Treecycling Is The Greenest Way To Go This Christmas
‘Tis the season to be sustainable – here’s how to recycle your Christmas tree in the UAE
Nothing beats having a real Christmas tree in the house as the focus of your festive decor – but disposing of it responsibly once the party season is over is often as annoying as treading on all those fallen pine needles with no shoes on.
To help make the whole process of saying farewell to your fresh fir tree a far more sustainable one, home improvement giant ACE has launched an environmentally-friendly recycling scheme designed to offset your festive carbon footprint.
Available at selected ACE stores across the UAE from January 2-16, the ingeniously-named Tree-Cycle Programme allows customers to drop off their unwanted (and undecorated!) real Christmas trees and have them recycled into a bag of compost, free of charge.
In collaboration with Y.E.S (Your Environmental Savings) Full Circle, the international, tech-based, climate change, and circular economy platform that supports people and organizations to become global sustainability champions, the ACE Tree-cycling program is open to all those who want to dispose of their trees in the most environmentally-friendly way. Better still, all those tree-cycling will benefit from a 10% discount voucher on the garden and outdoor products at select ACE stores when they go to collect their bag of compost.
Real festive trees can be dropped off at ACE’s stores in Dubai Festival City, YAS Mall, Abu Dhabi and its new branch at Dubai Festival Plaza.
For more details about the Tree-Cycle program, visit the ACE website.
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Living in the UAE usually means one thing for all of us: we need to move home at least twice while living here. Moving homes is considered as one of the most stressful events in one’s life. This is because there is a lot of worry and anxiety that comes along with the big change of living elsewhere.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make a move less stressful and work smoothly. It all depends on how well you organise your house move before, during, and after the move itself. Being organised when moving your house means you will be less anxious and your dream home will be realised much quicker. Here are six tips to get that house move organised smartly.
1. Make a To-Do List
You can make a to-do list in a notebook, laptop, or on your phone, but keep it somewhere you can easily access. The key to making a good to-do list is having a list that you can keep editing. Having a list helps keep you in check with what needs doing as you prepare for the move.
Items on the list might include organising the movers, listing maintenance jobs like painting the house, fixing household items, getting maintenance services for the new house, buying new curtains, sprucing up the garden, and so on. Keep your list tidy and in order, with dates of events. A messy list is not easy to read and can end up causing more confusion and stress.
2. Book a Reputable Mover
Scout movers on social media and read Google reviews or blogs to help you choose a mover that gets the job done well without too many problems. It might be worth spending a little more money choosing a moving company that gets it right and quickly the first time, which will help to keep stress to a minimum on the day. It’ll also save you from having to potentially replace improperly handled items later on.
3. Declutter Before the Move
Would you pay to move things you don’t even need in your home? Of course not. This is why you need to declutter so you can organise your house and move smartly. This may seem like an overwhelming task, but it is really worth it. The aim is to move into your new home with only the items you love and need.
The best way to start the decluttering process is to work through the house room by room. Give yourself time to declutter before you move too, as it will be challenging to try to do the whole house in one week. Allocate certain days when you will have energy and give yourself at least a month before the move to start. You may even do small sections – like the cutlery drawer, laundry room, or spice cupboard – in the evenings
Have a box dedicated to donations nearby so that you can easily place items in it as you declutter. Remember: as you declutter, keep the vision of how you want your new home to look and feel in your mind. This will help you decide what to keep and what to let go.
4. Have a Packing Plan
Before you start packing, create a plan. Planning out what to pack saves you time and money in the long run. Firstly, pack things that you don’t use daily. This means you get some items that don’t interfere with your daily life packed away before the move. Secondly, pack items according to the zone they are used for based on the new house. Another group of items you may want to pack before the movers arrive are sentimental and fragile items as these could get damaged or lost during the moving process. It may be best to organise these yourself.
Label all your boxes and items clearly so that the movers know what to put in which boxes and where they will go in your new home. Labels are essential instructions about what to pack and where, so label items, cupboards, or drawers in advance with tape to let the movers know where they should pack them. You can also colour code your labels; blue for the kitchen and red for the bathroom, for example.
5. Moving Day Tips
List all contacts on your phone. Have the numbers of the movers, maintenance company, estate agent, clearing companies, and other key players on hand to contact immediately when required.
Communicate clearly with movers. So often, I see people get frustrated because the movers are not sure of their clients’ expectations. Be clear when communicating what you expect from the move with the supervisor. Labelling boxes, spaces, and furniture in advance really helps movers know what to pack where.
Get childcare or petcare. If you have children or pets, plan ahead to get them daycare for moving day. It will definitely help to reduce the stress of moving as the last thing you need on this day is focusing your attention elsewhere. If daycare is not possible, think of ways to keep the kids entertained like activity books, new games, and snacks.
Wear comfortable clothes. Dressing comfortably makes everything else easier to manage. Wear clothes that you do not mind getting dirty, but also make you feel cool and comfortable.
Drink lots of water and have snacks. Moving in the UAE can often be hot work. Stay hydrated and keep up the energy levels with protein snacks and fruit.
Stay calm. Finding ways to keep the serotonin levels high is smart. Sleep well the night before, eat a nutritious breakfast, and remove yourself from stressful situations for a moment to do some deep breathing and refocus on the main objective – which is to move smartly.
