We at HouseCraftToday did a special curation for mother’s day.

Is your mum a cat lover? We found the perfect mug for her!

cat love mug - kitten valentines gift cats
Cat Lovers Mug

If your mum is a positive and grateful person she may enjoy this cushion to remind her of her gratefulness every day

Wake Up Grateful Cushion

If you are the funny type here is a perfect gift for moms you like to have good laugh with

Mother's Day Mug
Keep Calm and Love Mom Mug

This fantastic candle is ideal brighten your mum’s day and lift her mood up

Uplifting Organic Aromatherapy Candle

For mums that love the bees and the planet, the Bee Lovely Hand Wash is not only organic and fair trade but helps save the bees and the ecosystems that depend on them

Bee friendly hand wash for planet conscious buyers
Bee lovely Hand Wash

If you want to declutter your home, the most effective way to do this is to work in, an organised, ordered fashion that tackles one area at a time. Many people end up with a house filled to bursting with unnecessary items due to a penchant for sentimentality. There can be hundreds of products cluttering your space under the premise that you might need them one day.

The best ways to organise and declutter your closet ideas are easy to implement and give you significant benefits for a minimal investment of time, energy, and money. By knowing where and how to focus your resources, you can achieve your goals faster and with much less effort than you may have thought possible.

1. Make a Plan

Divide your outline by room and within each room, by zone. Break each job down into small, achievable tasks and estimate how much time each task will take.

MAGNETIC WEEK FAMILY PLANNER

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2. Clean, Repair and Measure Your Closet

Clean the walls and floor of your space. Do light repairs, fill in holes, sand, and paint. Finally, measure the area’s width and depth. You’ll need these measurements later when choosing organising products.

3. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter

If you implement only one of these closet organising ideas, make sure it’s this one. The only way to optimise your use of space, is to get rid of the things that do not add value. This would include anything that is damaged, worn out, ill-fitting, or out of fashion. Go through everything and make decisions about what to keep and what to sell, donate, or discard.

4. Separate the Seasons

This is perhaps the most overlooked of all closet organising ideas. The use of your closet should be restricted to the storage of items that are in season and in active rotation in your wardrobe. To maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of your space, remove belongings that are out of season and find alternative places to store them.

5. Sort and Categorise Your Belongings.

Categorization will help you to determine how much storage space to allot to each grouping and also help you to identify the types of closet organising components you need. The broadest categories are clothing, footwear, and accessories. These can be further subdivided by type (e.g. shirts, dresses, pants, etc.), use (formal, business, casual, sport), and colour.

6. Install a Closet Organizing System.

A system can be customised according to your needs and your budget. It allows you to harness every inch of usable space while the components keep your belongings safely stowed and accessible when you need them.

POCKETS ORGANISER – FOR SOCKS, UNDERWEAR AND MORE

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7. Repack Your Closet Top to Bottom.

Store your belongings according to how high they are worn on your body – hats and scarves at the top, shirts, and pants in the middle, and shoes at the bottom. Place the things that you wear most often in the most accessible places.

8. Find Alternative Storage Options for Overflow.

There are many spaces, other than your closet, that can be used for the storage of clothing, footwear, and accessories. You can install shelving and hooks to harness wall space, use under and over the door organisers, and use a trunk and other furniture.

By putting these closet organising ideas to use, you can create a space that is orderly, functional and practical. You’ll enjoy many benefits, including relief from stress and frustration, enhanced aesthetic appeal, and time and energy savings.

Kondo, a Japanese organising consultant brought about a huge craze throughout the world with the publishing of her book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

The book propelled her to gaining a celebrity status in Japan as she emphasises that decluttering your house changes your life for the better. At the moment, there is a three-month-long waiting queue of people who would wish to experience her services. Marie introduced the world to the Japanese art of decluttering, which appears a tad wacky but it comes with great pointers.

Below are some useful tips and principles that you can pick from her approach to organise your house better.

Declutter the japanese way

Anything that does not “spark joy” should be discarded

You should not assume by just looking at your closet that everything inside gives you a spark of joy or thrill. You must take each and every outfit in your hands and if it does not give you that spark of joy, you should get rid of it. Our homes are often filled with unwanted clothes that do not fit anymore, gifts and other unnecessary baggage. The secret to getting rid of all these items according to the Japanese art of decluttering is discarding everything immediately when it is not needed anymore. You should focus more on the items you need to keep rather than thinking about the items you need to get rid of.

