go.

Kitchen: Take everything off your kitchen counters that is not used every day and store it in a cupboard. Clear any food and groceries that have passed their expiry date.

Bathroom: Clean out the medicine cabinet, discarding anything that’s past its expiry date. Throw out or give away any unwanted toiletries. Most makeup has a shelf life, too – bin anything that is past it.

Living room: Books, especially paperbacks that you’ve read, can be given to a charity or to a friend. Keep only books that are essential and irreplaceable. Newspapers and magazines should be recycled once you have read them.

Playroom: Check that all toys are working and that no parts are missing. If your child has outgrown a toy, sell it, donate it or give it to a friend with a younger child.

Study: Eliminate paper clutter by using a notebook for notes, instead of Post-its. Handle mail once; file documents as they arrive in a labelled concertina file or a filing cabinet. Google “how long to keep records and paperwork” and the country you are from to find out what documents you need to keep and for how long, and what can be binned or shredded. File business cards in an organised manner and recycle any that are no longer required.


Keeping Clutter at Bay

Keep items where they’re used. This logical method of storage will save time. If something is needed in multiple places, get duplicates.
Keep the most-used items most accessible and visible. For example, keep mobile phones and keys in a bowl on a table near the front door.
Use space creatively. Shops like IKEA and Howard’s Storage World have heaps of storage ideas like stacking boxes, wall-hangings, coat hangers that can hold multiple items and so on, that can help make the most of unused space in kitchen cabinets and wardrobes. If you’re worried about damaging the walls of your rental property, 3M makes some great removable hooks, picture frame hangers and organisers. Store winter clothes in plastic boxes or storage bags under the bed.
Cut down on paperwork and filing by getting all your bills and statements online. You can also arrange automatic bill payment which will save you time too.
Consider multi-purpose furniture such as a comfy sofa bed or an ottoman with a removable lid for storage.
Practice mindful consumption. When tempted by something new, ask whether you really need or want it. What other item will you give up to make room for the new one?

Want more home inspiration? See our home decor section!