6. Organise While Unpacking
Once your belongings have been safely moved into your new home, you need an unpacking plan. Identify zones for items before unpacking the boxes and move the boxes into these zones. This reduces the amount of disarray that could result whilst unpacking. Organising items into categories while you unpack will save you time later, bringing you closer to your goal of a calm and clutter-free home.
Once you have moved, remember to review the zones in your home after a couple of weeks. People need time to adjust to a new space, and often what seemed like a good idea for storage may not be functional once living in the space for a while. Keep moving items until you find that sweet spot where all items are stored in zones, are easily accessible, and have a place of belonging.
Ask yourself the following: “Does my new home look and feel like the vision I had?” “Is there anything that needs to be replaced or bought?” “Does everyone in the family have the zones they require to live productively and successfully?” Do not expect everything to be perfect in the first week. Give yourself time to adjust and, with careful review, it will soon become the home of your dreams.
The use of tiles in the interior space has been common practice for centuries, with the first use of decorative tiling dating back to Egypt in 4,000 BC. Long before carpets adorned floors, tiles were used to cover compacted mud and concrete and finish off interior spaces.
They were not only used on floors, but also fixed to walls in place of paints to depict art forms, with mosaic tiles used on walls to create elaborate finishes, along with simpler results such as plant or nature scenes. The Romans were particularly fond of mosaics, which they used to decorate floors, walls, and the poolside areas of their villas.
Mosaic patterns are still popular today, especially those featuring bold colours like reds, blues, and greens. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in popularity for tiling as an alternative to wallpapering or painting, with homeowners looking for something different that will stand the test of time – without being costly to maintain.
Keeping It Classic
Tile is one of the most versatile and beautiful materials for flooring. It can take on any style and look, from modern and sleek to traditional and timeless. Patterned tiles became a popular addition in Renaissance times and are popular once again.
When trying to create a classic, Renaissance-style theme, think tiles in sage green, royal blue, and creams with pretty flower motifs to create an authentic look. Such tiles were also prominent in the Victorian era (1830s to 1900), when patterned tiles were used to decorate floors and fireplace surrounds, in keeping with the era’s tendency to over-decorate spaces.
Wondering how to accent a period property authentically? Simply choose motif tiles with darker hues such as burgundy, navy blue, dark green, and red. Motif tiles are also the style used in many Grecian designs. Go for blues and whites and complete the look with smaller, glass mosaics.
Current Day Tiles
Tiles are the perfect way to create a bold, personal statement in your home. Today, tiles are available in many different sizes, finishes, and materials that allow you to put your personal stamp on your space. Depending on your taste and the concept you want to achieve, you can go for a higher-end, elegant Carrara marble tile versus a natural stone (which can be layered unevenly for a rustic finish) or a hardwearing granite tile (which will stand the test of time).
With a little imagination, you can also easily create your coveted design using the appropriate tiles and colour selections. It doesn’t matter what kind of space you’re looking to fill or what finishes appeal to your particular tastes; no matter which direction you go with these tiles, there’s sure to be something out there that will help you achieve the look and feel of your dreams.
Tiles can be so much more than just something to cover the floor or walls. They can be a way to bring culture and environment into your interior, creating a space that is both beautiful and relaxing. Culture and environment can be visible through tiles. Specific styles such as terracotta bring a Mediterranean feel to the interior, the natural colours instantly relaxing the space.
A classic Middle Eastern style is a beautiful combination of vibrant colours and floral or geometric patterns – inspired by Islamic architecture – laid out to create elaborate motifs, instantly transforming a space with the intricate design. Terracotta tiles come in many colours ranging from natural earthy tones like browns and greys to warm yellows and oranges. This means that they will work well in any type of room – kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom included.
Tiling Your Space
Tiles are a versatile and cost-effective way to add style, texture, and colour to any space in your home. They can also be used in a variety of different ways that don’t require you to use them as flooring or wall cladding.
Although tiles are usually found in bathrooms, kitchens, and general flooring areas, they don’t have to be relegated to these spaces. They can be just as effective on a wall service in the lounge area, for example. This will break up the paint and add texture to the room, along with additional sound insulation. It also provides a visual relief from the usual finishes.
Tiles can also be added to a space to create a border, division of space, or focal point. By using contrasting colour and patterns, you can create a truly unique space. Another way to include tiles is to use them to create a form or art, either on the floor or wall. Consider placing geometric shaped tiles to create an interesting feature.
To bring some charm into your space without feeling like it’s too much, subway tiles are a great option. These tiles don’t need to be patterned to create a sense of style. They can be simple and modern, or even go in the opposite direction and be rustic. Either way, they’ll look great in any room with an industrial feel.
Because they’re so cheap and simple, you won’t have to worry about them clashing with other elements of your decorating scheme. The subway tile is an easy way to spice up your space without going overboard on patterns or colours. By choosing a simpler tile, you will be able to spruce up the rest of the room with colour and personal objects.
Leanne Cooper is a Muscat-based interior designer. Visit @leanneclaire81 for more information.
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The entrepreneur on her vision, lightbulb moment, and more.
Did you know that tomorrow is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day? Created to celebrate, empower, and support women in business in order to alleviate poverty, the day is marked annually on November 19. Supporting the initiative, we’re continuing our series on female entrepreneurs today. In the past, we’ve spoken with the likes of Leena Al Abbas, Claire Lambert, Mona Kattan, and Emma Burdett about their entrepreneurial journeys, proving that the insights of Dubai’s female self-starters bring with them countless nuggets of wisdom. Case in point?Marcela Sancho, who is all about bringing guilt-free treats to the city.
