4 STEPS TO CLEAR DUMPSVILLE FOREVER

Hello friends,

I hope your week is going well and you’ve managed to carve out some YOU time for yourselves.  It’s so important that we get those few minutes to recharge.  For me, I became a grandma last year, so now I can “legally” have nana naps – woohoo.

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever

But there is always something to be done around the house.  Do you have that room or space in the house that is always DUMPSVILLE, no matter how hard you try to keep it clean and organized?

Does it look like this?

Photo – DailyMail.co.uk

Please say you do, even if it is just to make me feel better and that I’m not the only person in the entire world that struggles with this. Why is it that we can keep a beautifully tidy and organized house (okay, mostly, sort of) except for that one (or more) spots that is constant chaos?  It’s like little gremlins follow us around the house and dump stuff.

So let’s start with the 4 steps to clear dumpsville forever.

For many of us it could be any of the following areas:

Mud room

The kitchen counter

The dining table

The front entryway

The garage

The home office.

I hate to admit it, but our front entryway and the home office are dumpsville at chez nous.  I try hard, I really do.  I put out containers, baskets, have family meetings about where they drop all their stuff the moment they enter the house – but does it work – nope nope nope.  It does not!  Is it any wonder my hair is grey!

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever
Photo- Stagemyownhome.com

It is so frustrating, the front entry table has keys, torches, dog leads, flowers (yes I try to make it look pretty), bits of paper, mail, newspapers, folders from hubby’s meetings.  It’s all there, layer upon layer.  Then there are the shoes.  Sneakers, boots, sandals, crocs!  We live in the country and mud is not my best friend, so with dogs and family members coming and going in and out, the front entrance is a bit like a railway station. Always busy, always cluttered. Dumpsville. Certainly not the elegant entryway I envisioned.

Then of course there is the electrical boxes that are for the security and the thingy that is in the roof.  Excuse me, I’m not too technical! That technical stuff is an eyesore, I mean why couldn’t the builders put it just around the corner, or for goodness sakes’ even on the opposite wall.

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever

(apologies for the bad photo, really wouldn’t photo well)

 

So how do we clear Dumpsville forever.

I see the entrance dumpsville as being a two-pronged journey of considerations – Form and Function.  Below is a series of four steps to clear dumpsville forever.

 

STEP 1

Form of course is the pretty stuff, the making it look pleasing to the eye, but without function, without knowing what you need at the entryway, what systems, and tools are necessary to keep the place reasonably clutter free, then no amount of pretty lights, mirrors and ornaments are going to make a bit of difference.

First up answer a few questions?

Where do you enter the house?

Is it via the garage? Is the front door, or off a deck somewhere?  Which of these spaces is your ‘dumpsville’?

Which problem area are we talking about – is it the entry for visitors, or for yourselves?

Once you’ve determined which area (or eeek, maybe it’s both) then you need to work out what/and how you use this space.

 

STEP 2

Analyse what the entryway is used for. What MUST you have there, that are necessities, and probably not negotiable?  It could be one or some or all of the list below.

  • Shoe storage
  • Key storage
  • Mobile/laptop charging station
  • Mail drop off
  • Viewing yourself in the mirror before leaving
  • Dog leads
  • Homework station/school bags.
  • Storage of coats/hats etc.
  • Handbag dumping ground
  • Umbrellas
  • Torches/walking canes.
  • Briefcases/work bags/workout gear.
4 steps to clear dumpsville forever
Photo – hgtv.com

STEP 3 – the function

Shoes

Are you a shoes in the house, or off at the front door?  If it’s remove the shoes, then where are you going to put them.  Because the reality is, family do not take off their shoes when they get home and take them straight to their bedroom – and if they do, what’s your secret and can I come and live at your house!

Some suggestions:

Baskets, boxes (try ones with lids, because hopefully you can close them off and not see a pile of shoes.

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever
Photo – Pinterest.com

Wire baskets with liners, but then they might need washing from time to time – and that’s extra work and if there’s one thing we don’t need – is MORE WORK

A shoe tree hanging inside a closet (if you’re lucky to have one).  The same ideas can be used for those of us that have mudrooms and come in via the garage.  Little cubbyholes/boxes etc., for each person – their name on it – just so there is no confusion!

