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Quick, effortless ways to stop clutter from building up at home

There are plenty of guides on how you can declutter your home, but what about ways to prevent clutter from building up in the first place?

We round up a few easy tips on avoiding having too much stuff around so you do not have to deal with it later on.

GO PAPERLESS

Organise electronic delivery of your bills and statements from banks, utility providers and credit card companies.

Not only does it make for easier access when you have them all saved in one folder on a cloud or on your desktop, it will save you plenty of headache sifting through paper bills too.

SKIP THE FREEBIES

Before accepting one, consider if it is something you will use, or if it will make for an additional object that you have to make space for.

The first step to reducing clutter is really to stop welcoming stuff into the home, especially items that do not suit your lifestyle habits.

CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE TYPES OF GIFTING

Gifts are also often relegated to the back of our closets. And they come with sentimental value, making it especially hard to re-gift or donate.

Come holiday season or your birthday, talk your loved ones into having a no-gift arrangement - consider things and experiences such as movie tickets, a donation to a charity of choice in your name, edible gifts or just celebrating with a meal.

HAVE A HOME FOR EVERYTHING

Carve out storage space for everything and keep similar objects together - it will save you the pain of trying to figure out where an item should go (and ultimately leaving it on the kitchen table).

Plus, it will allow you to see if there are already two or more of the same item.

Investing in aesthetically pleasing storage containers will also give the appearance of a clean, minimalist space.

15-MINUTE DAILY CLEAN-UP

Allocate a short period of time each night after work to give a particular spot a quick tidy-up. This can be clearing the kitchen counter of dishes and appliances, folding a pile of laundry or tossing out expired stuff in your fridge.

These 15 minutes in your daily routine will save you a whole lot of pain when it comes to deep-cleaning days.

KEEP COMMUNAL SPACES NEAT

Everyone's personal stuff should go into their bedroom, so communal spaces such as the living room will not be strewn with knick-knacks and personal belongings.

Each partner should have their own drawers and closet space, and the kids' toys should be in their bedroom,

And even if the kids' room is messy, at least the chaos will be confined, and it makes for easier tidying up. Get the kids in on the process of placing their toys and belongings in allocated baskets or on shelves.

WHEN THE BUYING STOPS...

So will your clutter. We are all for retail therapy and it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the sales season, but unnecessary purchases will only add to the untidiness.

Before spending on another decorative item that your shelf does not have the space for, hit pause on that check-out button. Your wallet and home will thank you for it.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly (www.womensweekly.com.sg).

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