Ad
Author

Nadia Azhar

Browsing

Recently, makchic’s editor-in-chief shared her experience decluttering her house using the KonMari method – the Japanese art of tidying one’s home. Founded by Marie Kondo, the KonMari method is detailed out in Marie’s best-selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” The popularity of the book led to a show called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” which is trending on Netflix.

Photo credit: Marie Kondo Facebook

The show couldn’t have come at a better time. People went on a decluttering frenzy as part of their New Year’s resolution. But with cleaning, comes bags of unwanted junk. Now, the big question is, “What do I do with all these stuff?”

Here, we explore options where you can discard your junk and even breathe new life into your unwanted items.

1. Department of Environment Malaysia – E-Waste

The Department of Environment Malaysia (DoE) classifies e-waste as non-working or obsolete electric and electronic appliances. Little do we know, we can reuse, refurbish and even recycle these broken appliances. The DoE has enlisted collection points all over Malaysia that receives and recycles your e-waste. As of now, companies listed receives television sets, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner, computer, mobile phones, and other small appliances.

2. Kloth Cares – Old clothes, toys, bags, and other fabric items

Unwanted clothes often end up in landfills and make up 4% of solid waste. Fortunately, there are other options besides throwing them out with the trash.

Kloth Cares launched a Fabric Recycling Initiative with 69 bins located in the Klang Valley. The needy will receive donated clothes that are still wearable. Unwearable fabrics will be repurposed into industrial cleaning cloths or recycled to fuel cement kiln.

Do keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram for locations of new bins.

3. Medal4Awesomeness – Running Medals

For old running medals that have never seen the light of day, there is Medal4Awesomeness. They welcome medals of distances from 10km, half marathons, full marathons and above.

Using marathon running as a metaphor, Medal4Awesomeness hopes that the medals will motivate underprivileged and terminally ill children to fight on despite the challenges they face.

Medals should be in good condition and lanyards removed before donating. They currently do not have a dedicated collection point, but they often announce pick-up points on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Photo credit: Medal4Awesomeness Instagram

4. H&M and Monki – Clothes for Vouchers

 H&M and Monki reward members of the public with 15% and 10% vouchers respectively for every bag of clothes donated. Depending on the condition, clothes will either be re-used or recycled. Shops will receive and sell wearable clothes as second-hand items. For old and damaged clothes, they are turned into recycled fibers for use as insulation and cleaning cloths.

5. Miscellaneous Items

Cash Converters Asia and Buy Sell Trade accept items that are in working condition for cash in return. There isn’t any limit to what you can sell as long as it has a resale value. You can sell off household wares, gadgets, toys, and even sporting items. House call services are possible if you have many large bulky items to sell.

Photo credit: bargain basement

6. Donate to charity

Kechara Soup Kitchen is a community group that provides help for impoverished individuals. They seek used clothes, raincoats, umbrellas, shoes, and hats. Items should be clean and in good condition.

Kedai Bless accepts second-hand clothes, shoes, small furniture, home decoration and also jewelry. 50% of their profits are donated to causes such as Myanmar refugee children, and the Orang Asli settlements.

Islamic Relief Charity Shoppe receives donated items such as clothing, kitchenware, and books. These items will either be stocked for emergency assistance or sold at a discounted price. Their charity causes receive proceeds from each sale.

Bargain Basement has two branches in IOI City Mall, Putrajaya, and IOI Puchong. They accept clothes, accessories, houseware, ornaments, and books to name a few. They also offer pick-up services for bulky items. Local charity homes such as the Autism Café Project and Yayasan Chow Kit have benefited from their proceeds.

The Salvation Army has four Family Thrift Stores in Melaka, Ipoh, Penang, and Kuching. They welcome any second-hand items that are useable and in good working condition. Recyclable items such as newspapers and tins are also accepted. The needful will benefit from donated wearable items while the stores sell off the rest. Proceeds from each sale are used to fund their community projects.

As tempting as it may be, try not to refill the voids that now you have in your home. Check out these helpful green tips and links to help you stay on track.

Just when you thought gifting season is over, along comes another reason for presents – Valentine’s Day.

For those who hate the idea of overpriced flowers and overbooked restaurants, this list is for you. The best part is, you can share these gifts with your significant other, or experience them with your family as a whole.

1. Volunteer at an animal shelter

Photo credit: SPCA

As love knows no boundaries, why not celebrate with some furry friends? You can learn a lot about a person by the way they treat animals. SPCA and PAWS welcome adults and children to volunteer at their shelters. Walk dogs, clean kennels and give your full tender, loving, care to animals in need. You will both leave with a sense of fulfillment, and that is a guarantee!

2. Tour the city

Photo credit: Kuala Lumpur by Hotels.com

Avoid driving and parking hassles by touring the city on the KL Hop-On Hop-Off bus. Be a tourist in your own country and visit over 60 places of interest, or go on a gastronomic adventure together. There are two routes for you to choose from depending on the sights you’d like to see. What better way to get to know the city, and your loved one all in a day.

3. Love boats

Photo credit: Cruise Tasik Putrajaya

Some of the best views of Putrajaya can be seen from Tasik Putrajaya. Take a cruise with your better half and sail past more than 20 Putrajaya landmarks. You can opt to take the traditional Lepa-Lepa boat, the Perahu Dondang Sayang or for a modern experience, the air-conditioned cruise boats. There are also several packages to choose from which include meals on board.

4. Sleep under the stars

Photo credit: Tiarasa Escapes

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by going glamping. Operators provide basic hotel facilities, so there isn’t a need to bring any camping gears. Most glamping sites are only a stone’s throw away from the city and easy on the pocket. So, pack your bags and enjoy a romantic night under the stars.

