Take back your bedroom from all the clutter

The final post in the Declutter, Get Organized series will take a look at the bedroom. Your bedroom should be an oasis. A place to rest and relax at the end of the day. It should be a sanctuary. Whether you decide to tackle your kid’s bedroom or the Master Bedroom. The following same rules will apply.

Do you trip over piles of clothing, shoes, boxes, toys (in your kid’s case) or various tchotchkes? Are the tops of dressers piled high with stuff?

The good news is you can transform the bedroom from cluttered chaos to a serene space by simply rearranging (or even removing) furniture and de-cluttering.

Having too many pieces of furniture, no matter how big the space, can make it seem cluttered. Do you have several dressers, tables and chairs that are buried or overflowing with stuff? Clutter can make a room, no matter how large, seem small.

Instead of having several dressers throughout the room, declutter and reduce it down to no more than two. If you have a table in your room, do you use it (be honest) or is it buried under a bunch of papers, clothes, etc? Perhaps that table would be better suited in some other room in your home. How about that chair? Do you ever sit in it or is it too buried?

Perhaps you are of the mindset where you think you need another piece of furniture in your room and that is why there is stuff everywhere? I can guarantee that is not the case. The more furniture you have in the room, the more we tend to fill them.  Stuff attracts more stuff.

Don’t know where to start? Perhaps invite a friend for a fresh set of eyes to give you some perspective.

1. My suggestion is to move everything out of the space. That will give you a idea of how much space you actually have.

2. Get some boxes and label them, donate, sell or use elsewhere.

3. Before you move any furniture back in, consider giving your room a thorough cleaning, perhaps a fresh coat of paint, clean the floors, shampoo the rugs/carpets. Consider some new window treatments to freshen things up.

4. The main clutter culprit in any bedroom is clothing, shoes and accessories. People would rather cram in another piece of furniture rather than sort through their wardrobes.

I need you to be ruthless here. Again, ask a friend over. Remove everything out of your closet and drawers. If it no longer fits, you haven’t worn it in a year or two, or it’s outdated, it’s time to donate it. Only  try on pieces that you aren’t sure about and if you don’t like the way it fits, then it too can go.

Once you have gone through your wardrobe, place a box in your closet. Whenever you try on something and decide you no longer like it, then toss it into the donate box. When it is filled up, take it to a donation center or dropbox. Also, if you have a dry attic or basement, consider storing off season clothing elsewhere.

When returning items to the closet, take a good look at your closet. Perhaps you need an organization system that can be picked up rather inexpensively at any big box store especially if you have a single hanging rod spanning the entire width of your closet and one shelf.

Also, try to keep items from sitting on the closet floor. Buy yourself a shoe organizer.  Install some hooks for ties, belts, scarves and hats.

5. Next, let’s take a look at your bed. Is the bed taking over your room. Do you really need that king size bed? Perhaps the next time you are out shopping for a new bed, consider scaling back to a queen.

When it comes to bedding, I suggest going with basic whites or plain pieces in a limited colour palette. Plain pieces are interchangeable and you can get more for your buck.

When it comes to pillows, less is more especially if you aren’t one to make your bed every morning. Keep it to the pillows you use. I like to have two per person so it’s comfortable for reading in bed and a couple of throw pillows.

6. Your bedroom should be a retreat. Evict the home office. This is not a space where you should be doing work, paying bills, etc right before bed.

7. If this is a kid’s room that you are decluttering, I really recommend keeping the number of toys in their room to a minimum.

Once you have decluttered, reorganized and returned the furniture to your room, let’s put some daily rituals in place to keep the bedroom a serene place.

1. Make your bed everyday. It really only takes a minute or two.

2. Open your blinds and throwback the curtains. Let the natural light in.

3. At the end of the day, hang your clothes back up or toss in the laundry hamper.

4. If you bring a new item in to your room, then one item needs to go out.  This will help with the clothing clutter.

Declutter and Reorganize. Take 2. Closets

How many of us are guilty of jamming things away in a closet only to have a myriad of things fall out on top of us when we open the door. I think everyone has that dirty little secret. What do with that under utilized over stuffed closet? How can we make it work better for us?

As with any decluttering task, the first thing you must do is purge. Clean that sucker out. Decide what you are going to keep, toss, donate and/or sell.

