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Urban Jungle

The greatest challenge that faces our increasingly popular cities is density – more people means, inevitably, more buildings, giving rise to relentless urban sprawl. But the growth of apartment living has led to an indoor-outdoor garden trend, with many stores now specialising exclusively in low-maintenance house plants that require little attention more than a weekly water.

Greening your space has more benefits than the purely aesthetic, too. Sun-loving succulents are known to purify the air; the act of gardening, even on a small scale, helps to reduce stress and improve mental health; and by potting your own herbs you’re bound to have fresh ingredients on hand for your next home-cooked meal.

Read more: 

House plants for good health

Turn your home into a jungle

Growing Green

New Study Reveals the Health Benefits of Indoor Plants

 

5 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Home

Do you walk into your home and feel instantly stressed by mess? Decluttering leads to increased productivity, improved mental well being and considerable financial advantages (home organising experts estimate this could save $7800 a year). Clearing your space improves your  life in a myriad of ways, so try the following tips and get started:

Organise the bedroom: the bedroom is designed to be a sanctuary and a place of utter relaxation, however, many are going to sleep surrounded by clutter and waking up in clutter, receiving no relief from the stress of mess.

  • Research suggests sleep quality is severely compromised by a disorganised space, leading to stress and anxiety.
  • Take to your wardrobe this summer and cull the items you no longer wear. Your local Hospice, Red Cross or Salvation Army store are always looking for garment donations –  just make sure everything is in good condition (no stains or holes).
  • Recycle your old mobile phones with companies like MobileMuster – not only are you recycling the material, you’re helping Australian’s in need. For every phone recycled, not-for-profit organisation OzHarvest will deliver a meal to someone in need through the Mobile for a Meal campaign.
Clean out the pantry: an overburdened kitchen can have serious implications for your physical health (and your wallet!). Not having easy access to items in the cupboard or not being privy to what’s hiding in the fridge sees many resorting to take away with home cooking put to the wayside.
  • By giving the kitchen a much needed cleanse, you’ll be far more motivated to cook nutritious meals and be productive in the kitchen.
  • Not being aware of the items you never use can cost you thousands each year. Doing a kitchen clean out has saved some families up to $7800 a year.
  • Non-perishable food items found during the clean out can be donated to the your local food service.
Tackle the kid’s room: kids aren’t immune to the stress and anxiety caused by a cluttered space so doing a makeover of their room can considerably impact their rest and emotions.
  • When doing a clear out with the kids, minimise storage space to encourage your children to be purposeful about what they want to keep.
  • Toys can be given a new life and give to a child who might go without this year so wrap them up and show your youngsters how to give to those in need. Drop them off at your local secondhand shop.
Organise your office: a clean workspace can pave the way to better performance, creativity and far more productivity and there’s an art to this aesthetic.
  • The items that sit at home on your desk should be kept to an absolute minimum and yes it’s time to go through your bottom desk drawer overflowing with tangled chargers from gadgets you never use.
  • If you’re hanging onto your first smartphone, even though it is broken, you’re not alone – there are 5 million old unused handsets around Australia ready to be recycled.
Put the tool shed to use: it’s not uncommon to feel a little guilty about the number of DIY gadgets you have that just don’t get used enough during the year but the garage doesn’t need to be a dungeon that must be avoided – it can actually be redesigned during the decluttering process to hold items you won’t have to go (literally) digging for.
  • Be brutal when decluttering – if it’s accumulated a thick layer of dust, it can probably be cleaned up and sent to charity – you’re never going to use it!
  • You can actually hire out your tools to your neighbours – who might only need it once or for a short time – and earn a little bit of cash for your efforts.
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