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Spring cleaning: All the items in your home that you need to toss to start 2019 afresh, as inspired by The Minimalists

Spring cleaning: All the items in your home that you need to toss to start 2019 afresh, as inspired by The Minimalists

Less is more

Text: Aravin Sandran


Image: Getty Images

With 1 January right around the corner, what better time than right now to toss, recycle and purge the horror that was 2018? Besides creating a more pleasant space to live in, decluttering can reenergise one's overall well-being. Studies have shown that spring cleaning can reduce stress, help with sleep, boost productivity, curb cravings and aid weight loss. If any one of these happen to be a New Year's resolution, then it's a win-win all around, not just for you but for everyone under the same roof. It's perfectly fine to start small, according to The Minimalists who professed the virture of "less is more" in their pioneering Netflix documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things in 2016. Their tips revolve around one key question: does this item add value and bring happiness into your life? If the answer is no, then it needs to go just like the last player you met on a Tinder date. Whether you're just starting out clearing your hot mess or an OCD freak who does it every week, "the best way to organise your stuff is to get rid of most of it", as The Minimalists cleverly put it. On that note, here are a list of things that could be tossed without thinking twice.

Worn-out bed linens, towels and mats

Remember those nights you fell asleep in bed with a bottle of pinot noir in-hand? Or the other time when what's-his-name came over to "Netflix and chill" and ended up leaving skid marks on your Egytian cotton sheets? Well, those smears will only remind you of all the mistakes you made this year. Inspect your quilts, fitted sheets and pillows. Dump anything that looks faded, stained or damaged. While you're at it, pick up some of the softest wrinkle-free sheets from local linen label Sunday Bedding for the New Year. Every inch of your body will thank you.

 

Old charging and power cords

You've just picked up the iPhone XR, but why's your drawer tangled up with 30-pin cables for your old iPhone 4s? On a similar note, if you have a power cable but not the electrical appliance that goes with it, it's time to trash it. There are execptions though: your trusty Dyson V7 vacuum cleaner or your boyfriend's vintage Playstation 1 from high school are worth a second look.

Expired makeup

Although they might be little in size individually, makeup can take up so much precious storage space as a dirty cluster. Worse than tidiness, expired makeup can cause breakouts, infections and other gross unwanted effects. A smokey eye is cute; pink eye is not.

Loose papers and cards

Aunties love stashing away receipts, coupons, vouchers and membership cards in the depths of their wallet and junk drawers. What use will you possibly get out of a grocery receipt for $257.30 spent at GIANT supermarket or an expired $10 NTUC voucher from last year? Crush, shred and tear what isn't worthwhile and then, scan and store the useful ones in a file so they don't fade over time.

Stuffed toys

You've already hit your twenties. Do you really need all these plushies that you won at the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival? The answer is no. You're too grown for that. Gift them to the little ones in your extended family and they'll sleep well tonight, thanks to you.

Old prescriptions

You might have suffered a terrible bout of food poisoning after dining on some romaine lettuce from the U.S. so the doctor prescribed you a obscene amount of charcoal tablets earlier this year. You're survived that ordeal but it's time to take stock of your medicine cabinet. Find out what you have and refresh the essentials you need before throwing away the unusable ones. 

Event invitations and holiday greeting cards

An invitation to your friend's shotgun-wedding or your cousin's over-the-top sweet sixteen are not the sentimental hallmarks of your year. If a heartfelt hand-written note stands out in the sea of run-of-the-mill cards, scan it and store it in a hard drive. 

Wire and plastic hangers

Wire hangers are for makeshift occasions while plastic ones degrade any respectable label of clothing they carry. Switch to wooden or velvet ones to create a sophisticated and functional wardrobe system.

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