Storage space is always at a premium no matter the size of the home. Let’s get those closets working harder for you.

Here are some inspiration photos to help you get various closets throughout your home working better for you.

When reorganizing your closet, many people forget about the valuable storage space of the door itself. Here, this blogger did a fabulous job of organizing her linen closet utilizing even the square footage of the door itself. Also, organize like with like. In the closet below, this home owner dedicated a shelf to bed linens, a shelf for towels, toiletries, etc. She used cabinet shelfs that you would normally see dishes stacked on to keep her bed linens and towels in order making use of every square inch.

Found on hauteindoorcouture.blogspot.com

Found on hauteindoorcouture.blogspot.com

Do you have an entry way closet that’s just not working for you? Are you constantly nagging your family members to hang their coats and put their shoes away?

Why not turn a closet into a mini mudroom? I love this idea as people will tend to hang their coat on a hook rather than use a hanger. This is ideal for kids too. Lots of baskets for storage and in this case, the home owner even built cubbies for paper work, home work, sheets to be signed, etc for her little ones. This works so much better than a closet with the standard shelf, rod and all that empty space on the floor where everyone just kicks off their shoes.

Found on hookedonhouses.net

Found on hookedonhouses.net

Do you have a closet in your home that is not getting a lot of use? In January, we took an under-utilized closet in our home and turned it into a board game library for our family. It has worked out great and I can’t tell you how many times, my kids have pulled out a board game in the past month rather than sitting in front of a TV screen. Win win all around.

Marsha Sefcik Interiors

Marsha Sefcik Interiors

How about a home office or craft space?

Found on hometalk.com

Found on hometalk.com

Found on freshome.com

Found on freshome.com

Last but, not least, let’s talk kid’s closets. I have younger kids and I think it is so important to organize their closets so they can reach their own clothes and learn to put things away. Also, as our littles are growing so fast, it is so important to do a purge of their closets seasonally to remove anything they have outgrown. A decluttered, organized kid’s closet makes getting dressed so much easier on them.

In the photo below, I liked how this mom used cubbies. I would use them for items likes Pjs, socks, etc. Using cubbies may eliminate the need for a dresser in the room which is great if you are short on space. I would put the clothes that are not in season on the upper hanging rods of the closet and use the lower rod for items that are now in season.

Found on onethriftychick.blogspot.com

Found on onethriftychick.blogspot.com

Let’s declutter and reorganize! Starting with the Kitchen

We are deep into winter which means we are spending a lot of time inside. If you are like me, spending all of this time inside makes you realize how cluttered or disorganized certain areas of your home has become. What better time than now to tackle some of these problem areas. I don’t know about you but, I’ve been spending way too much time on the couch watching Gilmore Girls reruns on Netflix. We may as well take an hour or so and do something productive. Let’s declutter and reorganize!

The way I like to approach the whole declutter process is to take it a room at a time. That is how I am going to approach this latest series here on my blog as well so those of you following along, if you so desire, can do these things in your home.

Let’s start with the kitchen. Let’s face it, it is the heart of the home, it’s where we spend a huge portion of our day and it’s where a lot of clutter can pile up. The rest of my house can be chaos (think two kids, Lego, glitter and glue) but, as long as my kitchen is neat and tidy, I’m okay.

IMG_2089I have a small kitchen for our family of four. When we moved nearly a year ago, it took me several months to get my kitchen organized and feeling just right. You see my last kitchen had much more cupboard space so storage was not an issue. This kitchen has half the cabinets and to get the new appliances in, we had to remove some of those cabinets too.

The first thing I did was edit. If you don’t use it and I mean you haven’t used it more than once or twice in the past twelve months, then it’s time to toss it. (By toss it, I mean donate it, sell it or discard).

1. Lower cabinets: Remove everything out of your lower cabinets. Once you have an inventory of what’s been hiding in those cupboards, start going through it. Be ruthless. Let’s face it, if you are not using that juicer, bread maker or popcorn maker anymore, do yourself a favour and get rid of it. It’s easy enough to pop your popcorn in a sauce pan. Also, unless you are some high end cook, you do not need several sets of pots and pans. Keep a small, medium and large sauce pan along with a small and large frypan. Turf the rest. Baking pans, casserole dishes, etc again be ruthless. Keep one of each size if you use them. For example, you do not need a glass pyrex 9×13 baking dish and a corning ware 9×13 baking dish. Keep your favourite. Also, if you have two appliances that do the same thing, keep the one you like and use the most. Get rid of the other one. How many coffee making appliances do you own? Do you use them? If not, time for some of them to go. They are taking up way too much valuable space.  Once you have edited things down, now it’s time to put it back. Organize like with like.

