A new year calls for fresh canvases from which to live, work and play, so it comes as no surprise that many of us feel the urge to declutter and simplify our worlds after the craziness of Christmas. But with a big summer clean out comes a lot of work and tough decisions based around what to keep and what to part with.
Lucy Adler of Sophie Hart Styling shares her professional tips and advice for clearing out the past and making way for a simplified and calmer future.
We talk about the benefits of decluttering and living a more minimalist lifestyle – but what does it really mean to think small at home?
“Minimalism for me is all about creating a calm, relaxed and functional home. Taking the time to declutter provides you with a moment to refresh your style – and also allows you to replace anything that’s old, broken, useless or dated.”
These days we all have so much ‘stuff’. What are the first steps toward culling our possessions without getting too overwhelmed by the task at hand?
“You need to be in the right mindset to get started. But once you are there, it’s best to go room by room so it’s not overwhelming. The key is to start small and then break it down into easy-to-manage tasks. It’s a good idea to set a goal and tackle a cupboard or a room per day. Once you start reaping the benefits of your actions, you will be inspired to tackle the rest of the house.”
Are there simple changes anyone can make to ease into the process?
“Yes, this starts before the cleanout. Consider every item carefully before it is allowed to move into your home. Buy quality products that are both beautiful and functional, so they last longer.”
How about when it comes to getting rid of too much and regretting it later?
“No regrets! If the item still works but it’s just not for you, find it a new home. Try giving things to friends and family, sell your items online or donate them to your local charity or op-shop. That way you can be confident knowing your items are being loved by someone else.
The issue is we tend to have an emotional attachment to everything. Only hold onto things that have true and real meaning or value to you.”
Are there questions we should ask ourselves when decluttering?
“I always ask myself ‘does this piece make me happy?’, ‘do I use it regularly?’ and ‘is it serving a function?’ If the item in question doesn’t tick at least two boxes – out it goes!”
Are there particular storage solutions we can create without going out and buying more stuff?
“Repurposing sentimental pieces is a great storage solution. Vintage jugs can hold kitchen utensils, grandma’s vase can be used as a bookend and old
Beyond decluttering, how are we able to make our homes look bigger so it appears like we have more space?
“It’s worth investing in good storage. Make it simple, user-friendly and easy to access so everything can be stored effortlessly. Then you should do a clear out once a year to keep on top. A spring clean. Moving is always a good place to start, too.”
Words by Alana Wulff.
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