Ever walked into a home and just felt at ease and relaxed instantly? Ideally it should be your own home that makes you feel this way but more often than not it’s your irritating (best) friend’s home. You know, that one friend that always has it all together.
We spent some time in homes that always look magazine-ready and figured out that, if your home is always messy-looking, it’s probably because you are making one or more of these 7 mistakes.
This is the obvious one, and something you probably knew already. Everything needs to have a specific space or clutter is sure to take over. Have a dedicated bowl or shelf to hang keys, or store wallets and cellphones as soon you enter your home. Invest in a couple of practical, but pretty, storage solutions that can be used for anything from family board games and toddler toys, to excess scatter cushions and throws; try to keep whatever you decide on as neutral as possible. That way they can work in any room in your home. Most importantly, start drilling it home with the rest of your family that everything needs to be returned to its rightful spot after use.
#2 Neglecting your view
Whether it’s your driveway, the view from the kitchen window or the view from the living area into the back garden, ensure that it is as neat as the rest of your home.
Take care of landscaping in these outside areas and consider investing in some pots that fit well with the rest of your home on balconies, patios or driveways that may lack greenery. Once you’ve dealt with the greenery keep it looking beautiful – nothing lets a home down quite as fast as an unkempt garden.
Practical storage in the garden is equally important. You don’t want to enjoy a drink in an immaculate lounge area only to look out into the garden and see toys and other outdoor equipment scattered everywhere.
A beautifully decorated home that is truly reflective of the people living in it is just better at hiding stuff and looks less cluttered.
Decorating your home with things you love will make it easier for you to keep every precious item in the right spot and thereby keep a tidier home. With open-plan living it has become especially important to have a good flow between all rooms. Having an easy flow will definitely minimise the perception of clutter.
#4 You are not honouring your home as a sanctuary
Start spending more time in your home, instead of rushing from dinner date to breakfast meeting to weekend away. The more you invest your time into your home the easier it will become to love every room of it.
Start with the one room you spend the most time in and really create a space that you never want to leave. Invest in quality furnishings, decorate with items that are special to you and spend some time doing your favourite activity in this space.
The broken floor tile, cracked guest loo sink, or chipped window pane on the front window. These are all inexpensive, relatively easy tasks that should have been done ages ago. If you don’t feel up to seeing to these tasks get a company in to do all these little irritating quick-fix jobs in one morning. Your home will thank you for it.
#6 You’ve outgrown your home
Maybe your family has grown, you got an extra pet or started working from home. Whatever the case may be, there is just not enough space for everything, and everyone, anymore. It might be time to consider upgrading to a larger family home, or…
If this is the case then all you need is a good old reality check. There is an avalanche of books available with plenty of inspiration on how to go about it. At the end of the day, donating or selling some unused goods will be much cheaper than moving to a new, bigger home where you’ll just accumulate more stuff.
The secret to a mess-free home is not living as if you and your family live in a show house, it’s having only what you need and use and actually have space for.
Words: Maxine Ridder