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Never doing these things means less mess

Never doing these things means less mess
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Clutter-busting habits make all the difference between a messy home and a tidy one. So the first thing a professional organiser does is find a place for every single thing – then keep it there. This doesn’t mean purchasing sets of matching bins or decanting all your pantry foods into clear glass containers with hand-printed labels. Rule of thumb, if an organisational system (like decanting) actually increases the time and effort you’ll have to spend keeping things tidy, ditch it.

They don’t always alphabetise

They don’t always alphabetise
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Instead of assuming you must always alphabetise for easy access, try storing things by frequency of use. For example, those nesting mixing bowls that you frequently reach for should be kept on a low shelf and that crystal vase that you break out every Valentine’s Day should go higher up. This goes for smaller things like spices, too. “I never alphabetise my spices, because I don’t use allspice as often as I use thyme,” explains workplace productivity expert Susie Hayman.

They don’t mix dissimilar things

They don’t mix dissimilar things
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Speaking of spices, Vicki Norris, organising expert and “life reclaimist” of Restoring Order tells us she never co-mingles sweet and savoury spices on the same shelf. Why? Because “on a bleary-eyed morning, no one wants to accidentally put chilli powder in their oatmeal instead of cinnamon!”

Here are 20 more things you’re doing in the kitchen that chefs probably wouldn’t. 

They don’t hang onto donations

They don’t hang onto donations
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To avoid letting unused things pile up, Tamah Vega of Tamah Vega Design has a rule we can all get on board with, “Never go without a donation bag in the house ready for items you no longer need.” This way the minute you decide you’re ready to donate the item, you can have it ready to go.

Here are 17 things you need to throw out asap. 

They don’t leave computer files unnamed

They don’t leave computer files unnamed
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After downloading a file, Andrew Mellen, author of Unstuff Your Life! immediately renames it and saves it in the appropriate folder. This way you avoid wasting time trying to remember its name or where to look for it next time you need it.

Learn more about how to create an orderly home office. 

They don’t let the mail pile up

They don’t let the mail pile up
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“I deal with it all as soon as I get it,” explains Jessica Dolan, owner of Room to Breathe. She sorts, tosses and shreds junk mail, then immediately deals with whatever remains. Better yet, eliminate junk mail before it even gets to you.

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They don’t forget to run errands

They don’t forget to run errands
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Move items – like those books to return to the library or returns you are taking back to the store – from house to your car trunk immediately, shares Amy Trager, certified professional organiser. “If they’re already in my car, I’m more likely to get them taken care of,” she says. Keep car clutter to a minimum too and you’ll always have room to store.

They don’t keep the old version

They don’t keep the old version
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Once you have made a decision to replace an item, let the original go, suggests Birdie with Birdie Brennan Custom Closets & Organising. Her rule, “never keep something that you have replaced.” That’s especially true for tech items you’ve upgraded – learn how to recycle or donate your outdated devices.

They don’t bunch up bags

They don’t bunch up bags
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Instead of storing reusable bags in the house, Sheryl Hadley, president of Organisation & Relocation, puts them right back in her car after every use. This way you won’t forget them when you go to the store and you won’t have a messy pile of bags cluttering up your house. Win win.

Here are 30 more ways to save space at home. 

They don’t unload handbags halfway

They don’t unload handbags halfway
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When you switch handbags, empty the current one out completely, Vega advises. Otherwise, you might lose track of your favourite lipstick – or that licence or credit card that never made it back into your wallet.

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team