How to Declutter...In Style
There's a reason spring cleaning often puts a little extra spring in the step. Few things feel better than clearing the clutter from our often hectic lives. As papers build up on the desk, jewelry accumulates on the vanity, toys litter the kids' bedroom floor, and decorative mementos eventually seem to overtake the living room—getting spare items out of sight and out of mind has an amazing ability to create a much more attractive aesthetic and calmer presence within the home. Here are a few creative methods to teach you how to declutter, downsize, compartmentalize, and repurpose with joy.
Turn Your Daily Items into Wall Art
Think of your walls as functional blank canvases. Make the most of large stretches of open space by mounting decorative steel or wooden rods, and hanging decorative quilts on them. Install alternating or stacked shelves for framed photos or other loose mementos that have no home. In the kitchen, place your ornate mug collection or symmetrical cocktail glasses atop them. Drape sparkly necklaces over silver wall hooks. Utilize cut-outs in walls for books, with nicknacks interspersed among them. By creatively covering some wall space with personal items, you'll give your home colorful character while keeping it tidy and organized.
Strive for an Award-Winning Junk Drawer
Some of us think of the junk drawer as contained chaos. But adding small dividers and enclosures—easily done with a simple drawer organizer or silverware tray—actually allows for every little thing to have a home, including the random items on the sidelines. This is a simple way to ensure that even batteries, rubber bands, shoe polish, and pencils have their place and stay organized. Plus, throwing a few spare candlesticks in there gives it a lovely pine or vanilla smell each time you open it.
Get Rid, Do Good, Feel Good
Make it a game to fill one trash bag with items you can toss, and fill one other with items to donate. Pull together extra cans of untouched food taking up room in the pantry. Sort through books you haven't opened since college. Give your closet some breathing room by letting go of anything you haven't worn since it was in style two years ago. What may be yesterday's items to you are another person's treasures today. This is the best way to declutter and give generously in the process.
Compartmentalize Using Clutter Itself
If you've ever seen those wooden folk-art inter-stackable dolls, you've already seen this idea in motion. A portion of our unkempt home medley might actually be useful for disguising the rest. Take spare bowls or vases you purchased on that overseas trip, and fill them with marbles, pebbles, or dried flower buds. Use them as stylish receptacles for apples and oranges on the kitchen counter. Take that decorative woven basket and fill it with magazines that are stacked haphazardly on your desk. Sometimes if you think outside of the box, you can figure out what to put inside of it.
Digitize the Disorder
One of the advantages of living in the digital age is its ability to cut down on messy paperwork. Dust off that scanner and import photos or upload necessary legal documents. Type up and email notes floating around your home. If you already have duplicate electronic copies, learn to let go. Toss the hard copies and make your life easier.
Everything should have a home. But when we can't find a good home for items, simply placing smaller items in decorative baskets, wooden cubicles, or colorful bins does wonders. Place an array of bright plastic bins along the shelves in the kids room. Throwing all of the toys in there each evening magically cleans the room in under a minute. Build wooden cubicles in your entryway for neatly containing shoes. Put all of your bathroom toiletries—perfumes and lotions, shave gels and soaps—in deep trays or baskets. Using receptacles is the snappiest way to disguise the clutter and create a neater appearance.
Furnish with Creativity and Consideration
The furniture that we place in our home actually plays a big role in keeping it clean and tidy looking. Buy furniture that doubles as a disguise for clutter—a bed with drawers underneath, or a vanity with jewelry storage inlets. Or buy uniquely shaped storage that works in concert with it—under bed boxes for out of season items, or thin standing storage to fit in the narrow crevice between the wardrobe and the wall. Be aware not to let the furniture itself become clutter. Too many pieces in a room can create a chaotic, smaller feeling space, rather than a calm, clean presence. Finally, sometimes a little rearranging is all it takes to go a long way. Open up the room with furniture placement, rather than cutting it off, to give your space an organized, decluttered look.
To avoid getting overwhelmed with the enormous task at hand, try roping off one hour each day for sizing down and therefore scaling up your home. Crank up some music and set an alarm so you make the most of it. Be calm and declutter on.
How do you declutter? Share your favorite decluttering tips with us by using the hashtag #CrateStyle.
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