8 Steps To Decluttering Before Christmas

Are you looking around your house wondering where you’re going to put the Christmas tree? If your house feels a little like it is bursting at the seams and you know that adding the Christmas decorations is going to make it feel cluttered, then you need to do a clear out before you drag those decorations down from the attic.

I’m tackling my house at the moment. It started because we’re swopping bedrooms around so it’s the perfect excuse to do a clear out when emptying wardrobes but now I’ve extended it to downstairs too. Here’s my tips for doing it as painlessly and quickly as possible.

1. Decide what you define as “clutter”. Clutter really is all the stuff that takes up space and doesn’t add any value to you or your home. Remember William Morris’s mantra “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” and follow it.

2. This is a good time of year to give to charity shops so don’t bag up all the stuff and leave it in the garage for weeks. Put each bag or box into the car as you fill it and drive to a charity shop the next time you’re in town. The clothing banks also take clothes and blankets and are usually placed in recycling centres or town car parks. Alternatively, make some money by advertising nearly new products on Done Deal or eBay or go along to a car book sale. If you haven’t worn a dress in two years, it’s probably time for it to be donated. If you’ve never used that kitchen gadget and it’s taking up valuable cupboard space, give it away. If an electronic gadget hasn’t worked in months, either get it repaired or get rid of it.

3. There may be some things that have sentimental value but if you just want to keep them for posterity, store them away in the attic. I have childrens books that I read as a child and my children have read. They are taking up space in our bookshelves but as my children have outgrown them and I’m too sentimental to give them away, they’re being packed away in boxes and are going to live in the attic for a couple of decades until grandchildren come along!

4. Decluttering can be a little overwhelming so make your goals realistic. Do you have time to tackle one room each day? Or if you only have half an hour, tackle one desk or one drawer. You need to feel a sense of accomplishment so make it achievable. Setting a timer will keep you focused if you’ve a goal of clearing out a dressing table in an hour. Finish one room before starting another or the house will be in a “it gets worse before it gets better” state for days and you’ll start to despair.

5. Work out what created the most clutter and devise a plan to prevent it happening again. What are you in the habit of hoarding? Do you have too much storage space or not enough? Storage containers, ottomans and trunks are great for storing things but they should be things you use on a seasonal basis, not things that you store away for evermore.

6. Moving furniture around, even if it’s just changing the position of the sofa and armchairs in the living room, can give it a fresh feel. Adding a couple of Christmassy cushions to the sofa will give it a festive touch without going overboard. Is there a corner of the living room that tends to become cluttered more quickly than anywhere else? Work out why – maybe moving the furniture around will change people’s habits of putting the newspapers, magazines, and other clutter in that corner.

7. Clear the surfaces of the mantelpieces, hall tables, side tables, coffee tables, the tops of bookshelves and windowsills. You need to create room on them for the Christmas decorations anyway. Are there things that are taking up space and you don’t like them any more or they don’t add anything to the decor or atmosphere? Are there things that can be given away? Some things could be stored away over the Christmas period to make way for the decorations and you can assess whether to keep them or not when you take them back out in a month’s time.

8. Before you decorate for Christmas, apply some decluttering to the decorations too. Are there any old ones that are really past their best? Just how many decorations are in the box and never ever make it up onto the tree as they were made by the children ten years ago? Is that mantelpiece too cluttered? Remember that less is more. Living our lives “the hygge way” is very fashionable at the moment but it really is about taking the time to ensure your home is as calming as possible by removing clutter and creating a cosy atmosphere during the winter months with candles and blankets and cheerfulness.

8 steps to decluttering for Christmas

Right, I’m back to the next thing on my “declutter” list which is the very large and very deep cupboard under the stairs. I may be some time! When are you putting up your Christmas decorations?

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Results and Video of our November Draw 2016

tradesmen.ie monthly draw

Hi folks,

here are the results and video of our November Draw 2016. Each month we have a draw for everyone who hires a tradesman and provides feedback. So not only do you get up to 4 quotes from Rated Tradesmen but you also are in with a chance to win a cash prize as well!

The draw for everyone who hired a tradesman and provided feedback in the month of October was held on November 30th. The results are as follows:-

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8 Tips To Keep You Safe This Christmas

It’s not December yet but with the Late Late Toy Show on next Friday night, I’d imagine lots of families will be getting their tree and the decorations in place to have the house looking festive and adding to the Christmassy atmosphere. No one wants to end up in A & E or even experience any small accidents when decorating so here’s eight safety tips to ensure that while the house looks suitably festive, you’re all hale, hearty and feeling safe and cosy while watching the Toy Show.

1. Ladders

Don’t stand on coffee tables or chairs to reach the top of the tree or the ceiling. Even just writing that has made me remember the time my cousin fell off a chair when changing a lightbulb and ended up breaking his leg! It sounds dramatic but it does happen. Ensure the ladder is on even ground and that the safety catches are in place. If you’re putting decorations on the roof, on the gable end of the house or within a double height hallway, make sure someone is standing on the bottom rung of the ladder to stop it from tipping. Don’t be tempted to lean over too far to one side when you’re up that ladder either – it’s much safer to climb down, move the ladder and climb up again.

