Monthly Archives: June 2014

Why Beyonce should consider vacuum storage

By | Just for Fun | No Comments
© Hutchins

© Hutchins

From street wear to high fashion, Beyonce’s wardrobe covers every imaginable style and a few that even the most creative designer might struggle to imagine. Thanks to her busy tour schedule, Beyonce’s iconic outfits travel around the world with her.

How does she handle such a massive wardrobe? Interviews with Beyonce’s fashion and footwear consultant reveal some of the pop icon’s habits regarding shoes, but it still isn’t known how she transports her massive stage and street wardrobe.

Some fun facts: Despite being known for her creative shoes, Beyonce never wears anything taller than 3½ inches on stage. She’s also never broken a heel in over ten years of touring, no matter how wild her on-stage show can get.

Why Beyonce should consider using vacuum clothing storage

Transporting hundreds of outfits around the world isn’t easy, especially when you have a busy schedule to stick to. Beyonce’s outfits range from unique to incredible, but all could benefit from some simple vacuum storage bags.

Not only does vacuum storage keep clothes looking crisp and crease-free – a must when you’re making public appearances or performing on stage – it also slims them down substantially and makes them easier to transport.

That means Beyonce can fit three times as many outfits into each of her suitcases as she does now, freeing up space for high-end shopping trips, souvenirs and gifts from her huge network of worldwide fans.

How vacuum storage makes beautiful outfits last longer

Do you travel a lot like Beyonce? When your clothes get packed into a suitcase and stored in the baggage hold, the temperature and humidity changes that occur while you fly can make mould, mildew and other damage set in.

Vacuum storage doesn’t just reduce the form factor of your outfits – it also protects your clothes from the outside environment. Whether you’re a pop star or a fashion guru, storing your clothes in vacuum storage keeps them looking great for longer.

Better yet, your clothes unpack looking just like they did when you stored them in the first place. From on-stage outfits to everyday street wear, vacuum storage gives anyone – from pop star to travel guru – simple access to perfectly prepared clothes.

Give yourself more suitcase space to shop for new outfits

From three-hour marathon shopping sessions in London’s Top Shop central branch to private shopping tours of some of New York and Paris’s most exclusive boutiques, Beyonce really knows how to shop.

Even if you haven’t got a pop star’s budget, using vacuum storage helps you free up space in your suitcase or travel bag for more outfits. In fact, you’ll be able to fit three times as many outfits in your suitcase using just one or two vacuum storage bags.

From everyday favourites to Beyonce-inspired outfits that are sure to turn plenty of heads, pack everything you like into your suitcase and never be without the perfect outfit – whether you’re a pop star or a fashionista – using vacuum storage.

The worst advice we’ve ever heard about shoe storage

By | Shoe Storage | No Comments
© Robinson

© Robinson

How do you store your shoes? From storage boxes to shoe racks, there are a variety of ingenious ways to keep your shoes looking, feeling and smelling their best while also keeping your home free of unwanted clutter.

While shoe racks and storage containers are great ways to store your shoes, many people still use outdated, ineffective shoe storage methods. In this blog post, we’ll share the four worst pieces of shoe storage advice we’ve ever heard.

Don’t store your shoes in boxes… it’s bad for them

From sports trainers to leather boots, the best place to store your shoes is inside a shoe storage box. Unfortunately, some people believe that storing your shoes inside a box is bad for them due to lack of fresh air and sunlight.

Shoes do need fresh air, but only when they’ve recently been worn. If your shoes are completely dry and clean, there’s nothing hazardous about storing them in a storage box, especially if it’s a clear one that allows some sunlight to reach your shoes.

Most shoe storage containers have small vents and holes to allow air to reach your shoes, making a lack of fresh air a non-issue. Besides, if you wear your shoes once a fortnight, they’re getting plenty of fresh air already.

Store your shoes outside to give them fresh air

This advice is typically given for sports trainers and casual shoes, which often end up damp and dirty after use. Storing your sports shoes outside can be a good idea, but only if the weather is dry and warm.

When it’s damp and cold outside, the ‘fresh air’ your shoes are exposed to can turn into the perfect environment for mildew. Keep your sports shoes outside for one or two hours after they’ve been worn to dry them out, but bring them inside after.

