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  • Interior Designer (and a Mom!) Shares Her Tricks to Get Rid of Clutter Fast!

    Bust the clutter in your home with the right storage bins and these tips from an interior designer.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
Interior Designer (and a Mom!) Shares Her Tricks to Get Rid of Clutter Fast!
PHOTO BY iStock
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • When it comes to keeping the house clean and organized, we’re always ready to try new hacks and even invest in different bins to keep our belongings in place. However, there are still days when clutter takes over, and we’re left with a makalat home. Ever wondered why it always seems to happen?

    “There is some sort of 'horror vacui' or the fear of empty space among Pinoys. It’s like we fear a vacant space, so we want to fill it up with things like furniture, décor, and all sorts of abubot. Of course, this is just an assumption and not a studied generalization,” shares mom of one and interior designer Rachelle Medina.

    Maintaining a home with kids requires twice the effort. “Kids tend to double, triple the items in the house – from baby clothes they have outgrown to dozens of toys. A seasonal purging is always needed when you have children. Ideally, these items should be passed down to a friend or a relative who has a younger child,” Medina adds.

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    Manage the kalat in your home by knowing these common causes of clutter and how to solve them

    Décor, magazines, books, and even shoes in the living area

    “I’d suggest getting a proper shoe cabinet with doors. Don’t buy a fancy coffee table that’s just glass with nothing else on the base. Get a coffee table and side table with drawers or cubies in the best for storage. Don’t buy unnecessary décor to fill up your tabletops and shelves — less is more,” the designer suggests.

    Dinnerware and other entertaining essentials in the dining area

    The dining area gets easily cluttered because we keep plates, mugs, and even condiments on the table. If you don’t use it regularly, Rachelle recommends keeping them in the proper storage. “Get a china cabinet where you can display your fancy dinnerware, and try to use them often, even on ordinary days, so they won’t get dusty and dirty. Don’t buy any new dinnerware or ceramics that you don’t need. Usually, two sets [dinnerware] are enough unless you throw a lot of parties,” she shares.

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    Clothes, shoes, books, letters, bills, and other abubot in the bedroom

    A bedroom is a place of rest and relaxation. It’s a must to keep it as neat and as inviting as possible. “Start with purging your clothes and shoes – there is no other way to control closet clutter other than doing this. Then, your books – buy a proper bookshelf, and don’t just leave them on the floor. Shred all of your old bills that are three months and below. Consider paperless billing next time,” says the designer.

    Toiletries and half-used containers of shampoo in the bathroom

    To keep the bathroom functional, you can dispose of bottles and jars with very little soap or shampoo left. “Go for zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars. Organize your toiletries in little trays on top of your counter and use baskets or plastic bins to collect bigger toiletries or cleaning supplies,” Medina explains.

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    Plastic containers, appliances you don’t use, and empty bottles of condiments in the kitchen

    Many of us keep all sorts of belongings in the kitchen, from plates and reusable containers to ingredients and utensils. Do you have appliances you haven’t used in months? “Minimize the use of plastic containers by bringing your glass or BPA-free lunchboxes for take-out food. Don’t be tempted to buy unnecessary appliances from those home shopping networks. With your remaining kitchen appliances, put the ones you use daily out in the open, and hide the seasonal or rarely used appliances in your kitchen cabinets,” Rachelle explains.

    Lastly, as a general rule, the designer suggests being smarter when it comes to buying things for the home. “If you buy a new thing, you have to throw one old thing out,” she says.

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