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever
Photo- Lesinform.com
4 steps to clear dumpsville forever
Photo – bestproducts.

What about a shoe tray?  A metal or wooden tray, with a small layer of stones that will be your ‘drip catcher’.

 

Paraphernalia – umbrellas, canes, etc

An old stone crock, bullet case *** Narrow cane basket.  All these can be used for this type of storage, and be pleasing to the eye and be payoff for the aesthetics.

 

Coats/scarves/hats/gloves

Baskets/hooks/coat racks are all alternatives for these items, even a trunk or chest at the front door, can be used for storing out of season coats and winter accessories.  Hooks are particularly good if you don’t have a large entryway, or closet.  You can even if needs be use the back of the front door.

Make it a feature using hooks that go with your décor style, glossy glass, brass animals, old fashioned school hooks.

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever
Photo- a selection of hooks from Pinterest

Most often we have a table or console of some sort at our entryway, or if no room, then a narrow shelf.  Use a six inch ledge, it’ll be big enough to hold a container for keys and you can screw in some hooks to the underside for hanging bags, scarves etc.

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever
Photo – Pinterest.com

What else do you dump in this spot?

Keys – grab a pretty container, box, basket, try and shop your house .

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever

are some I’ve gathered from around my house, the idea is to create great storage and organization, along with form, so that it’s pleasing to the eye too.  Hopefully pretty might increase the odds of practicality and the family use it and keep it clearer.

Phones:

If you’re going to use this space as a charging station, then create something a bit different.  Use even an old shoebox, covered in wrapping paper, holes at the back for the cords, and an extension cord, and hey presto you’ve got a place to hide your phones while they charge, plus contain all those dratted cables.

Want a great Youtube video for a charging station and entryway.  @bemyguestwithdenise.com

 

Mail/Papers:

Again this accumulates.  I’m sure there is a paper gremlin around who magically doubles the amount of papers in these spots overnight.  It just seems to mushroom.  If you are not a person to deal with the mail as it arrives, then a box/basket again is a good collating spot.  Better yet, a box with a flip lid so that the mail and papers are hidden.  Yes, I know we’d all like to be super organized, but reality is that it takes time/effort and repetition to create a system of opening mail and assigning designated spot for it straight away, so if that is beyond you right now, and that is absolutely fine, really it is, it’s not about perfection, just trying to get things in order, slow is okay.  Baby steps.

Another reasonably cheap storage item for papers is a magazine holder.

Handbags/School bags

Again hooks come to mind for these, though briefcases can be a tad heavy.  But schoolbags are great to hang on hooks as are handbags, but if hooks aren’t available or an option, then what about a cubbyhole system.  An old bookcase laid on its side, with a few pretty baskets (or not) can be used as a storage option for those bags, plus shoes and hats/gloves etc.  One solution for many problems – got to be good!

 

Dog Paraphernalia.

Again baskets, bins, anything that you think is easily reachable and easy to put away again.

That’s the thing with storage, if it’s awkward or difficult to access or use, if the lids don’t open or close easily, or if it’s too small for the items it’s going to hold, then it won’t work in the long run.  So whatever option you choose, make sure it’s the appropriate size and workable for how you want to use it.

 

Step 4

Now what?

Great!  You’re all organized, those pesky things are taken care of.  Function is all sorted.

So what about form?  What about the pretty side of this task?

Hopefully you have been able to use storage items that are pleasing to your aesthetics.  Don’t worry if they’re not the right colour scheme.  A bit of chalk paint or spray paint can work wonders.

A lamp – the soft glow of a lamp on in the evenings, especially at the front door, adds mood lighting

Mirror – great to be able to check yourself before you open the door to visitors.

Artwork/photographs – this is where you can go to town so to speak.  It can be a piece of your own art, get splashing with a few colors and a canvas one afternoon.  Or maybe you can do a photo wall of your children’s art, family ancestors and current members, unusual postcards from your travels, a piece of vintage clothing hung up.  Anything and everything can be used for art work.