After popping out for ice cream with her partner one afternoon in 2018, she was shocked by the lack of healthy options on offer for those looking for something that wasn’t packed with sugar, preservatives, or calories. Tapping into her partner’s extensive experience in the region’s frozen treats business, Marcela set about creating a refreshing and healthy alternative to what was available, co-founding House of Pops in the process. Not only is it the only Dubai-based ice cream brand with zero plastic packaging, but itsvegan all-natural fruit pops also contain no preservatives, colourings, E-numbers, nor refined sugar.
House of Pops
What was your ‘lightbulb’ moment?
One day, I was with my partner, out for ice cream and shocked that we couldn’t really see anything that was healthy on offer. Everything was high in sugar, high in fat, and packed with empty calories. Health and wellness had become a global trend, and more UAE consumers were moving into this category at the time, so that was our opportunity to take up the challenge and fill the gap in the market.
What was your vision when you first launched your business?
We wanted to be the number one choice when people thought of healthier ice cream, and create the healthiest form of ice cream that we possibly could. We wanted to be the first to bring the change – a disruption into this category – and believed we could have a strong share in the ice cream business, especially since my partner had extensive experience in the industry. Our mission was to provide consumers with an option to delight themselves guilt-free and, so, House of Pops was born. We launched our products at a farmers’ market and sold 100 pops that day. That was a great day.
Has the pandemic affected your business negatively or positively?
It had a positive effect. When people were locked at home, they were looking for something to indulge in to make themselves happy, and House of Pops was the perfect solution as a healthy treat. We already had a very strong e-commerce structure in place, so we were able to cope with the demand. We experienced a channel growth of 10 times its size before COVID-19.
What drives you every day?
The passion to achieve sustainable growth for the business, tackle new opportunities of development from the product range, and expand the brand internationally. The business has been working for four years – we’ve successfully opened several shops and want to expand our franchise model. It’s been sold to other countries in the GCC, and this is where our focus is at the moment.
Do you have a favourite business mentor?
Jim Rhon and his practical approach. He preaches accountability. This is very powerful, as he made me realise that I can change and drive change in my life and in my business. I stopped pointing out why things went wrong, justifying it with external factors, and started to ask myself what I could’ve done differently or better. This is how I learned. He also explains why it’s important to not only have clear priorities, but also allocate energy and a share of mind to them to get results. When time is limited as an entrepreneur, this becomes very helpful.
Which books/podcasts/blogs do you follow, and why?
I usually like to listen to interviews. You can learn a lot from other people’s experience, irrespective of the field they are in. From sportsmen like MMA fighter Conor McGregor to Michelle Obama, it gives me the motivation and sense of community that I need. I can relate to a lot of the struggles that they speak about, and how they overcame them to reach the place where they are today.
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a budding entrepreneur?
Set your concept and give it a try. Have your goals straight. Speak to people in the field. Understand challenges that you might face so that you don’t repeat them again. Read a lot about your idea and your concept. Be like a sponge.
What are five things one must consider before launching a business?
Make sure that the insights make sense.
Make sure that the business is scalable – it should be a business, not a hobby.
Understand the financials on bringing the idea to life. Do you have them or do you need external investment?
Have the right skills to develop the idea. If you don’t have them, get the right team (outsourced or in-house).
Find something unique in your proposition. This will make you build a successful company. We are at a time where a lot of services and products are being offered, so ask yourself, ‘Why people would choose my product?
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Do you dream of owning a wardrobe that looks like it belongs in a magazine or high-end boutique? Well, you can have it with the help of just six nifty items. But before you start to organise your closet, spend at least a day giving it a thorough declutter as this is part of the journey of having your dream closet – it’s an inefficient use of your time and money organising and arranging items that you don’t wear, need, or use.
To organise your closet, you should only have what you need and love to wear. Your closet should be your sanctuary, making you feel beautiful and invigorated. Read on for some practical tips on how to get your wardrobe organised in a way that works for you, making your space calm and clutter-free.
1. The Velvet Hanger
For every closet I have organised, I have always highly recommended the velvet hanger. You might ask why. Why would you replace all the hangers you already have, even if they are in good condition? Usually, wardrobes have hangers of all shapes and sizes – the skinny wire one, the larger wooden ones, the regular plastic ones and, sometimes, the broad suit ones. If you have limited space in your closet, the first way you will make more space is by removing any broad hangers.
Firstly, velvet hangers are slim with a versatile neck that swivel, making it easy to put clothes in and out, ensuring the clothes are facing the same direction. Secondly, the velvet hangers are a great organiser for the closet as they prevent clothes from slipping. Thin synthetic fabrics or silks are very slippery and can become wrinkled or look messy in your closet. Velvet hangers ensure all the pieces are well presented, keep their shape, and make your clothes look like they are in a store – especially when you choose one colour for all your hangers.
2. The Drawer Divider
This is an essential organiser for the closet as it makes everything visible. Drawer dividers come in different shapes and sizes. Some are simple plastic extendable dividers that can fit in most drawers – these are perfect for folding T-shirts, shorts, leggings, and tops, keeping them neatly in rows within the drawers.
Another divider is the box of different sizes, like the SKUBB series from IKEA that keeps different types of items together, like accessories or underwear. For bras and underwear, Amazon sells a set of drawer dividers that keep each item apart, making it very easy to see them all. The key to organising your closet is to make each item visible and accessible in a sensible space. Drawer dividers help you do just this.
