A New Lease Of Life

Breathing In New LifeAfter laying a loved one to eternal rest comes the arduous task of going through his belongings and getting the home presentable and ready for its new use.

At this point in time, you can hardly bear to throw away anything that has any form of sentimental value, which makes the ruthless task of cleaning and clearing all the more painful.

But here’s the good news; you can still give the old place an all-new look even without throwing everything away. Give yourself a week, and watch the whole house change into something that’ll bear little semblance to the one you have been seeing for years.

First Things First

Old NewspapersLook around and you’ll find that there’ve been plenty of extras piling up, especially if your late loved one was somewhat of a hoarder. So the first task on the list is to clear the clutter.

If you’re working with a group, starting on different parts of the house at the same time will create chaos and confusion, reducing the pace of work. Instead, try clearing out one room at a time and working from the inside out.

Throw out the unimportant and unwanted old mail, cuttings, brochures, empty hampers, baskets and trays. Scan through the old photographs and get rid of those without significant sentimental value. Newspapers and magazines should be recycled, or sold to the rag-and-bone man and only the latest issues can be kept.

Open every cabinet, and discard what looks too old to be used. Get rid of the chipped and cracked crockery and bin the stacks of old plastic takeout boxes.

Old and worn out footwear must go, so as the bicycle that has been standing unused for decades, and that rocking chair with the broken leg.

All these items won’t be of any use to the new occupants of the place, so it’s a must to get them out of the way.

A Fresh Coat of New

Old, Rundown DoorwayWhen it comes to sprucing up an old home, you’ll find that paint is a cheap, quick and convenient way to create a new look. 

Start with the walls. Cover the drab, peeling paintwork with a fresh coat of bright colour. This works especially well in brightening up both the home and your mood to carry on with the cleaning.

If the outmoded furniture now sticks out like a sore thumb against the walls, there’s no real need to buy bright furniture and throw out the old, especially if the furniture pieces contain precious memories. Instead of purchasing new fittings coloured to match the walls, try painting the existing furniture to fit in nicely with your new colour scheme.

Ageing bedroom wardrobes can also be easily transformed with a new skin of paint or polish. This also works in concealing the worn-out varnish on bed frames, tables, bookshelves and display cabinets.

Old Items, New Presentations

For everything else that isn’t practical to be painted, change the form in which they’re presented.

Sofa Slip CoverOld couches and futons can be covered with cheery throws or slips to conceal the faded and worn fabrics and upholstery. This also means that every laundry day heralds a new look for the couch.

Dusty display pieces can be replaced with floral arrangements of fresh flowers. The introduction of this natural element brightens the room, adds to the freshness and makes the room fragrant.

Dare to juggle the positions of pieces which haven’t been moved in ages. The living room coffee table can be moved to a new position or angle with the sofa.

You can also transfer the TV from the living room to another room; even the bedroom if you don’t subscribe to Feng Shui teachings. With an audio system put in the TV’s place, the living room has now morphed into a more formal sitting area instead of a couch potato habitat.

You’ll soon find that you’ve a new place that looks brand new, yet has that comforting feel of lingering familiarity to it. Life goes on and you’ve just proved that moving on doesn’t necessarily mean moving out.

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Anu Seth is a writer, editor and journalist with over 15 years of experience, writing on a diverse range of topics. She writes with sincerity and has had interesting experiences living in different parts of the world. As a mother of two, she prides herself on keeping a good home. Singapore remains her favorite country.

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