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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Spring cleaning - Letting go of clutter

For a spotless house, it pays to be ruthless when you’re dealing with clutter.
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - January 7, 2010
By: Goh Mei Yi
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Spring cleaning - Letting go of clutter

Spring cleaning usually refers to the annual event of cleaning a house thoroughly. Although most households in Singapore do spring cleaning before a major festival like Chinese New Year or Hari Raya Puasa, the start of a new year is another ideal time to do so.

One of the biggest hurdles in any cleaning operation is getting rid of clutter. Once the unwanted stuff is out of the way, the actual cleaning is a lot easier and faster.

Since you know your working style best, decide whether you will reach your goal faster by working uninterrupted over a weekend or setting aside 10 minutes every day to complete little tasks. Plan a schedule, set a reasonable deadline, and stick to it.

Sort out the clutter one room at a time. Make instant decisions about what to keep and what to throw away. The longer you take to decide, the more likely you’ll end up keeping everything. Don’t fool yourself by transferring the clutter to another room.

Many organising experts advocate the system of sorting clutter by setting up four containers and categorising them as “Donate”, “Throw”, “Recycle” and “Store”. As you go through stuff in each room, sort it into the appropriate groups. At this stage, you can gauge whether you need to upgrade your storage space to stow things in a neater way.

If you’re undecided about an item, ask yourself some questions and answer them honestly, such as “Have I used this in the past year?” and “Can I live without it?”

After you’ve accomplished your task, you need to commit to a maintenance plan to remain clutter-free. That may mean breaking old habits that led to the clutter problem like buying on impulse and adopting new ones like buying something only when you throw out an old item.

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