3. The Pull-Out Storage Box
So often, wardrobes have deep shelves, making it very difficult to reach items at the back of the shelf. By pulling some clothes out, others get knocked over – even if they are in neatly folded piles – so you end up with a messy bunch of wrinkled clothes in no time. To solve this problem, use storage boxes that fit exactly on the shelf, which you can pull out to access the back of the shelf.
Any box can work for this purpose, but it should ideally fit most of the surface area of the shelf in order to maximise the closet space. Measure your shelf carefully and refer to these dimensions when buying your storage boxes. I would recommend buying a box covered in fabric as it gives a softer feel and looks attractive when you open your closet door. My favourites are the STUK series from IKEA.
4. The Pants Hanger
What is a pants hanger, you may ask? It is a hanger with multiple bars to hang more than one pair of trousers or scarves on. These are wonderful space savers and keep your trousers neatly folded as well as highly visible. It’s wise to get ones that are non-slip as most trousers slip. I would dedicate a space on one side of the closet to use this closet organiser, keeping your trousers in one zone.
When arranging your hanging closet, it is imperative to have zones based on the use or look of your clothes. For example, zones could be trousers, shirts, dresses, and skirts – all based on the length of the items. Alternatively, zones could be work clothes, occasion wear, and casual wear – based on the purpose of the items. It needs to work for you, so choose a style that you love to look at everyday, keeping in mind that it needs to be practical as well.
5. The Shoe Box
Shoe storage is an ongoing battle for many closets around the world. It’s usually a problem because there are more shoes than there is space. The way to work around this is to store vertically. Most closets have a shoe space in the bottom half and there are options to maximise this space vertically. You can insert a wooden or wire shoe rack inside the closet. You can also use stackable shoe boxes to increase visibility, but they require the luxury of space.
Another option is to store shoes in deep drawers if you have some under the bed, or have a separate unit with baskets to store shoes in. Having shoes visible in your home creates visual clutter, so I highly recommend using an organiser that hides your shoes within your closet. The less visual clutter you have in your home, the calmer it will feel.
6. The Shelf Insert
The shelf insert is a versatile closet organiser that helps maximise vertical space. Another benefit of this handy piece is that it creates more visibility for all the pieces in your closet. An efficiently organised closet should have all items easily accessible and visible to the user. Shelf inserts are incredibly valuable in closets that have deep shelves as items at the back are often not seen because it’s dark and things can get lost behind other piles of clothes.
You might be wondering what you can put on a shelf insert. Clothes can be folded and put on shelf inserts. Handbags and shoes can be stacked on shelf inserts. Makeup and accessories can also be placed high up. There are many different types of shelf inserts that you can choose to suit your style of closet. Black wire racks work for dark closets, clear acrylic stands from Muji are perfect for displaying accessories, and white shelf inserts match white closets and therefore create a uniform look.
To maintain your beautifully organised closet, there is a simple rule you need to follow: anything new coming in means something else needs to go out. Over time, your closet will get fuller and more cluttered as you buy more. Be mindful about what you buy, making sure it is what you really want and not an impulse buy. Donate regularly to keep your wardrobe calm and clutter-free – it should be inspirational, not an eyesore.
The bathroom. A place of both sanctuary and shame. A safe haven where we can relax and rejuvenate or a cluttered mess that causes us nothing but stress. If your bathroom falls into the latter category, it’s time for a change – declutter and organise this space.
By decluttering and organising your bathroom, you can make it more efficient and easier to maintain. This will free up time for you to relax and enjoy yourself without having to worry about cleaning up after yourself. In addition, by decluttering your bathroom, you can also help to improve its air quality and make it more pleasant to spend time in. But how do you transform your bathroom into a sanctuary? Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Clear Out All Expired and Unused Items
Have you heard of a clutter magnet? Well, bathrooms are known for this. In just a little time, bathrooms can become overcrowded with all sorts of items from toiletries and makeup to medicines and even pet items. The first major step of organising a bathroom is to declutter it completely.
Dedicate a time and place to do this. You will need floor space or a large table to unpack all items. Go through each item, check the expiry date (if any), and decide whether the item is used frequently, needs to be kept for long-term use, or ought to be discarded.
2. Sort Items According to Category
As you go through the decluttering process, place items in groups of function or use. For example, you start to find many hair products like gel, spray, and shampoo, so group these hair products next to each other. Other categories can include makeup, hair, face, body, medicines for cold and flu, child medication, adult medication, first aid items, vitamins and supplements, hair removal, female hygiene, and dental hygiene.
3. Store Items Based on Frequency of Use
Once you have gone through all your items, use bins to combine each category and find a suitable space to store them. Remember to store frequently used items close to the front of the cupboard or top drawers where you can get to them quickly. If something takes too much effort to store away, we tend to place items on the countertops. Try to avoid this as it creates a cluttered look.
4. Store Medicines Safely and Accurately
Medicines need a dedicated zone to be stored in, ideally out of reach from children. They should also be clearly labelled and discarded if expired. It is not worth using any medicine after it has expired as you have no idea how it has changed chemically or what its effects may be.
One unique thing about medicines is that they can accumulate very quickly. You may often buy new medicines when the family is sick and then very rarely use them all up (think: nasal sprays, cough medicines, supplements, and creams). Sometimes, you could also end up with duplicate items because you’ve forgotten what you already have at home.
