While embracing the relaxation of Covid-related restrictive measures, our road to recovery is shadowed by clouds of war and the constant bad news…do you ever find it hard to relax, even in your own home? You’re not alone. A lot of of our clients find it difficult to cope with the anxiety and tension between family members due to the amount of clutter at home. Yes, when clutter is clogging up your space, it creates a mental muddle too.
Decluttering not only gives you more physical space, it also lifts emotional load off your mind, and creates more clarity in your life. We, the professional organisers, are here to help you clear your clutter, so you can have the space you love, the life you enjoy.
In this short guide, I hope to show you how you can clear your way to a calm space, and eventually create a sanctuary where you can wind down and relax, a place where you can “hide yourself” (when it’s all getting too much), to practice meditation or enjoy other relaxing hobbies or exercise.
Step1: Have a vision
If you want to transform your space to a calm and relaxing one, start by giving it a nice name, imagine what it looks and feels like, use mood boards, images you see from magazines, or pictures from your favourite holiday destinations. Gather your inspiration in one place.
Define you space, give it a purpose. While a single purpose room is easy to design and manage, a room of multiple purposes can be managed well with a bit of extra planning. Your colour choice is important too. If you want a calm and soothing space, green is a good choice. Whatever you do, don’t call it a spare room, or even worse, junk room. You know what will happen afterwards.
Step 2: Be mindful about relaxing “hobbies”
A little bit of what you fancy does you good, too much and you might end up with the amount of stuff that’s beyond manageable.
In practice, we find that many people struggle to keep on top of their hobbies. Something that is supposed to help you relax can become burdensome if you have ‘too much’ at a given time. For your mental well-being, we suggest that you select no more than three hobbies for any defined space and carefully consider whether they are the best fit for your current lifestyle (you can always rotate your hobbies later on). Once you have ‘narrowed down’ your hobbies, designate a particular spot for each hobby. Otherwise ‘hobby related clutter’ can easily manifest and take over a room (think of the amount of baking supplies you might have).
Step 3: Be ready to be flexible if you share your home with someone else
What if you have one unused room but more than one person’s needs to accommodate? The answer is flexibility and creativity. When planning your room layout, storage and decor, always ask this question: “Who’s going to use this room and for what purpose?” If you and other family member(s) have conflicting requirements for one space, it’s best to discuss whether you can occupy the space at different time of the day/week.
Step 4: Clear the clutter
Be ruthless with clutter, think of it as an enemy to your ideal calm space. Find your local APDO organiser to help you declutter your space.
Step 5: Source your storage last
Remember, always declutter first before you get more furniture for storage! In the process of decluttering, you’ll very likely find storage solutions in the existing space. If not, draft a storage plan before you go shopping (just like you would do with grocery shopping), a list always helps to keep you on track. One of our clients transformed her clutter-ridden spare room into a peaceful guest bedroom, and she only spent £30 on actual furniture (by using what was already there) and getting rid of the clutter.
Have fun creating and clearing your way to a calm home, and enjoy the spring sunshine when you can!
Jane Zhang Rice (Serenity Organising & Decluttering Service)