Will 2016 be a year of less clutter? Top interior tricks to help you banish the mess
Clean out last year's clutter with these top tricks
Just about this time every year, I start to feel like the holiday decorations are closing in. The Christmas decorations that were so cosy back in December begin to feel cluttered and claustrophobic as I start to count the days until spring. The traditional spring clean might be a long way off, but it's always nice to start the new year with a fresh start.
That said, we all need to take some steps to make a New Year's tidy a little more tempting. It starts with a brand new and flashy bin, a few great organising tools, and even a few natural tricks to get your home fresh and clutter-free for 2016.
The new year is the perfect time to clear out those toxic chemicals we so often rely on to do the dirty work for us. Instead, whip up inexpensive and natural cleaners that will do the trick just as well.
Start with the power duo of natural house cleaning: vinegar and lemon juice.
Vinegar will work wonders on almost any floors; simply mix a quarter pint into a bucket of warm water and mop away. To clean clogged drains, pour vinegar down, let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse with water.
Mix lemon juice with a few teaspoons of cream of tartar to make a paste that will make your tile grout sparkle. Or rub lemon juice onto taps to soften limescale overnight.
Just make sure to finish with your lemon juice jobs, leaving your home smelling citrus fresh!
Well, our dear Orla Kiely has gone and done it again, this time in collaboration with brilliant bin company Brabantia. If this doesn't have you taking the trash out, I'm not sure what would.
Buy it: Orla Kiely for Brabantia bin, from €150, Arnotts and Kilkenny Stores
When was the last time you bought new house cleaning equipment? Ten years ago? Well go on, splurge just a little and see if it doesn't make a difference to have a dust pan that isn't caked in years' worth of dust and grime. Start with a new dust pan and brush, maybe a new broom, and a set of new dust rags.
Buy it: Bentley English dust pan set, €15, Homebase
With the selection boxes down to the last crumbs and only the orange wrappers left in the Roses container, it's time for a kitchen clean-out. How long have those granola bars been in the back of the press? Think those soup tins have been in there since 2010? Spend an hour binning and saving the kitchen contents. What makes the cut can get a new home in these cute containers.
Buy it: Ashley Thomas tins, €25 for the set, Debenhams
We're all for quirky helpers to get the dirty job done. This Star Wars desk hoover is equal parts cool and useful. Take him to work and give your office area a once-over when you start back after the Christmas holidays. Then let him keep you company while you crunch those numbers.
Buy it: Star Wars desk hoover, €10, Penneys
The bathroom is a major clutter culprit in most homes. With the ladies, it's hair bobbins and old make-up multiples in vanity drawers. With the lads, it's junky old razors and empty deodorant cans taking up space. Be ruthless; throw away anything you won't use in the next month. You can maximise storage in a bathroom with containers that can sit on a shelf, but unless you're storing cotton balls or buds, make sure the tins are opaque. Glass containers full of razors and make-up will clutter small spaces quickly.
Buy it: Hammered copper storage container, €12, Tesco
I wear the same three pairs of earrings and the same two necklaces every week. I certainly have more in my collection, but they're buried at the bottom of a drawer, hopelessly tangled. Invest in a stylish jewellery storage container, like this acrylic Oliver Bonas marvel, and your neglected jewels will instantly spruce your wardrobe.
Buy it: Oliver Bonas acrylic jewellery organiser, €50, oliverbonas.com