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Clear Clutter for a Happier Home in 2018

2017 has come and gone, and with it a host of highs and lows experienced across every industry and trade in the country. It was certainly a year to remember, but 2018 has brought with it the promise of new beginnings and fresh starts, and with February just around the corner – its business as usual for sunny South Africa.

Assuming the New Year’s resolutions have survived this long and whilst energy levels and motivation are still running high, why not give your home the fresh start it too craves by ridding it of unnecessary and unwanted clutter. Household clutter can make a home appear cramped, unorganized and unclean. There is nothing quite as revitalising as a spotless home; this said, busy schedules, limited free time and a tendency to turn a blind eye where clutter is concerned all result in homes that are in various states of disarray

Where to begin?

Start small! It may seem like an overwhelming task, so rather than attempt to tackle a behemoth-sized excavation of the garage, begin with a small, simple job and expand from there. Often sparing 5 or 10 minutes in your day to set furniture in its correct place or sort through mail goes a long way in achieving a clutter-free home. Listed below are a handful of ideas that are sure to help you in reducing and removing clutter on a larger scale:

Donate, Relocate, Keep & Can

A creative and effective way to rid your home of clutter is to approach each room one at a time with four cardboard boxes – donate, relocate, keep and can (as in trashcan). It may be tempting to keep everything you set your sights on, but bear your original goal in mind – you intend to declutter! Sort and place inessential items of furniture in their designated box and then follow through by physically donating, relocating or throwing away the contents.
Following this, determine which pieces of furniture are essential in each room, and relocate those that have managed to find their way from other parts of the house. Toys are a very good example of this – consider investing in a storage ottoman, as these can often double as a toy box and still look attractive at the foot of a bed or in a playroom. It also looks a lot tidier to have the toys packed away and hidden from sight.

When decluttering there are always definite “keeps” and definite “throw-aways”, the problem comes in with the “maybes” as these are more often than not of sentimental value. Place these in a small box/container and store hidden from view. Every couple of months revisit the contents and reassess whether or not they are necessary. Often times you will find that the “maybes” can be thrown away or donated..

File Paperwork

Designate a spot that is easily accessible but hidden from view for all paperwork, such as a filing box with separate folders that can be stored at the top of a cupboard or shelf. The folders can be simply labelled according to the paperwork you file away – insurance, medical aid, school, rates & levies, warranties etc. Paperwork is a major contributor to clutter in the home as it tends to find its way into every room and onto every available surface. Receipts, manuals, flyers and mail are repeat offenders! Having all your paperwork in one place makes locating specific documents much easier. Most people don’t want to risk throwing something away that they might one day need, and so every scrap of paper ends up being throw into a drawer in the entrance hall dresser or piled high on the kitchen counter… Throw away unnecessary paperwork! (It’s unlikely you will ever need the warranty for the TV you no longer own!)  

Simply changing small habits by placing paperwork and documents in a filing box will go a long way in keeping your home free of clutter..

Clear Counters

Disposing of unnecessary clutter, filing paperwork and relocating furniture results in clear counter- and table tops. Living areas are easily and radically transformed by completing these simple tasks. Candles, picture frames, vases and other centrepieces make decorative and simplistic additions to these areas, and when placed correctly can enhance, balance or simplify rooms. Other than these, keep your surfaces clear of clutter!

Incorporating these manageable tasks into your daily life and schedule will help reduce and remove unnecessary and unwanted household clutter. Keeping your living areas clutter-free and adopting healthier habits in your home will set you on the right path to a happier, cleaner and more spacious household in 2015.