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Your Year-end General Cleaning Guide
  • Photo by Michael Angelo Chua.

    How do you welcome another exciting year? Some jump, others prepare cups with rice, sugar, and salt; and there are those who kick-start their long list of activities by cleaning the house–down to the last corner and crevice.

    Much as we would like to be productive, we have to admit, that there are tons of distractions surrounding us. There’s the comfort of the bed or couch, of series to watch, books to read, and parties to attend. So how do you achieve that squeaky-clean space that’s worthy of fireworks? Interior designer Kat Villanueva-Lopez shares these general tips and rules that can help you: 


    Practice touch-move
    When I clean my room, I often end up flipping through albums and going through boxes for hours, which can only mean that I’ve wasted precious cleaning time. Kat suggests that once you get your hands on an item, make sure to put it down in its rightful place when you’re done. “Do it right this moment. Chances are, with all the other clutter lying around, you’ll either forget about it or find it so tedious since you’re already overwhelmed just [by] looking at the other items that’s been gathering dust since last Christmas,” she explains.


    Grouping your items is really helpful. Prepare boxes with proper labels so you’ll know where to drop the things that you are sorting.

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    Laze and graze
    “Take a moment, hang out, and observe your space. Are you pleased with what you see? Are you comfortable? If you have five minutes to scroll through your social media feeds and play games, you must at least dedicate five minutes each day to revitalize the different areas at home. Get rid of that irritation and discomfort,” explains Kat.

    Check your home for eyesores and deal with each ASAP. It can be a lumpy pillow that needs to be replaced or a shelf that needs organizing. If you’re busy, you don’t have to dedicate a whole day for this. Simply schedule your cleaning tasks and tackle one area per day.


    Read the label
    Check your cabinets, shelves, and pantry for expired items. These need to be discarded as soon as possible to avoid accidents.



    Keep the momentum going
    To see results faster, Kat suggests that you also need to work faster. “You’ll be done even before you start feeling overwhelmed, tired, or it’s becoming a chore. Do it like you’re in a hurry (even if you’re not) so that you’ll have less time to think, feel nostalgic, or attached to each item you get your hands on. Decide instantly (check the touch-move rule) if the item should go to the trash, storage, or donation box,” the designer explains.

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    Reuse, recycle, and repurpose
    When it comes to organizing your space, you don’t have to spend a single peso. “When you have that much clutter in your home, chances are, you already have everything you need,” Kat shares.

    Check your cabinets for trash bags, boxes that you can use, and containers that you can repurpose. She explains that you need patience, creativity, and resourcefulness. An old mason jar can be used as pencil holder while old side tables can be repainted and used in the balcony or garden.




    This article originally appeared in

    *Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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