Clutter-Free – Start Small

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I often talk about decluttering various spaces and having less but today I want to focus my attention on having clear spaces.  I am not advocating jamming your cupboard full of stuff, however, the benefit of clear surfaces cannot be underestimated.  It is a task that is unlikely to be achieved in one go and can be enormously overwhelming.  That is why I focused my energy on one room – the bathroom.  It is the smallest room in the house and is designed for a specific purpose, therefore logically should be the easiest to minimise the ‘stuff’.

VanityI have had the benefit of a renovated bathroom which has an inherently streamlined design.  I love the fact that there is no plug lying around on the side of the sink.  There are only 2 items on the bench – a ceramic shell dish which holds a small bar of soap and a repurposed vase (The Duke drilled a hole in the base of it) which holds our toothbrushes.  It is a quick and easy task to keep this area clean and tidy.

Shower recessAs this is quite a compact area we chose not to have a bath – just an easy to access shower area.  I had seen this type of recessed shelf in motel bathrooms and asked the builder to create one when we remodelled the room.  I love the idea because it is simple and streamlined to the eye, nothing to rust or gather soap scum and there is no encroachment to bump into when you are showering.  From left to right there is shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, facewash and a nail brush – everything required when showering.

Toilet and floorThe floor is another place where clutter can gather.  I found these fittings which attach to the wall – a holder for extra rolls of toilet paper and the toilet brush holder are both clear of the floor and do not need to be moved when sweeping or mopping the floor.

Scales and basketsThe only 2 things on the floor of the bathroom are a set of scales and the waste paper basket.

My whole house does not look this clear but it is lovely to have achieved it in at least one room.

The vanity unit has a 2 door cupboard and 4 drawers.  Tomorrow I will reveal exactly what is lurking in there.

STREAMLINE – All Surfaces Clear

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Today’s gem from Francine is pretty simple to say but not quite so easy to achieve.  Keep all surfaces clear.  Clear surfaces provide us with possibilities.  Somewhere to eat your dinner, prepare a meal, pay bills or simply to sleep.

She also reminds us that surfaces are not for storage.  If you have too much stuff for your available storage spaces perhaps it is time to let some it go.

This is one area with which I have had partial success.  For instance, my dining table always is clear apart from a doyley and vase which provide a decorative element.  I am also pretty good at keeping the vanity bench in the bathroom as well as the laundry bench clear.

Dining table

The study desk is generally a failure and the kitchen benches range from good to bad depending on the day of the week and work in progress.

Kitchen bench

It takes time and effort to achieve the state of a completely clear surface.  Like all changes you need to start small.  Don’t expect to turn the study desk which is overflowing with stuff into a minimalist’s paradise overnight.  If you have sufficient storage in the bathroom, I think the vanity bench is a great place to start.

The dining table is also a good one to tackle because anything that is on here is definitely in the wrong place – a dining table is to sit at to eat a meal.  Since most of us eat 3 meals a day there are plenty of opportunities to make sure that it is clean, clear and ready for use.  Since it is also a public part of your home everyone will benefit from it being clear and ready to use for its designated purpose.

Please let me know – do you have any constantly clear surfaces of which you are particularly proud?  What are the areas that seem to defeat you?

Tomorrow we will move on to something a bit more interesting than my kitchen bench.  Modules – containing what you have.  It is definitely a new twist on rushing out and buying containers to store your stuff.