Friday, 6 June 2014

De-clutter and neutralise

My husband and I love to watch all the home make-overs on the Home channel on DSTV. One of the programs is where Ann Maurice comes in and shows people how to change things in their house so that it will sell. Her favourite words are "de-clutter" and "neutralise".

That means: get rid of all the unnecessary stuff that takes up space and make your home/room look smaller. (Also get rid of personal stuff like photos when you are trying to sell.) And paint the walls a neutral colour like white, beige, a pastel colour or a variation of a light brown / grey.

Years before we had DSTV - in fact, we only had SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and E-tv - we bought our first little flat in Blumenhof, Stellenbosch. The flat was a croc, disgusting, old fashioned and dirty. So each weekend we painted and "renovated".

We painted the old fashioned built-in cupboards white and added modern silver handles, we painted all the wall white, we had the carpets cleaned, we had the old fashioned taps and shower pipes re-chromed, we put a new layer of enamel in the bath, we put in a new toilet, my husband build and installed a wall cupboard in the bath room and put up a new folding door.  Then we renovated the kitchen, which was our highest expense at that time - R20 000 for the whole kitchen! Nowadays you will only be able to put a quarter of the cupboards in the kitchen for that price.

Then we bought cream curtains and a beige and cream duvet, we put cream throws over the couches and fresh flowers in the house...and wha-la: we sold the flat immediately at a little bit more than a 100% profit.

So, our gut feeling told as to de-clutter and neutralise. Years later when we started watching Ann Maurice's show, we just looked at each other and laughed - because we both thought at the same moment of our old little flat.

Now we have to apply this message in all aspects of our lives: de-clutter!

Yes, de-clutter means to throw away things you haven't used in years or give clothes that you haven't worn in year to charity...but it also means that you must finish what you have started. Is there half a blanket lying in a cupboard somewhere? Is that chair that broke last summer still not fixed? Have I still not sorted my study cupboard in which their is files of school work I haven't used in years? And that ever so long "to-do" list on the white board on the fridge...

Sometimes we feel "heavy" and depressed because their is just SO much stuff! Once you start cleaning, throwing old stuff out and completing unfinished tasks, you start feeling much better.
You will have an overwhelming sense of relief.

The latest thing I did was to finish a blanket I started knitting 2 years ago and then left lying in a cupboard.

I also try to wash the dishes and tidy up the lounge a bit before my husband gets home - because I know after a long day of complicated work he is exhausted and a clean de-cluttered atmosphere in the house always makes him feel better.

What unfinished task do you have?


  1. Hi daar!
    Goed gese!
    Ek moet klaar uitpak!

  2. Om te de-clutter is terapeuties vir mu

  3. Finally! Nou nog nie seker wat ek gedoen het om te comment nie but there we go!