3 easy steps to de-cluttering & organising

I was delighted to be invited to host an interior design Q&A session for Direct Blinds recently. Readers posted their questions via Twitter and Facebook and I'm going to be tackling some of them on the blog over the next couple of weeks, starting today with a subject which is a particular bugbear of mine... storage.

Cameratic asks:

How can you store things without it looking messy or piling up storage boxes?

Firstly, I have to hold my hand up and admit that my own home, and my office in particular, is most definitely not a mess free zone. My natural tendency is to allow things to become painfully cluttered and disorganised, a state of affairs that is punctuated at predictably regular intervals (i.e. every Saturday morning when I tackle the cleaning), by a minor meltdown followed by a frenzied attempt to blitz everything back into place.

But here's the key thing I've learned about storage and organisation, and it's a simple, basic truth.

It's hard to stay organised when you have too much stuff and too little space.

Here are 3 steps you can take to get on top of things.

1. De-clutter

If your available storage space is limited and you find that things frequently end up piled on top of one another (and I'm speaking from experience here), then start by first of all taking everything out, laying it flat and assessing the situation.

I tackle de-cluttering by sorting my unwanted possessions into the following piles:

  1. Items I might be able to sell on ebay.
  2. Things to donate to my local charity shop.
  3. Stuff that can go straight in the bin or to the recycling centre.

And I've learned to be ruthless. De-cluttering can be incredibly therapeutic. Create an incentive by promising yourself a treat once you've met your goals. You could for example, sell some of your unwanted clothes on ebay and then use the money to buy an item you've always coveted.

2. Group

Once you've got rid of everything you no longer want or need you can take a clearer look at what's left and start to think about organising your remaining possessions so that they are more easily accessible.

Group together items with the aim of identifying recurring elements and achieving a consistency of style, colour or material - this will help to create an overall feeling of harmony.

3. Display

The final step is to show off your newly edited belongings. A pile of blankets or towels neatly folded and colour co-ordinated becomes something that can be proudly displayed on a shelf rather than hidden away in a cupboard. A collection of ornaments and trinkets can be artfully arranged to create a pretty vignette on top of a dressing table or chest of drawers.

In the picture above, a small bedroom, with no wardrobes and fairly minimal storage, has been organised into a practical and attractive space that really works. And it does so because the owner's possessions have been thoughtfully edited, grouped arranged to create a pleasing display. There's a common colour palette - whites, neutrals and tans - which creates a sense of consistency. The overall effect is clean, balanced and harmonious.

So to sum up - de-clutter, group and display. Sounds easy doesn't it? Now, I just need to follow my own advice.

Posted in collaboration with Direct Blinds

Helen PowellComment