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How to Declutter Your Home

Let’s Deep Dive into the Concept of Decluttering

Learn to make your home work for you.

With residents across Dubai returning home and gearing up for life as usual, let’s revisit the Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘declutter’: “to remove things that you do not use so that you have more space and can easily find things when you need them”, implying the main motivation for decluttering is that we can find things quickly when we need them and make more space. This is partly true, yes, but this definition does not reflect the impact of decluttering on a person’s lifestyle. 

I believe that the main function of decluttering is something much more important. It changes the way you live in your home. By removing what you don’t need, you create space for calm and mindful living and make it a place you love to live in. According to Marie Kondo, decluttering only has an impact if it is all done at once – not throwing out one item a day and doing it gradually. And I have to agree with her. When you declutter an entire wardrobe or defined space in one session, you will see and feel its impact. You will feel lighter and feel a sense of relief, which is all you need to change your life from that point onwards.

Watch the Video: 6 Steps to Decluttering Your Home

How Do I Start?

No two people have the same clutter – what is clutter to me is not clutter to you. It is subjective. This is why there are no specific instructions about what to declutter. There are, however, steps to follow in order to guide you through the process of decluttering. After all, decluttering is the first step to starting a new lifestyle. Once you intentionally decide what you need to keep in your home to live your ideal life, you have established the path to clutter-free living.

Organising and storing your items is not going to change your life because you will constantly be tidying items that you do not need. Now you may ask: when does one organise and store their items? That step comes after decluttering. Your space can only be successfully organised if you have decluttered properly. This is why I have developed the following six specific steps to get you started correctly – and successfully!

ways to tidy and organize your home

1. Identify the Cluttered Space

The space you identify could be one of three things: a room, a smaller space, or a category of things. A room is the easiest thing to identify due to its physical boundary of walls. A room can also be the hardest thing to declutter as it can be large with various zones and many different items. Make sure to set aside at least four hours for a good declutter session to get the desired effect. A smaller space can include a closet, a nook, a bathroom cupboard, the bedside table, the kitchen drawers, or the fridge. These are spaces that keep the same sort of items performing one function together. These take less time, but are very rewarding as you can declutter it one session.  

Decluttering by category refers to groups of items that could be in more than one place in the house. Examples include children’s toys, toiletries, cleaning products, or kitchen equipment. Often, this is a very efficient way to declutter as you are targeting all the items in that category at home. For example, you may have toys in more than one room, so you need to get all the toys out from all the rooms, declutter them, and then decide where they will go. It might be somewhere new that works better for the family. Cleaning products is another category that can be spread around the house – in the kitchen, bathrooms, or laundry area. When decluttering these areas, think of all the cleaning products in the house and do a stock take of all items to make sure you know exactly what you have in the house before you declutter. 

2. Visualise the Space

Think of the details. How do you want the space to look and feel? What colours do you see? Is there a photo on Instagram or Pinterest that inspires you? Do you like neutral colours? Do you want that spa feel in your bathroom? Then think about why you want this feeling – really hone into your ultimate goal for your home and keep this in your mind throughout the process. 

Declutter Your Home From Professional Organizers

3. Start to Declutter

Take all items out of the space and spread them out on the floor or on a table. Pick up each item individually and ask yourself these few questions to determine where it needs to go:

  • Do you need it?
  • Does it add value to the life you want?
  • Does it belong to the vision of this space or should it go elsewhere in the home?

4. Sort Items Into Categories 

Sort items into four storage boxes – Keep, Donate, Dispose, Recycle – while you are decluttering. Dedicate a space in the room to put the ‘Keep’ items. The rest of the items will go into the ‘Donate/Dispose/Recycle’ containers. Cardboard boxes or baskets are ideal, but make sure that they are clearly labeled and accessible nearby. You can use a marker on some tape or write directly on the boxes. Having these boxes at hand helps you make a decision quickly. You need to put the item in one of the three boxes if you are not keeping it.

