I recently read a statistic on an organizational website that surveyed people about their clutter, and the response was, not surprising, 54% of us are overwhelmed by our clutter, yet 78% have no clue what to do about it.
It really got me thinking more about how clutter and décor can present challenges in managing how we style our homes. It was something we studied in my residential interior design course, too. I think we all want a room that looks pulled together; we also want a space that allows us to have a place for some of our favorite things. You might also have a particular group of collectibles and memorabilia to incorporate in your rooms. So how do we accomplish a decorated and uniquely styled home without it becoming overwhelmingly cluttered?
There are ways to accomplish this with a bit of thought, organization, and rearranging!
I walked around my house to see where I do the best in managing décor and, in some cases, chaos; I went back to my curriculum too and came up with some ideas for you to consider if you’re looking to achieve a sense of calm and bring some order into your rooms. Here I’m sharing some best practices for you to consider incorporating in your home.
Start by grouping similar items together, I do this throughout my house, and when I do so, I feel better and appreciate my things much more. All my wooden spoons and spatulas are tucked together in a stone crock; this satisfies both beauty and function. They also take up less space for invaluable kitchen drawers. My pretty teacups are all arranged neatly and together on a shelf where I can admire them and easily reach for them.
Limit the number of items on side and occasional tables. Nothing clutters up more quickly than a table. I usually have a lamp, a few books, and maybe a candle. Consider what you need to make room for when utilizing the tabletop. I like to keep space clear for my iPad and coffee cup. Keep decorative and functional baskets handy at entryway tables and desks to catch the small items we inevitably need to reach and get to quickly, like car keys, wallets, and eyeglasses. Keep a basket handy for mail so you can sort, file, and recycle accordingly.
I’m a big fan of having walking space between pieces of furniture. Consider adding more décor touches to the walls before adding more onto the floors. I love the look of a gallery wall far better than too many pieces of furniture within the space that disrupts the room’s flow.
For everyday living, I remove my tablecloths from the dining tables and only use a seasonal runner to ground a few decorative items and fresh, not faux flowers.
This brings me to my next decluttering tip, too many faux flowers and plastic plants will add a very cluttered look to your rooms, especially if they are in large containers. It is much better to have a few healthy, live plants and fresh flowers when you can. I limit faux greenery in my home to a few wreaths and topiaries and one faux floral arrangement.
You can do many other things to achieve a less cluttered look, such as using paint to bring some cohesiveness to your rooms; specific color schemes will bring a sense of order and calm to a space; think muted shades and creamy beiges. I think its why I’m a big fan of blue, it looks clean and crisp whether you’re using a lighter or darker shade.
I’ve mentioned this one before, if you are limited in a space such as a bedroom, wall sconces are perfect, only taking up wall space rather than table and floor space. Electric sconces will provide light to read, ambiance, and clear the nightstand surface that otherwise a lamp would crowd.
Finally, family photos. Grouping family photos make a big difference in avoiding disorderly spaces. I have a whole entire wall leading up our main staircase dedicated to the family pictures. We have a few small pictures on bookshelves around our home, but for the most part, all the family pictures are on the stair wall and only on the walls. I love showcasing our family this way and sharing our history with guests as they make their way up to the guest bedrooms. It is more meaningful when the pictures are grouped together versus scattered about the house randomly on many walls.
I would love to hear from you about how you manage to decorate your home without feeling overwhelmed with clutter! Head over to Instagram @farmhousenewengland and share your thoughts with me.