Mar 20, 2013

De-clutter your matchbox

Expanding Your Horizons.
Now that you have transformed your cabbage patch into an aspirational home office you may want to expand your newly formed concept of space to the very horizon of your shoebox. Keeping belongings to a minimum in your mini habitat is an art form.

The Process.
If you tend to hoard miscellaneous object on the off chance of an alien invasion however, baby steps are best. Start in a particular corner, a single shelf, a cupboard; survey each item and elucidate: When did I last wear or use this? Do I love it? A modicum of ruthlessness is an asset. Belongings can initially be cleared to a “decision ready” pile if necessary. Bear in mind (Grrrrr) that few objects are irreplaceable; if an item is necessary in the hazy future, it can usually be got at that hypothetical juncture.

Cash for Clutter
Dig up another human bean with junk to offload and have a boot sale (particularly easy for London based peeps)  –a car is not necessarily essential. Or if in Australia garage sale it –everyone loves a good rummage. Island dwellers of Ireland should bring it in. Gumtree is a viable option in Australia and Britain. In densely populated countries items of value can be sold on E-bay ( but beware the sellers’ fees!) Freecycle is another inspired way to find happy homes for orphaned furniture. And then there are charity shops which are usually only too glad of bric-a-brac. (Bear-in-mind that all clutter is not gold; it's nice to be nice and spare them the trouble of hiring a skip, seeing as they're a charity 'n all.)

Illusionary Walls.
Even a cardboard box has corners; compartmentalize and develop every centimetre. In a “studio” it is best to separate the sleeping and living area. Try some magic tricks for 3 month-olds – curtains! Wonderweb a couple of Flat sheets up or get technical with some stitching. Gandalf would be proud.
Breathing Space.
Plants are a breath of fresh air in the “office” – literally. Another novel approach would be to crack open a window. Fresh air is in fact one of the guiding principles of Feng Shui, it is also a guiding principle in being able to invite people into your home! Mirrors can scare the monsters from dark corners. Just be careful it’s not yourself you scare by mistakenly hanging one at the end of the bed. (Honestly, seeing “something” move out of the corner of your eye upon waking can scare the bejesus out of a person!) Another bonus of reflecting light into the room is that human beings tend to need it, so get your photosynthesis on!

The Power of a Hook.
Decorate with the items you need and adore.  Bags, hats, scarves and even clothes can be arranged accordingly.  Awesome designs can be made with jewellery. While floor space can be limited, wall space is rarely maximized, this is especially true in rooms with high ceilings. Never, ever, ever under-estimate the power of a hook! Almost anything can be hung including musical instruments, chairs and even bikes (provided the hook and supporting wall is strong enough…) Physical confrontations with bikes in passageways can be annoying and they usually win.

Storage Suggestions.
My only deep-seated issues with hooks are for hanging coats. Fifty coats hanging on a single hook blocking (yes) the doorway is an accidental charity shop visit waiting to happen.

Empty jars can be used to store food items, cutlery, pens and a variety of trinkets. Spending a little extra on a coffee container  (rather than just a packet) bags you mountains of yummy coffee and a funky lil idea for storing kitchen utensils. Take a bushy-tailed look at packaging frequently disposed of. Biscuit tins, aluminium cans, shoe-boxes and even ice-cream cartoons can be decoratively functional. Books can be whisked away to the top of kitchen units. In fact anything tidy, neat and aesthetically pleasing can be stored in this way -without suggesting a location for an alternative junk dump all the same! If you have an interest in dead spiders investigating the top of cupboards will be an added bonus.