The brand new decade of 2020 is just round the corner. While you’re making those New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to include some for a tidier, more pleasant living space. Here’s five we think you should include.

1. Keep your clothes neatly folded with the KonMari method.

Photo: Screenshot from Netflix

Messy clothes drawers are a thing of the past. Fold your clothes neatly with the KonMari method (they should be able to stand on their own) and stack them in neat rectangles in your drawer, so that you’ll be able to see them all at a glance. It may be a chore to do at first, but keep practising and soon it’ll be a habit that you won’t think about twice.

(Related: Decluttering tips from Marie Kondo)


2. Schedule a deep clean for every quarter.

A home can start to show signs of neglect if you don’t keep it properly cleaned and care for. Set aside a weekend every three months to do chores like washing your curtains, cleaning the stove, and all the other little things that often get overlooked during regular housekeeping. For a checklist of things you should do during a deep clean, click here.

(Related: Spring Cleaning checklist)


3. Sort mail as soon as it arrives.

Photo: Ikea

Hands up if you have unopened envelopes lurking in a corner of your house, or if your dining table is cluttered with flyers. Make it a point to sort mail as soon as it arrives – all junk mail like unwanted flyers go straight into the bin, and letters for each family member are handed out or go into a mail organiser. You can use a set of small drawers or hanging organiser (we like the NORDRANA organiser from Ikea), or even make your own with upcycled cereal boxes.


4. Stop the hoarding by keeping a list.

It can be tempting to stock up on things, especially during a sale, but it can overwhelm your house, especially if you have very little space to begin with or forget that you’ve already bought something. To stop overbuying or hoarding, keep a list on your phone of all the things you’ve stocked up on – when you’re about to buy something, check the list first. You might be surprised that you already have six shampoo bottles, or two crates of canned drinks.

(Related: Things to throw away or replace when spring cleaning)


5. Recycle properly without contaminating others’ efforts.

Photo: National Environment Agency

Although Singapore’s recycling plants don’t require us to sort our items beforehand like Japan, we should still make an effort to keep them clean. Oils and liquids from unwashed containers can seep out and soak into paper, cardboard, and fabric – contaminating them and rendering them unrecyclable. Wash and dry your food and drink containers thoroughly first before consigning them to the recycling bin.