9 Clutter Hotspots and How to Get Rid of Them – Picture the scene: you’ve spent hours tidying up, and for a few brief moments you feel calm and composed. Then the family arrive home, flinging their bags and contents on the floor, and, minutes later, well, it’s chaos.
If you despair of ever achieving a calm, clutter-free home, read on. With regular bouts of tidying, getting rid of stuff you don’t need, and removing clutter hotspots, you’ll soon be on your way to a calm and tidy abode that’s a pleasure to come home to.
As the hub of most homes, the kitchen has to put up with a lot of heavy traffic. It’s the room many of us use the most, so inevitably stuff tends to accumulate on the kitchen table, worktops and island.
If you’re planning on renovating your kitchen, consider built-in storage, such as a handy bank of units like this beneath the kitchen island. You can use the open space above to make a display of your favourite crockery and cookery books, while behind closed doors you can stash the family mess!
If you find the kitchen is a dumping ground for your kids’ homework, stationery and arts and crafts kit, consider creating an area in a corner of the room that’s a handy spot for school work and creative activities.
It doesn’t need to be a huge space – an alcove with a simple desk area, some shelves and an under-desk unit for pens, paints and crayons is more than big enough to get their clutter under control.
If you’ve no space for a desk, you could try a portable option, such as giving the children a basket each, which will hopefully encourage them to tidy up and keep the kitchen clutter-free.
The key to planning a successful hallway is to make sure you create a solution for common clutter problems, such as coats, bags and shoes. Easy access is the key to getting everyone to put their stuff away. If you like to have items on display, then consider a Shaker-style peg rail with a open shelf above.
Built-in storage, such as a bench like this, provides space for a handy basket in which each member of the family can dump their clutter, while a tall cabinet is useful for bulky items, such as winter coats, walking shoes and wellies.
When planning your hallway or redesigning its organisation, consider whether you prefer open or closed storage. If you prefer a streamlined look, consider concealed shoe storage beneath the stairs, as it’s a great way to make use of previously redundant space.
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Unless you have the luxury of wall-to-wall shelving, your bookshelves might well be a random hotchpotch of unopened post, random paperwork and CDs that have lost their cases – the usual clutter that lands wherever it finds a slot.
Take a quick scan of the shelves and remove anything that doesn’t belong on them. Next, before you begin sorting out the numerous random bits and pieces, neaten up the books and add in ones from other corners of your home to ensure the shelves are full. Consider creating separate areas for books, DVDs and CDs. You could also leave space for some photos or a nice ornament or two.
Once you’ve reorganised the bookshelves, sort through the other items. Decide whether to re-home them somewhere else in the house where they’d be of more use, or make a pile of stuff to recycle or give to charity.
Avoid an organisational bottleneck and make the most of a wide landing with a bank of useful, built-in cupboards. It creates a handy storage area for sports gear, out-of-season accessories, hobby kit and even DIY and gardening items, and means there’s no excuse for using the area as a dumping ground.
Clearing the floor, or even a section of floor, of clutter will help to improve the flow of a space and create a feeling of calm. Try this in the living room, aiming to make it a serene haven, even if your other rooms are more chaotic.
Too many pieces of heavy furniture can make a space feel cluttered, so focus on what you really need. Work your way around the room and decide what to keep and what can go.
Keep similar items together, placing cables and other media kit in a drawer or basket, for example. If you have built-in bookshelves, put them to good use by grouping together things such as books and CDs. This way, there’ll be no excuse for items such as DVD boxes, gaming equipment and reading material to gather on the floor.
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Whether you work at the kitchen table, use a dedicated area in the living or dining room, or have a whole room, it’s essential a home office space is kept clutter-free if you’re going to work efficiently.
The key is plenty of shelving and storage space for books and files, which will ensure a tidy desk area. Make sure items you need to access frequently are to hand, and try to file important paperwork as soon as possible.
Keep pens and other equipment to a minimum (do you really need three pairs of scissors?), and set aside a time each week to tackle the pile of information, notes and less important paperwork that will inevitably have built up.
Extra furniture in the bedroom, such as a chair or chaise longue, can add a touch of luxury, but in reality tends to become a dumping ground for discarded clothing. Pare back your boudoir to a bed, some bedside tables and possibly a handy ottoman for storing things such as extra blankets, and you’ll be forced to put things away.
Do you have clutter hotspots in your home? How have you tackled them? Share your thoughts and ideas in the Comments below.