Tackle the physical clutter
Want peace of mind? Experts in home organising say one way is to be objective and prepared to discard or donate unwanted items. Marie Kondo, Japanese cleaning consultant and bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book on the art of decluttering, swears by the unique magic of a tidy home and the calm, motivated mindset it inspires. Only keep things that actually ‘spark joy’, she says.
Alejandra Costillo, a professional organiser, whose practical, effective decluttering and home organising video programmes have earned her a YouTube following of close to 1 million agrees. ‘You will accumulate a lot of stuff in your lifetime and either you control your clutter or it will control you,’ she warns.
Tackle the visual clutter
Too many things left out in the open confuse our eyes and create ‘visual’ clutter. Invest in furniture or décor accessories that come with a concealed storage unit of some kind. Let simplistic logic be your guide when storing things. For instance, rather than placing heaps of towels in the bathroom where they absorb moisture, create a concealed decorative basket which stores fresh towels, but store it logically… just outside the bathroom door where the towels basket would be easily remembered and reachable every day.
Friends and family tend to huddle around the centre of the room, making the living room coffee table the heart of a home party. So recreate a cosy, inviting vibe around this central area. Refresh the existing coffee table décor with runners, candle stand or a unique centerpiece. Or, if your budget permits, invest in a new interesting ‘conversation starter’ centre table.
Get the dining area party-ready
Planning to host party dinners during the festive season? If space permits, invest in an aesthetic buffet cabinet by the side of the dining table. Keeping only dining-related accessories in a buffet cabinet nearby means you’ll never have to hunt to locate the pieces of special occasion crockery, cutlery, glasses, table mats, runners and candlestands. Plus, it would free up precious space in your kitchen previously taken up by these less-frequently used crockery items.
Add a fresh colour or a new colour theme
Give your eyes a refreshing visual treat by adding a few pieces that hint of a new colour or a cheery theme in the room. Important: only pick pieces that go well with your existing colour scheme. Vibrant cushions, coloured glass accessories, striking paintings, statement candle stands, art pieces or pretty area rugs are all effective ways to instantly uplift your existing living room’s décor without too much effort. For the dining area, refresh with a vase of pretty cut flowers, a floor planter, chic table mats or you could replace small inexpensive dining accessories with new ones.
Opt for concealed storage
One rarely thinks of storage in relation to the living room, but it’s important to designate a concealed storage area for items that belong to the living room but are used infrequently. Imagine having a home for those expensive seasonal festive hanging lights, special occasion cushion covers, or the extra stock of tea light and pillar candles and television or music system remote controls. Solution comes in the form of décor accessories with concealed storage such as vintage-style decorative trunks or decorative boxes or Ottoman seating with storage etc.
Discard outgrown items
First, discard or donate everything your teen has outgrown or does not use any longer. Clothes, games, sports stuff, hobby equipment and books need to be on this list. Replace or fix anything that’s broken but is regularly used.
Ample lighting for studying
A teen’s room should be well-lit and bright enough for him/her to stay alert for studying long hours. Therefore, go for a high-wattage overhead lighting as well as one bedside reading lamp.
Most adolescents insist they have no time when it comes to keeping their room tidy. Providing them with their own laundry basket in the room means there are no piles of dirty clothes on the floor.
Rearrange furniture and introduce bright colours
Adolescents get bored easily, therefore it’s vital for their well-being that we regularly detox their immediate surroundings. Move furniture pieces around and rearrange them to make the place more appealing to your restless teen. Introduce dark-coloured paint or wallpaper, upholstery or furniture. Of course, if you made any major changes in a teen’s room all on your own, you could have a major issue on your hand. So, make the detox exercise a joint team effort after prior discussions.
Quirky accessories, funky mementos, trendy photoframes
Give teens the freedom to pick quirky décor accessories that allow them to express their unique personality and do up their room creatively.
Garden themes galore
Themed gardens are the new rage in town and especially so with the cooler weather, as the nucleus of action has shifted to these outdoor gardens for socialising. ‘We have an extensive range of outdoor garden décor items, furniture and gazebos in Tropical, Vintage, Urban and Arabian themes,’ says Sayed Habib, GM-Buying at Danube Homes.
‘Go for an easy-maintenance faux grass carpet for your garden,’ says Sayed. ‘You can easily install a scenic garden or outdoor sanctuary that can be moved and altered, in accordance with changing requirements, without the need to water or mow your garden.’
The balcony view
It’s a given that villa owners always spend time and effort on their gardens but doing up your small apartment balcony is a great idea too. Go all out with creatively designing a small garden in the apartment balcony. Don’t think much about the space limitations of your balcony. Having an outdoor space garden within sight is therapeutic to the eyes.
Forest of artificial flowers
Rather than pots of flowering plants, which call for extra maintenance, you can simply turn your balcony garden into a forest of artificial flowers. What you’ll need do: Just buy bunches of artificial flowers you fancy and place them in a pretty arrangement in the balcony.
Garden of lights
Forget plants, why not turn the space into a cosy garden of lights … Place different pillar lights and pillar candle stands of varying heights making it an inviting spot in the winter months.
Bad clothes management is the single biggest cause of clutter in a home. According to Marie Kondo, most people aren’t even aware of all the clothes they possess. The solution: Declutter your clothes closet once and for all by following her KonMari method. It requires you to place each and every item of clothing you possess in one pile on the floor and to first discard all the pieces that no longer ‘spark joy’ in you.
‘Pursue ultimate simplicity in storage,’ says Kondo. That’s the only secret for lasting results when decluttering. Most of our important storage is housed in the master bedroom, and her principle applies to all our personal clothes, make-up and skincare, important papers and documents, linen, etc. Kondo’s two main decluttering principles are: one, store all items of the same type together in the same place and, two, do not scatter storage spaces. Keep clothes storage simplified and properly categorised so it is easy and logical to place everything back to where it belongs on a daily basis.
‘A lampshade can make or break a room,’ says Gayatri Dongre, senior general manager at Western Furniture. ‘Consider investing in a combination of floor lamps, table lamps, chandeliers and dimmers in a room,’ she says.
If you have incorporated soothing hues in the bedroom, that’s perfect, but if you have very dark, deep or flashy hues in the master bedroom, you could detox the room by toning down and switching to lighter, soothing colours in the bedroom’s furniture and upholstery.