5. Use Hidden Storage
Bathrooms don’t usually have lots of storage as they are small rooms primarily filled with sanitary ware. If you purchase additional storage for your bathroom, buy closed storage so items can be hidden from view. Too often, I see open shelves or trolleys that have become clutter magnets, resulting in messy bathrooms.
An organiser for the bathroom will always tell you to keep it clean and hidden. Examples of hidden storage can include wall-mounted cabinets like the ENHET series from IKEA, baskets with lids, and moveable chests of drawers.
6. Fold Towels Attractively
Storing your towels beautifully can make your bathroom so much more attractive. Ensure you have good towel racks to hang your towels neatly so they can dry properly. When storing extra towels in the bathroom, there are many ways to fold your towels so that they can look beautiful and organised. Two common ways are to roll them or fold them, so the edges are not visible.
7. Keep Surfaces Empty
This is key to keeping a bathroom calm and clutter-free. On your sink countertop, you should only have the items you literally use every day and maybe not even all of those. If a wall-mounted cabinet or drawer is nearby, keep your toiletries out of sight. Using a container with a lid is an option for bathroom storage, too.
8. Don’t Buy More Than You Need
When you have limited space to store items, you have to be mindful of how much you buy for that storage space. Try to use up all your toiletries before you buy more. Have no more than one extra stock of essential items like toothpaste and shampoo. If you have a large storage area elsewhere in the house, you are fortunate to create a space for extra bathroom stock that doesn’t encroach on the current bathroom storage.
9. Maximise Cupboard Space
Bathroom cupboards often have a large open space under the sink without shelving, and various bathroom organisers can help maximise this space. One idea is to attach wire racks or clear holders inside the cupboard doors to store items. Another idea I highly recommend is getting shelf inserts or modular, stackable drawers from KEYWAY at Homesmiths.
Usually, a lot of vertical space goes to waste under the sink. Using a shelf insert, like IKEA’s Variera range with clearly labelled bins, increases the surface area for bathroom storage. Stackable drawers are also a great way to enhance the storage space; each drawer can contain a different category of items. Labelling the drawers will help keep items in order and make it easy to find items quickly.
10. Calm the Space with Scents and Plants
Calm your home and create that sanctuary spa feeling by appealing to your senses. Think about how you can add fragrance to your bathroom – candles, diffusers, and incense are all ways to bring in a scent you love. Bring plants into the bathroom, too, as greenery makes us calm.
Both real and artificial plants work, as they both add to the atmosphere of being in natural surroundings. Hanging plants in a macrame hanger really suits the bathroom as you are not taking over the bathroom floor area and many corners in a bathroom are usually covered in tiles and very stark. Plants will soften these spaces creating a sanctuary you love to visit every day.
As Dubai residents bid farewell to summer, returning to work and re-establishing routines, let’s talk about our homes and what they mean to us. Do you want your home to be a calm, peaceful sanctuary as you settle in? Do you ever feel like there is just stuff everywhere? Does the lack of space cause you anxiety? Do you feel frustrated when you can’t find that thing you need right now? Does the clutter drain your energy?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can relate to how much our environment has an impact on us, physically and mentally. It is so important that weregularly address these areas of clutter regularly – otherwise, the daily stress and frustration will cause us to not fully love our homes. Our homes are our sanctuaries and thus need nurturing. Here, we describe some simple steps on how to create the desired calmness. Give it a go and feel the difference!
As a professional home organiser, I have the expertise to create calmness from chaos. It’s not always an easy process, but it is life-changing when you get it right. Having a home that works for you, meets your needs, and brings you joy is what we strive for. Having a vision for your personal space will help you make a powerful change. As for getting started? Follow my five-step S.P.A.C.E method to declutter, organise, and calm your home.
WATCH THE VIDEO: The S.P.A.C.E Method
1. See it all.
You need to see all the items that are in a space, and you need to see the area clear of all things. Starting with a good stocktake of all the things you own will help you process what is actually in the space. Take each item out of the cupboards, drawers, baskets, and closets. Find a large open area – like the bed, the floor, or a table – where you can put all the items so that you can see them.
Once you have emptied the identified space, look at it with fresh eyes. How can you maximise the use of the area? What spaces were not used before? What storage works well? What useful things do you not have? Keep the answers to these questions in your mind as you go through the process.
2. Put the items into categories.
This can be the challenging part for some people as it is natural to resist change and not want to let things go. When decluttering, you need to be brave and make quick decisions. You need to seriously ask yourself how much you need each item in your life, and whether it make a difference to your happiness if you didn’t have it. Keep those things that bring you joy and that you cherish. Once you have gone through all your items, you should have them grouped in the following categories: Keep, Donate, Dispose, or Sell.
Keep – These items are those you use regularly and need to have in your home. They should add value to your life and be a part of the vision you have for your home. ‘Keep’ items can be put into two subcategories: regular use and storage. You may not use some items right now, but you definitely need to keep them. Some examples of this category are seasonal clothing, travel items, seasonal decorations, and outdoor equipment.
Donate – These items are of good quality and can be used by others. Giving away an item can help you let go as it is easier when you know someone else will benefit from it more than you do. Be mindful about what you donate and make sure it is in a condition that you would like to receive it in – clean and well-presented. There are many local charities that will take donations.
