“Space, order, serenity…my home has it all. It’s just hidden under those enormous mountains of junk.”
Have you ever felt this way?
No matter how you try to justify your hoarder’s lair, whether you call it ‘homely’, or ‘cozy’, or say it ‘accurately showcases the complex and diverse nature of your personality’ – deep down you know it’s just a big old mess.
I’m not just going to tell you to throw away anything you haven’t used for at least six hours every day for the past nine years like some interior décor sites do (OK, I’m an exaggerator as well as an ex-hoarder), so instead I’m going to start you off with a bit of group therapy. I Am a Hoarder Who Longs to Be a Minimalist offers a plethora of personal stories by people in your position, and there are other similar forums online. You’ll laugh, cry, and realize you’re not alone. The next step, of course, is realizing that you really don’t want to be associated with these types of problems, and that’s when you can really start to move forward.
Now you’re in the right frame of mind, let’s begin the interior design wizardry that’ll transform your home from Disorganised Life Shame to Beautifully Laid-out Calm, with a few clever tricks I picked up along the way…
1. The Decluttering Process: How You Probably Should Do It
Throwing away your prized belongings can be extremely tough, but having a solid goal to work to can really help. Create a mood board from images of minimalist homes, or use Pinterest to keep your dream end-result in sight. Try having these images within eyesight as you sort through each room to keep up your motivation, or pay someone to stand there and shout encouraging/threatening things at you – different things work for different people. Having said that, I challenge anyone not to find this guide from How Stuff Works helpful.
OR The Decluttering Process: “But what if I just did this…?”
While I do agree with all those other décor sites that you’ll need to be tough on yourself if you want a truly minimalistic home – after all, you’re going from one extreme to another – I also know that some people simply aren’t prepared to part with their life’s collected paraphernalia. Cheat instead. Who’s to know if you just hired some self-storage? Mobile Mini has sites all over the UK and Ireland, so no hoarder is far from a place to call their own, and then never speak of again.
2. Home Essentials: Organizing the Essentials to Create a Minimalist Look
Say you’ve successfully thrown away all the items that could be deemed ‘clutter’, how do you go about styling your home to be less mismatched and more intentionally minimalistic? One tip is to blend your belongings in with the room’s color scheme. If this means repainting, be sure to choose pale colors with white being the preferable option – obviously. You’ll be amazed (ish) at how many items you can squash into a space if they are all in a single shade: compare this neat, all-white scene with this all-too-familiar cluttered setup. If color-matching all your belongings isn’t an option, try having a prevailing theme throughout to give the sense of organization.
OR Home Essentials and more: Hiding Them to Create a Minimalist Look
What the eye can’t see (unless it really, really looks and has nothing better to do than criticize your attempts at improving your home in which case it should just leave before you give it a good poke right in the iris) can’t hurt it, so simply keep your indispensable clutter out of your line of sight. Beds with built-in storage – or space for you to slip some storage boxes underneath are great for neatly stowing away anything from books and bric-a-brac to shoes and linens. Mounting shelves above eye-level, particularly above a door frame or in an alcove, is a great tip to get less-used items safely out of the way of those judging looks.
3. The Finishing Touches for a Minimalist Home
Apart from a light, airy color scheme, what else makes a minimalist home?
· Clear surfaces: whatever you have going on underneath your coffee table or down the back of your wardrobe, keep your flat surfaces clear of junk. You may want a single ornament to add a splash of character, and this is fine. I like to change up this feature item every so often to give myself a chance to display the things I love without cluttering up my house again.
· Keep window dressings simple: blinds create a sleek, simple look. Go for pale colors to give a light and airy look, and keep them open as much as possible to give the impression of more space.
OR Clever Tricks for a “Minimalist” Home
Floors should be clear except for furniture, but who’s really going to look underneath your furniture? Also, what’s to stop you just getting more furniture? Some storage solutions simply look like stylish items of furniture; instead of worrying about all those shoes and accessories you still own because, despite this article’s commendable efforts, you’re still a naughty hoarder, just become the type of person who has a trunk at the end of their bed. No one need know it hides your secret.
Here’s one last tip to send you on your way: clear walls give the impression of a clutter-free room, so resist the urge to add too many artwork on your walls and you’re there – minimalism personified. Well done!
Sources: Mobile Mini. Images 1: Mark Hickman Homes. 2: Lauren Leonard Interiors. 3: Lauren Leonard Interiors. 4: Lauren Leonard Interiors. 5: Lauren Leonard Interiors. 6: Maison Market. 7: Harrison Design Associates – Atlanta.
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