Most of you have heard of the need for decluttering when staging a house for sale, thanks to HGTV and other design TV programs. Decluttering is crucial when listing a house but it’s also important in the homes where we dwell.
As we live our lives, most of us accumulate a lot of stuff. When we cannot find space to store our stuff away, out of sight, it can become visual clutter. Whether you realize it or not, visual clutter creates chaos in our lives and chaos is disruptive to our personal peace and harmony.
This chaos is why there are so many retailers specializing in items to organize our lives. My favorite clutter guru is Peter Walsh. I follow Peter on Facebook and I always pick up some great tips about being organized, yes I have a clutter problem too. Here’s a link to one of his blog pieces.
“The premise of all my work is simple,” says Walsh. “I make a promise – you cannot make your best choice or your healthiest choice in a cluttered, messy, disorganised home; it just doesn’t happen. Your home should be a place you create that enables you to live the life you want.”
Sometimes the best way to help ourselves see our clutter problems is to see photos of other’s problems and ask yourself how they make you feel. Try it with this photo:
What was your initial response to seeing this room?
How would you feel when you first entered? Relaxed, anxious, overwhelmed?
Here is another example: Which bathroom is more appealing, peaceful and spa-like to you?
One easy way to display items that you love, but avoid clutter, is to rotate items in and out of your decorating, perhaps seasonally. Use a large tub with a label of the room where items are displayed. Every six months open the tub and for every item that comes out at least one needs to go into the tub. This is a very useful technique in all rooms, including children’s rooms.
Another area of our homes where I frequently see visual clutter is in displays of wall art. In our businesses and in our homes, most of us like to display photos and memorabilia of our lives.
From the photos below, this savvy business owner realized that one wall in her office was just too visually cluttered. She helped me identify items that could be removed or moved to other walls and here is the result:
Interspersing three dimensional items along with plaques and photos gives a wall display more interest and impact.
In design we always try to incorporate what is called “breathing space” in all rooms. Breathing space is created when there is nothing in that space….the space is empty. Every room needs two things: 1) a focal point and 2) breathing space. Look back at the first photo of the living area. Is there ANY breathing space? What is the focal point?
Want to know? Keep reading these blogs and watch for Creating a Focal Point in a coming issue.