I spend a good deal of time looking at beautiful pictures of homes. While it's easy to see the beauty first and foremost, there is a lot more to good design than just pretty pictures. When I look at all of the spaces I truly love, they all have one thing in common; they don't have clutter.
Sure, a space without accessories often feels empty and devoid of personality, so know that that is not what I mean by the term "clutter". I mean instead the stacks of papers, the useless, out-dated knick-knacks - basically the things that you still have (and in some cases may still need) that give you absolutely no joy and do your home no favors by being out in the open.
Clutter is something that we all battle. I have to clean my desk off all the time, and I have to constantly remind myself to put away my knitting projects so that they are out of Reggie's reach. Here are a few things that I've helped me declutter my apartment:
The Joy Factor: If something is in your home and it doesn't bring you joy, you should probably get rid of it. This is not an original idea from me; in fact, I read about it. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is all about this process. While the book definitely delves into other areas, the concept is a great one to apply to your home. If you don't need it and it doesn't make you happy, it's time to give it the boot, whatever that object may be. I've also added another thing to this system; if it doesn't bring you joy, but you need it, just make sure it has a home where it can be stored away. This has helped me keep clutter at bay and has also helped me with making some purchasing decisions.
Everything That You Have Needs a Home: Growing up, I think this was the biggest issue for our household. There were five children, two adults, and one bathroom. There simply was just so much stuff and not enough storage for it, and our house was nearly always in a state of disarray and chaos. It becomes much easier to avoid the chaos if every item in your home, whether essential or as decor/accessory, has a home. Seriously, people, make sure that your stuff isn't homeless! This makes clever storage really important, especially if you live in a smaller space. This coffee table from West Elm is a favorite, and it definitely gives you a home for many things, such as throw blankets, extra pillows, reading materials, and TV remotes. It could even double as craft storage!
Get a Closet System Down: I used to really struggle with this. I can't say that I no longer have a messy closet, but I can say that is much better than it used to be. Most of my clutter would stem from clothes - trying on multiple outfits, discarding some outfits, and then leaving said discarded outfits in heaps because I had no time to put them back in my closet or dresser. Having a wardrobe capsule and simplifying my outfit picks actually made this SO much easier because I would usually already have my outfit picked out the night before, meaning that I'd avoid the time consuming and mess generating process of trying on multiple outfits. While I understand that a wardrobe capsule (which I will be talking about more tomorrow) is not something that everyone wants or needs to do, I still highly recommend having some sort of closet system where you can quickly and easily locate and store clothing items.
Folding Clothes in Rows: I was always taught to fold my clothes in piles; that is, one shirt on top of another, on top of another, and so on. The problem? Unless you remember precisely where every clothing item is placed, you're going to end up digging through your drawers and you're going to mess everything up simply because it's organized in a way where you can't see most of what's in the drawer. I've started folding my clothes in rows so that I can better see where each clothing item is. I find it easier to create rows based on the shirt size, since I have a few varying sizes. This is what my workout/t-shirt drawer looks like currently (above). This has saved SO MUCH space and has helped me from making my drawers super messy.
It's a Marathon Not a Sprint: The biggest ally of clutter is time. I've found that if we stay on top of it and do a bit of cleaning each day, it's way more manageable. Day by day, my friends!
Any good organization/de-clutter tips you'd like to share? Please do!