8 places to help declutter - a crafter's nightmare
It's so easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of things you and the family accumulates. Whether you're a natural bowerbird (like myself) or just so busy that you don't have time to stop and take stock, or have deeper issues - it creeps up on you.
Now at this point all my friends and family reading this are probably rolling around laughing. Given a chance, I'd be the old lady living in a house with 17 cats and an Aladdin's cave of treasures. However, when I watch Hoarders on TV I have that sneaky suspicion that in other circumstances that could be me. I am a crafter, DIY-er and designer who sees opportunity in everything.
The value of removing clutter from your personal space
How many times have we found ourselves walking into a room that can be perfectly arranged yet still look like a disorganised mess? This is a common occurrence in many homes which are adorned with a variety of knick-knacks and other curios that end up being more of a burden on the overall scheme of the area than a decoration in itself. Sometimes reaching the point where it is actually painful to find something. I only have to look at my library or work room and find myself running. If you are a crafty person it's even harder as you know ever piece of scrap can always be used in a project. Old cushions and tea towels can be upcycled into new pieces and it's such a waste to throw it.
Interior design, while originally oriented toward changing the appearance of a room, office or even an entire home, does not necessarily mean you must do a 180 degree roundabout by getting rid of everything you already have. Many times, a few simple changes can add a new life to a wilting area, especially when they are focused on maximising the available space, and this happens when you start removing clutter.
Where do I start?
I'm a sentimental sort of girl. I couldn't tell my husband that the special Liberty pillow cover he bought me for our first Christmas was hideous. So I continued using it for 18 years.
Removing clutter can seem like a gargantuan task, especially when what were once decorative pieces have started accumulating in every available rack, corner table or wall. Because of this, the first thing to be done when starting out on an adventure of this magnitude is to take a good look around, while being critical of what you see. For example, see that porcelain figurine your grandma brought back from the British Isles when George was still the King of England? Ask yourself, do you really need it on display or is it better off wrapped in protective paper to be enjoyed at special times for many more years?
Unless you have an complete matching set you can place in a glass cabinet for permanent show, it's best to simply take the figurine, wrap it in tissue paper and put it in storage, bringing it out only when you are ready to change things around again. Another case in point are all those magazines piling up on your coffee table. Sure, you love reading your magazines, but that doesn't mean the stack has to grow, does it? In this case there are two great choices, either remove some of the older ones and leave only a few at hand, or invest in a magazine rack, where your collection can be neatly organised adding a more interesting look to your room.
While removing clutter is a matter of personal preference, it is always a good idea to prevent it from forming in the first place. Always make sure you have a few choice accessories while keeping the rest in storage. This way, you can switch them around throughout the year making your room always look different and well kept.
When my mother downsized from her apartment to the retirement village she couldn't display all her favourite pictures, so I kept a number in storage for her and every 4 months changed them around for her. So remember you don't have to throw you special items away, you can just choose when you want to display them. You can curate your own exhibitions at home.
There are some great blogs out there and businesses if you need more hands on help:
In no particular order (except the names appealed)
You can find registered decluttering specialists at The Australian Association of Professional Organisers