We all know about broken New Year resolutions, but perhaps one resolution that you should keep is your age-old silent promise to clean out your flat. After all, there’s no better way to start off the New Year with a spanking new space to call your own. Follow this simple rule: Do away with the old, make space for the new and redecorate along the way. Let’s get started, now!
Phase One: Clear Out and Clean Up
Like anyone else, your flat is probably swamped with items that you no longer need but have never gotten round to throwing. One thing to remember is to make space at all cost—so if you don’t need it, never used it and will never have the use for it, into the bin it goes!
According to our resident smart aleck Mr. Know-It-All, the simplest way to clearing out is to throw out everything that you don’t need, which includes the likes of:
• Super old, yellowed magazines with faded articles of your past idols.
• Old board games you don’t play with anymore.
• Gifts from people you don’t like.
• Dodgy videotapes/VCDs/DVDs that local video store will not want.
• Old books that are breeding grounds for the local silver fish community.
• Strange-smelling cosmetics.
• Shoes that even your grandfather won’t wear.
• Best-forgotten fashion faux pas that you only kept because they cost you a bomb.
… you get the picture. Things with sentimental values, like unused but beloved birthday presents, collectible CDs and vinyls should still be kept and stored accordingly.
After all the necessary clearing out, it’s time to tidy and clean up your living space. Local whiz cleaning company Amahs on Wheels (56B Somme Rd., 6837-2708, www.amahsonwheels.com) has the following valuable tips to dispense on how to clean up one’s space—in a snap:
• When it comes to cleaning, start from the top down. This is to enable the dust to settle on the bottom so that you can clear it last.
• Use wet wipes and hand-held dusting services to clean the floor, as they are easier to use than a mop. Plus, wet wipes are disposable, so you can just throw them away after use.
• After cleaning and dusting, open up a few bottles of baking soda and place them in different corners of the room. Baking soda absorbs leftover bad odors.
• It’s important to keep the momentum going. Procrastination or lapses only mean a return to clutter and a potentially bigger to-do list in the long run.
We asked five personalities what are some of the things they would like to get rid off.
Don’t throw your junk just yet! Donate them at these places.
Phase Two: Reorganize
Without some sort of organizational structure (no matter how vague), let’s face it—your home would be a chaos. The key thing to keep in mind is the big picture. While you want to get organized, there’s no need to kill yourself over minor details. Just keep it simple and everything will flow.
The main thing you need to achieve when it comes to reorganizing is to know where your stuff is, and that you can get it when you need it. Think about your personal habits, likes and dislikes, your needs and your lifestyle—then plan your organizational system from there.
Start with the big stuff—like your TV and the various types of activities you might want to engage in the storage area. If you also play video games and watch DVDs in your living room, you might want to invest in a multi-entertainment storage unit for your Playstation and DVD player.
Aside from the floor, walls make good storage options too. If you’re out of floor space, stick some open shelves, CD or shoe racks on your walls and you’re set for action. But don’t put frequently used items high up—they should always be within close reach for maximum convenience.
If you’re still confused, just follow Mr. Know-It-All’s five-step guide to getting organized below:
1. First, you must sort your things according to categories that make sense to you. Think about grouping items together by type, activity, frequency of use and physical characteristics. For example, you might want to stuff incriminating magazines and DVDs into harder-to-reach places that only you know about.
2. Reduce the amount of your junk by selling or discard items that are worn or broken out. This is the perfect excuse to give away that Playstation that don’t work anymore (it ain’t going up in value, honey).
3. Give each category a specific storage location and store items close to where you need and will use them. Meaning, this will give you quicker access to your favorite magazines and DVDs that we talked about earlier.
4. Count and measure the items in your categories and determine the amount and type of space required. You wouldn’t want to break your favorite collector’s toy if it doesn’t fit into a miniscule storage unit now, would you?
5. With that all done, you can now determine your storage solution. Select storage solutions that match the physical requirements of your items, the space available and your taste. Make sure your storage units work for you, and not the other way round.
Tips on how to maximize your storage space
Phase Three: Redecorate
Here comes everyone’s favorite bit—buying new stuff and sprucing up your flat with spanking new items from swanky furniture shops and funky home décor stores. Mr. Know-It-All reckons that you might want to splash out a bit, so he’s included some extravagant main pieces, but threw in some affordable, yet funky touches as well so that you can be sure that no one else’s living room will look like yours. Read on to see how you can transform your living room into a heavenly boudoir:
1. This gorgeous, dramatic two-seater Emperado sofa in mysterious maroon will make a stunning centerpiece to your living room. Everyone will be dying to lounge on it. $3,000 from Bulb.
2. This über cool alternative to boring ceiling lights is quietly stylish and effortlessly functional. $79 from IKEA.
3. Colorful, bright, functional and funky, Every living room’s gotta have of these Elvis stolls. $100 each from Air.
4. This simple but striking coffee table with built-in lamp will light up your drab living room anytime. $2,100 from Air.
5. With a lamp as brilliant and lovely as this birdcage pendant lamp with light purple crystals, you’d never want to leave your house again. $2,600 from Bulb.
6. This Artistic Bettan Linje rug will funk up your living room floor the fuss-free way. $79 from IKEA.
7. Reflect your best side, every time, with this dramatic full-length Fuze mirror that will also help make your living room look a little bigger. $89 from Courts.
Want to make the most out of the decorative space you have? Eddy Kuswandi from EJ Square Design Pte Ltd and George Budiman from Cynosure Design have some clever tips to dispense.
• Have correct space planning—this will really help you to maximize space.
• Spend some time thinking about the most space-centric way to arrange your furniture. The wrong arrangement can cause a lot of space to get taken up unnecessarily.
• A few well-placed mirrors and glass panels can enlarge your apartment and create an illusion of space.
• Don’t be hasty when choosing materials—pick them when you’re in a good mood to avoid making decisions you might regret.
• Consider the overall look of your home before picking your wall color. For instance, an urban chic resort home with natural materials would probably have a different wall color from a modern classical home with chandeliers.
• If you want more space, don’t pick oversized furniture for your home. Don’t buy more chairs than you really need.
• If you have a raised floor, make use of it and store stuff underneath.
• Try not to be too adventurous or overly ambitious—stay focused and don’t be half-hearted.
Enlist help from these people to decorate your room
Air #01-18, Park Mall, 9 Penang Rd, 6352-7307
Bulb 8 Gemmill Lane, 6225-0158
Courts 50 Tampines North Drive 2, 6309-7888
IKEA 317 Alexandra Rd, 6474-0122