Use a shoe spray to freshen them up and – once they’re dry and clean – store them in a shoe storage box or on your shoe rack. Wet environments are the number one destroyer of shoes, so make sure your sports shoes aren’t left out in the rain.

Don’t use shoe sprays… they’ll damage the fabric

When you’re out and about, your feet are perspiring and making the inside of your shoes damp. Most of the time this dampness is eliminated by sunlight, but if you’re an athlete (or you live in a warm, humid area) it might not be completely beaten.

Shoe freshener sprays allow you to quickly neutralise the moisture and bacteria in your sweat that makes your shoes smell. Most shoe sprays use light chemicals and natural substances to neutralise the smell and prevent your shoes from stinking.

Don’t be afraid to use shoe sprays on sports shoes, casual shoes and other everyday footwear. If you wear leather or suede shoes, use a special leather protector spray to neutralise odours while keeping the leather material free of chemical damage.

Keep your leather shoes away from sunlight

From loafers to high heels, leather shoes can add the perfect finishing touch to your outfit. Many people mistakenly believe that sunlight will ‘crack’ leather shoes, but it is actually harmless – and even good for your shoes – in small doses.

Sunlight dries out the inside of your shoes and prevents moisture from perspiration or the environment damaging them. Dark environments are ideal for mildew, since there’s no sunlight to neutralise the bacteria in your shoes.

Don’t be afraid to keep your leather shoes in sunny areas such as your front door or hallway for short periods of time. If you store them, make sure they’re kept in a light environment that’s free of moisture to prevent mildew from growing.

Tidy House, Tidy Mind

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© Yastremska

© Yastremska

Did you know that your work environment has a huge effect on your focus, mental state and productivity? From artificial light to clutter, a variety of factors can make an otherwise productive, hardworking person struggle to stay focused.

This environmental impact on your mental state extends beyond the office. From your workspace to your living room, spending time in a messy environment puts you on edge and makes you feel less mentally alert and comfortable.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the old adage “tidy house, tidy mind” to see just how true it really is. From creating habits to clearing your mind, read on to learn the myriad ways a tidy environment can increase your focus and mental clarity.

Being tidy creates productive habits

Cleaning your home is just like exercising – it’s far more difficult to make it a habit than it is to do it in the first place. Once you get up and start tidying up, it becomes natural – a habit that you find yourself repeating whenever it needs to be done.

Create productive habits by keeping your home neat and tidy at all times. When a pile of clothing starts to accumulate on your bathroom floor or your kitchen starts becoming messy, clean it up before the scale of the clutter grows.

Tidy workspaces mean tidy minds

The world’s most productive office environments share two common features. The first is that they’re overwhelmingly lit by natural sunlight. The second is that they’re free of clutter, unsorted documents and other annoying office mess.

Keeping your workplace tidy does more than just simplify finding important items and documents. When your desk and work environment are tidy and orderly, your mind is more likely to be focused, productive and free of mental clutter.

Tidiness means fewer lost items

From your car keys to an important contract, losing items is a pain both at home and in the workplace. The best way to stop yourself from losing items is by keeping your home clean, tidy and organised so that they can’t go missing in the first place.

As well as tidying up mess when it appears, create a sorting and storage system at home so you intuitively know where everything should be. From everyday pairs of shoes to your car keys, stay organised and you’ll never lose important items.

Tidy homes feel more welcoming

The sun is setting and you’re on the way home from work. It’s been a long day at the office and you’re feeling worn out, tired and ready to relax at home. You open your front door and step into… a cluttered, messy and uncomfortable living room.

The tidier your home is, the more welcoming it will feel when you step in the front door after a long day at work. Give yourself the mental and physical relaxation you need after a hard day’s work by keeping your home clean, tidy and welcoming.

Tidying up is refreshingly simple

Many of the tasks we put off and procrastinate over are surprisingly quick and easy to achieve. Tidying your home does more than just create a clean, clutter-free living environment – it also shows you that taking action and decluttering is very simple.

This take-action-now attitude carries over into your work ethic and mental state. It only takes a few minutes to clean and tidy your home, and the simplicity of cleaning can inspire you to take action in other areas of your life.

