Many people come to me asking how they can make their homes look better. Most don’t realize that they have TOO MUCH STUFF cluttering their interiors. Never fear, though, as this is an easy fix
Sentimentality can be a design killer. All of us have things that are special to us. Maybe its not special because of the actual object, but because of who gave it to us or where we got it. We do not have to display every object we own. Rubber totes carefully stored in a closet can be a great way to keep things that we love safe and clean until we need it. Evaluate the real reason for keeping the item. You don’t have to give every precious memento away, but safely storing it in a protective container out of sight can really free up space within your home.
One does not have to have every square inch of table, wall or shelf space decorated. Actually when looking at most stylized rooms, there is always some negative space. I call this a “resting place” for your eye. Negative space is a potent tool that you can use when designing a room or anything for that manner. Designers of every facet (architecture, web, graphic, art, etc.) employ the use of negative space, which is instrumental in highlighting a particular element. Don’t be afraid of empty space.
A clutter-free house has a cleaner appearance. It is much easier to clean around a few things rather than many. A house with less is simply easier to keep organized, too. The more frames, knick-knacks and clutter you have- the more dusting and up-keep you must do. As well as making it easier to clean, having less clutter can take a room from blah to sophisticated in no time.
Now that you’re convinced to de-clutter your home, here are five quick and easy steps to get you started:
1. Walk around with a box and immediately get rid of anything that you absolutely hate. Life is too short to live with things you don’t like! Drive this box to your local charitable thrift store for donation.
2. Get a trashcan and immediately throw away anything that is broken.
3. Organize all the items in your room by function. For example, stack all the books in one corner, place figurines in another corner, etc.. This will really allow you to see if there is an excess of one particular element in one room and can be a catalyst in helping you rid yourself of the influx.
4. Remove all the items from the room and try only putting half of what you had back. You’ll be amazed how much more space you’ll have!
5. Before putting any items back into the room, really ask yourself, “Is this one item is worth the extra cleaning , maintaining and loss of space?” Really identify what the purpose is of each item.
Being mindful of what elements go into our homes is the first step in cultivating a peaceful and invigorating place to live our lives, which should be the goal when designing our homes. Have fun de-cluttering, but a warning: its extremely addictive! Happy Designing!