This post is part of a 31 day series – 31 days to Love the Home You Have. I am blogging through the 31 day challenge in the back of the book “Love the Home You Have” by Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room. You can read all the posts in the series so far here. And to make sure you don’t miss a post you can sign up to have every post delivered to your inbox , or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram to get even more home decorating ideas and inspiration to help you fall in love with your home.
So you had to know that declutter was going to come up in this series. The longer I am a wife/homemaker and striving to create a beautiful home, I am realizing that this ONE thing – CLUTTER – is probably the biggest obstacle to us in creating a peaceful and beautiful home.
“Regardless of our personal tolerance for clutter and our choices about how much stuff we want or need in our home, we will not love the home we have until we master our messes.” (Love the Home You Have, p. 90)
Think about the areas that frustrate you most in your home… I bet one of the reasons or maybe the main reason is because it is CLUTTERED and filled with junk. I am preaching at myself as much as I am anyone reading in this post because I struggle with clutter too. I have been on a mission to slowly declutter and rid our home of unneeded stuff for over a year. I had a huge yard sale in the spring, have taken probably 8 trips to Goodwill over the summer, and am about to have another huge yard sale before October is over. My level of tolerance for clutter and my overwhelming desire to have a peaceful, functioning home has motivated some pretty big changes around my home.
I love this quote she shared – sometimes it isn’t BAD stuff that is cluttering our homes and lives. It just TOO MUCH good stuff! Not very many of us have obvious trash cluttering up spaces in our home – it’s GOOD STUFF. Just too much of the good stuff.
You are going to have to find what works for YOU in your home. Everyone’s tolerance for clutter and the way they truly desire their home to look will be different. I have friends that I don’t think I have ever seen one shred of paper or clutter in their home – and no, I don’t know how they do it and honestly I am not sure that is my level of tolerance for clutter. You may think that a centerpiece and placemats on the table are “clutter” while others don’t have a problem with a stack of mail in a designated spot on the counter. To some the following pictures I am going to show are still going to appear “cluttered” and you would never find a magazine basket in their home because they are pretty much thrown out immediately. But for me right now, this is ok. That may change as I continue to declutter and honestly make my home more simple to manage. But for right now this works.
I had let the magazine and paper clutter in the living room pile up a bit and finally got a chance to tackle it the other night. See my tolerance for clutter is aiming to keep it off the coffee table and end table – so if I don’t have time to deal with the mail or go through the newspaper or file receipts instead of them piling up on the flat surfaces I throw them in this basket. My intention is to go through it each week.
So here’s the overflowing stack of magazine basket before and after.
And this basket on the other side of the couch is my husband’s basket which I cleaned out by throwing out expired magazines and ads.
All of this went in the trash/recycling plus another pile to the shredder and to be filed.
I am currently working on a more functioning office space so hopefully that “junk basket” won’t reside in the living room much longer. But for right now, this works for me and it helps keep other areas clutter free. I find my biggest challenge for me with clutter is not having a designated space for things. Yes, sometimes I have TOO much stuff but the stuff that I have to keep, if I don’t have a spot for it, it turns into clutter.
“The tolerance for messiness and the commitment to beauty in any home will be unique to each woman and each family. The key is to find the right balance.” (Love the Home You Have, p. 75)
Here’s some other posts I have done on clearing clutter or organizing messy areas:
So what’s your balance? What works for your family? If there are areas of your home that are making you unhappy because of clutter than purpose to get them under control today.
Challenge: What area of your home comes to mind immediately when you think of clutter – a closet, paper clutter, pantry, kitchen cabinets? Choose an area to conquer today (or maybe this weekend). Take before/after pictures – text them to a friend to keep you accountable, share them with me over on facebook, or keep them just for you to see. Then think about how you feel about that space afterwards? If that space makes you that much more happier with your home then let that be a challenge to you to continue to tackle other areas of your home.