The strangest items that have been vacuum packed, ever

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When someone mentions vacuum packing, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Most of us associate vacuum packing with clothing, pre-cooked food or travel supplies.

While vacuum packing is a great way to pack and store frozen food or slim down all of your clothes before a big trip, there are many other uses for vacuum storage, not all of which are completely – how shall we put it – sane.

From bizarre vacuum-packed runway models to convenient, space-saving vacuum packed mattresses, read on to discover the five strangest items that have ever been vacuum packed.

Iris Van Herpen’s vacuum packed runway models

It takes plenty of weird taste to become Lady Gaga’s favourite fashion designer – a title that Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen wears with pride. The 30-year-old fashion designer turned heads at the latest Paris Fashion Week by vacuum packing some of her models into giant plastic hanging bags.

Curled up and connected to oxygen tubes, Van Herpen’s models looked like unusual alien specimens. Van Herpen claimed that the idea to vacuum pack her models was part of the creative vision of her Biopiracy collection, and that the provocative way of presenting her collection made “the model a product”.

Thought provoking social commentary or bizarre fashion collection – whatever the goal of Iris Van Herpen’s vacuum-packed runway models might have been, it didn’t fail to turn heads.

The Dorel vacuum-packed transportable mattress

Most mattresses are big, heavy and difficult to transport. American company Dorel has found a unique way to reduce their shipping costs while delivering high quality mattresses to customers. Instead of packing their mattresses in a large square box, they vacuum pack them and roll them up for quick and simple storage.

Vacuum packing lets the company cut down its mattress dimensions to a tiny size, allowing its mattresses to squeeze into tiny spaces inside a delivery truck. Many of the company’s customers mistakenly think they’ve ordered an air mattress when a package that’s impossibly small arrives on their doorstep.

Want to see the Dorel vacuum-packed mattress in action? Watch as an eight-inch pocket coil twin mattress expands from a tiny rolled-up form to a normal scale in minutes.

Haruhiko Kawaguchi’s vacuum-packed photography

Tokyo artist Haruhiko Kawaguchi doesn’t think vacuum packing should be limited to clothing and frozen food. The photographer has made vacuum packing a focus of his work and, as part of his latest “Flesh Love” project, has started vacuum packing his models before he starts shooting.

Unlike Iris Van Herpen, who connects her models to oxygen tubes before their live performances, Kawaguchi takes a slightly more risky approach: he seals his models without air for 10-20 seconds, quickly snaps as many photos as he can, then quickly cuts them out of the vacuum packaging.

Kawaguchi’s models aren’t professionals, but everyday Tokyo couples interested in preserving their love through vacuum packing and modern art. Kawaguchi claims that the 100x150x74 cm plastic bags used in his work are designed to “keep love fresh forever.”

Dr Kurk Mikat’s bizarre vacuum-packed coffin

Equal parts bizarre and creepy, a Florida doctor called Kurk Mikat has patented an interesting system to vacuum pack human remains in a special coffin that prevents them from decomposing. The idea is that you’ll look as good on your 500th birthday as you did on your 80th, and it’s… well, more than a little strange.

Profiled in a Vice article earlier this year, the system is reportedly designed to stop embalming chemicals like formaldehyde seeping into their environment – a major environmental concern in Florida. Despite the good intentions, this use of vacuum packing seems a little too creepy to support.

Haven Gastropub’s vacuum-packed watermelon

It’s square, compressed and visually identical to delicious tuna sashimi. California gastropub Haven compresses slices of watermelon in an industrial vacuum packer for use in its fruit salad, giving customers maximum flavour in an otherwise small piece of fruit.

Although the gastropub uses an industrial-grade vacuum packer to squeeze every last drop of flavour into its fruit salad, you can do the same at home using a simple home packaging system. Try it with watermelon, pineapple or any other fruit for a huge increase in flavour and a unique, conversation-starting look.

Out of clutter, find simplicity

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‘Out of clutter find simplicity’

While a cluttered home might seem like an organisational nightmare, it’s often far more of an opportunity than you might think. From inspiring you to take action to giving your home character, clutter is often a vital ingredient for simplicity.

In this blog post, we’ll look at four advantages of clutter, from it presenting a great opportunity to downsize and simplify your life to its ability to add unique character and style to your home’s interior.