Skip Buying Organizing Equipment

You should not go down to the container store to purchase some organising equipment; you already have all the storage you need in your home. Every family member ought to confront their own stuff as the Japanese art of decluttering advises against disposing of other people’s stuff secretly. After every member relegates all the unneeded stuff either to charity or disposes of it, the next step would be arranging what is left neatly.

According to Marie Kondo, you should aim to store your things in drawers and arrange them in a way that allows you to see everything at one glance. You should not stack your items as it is unkind to the items placed at the bottom. Ensure that your cupboards are reorganised in a meticulous manner to ensure everything fits perfectly from your fans at the bottom to your spare blankets on top.

Fold Clothes like Sushi

According to the Japanese art of decluttering everything should be folded for the first time like a long rectangle, then they should be folded further into another smaller rectangle. You should then roll the rectangle into a tube, just like a sushi roll is created. The ‘sushi rolls’ should then be set in your drawers in an upright position.

Tackle Categories of Things and not rooms

Most people usually tackle their house clutter room by room. However, the Japanese art of decluttering has a first rule that proposes that tidying up should be done by category. For instance, when decluttering your home ensure that you first of all deal with all your books, followed by the old photographs etc. However, the Japanese art of decluttering recommends that you start with your clothing first.

Lastly, the Japanese art of decluttering proposes that you should respect your belongings as it makes them look better. You should consider their feelings as it would assist you in storing them in a neater way.

Interested in reading the book? Here is the link to purchase it.

I love transparent acrylic see-through boxes to keep my small things organised. They give my bedroom and bathroom a classy look without looking tacky and they are real time-savers because I can clearly see what is inside them.

So here are a few boxes I would recommend for everyone that is a make-up and jewellery addict like me and wants to save space and time.

Oi Labels™ Large Clear Acrylic ‘Kardashian’ inspired 6 Section Cosmetics Jewellery Organiser Display

Want a home like the Kardashian’s one? Why not starting with your make-up?

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HQdeal Glamorous Foldable Acrylic Earring Screen Stand Display Organiser Jewellery Rack Hanger

I am a big fan of this one as it makes my jewellery really stand-out! Literally!! It also saves me from going to the store and buying new one when I don’t need.

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iLory 2pc Clear Acrylic Cotton Ball & Swab Holder Organizer Makeup Cosmetics Pads Q-tip Storage Container Box Case

A great accessory to keep your bathroom nice and tidy!

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Set of 6 Shoe Storage Drawers

Saves time to find your favourite shoes before leaving the house.

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6 Section Acrylic Tea Box

You can’t buy happiness but you can buy tea – and that’s kind of the same thing! Fancy a cuppa?

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mDesign Cosmetic Organizer with Lid for Vanity Cabinet to Hold Makeup, Beauty Products

Perfect bathroom or bedroom storage box for larger cosmetics, beauty products or make-up items.

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Large Clear Acrylic Storage/Display Box

Perfect for that unused space in the corner of you lounge…

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Tapioca flour is one of my favourite gluten-free flours. It tastes quite nice and can be mixed with sweet or savoury ingredients.

So here is a quick and easy 3-ingredient recipe:

  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour

  • 1 egg

eggs

  • cheese (optional)

You can use any cheese you want, cottage cheese makes it healthier and lighter but buffalo mozzarella, pecorino, cheddar or parmesan will also work.

In a bowl, add the egg and beat with a fork until fluffy.

Slowly add the 2 tbsp tapioca flour. For additional fluffiness and a better consistency, you can make tapioca crumble by adding a tiny bit of water to the flour, letting it stand for a few minutes and then use a sieve to separate the flour.

Add your favourite cheese. Parmesan cheese works very well and tastes nice.

Fry the pancakes with butter or coconut oil or just use a non-stick pan.

Coconut oil

Some fillings I recommend:

  • Turkey breast and cottage cheese
  • Goat’s cheese, tomato and onion (as picture above)
  • Smoked salmon with some lemon juice and low-fat cream cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Roast vegetables
  • Chia pudding and fruit

Just be creative, send us your favourite filling by commenting below!

Once you have made your decision to change your mindset, read my article on decluttering mindset here, it’s time to take action.

Here is a step by step guide on how I am managing to keep a tidier home. I still have a bit of clutter accumulating every now and then but at least I am enjoying the little spaces and corners of my home I have created.

Decluttering guidelines:

  • One thing at a time – Organise one part of the house at a time and don’t spend too much time on one task so you don’t feel exhausted afterwards. Book 20 minutes every couple of days or on a weekend to quickly organise one specific thing, could be a box of make-up, one drawer, one table, one small chest of drawers. Just get it done, even if you don’t feel like it. You will be surprised with how much you can achieve in just a few minutes and maybe you will even stay motivated to spend a bit more time once you see the result. Why not taking a picture of your before and after and sharing that with me?!

