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26/01 Sunday 11:00AM

cut the clutter

image . declutteryourhomeinfo.com
text . Pauline Chan .

It's summer. People elsewhere are spending more time outdoors, going on holidays, worshipping the sun, and looking golden and shiny. In Brunei, we bemoan the high temperatures and humidity, we complain about the sun and we hide indoors.

If you are going to stay indoors, why not try some home improvement. Nothing major. Just an easy, light DE-CLUTTERING exercise. Make time during your week to clear out the hoard of things in your house that: a) you have not used in a million years, b) you have no need for but you got them in a lucky draw or as a present from someone who hated you, or c) you have too many of and they are taking up useful space (relatives don't count).

Removing unwanted and unutilised objects around the house frees up space and makes cleaning so much easier. Suddenly, you find things that you thought were lost forever.  An uncluttered place looks tidier and lifts the spirit in ways you cannot imagine. Untidy is one thing, but clutter and mountains of clutter is a different problem. An organised home shows an organised mind. Do you have things that just irritate you when you see them, to the point that you'd rather ignore them in the hope that the problem will go away? Well, they won't.  Not unless they grew legs while you were sleeping and walked away. If they are increasing your stress levels, it is time to remove them. It's okay to hold on to some things that mean something to us but why hold on to the single shoe lace that survived it's broken twin till eternity?

Some people don't have the time or the mind to sought out their paperwork, wardrobe, storeroom, home office, leaving things to an overwhelming level, they can get help.  The de-clutter industry is bourgeoning.  There are self-help books, websites offering ideas and people to help you organise your space. There are professional organisers that can be hired to come to your house and de-clutter your spaces for a fee. They will provide easy-to-upkeep systems for you to put everything in the right place so you don't have bits and pieces here and there. They will make your wardrobes immaculate, create a home office, sort out your paperwork and even organise house moves. 

Peter Walsh, a clutter organiser from Australia who has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, suggests some tips to keep your house clutter-free:

    •    Tackle messes one room at a time.
    •    When you buy something new, practice the "in-out rule:" For every one new item, get rid of an old one.
    •    Make cleaning up fun for your kids.
    •    Create a vision for the room you're cleaning.
    •    Ask yourself if you really need something. If you hesitate, you don't.


image . www.organize.com .

SheKnows.com recommends you make a commitment each week to focus on one area of your home. As you go through your home, ask yourself whether the item brings you joy, whether you need it, want it or will ever use it. And control the impulse to buy more stuff, unless you have de-cluttered successfully and left a space for something.  Raise your standards and don't buy anything that is not fabulous.


image . www.sheknows.com .

If you haven't worn a piece of clothing in over a year or two, or don't like the way it fits, bag it.  If it is worn or torn, fix it or toss it. Decide what you allow in your space. When you're able to go into any closet or room in your home and everything is in place and organised, you will be at peace. Then, each night before you go to bed, spend five minutes or so just walking around the house and straightening up. In the morning, you'll be glad you did it.

You can donate your clutter to a charity or have a garage sale, but mind you, the latter can be a tiring activity. So if you don't want to add stress, just do yourself a favour and donate. But donate the stuff in good condition otherwise you'll be seen as treating the charities as a dumping ground. That won't be appreciated.

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