Here’s one of the best pieces of advice I give to anyone who is considering a decorating project: take time to walk through your home with a stranger’s eyes. If you are getting ready to move, you will also find this to be an infinitely valuable exercise.
I usually have my client leave the house, symbolically shut the front door, cross the street and start observing the house from a stranger’s point of view. Are there garden tools cluttering up the porch? Dead plants? What happens when you enter through the front door?
You will see things that you never perceive when you are busy living life. By taking a pause in the regular clatter of the day, you’ll notice your home from a whole new perspective. And it can be a bit of a shock.
A lot of clutter happens because we don’t have adequate systems in place to accommodate the ebb and flow of bills, junk mail, school papers, gardening supplies, seasonal decorations, laundry (oh, laundry, how I stare in wonder at that tower of towels that just seems to grow!), magazines, recycling, shoes and jackets, the list goes on…
The most effective way to redecorate your home is to simply clear it of clutter.
This is an opportunity to assess how you use the house, and what tasks happen from day to day. A trip or two to IKEA and The Container Store can make a world of difference in keeping the clutter from coming back, because you are creating usable systems and finding storage solutions for the needs of your lifestyle.
Besides, it’s instant gratification. No need to hire a contractor, painter or decorator – just haul out the junk. Feels good, doesn’t it?
You can totally do this yourself; however, if you find this to be an overwhelming project, don’t let that stop you. Bring in a professional organizer. They will help you navigate through your systems and add valuable perspective. One step at a time, and remember, decluttering is like free interior design. You can make big changes for little investment.
Once you clear away the cobwebs, you are ready to start working on the basics of home decor; walls, windows and floors.
Seattle’s local “Paint Princess”, Robin Daly is president of Daly’s Paint & Decorating stores in Seattle and Bellevue and co-owner/partner in C2 Paint. With her background as an interior designer, combined with her real-world experience, Robin’s goal is to empower homeowners to create a home to love. You’ll find Robin writing about design for 425 Magazine, making videos and posting articles for Daly’s Paint and on her personal blog, Finding Groovy.