Almost every family will have one room that they use to store all of their miscellaneous items that they plan to sort later. Whether it’s nagging your teenage son to clean his floordrobe, or if it’s tackling the mountain of loose paper in the study; often these areas become almost impossible to properly clean and can be a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s tempting to push the vacuum cleaner around the bare bits of carpet you can see, and then leave the rest for later, but more often than not, ‘later’ never becomes a priority. So, it’s time to don your marigolds and grab your cleaning kit.
Our Survival Guide
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The Golden Rules
1. If it hasn’t been used within the last 3 years, bin, charity shop or sell it!
*Exceptions made for anything of significant sentimental value such as war medals and wedding dresses.
2. Don’t keep more than two of one item. For example, window cleaner – top up ones that half-full and recycle the empty bottles
3. Bin ‘useful’ tins, boxes, bags and jars that you have kept thinking, ‘this might be useful one day.’
4. Paper should never be loose. Evaluate how important the document is and either file it in a cabinet or ring-binder or shred / recycle it.
5. Find systematic homes for items. Don’t be tempted to say ‘that can go in there for now’, as drawers will become overfull and possessions may get lost in the process.
6. If it’s broken, bin it! It may have been an all-time favourite once upon a time, but if it no longer serves a purpose, it’s time to let go.
7. Don’t keep unwanted presents under the pretence that you’ll get them out when the person who gifted them to you visits. People rarely remember to re-find and use such gifts when the visitor is around anyway.
8. If it is a fashion faux pas that you are hoping will become fashionable again; ditch it. You may be waiting for a long time before outdated household items such as VCR machines become popular again.
Bank statements, order receipts, junk mail and old school letters often contribute to the mess that piles up on the desks, on your floor space and on bookshelves. Novelty cracker-type gifts and broken pens also tend to add to the clutter the family study. So how to you get:
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Those with messy studies are likely to benefit from a small, electronic paper shredder. If you have not already; invest in some cheap ring-binders and organise your paperwork. Shelving will also aid in maximising your available space. Choose a desk with drawers, and, if you are going to include a bed in your study area; choose one with under-bed drawers.
Many garages end up being used as a dumping ground for every conceivable household or garden product. Old children’s toys, broken appliances, old pet accessories, unused gimmicky products and your son’s or daughter’s university boxes are often stored and forgotten about. Everything needs a place, from the smallest loose screws and bolts, to the larger storage boxes. So how to you get:
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To this …
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Choose shelving that is not overly bulky, install brackets on the wall to hang garden spades, brooms, deckchairs and even pushbikes. Invest in some organisers for smaller nuts, bolts and sockets. Evaluate how likely you are to use an item; if it’s not been used within the last 3 years – get rid!
Your Child’s Room
Children usually have an abundance of toys; the majority, they don’t even play with anymore. Used clothes, old magazines are usually left lying around, broken crayons and even food wrappers can be found. So how to you get:
From this …
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To this …
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Make a trip to your local charity shop with all the good-condition toys that are no longer used by your child. Store the others in toy tidies, storage benches and under-bed- storage. Shelving is also useful for books and games, bed side tables can be used as additional storage for clothing or smaller items.
The Utility Room
Many households cram mops, brooms, vacuum cleaners, laundry baskets and anything that they view will clutter the rest of their house into the utility room. This can be potentially dangerous as leads can be a trip hazard and items can fall and injure people. So how to you get:
From this …
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To this …
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Some cupboards allow for intelligent storage, where airing racks or ironing boards can be stored. Shelving can be used for softer items such as towels that do not pose a hazard if they were to fall. Have a sort through your laundry basket too. It’s likely that the one sock that has no pair is not worth saving!
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