Dispose – These items should be those that no longer serve any purpose and cannot be used by anybody else. Recycle as much of this as possible. Safely dispose of glass, electronics, and medical items.
Sell – Successfully selling items is not always an easy feat. You will need to list it, be patient, and be prepared for various offers. Local community groups are often the easiest way to advertise goods, as are online platforms. These products need to be in a good condition and have a market value to attract buyers.
3. Allocate storage areas.
Once you have gone through all your belongings and put them into the above four categories, you have completed the most difficult step. Now we focus on the items you have chosen to keep and how to store them. Firstly, group similar items together to get a better understanding of what storage areas you require. Categories may include frequently used items, extra stock, and items that need to be stored in the long term.
Next, look at the room and analyse it. Which is the most functional and practical place to put an item? Go through all the spaces and make sure you have allocated a location for all the items that are meant to be in this space. During this process, you may find that some objects don’t actually belong in that room, and it would make more sense to store them elsewhere. Remove them from the spaceimmediately so that you remain focused on the area at hand.
4. Contain your belongings.
Containing your belongings is the fun part! Think about what style you like and choose container colours that will match the existing colours in the space. The safest shades are white, black, grey, or natural tones as they can be used elsewhere if needed. You may have an accent colour in the room, which you could use for your storage containers to unify the look.
There are endless types of containers you can use from simple baskets to custom cabinetry. I recommend looking at what you already have in your home. Some containers might be moved around from different rooms. You can also repurpose furniture items to suit your new storage needs. For example, a bookshelf in the bedroom might now be better suited to the living room. You will be surprised at what you might find when having a good look around your entire home, checking how well each furniture item is being used. Baskets, drawers with dividers, plastic bags, hooks, hangers, and boxes are all examples of things we can use to streamline the storage of items and keep things in their place. The main goal with containing items is that they are easy to identify, easy to access, and easy to put back in their place after use.
5. Evaluate and enjoy!
This is the most rewarding part of the process. Once you have organised all the items into purposeful storage, use the space for a few days and tweak the area if you feel some things need moving around. Staying organised and maintaining your space is a constant task. You need to put things back where they belong in order to keep the space tidy and neat.
To create a stylish look that you love, choose some of your favourite items to display in the space. Examples could be photos, sentimental pieces, and artwork. Add plants to bring nature indoors and scented candles to appease the senses. These additional accents will complete the feeling of a calm and organised area that is clutter-free. Finally, it is time to enjoy your peaceful new space!
If you would like to know more about how to calm that clutter, visitFern McGahey’s website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
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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!
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.
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.
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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All the Outdoor Furniture on Our Wish List Circa Now
Because decent weather is (nearly) in sight.
Living in a city where the hot desert climate is in effect for most of the year can have its ups and downs, but one of the many advantages? Being able to make use of your garden area to get a tan, hang out with friends and family, or simply unwind when the temperatures begin to cool off. Now, with summer coming to a close, you’ll get a chance to spend more time outdoors, making this the perfect time to rethink the aesthetics of your patio or garden. If you are contemplating a redesign in time for fall, you’re in luck. The Gaggler is here to help you turn your outdoor space into your own personal sanctuary with these furniture picks, each perfect for the upcoming cooler months.
Source: Danube Home
Danube Home Ashley 7-Seater Sofa Set in Grey
This selection from Danube Home displays the feel of sophistication and cosiness with ease. The dual-toned wicker frame and the beautiful upholstery work boasts unparalleled aesthetic and craftsmanship integrated into this outdoor piece. Comprising two two-seaters, a single seater, two corner tables, and a coffee table, it’s perfect for big groups that want to hang out and chat while basking in the outdoors. As an added bonus, the corner tables provide storage space, too.
Add a pop of colour to your outdoor space with this rattan stool from Homebox. The vibrant blue tone of this light, yet durable choice makes it a great accent piece that will complement any design theme. The glass top adds to its easy charm and, most importantly, takes zero effort to clean.
Take your siesta game to another level, courtesy of this gorgeous daybed from Rattan House. It is an upgraded version of a sun lounger that’s made with powder-coated aluminium with wooden finish, making it a classic piece that won’t compromise function. The light fabric of its cushions and drapes give it a clean, natural aesthetic perfect for the pool and garden area.
Hanging out with company is great, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a space reserved just for you. This hanging pod from Homeworks is the best choice when it comes to making the perfect scene for your well-deserved alone time. Laze around and take pleasure in the outdoors with a book and cup of coffee (or two) in this stylish and long-lasting outdoor chair.
If you’re big into camping and generally staying outdoors, you won’t go wrong with this beautiful gazebo from Home Centre. With its adjustable draping, you can set it up any way you want, depending on your style and lounging needs. The premium materials used in this outdoor fixture not only add to the style of your space, but also provide much-needed protection from the heat.
Kick back and free yourself from past exhaustion and future worries in this posh hammock from La Siesta. The lovely fabric comes in weather-proof material that will last you ages. Additionally, it’s 100% sturdy and built to fit up to two people comfortably! You can choose from three different colour assortments perfect for any style. For a bright and cheery look, we recommend the sea salt variant. And for a more classic and muted vibe? Opt for the almond alternative.
Car Trouble? These are the Top 10 Best Car Garages in Dubai
Let us lead the way.
While purchasing a car is simple, maintaining one is not. To extend the life of your vehicles, you must have regular maintenance performed on them. Each of us desires the highest quality services for our cars in order to prevent frequent breakdowns. Finding reliable auto repair shops that will treat our cars like their own, at a reasonable cost, is also rather difficult.