It can also be motivating to have the ‘Donate’ box nearby in order to encourage you to get rid of items as you know someone else will make better use of it than you currently are. In the ‘Donate’ box, you might also identify some items you want to sell. You can address this at a later stage or have a separate box for sale items. It is time to give yourself a pat on the back when you have completed this step – it’s the most challenging part of the decluttering process. You may feel drained and exhausted as a result of all the decision-making, so take a well-deserved break as you only have two more steps to go. 

5. Take Immediate Action

As soon as you have gone through all the items in the identified space, move the boxes out immediately. Take the recycling to the recycle depot or bin that day. For donations, do your research about where to take certain items. A professional organiser can help you with this, too. At this stage of the process, it is often easy to feel tired and unmotivated to carry on. Donating items is rewarding and will give you the motivation you need to keep going. 

How to Declutter Your Home

6. Give Yourself Some Love 

Decluttering is no easy feat. People avoid it all the time as it is mentally draining and takes time. However, if you get it right and achieve your goal, decluttering can be life-changing. You’ll feel light and have a huge sense of achievement. You’ll also feel proud as throwing out items that once meant something to you is not easy. However, understanding that those items are no longer adding value to your life is even more important. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, put those feet up, and visualise the calm and peaceful space that is to come. 

After decluttering, the next steps include allocating storage, organising the items, and beautifying the area. Not only can a professional organiser coach you through the decluttering process, but also provide you with their expert opinions on storage solutions and organisational methods that will calm and simplify your space. Make your home work for you already! 

If you would like to know more about the art of decluttering, visit Fern McGahey’s website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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Your Guide on How to Rent in Dubai

Stretch Your AED

Dubai is a bustling city with a thriving real estate market, making it a popular destination for expats and locals alike. With a wide range of apartments and villas available for rent, finding the perfect place to call home can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of renting in Dubai and provide tips to help you find your dream home.

Understanding the Dubai Rental Market

Before diving into the rental process, it’s important to understand the current state of the Dubai rental market. In recent years, there has been an increase in the supply of rental properties, leading to a decrease in rental prices. This means that now is a great time to rent in Dubai, as you may be able to find a better deal than in previous years. However, the opposite is true during certain months of the year. Rental prices in Dubai tend to increase during the peak season, which typically falls between September and April. This period coincides with the cooler months in Dubai. Residents and tourists coming in during these months increase the demand for rental properties rises, leading to an upward pressure on prices.

Types of Properties Available for Rent

Dubai offers a variety of rental properties, including apartments, villas, and townhouses. Apartments are the most common type of rental property, with a range of options from studio apartments to large penthouses. Villas and townhouses are typically larger and more expensive but offer more space and privacy.

Popular Areas for Renting

When it comes to choosing a location to rent in Dubai, it’s important to consider your budget, lifestyle, and proximity to work or school. Some popular areas for renting include Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, and Jumeirah Lakes Towers. These areas offer a mix of residential and commercial properties, with easy access to amenities and transportation.

The Rental Process

Now that you have an understanding of the rental market in Dubai, let’s walk through the steps of renting a property.

Determine Your Budget

Before you start your search, it’s important to determine your budget. This will help narrow down your options and prevent you from overspending. In Dubai, it’s common for landlords to require a security deposit and multiple rent cheques upfront, so be sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Start Your Search

With your budget in mind, you can start your search for the perfect rental property. You can browse listings online, work with a real estate agent, or visit properties in person. It’s important to view multiple properties and compare prices and amenities to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Submit Your Documents

Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, you’ll need to submit your documents to the landlord or real estate agent. These documents typically include a copy of your passport, visa, and Emirates ID. You may also be required to provide proof of income or employment.

Sign the Tenancy Contract

If your application is approved, you’ll need to sign a tenancy contract. This contract outlines the terms of your rental agreement, including the duration of the lease, rent amount, and any additional fees or clauses. It’s important to read and understand the contract before signing.