  • Set a goal for each space – I have now separated a pile of books and magazines I never read, but really want to read. Book another 20 minutes every couple of days to really enjoy your new decluttered spaces. It could be some reading, doing your nails, using some beauty products from last Christmas that you were saving and never got round to opening, doing a fun activity like crafts, playing some music. The human brain likes rewards so if you can reward yourself for all your hard work it is more likely you will enjoy keeping an organised home. If you do this enjoyable activity regularly, this also creates a habit and you will no longer accumulate clutter because that space now has a well-defined purpose.

  • Stop building clutter – Implement habits and methods to prevent new clutter from building up. Open your letters and immediately categorise them into junk, something to add to a file, something to act upon, something to take a photo with your phone and then discard. Do the same with paper boxes, soap boxes, empty bottles of shampoo, wine – throw these away or send to recycling immediately. Don’t buy any new clothes before you have donated some.

  • Declutter your calendar – Spend less time in activities that do not add value to your life – like gossiping with that neighbour you don’t even like! – and more time in activities that really matter to you.

  • Practice positive emotions – Be grateful for your achievements and never beat yourself up for not doing enough. Do not compare yourself with friends that are more organised than you, just think about how much you have already achieved. Enjoy the journey! Be compassionate. Think about things you can donate to a charity that could be useful to someone else and how many people around the world this could help. Meditate on these positive emotions and practice mindfulness.

 

So after spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve in lovely Lisbon I return to my London home with a mission.

Today I decided to throw away 10 things I paid a lot of money for and never used! Yes, that’s my New Year’s Eve challenge to start getting rid of all that clutter. My life is starting to become chaotic and I am wasting too much energy each time I look at the declutter mission so I have decided to take small steps towards getting rid of the stuff.

I found a free collection service for electrics and electronics. The nice thing about it is that they also destroy any data you may have stored on devices such as old mobile phones. I will let you know in another post how the service went after collection!

Here is my selection:

  1. Hair straightener – I don’t use this anymore after finding an amazing hairdresser who is doing a nice haircut and teaching me how to keep it straight when I blow dry it. On top of that, this is an old model that does not have temperature control and I have a more modern new generation one. I was hoping to ‘donate it to someone someday’ because I spent a lot of money back in the days… I don’t think anyone should use it, though! So this is going away.

2. Selfie-pod – Crap, does not work, it’s making me risk smashing my phone. I get bad feelings each time I look at it. I kept it again because it was ‘expensive’ for what it is… and I have only used it once or twice. Let’s face it! I will never use it anymore. It’s definitely going away!

3, 4 and 5 – Old gadgets nobody wants anymore – I have an old mobile phone and two cameras, but my smartphone takes much better pictures and I will not use this phone ever again. I tried to switch it on the other day and it did not work. These little things are going to go away and very quickly!

6. Underwater pack for my old camera – yes, this was expensive, this is why I kept a 2002 camera around for so long… gone!

7. Designer belt – I used to love going to rock concerts and wearing this stuff! It’s completely old fashioned now. I wanted to keep it as a memory or souvenir but it does not fit the vision I want for my new bedroom or my new grown-up woman dress style. Also, every time I look at it I remember a similar belt got taken from me by the doorman at a festival because it was a ‘dangerous’ item. It has to go. Charity shop now!

8. Gorilla gloves – These are going away for sure, not sure how they got into my flat in the first place! It totally does not fit my new minimalistic home vision.

9, 10, 11 and 12 – Perfume bottles – I have much better perfume now, don’t want these anymore. I think the bottles are tacky and don’t fit my bedroom and even though I like the smell of the perfume, I would not wear it. I am not throwing it away but using the perfume as room diffuser instead.

So that’s my 12 items of the day!! I managed to select more than ten things and consider this a personal victory.

How about you? Did you do start your New Year’s decluttering? Feel free to share your ten items with us!

Here is a great recipe to start 2017 with a healthy and nutritive diet. It is vegetarian, gluten and lactose-free.

Sweet potato is one of the world’s most nutritious foods and ideal for athletes and people looking to lose fat and build more muscle. It is rich in vitamins and minerals.

This gluten-free gnocchi uses only 3 basic ingredients plus any spices you may want to add.