Clutter is an opportunity to downsize and simplify

Is your home filled with discarded shoes, clothing and other items? From clothing that’s never worn to endless fashion accessories, clutter comes in many styles and sizes.

Find opportunity in clutter the same way Einstein found order in chaos by using a cluttered home as an opportunity to downsize and simplify. Think of clutter not as an annoyance, but as an indicator of what you can do to simplify your life.

From donating clothing that’s never worn but always contributing to a messy closet to packing the outfits that are draped across your bedroom bookshelf into a vacuum storage container, think of clutter as an opportunity, not as an annoyance.

Clutter is an opportunity to become more organised

The best organisers don’t fear chaotic situations – they look forward to them. When your home becomes occupied by unwanted clutter, use it as an opportunity to clean up and become a more organised person.

Take a stoic approach to decluttering your home and discover new opportunities in the task of decluttering. Turn the boring task of cleaning up into a reminder to never let your home fall victim to clutter and disorder again.

Once you’ve finished decluttering, keep the image of a messy, disorderly home fresh in your memory and use it as a visual reminder to put things away as soon as you’re finished with them, not when it feels most convenient to do so.

Decluttering your home means decluttering your life

Clutter isn’t just physical – the clutter and chaos of a messy home can quickly result in a cluttered, chaotic attitude to life. Use your next home clean-up as an opportunity to clear and organise your life, not just your kitchen cabinets or bedroom closet.

The key to eliminating clutter is ending procrastination. Instead of putting clothes or shoes away when we should, we make excuses and let them pile up. Fighting off this attitude doesn’t just reduce physical clutter; it also fights off mental clutter.

Take the same attitude to combating clutter in your personal and professional life as you do at home and solve problems as soon as they arrive. The more you put things off, the more cluttered both your house and your mind will become.

Organised clutter can add character to your home

Although germaphobes may tell you otherwise, there is such thing as a home that’s too clean and organised. While too much clutter is a bad thing, a limited amount of clutter can naturally add character and style to your home.

From an angled book at the end of your bookshelf to a jacket hanging over the back of your favourite armchair, a bit of character clutter can ease your mind and make your home a more liveable place to be.

10 things you ALWAYS forget when packing

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Have you ever stepped off a long-haul flight only to realise you’ve left an important item at home? From toiletries to travel documents, certain items are vital for travel but seem to constantly escape our minds when it’s time to pack.

Read on to discover the 10 items everyone forgets when packing and learn how to make sure you’ve got them packed and ready for your next holiday.


From toothbrushes to shaving products, it’s easy to forget small toiletries that make travel bearable. Keep your toiletry bag on your bathroom counter and check you’ve packed everything before you store it in your carry-on luggage.


Nothing’s worse than arriving at a summer destination without sunglasses. Check that you’ve packed your sunglasses before you zip up your carry-on bag, and don’t forget to include a protective case to stop them getting scratched while you travel.

Notebook charger

Can’t part with your notebook when you travel? Double check that you’ve included your notebook charger with the rest of your carry-on gear and make sure you have an AC adapter to make it usable in your destination.

Travel documents

Have you ever arrived at the airport without your passport? Before you leave your home, check that your passport is at the top of your carry-on bag so that you don’t need to panic when you reach the airport.

Laundry bag

Don’t let your dirty laundry stink up the rest of your suitcase. Pack a laundry bag to store your worn clothes in and keep them separate from the rest of your favourite travel outfits.


Don’t make yourself use the uncomfortable, low quality headphones they hand out on the plane. Check that you’ve packed your headphones before you leave to make sure you can listen to your iPod in peace during the flight.


Do you take prescription medication? Make sure you’ve packed your medication in its original bottles before you fly. If you’re travelling to another country, check the local regulations to see if you need to pack a doctor’s note or prescription copy.

Local cash

Avoid having to withdraw cash after you arrive at your destination by converting at least a day’s worth of local currency before you leave. Make sure you don’t convert all of your money at home – the rates are almost always better at your destination.


Do you know where your hotel is located? Can you remember which train to catch from the airport? Print addresses and write down public transport instructions so there’s no confusion once you pass through customs and immigration.


