You spend your time and money picking the perfect wall color, hanging beautiful drapes to highlight the windows, arranging comfortable furniture so it’s cozy and inviting, decorating with lovely art and highlighting each room with interesting accessories. But do you spoil it all by letting your house talk dirty?
Don’t let clutter and poor housekeeping diminish the appeal of the warm and welcoming home you’re creating. Instead, put a few quick and easy tips to work and let the beauty of your home shine.
Here’s the Dirt
Clutter hides the beauty of your home. Instead of noticing your living room’s great seating area do people just see piles of paper (newspapers, mail, magazines)? If they join you in the kitchen for coffee can they even notice the interesting countertops or are they covered with things? Can a guest use your bathroom without seeing all your personal toiletries? If not, you need to become a clutter buster. Implement the 6 tips below and let your decorating catch guests eye instead of clutter:
1. Recycle all newspapers and magazines: If you haven’t had time to read them by now, you won’t have time later! Keep only the most recent issue and get rid of old issues. Then start reading when the new ones arrive! If there’s an article, photo or recipe you want to keep – tear it out and file it instead of hanging onto the entire magazine. To keep future clutter at bay, put a magazine rack or an interesting floor basket in the rooms where you like to read. Then drop the newspapers and magazines in when you finish reading and recycle the pile once a week.
2. Don’t leave bunches of books lying about: Your bookcases and shelves aren’t the only place to store books – consider a trunk at the foot of your bed, an ottoman with storage inside, a big floor basket or a drawer in the chest of the guest bedroom. If you don’t have a spot for them then it’s time to pare down your collection and donate some you’ve already read. Then keep the rule “a new one in – an old one out” if you just can’t resist buying the latest release.
3. Clear your kitchen and bath countertops: Give yourself room to cook! Remove all but three things you regularly use from the countertop - put the other items in cupboards or drawer. If you drink coffee every morning then it makes sense to leave the coffee maker out – but stash the mixer or the blender that you use only occasionally. If you’ve got a microwave on the counter, count it as one of your three items.
If you simply don’t have room in the bathroom to store everything, organize it in pretty containers and gather them onto a tray so they look purposeful instead of forgotten.
4. Stash clothing. Don’t toss your clothes over a chair or on a door knob – hang them up. If you don’t have an entry closet, simply adding hooks and earmarking a basket for each family member will help make the foyer or mud room look and work a lot better.
If your closet is just too stuffed to put things away, pare down your wardrobe by getting rid of things that no longer fit your body or your style. If you’ve still got more clothes than space (lucky you!) stash out of season clothes in boxes under the bed.
5. Use vertical space: Instead of covering table tops and counters with collections or displays, use the vertical wall space to organize and display.
Look how many collectibles the built-in shelves above hold – but everything is neat and tidy and easy to view. It looks attractive instead of cluttered. The kitchen shelves below are functional and attractive too – and give you more space inside cupboards for storing less attractive items.
6. Get creative! If you’re lucky enough to have enough cupboards and closets to stash all your things – perfect. If you don’t – don’t despair. Put on your creative thinking cap and you’re bound to discover ways to beat the clutter.
How about a handsome tower of vintage suitcases to hold linens, filed papers (if you’ve no room for a filing cabinet), holiday items or craft materials?
No room for a desk or want reveal the front of your fridge? What about a handy peg board or chalk board on the inside of a cabinet door? All that clutter is out of sight but right at hand.
For years my daily ”go to” jewelry (pieces I wear often for work) have resided in my closet in a clear hanging piece, similar to the one above. I can quickly grab what I need in the morning when rushing out the door and easily drop it back into the hanger at the end of a long day. My “real” jewelry and seasonal pieces are tucked nicely away in a jewelry armoire. By using the clear hanger I don’t ravage through my jewelry drawers when running late or toss things on the dresser when I come home.
Control Clutter Now and Reduce Stress
It’s November already and that means the holidays guests are just weeks away. No worries – you’ll be ready to welcome them into your home at a moments notice without stressing out ab0ut the condition of your house if you start implementing these clutter busting techniques now. Bottom line – create a place for everything and then put everything in it’s place.
If you’ve got a slick trick for controlling clutter or a creative storage idea share it by clicking on the comment link below.