Clutter vs. Keepers: A Guide to New Year's Purging

Clutter vs. Keepers: A Guide to New Year's Purging

With a new year upon us and the resolution-making frenzy in full effect, a lot of us (myself included) will probably be casting apart clutter in an attempt to streamline our houses. But exactly what, and how much, would you eliminate? What makes clutter, clutter? Where would you draw the line between an inspiring collection and also a jumbled mess? And what about some of those styling tricks used for photo shoots — creative or ridiculous? In case you have ever walked into a friend’s house and found yourself wondering how they could live with that things, you understand that we all have our own clutter comfort level.

So the questions become: What is clutter to youpersonally, and what do you really do about it? Read on to discover where you stand on the clutter relaxation continuum, then use the questions which follow to analyze your motives for keeping (or tossing) just about anything in your home.

Walter Studio Interior Design

Part 1: Finding Your Clutter Comfort Degree

Each of us has an innate sense of what feels “cluttered,” so the first step in coming to terms with your clutter is deciding what your clutter collection point is. Some people would feel right at home in a British country house crammed full of antique furniture, vases, sculpture, potted plants and toss cushions. For others, that sort of living room could be incredibly unappealing.

Have you got the spirit of an artist? If you’re drawn to saturated colors and prefer to be surrounded by layers of intriguing textiles, items and original artwork, you lean toward the maximalist, artistic side of the spectrum when it comes to decorating.

Annette Tatum

If you’re an artist at heart, it would be pointless to attempt to clear away all the “things” in your house that you draw inspiration from. Your energy is buoyed by having exciting, tactile and colorful objects to research — your challenge is to continually edit and curate your possessions. Try rotating out favorite pieces and keeping some hidden away in a trunk or closet so your space is not overwhelmed.

Croma Design Inc

Or the soul of an architect? Are you drawn to the inherent arrangement of things, clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic? Does colour make you a bit nervous (or look superfluous), and you instead appreciate white area? If yes, you’re an architect at heart. For youpersonally, every item in your house must earn its own keep, by being equally useful and well designed. And if you’re living with an artist? This is going to need to be a subject for another day!

Chronicle Books

Part 2: The Guiding Questions

No matter whether you’re a maximalist or minimalist, what makes something “clutter” for each people has a lot to do with whether it’s useful to you. Beyond matters of strict utility, we use our belongings to enrich our lives in the home in many ways. The next five questions are supposed to help sift through the reasons we keep things around; then it is possible to decide whether it warrants a place in your house.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Does this resonate with your sense of beauty and style? Home is the only location where we possess the capability to choose the way we want things to feel and look. When you look at something and your heart flutters, you feel uplifted or you immediately think, “That is so me,” it’s a keeper. We all deserve little minutes of beauty for beauty’s sake.

Does this get on your way? A good indication that something’s clutter is if you frequently find yourself annoyed by it. Excessive cushions that have to be chucked off the couch or bed in order to settle in, knick knacks which make cleaning difficult, each the who-knows-what stuffed into the hallway closet that threatens to collapse in your head every time you open the door. These are your principal problem areas, so handle them.

Astleford Interiors, Inc..

Do the colors, textures or patterns inspire you? The colors, textures and patterns that surround us may have a profound effect on the way we feel. Pay attention to the way you respond to colour in your house — it’s equally as important to eliminate the colors which make you feel irritable or down as it is to play up the hues you love.

Beccy Smart Photography

Does this call up hot memories? Family photographs, art made by your kid’s hands, and heirlooms passed down for generations have the ability to fill your heart with pleasure just by their very presence in your home.

On the other hand, objects that bring up unwanted emotions qualify as clutter of their most insidious kind. When it’s a gift which you simply dislike from a well-intentioned comparative, or a photograph that reminds you of a challenging period in your life, these are certainly not things you need on display. If you can not bring yourself to actually eliminate the product, at least keep it packed out where it will not be a daily downer.


If you suspect that your memorabilia may be getting out of hand, ask yourself if you still appreciate each one the pieces on display, or should they fade into the background as you walk by. When too much is competing for your attention, the individual items shed some of their specialness; so attempt to edit it all down. You can always keep a drawer of extra photographs and change some out, or arrange a single giant gallery wall to hold all your favorites simultaneously.

Nicole Lanteri Design

Does this give you creative thoughts? Designers and artists often keep inspiration boards full of everything and anything which inspires them at the moment. Even if you don’t possess an inspiration plank, there may be items in your house you turn to for inspiration which may initially seem like clutter — enormous backlogs of publications, a comprehensive book collection, a cabinet of colorful pottery. As soon as you realize that you use these items for inspiration, then you can figure out a way to house them neatly, steering them away from the destiny of being labeled “clutter”

Lux Decor

Extra credit: Conduct a space audit. Looking at every item in your house, in the curtains and toss pillows to the contents of your desk drawer, is a time-consuming project, to be certain. But if the new year gets you feeling motivated, moving through your house piece-by-piece could be very eye opening. By intentionally deciding what to keep (and why) and what to let go of (and why), you can raise your feelings of engagement with your things — and your life.

Inform us Are you a minimalist or a maximalist? What is your biggest challenge when facing clutter in your home?

More: Clutter-Clearing 101

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