Less clutter design | TheUnion.com

Less clutter design

You might have lovely furniture and tasteful art work in your home, but if it’s cluttered, no one will notice.

It’s true that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, but your home should be a calm place you want to live in, not a messy environment. It’s a psychological fact that having too much stuff/junk/clutter around actually weighs you down. And, when things are messy, it’s often hard to find what you need.

Remember when your grandmother told you “A place for everything and everything in its place”? There was a lot of wisdom in that cliché.

There are certain places that tend to attract “stuff.” Look around you – are there piles of mail on the kitchen counter or by the door? Is yesterday’s newspaper on the floor by the couch? Has the refrigerator door become your personal bulletin board?

We’ll start with your car keys, since you’re usually holding them when you walk into the house. Do you have a regular place for them? If not, I’d say it’s a sure bet you’ve misplaced them once or twice. Hang a key holder by the door you use to enter the house and immediately hang them up.

If you’re holding mail, have a place for that, too. I immediately sit at my bistro table and sort through the mail when I first come home, and move it accordingly. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, keep an in-basket in the room where you pay the bills and try to sort through everything before you go to bed.

A lot of clutter also seems to migrate to where you watch television. If you have your TV in an armoire, put the TV Guide and all your remotes inside the cabinet. If you don’t, place a basket next to the television and make that the destination for all things media related. Having a place for the remote means no more searching for it.

It’s much easier to have a place for everything. Storage is imperative to ending clutter! But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run out and buy anything, just be more creative with what you have.

Storage under the bed is a brilliant idea. It’s a huge reservoir of unused place, and perfect for things like wrapping paper, or storing winter sweaters in the summer. It also makes the perfect place to keep all those accessories you don’t have room for like belts and scarves. Get one of those plastic narrow under bed storage containers and you can slide it out to find the perfect accessory for whatever you’re wearing.

Closets can store much more than you’d imagine with a little creativity. Double your closet space by installing a second rod halfway between the floor and your upper rod. Jackets, shirts and pants folded over a hanger lend themselves to “double hanging” and actually make everything easier to see.

If you have school age children, try this trick: Buy one of those sweater hangers that have about six “cubbies” going down lengthwise. Give each child their own cubby. You can pick out school clothes the night before and put them in the cubby, or put school work that needs to be returned, lunchboxes, jackets. Everything is right there when you need it, and mornings will be a lot less hectic.

And here’s a handy tip for all those drawings, school work, and other things your kids bring home that you can’t bear to throw away, but have no place for. Buy a for plastic trash container for each child, label it and put it in the garage. All the school mementos go there. And when junior leaves home, he can decide if it has any sentimental value … or not.

Barbara Wirth pecializes in residential interior design. She has been a professional designer for 34 years and is ASID & CID certified. She can be reached at 274-3834.

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