In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

8 Ways to Banish Visual Clutter from our Homes

My sofa table while I repaint. Cluttered. Ick.
I had a great post about organization planned for today that I was really excited about, but my half painted living room and the chaos that ensues when redecorating with three little ones at your feet has left me overwhelmed and under-motivated.  So plans change.

Today's post is about visual clutter.  I dislike clutter, but i like well lived in rooms. The pursuit of that balance has me constantly tweaking my vignettes, purging my closets, and taking boxes of things to the local second hand store. 

I love the process of making our home more beautiful, more functional and more meaningful.

Visual clutter isn't always actual clutter, it's anything that keeps your eye from resting.  Visual clutter makes a room feel messy even when it's tidy.  I have nightmares about clutter.

 Here are some common sources of visual clutter and some possible solutions:

1) Accent walls are very chic, but they do create some visual clutter.
Solution: Accent walls immediately attract the eye, so choose carefully.  Pick a simple wall that deserves the attention it's going to get (fireplace walls are often a great place for an accent wall) and then decorate it very simply.  Avoid painting accent colors on walls with doors or lots of furniture against them, or that are particularly asymmetrical.

2) Many different wood tones or colors in your solid furnishings.
Solution: This is tricky if you, like me, have collected your furniture at various thrift stores and yard sales and discount stores.  If your sofa table and coffee table and end tables and book shelves are all different colors, consider painting just a couple of the pieces to match one another.  It will pull the room together and create some cohesiveness among your mismatched furnishing.

3)Things stored on the floor.  
Solution: free up as much floor space as possible. Find a tidy place to keep any non-furnishings that regularly reside on the floor.  Install hooks for things like backpacks and purses.

4) Wires.  My nemesis.  
Solution: Tuck them out of view as much as you can.  There are some simple products on the market to help you hide your electronic wires.  Consider running wires along the baseboards where they are less noticeable.

5) Small stuff on top of cabinets and bookshelves.
Solution:  Use the top of your bookshelves and kitchen cabinets to display large items.  Keep it to 3 items per bookshelf top.  Clean off your cabinet tops entirely and see if you like it.  If you prefer it with items displayed, try adding back a few like objects on top of every second or third cabinet.

6) Many things on the counter tops.
 Solution: Store any small appliances that you don't use almost every day in the cabinets.  This may include things like a bread maker, food processor, or blender.

7) Prints of the same scale.
Solution: Go ahead and mix prints, but try not to have two large bold prints or two very small intricate prints in the same room.

8) Actual Clutter.  Duh?
Solution: Purge.  If you can't store all of your stuff in a way that is tidy and attractive, you have too much stuff. Stash little items in pretty baskets or bins.

These tips are meant to help create a more serene environment to enjoy with your loved ones. Don't obey decorating 'rules' just for the sake of obeying the rules.  If one of these tips doesn't work for you, ignore it.  Sometimes our lives are going to involve clutter.  Love the life you live in your home, not the home itself.

I want to know, how do you feel about clutter?

1 comment

  1. I HATE clutter! I was even contemplating taking the doors off of my kitchen cabinets, and while I know there would be some reorganizing, it isn't that bad right now, but after 3 days, I just couldn;t take it anymore- too much going on visually!!


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