Do you have a printed copy of your return ticket? Many countries don’t allow people to pass through immigration without proof that they’ll leave the country when their trip comes to an end. Avoid customs issues by packing a copy of your flight itinerary.

Ready to travel?

Even the best prepared travellers forget something when they pack. Before you zip up your bag and close your travel padlock, check the items on this list to make sure you’re really prepared for your trip.

What is your travel packing personality?

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Have you ever boarded a long-haul flight with only a tiny backpack? Do you start to pack for a three-day holiday a week in advance? Do you have every travel gadget in the world, and still worry about being under-equipped for your next holiday? Everyone has a travel packing personality, whether they know it or now. Read on to discover six common travel packing personalities and discover which one is closest to your own.

overpacking luggage

The overpacker

The overpacker is prepared for any travel situation thanks to their three suitcases, two carry-on bags and seemingly endless collection of items. Frequently seen in the check-in line hoping that their third suitcase doesn’t exceed the weight limit.

You know you’re an overpacker when… you pack 10 different outfits for a one week trip, just so you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

The minimalist

The minimalist can easily survive a two-week trip with less than three days worth of clothing. Frequently seen in the hotel laundry room waiting for tomorrow’s clothing to finish its spin cycle.

You know you’re a minimalist when… even after you’ve finished packing for a ten day holiday, your suitcase is closer to empty than full.

The backpacker

The backpacker avoids bringing a wheeled suitcase or compact bag, and packs all of their clothing into a backpack big enough for scaling Mt Everest. Frequently seen at the boarding gate, unpacking their entire backpack to find their iPod headphones.

You know you’re a backpacker when… you instinctively start packing your 60-litre backpack for every holiday, whether it’s a month of mountain trekking in Tibet or a long weekend in Marbella.

The executive

The executive packs the perfect clothes a two-day business drip, whether they’re on the way to Frankfurt for a conference or Bali for a beach getaway. Frequently seen in the shopping mall buying their swimsuit after they reach their destination.

You know you’re an executive when… you start to plan for a beach holiday by looking up serviced offices and checking the hotel’s Wi-Fi speed.

The tech addict

The tech addict travels the world, but spends half of their journey on their notebook, iPad and smartphone. Frequently seen waiting for their True Detective download to finish while everyone else is boarding the plane.

You know you’re a tech addict when… you consider yourself ‘overpacked’ when your portable hard drive is almost out of space.

The utilitarian

The utilitarian has a multipurpose item that prepares them for every possible travel situation, but their bag is closer to a minimalist than an overpacker. Frequently seen comparing microfiber towels to see which can absorb the most moisture.

You know you’re a utilitarian when… you hear the words “travel accessory” and think of a Swiss Army knife instead of an inflatable pillow.

Which type of travel packer are you?

Do any of the above travel packing personalities ring a bell? Everyone has a travel packing personality, whether they believe it or not. Next time you’re packing for a holiday, look at your bags and try and work out your travel packing personality.

How not to store your shoes

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How to store shoesIs your shoe collection taking over your closet? Whether you’ve just invested in your first pair of high quality shoes or need help storing your favourite casual pairs, there are good and bad ways to safely store your shoes collection.

In this blog post, we’ll cover six common shoe storage mistakes and show you better ways to keep your footwear fresh, free of odour, easily accessible and looking brand new.


Storing shoes in damp, mouldy spaces


Shoes are a magnet for mould when stored in dark, damp spaces. If your closet has very little ventilation, make sure your shoes are completely dry and free of dirt and bacteria before you store them inside.


Wet clothing and old coats can often attract mould and moths to your closet. Keep your shoes in open spaces where there’s plenty of air circulating to avoid the moths and mould that an old closet or chest of drawers can attract.


Tossing shoes to the bottom of your closet


Think your shoes are indestructible? It can be tempting to toss your shoes into your closet and pick them off the floor when you need them. Doing so might be easy, but it’s a great way to misshape and scuff your shoes.


Instead of tossing your shoes into your closet, arrange them neatly so that no pair is in contact with another. This way, you’ll never have to deal with damaged soles and heels or leather scuffing.


Discarding a pair of shoes on your doorstep


If you live in an area with a humid or damp climate, avoid storing your shoes outside your home. Even if they’re protected from the weather by an awning, the damp air is the perfect environment for mould and bacteria to develop.


