Live with What You Love

It should be no surprise to us that a home overrun by clutter and disorder is unsettling. There is an intrinsic connection between what we see around us in our home and how we feel to be in that space. Melissa Michaels, author of Make Room for What You Love, gives us her best tips on how to love your space.

A house is not really a home until it reflects the lives lived and cared about within its walls. It needs to exude the warmth and personality of the people inside. But a home filled with clutter and disorder tells a different story than we want to share. If the stuff we have piled up in our home isn’t truly enjoyed or treasured—has sat unloved and unused for days, weeks, months, or years—then it isn’t representing our life or who we are.

Clear Out Time
Start a new weekly ritual of clearing clutter and restoring order in one area of your house. Each week pick a different area to attack. Set aside a block of time on your calendar and don’t let anything crowd it out!

Do it Now

If you feel overwhelmed with how much there is to do in any given space, set aside just a few moments to tackle something. Be intentional with how you invest the time you have available. It’s amazing what you can do in pockets of time. Whenever you have a moment and see a little job to do, take advantage of it. Moments add up to progress.

5 Ways to Get Better Organized with a Little Therapeutic Frenzy

  1. Straighten up your coffee table. Corral objects and TV remotes in a drawer or tray.
  2. Declutter the desk. Recycle paper and shred unneeded documents. Put pens in a cup. Dust the tabletop.
  3. Tidy your bathroom. Dump out the trash, take things off the counter and put them back where they belong, wipe off the counters, swish the toilet bowl with a cleaning wand, and sweep the floors.
  4. Wipe off the kitchen counters. Sticky spots and crumbs on the counter can be wiped up in a matter of minutes.
  5. Clear the floor. Look around your entry. Is the floor cluttered with shoes, backpacks and briefcases? Take a few moments to clear the floor as you pass through.

Make Room

Make room for your authentic style to shine through. What pretty things will you invite into your home to inspire you when you kick out disorder? Perhaps you visualize a new, streamlined color palette or more orderly tabletops filled only with accessories you love. Visualize what you want and search for inspirational photos of what you imagine.

Five Tips to Streamline, Simplify, and Display What You Love

  1. Practice restraint. Just because you have a lot of cute objects and collections doesn’t mean you need to display them all at the same time. Create seasonal groupings of things you love, rotating collections so you don’t overwhelm
    your space.
  2. Group like objects together. Find a common theme to your accessories and group together items for display rather than spreading accessories throughout the house. Mismatched or unrelated accessories strewn around tabletops become a more streamlined collection if you arrange them together on a shelf by color theme.
  3. Streamline and unify. When you display items on a tabletop or wall, keep the items close together in the middle third or half of the wall or furniture piece rather than spread out across the entire surface or wall. This brings more unity and a more streamlined look to the display.
  4. Display everyday. Consider freeing up storage space by putting a collection to use. Perhaps you own a collection of pretty teacups. Use them in drawers to organize jewelry or divide hair ties. You’ll be delighted to see your pretty cups every time you open the drawer, and you’ll easily find those little accessories you enjoy too.
  5. Add breathing room. Your eye needs places to rest for your accessories to be fully appreciated. Don’t fill every surface in your home with trinkets. Allow some breathing room so your collections can be enjoyed, not lost in the clutter! If you feel unsure where to draw the line between cluttered and classy, empty your tables completely and give yourself time to cleanse your visual palate. See how little you can put back and still enjoy
    the space.

Get Organized with Hooks

In the entry.
Hooks increase your usable hanging space for coats, purses, leashes, and totebags, holding anything that needs to be carried in and out of the house.

In the bathroom.
Give each family member a hook with a number on it (or hang a house number above it) so each has a designated spot for their towel, robe or cosmetic bag.

In the kitchen.
Hang hooks on the sides of cabinets or kitchen islands to hold dishtowels, hand towels or oven mitts. If you are tight on storage space, hooks can hold pans and cooking utensils too.

Getting Focused

  • Focus energy on one important thing at a time. Set a timer for when it’s time to move on.
  • Focus on your most important work first, if possible, when you have a longer block of time, while your energy and focus will be at its peak.
  • Balance your energy with focused blocks of time for daily essentials. Make time for what must get done, the tasks that will make everything else run more smoothly and refuel your energy!
  • Focus on doing what matters to you each day and be gazelle-focused on saving the energy and time to make those important things happen. The key is to do less but focus more.

How to Create Order

Bring order to any space by considering:

  1. What to keep
  2. Where it belongs

Be a Matchmaker

  1. Like items go together
  2. Everything has a home
  3. Tidy up!

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