B L O G
beautifying, loving, organizing & good things
for your home & life
for your home & life
Recently I was in TX teaching a live Destress Dejunk Declutter workshop, and we talked about a principle that I’d like to share with you. After you’ve decluttered your home, and everything that you have is really a reflection of who and what you are today, how do you know what to display and how to do it in a way that makes your home look its best? In other words, how can you make sure the things you need every day, don’t look, well, junky?
I have a simple principle that’s the guiding light when it comes to what to keep out:
WHATEVER IS VISIBLE IS USEFUL *and* LOVELY.
Repeat after me, "Whatever is visible is useful AND lovely."
Kitchen: heart of the home & clutter magnet
How can you apply this in your home? Let’s start in the kitchen, probably the most clutter-catching area in the home. After you have decluttered your kitchen counters, you only have out the things you use every day. Let's say you like to cook, but those jars, cannisters and items just junk up the counters - what do you do with them? Corral your clutter by placing baking / cooking items on an oversized tray. Just like that, you have a still life - instead of a mess.
Staying in the kitchen - I see a lot of homes where people have lots of snacks out on the countertops. If this is you, here’s a suggestion. Grab an over-sized basket or mixing bowl – like a mixing bowl or an interesting serving bowl you use when you host dinner parties. Place your snacks in the basket or bowl – potato chip bags, granola bars, small tin of nuts… whatever your family likes to nibble on, just put them all in the over-sized bowl on your kitchen counter. Now, instead of a disorderly pile of bags and such, you have one single container with all the snacking goodies. Visible, useful and attractive. See how this works? And the benefit of this particular application of this principle, is that when you have a movie night, you can just grab the bowl and head for the couch.
The next most cluttered room in the home usually is the master bathroom. If you have an assortment of lotion bottles, perfume, hair spray and what-nots, and you want to keep them out, let’s take it from cluttered jumble to an attractive display. How? Grab a tray and put all those misc. necessities on the tray. There’s a book about how to do the "adulting" thing, and they talk about this principle. Anything and everything looks better when put on a tray!
Or if you're like me and you have a seeming jumble of hair appliances (how many curling irons do I really need?!?), here's another idea. Put all the daily hair necessities into an attractive basket– and you have instant charm. Now instead of jumbled mess, you have an orderly composition – a still life – a study in loveliness on your bathroom counter. Every morning your organized bathroom says, "Well done, you!"
Visible. And. Beautiful.
Whatever you have out visible, make it look much nicer by putting things together in a basket, bowl or on a tray. This tip takes minimum effort but has a big impact. Reach over and pat yourself on the back.
Happy organizing, Give this a thumbs up.
It's a New Year, and time to refresh your home: 3 easy steps that cost you $0
Sometimes when we take down the holiday decorations, the house feels a little sad. We loved the festive decorations and there’s a little feeling of loss, when we take it all down. It’s not a letdown – but it’s a set UP for you to make some positive changes in your home. Let’s give your home some new life. You need a box, a towel, and a hammer.
Step 1: Let's go boxing
Look around your room right now. Is there anything that does not spark joy in your heart? For instance, if you’re in your home office – are there any books that really are not you anymore? If so, grab that box and gather the books you are going to donate. Move to the next room and repeat this process. Someone will appreciate these books – whether it’s the library, or the local thrift shop that benefits your favorite charity.
"HEY CLOTHES, COME OUT OF THE CLOSET". If your clothes are so jam packed into the closet that you always have wrinkled clothes, chances are you can let go of a few items of clothing. If this is you – get the grocery sack and pull out all the clothes you haven’t worn in the past 12 months. Pull out all the clothes that still have the tags on them that you never got around to wearing this past year. Eliminate all the clothes that don’t fit. Ladies, if you have a dress that’s a few sizes smaller than you are, clothes do not exist to shame you. Put all these items in the donation box. Guys, if you're in your 30's and still have high school tees, time to let them go. It’s a win win - Every time you walk in your closet, only have clothes that fit you and make you smile when you wear them, and the clothes reflect who/ what you are today. And you’ll donate to organizations that will benefit others with your old clothing. That is the first step - fill up a box (or two or three! ) and donate them.
STEP 2: Grab a towel. We're going to move some furniture.
Think about the room you had your Christmas tree, or your holiday decorations. Could that room use a bit of a refresh? You can easily do this by rearranging your furniture in a more conversational set up. If your furniture is pushed up against the walls, pull it out a little – ‘no wallflowers’. The towel under the furniture make moving furniture easy. (Or you can use Super Sliders, available at most stores. During January I'll have these on the Links page.) If you always have the recliner in that one corner, switch it up a little – and see how the room feels. If you have always had your room arranged straight on, with sofa parallel to the wall, consider changing it up by putting the sofa on an angle.
We were celebrating our anniversary at the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, and I noticed the little living area adjacent to the concierge was arranged on an angle. Something as simple as shifting the arrangement to be on an angle can dramatically change the look and feel of a room. Or if you have a kitchen table that’s square to the wall, try turning it 45 degrees. I encourage you to rethink your rooms, and rearrange – change it up. This step costs nothing, but can make the room feel brand new. That was fun. What's next?
Step 3: It's hammer time.
When refreshing a room, I like to take down every piece of art and reconsider where they are placed. Could you regroup your pictures / artwork in a new way so it’s more pleasing to the eye? Go ahead – take down all the artwork in a room, and look at your walls – it’s a blank canvas! Rearranging your artwork can completely revitalize a tired room, and again – it costs you nothing to do that. So many times we just throw artwork up to fill empty spaces. But if you’re more thoughtful about it – you will love the results.
The key is to group like with like – such as landscapes all together, or a certain colorway together. Perhaps you have different pieces all framed in a similar fashion – that’s your common denominator. Group like with like items together and you will be pleased with the new arrangement. (The example above shows how brightly colored art from different artists and genres can effectively coexist.)
Play with the artwork arrangement over your bed – try something different behind your sofa – and change it up. All you need is a hammer, and an adventurous spirit. If you have lots of family photos, instead of having pictures here there and everywhere scattered throughout the house. Gather all the family photos and create a hall of memories. I was at someone’s home recently who did exactly that and it looks fantastic. It’s a nice reminder of our loved ones every time you pass through that hallway.
There’s a medical bonus to this work. If you’re over 50, studies show that rearranging your artwork and furniture can help stave off Alzheimer’s – giving your eye a new arrangement to look at is good for you.
REFRESH YOUR HOME this New Year. All you need is a box, a towel and a hammer to refresh your space. Fill up the box with donations of that which you don’t need any more and know that you’ll be blessing someone else with your donations. Use the towel to slip under heavy furniture when rearranging for better functionality. And the hammer is for rehanging your artwork in a new way.
Here's to your New Y.E.A.R., Your Easy Affordable Refresh. It's not a let down, it’s a SET UP for you to give your rooms new life, at no cost.
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