Storage and the Realities of Decluttering
The weather has been far too nice lately for anything as mundane as decluttering but now that it has turned a little cooler, we’re going to get stuck in and have a good sort out because apparently a decluttered home makes us happier. Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that you can tidy your way to happiness? Fans of hit Netflix TV show, Queer Eye, will already know this and our favourite interiors blogger, Kate Watson-Smyth tells us that, ‘researchers at UCLA found that women who described their homes as cluttered were more likely to be depressed and, significantly, produced higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, than those who said their homes were restful. Sounds obvious but do you need any more excuses to put off the tidying now that you know it might actually be affecting your health?’
If you want to read more about designing a home that lifts your mood then Victoria Harrison, editor of Houzz has written a book about it called Happy by Design.
But as well as clearing out the old stuff we saved years ago ‘just in case’, which has never seen the light of day since, and getting rid of clothes that ‘might come back into fashion one day’, by which time you’ll be 30 years older and in a totally different style zone anyway, there are things that you’ll want to keep so it makes sense to think about the storage you need.
For stuff you actually like to see and use regularly we’re all about storage that looks good and keeps things accessible.
Metal File Boxes
For paperwork that needs to be handy but out of sight, we have these vintage-industrial inspired file boxes. They can be stored flat or on an end. It has two hinged openings so you access it from the top or from the end, and you can put something pretty on top behind the hinge to make it more of a still life.
Click to shop: Metal Storage Box
Wire Storage Trunks
These lidded wire storage trunks make a stylish statement. Available in three sizes, they are really versatile. We’d use the large for towels and linens, the medium for hairdryers and straighteners and the small for paperwork and magazines, or as a memory box. They can also be used for toys (children’s or dog’s), socks, scarves, the list goes on. How would you use yours?
Click to Shop: Wire Storage Trunks
Kitchen Tray Display
Organise Kitchen paraphernalia using a tray display and the principles of something tall (utensil jug), something small (carafe) and something to fill the space (herbs). These stoneware jugs make great utensil storage with their wide necks and robust weight. Trays are so good for instantly transforming an area from a cluttered mess to a stylish yet functional still life. As soon as you place items on a tray they are instantly organised, they look good and they are to hand when you need them.
Hooks and baskets
Independently, hooks and baskets make for great modern storage and you will no doubt have seen loads of gorgeous pictures all over Instagram of tidy, stylish spaces making use of these pieces. But combined they are a storage double whammy - hang a basket of stuff on a set of hooks and you can sit back and admire the effect whilst knowing that pile of scarves or heap of toys is nicely stored away.
Click to shop: Metallic Basket Bag.
Our tips for decluttering
- Do a small bit at a time. Trying to attack the whole house in a day might seem like a good idea in the morning when you are full of determination and energy but is likely to end up an unholy mess that you can’t find your way out of. Do one cupboard or area at a time and make sure before you start that you have factored in time to go to the tip and charity shops as part of the activity - if you start decluttering one evening, plan make to deliver your items the next day. Otherwise you’ll end up just moving the clutter around your own home and not achieving very much. Every little win will galvanise you to repeat the activity over time because it really does make you feel better, so keep each burst small and manageable.
- Be mindful of your mood. If you are feeling sad and sentimental you might find yourself holding on to more than you intend. Conversely, if you are feeling gung-ho and brave, you may get rid of things you later wish you had kept. To get around this, have a half-way house box where you put anything you are not sure about keeping, then you can look at it again with fresh eyes in a month or two and decide whether it stays or goes.
- Chuck, recycle, charity, sell, keep, decide later. These are your six decisions and therefore you need some form of container for each that you put items in as you go. Nice and simple. For everything you keep you can enjoy putting it away again later in nice clear cupboards or get creative and make use of it in a display.
- eBay etc. You hear about people making a small fortune selling stuff they no longer use on eBay. But ask yourself honestly, can you really be bothered? If you can, we salute you (and can you do ours whilst you’re at it?) but rather like getting organised to hit the tip, make sure you also factor in some time for getting everything photographed and loaded on to your chosen reselling site. If you know in reality that you’ll never get around to selling stuff on, you can reduce the containers described in step 3 from six to five.
Get the Look
Click links below to shop. Top to bottom, left to right:
Let us know how you get on in the comments and please share any other decluttering tips you have.
Main photo credit: Homes and Antiques magazine