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes (boiled in water until potatoes are soft enough to mash)
  • 1 egg
  • Gluten-free flour – I used 400 g but this may vary depending on the size of your egg and potatoes
  • Salt, black pepper, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon to season (optional)

How to prepare

– Remove the sweet potato skin and cut it into pieces. In a large bowl, mash the sweet potatoes with a fork.

– Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl, adding the optional spices to it. Mix well with the mashed sweet potatoes

– Gradually add the gluten-free flour and keep mixing with a fork and then with your hands. Keep adding flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands and you are able to roll it

– Roll the dough with your hands into long stripes – wet the hands with water if needed, but you should not need to if the dough has the right consistency. I used a wooden chopping board to make the rolls, you can add some gluten-free flour to the board to make sure the gnocchi does not stick to the wood.

– Cut the rolls into 2 cm wide pieces. To make them look nicer you can roll balls with your hands and decorate with a fork so they look like little seashells.

– Bring a pan of water to boil. Slowly drop the gnocchi in boiling water and boil for 20 minutes or until the gnocchis have floated to the surface.

– Scoop out with a pasta spoon or use a colander slowly

– Heat your preferred sauce in a separate pan – pesto, tomato sauce or any other pasta sauce and mix with the gnocchi.

Enjoy!

I feel inspired the most to write in the morning. Ideally when I’m in the underground after a brisk walk in the cold that allows me to get my circulation going and increases the blood flow in my brain – or so I heard. So I decided to start this blog and put into words some of my feelings about being a disorganised person.

I have always been a bit of a messy person, the kind of person that buys a lot of stuff and clutters the house. I’m on average I think, I’m nothing like those chronic hoarders in decluttering reality TV programmes who collect their daily newspapers for the past 10 years.

Little clutterers – cluttering as a kid

I have always believed in having an organised mess, that’s what my grandfather told me was the right thing to do, his tools storage room was a bit messy but he knew where everything was. My mum was a messy person too, I remember as a kid about a big box she had full of old and cracked nail polish. She would buy every single colour that was available back in the days and use it once or twice. Even though the box was all dusty I dreamt of growing up and becoming an adult so I could own exactly the same nail polish box. Believe me, I do, except that I keep my nail polish in a giant necessaire and throw it away once it cracks… Kids become mums 2.0!

Grown-up clutter mess continues…

Now I grew up, live in a tiny flat in London and even though I moved many times I have been living in the same place for the last 4 years. As a result, I have accumulated some clutter that is also a constant reason for arguments between me and my lovely boyfriend whose star sign happens to be Virgo. This means the most organised one! I have to admit he is totally right in complaining about my clutter.

Throwing things away is painful for me and has always been. Especially if I paid a lot of money for them. I tend to postpone decluttering because I think it is going to hurt.

Cleaners cannot help me either, here in London, they will quit their jobs if your place is too cluttered.

So I have decided do look online for a solution to my clutter problem.

First I thought about paying someone, a professional declutterer and even though this can help some people, I would not like the idea of another person going through my stuff and telling me what to do.

I asked friends for advice but it was useless. Some of them confessed they are tidy just because they have OCD which does not help me either!

So what is the solution? How to become clutter-free?

So if you’re an organised person reading this don’t judge your messy friends. We all envy your minimalistic lifestyles. We use the excuse of cosiness to accumulate more stuff! Instead what you could tell them is:

  1. Living a life without clutter is a state of mind
  2. The easiest way to get rid of your clutter is to change your mindset
  3. Even if you declutter once, clutter will keep coming back if you don’t develop systems to stop accumulating stuff

So here is one quote I saw online that changed my mindset forever. After listening to this guy I found the motivation to clean my kitchen in a couple of hours!!

When looking at a cluttered space the first thing you should think about is not about your stuff, how much you love it or how much you paid for it. Instead just think “What do I want out of this space? What do I want this space to do for me?”

What a realisation! After reading this I felt so empowered and in control again.

I looked at my stuff and thought: – Things, you all owe me a favour. Your life’s purpose is to serve me. If you are no longer serving me I need to fire you! Just like in The Apprentice.

I can be the boss here. I can be in control of my stuff and my life! I need to control my clutter before it controls me. So I began my feminist, women empowerment fight against ‘the stuff’. I felt like a heroine in a Netflix show.

I still did not take the courage to start decluttering with this new mindset yet, I know this will take time. Clutter means postponed decisions, I know, I know!

However, I am very excited about this journey and have started this blog so I can share my decluttering experience with the world and hopefully help others live a better, more fulfilled and minimalistic life too. I will post before and after photos of my decluttering here in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!