Keep your shoes inside your home, either in storage boxes or on a shoe rack close to your entranceway. Instead of storing sports shoes and hiking boots outside to avoid nasty odours, spray them with shoe freshener and store them inside.


Storing men’s shoes without shoe trees


That nice pair of oxfords or loafers won’t hold its shape on its own. When you store a pair of men’s leather shoes, make sure you use a shoe tree to help the shoes retain their original shape.


Shoe trees are designed to match the shape of your feet, moulding the leather used in your shoes to your foot and preventing creases from forming. Prevent your shoes from developing an odour by using cedar shoe trees, which absorb most moisture.


Stacking your shoes on top of each other


Stacking one pair of shoes on top of another might seem like a great way to free up closet space, but it’s actually a serious mistake. A pile of unorganised shoes makes finding your favourite pairs a challenge, as well as damaging many of your shoes.


If you want to store your shoes vertically, use clear plastic shoe storage containers to keep each pair separate and easily accessible. This method also prevents shoes from rubbing against one another and producing scuffs and scratches.


Storing wet or dirty shoes in a container


Shoe storage containers are great for organising your shoes collection, but putting a pair of wet or dirty shoes in a storage box is a serious mistake. Moisture and dirt are two elements that produce mouldy, smelly and seriously stained shoes.


Before you store your shoes, let them dry out and clean away any dirt or mud. Spray smelly pairs with shoe freshener and let them air out for 24 hours before you store them in a sealed container.

The 10 commandments of decluttering your home

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What to wear?

Do you struggle with clutter? From letters and bills to the seemingly endless outfits that make navigating your closet impossible, clutter can creep up on you and make your home feel more like a disorganised storage unit than a place to live.


Luckily, it’s easy to declutter your home with a little bit of hard work and some good habits. Apply these 10 commandments of decluttering to make your home easier to live in and your favourite items easier to locate.


Thou shalt declutter now, not later


You’ve just got home from a long day at work. Do you kick off your shoes, toss your coat on the sofa and switch on the television, or store your shoes on the rack, hang up your coat and make sure your home is clean before you start relaxing?


Sometimes a minute of organising once can save you five minutes of cleaning and decluttering later. Make decluttering your home a habit to avoid having to clear up clutter every weekend.


Thou shalt declutter every day


Piles of bills, clothes and shoes can build up over the course of the day. Fight clutter as it appears by cleaning up your kitchen counter, dining table, work desk, sofa and entranceway every day to prevent clutter build-up from occurring.


Thou shalt clean one room at a time


Is your home in need of a serious decluttering? Make cleaning your home easier to manage by focusing on one room at a time. Start with your bedroom and work your way through the living room, hallway and kitchen on a decluttering mission.


Thou shalt donate rarely used items


Is your closet bursting at the seams? Fight closet clutter by auditing your closet once a year and sorting clothes into “keep” and “don’t keep” baskets. Donate any unused or unwanted clothes to local thrift stores to pass on fashion to the less fortunate.


Thou shalt invest in good storage


Are your shoes strewn across the floor of your closet? Make your wardrobe easier to manage by investing in good storage options. Use plastic shoe storage containers for your shoes and vacuum bags to store rarely used clothes with ease.


Thou shalt sort and file papers


Bills, bank statements and junk mail can quickly clutter your kitchen counter. Make your mail easier to manage by sorting and filing letters, statements and notifications as soon as you receive them.


Thou shalt store shoes vertically


Is your shoe collection taking up too much floor space? Free up space in your closet or hallway by using shoe storage boxes or a shoe rack to store your shoes vertically and prevent them from getting scuffed or mouldy.


Thou shalt make organising a habit


Does your house seem to become cluttered easily? Train yourself to put things back where they belong and after a couple of weeks, you’ll naturally keep your home free of mess and clutter.


Thou shalt tell others to declutter


Do your roommates, partner or children contribute to your home’s clutter? Convert them into organised, clutter-free residents by making cleaning up an official policy of your home.


Thou shalt not make impulse buys


Have you noticed that most of the items which clutter up your home were impulse purchases that are rarely used? Fight the root cause of clutter by making yourself wait 30 days to buy anything that attracts your interest while shopping.