2. Candles

Candles add atmosphere to a room too via their flickering light and their scent but never leave them unattended. If there are young children around, ensure candles are out of reach. It may sound obvious but don’t place them near curtains, Christmas cards or decorations. It does happen that a candle placed on a mantelpiece can ignite the cards beside it as it burns down.

3. Lights

If your Christmas lights are starting to look like they have seen better days, in terms of the wiring starting to fray at all or a crack in the plug, it’s time to invest in new ones. Remember they are left on for hours and they are close to decorations and wrapped gifts which could ignite if there’s too much heat. Artificial trees should all be labelled “fire resistant” so check that’s on the box. Remember it doesn’t mean the tree won’t catch fire, it’s just more resistant.

4. Tree Placement

Place the tree in a part of the room where it won’t obstruct anything, there’s no danger of anyone falling over wires or over the lower branches, or of falling against it and knocking it over.

5. Young Children

The sparkle of decorations on a tree are enticing to young children so ensure that there aren’t any decorations on the lower branches that have sharp edges, parts that can be bitten off or that could shatter and cut their hands. Weight the tree down so it’s not easy to pull over should a toddler reach out to grab a branch. Much of the same advice applies to pets actually.

6. Wrapping Paper

Can wrapping paper carry a risk? Well, if the fire is lighting and a child throws the discarded wrapping paper into the fire without scrunching it up tightly first, the loose paper could fall out onto the hearth or even further, creating a serious fire risk.

7. Scissors & Knives

Between the sharp knife for carving the turkey, the scissors for opening well-cellotaped wrapping paper and boxes, or a knife instead of a screwdriver for assembling toys, you can see that lots of sharp implements in use while sipping on the wine, liquers or brandy may not be a good combination.

8. Food Poisoning

Check the cooking times for the weight of your turkey and remember to add more time if you’re stuffing the bird. If it was frozen, ensure you’re giving it enough time to defrost before Christmas morning. Prepare, plan, stay safe and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Will you be putting up your decorations before the Late Late Toy Show?

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Video Testimonial from Aine Nally

Hi folks,
here is a video testimonial we received a while ago from Aine Nally, Cabra, Dublin 7. Aine posted a job on Tradesmen.ie and was very happy with the result. You can see the video feedback below:-

 

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10 Ideas for Furnishing and Decorating A Teen Girl’s Bedroom

ten-ideas-for-decorating-furnishing-a-teen-girls-bedroomYour “little girl” is growing up, she’s now a teen girl and wants a bedroom revamp. She may even have decided there will be no pink in her new room design. In all likelihood, you won’t have that much say in the paint colours although she may seek approval for her own choices. She will need a room that is multi-functional even if it is small. A space for sleep, a zone to relax with friends and an area to study, not forgetting storage for clothes, shoes, sports or hobbies equipment and books.

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Why you need Plants in your Home

Vase plant on table with pillow on sofa decoration in living room interior

As winter approaches, the evenings darken earlier, our homes don’t get as much natural light and it’s not just our bodies that suffer from lack of Vitamin D but our homes can seem duller too. We all know that exercise such as gardening is good for us as it calms the mind as well as works the body so have you thought about the benefits of having plants indoors?

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Results and Video of our October Draw 2016

tradesmen.ie monthly draw

Hi folks,

here are the results and video of our October Draw 2016. Each month we have a draw for everyone who hires a tradesman and provides feedback. So not only do you get up to 4 quotes from Rated Tradesmen but you also are in with a chance to win a cash prize as well!

The draw for everyone who hired a tradesman and provided feedback in the month of August was held on October 31st. The results are as follows:-

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Getting Your Fire Ready For Winter

before-toasting-your-toes-heres-how-to-get-your-fire-or-stove-ready-for-winter-1Although our days have been remarkably sunny and mild this October, the evenings are getting chilly and the requirements for heat increases. But before you strike a match to the kindling in your fireplace or stove, you’ll need to do a few things to ensure the fire performs well all winter and perhaps more importantly, that it is safe.

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Video Testimonial from Pat Tierney

Hi folks,
here is a video testimonial we received a while ago from Pat Tierney, Garristown, Co. Dublin. Pat posted a job on Tradesmen.ie and was very happy with the result. You can see the video feedback below:-

 

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Getting Your Front Door Ready For Winter

how-to-get-your-front-door-ready-for-winterNow that hallow’een is approaching, our gardens need tidying up and they probably aren’t as colourful as they were during the summer. What can you do to make the front of your house and the hall door look more attractive as we head into the bare months of winter?

Hallow’een Decorating

Dress up your front porch for Hallow’een and you don’t have to spend a lot to make it look spookily festive.  These bare branches are appropriate so rather than moving these potted trees around to the back garden, leave them at the front but adorn them with something “spooky” such as these bats. Adding a few pumpkins or autumnal planting at the base will provide the colour.

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