According to a recent survey, one car is owned by every two persons in Dubai, or 50% of the population. Even though there are plenty of public transportation options available, most in the UAE prefer to use their own cars. And owning your own car is undoubtedly convenient if you keep it in good condition. To prevent major issues, regular maintenance is necessary for automobiles. As the number of cars rises, so do the number of auto repair shops in Dubai.
Both the cost and quality of service must be taken into account when selecting an auto repair centre. In addition, narrowing down a single service provider to handle all of your car’s needs is also a hassle. After conducting thorough research, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 car garages in Dubai that would be able to provide all required services and have the greatest teams of qualified specialists.
UNIQ Auto Spa
UNIQ Auto Spa
UNIQ Auto Spa is a leading car mechanic garage in Dubai, offering a highly equipped team of mechanics and technicians who take pride in delivering excellent services using cutting edge tools and technologies. They provide mechanical, body repair, car wrapping, ac service and repair, as well as the finest automotive polishing and detailing service. In addition, they deliver numerous other services with unrivaled workmanship, such as leather repairing and restoration, automotive repainting, sticky button cleaning & refurbishment, Gtechniq ceramic coating, and paint protection film installation. At Uniq Auto Spa, they believe that only the best will do for your car, offering total auto maintenance and repairs for all brands and models that are available in the region.
No matter what brand or model your automobile is, they are committed to going above and beyond to give you the best car care service. They provide all auto-related services under one roof. Their specialty lies in care, maintenance, and protection. With a team of more than 30 members, from mechanics to artists, and years of experience in the industry, you are guaranteed to receive service that is worth your money!
UNIQ Auto Spa, Warehouse #4, Galadari Complex – behind Gold & Diamond Park – Al Quoz Industrial Area 3 – Dubai, (054) 797-9680, uniqautospa.com
Carcility is a well-known facility for automobile services in Dubai. They are committed to provide their clients a hassle-free service at a reasonable cost. You can take your automobile there for servicing, rapid repair, parts recovery, and car washing all in one place. You can choose your car servicing hours with Carcility by making an online appointment in advance.
Radiant Car is another excellent location in Dubai for car recovery services. Since its founding in 1998, it has been loyally offering specialist repair and maintenance services to all of its clients. Radiant Car is renowned throughout Dubai for its best professional conduct and skilled, experienced experts that use specialised tools to repair your car. They offer a wide range of services, including denting and painting as well as repair and maintenance, transmission repair, electric and diagnosis, air conditioning, and services for your car’s spare components.
Since the last 40 years, Zone Auto Care has been offering its services in Dubai. It offers every type of service your car needs, from accident repairs to car detailing. This vehicle garage in Dubai is famed for its committed clientele and reasonable costs. It has branches in Sharjah, Dubai, and the Al Quoz Industrial Area.
The Service My Car centre is one of the best auto repair facilities in Dubai. The company was founded in 2019 and has since been offering its devoted consumers 24/7 authorised services. You only need to contact Service My Car if your vehicle requires annual maintenance, repairs, design work, or any other ancillary services. They will pick up your vehicle from your home, take care of the required work, and then return it to your door. They give various offers on all of your services at regular intervals.
Premier Car Care can be your next stop if you’re worried about enhancing the performance or appearance of your vehicle. They provide Dubai residents exceptionally high-quality care services that also boost performance. Premier Car Care offers a variety of denting and window-tinting services in addition to repair, maintenance, and air conditioning services. It also offers a number of environmentally friendly packages that can be used to swiftly and affordably customise and update your vehicle.
Z Degree is most popular for their tire replacement service. In addition, it offers services outside of their garage. They will come to you with all the necessary equipment once you simply phone them. The best part of having your automobile fixed in Z Degree is that you may switch your payments to low-rate easy installments options. Along with offering car maintenance services, they also sell high-quality tires that can be ordered online and fitted wherever you like. In Dubai alone, they operate at six branches.
Z degree, 4th Street – Al Quoz – Al Quoz Industrial Area 4, 800 933 4733, myzdegree.com
For more than 70 years, Open Bonnet has offered maintenance and garage services, earning the trust of its patrons. This shop offers a variety of repair services, battery support services, automobile inspection wash services, and air conditioning services. Additionally, Open Bonnet offers high-quality tires and other essential automotive accessories. Open Bonnet features a well-performing, round-the-clock hotline system. It is highly renowned for its fleet servicing solution, at-home services, and pre-purchase inspections that help you connect with your drivers, employees, and other relevant information.
One of the top garages in Dubai is GT Auto Centre. It offers different types of services, such as automobile detailing, body work, paint, dent removal, accident repair, refinishing, and car washing, among others. On request, it also offers a pre-service value so that the consumer can budget for his service fees ahead of time. The majority of insurance companies advise their clients to visit GT Auto Centre.
QuCars is a leading automotive repair and service facility for both small and large-scale automotive demands. It is situated in the heart of Dubai, and is a division of Golden Workshop, which was founded in 1980. They are well-known for providing services like insurance repairs, collision repairs, paint refinishing, and mechanical and electrical diagnosis. They are one of the experienced and trustworthy experts and service providers for auto maintenance. Their team of highly skilled professionals are equipped for maintaining commercial vehicles including vans, buses, trucks, bikes, etc.
