So you want a home that sparks joy. Start by conquering the clutter.
A clutter-free home reduces stress and promotes a sense of tranquillity. You will feel lighter, healthier and ready to welcome the new year.
Ready to purge? Grab the trash bag and let's get started.
AT THE ENTRYWAY
1. Loose keys that you can't remember open to what door. Do a check around the house before you toss them out. Check your window grilles as well as any locked drawers first to see if the keys fit there.
2. Shoes that have worn soles or have started peeling, as well as shoes you have only worn once because they were too uncomfortable.
3. Socks with holes in them.
IN THE KITCHEN
4. Expired foods hiding in the back of your cupboards or refrigerator. If you can't find the expiry date or you've already tossed the original packaging, do a smell and taste test before throwing them out.
5. Appliances you haven't used for over six months. That waffle maker you thought you might use for weekend brunches until you realised you don't do early mornings? Well, it needs to go.
6. You don't need 20 cups or 10 pairs of chopsticks for a family of four. And you don't need that many Tupperware boxes. Keep a couple of extras for when you have visitors, but give away the rest.
7. Chipped or broken wares as well as burnt pots and pans that cannot be salvaged.
IN THE LIVING ROOM
8. Old magazines and newspapers - you don't want to be yesterday's news.
9. Books, DVDs and CDs. For books, unless you are displaying them properly or refer to them regularly, it might be time to give them away. If you are getting your entertainment fix from channels like Netflix or Spotify, it's probably time to donate your DVDs or CDs too.
10. Holiday paraphernalia like gift boxes, gift wrappers, and decorations.
11. Bits and bobs like old remote controls, used batteries, rubber bands and Allen keys. You probably have a junk drawer that stores these. Declutter the drawer and incorporate internal compartments to organise the knick-knacks.
IN THE BEDROOM
12. Makeup as well as hair care, body and skincare products that have passed the recommended shelf life or don't work for you. If you are unsure, check the smell and see if the texture is off. It's also best to do a patch test before you use them again.
13. Clothes that you haven't worn for the past year because they itch, are out of date, or they no longer fit. Don't convince yourself you will wear them in the near future (because you won't) or that they will come back in fashion (because they won't).
14. Fashion accessories that you don't wear anymore. Things like jewellery, hats, glasses or watches.
IN THE BATHROOM
15. Old towels. No better time than the new year to replace your old towels that are torn or stained.
16. That scented candle or diffuser that is always sitting there but never gets used and has since collected a thin film of dust.
17. Travel-sized bottles that you collected from your holidays. Use them or toss them because they are cluttering up your bathroom.
IN THE STUDY
18. Old bills and paperwork. Subscribe to e-payments and e-statements to cut down on paper clutter. File the important documents, but throw the ones you won't need.
19. Stationery that are no longer useful. Think dried up pens, rulers with faded markings, and 2019 calendars.
20. Old laptops and computers.
WHERE TO DONATE OR RECYCLE YOUR STUFF
FULFIL SOMEONE'S WISH LIST
Pass It On is a great initiative that helps facilitate the process of giving away your unwanted, but still useful, items to the needy.
Their website features a comprehensive wish list, showcasing what items are needed. These can range from anything such as a laptop to a blender.
RECYCLE OLD ELECTRONICS
For old e-waste no longer in use, recycle them through the various recycling points found in Singapore. Find them here.
BLESS MIGRANT WORKERS WITH YOUR PRELOVED CLOTHES
Consider donating your second-hand women's clothing to H.O.M.E, a charity dedicated to empowering and supporting migrant workers who are victims of human rights violations and suffer abuse and exploitation.
DONATE YOUR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
If you have children's books that are still in good condition, donate them to Blessings in a Bag who are dedicated to supporting low-opportunity, under-resourced youth through literacy-focused programmes.
This article was first published in Renonation.