I hate to go on about clutter, and I hope you will forgive me for raising the topic again but it is always worth thinking about. Now Christmas and New Year are past and we have seen the back of what has seemed, to me, like a never ending January, it might be worth taking stock. February has begun with some brighter days and the Spring bulbs are beginning to appear which has spurred me into thinking more about a clear out. I thought I’d share some hints for three specific areas.
We all know that children have a lot of things. Perhaps you have a dedicated playroom where you can put everything and shut the door but for most that’s unlikely. So what to do to avoid the house looking like it’s been invaded? We tend to start by asking what we can get rid of but Marie Kondo advocates asking children what they want to keep rather than what they can discard. When we approach a difficult task it always helps to focus on the final outcome and this applies equally when asking children to discard toys – what would they like at the end of it? This could be space to have friends over in the future, a designated area in which to do homework or craft. Introduce new storage, of a style that they will enjoy using.
Bedrooms should undoubtedly be a calm, restful space but they can easily become a bit of a dumping ground. Clothes get left on chairs (or even the floor), books or magazines can clutter your bedside table and all sort of stuff gets put on top of the chest of drawers or dressing table. Although not a declutter, one option, if you have a small spare room that isn’t being used is to repurpose it as a dressing room. This means that all your storage can go in a separate room except bedside tables creating a much more spacious and relaxing feel. One technique that Kirsty Allsopp employed on Love It Or List It was to replace wardrobes with built in cupboards. If these are floor to ceiling it instantly gives you more storage and is also gives a much more streamlined look. It is useful to have different sections in a wardrobe – hanging space (both full length and two tier) and some shelving Once you have created some space invest in storage such as baskets.
The living room tends to be the main room in the house. Sometimes if you have the living/ dining/kitchen you may have a separate more “adult” room. In either case, it can easily become the space which accumulates “stuff”. The key in this room is hidden storage. I am a big fan of the storage ottoman which can be used to store papers, remotes, etc but at the same also serve as a coffee table. Smart storage boxes can also do duty as side tables. In a bay window consider a window seat which also can include storage accsessible either by lifting the seat or via doors. Combine shelving with cupboards underneath or that will accommodate baskets. Ikea’s Kallax range is a very versatile option which can be positioned vertically or horizontally and has the choice of doors or open shelving.
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