5. Handcrafted surprises

Photo credit: Black Milk Project

If you are not on the artistic side but would like to get crafty, fret not as there are plenty of workshops and classes that will cater to you. You can either sign-up with your partner or surprise them with a handcrafted gift. Create a mini forest at a terrarium workshop. Learn to stitch pouches or clutches made of leather. You can also create a watercolour art piece in a class perfect for beginners.

6. Personalised Perfumes

Photo credit: OLFAC3

The sense of smell is a powerful tool that invokes memories of all sorts. Personalise a bottle of perfume for your partner that is uniquely them. It could range from one that reminds them of their childhood, to one that could take you back to your early days of courtship.

7. Practical gifts for two

Photo credit: Fluffy & Co

If you insist on buying, let it be gifts that you both can enjoy at home. A coffee machine and luxurious linens are practical gifts worth investing. You could also create a romantic Spotify playlist and listen to songs via a new Bluetooth speaker. For those with a tub at home, set up a bath with Malaysian-made paraben and cruelty-free bath bombs. While you’re at it, light up the room and your moods with his and her candles.

8. Escaping dinner

Photo credit: @breakfastthieveskl

Instead of the usual candlelight dinner, start the day right with a breakfast date. We are not talking your typical ‘mamak’ brunch. There are plenty of restaurants that offer hearty breakfast meals. Breakfast is almost always cheaper, relaxed and there isn’t a need for reservations. With a full belly, head on home and snuggle up while watching romantic (if not cheesy!) Valentine’s Day movies on Netflix.

9. Be one with nature

Photo credit: Broga Hill Facebook

If you like romantic adventures, begin your Valentine’s date with a quick hike up Broga Hill in Semenyih to catch the sunrise. In the evening, head out for a picnic date by the lake and enjoy a romantic sunset together. There are plenty of parks with beautiful sunset views in KL. Be sure to pack insect repellents to keep bugs at bay.

10. Spa with the family

Photo credit: Ozmosis

If you’re not able to find a babysitter at the very last minute, why not celebrate love with the entire family at a child-friendly spa? Keep your children occupied with their Kids Menu of supervised activities and pampering sessions. Enjoy your downtime without the guilt of having to leave your children at home.

Being a mom with work and social engagements, I rely on help from family to look after my two sons. Unfortunately, a day came when an emergency meant I was left to care for them on a week-long school holiday.

I had flexibility, but I needed my children to be looked after while I took a few hours to focus on work. In light of a recent infant’s death under the care of an unlicensed babysitter, it was important I find someone trained and certified.

It so happened I chanced upon Kiddocare, Malaysia’s first babysitting mobile platform. They provide professional and qualified babysitters to care for your children at the comfort of your own home, office or even hotel room. Having read rave reviews, I decided to give their services a try.

Registration and Booking

Parents must register and book using one of two methods depending on your mobile operating system. For Android users, it is via their app, and iOS via an online form. They are currently working on an iOS app.

The booking form for iPhone users did not have an option for reserving multiple sessions. I contacted Kiddocare for assistance. Despite being outside of their operating hours, I was tended to almost immediately. A solution was to submit my details and preferences via Whatsapp in which they processed my request manually.

Selection of Carer

Within the hour, a potential babysitter was identified based on my requirements. The team forwarded her profile and photo in a Whatsapp group chat initiated between Kiddocare and me. Chat groups are monitored closely by the team and are the medium of communication between carers and parents.

Once I made my decision, Kiddocare sent payment instructions. As soon as the transaction is complete, the babysitter, Amalina, was then added into the chat for formal introductions.

D-day

Babysitters are told to arrive 15-20 minutes ahead of schedule for formalities, familiarising themselves with your home and most importantly, your children.

Amalina arrived as expected and I filled in a form providing details such as emergency contacts, allergies, and house rules. I kissed my boys goodbye and left for work, confident that they were in good hands.

When I returned 10 hours later, I found my sons fast asleep with Amalina sitting by their bed. She handed her report, and I signed it off as she ended her shift.

Reaction from family and friends

I received mixed reactions from family and friends when I told them I used Kiddocare. The thought of having a person you’ve just met look after your children while you are away can be daunting to some.

I told them Kiddocarers have had their backgrounds screened, health checked and undergone psychometric tests. Kiddocare also reassured me that they also take safety seriously. All carers are CPR-trained and First Aid-Certified.

Reaction from my children

My children with Amalina

Like most children, my sons are slow to warm up to strangers. It was a surprise they bonded easily in such a short time. She was the first person they looked for upon waking up, and to me, that was a sign of a job well done.

I needed a babysitter again the day after, and my children insisted on Amalina. Requesting specific carers are possible but subject to availability. Most do not babysit on a full-time basis. Luck had it that she was available, and I hired her three times in total that week.

Points for parents

Kiddocarers do not cook or perform any household chores. Parents must provide meals for their children and carers will reheat accordingly.

A minimum of 2 hours booking is required, with an 8-hour notice provided in advanced. Their services are currently available in Klang Valley only though they are looking to expand in more locations in the future.

These are just general guidelines. Based on their Facebook and Instagram reviews, Kiddocare has been known to be accommodating to parents’ needs.

Photo: Kiddocare Facebook Group

Points for improvements

Their booking system for iOS does not cover multiple sessions. Parents need to fill the same form multiple times or contact the team for manual processing.

Payments are accepted only via online banking and Boost wallet. Credit card facilities have yet to be set up at the time of writing. The payment instructions could also use some enhancements as it is not as direct as other booking platforms.

Kiddocare is now my current go-to for babysitters. The professionalism of the team and carers went beyond my expectations. If you ever find yourself without help like me, or just wanting to take a break, I feel hiring a babysitter from Kiddocare is a great choice. To me, it means your children will be in safe hands.

Rating: ★★★★☆