I always get the itch at the end of the year to clear away the old and extra stuff we may have accumulated over the past 12 months, are you the same way?
Our Christmas tree is down, all the decor is organized and put away into it’s proper home for the year, and while I was enjoying the simple and “empty” feel that is filling our rooms I got to thinking about what I’ve learned over the years to eliminate clutter from my home. So today I’m sharing 7 ideas with you to help make your spaces feel less cluttered.
AVOID CROWDING YOUR WALLS
Years ago I felt like every wall of my home needed something on it. It might feel strange at first, but if you have a lot of things hanging from your walls clear one wall. The empty space will seem odd and out of place at first, but I promise in a few days it will feel so refreshing. When we removed the wallpaper on most of our walls and repainted I was very picky about what I put back up on the walls. Another tip, if you love a good gallery wall…[don’t we all?] Try to choose one area in your home, avoid making every wall a gallery. This will help your spaces feel open, fresh and not cluttered. For other areas, choose appropriate sized artwork and wall decor to avoid needing more and more to make the space feel complete.
CLEAR HORIZONTAL SURFACES
Counters, dressers, shelves…all horizontal surfaces naturally collect things. I try to keep our dresser completely bare or only display one small vase. Our night stands hold a lamp and our alarm clocks. In our kitchen I try to keep my working surfaces completely empty and then have a small area for a few odds and ends and decor pieces. Over the years I’ve downsized our kitchen items, only keeping what I use and need and have made it a priority to keep those items tucked away in our cupboards. Seeing empty surfaces is so refreshing and always feels like a breath of fresh air to me.
CLEAR OFF THE REFRIGERATOR
Our refrigerator is a magnet for all the things…literally, haha. I try my best to stay on top of it, limiting the items hanging on it especially any extra magnets. Each of my boys can display a drawing or school paper. We keep a small basket of magnets in one of our kitchen drawers rather than on the fridge. Keeping it minimal is a simple way to make your kitchen feel less cluttered.
HAVE A HOME FOR EVERYTHING AND PUT EVERYTHING IN ITS HOME
This is pretty basic, but really makes a difference. Be intentional about what you bring in your home. Ask yourself, do I have a need for this? Do I have a place to store it. If you don’t then maybe you should reconsider not purchasing it. If it’s something you need, consider the one in one out rule. For every new item you bring in retire one item and donate it.
AVOID HAVING TOO MANY PILLOWS AND BLANKETS
I am a lover of all the cozy things: blankets, slippers, wooly sweaters, pillows you name it. However over the years I’ve realized that over doing it on our sofas and chairs can quickly make the room keep cluttered. Plus when guests come over they all get thrown to the floor anyway. I try to organize our blankets in a basket to keep near by and I limit the pillows to one on the chair and two- three on our sofas.
TOO MUCH OPEN SHELVING
I like to keep the open shelving to just one furniture piece or one area of the room in my home. Having too many pieces of furniture and open shelving will make your space feel crowded and overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong I love me some bookcases and display shelves, but if you over crowd a room with too many it’s going to feel cluttered — unless it’s a home library or office…then obviously you are going to have a lot of shelves 😉 — Generally speaking though try to keep it to one area of the room. We have this built in bookcase with open shelves and closed lower storage. I love displaying my favorites + the kids’ favorites on these shelves and then the remaining books are in the closed lower cabinet. I love the look of the books organized by colors, I think it’s fun and adds interest to the space while helping it to look organized.
Another way to help declutter an open storage piece consider using baskets to organize similar items.
Keep things organized. I like to keep my bookshelves coordinated. This is simple for me because I actually use it for all my books. If you don’t have bookshelves just open shelving or a cube unit or you’re using yours for mostly decor. Try to stay within one style. Using similar colors and add interest with textures. I like to keep small vignettes in groups of odd numbers varying in size and shape.
TOO MUCH FURNITURE
Or a lot of mismatched furniture. This can be hard if you’re on a tight budget or just beginning to decorate your home. Believe you me, I’ve been there…honestly I’m still there, haha. What I’ve learned is it’s best to stick to the same color finish on wood pieces this helps to make a space feel cohesive even if the pieces are a little mismatched. If you want your space to feel more cohesive and you have mismatched furniture you could try refinishing the pieces to help tie them together.
Also less is more, so don’t worry about filling a room with tons of furniture. Add pieces in slowly, being sure that it’s functional in your space and serves a purpose. Remember the more horizontal surfaces in your home the more opportunity for clutter to collect.
I hope these ideas were helpful and have inspired you to do a little decluttering around your own home. Just keep in mind, what may feel overwhelming to me in my home may not in yours. We all have different tastes/styles and we are all working at creating homes that best serve our families. These are just ideas and may not work for you and your family like they work for mine and thats okay!
Blessings and Happy New Year!
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