Declutter to give your possessions space to shine
PUBLISHED: 09:37 11 February 2017
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘tidy house, tidy mind’, and there’s a lot of truth in it. Maximising your space and ridding yourself from all that clutter can be far more positive than you might think.
Not only can hoarding cause us anxiety and stress, but freeing your home of unwanted stuff means you can actually display the things you really love, creating a style statement with a dual purpose.
But where to start?
“Decluttering isn’t about throwing out the old to bring in the new, it’s about stripping it back, leaving only items that you need and that add value to your home,” says Simon Granville, managing director at Store (aplaceforeverything.co.uk).
“To avoid feeling daunted, tackle a single drawer, cupboard or shelf at a time. Sort through each item one by one making four piles – keep, sell, charity, bin – but be ruthless. Once you’ve decided what you’re keeping, it’s important to find a home for each item; if you know where everything lives, you’re less likely to ‘re-clutter’ throughout the year.”
Interior designer Amelia Carter (ameliacarter.com) agrees: “ Consider a plan of attack. I would pick the room that is most vital and needs to be in working order, and begin there. Also, don’t over estimate what you can achieve in a day. We all start with good intentions and get bored, so think of it in smaller jobs, rather than one big one.”
Hall of fame
First impressions count, and the hallway offers a clear vision of what the rest of the house may look like.
Storage benches are the perfect way to declutter your hall, and baskets grouped together in varying sizes can be functional as well as fun.
And don’t pooh-pooh the humble shoe rack; it can take care of wellies, trainers and everyday shoes, and you can always turn one of the shelves into a makeshift wine rack!
“Even if you have ample storage space in your kitchen, it’s important it’s well organised, so you can really make the most of it,” says Terry Brown, commercial director at Benchmarx Kitchens. “You can ensure you maximise usable space by choosing different storage solutions that work best for your needs.
“If you’re keen to have more space for food items, why not incorporate a larder/corner pantry unit into your scheme, which will ensure that all of the available space is used?”
Also, don’t feel you have to be traditional. Once you’ve ditched any chipped crockery, glassware and old cutlery, clever ideas – such as a step ladder or open shelving units – can be used to display favourite pieces, chinaware, chopping blocks, storage containers and even cookware.
Love your living room
This is the place that needs to work extra hard, especially if you want to keep it clutter-free, as it’s where we relax, watch TV, entertain - and display all those precious family photos, paintings, books and pretty knick-knacks.
Back in vogue, a dresser or cabinet can not only mask a TV screen when not in use (and unsightly cables), but provide extra storage space for possessions you can’t bear to part with.
Another must-have, a butler’s tray (with a removable tray) is a modern yet timeless way to serve cocktails, canapes or a TV supper, and with a wide table top it can double up as a sideboard.
And if you’re not sure where to store those glossy magazines, winter throws and small soft furnishings, a footstool with hidden storage, covered in a favourite fabric, could become a key feature (i t’ll also come in handy for putting your feet up after all this tidying!).
Taking time to create a clutter-free boudoir, with the focus on a few crucial items – like crisp bed linen, a tidy dressing table, fresh flowers and a radio instead of a TV – will look AND feel relaxing, and therefore help you get a decent night’s sleep, too.
An untidy wardrobe, strewn with clothes that should have gone to the charity shop years ago, might mean you start the day with unnecessary stress as well. But with a little thought, you can make the most of your accessories, while hiding more mundane items behind closet doors.
Your colour scheme could add a sense of calm, too.
“Cool tones of soft greys and neutral light-grain wood are key bedroom colour palettes this year. Our stunning new colour combinations, such as cashmere, stone and satin white, also work with this trend perfectly to create a tranquil space,” says Rachal Hutcheson, design expert at Sharps.
Along with calming those wardrobe woes with fitted units, an ottoman bed means heaps more storage to stow things away, without taking up extra space in the room.
“There’s nothing more tranquil than a bedroom with a place for everything,” says Willow & Hall founder, Sarah Massouh. “ When considering an ottoman bed, it’s important to give some thought to the size that will work best for you, according to your needs and storage expectations.”
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