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Deal with clutter to create room

The year-end celebrations have come and gone and I hope you all enjoyed Christmas with friends and family, and would like to wish you all a very happy new year. It is time to welcome in the New Year and don’t be discouraged by the number 13 as 2013 may turn out to be a very good year, unhampered by predictions of the end of time!

Opinion by Helen Devmac

The new year heralds a new beginning, where we take time to reflect over the past year and come up with resolutions on how we would like to improve ourselves in the coming year. New Year resolutions are really about doing things better, looking better and therefore we tend to focus on diets and weight loss, managing our finances better and generally looking good. This applies equally to our homes, and de-cluttering your home is as good as a slimming programme for your home, getting rid of that excess bulge, detoxifying and feeling really great after all that over-indulgence over the festive season.

You need a plan and you have to work at it every day and you must aim for success and results in a given time. Go at it room by room, looking at what you have acquired over the year, and the purpose these acquisitions serve in your home. The are many advantages to living in a clutter-free home, safety is just one that comes to mind. Before starting out, visualise what result you would like to see.

Follow these simple guidelines:
Remember that less is more, if you have family pictures, select a few for your walls and mantelpiece and the rest may go into albums or are stored on electronic disks.

Keep things where they are used most, to avoid time-wasting, and if things are to be used in more than one area of the home, then get more than one. Keep items which are used frequently accessible and visible i.e toaster, kettle, coffeemaker and juicer as these items can sit quite comfortably on your countertops in the kitchen.

Be creative in the use of walls and ceilings, oven gloves, keys, spice racks, dish cloths and spoons may all be hung attractively where they are easily accessible, ceilings too may be used to suspend kitchen utensils such as pots and pans.

Discard expired items from your kitchen cupboards and bathroom cabinets, take expired drugs and medicines including vitamins to your nearest pharmacy for disposal, get rid of old newspapers and give away magazines and books to schools and hospitals.

Look at your closet space, how are things packed and arranged? Could you create more closet space by rolling instead of folding, could you fit in a lower clothes rail to accommodate shorts and trousers? Do you need all the clothes to be hanging in the closet or could your winter wardrobe be packed in boxes and labelled for future use? Blankets duvets and curtains can be stored in vacuum bags, thus reducing bulk, and giving you more storage space in your cupboards,
All those bills and statements, is this necessary in 2013? Could you receive statements on line? Scan and file your old bills and store electronically.

While working through the rooms be methodical. Set up three stations for: things you want to keep, those for sale and those to be given away. Be ruthless with yourself. Recycle some old stuff such as outdated coffee mugs teapots and pots and use as vases or flower pots.

Make new rules for 2013 to stay clutter-free
Tidy up as you go and get everybody aboard. Get rid of newspapers and magazines before they clutter your space, subscribe to electronic publications.

Do not accumulate large amounts of toys for your children, make a rule that before any new toys are brought in, some have to be given away first, extend this rule to yourself too, before buying that chunky sweater or sexy sandal, don’t you already have something similar in your wardrobe?

Organise bathroom cabinets, pantries, kitchen cupboards, fridges and freezers well, so that before going out to do your shopping you can easily see what you already have in stock, make a list of what you need and stick to it.

So as part of your New Year resolutions for 2013, remember to include the home, and stick to your resolutions for a safe and healthy environment for your family.

Auctioneers stumble upon treasure trove of antique furniture
UK — Auctioneers on a routine house inspection have uncovered a treasure trove of valuable antique items hailing from the 17th century.

The house was so filled with period furniture that the staff from Charles Hanson auctioneers said it was as if they had stepped back in time.

The property near Lichfield, Staffordshire contained furnishings including four poster beds, tapestries, longcase clocks and bible boxes.

The remarkable collection had been collected over many years by the husband and wife, both deceased, who owned the home.
Hanson said: “They put together a collection of the finest 17th century oak furniture and furnishings I have seen in my career to date.

“The quantity and quality of such market fresh furniture will create international interest and will also appeal to collectors who wish to acquire a piece of history from a romantic and turbulent period.”

Because of the abundance of oak coffers, oak press cupboards and 14 longcase clocks from the late 17th century, Hanson added it felt like being returned to a period when Charles I was King of England.

Approximately 180 lots will be offered to buyers at auction on January 12.—Mailonline

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