Eclectic Homes

Decorate with Intention: Clutter Clearing 101

Getting organized is something of a passion of mine. Yes, I consider cleaning out my junk drawer a leisure activity — I love labels and also have been known to put my books in rainbow sequence, so make fun if you need to! But over the years I have commissioned a simple routine for paring down and producing order in the home, and I wish to discuss these 10 tips with you now.

Before we dig in, it’s important to know what we are up against. What is clutter exactly? Surplus stuff, right? Well sure, but more than that, clutter is a sign of procrastination. It is the bicycle you have been meaning to have repaired, the books that need to be returned to the library, the most hideous vase from Aunt Mildred you can not bear to throw away, along with the heaping piles of paperwork that require sorting. I believe this is precisely why we find it so tough to declutter. It demands a whole lot of decision making, something which you might have been putting off for years — no easy task. Let’s begin by placing an intention to fearlessly confront the choices that need to be made. You can get it done!

1. Get motivated. Clutter clearing can be emotionally and physically exhausting, so today is your time to gear up and fuel your motivation. Tear out pictures from magazines, or make an ideabook on that you can refer back to if inspiration flags.

If you enjoy keeping a journal, here are a few questions you might like to ponder over a mug of hot tea before beginning:
How could clearing the clutter from my home make life easier?What will be the most challenging area to work on?In Few words, how do you enjoy your home to feel if this is done?My purpose for this project is: _____

Chloe Warner

2. Decide on the low-hanging fruit . Get going on the right foot by making a fast sweep of your entire house, pulling out the obvious clutter. Including items going into the trash or recycling, things you have been meaning to go back to other folks, and other things you know that you want to be rid of.

This step is meant to be easy and lightning fast. Put on upbeat songs, grab a few bins or bags, and set a timer for 15 minutes. I’m always astonished at how much better my home feels after a brief clutter-busting spree!

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

3. Pretend a camera crew is coming over. This is an enjoyable little psychological trick to playwith: Imagine that your favorite home design magazine is sending a complete camera crew over to picture your house for your cover story. What would you conceal? How would you alter your furniture arrangements or screens? As soon as you have made an area”camera ready,” think about making some of the changes permanent.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

4. Repeat after me: less is more! If you find yourself using”However, I might need this one day…!” As an excuse, this step is for you. Be honest. You might not want two dozen ratty old towels, or will four nice fluffy ones for your loved ones and 2 extras for guests do? When you winnow down to what is truly needed, loved, and employed, you will begin to find shelves and cupboards opening up along with daily activities becoming a little easier.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

5. Separate emotional clutter from the stone. I’m not going to tell you to get rid of Grandma’s wedding gown or those bins filled with your kid’s art. The purpose here is to be more deliberate about what it is you’re saving and why. Things that you wish to be able to move down to your children should be stored properly to avoid damage, while other mementos can be put on screen at which you can enjoy these on a daily basis.

On the other hand, beware of souvenir which conveys negative feelings, such as pictures of exes, gifts you feel guilty for hating, and diaries from low points in your lifetime. Out they go! There, does not that feel great?

Kati Curtis Design

6. Curate your collections. Collections can be wonderfully creative additions to your home, however they have a inclination to escape control and lose their effect. The remedy is twofold: curate with purpose, and make intentional displays. By narrowing the focus of your collection — white ironstone, say, or plates featuring birds — you can make a more interesting and cohesive collection.

Then, find one place at which you can match all the bits in one screen for greatest effect. Still have a lot of? Consider selling a few pieces on eBay or locally.


7. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. As the least living room in the house, it’s all too easy to allow the bedroom become failed. Piles of dirty laundry on the ground, unread magazines spilling from the bedside tables, dust bunnies, shopping totes, children’s toys, you name it, it ends up here. That is really a shame, because with a tranquil bedroom can encourage restful sleep and also help reduce the stress of busy days — something we all can use, right?

The good news is, while other rooms might be hard to pare down since they need to perform so many functions, the bedroom is pretty straightforward. All you need are the essentials: nice bedding, light, a hamper, alarm clock, along with perhaps a scented candle or small vase of flowers. I’m going to take my advice this weekend and then spruce up my bedroom!

Van Wicklen Layout

8. Give frequently used things pride of place. As you move through each room, consider that tools you reach most often and try to put these things within easy reach. Put your favorite long-handled wooden spoons in a crock in your counter top and a pot of fresh herbs at a bright window near the stove. I’m constantly surprised by the beauty in useful objects, artfully displayed.


9. Involve the entire family. Sigh. Not so easy, I know, but important! Invite kids to fill a box with old toys and clothes to bring into a children’s charity. If it appears hard, try timing the huge giveaway before a birthday or significant vacation when new toys will be rolling in. As soon as you have purged your home, set up new systems in crucial areas utilized by all. Baskets and hooks at the entryway or mud room and bins at the base of the stairs would be great places to begin.

Aristea Rizakos

10. Maintain your space. Consider instituting a”One In, One Out” policy in your household. By allowing something go each time you bring in something new, it is easy to stay on top of the clutter inside your home before it reaches epic proportions. For instance, if you purchase a new pair of sneakers, throw out an old set; when you get a new publication, choose one which you’ve read to donate to your regional library.

Similar to caring for a garden, doing a little each day or week can help your home flourish.

Next: Decorating with Intention: Create a Vision for Your Property

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