Thursday, August 5, 2010

"What Were They Thinking Thursday" - Clean Up Your $%#@!!!

The number one piece of interior design advice we can give you, which also happens to be the absolute most valuable is to clean up your #@%*!

A cluttered and messy home is the worst. It makes those who live there feel stressed and those who come to visit want to leave as soon as possible. It is not welcoming. It is not relaxing. It is not a safe environment. All of which a home should be.

According to Real Simple magazine, there are some specific reasons why people have so much $%#*.

1. You feel guilty about getting rid of stuff that people have gifted to you. For example, your friend buys a vase and gives it to you because it reminded her of you because it had a little birdy on it and apparently, you now collect things with birds on them. You have 4 options. 1. You thank her and proudly place it on your mantle only to see that pesky creature stare you down every time you pass. 2. You thank her and once she leaves you "accidently" drop it and the poor birdy suffers a decapitation so now it must be thrown out. 3. You thank her and then as soon as she leaves it goes in the goodwill box. or 4. You put it away in a cabinet never to be seen again until 5 years later and you're moving and wondering where the heck did I get all this stuff!

All too often, for most of us it's number 4 that tends to win in the end. And that is why are cabinets and closets are overflowing with stuff we don't really like and we don't need. So what should you do? If you know you aren't going to use something, even a gift, give it away to someone who will. Whether it's a friend (and the cycle begins again!) or goodwill. You love the person who it gave it to you, not the gift itself. Gifts aren't meant to be a burden so if it is, get rid of it!

2. It might be valuable in the future. There is an easy way to put your mind at ease with this one. Look up the item on ebay. See how much they're worth now. If it's nothing really than just get rid of it. Yes, it may be worth double in 20 years, but for a $20 dollar doll that's not much. Don't hoard stuff because you think it "might" be worth something someday.

3. I'll need it later. Ohh this is a good one. How many of us have used the phrase, "well, I'll keep it just in case."? I'm sure all of us!!! Everyone has a desire to be a good steward of their things. There is nothing wrong with that. But, when your things start becoming stewards of you, that is when the problem starts. Here is a great experiment. Go through your closet and pretend you are going on a month long vacation. You will need stuff for hot weather and cold weather. Now, put everything else you didn't "pack" on a hanging bar in your storage closet or wherever your store things. Every time you want to wear something that's not in your closet, you can go and get it and it can proudly reclaim it's spot among it's peers. However, after a couple months, if you haven't gotten it out of storage, chances are you never will. Time to get rid of it!

4. You have no motivation to de-clutter everything! It's a daunting task that you can't even think about because it stresses you out! Well, take Dr. Leo Marvin's advice, "baby steps". Clean out one drawer at a time. Once you've cleaned out something, reward yourself by adding some decor or some new storage containers to help you keep organized. If you've cleaned out a drawer, line it with some pretty liner paper and buy a drawer organizer to keep everything in it's place. Then move on to closets. One closet at a time, baby steps.

There are plenty more reasons why people have cluttered houses but we can't get into

Let's take a look at some pictures!

Very messy closets! The first thing you need to do is get rid of some stuff.
Once you've cleaned out everything you don't wear, organize! Fold sweater and stack according to color. Keep bags together and shoes on their shelves, not on the floor!

This is what most of clutter looks like. Not crazy I need to go on Oprah clutter, but just everyday stuff. Just because you have a flat hard surface, doesn't mean you can stack stuff up on it. Keep it clear of books and junk!
How many of us women try on three different outfits in the morning and leave the unwanted discarded on the chair or bed? I am guilty of this! Simple rule, hang up the unwanted before you pull out something else.
Kid's toys everywhere! I don't have kids yet, and maybe this is why! Kid's toys tend to take over the house. Here are some tips: 1 get some storage! Cabinets with doors so all the toys don't show. 2. teach your kids how to put things away! Before they get another toy out, they have to put the other away. Have bins that are labeled to help them. This will teach them to clean up after themselves. 3. I had a friend who did this, once her kids got a new toy, they had to pick out one of their other toys to give away to someone less fortunate. Teaches kids to help others and to keep things tidy.
Storage like this would be good for families with kids. You can keep bins or baskets in the cabinets and have all the toys put away.
The drawers are great for toy storage on this cabinet
This ottoman works double duty, a soft place for feet to rest and some hidden storage for all those toys!
Really cool storage for a kid's room

Toy bins labeled so everyone knows where stuff is supposed to go.

Keep the shelves clutter free!

Cluttered pantry! How can you find anything in here. Rule of thumb, if your pantry is overflowing, don't keep buying more food. Use up what you have first!
Organize your food by type. You can even label the shelves, that way everyone knows where to put things away.
How many of you have cabinets like this? You know the ones where if you open it, everything falls out!
They make all kinds of cool storage solutions now to keep your cabinets organized.
You can find things like this at Home Depot, Lowes, or Target and Walmart!
Messy Offices! How can you be productive in this environment! Stress stress stress is all I feel looking at this.
Invest in some storage solutions for all those files and papers!

They have all kinds of cute colors and prints in these types of boxes and files. Organize and decorate at the same time!
And finally, dum dum dum, the Garage! This is where everything gets thrown and cast off and stored for something later but you end up losing it and buying another! I confess, my garage is looking closer and closer like this everyday!
Invest in storage bins and shelving for your garage. Get everything up off the ground so you can actually park in it!

So, do any of these pictures hit a little to close to home? I know, I am feeling it to! Can I take a sick day to organize my pantry!!!!!


Jessica @ Counterscapes said...

I think the office hits too close to home for me. How does this happen??

Brandy said...

I have a great tip for #3- turn all your clothes hangers backwards (on the back side of the rod) and everytime you use a piece of clothing you hang it the proper way. So at the end of 3 mos, 6 mos. or whatever all the clothes with the hangers turned the wrong way you need to evaluate and start the process again.
A great tip on toy storage - I had so many toys for my son and he of course was way too little to enjoy them all. I would use three bins and rotate them. I would only let him play with one bin at a time for two weeks to a month and then pull another one out and it's like Christmas! It was like having new toys every month!!

I am a clean and neat freak and I have no problem getting rid of stuff! But even I have to constantly edit and remove things that are just taking up space.

Eric said...

Hey, just finished up with the pantry... Looks a lot better. Too bad we didn't take a before photo to compare with the after.

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