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Ask the experts

PUBLISHED: 05:42 09 February 2015

Turn a junk room into a useable room again

Turn a junk room into a useable room again

Archant

From TLC for pot plants to creating calm from the chaos of a junk room, we ask Norfolk's interiors and home goods businesses to share their top tips.

Give your plants some tender loving careGive your plants some tender loving care

I know I struggle to throw things away, but this year I’m determined to turn what’s become our junk room into a usable bedroom. However, I feel overwhelmed every time I open the door. Where do I start and where do I put everything?

At this time of year, when we help ourselves through dark winter months by welcoming friends into our homes, it’s disheartening if we find ourselves afflicted by CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). However, don’t lose hope!

First, when you look at an item and wonder what to do with it, don’t think “Will I need it?”; rather consider “If I lost it by mistake, would I miss it?” For example, if you mislaid it, it got broken, or you suffered a disaster such as theft, fire or flood, would you really, in your heart, be relieved that the decision was made for you?

We’re all concerned about waste, so use charity shops, try www.norfolkfreegle.org, list items on Facebook, sell through car boot sales, advertising, Gumtree or eBay – although beware of stockpiling items to sell and never shifting them!

Make the most of the space you have for the things you keep. Use height – a bookcase instead of a table multiplies the space taken up by the same footprint.

Do you lose motivation quickly? It’s easier with outside help. You might ask a good friend to give an impartial view; or you can call in a professional organiser. They’ve always seen worse places (I promise); we don’t judge; we help you physically, we keep you motivated, we help you to make decisions. And we really enjoy giving you back control of your home.

Cassie Tillett, Working Order, east Norfolk; www.workingorder.co.uk; 07802 475110. A founder member of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers; www.apdo-uk.co.uk

The plants in my conservatory seem to be suffering this winter; what shall I do?

Remember most plants expend a lot of energy through the year growing, flowering and producing seed. So it’s not surprising if they look a bit on the tired side by the time winter arrives.

Here are a couple of tips to help your plants and prepare them for the spring:

Ease off the watering and feeding, when plants are in their dormancy they need a rest.

Spring clean. When all the Christmas decorations have been put away, give your plants some tender loving care. I use thin, cotton gloves, available in chemists. Wet your hands with warm water, then gently wipe, using one hand underneath and the other on the top of each leaf. You will be surprised how much dirt is removed, resulting in a cleaner, healthier plant.

In the spring re-pot, increase the watering and feed every two months – easy!

Sue Huckle, Posh Plants, East Tuddenham; www.poshplants.com; 07703 347014.

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