 

And great for hiding things as I did here with a great suggestion received from a friend Smillie Henderson on how I could hide those pesky electrics.

A Hat!

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever
Of course i bought the baskets too, I mean, wouldn’t you?

I grabbed these 3 straw hats at the thrift store for about a dollar piece, a few Command hooks, and hey presto it’s done, the electrics are covered and hopefully it looks rather artistic (well not just plopped there like they really were).

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever

 

Console table:

Actually anything can be used, even a chest of drawers, great for storing stuff!!!  I’ve used a marble slab atop an old Singer sewing table.

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever

Plants/live or faux.  Nothing looks better than a bit of ‘life’ on a vignette, and with this one style I used a faux topiary purchased a few years ago in Hawaii, yes I travelled all the way home with 2 of these in my on board luggage!

Really, the world is your oyster in how you style your entryway, whether it’s a styled crowded look or sparse, the most important aspect is function.  Get that right and you’re on your way to a great looking entryway.

4 steps to clear dumpsville forever

What are you doing in your entryway?  What are the hazards and problems, and how have you solved them?  Leave a comment below.

 

Until next time.

Happy days

Jane xxx

 

 

 

 

 

DO YOU THINK YOU COULD BE A MINIMALIST?

Hello friends,

It’s another day, another week, and my list of things to do is a mile long.  One of which is considering if think I could be a minimalist.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

What about you?  Could you be a minimalist?

But wait, you might already be living the minimalist life already and not know it.

I know that sounds weird, but minimalism for one person could be cluttered for another.

Are you this?

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Or this?

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Neither image is correct, because what is minimal to one is not to another.

So what is Minimalism?  With reference to our environment the dictionary explains it as –

noun: minimalism

deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design.

“his living room was a testament to minimalism”

 

For example, let’s look at these pictures of flowers.

Do you think you could be a minimalist   Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you think you could be a minimalist

 

They’re all beautiful in their own way. Colorful, simple, rich in design.  But is one more beautiful than the other to you?  Why is that?  How does it appeal to your soul, your imagery, and what about it brings you joy?

It could be that it’s a simple style – all one type of bloom, or simply one bloom.  It could be that it’s a riot of color and creativity, a wild scattering of nature, or that it simply appeals to you, deep down.

So look at them, which one tugs at your heart strings the most?  And why?

Because of that simplicity. Because of that riot of color, or because it’s a vibrant mass and you could imagine having vases just like this all around your house, not just in one place. The analogy of ‘how much’ one vase of flower/s appeals to you than another, is the key to what your ‘level’ of minimalism is.  And hey presto, you’re already a minimalist.

Perhaps you decide you like a one color effect, not necessarily a single bloom, but all the same color – monochromatic.

In design that could look like this.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

It’s not bland, not merely black and white, it’s vibrant, but it’s still minimal in that it’s based on one color – blue.  So that’s your vase of tulips above.

Then you might prefer a more boho or eclectic look

Do you think you could be a minimalist

With the orange and blues, and the wood tones, this room is more vital. It’s still minimal, but has that cozy feeling and not bland or sterile that often is associated with minimalism.  This is your posy of lillies, roses and gerberas.

So what does minimalism mean to you, and how does it look and feel?

First, let’s work out your reasons – your want and why?

Why is the need to minimalize suddenly rearing its head in your life?

There could be a multitude of reasons such as – Life is busy and you just want to calm it down visually

You can’t find stuff – you simply have TOO MUCH STUFF

You can make money from selling your stuff.  Not a bad way to downsize and minimalize

You can’t stop buying STUFF. How much stuff do you actually need?  If you love decorating your home, it’s hard not to buy the next best thing in décor, a tray, an orb, faux plants.  But at worst they are dust collectors and gobble your money up because let’s face it there’s always the next best thing around the corner.  Besides if you’re always buying stuff, how do you really get to know what your décor style really is.  This of course could attest to the clothes in our wardrobes too.

