You know that moment when you get invited to a friend’s house and you marvel at the way everything is nice and orderly and basically the complete opposite from your messy lair? Why does their home look luxurious while your looks like a swamp? Well, all those things lying around are certainly not helpful. Your coffee table is full of magazines, pens, mugs and old newspapers, your closets are overflowing with stuff you’ll probably never wear again, and your shelves are practically breaking under the weight of things you put on them. A messy home is more than just visually unappealing, it can affect our mental health and make us stressed. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to declutter and make your house beautiful and welcoming again.
Think about what makes you happy
For your first step, turn to the KonMari method, popularized by Marie Kondo, who believes in the “Does it give you joy?” method of decluttering. Basically, what you need to do is look around the room and just hold your attention on certain things. Touch them, think about them. Do you use them often? Do they make you happy? If not, then it’s time to get rid of them. We hoard things in hope that we might one day use them, but most of the time they simply end up sitting in our homes, taking up space and being generally useless. So, take a big garbage bag and start throwing away stuff that you won’t use again. Books, clothes and makeup should be donated to various shelters, but the rest can go.
Create more storage
When picking furniture, you have to pay attention to its functionality as well as the aesthetics. If you want more storage, it’s always a good idea to find furniture with hidden compartments, or to find the one that has more than one purpose. For example, wicker baskets are a beautiful decoration, and you can also use them as a place to keep your magazines in the living room. Shelves are also great, and you can fill an entire wall with large shelves where you can store anything from books, to vases. It looks pretty and gives you space to put your things. Vintage trunks can be turned into coffee tables, and if you have high ceilings, tall cabinets are a great idea.
You can also create more space by taking your old books, CDs, VHS tapes, and DVDs and making them into digital copies. Companies like Digital Converters will take your old media and transform it into digital to make more room in your home.
Use effective decorating solutions
You have to keep the size of your room in mind. If it’s a small room, then having too many things in it will make it look cramped. You still want it to look beautiful, but having large furniture and too many decorations will do just the opposite. But a clean, organized look is easy to accomplish. Long, velvety curtains can give the room a dash of luxury, and quality round rugs can make the room look more spacious than it actually is. A few decorative pillows, a painting or two and you don’t need much more. Sometimes it’s hard to restrain our creativity and limit ourselves to only a few ornaments, but it’s essential if we want to keep our room nice and orderly.
Stop creating clutter
Probably the hardest part of decluttering is controlling our consumerist urge to own stuff. Let’s face it, if you were to make a list of all the things you bought last month, how many of them would make you blush because you know you didn’t really need them? Even if you clean up your living space, if you don’t change your habits it will soon become cluttered again. Before you buy anything, pause and think about it. Get the things that are a good investment. A good carpet is a better idea than a million small trinkets and baubles that will only make your room look tacky.
Decluttering takes time and can end up being stressful if you take on too much at once. Give yourself a challenge to get rid of at least one thing you don’t need every day, and you’ll get far. This way, you’ll learn how to appreciate the things you have more, and your home will be tidy and beautiful.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in her parenting articles on HighLifeStyle. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.