Sunday, 15 May 2011

‘Home and Happiness’

It struck me how related the two were, as it is difficult to feel your best when your life and home feel cluttered. Also mess in the home is the third most common cause of domestic arguments – after sex and money. Hence it seemed the perfect reason for us all to consider de-cluttering our homes!

As much as most of us want to keep our home in order it can be tough. Over time our homes have a tendency to accumulate and collect all kinds of things. We deceive ourselves into thinking that everything in our home is essential, but it’s not! We are all guilty of holding onto too much stuff that we don’t really care for but are afraid to get rid of, just in case. Most of us hoard things and stash them away, whether it is old clothes, letters, magazines or even plastic bags! Or we are attached to items for sentimental reasons, such as gifts, souvenirs from holidays and heirlooms. Given spring is here, it’s time to let go of unnecessary possessions to make way for the new.

Now I could preach about the best ways to go about de-cluttering your home, but to be honest that isn’t my area of expertise, but storage is, so here are my recommendations:
  • It is tempting to splash out on attractive storage boxes before you start de-cluttering – Don’t! Only once you have de-cluttered and decided what to keep is it time to look at storage items.
  • To maintain a clutter free home it is essential that everything has its place so it is easy to find. Keep belongings in the room where they are going to be used.
  • We use 20% of our possessions 80% of the time, so put this 20% in the most accessible places. 
  • Think vertically as most unused space is either above or below existing furniture. Think floor to ceiling bookcases or shelving and under bed storage.
  • Empty spaces such as alcoves, bay windows and under the stairs all provide storage opportunities, whether it be window seats in bays with storage underneath or shelving in alcoves for books and treasured items.
  • Consider sub-dividing existing storage units so that all space is utilized – it is amazing how much more you can squeeze into the same wardrobe by simply incorporating sub-dividers and shoe racks.
  • Treat yourself to new storage items such as new bookcases/ shelves, shoe racks, filing cabinets and boxes for sentimental items. I love these shelving units by Kay and Stemmer called ‘Edith’ and ‘Agnes’, available in solid oak or solid walnut.

(Image from
In the long-run, clearing out your home will provide clarity of mind, make life easier, increase your levels of energy, help create a more relaxing home and make way for the new! This may even tempt you to re-design a room or re-decorate as you reclaim extra space by de-cluttering. Maybe you will even find room for that home office you have always wanted!

All this talk about de-cluttering is making me feel distinctly guilty about the state of my studio, so I am going to take some of my own medicine and start on it now…

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