We are as obsessed about the Christmas season as you can be in our office – so many opportunities to over decorate without shame, add lots of tinsel with flair to just about anything and shop pretty things for all number of fabulous people. Needless to say I am not the happiest person in January (and if I am being honest, February too) so I have made the bold move to do what I have been telling others for years, get rid of the mess and declutter! Always makes me happier. The start of a new year seems the ideal time to take action, before all those resolutions fade away, so out with the gold trim and red ribbons, and in with fresh flowers and a few trips to the dump (there is no way to make that sound glamorous but stick with us here…). We have a few tips to help and inspire you too.
1. A January challenge – take just five minutes a day to tidy a space, throwing out or packing up for donation all the things you don’t love or don’t use. Put out three boxes or bags, one for the bin, one for donation and one to give away. Start with rooms that are obviously easier than others, spaces you have been meaning to get to because the more success you get in the beginning, the more likely the chance of sticking to the challenge. See if you can do this throughout January, slowly clearing the clutter, you may just find things you had thought lost!
2. Organise First, buy second – we are spoilt for choice on storage solutions with suppliers from ikea to Habitat offering clever innovative design. So, once you have cleared the clutter and only then, look to these ideas to hide away every paper or piece that hasn’t been filed or framed. Think outside the box as it were for places that make for hidden storage, under beds is always a good place to start. Be sure to box or basket up items so they are organised before being put away. Be systematic about how you organise things – out of season clothes should be put away and stored together and sentimental momentos get a special box and kept in one place.
3. Shelves and bookcases are the one place we find become cluttered and disordered over time – edit, edit, edit! Grouping items together makes for more impact than spreading them out evenly but remember to keep to odd numbers, ideally three together but no more unless little. It is important to leave open space between groupings which gives your eye time to appreciate each collection. If the collection of pieces have a common element, for example the photo frames are a similar material or style, they will hold together better. Vary the size and scale and you will have those beautiful displays looking fresh and fun again.
4. Ask a friend – often its difficult to be objective but we all have that one friend we know will be honest no matter what, and ruthless is what you need sometimes. This often applies to our cupboards full of clothes a few years past their best, but can definitely extend to other rooms in the house. If you have the space, and the budget, glass fronted display cabinets are great places for the pieces that don’t make the open shelves but you still want to appreciate. Again, groupings of smaller items work best, like for example glasses or your favourite crockery collection.
I love this quote by William Morris – ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. New Years Resolution one? Seems a good place to start…