The emotional cost of decluttering

The emotional cost of decluttering

So, you’ve decided to start decluttering? Great!

Before - bedside table
After bedside table

Once you’ve figured out where to start, and what to focus on, you begin in earnest, rub your hands together, and get stuck in!

Within a few minutes though, the excitement wears off.

The dread sets in.

You look around and see the insane mess that’s been left in its wake.

What the absolute fuck have I done?!?!

You ask yourself.

How do I get myself out of this hole??!! There is literally no end in sight!!

Before picture of bedroom mirror
After picture of bedroom mirror

You start to panic. Adrenaline sets in.

You get frustrated. Angry. Upset. Fed up. Defeated.

Why did I even start?

What’s the point in carrying on?

I’ll just shove it all back to where it was before.. I know, I’ll get more storage!

Stop.

Breathe. In. And. Out.

Decluttering is so tough, because it overwhelms us with the sheer volume of stuff we need to think about all at the same time.

You have to think about:

  • What it is
  • Why it’s there
  • Where it belongs
  • What it’s used for
  • Whether you’ll use it
  • How (often) you’ll use it
    and so on.

The list is endless.

Imagine this: all your friends and family are all in the same room with you right now. And each one is trying to get your attention, telling you about a fond memory you share.

  • Remember when we went out that time?
  • Remember our first date?
  • Remember when you danced at your first school performance and we stood at the back applauding you all the way?

Your belongings around you all have a similar effect. It does of course affect men, but mostly I see it affect women, as we’re a lot more openly emotional (I say openly, as men in our society are encouraged to hide their emotions, but that’s for another post).

So, what can you do?

Before picture of bedroom
After picture of a bedroom successfully by Suzzy Smith @ Suzanne Designs

My top three tips for you to take away:

  1. Keep to between five and fifteen minutes of decluttering each time. Less than five and you won’t see a result. More than fifteen and you risk getting overwhelmed.
  2. Make sure you only do it when you’re feeling good: food in your belly, drink to hand, no other distractions
  3. Self-compassion. So what if you’d aimed for getting rid of three bags worth of stuff in one sitting? The fact that you’re attempting the process is the main thing, and there’s always tomorrow.

How clutter clearance works in interior design

How clutter clearance works in interior design

You may be thinking “I thought this was an interior design blog, not a clutter clearance one?

I know, I know. I’ve been getting increasingly heavy on the clutter clearance (no pun intended!) recently, as I have come to realise just how revolutionary it can be for you and me.

“But what’s the big deal? A bit of mess can’t cause any issues, surely?”

You may be surprised.

Think of it this way:

You walk into a friend’s living room with beautiful furniture, but you can’t see them for all the pizza boxes and beer cans lying on the floor. Would you really notice the beauty of the room then, or would you more likely be repulsed by the days-old pizza boxes and combined smell of stale beer and pepperoni?

Or, another example: you walk into the same living room, and, although you see a beautifully well-designed wall cupboard, it’s surrounded by a scratched old glass table that’s seen better days, a sofa that’s so worn you decline the kind offer of taking a seat, feigning some excuse about a long journey there so you’d prefer to stand. You know, just by looking at said sofa, that it’s going to hurt your back, and be impossible to get back out of.

What if your friend then confides in you that the pizza boxes and beer are from her teenage sons’ get-together they had two days ago, but your friend has HAD it with them being so messy, they’re in a stalemate about whose responsibility it is to clear it?
As for the uncomfortable sofa, what if your friend told you nobody ever wants to sit in the “damned thing” but she feels too guilty to get rid of it, as it was an item inherited from her in-laws?

Have you ever held on to items that no longer serve you, no longer are of use to you, or you don’t even find visually appealing anymore (it’s OK to express vanity!) for the sake of others, in fear of upsetting them?

2016 is going to be one hell of a powerful year, trust me on that. Mark my words. To some of us, that’s going to fill us with fear, which is what happened for me in January. I had to retreat into my sanctuary, and plan this all out in my mind before sharing it with you. I’m still finalising the finished product, but I want to share something with you.

I’d love to help you establish the connection between your interiors and clutter, and how it affects YOU as a person. Yes, you. The human being reading this.

“Oh yeah, and how exactly are you wanting to do that?” I hear you ask?

Simple:

I’m offering free consultations (yes, completely free!) on Skype for 15 mins where you can talk about anything to do with interior design and clutter.

“There’s got to be a catch…”

Well, you’ve got me there.

What I would love for you to do is click on the button below, which will take you to a survey. At the bottom, let me know your email address and I’ll ping you an email within 48 working hours with instructions on how to book the Skype consultations.

Oh, and the other catch is – you have to put up with me. For 15 whole minutes. Chatting with you. Being me, being authentic, letting you ask anything under the sun.

 

Sound good?

