With 2018 upon us, there’s no better time to get your home ready for the New Year with these four simple steps.
It’s hard to clean when you have stuff all over the place. Take some time to rid your countertops and shelves of items that have spoilt, expired, or which you simply do not need anymore.
- Allocate just an hour or two to an area. You will start losing energy and motivation the more time you spend on it.
- Throw out expired food and sauces from your pantry and refrigerator. Then wipe the shelves with a clean microfibre cloth.
- Toss out old slippers and shoes that you haven’t worn in over a year. This will help to make more space in your shoe cabinet and clear the entryway to your home.
- Gather the paper clutter from your dining table and coffee table and sort through the entire pile. Immediately file those that you need and recycle those that you don’t.
Before you start cleaning your home, make sure that the tools you are using are clean. It is worth taking the time to do this. Clean tools and well-maintained machines ensure that your cleaning efforts are efficient!
- Sanitise your kitchen sponges – you don’t want to be spreading germs about as you clean. One method is to place a wet sponge in a microwave and turn it on high for a minute. Another way is to simply wash them with water and bleach. However, if your sponge is already two weeks old, it’s best to toss it out and use a new one.
- Run the self-cleaning cycle on your washing machine. If your machine doesn’t have that function, run a normal cycle with bleach and hot water. If yours is a front loader, don’t forget to wipe the rubber gasket.
- Replace the dust bag of your vacuum cleaner with a clean one. If yours is a bagless model, empty the dust receptacle. Wash the filters and make sure they are dry before fixing them in. Clear the brush of any tangled fibres.
- Clean your dishwasher by taking the filters out and rinsing them thoroughly. Then run on the machine on an empty cycle. If you don’t have a dishwasher, consider the Bosch tabletop dishwasher to take care of all your dishes so that you have more time with your guests.
Once you have de-cluttered and cleaned, you have less stuff to consider and more surfaces to work with. A well-organised space will not only look good, but also enable you to store and locate your items more quickly.
1) Design – Start with the end in mind. Think about what you want to use the room or area for. That will help you determine whether a particular item should be kept in the room.
2) Sort – Go through every single item and group them in meaningful categories.
3) Declutter – Decide if an item should stay, should be thrown/donated, or belongs in a different area.
4) Organise – No matter what methods you’re using to store the items, ask yourself these three R questions:
- Can I RETRIEVE the item in 10 seconds or less?
- Can I REPLACE the item in 10 seconds or less?
- Can I RESET the space in 3 minutes if it gets messy?
The way you store your item needs to meet all three of the 3R criteria.Test it out for yourself. If the space becomes cluttered again very quickly, then it can only be either of these two possibilities: First, you’ve kept much more items than the space can reasonably contain, or second, one or more of the 3R’s is not fulfilled.
Here’s the fun part! Now that your home is tidied, it’s time to jazz it up to welcome the new year.
- Freshen the beds with new sheets and cushion covers.
- Update your existing set of cutlery and the rest of the tableware if you’re tired of the ones you’ve always used. Remember to give your old set away so that it doesn’t take up space in your home.
- Got company? Dress up the dining table with placemats and a table runner.
- Put up a 2018 calendar to welcome the New Year!
This was adapted from an article originally published in the December 2017 issue of SquareRooms.