The art of decluttering

Simple steps to tidy up for Chinese New Year

17 Jan 2020 / 17:29 H.

As we usher in the new decade and make preparations for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, January is going to be a busy month for a lot of us.

Decluttering, as famously championed by Japanese lifestyle guru Marie Kondo, is not easy for many. In fact, it can be super daunting to even start cleaning and tidying – but we’ve got you covered.

The list below will help in your quest to clear off old, unused items in time for the Year of the Rat.

1. The art of saying goodbye

Grab a notepad and take a quick inventory of things around the house that fall into the ‘throw’ and ‘give away’ categories. Items can range from old clothes, plastic containers to broken items that are just sitting around gathering dust. Being able to say goodbye is half the battle won when decluttering.

2. The Four Box Method

The art of decluttering

Grab four boxes and label them Trash, Keep, Donate and Put Away. Items in the Trash box are to be discarded, items in Keep are to be rearranged later, and items in Donate are to be given away, while items in Put Away are for the odds and ends like battery chargers, knick-nacks, and so on.

It’s tempting to keep old belongings you unearth during decluttering, so follow this rule: If it’s been buried under a pile of things for months, you won’t miss it when it’s gone.

3. Organising and Storage

Once the boxes are filled, you can start deciding on the proper storage and organising systems. Repurpose old baskets, trays, boxes or dividers, and use them to keep things neat and orderly.

Tip: Stay away from purchasing extra shelving that will take up space unless you’re absolutely sure you need it.

4. Divide and Conquer

We fail at decluttering because just looking at the mess and the daunting task of clearing up often sends us retreating in fear. Ease into it by working on one area at a time. This will keep the workload and stress levels manageable. Once you get a good rhythm going, you’ll start to see your efforts pay off. Remember to give yourself a treat after each session!

5. Put on some music

It’s important to have the proper mindset when doing things, and decluttering is no different. Put some music on ... sing along to your favourite songs and rock out with the mop! Inject some fun into your cleaning project and you’ll be done in no time.

6. The more the merrier

What to do when decluttering is literally ‘mission impossible’? Put a team together! Get help from like-minded friends and family members. Prepare snacks and drinks, and make it into a fun clean and catch-up session. Remember to return the favour!

7. Maintenance and upkeep

Success! The mess is gone and you can finally manoeuvre around the living room without knocking something over. Take a minute to soak it in, grab some selfies for social media and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

Now make sure it doesn’t turn back into a warzone. Maintain the orderliness by taking a minute each day to clear the build-up of items. Start by putting things back where they belong, and keep discarding things you don’t need.

Once you’ve done decluttering, you can start decorating the home. Find out how to have fun while decorating HERE

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