Create a home you love

Master Bedroom organization after redesignLet me start with wishing everyone a  Happy Valentine’s Day!  In honor of Valentine’s Day I wanted to write something about the topic of love. We all get used to our surroundings and our house and sometimes get too comfortable with the clutter. But do we truly surround ourselves with things we love?

The very popular new book “The Art of the Magic of Tidying up” by Marie Kondo, does have one really good message. Does everything in your home spark joy?? Are you keeping things you do not love out of guilt, or because it was expensive or you just have a hard time letting things go? The designer Nate Berkus also wrote a book called “The Things that Matter”. The theme of the book is the same. You should surround yourself with things that make you happy and have meaning. Maybe items in your house are sentimental or do  they just have happy colors or make you feel good?  Choose your favorite photos to display, or a piece of art that makes you feel calm,  a decorative object from a favorite vacation or loved one….  Whatever the reason is if you start to look at your house from a different perspective you will have an easier time creating the space you have always wanted.

Holiday Decorating

christmas reindeer decor by professional organizer christmas tree decorations

One of my favorite things to help clients with is Holiday decorating!  Everyone has their own unique style and holiday traditions which makes each house different and fun.

Most of us have acquired quite a collection of Holiday decorations but each year there is always a temptation to add something , change a theme or update a look.  Holiday decorations don’t always have to be expensive. There are plenty of ways to spruce things up without spending much except for your time. (which I realize many of you are probably short on)  But for those of you that are up for a little DIY decorating here are some creative ideas I have found over the years.

-Look at catalogs and magazines for inspiration to create the look you want

White lights can make quite an impact-they can be used in jars, vases, hung from the mantel. (there are some great battery powered lights for those of you that don’t have easy access to an outlet).

-A can of spray paint can transform almost anything!  If you have some decorations that need a face lift, maybe you have changed your color scheme?  Basically if you like the shape of something but not the color just spray paint it and make it work with your decor. (vases, candlesticks, wine bottles, etc.)

-I have seen many things recently on Pinterest on how to make snow covered jars-a little glue and some epsom salt.

Tree branches that have fallen in your yard could make great miniature trees. Stick the branches in a bucket of sand or rocks and cover the bottom in burlap.  Then spray paint the branches white, add a little glitter or some white lights and you have a tree! (this would be great for a front porch)

– A little burlap, raffia or ribbon can add just the finishing touch to something.

-Buy some silk fabric for a tree skirt.  It is a fraction of the cost and looks beautiful.

-Buy inexpensive garland and add your own ribbon and other embellishments. This looks more custom and high end and it reflects your own look.

-Go to the dried flower aisle and pick out some great pods and pine cones to add into your tree, wreaths or garland.

Surround yourself with things that make you happy

officeforblogSometimes we become so used to our surroundings that we do not look at things objectively. We all have a tendency to gather decorative objects and home decor without always thinking about it. Maybe a friend or family member gave you a gift that wasn’t really your taste or you inherited hand me downs from family. It is a common theme for people to keep things out of guilt. Take an honest look at your house and when decluttering choose to keep items that truly make you happy.

Compare and Contrast

In my last post I mentioned that many, if not most people are collectors.  The process of collecting things comes in many forms, and often people aren’t even aware that they do it, or don’t consider themselves a collector in the traditional sense.

Sometimes people just like to bring home souvenirs from places they’ve been: spoons, shot glasses, refrigerator magnets, etc.  Other people take their collections more seriously and usually have a lot more of these types of things: antiques, record albums, books, toys and similar items.

Many people collect clothes, shoes, handbags, etc., and even though they don’t consider themselves to be collectors, they are, in the sense that they are constantly adding, but never get rid of anything that they don’t need anymore, thereby making themselves collectors.

And it’s not that collecting things is necessarily bad.  It’s how you manage and maintain your collection that becomes important. After seeing the season premier of A&E’s Hoarders, I was struck by the way that different people manage their collections, and this Hoarders episode seemed like the perfect example to illustrate the point.

This particular episode highlights a couple who have spent years collecting so many toys and games to the point that it has taken over their home and their lives.  Their collection is piled up in every room, taking up every available space to the point of hoarding; The process of collecting has become the focus, not the collection itself.

Now contrast this with an example from my own family.  I have a relative who lives in a small town who has been collecting dolls for years. Thousands of dolls, of every type and kind that you can imagine.  Antique baby dolls, action figures, Barbies, even Pez dispensers.  The list goes on and it is quite breathtaking to see in person.  The difference?  She has had a small house (dollhouse?) built on her property, with shelves and display cases to organize and display her vast collection.  She is proud of her collection and maintains it accordingly.  It is in fact, a small museum.

I realize that not everyone has the luxury of constructing a building to display their collections, and that many collections are just fine displayed in the home.  But the larger point I’m trying to make is that how you maintain your collection is as important as the collection itself.  Is it something that you are proud of and keep organized and well maintained, or is it just a big collection of stuff that is taking over your life?