2. The tupperware drawer or cupboard. Again, if it is missing it’s partner in that you have the bottom but, no lid, get rid of it. A couple of years back, we decided to turf all of our plastic storage containers and replaced it with two sets of glassware storage containers with lids. They nest inside each other and I use a basket to store all of the lids. We have four different sizes and it more than meets our needs.

Found on raininghotcoupons.com

Found on raininghotcoupons.com

3. Upper cabinets. Do you have mismatched, chipped bowls and plates? If so and budget allows, turf it and replace them with two sets of white dishes (most sets are 20 pieces suitable for a family of 4). I like white as it will always complement my kitchen. Also the fancy restaurants use white as it’s the best background for food presentation. If white is good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. I scored on a service of 12 a few years ago and bought two sets so I have more than enough when we are entertaining. Also, check thrift stores to get good deals as well.

Marsha Sefcik Interiors

Marsha Sefcik Interiors

Coffee mugs, we are all guilty of it. Do your cabinets include an array of mugs with business logos plastered all over them? Okay, we are not in university anymore, turf them. Go out and get yourself some nice mugs. You can get white ones if your set of dishes did not come with any or if you are finding you could use a few more, why not pick up 4-6 in your kitchen accent colour? Check out your local dollar store, I’ve spied some really nice mugs from time to time. Chapters Indigo is another place that has great mugs.

Found on stylemepretty.com

Found on stylemepretty.com

4. Drawers- Most likely you have a drawer for your cutlery. If you are really short on drawer space, something to consider is a cutlery caddy that can sit on your counter or even on the table. Cutlery will always be handy for meal time and easy enough too when it’s time to unload the dishwasher.

Found on inthefunlane.com

Found on inthefunlane.com

Another drawer is probably dedicated to your dish cloths and towels. Please go through these and any ratty tatty cloths and towels, banish them to become your scrub cloths or for garage messes. Again, treat yourself and pick yourself up some new dish cloths and towels. They don’t have to be expensive.

At this point, you have decluttered your uppers and lowers along with any drawers. If you have a pantry (we have a small one) keep on going. Check expiration dates, freshness, etc.

You should have a lot less stuff after the purge. Here are some organizing tips to consider when returning everything to your cabinets.

1. Organize cabinets. Display dishes of same colour scheme together. I like to keep our everyday dishes close to the sink/dishwasher as it makes it easier when it comes time to clean up. I have our glasses in the cabinet close to our water cooler on the lower shelf so the kids can reach. Our coffee mugs are in the cabinet above our coffee/tea station.

Found on buzzfeed.com

Found on buzzfeed.com

2. Open storage shelving. If you equip your open shelving with everyday items, they will not get dusty. Everyone will know where everything is and it will make guests feel right at home as it is easy for them to help themselves.

Found on dougelissa.blogspot.ca

Found on dougelissa.blogspot.ca

3. If you are short on cupboard space, consider installing a pot rack. There are some great inexpensive DIYs on pinterest.  A pot rack keeps pots and utensils out of the way but, within reach.

Found on dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.ca

Found on dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.ca

4. I dislike counter clutter. Instead of a knife block, consider installing a magnetic metal strip to your backsplash. Amazon has one for $17.99. I also like to use a pitcher or a crock to store my cooking utensils. It sits next to the stove. This keeps them handy while freeing up cupboard space. Again, you don’t need three or more spatulas. Be sure to edit.

Found on farmhouse5540.blogspot.com

Found on farmhouse5540.blogspot.com

5. Use drawer organizers to corral little items like baking tools.

Found on iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

Found on iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

6. If you are avid coffee and tea drinkers. Consider creating a coffee/tea station in your kitchen. I use a tray to corral things like coffee, tea bags, spoons, cream and sugar.

