How to declutter this Chinese New Year: don’t throw everything away!

  • We got professional tips from a KonMari consultant who says spring cleaning may require buying more – very specific – things
  • Getting organised this year may be more crucial than ever as study and work from home looks set to continue
Doris Wai |

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Organising your room properly might involve buying more stuff!

It’s that time of the year again. With Chinese New Year less than a month away, it’s a traditional custom to start spring cleaning and decluttering our homes.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean throwing everything away.

Young Post spoke to Marina Voronina, founder of Clutter-Free Hong Kong – a professional home organising service – about must-have products that help you better sort your stuff, and a list of useful items you shouldn’t get rid of.

5 easy tips for decluttering your room ahead of Chinese New Year

“Organising helps to restore order and harmony so we can take control of our space, time and life,” says Voronina.

“When our lives are simplified, we can focus on doing things we are good at.”

While the certified KonMari consultant subscribes to the method of tidying made famous by Japanese organisational queen Marie Kondo – actively choosing items that spark joy while discarding those that don’t – she says organising is not about tossing away everything you don’t need.

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In fact, she suggests always keeping or even stocking up on a couple of these following items.

“Containers and boxes are organising must-haves. They will always come in handy for storage,” she says.

“Another is binder clips. These humble clips might be some of the most underestimated pieces of stationery. I often use them as snack bag clips, cord and cable catchers, and in pencil holders.

“Recycled zip storage bags are also go-to items for storing pretty much anything.”

Some of Voronina’s favourite products include clear bins for the wardrobe – so you can see at a glance what’s inside – and expandable drawer dividers which can be easily found in 12-dollar shops across Hong Kong.

“You can always count on clear closet bins to create a neat, orderly space. I use them to sort out clothes, accessories and even towels and toiletries,” she says, adding that expandable drawer dividers are a staple as they easily lock in place to create small compartments that can be used to neatly categorise and arrange small items.

Voronina, who has been a professional organiser for three years, tells us the best part of her job is creating a system that fits her clients’ lifestyle. She takes joy in seeing changes in both her clients and the space that she works with, as they become more conscious about their living habits.

Even if you already feel like you’ve got your room in order, there are some routines you can adopt, Voronina says.

“On a daily basis, this includes returning things to their proper place after use. If you take it, move it, or borrow it, put it back. Once a week, go through your school supplies and get rid of pens and markers that have dried up or no longer work,” she advises.

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She also recommends organising our digital space every week by deleting unnecessary emails, photos and apps.

“Organising is more than just a one-off annual spring cleaning. Take this chance to make your online life just as organised as your offline one.”