Count me in!
How to make your bedroom romantic  with Feng Shui

How to make your bedroom romantic with Feng Shui

Hello my lovelies!

I’m back from my hiatus, and it’s great to have you with me :)

In the past I’ve had interviews and features on the blog – lovely Maj Wismann contacted me and asked if she could do a guest post.

“Why the hell not?” I thought!

So, without further ado, sit back and enjoy :)

Suzzy x


This guide will teach you what Feng Shui is and how you can create a romantic bedroom using the Feng Shui principles.

Feng Shui is an old Chinese philosophy which is based on Chi. Chi is the energy flow you find in a room, a house or in an area like your bedroom. Chi is established by how you decorate, the shape of your room, the individual pieces of furniture as well as the energy the things in your room exude.

We’ve all had an experience of entering a room and instantly like the feel of it as well as having walked into a room wanting to leave straight away because it didn’t make us feel comfortable. This is Chi.

Basically, the point is that your energy depends on how you feel in the room you’re in. If we aren’t feeling well we can obviously try to work on making ourselves better but we can also benefit greatly from taking a look at how we are affected by the environment we’re in, i.e. our interior decorations.

And who doesn’t want an attractive and romantic bedroom where you feel like spending all day (not because you’re depressed and want to crawl under the duvet 😉 ) but because it’s just a really nice room to be in!

I sure do!

When we moved into our big dream home last winter and had to decorate our bedroom (romantically decorated of course – yes, I insisted), I did keep the Feng Shui principles in the back of my mind. Not because I’m fanatic about it, not at all actually but simply because these principles just make really good sense on a very practical level.

And if it is really sensible and down-to-earth, you can count me in!

My 4 most important tips to decorate your bedroom using Feng Shui

Mess:

Whether you’re into Feng Shui or not, mess just isn’t cool. Mess makes us feel guilty; the thought of “I should really tidy this place up” will only disturb your inner peace as you enter the room. The bedroom is meant for sleeping and relaxation and this is why you need to be aware of not having things in your bedroom that actually doesn’t belong there. The first step would therefore be to remove all the things which hasn’t got anything to do with relaxation, sleeping or waking up.

Spend an afternoon tidying up and throwing things out. I’ll bet you that you’re storing a lot of things you don’t actual use anyway. Clothes you haven’t worn for years etc., etc. Spend some time clearing out all this stuff and give it away to charity. You’ll be surprised by how much you can actually get rid off; things you never even use anyway. I find myself being baffled by it every time, anyway!

Please make sure to tidy up any unnecessary clutter and avoid having things on top of your wardrobe or under your bed. It’s very ‘in’ to have beds with built-in storage underneath but try to avoid using this. You need space above your wardrobe and under your bed. Not storing anything in these places will create a more harmonic room and it will make your eye and your mind quiet down.

Your bed:

You need to place your bed so that when you lie down in it, you can still see the door. A nice, soft and protective headboard would be preferable too. It’s both practical and nice to look at and in most cases it’ll also give the bed a greater visual place in the room.

Of course, a bed isn’t just a bed and you need to be very comfortable when you’re in it. Make sure your mattress fits you and your body’s needs. The same goes for your duvets and your pillows. Choose nice materials that feel nice to lie down in. If it feels good and looks wonderful, you’re well on your way.

Because Feng Shui is based on decorating using nature’s energy flow (Feng Shui means wind and water), it makes sense to mainly have natural materials in your bedroom. This isn’t always a possibility but try to have a little think about where using natural materials would make sense for you.

And just a quick tip from a busy housewife: As you get up in the morning, flip open your duvets to let the mattress and duvets “air out”. Then make the bed as one of the last things before leaving the house.

To come home from work and enter a bedroom where your bed is made and looking all lovely and inviting is SUCH a great feeling and creates a wonderful energy. It won’t take you more than 3 minutes to make your bed in the morning, so really try to make time for these little decorating hacks. You’ll love it!

Decorating:

When you’re in your bed, you have to make sure that your view is nice and comfortable as you get out of bed. I realise that this might be a challenge if you live in the city and your bedroom window faces the street but a view is a lot of other things too!

You might have a lovely looking dresser you’ve done up yourself and placed things on top which make you feel good. You might have some nice art on the wall or maybe even a little ‘altar’ with candles and a Buddha statue. Anything that makes you feel good will work!

The most important thing is that when you open your eyes in the morning, you start your day off by looking at something nice.

Metal, steel and glass, including mirrors, aren’t preferable in your bedroom. These things will mostly send out a cold energy. Natural materials, round shapes and edges will create warmth and softness.

If you do need a mirror (most people do), then just make sure you can’t see yourself in the mirror when you’re lying in bed.

But Maj, what am I supposed to put above my bed? I normally have a bookshelf filled with mess and books.