Found on apartmenttherapy.com

Found on apartmenttherapy.com

7. Organize your food stuff such as your dry goods in vintage jars, mason jars, clear bottles and canisters.

Found on thekitchn.com

Found on thekitchn.com

8. Don’t have a pantry? Construct a pantry from industrial shelving. This is another inexpensive DIY project using a pair of metal storage units.

Found on akadesign.ca

Found on akadesign.ca

There you have it. A refreshed, decluttered and reorganized kitchen. A great project for us Canadians as we are heading in to a snowy long weekend.

Colour 101- Staying on top of the trends

Staying on top of the trends whether it be in the fashion world or home decor can be expensive. I am a firm believer in that it is not necessary to jump on every trend bandwagon that is out there. Let’s face it, it’s called a trend for a reason. The word trend is defined as: A trend is what’s hip or popular at a certain point in time. Some trends fade just as fast as they come in.

With that being said, how can we stay on top of trends, in particular colour trends (since this series is all about colour)? I believe we can incorporate colours trends easily without breaking the bank if we keep our main canvas fairly neutral. What I mean by that is when decorating and/or renovating, keep the big ticket items neutral. I am talking about flooring, large furniture items such as couches, kitchen cabinetry, countertops, etc. By all means go trendy with these items if you are one to redecorate/ renovate every 3-5 years.

If you keep the bigger items neutral than it is fairly easy to incorporate the ‘hot’ colour of the moment. For example this year’s Pantone colour of the year is Marsala. Marsala_wallpaper_Pantone_Color_of_the_Year_2015-1920x1200

(Personally, I’m not a fan). But, for argument sakes, let’s say you loved it and wanted to incorporate this colour into your home decor. Most people obviously go for paint. While paint is an inexpensive way to change a room, I wouldn’t necessarily gravitate towards the idea of painting an entire room in this colour. Because, let’s face it, by this time next year whatever room you paint this colour will all of a sudden look dated.

I love turquoise and red together but, I have chosen to use them as accent colours in my home rather than paint an entire room in these colours. That way, when I tire of them, it will be easy enough for me to remove those colours and inject a new accent colour as my walls and bigger furniture items are neutral.

My suggestions would be to inject hits of colour through:

  1. artwork (big box store, Pinterest, DIY your own artwork, paint a couple of frames on your gallery wall in your signature accent colour)

    Found on houseofturquoise.com

    Found on houseofturquoise.com

  2. small furniture pieces- accent chair, ottoman, side table (It’s easy enough to paint a small side table or a chair in a pop of colour to make a statement. Ottomans are an easy reupholstery project for the novice reupholster)

    af4965f688265872989e02c8138d03ed

    Found on decor8blog.com

  3. shower curtain

    Found on westelm.com

    Found on westelm.com

  4. glassware/dish ware ( a bowl on the counter to hold fruit.)

    Found on newlywoodwards.com

    Found on newlywoodwards.com

  5. Pillows (if you are handy with a sewing machine, it can be quite inexpensive to whip up several throw cushions in your accent colour of choice)

    Found on styleathome.com

    Found on styleathome.com

  6. Rugs ( a small area rug in front of the kitchen sink or runner in a hallway)

    Found on houseofturquoise.com

    Found on houseofturquoise.com

  7. Quilt, throws, duvet covers

    Found on bhg.com

    Found on bhg.com

  8. Lamps

    Found on honeywerehome.blogspot.com

    Found on honeywerehome.blogspot.com

  9. Paint closet door or interior door in a hit of colour
Found on blog.thedpages.com

Found on blog.thedpages.com

Doing any of the above would allow you to inject colour throughout your home easy enough without taking a serious hit to your wallet. It’s important when choosing an accent colour that you carry it throughout the home so the rooms relate to each other. It goes back to my first post in the series when I said use colour to tell a story. Many people pick a colour and slap it on the walls in a room and stop there. They never ‘decorate’ the room or any adjoining rooms with that colour. What ends up happening, that hit you were trying to make falls flat.

That ends my Colour 101 Series. Thanks for following along. I hope I have been able to shed some light on using colour in your home.