Whether it’s vaccinations, annual exams, or one of those uh-oh moments when you need to see a vet ASAP, you’ll want to choose one who offers the best possible services. However, there are many options of vet clinics in Dubai – that’s why it can be hard to decide which one is best for your needs. We put together a list of the top veterinary practices around the city.
Modern Vet has been offering high-quality basic to speciality veterinary services in the UAE since 1995. It provides services ranging from cardiology, neurology, orthopaedics & soft tissue to homoeopathic and alternative medicine, including 24-hour emergency services. The clinic focuses mainly on emergency care, dental, grooming, mobile grooming, spay and neuter, ophthalmology, and vaccinations. Modern Vet has locations in Fortune Tower, Platinum Residences, Umm Suqeim, South Ridge Tower- Downtown, and Golden Mile Galleria.
Modern Vet’s Downtown location is unique in its design by and of itself, with high-friction tiles so pets don’t slip and consultation tables that give clients the capacity to remain close to their pets during examinations and simple procedures. Planned with pets and humans in mind, the clinic is cosy, friendly, and very ‘sniffable’. They balance out their curated interior with a strong emphasis on technology and the latest in medical equipment. The goal? To improve the veterinary team, pet, and client experience in Dubai.
The most spacious Modern Vet Clinic can be found in JVC. The 200-square-metre practice is a full-service clinic offering everything from routine check-ups, spays, and neuters to more complicated orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries. The team has over 275 years of combined expertise within the practice of veterinary medicine and is proud to have the most international team of veterinarians, nurses, and support staff in the country, so no matter where you may be from, you will find someone at Modern Vet who will understand your pet’s needs.
Modern Vet Clinic JLT is small, warm, and charming. The clinic exudes an intimate vibe, but most importantly, pets are allowed on the couch – which must be why they love it here! Clients are encouraged to relax and get comfortable so that all patients feel like they never left home. Another extra accent that makes Modern Vet JLT feel like home is the beverage station in the lobby stocked with tea and coffee for pet parents, and a “muzzle-level” treat bar for the pups, where they can pick out a snack after their visit.
With a handpicked team of the most sought-after vets in the UAE, it is one of the longest-standing and best veterinary practices in Dubai. Modern Vet has been featured in the media for several groundbreaking accomplishments as well. In 2021, Modern Vet was the brand behind two pioneering surgeries: a PDA heart surgery on a Pomeranian puppy and an advanced PRAA surgery on a 900-gram kitten. In both cases, the animals would not have survived without treatment. In May of 2021, a completely paralysed cat regained her ability to walk again by following the treatment plan created by Modern Vet’s Physiotherapist.
Established in 2012, City Vet specialises in offering basic veterinary services across the UAE. It offers a range of surgical and anesthetic services to aid with surgeries, along with emergency care. City Vet’s key areas of services include dental health, neutering services, and routine check-ups. With locations in Al Wasl Road, Mirdif, JVT, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Al Barsha, and Meydan, it is one of the region’s finest vet care facilities.
Energetic Panacea Pet Clinic was established over 10 years ago, originally opening its doors as one of the first holistic veterinary practices in Dubai. Over time, they expanded into performing traditional veterinary services such as spays, neuters, and diagnostic procedures. This veterinary clinic is also one of the few in Dubai that offers a hydrotherapy pool for dogs needing an extra push when it comes to physiotherapy.
Energetic Panacea Veterinary Clinic, Villa 444, Jumeirah 2, Al Wasl Road , 04 344 7812,[email protected]
Zabeel Veterinary Hospital
Zabeel Veterinary Hospital is one of the few vet clinics in the country with the latest in diagnostic imaging such as MRI and CT. Their rooms are fully operational to house and work on most surgeries. Zabeel Veterinary Hospital is equipped to treat all kinds of animals including large, small, domestic, or wild animals.
Petzone came into our lives in 2009 and has achieved recognition from the community. It is a family-run clinic that treats domestic animals for the most part. Petzone is committed to the welfare of all animals and their services include dental hygiene, dermatology, radiology, ultrasounds, and basic surgeries. They also boast a huge retail section that you can check out while waiting for your turn.
One of the many perks of Pet Connection is the huge parking facility at the front end of the practice. Pet connection treats both exotic as well as domestic animals. Although it is not one of the older practices in Dubai, it does boast three consultation rooms, surgery, and recovery rooms, and an on-site laboratory.
Al Barsha Vet Clinic provides pet medical and sanitary services, its expert caregivers assuring your pet’s comfort. The clinic constantly encourages staff to learn new treatments for you and your pets, treating dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more.
Pawsitive Veterinary Clinic is a veterinary-owned and led clinic with state-of-the-art facilities, and offers 24-hour emergency veterinary care. The company offers a broad range of mainly small animal veterinary services – including both routine and advanced surgery – to meet all of a pet’s health and well-being needs (from microchipping and neutering to more complicated surgeries and leading-edge diagnostic technology).
British owned and managed, 2Feet4Paws opened its doors in Dubailand in 2015. It can provide you and your pet the full range of veterinary services for every stage of their life, from first-time vaccinations and early health checks to a lifetime of preventive care to keep them happy and healthy as long as possible.
With state-of-the-art equipment and a full in-house laboratory, Vienna Vet offers a wide range of services from routine vaccinations and neutering to sophisticated medical treatments, dermatology, dentistry, oncology, and geriatric care. The surgeons here perform soft tissue orthopedic surgeries, too.