You want to try to avoid shelves and photos above your bed. If you think the wall looks to bare, you can perhaps put a little meme up on the wall. One of my good friends put up a meme above her bed the other day, saying “Always kiss me goodnight”.

A Japanese study shows that couples with a TV in their bedroom are 80% less sexually active than couples with no TV in their bedroom. I’m sure we can agree that the numbers speak for themselves; don’t have a TV in your bedroom.

Again, ask yourself if a TV has got anything to do with relaxation and sleep. It doesn’t. You might relax your body when you watch TV but nevertheless, it’s entertainment and entertainment is not relaxing. If you can’t live without a TV in your bedroom, then make sure to cover it up when you don’t use it. The same thing goes for any other electronic equipment like smartphones or tablets.

When you put up little knick-knacks such as candle holders, photos and other things you love, make sure that they’re placed close together. Firstly, it looks good and secondly, placing these things far apart is seen to symbolise distance in your relationship.

If you like putting things on your wall or on your dresser, make sure to think ‘love’ and ‘romance’ as you do so. It might be a photo of the two of you together, maybe an abstract painting symbolising love or a third thing. What’s important is that it should evoke loving feelings in you when looking at them.

Mood:

As I mentioned earlier, make sure to make your bed every morning and maybe put a beautiful bedspread on your bed and some lovely pillows. It does make a huge difference entering a room where the bed looks inviting and is not just a big mess.

Talking about mood, you can really use your senses. Does it look nice and comfortable? Does it smell nice? Does it feel nice? The mood is also affected by light and if you have the option of installing a dimmer in your bedroom, to control the light yourself, I’ll recommend you to do that.

Fresh, beautiful and romantic flowers will also aid in creating a nice mood and a good energy. The same thing goes for candles. Do make sure to crack open a window every now and then if you light your candles before you go to bed.

If you are able to, I’ll also recommend you to hang your duvets outside from time to time. A couple of freshly aired duvets will affect your senses positively too.

Have fun with it!

Maj Wismann, Hopeless Romantic, Couple’s Therapist and Sexologist

maj wisman
How to successfully stage a bathroom to sell your home

How to successfully stage a bathroom to sell your home

So, you’ve decided it’s time for a change.

Time to move home.

You’ve got people to recommend estate agents that will market your home for you.

Now what?

In this series of posts, I will cover the best ways to stage your home with minimal effort when putting your property on the market.

In short:

Dress it.

Make it look the best it possibly can.

Imagine you’re getting ready for a first date with somebody new, you want to show off your best features, and hide the ones that aren’t. In order to find Mr / Mrs Right, you want to make them think they could spend the rest of their life with you.

The exact same applies for home staging – the prospective buyers want to be shown your home’s best features, and envisage spending the rest of their lives with it.

family bathroom before home staging process. Includes toilet, sink, bath, radiator, mirror, numerous surplus toiletries, a child's potty and baby bath.

An interior designer who is experienced with home stage assignments will be able to provide you with a visual of how the space could look by making small subtle changes.

family bathroom rendered drawing with it having been decluttered and cleared.

So, what can you do to your living area to improve your home’s chances of being sold?

  1. Consider its current uses. In the client whose pictures I’ve used above, this was clearly the only bathroom on site so had to serve two adults and two children. Unlike the living room and nursery all that was really needed was a good clear and clean.
  2. Clear away belongings that don’t fit the prospective use. Understandably when it comes to having children there will be things like potties and baby baths around. I would strongly encourage you to take them out of site for viewings, perhaps put them in a wardrobe or under a bed for the time being, so that the bathroom feels more spacious. Any gifted toiletries you’ve put in the bathroom but are unlikely to use, consider donating to a charitable cause.
  3. Clean, clean, clean! Once the toiletries and child-related items had been removed, limescale remover and cleaning products came out. Mirror was polished, even behind the radiator was hoovered (this is often a space that’s forgotten about. Skirting boards were washed, taps polished until they shone, and tile grouting cleaned til it was left sparkling. A quick tip – struggling to get the grouting bright again? Consider a grouting pen for a quick fix.
  4. Bring in finishing touches. In this case, I used client’s own accessories from around the home. The plant came from the kitchen, and while researching what type of plant it was (because I have no idea about these things) I discovered that it thrives in a dark and humid environment. Result! The bathroom shelves made everything seem so much tidier, it made a huge difference!
  5. Stage the space nicely. Make it look as if the bathroom has a space for absolutely everything, so no overflowing storage, please!
finishing touches for family bathroom after home staging process
decluttered bathroom

Doesn’t it look fab?

I’m pleased to tell you that within one week of the property being put on the market, it sold for 10% over the original asking price. They have since found their dream home which was within their budget because of the added equity they gained from the sale.

Putting your property on the market?

Contact me for a consultation today