Pay the Rent and Security Deposit

Before moving into your new rental property, you’ll need to pay the first rent cheque and security deposit. The security deposit is typically equivalent to one month’s rent and will be returned to you at the end of your lease, provided there is no damage to the property.

Register Your Tenancy Contract

In Dubai, it’s mandatory to register your tenancy contract with the Ejari system. This can be done online or through a typing centre. The cost of registration is typically split between the landlord and the tenant.

Tips for Renting in Dubai

Now that you know the rental process, here are some tips to help you find the perfect rental property in Dubai.

Work with a Real Estate Agent

While it’s possible to find a rental property on your own, working with a real estate agent can make the process much easier. They have access to a wide range of properties and can help negotiate the terms of your lease.

Consider Your Commute

Dubai is a large city, and traffic can be a major issue during rush hour. When choosing a location to rent, consider your commute to work or school. Living closer to your daily destinations can save you time and money on transportation.

Negotiate the Rent

Don’t be afraid to negotiate the rent with the landlord. In the current rental market, landlords may be willing to lower the rent or offer additional amenities to secure a tenant. It’s always worth asking for a better deal.

Read the Contract Carefully

Before signing the tenancy contract, be sure to read it carefully and ask for clarification on any terms you don’t understand. This will help prevent any surprises or issues during your tenancy.

Be Prepared for Additional Fees

In addition to the rent and security deposit, you may be required to pay additional fees such as a commission to the real estate agent, a maintenance fee, or a fee for using the building’s amenities. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Renting in Dubai can be a daunting process, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can find the perfect rental property for your needs. Remember to determine your budget, work with a real estate agent, and carefully read and negotiate the terms of your tenancy contract. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to finding your dream home in Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key factors to consider when choosing a neighbourhood for renting in Dubai?

Choosing the right neighbourhood involves considering factors such as proximity to work, amenities, lifestyle preferences, and budget. Our guide provides insights into popular neighbourhoods, helping you make an informed decision based on your unique needs and preferences.

How can I budget wisely when renting in Dubai, and what additional costs should I be aware of?

Budgeting wisely is crucial for a successful renting experience. Our guide outlines average rental prices in different neighbourhoods and explores additional costs such as security deposits and agency fees. Understanding these financial aspects ensures that you find a rental property that aligns with your budget and financial goals.

What legal aspects should I be aware of when renting in Dubai, and how do I navigate the tenancy laws?

Navigating tenancy laws is essential for a transparent and fair renting experience. Our guide provides an overview of Dubai’s tenancy laws, including standard lease durations, the renewal process, and the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. Understanding the legal aspects ensures that you enter into a rental agreement with confidence and clarity.

What is Ejari?

Ejari is an online registration system in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that aims to regulate and document rental contracts. It is a government initiative designed to ensure transparency and fairness in the rental market. Ejari requires landlords and property management companies to register their tenancy contracts and obtain a unique Ejari number. This registration provides legal protection for both tenants and landlords and helps maintain a reliable database of rental agreements in Dubai.

Are there any fees associated with Ejari registration?

The cost of Ejari registration typically includes a government fee, a typing center fee for document preparation, and any additional service charges from the registration service provider. The specific fees may vary depending on the type of property and the registration period.

Who are the top rental agents in dubai for renting a property?

Here are some of the most reputable real estate agencies that are known for their expertise in property rentals:

  1. Betterhomes: A leading real estate agency in Dubai with a strong presence in the rental market.
  2. Asteco: A well-established real estate firm offering property leasing services in Dubai.
  3. Hamptons International: Known for their premium property offerings, Hamptons International specialises in high-end residential properties.
  4. Allsopp & Allsopp: A popular real estate agency with a dedicated rentals team that focuses on finding suitable rental options for clients.
  5. Chestertons: Another reputable agency of rental properties in Dubai with expertise across different areas and cater to both residential and commercial rental needs.

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