Disorganisation is about so much more than just stuff.
And expats face some unique challenges – dealing with the constraints of rented apartments, having to constantly move from house to house or even country to country, and more.
Put an end to the chaos with these pro tricks.
It’s best to start decluttering early so that you don’t have to rush decisions that you may regret later. Keep only the things that you need, use and love. Let go of the rest.
Be selective with sentimental items, too. Save ones that really mean something to you and you have space to display. Avoid the temptation to stash a lot of keepsakes in boxes that will end up covered in dust. Making a choice about what to keep gives these items the importance they deserve.
Most expats are sent to Singapore for a few years only. This temporary aspect can complicate decision-making: What to do with furniture and possessions that can’t fit into a smaller Singapore home? How many winter clothes should you keep for travelling?
Instead of purging, more and more people are renting self-storage units to save the stuff that doesn’t fit into their homes.
Who isn’t guilty of keeping those unread “must-read” books on their shelves? I’ve done it myself!
Your home should be a sanctuary, where you can recharge. If it’s filled with items you don’t like, it affects you more than you think. It can become a real burden – almost as if the stuff is owning you.
My advice: Be honest with yourself and stop pretending. Then, to quote Frozen, “Let it goooo!”
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Instead of dumping your unwanted items out, donate them instead.
People in Singapore tend to rely on helpers to maintain order in their homes. However, the role of a helper is to clean the home. If there is clutter, she likely just goes around it.
Organising is about setting systems built around each family’s preferences. Unless you approach it this way, you won’t be able to keep your home organised – and you may add to your helper’s workload. According to the National Soap and Detergent Association in the U.S., “Getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40 percent of the housework in the average home.”
People may want to hold onto memories or hide behind things.
But then again, the physical act of decluttering can be therapeutic, though it can also be overwhelming to do on your own.
Having someone by your side, such as a professional organiser or trusted friend, who will gently guide and support you, can be a great help. In the case of one of my recently divorced clients, our work together made her realise that a lot of her possessions were reminders of not so happy moments. When she let them go, she had a huge sense of relief.
I can’t count the number of wardrobes I’ve seen that are full of clothes that don’t fit their owners.
While I don’t mean to be harsh, the reality is: There is no guarantee that the clothes that don’t fit you today will fit you tomorrow.
The first items to purge? Ones you don’t like, that never made you feel good or that are not in good condition.
If you come across a few items that you particularly like but can’t fit into, put them aside and set a deadline in your diary. If you haven’t lost the weight within, say, nine months, let go of them then.
A wardrobe full of clothes you can wear will make you feel empowered.
Do more in a day with these tips.
1. Create routine in your schedule: Assign a day and time in your week for your key activities so you don’t have to waste time thinking about what to do next or procrastinating on the things you don’t enjoy doing. As a result, your focus switches on improving your efficiency.
2. Capture all your to-dos in one single and consistent location: Ideally, it should be your diary so that you can associate a day and time to each of your tasks and increase your chances of getting them done.
3. Estimate the time it takes to complete each to-do: It’s the only way to know whether your workload for a day is manageable. If it’s not, ask yourself whether you can delete, delay, diminish or delegate a task.
4. Plan tomorrow the night before: So the pressure of the day is not weighing down on you in the morning – and you can make more detached decisions.
5. Declutter and organise your desk: Not only will you be saving time finding what you want when you need it, you also won’t be distracted or feel stressed by the clutter.
6. Take 5 minutes to clear your desk before you leave work: Starting your day on a clutter-free workspace will give you a boost of energy.
For personalised decluttering advice, check out Nathalie’s services at Get Organised & Beyond.
By Nathalie Ricaud, The Finder, last updated April 2017
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