If you are interested in a colour consultation, whether on site or via online, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Colour 101- Creating Flow with Colour

Colour 101- Creating Flow with Colour

When working with clients, one of their main concerns when decorating is ensuring flow between the rooms. What do I mean when I say flow between the room? Well the dictionary meaning of flow is to have smooth continuity. In decorating terms, you want a colour scheme that works smoothly from room to room in connecting spaces. Think of your  home as one big book and the rooms throughout the home as chapters.

Young House Love Blog

Young House Love Blog

Continue reading

Colour 101- The Basics

Colour is an enigma. When I studied to become an Interior Decorator, we were told that some people are just naturals when it comes to working with colour while others need training to become good at it. Thankfully, for me, colour has always come naturally.  Now converting inches in to feet, that was something I needed training in (Canadians learned the metric system  in public school). Why dear lord why? But, I digress.

In the Eight years (eight years? Holy Moly) that I have been an interior decorator, I have helped numerous clients with their colour dilemmas. I love colour and I love paint. Paint is the most cost effective and most dramatic way to change a space.

In this post, I’m going to give you the basics on dark vs light colours:

Quite simply, dark colours cozy up a room. This means it can make a small room appear even smaller. That’s not to say you can’t do it. I am a believer that rules are meant to be broken but, sometimes you need a professional eye to pull it off. For example, small room with dark walls, dark floors, facing north (not a lot of natural light) and dark furniture will make the space feel like a cave and to some, claustrophobic. So to play it safe, keep the dark colours for larger spaces.

If you are so lucky to have a large living room/ family room/ master bedroom, etc with  perhaps high ceilings -think Cathedral or 10 feet plus then perhaps you will want to consider a darker colour to make the room appear cozier, smaller.

Houzz.com

Houzz.com

Take this Family room for instance. The walls are painted a dark grey. However, they have a cream coloured sectional. A dark coloured sectional would have been too heavy in this space. In this angle of the room, I can see wall sconces and two table lamps to brighten the room. They even added a Mirror to make room appear larger and spread light. They even used a light printed rug. The large coffee table is dark wood but they used light accessories.  The Sofa table has a pair of white base lamps. They also used white drapers and painted out the trim in white. I know this room has the higher than normal ceiling height as they have a transom window above the garden doors so the darker wall colour will not make the space close in on  you. Plus it is safe to say that window/door takes up the entire wall and probably receives a great deal of natural light. I’m assuming there is deck out through those doors and most people would not install a deck on the north side of their house. This is a perfect example of a darker wall colour done right.

Let’s talk lighter colours. They are airy, fresh, calming, relaxing. Lighter colours allow you to exhale. They make small spaces appear larger. They can also make larger spaces feel cold.

bhg.com

bhg.com

Here we have a smaller living room with a lighter paint colour. Despite using a lighter paint colour, they grounded the space with  a dark floor. However, they used a rug in a lighter shade to balance everything out. The legs of the furniture are also darker. They opted for leggy furniture as the room is smaller. Skirted furniture can appear too heavy in a small space.   Even the furniture is in pale hues. However this room is anything but boring as we have lots of pattern play going on- from the stripe on the sofa, to the trellis work on the accent chairs to the damask pattern on the window treatments. This is a small room and even though it has at least three windows, I am going to assume this room doesn’t get a lot of natural light throughout most of the day. This room is a perfect example of using lighter hues to achieve that cozy feeling.

Two rooms- dark and light colour schemes, both feeling cozy.

That’s the nitty gritty on dark vs. light.

Next post will discuss how to create flow from one room to another within your home.

Happy New Year

HappyNewYearCard2013

I don’t really set goals or new year’s resolutions. Some of the things that I am going to do again this year is save money corresponding to the week. For example, if it is week 16, then that week, I put away $16, week 17 is $17. At the end of the year,  I would have $1378 saved. It’s not a lot but, it sure helps especially around Christmas when my husband takes a week off to celebrate the holidays with us.

I also want to get back to doing my weekly meal planning. This helps with knowing what to prepare for dinner every evening but, also saves money on the grocery bill and reduces the amount of food being wasted.

I want to be mindful of living the life I want to live and not worrying or allowing other’s view points about our lifestyle choices from upsetting me. I am not going to enter into the game of justifying why our family lives the way we do.

Last but not least, I want to begin exercising. I turned 40 a couple of months ago and I have seen a huge change in my strength and flexibility. That scares me. I’m going to start small and go from there.

Happy New Year to Everyone.