Surrounding ourselves with STUFF is often overwhelming.  Now I’m not necessarily talking about hoarder type accumulation, but if you can’t see a clear surface anywhere how can your brain/your visual sight ever get a chance to rest. There’s no visual blank space, (that’s not to say my brain doesn’t have blank spaces at times LOL)

Or at different seasons in our lives we inherit ‘stuff’ from family members, sometimes we can’t say no without offending them and so hold on to that ugly hutch we really have no place for, or it really is an inheritance when a family member passes away and you just don’t know where to put everything…until finally IT ALL GETS TOOOOOO MUCH.

So…okay, you want to get rid of stuff.  You want to try that minimalism thing.

 

But how do I know what my minimal level is?  How much is too much?  How much is too little?

Here are some ways to find out.

  • You could remove everything from the room, only putting back in things you love – slowly – a sofa/chair, a cabinet, a piece of art work. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

  • Remove all the accessories and let the room breathe for a while. See if you like the ‘empty’ space, and only bring back a few things.
  • Rotate your accessories either seasonally or on a whim.

By removing everything and only putting in what you love, this process allows you time to appreciate what you have, and need, ONLY!

Another simple way of working out what you want to keep is to ask yourself some questions.

Do I like it?  

         Does it work?

Does it fit my style?

Does it fit my bank account?

Does it fit the life season I’m at right now?

 

If you like it, then it’s an obvious keeper

If it works and is necessary, again a keeper, but if it doesn’t fit your style – then donate/toss/give away/sell.

But wait, what if I don’t know my style!  Then I say refer back to the above, and empty that room and try and see if it goes with how you want your room to look.

And again if you have no idea about what you want a room/your home too look like, then hit Pinterest and start saving anything that appeals to you, that makes you say WOW. Slowly, over time you’ll get a clearer picture of what appeals to you.  It may be color, form, function, wood, metals, or a particular décor style, shabby chic, farmhouse, modern.  This knowledge will assist you in deciding what stays and what doesn’t.

Then there are the seasons of life.

At different stages in our lives, we have different needs.  20s/30s/ or so we have need for children’s toys, paraphernalia, which take up lots of room in the house.

As we age and our children too, it may be more like sports gear, camping equipment etc. and the soft toys are side-lined.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you have to keep them all?  I say no!

But they’re my children’s precious things, my memories are tied up with that cute rabbit with one ear, so you keep the rabbit and everything else because they remind you of those wonderful days.  Those days, however, are stored in your memory, you don’t need the stuff to make you remember those precious moments.  How about you put half a dozen away in labelled storage and the rest you donate to a family refuge or other charity.  Or perhaps you keep a few for future grandchildren, but that’s all.  A few, not the mound that’s taking over the spare room right now.  You know it does.  You can’t ignore it, the room is bursting, and shutting the door on it doesn’t make it go away –  even though you wish it would.  Who hasn’t thought that a time or too (I see you nod your head) and I agree, been there, done that!

In our later years (okay so I’m saying kinda 60 upwards) you find that all of a sudden you want to get rid of the very things that ten years ago you thought you had to have.  Those cooking books you never look at, instead you go online, the boxes and boxes of crafts you don’t have time for, or all the books you’ve read, but kept, thinking you might read them again, but never have.

Time to get real with yourself.  Do you really want all this clutter?

You have to be honest with yourself, and unfortunately sometimes being honest like this is a tad painful and scary.  But this is how you get to decide what your ‘minimalism’ looks like.  It’s your choice.

You may decide to keep all those cushions whereas someone else can’t stand having anything on the sofa.  I’m a cushion gal, but Hubby just tosses them on the floor.  Sacrilege, I know.

You may get rid of all the vases or other ornaments in the china cabinet, and just use it to display a few artful pieces that speak joy to you.

So…what is your level of minimalism? Do you think you could be a minimalist?

Give it some time to percolate, and if uncertain, store an item, for a few weeks or months.  Do let me know in the comments below what your level of minimalism.  What can you toss, what can’t you give away ever?

Happy days

Jane

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COMING THIS WEEK

Yes, it’s finally time to go live.

Coming this week is the first posts for this blog adventure of mine.  Please join me, and let’s get adventuring and living life’s seasons together

 

 

See you Tuesday!

Jane.