Monthly Archives: April 2016

Decluttering for spring cleaning

Getting Your Home Organized for Spring

With the arrival of spring comes a sense of renewal; the air is crisp and fresh, new buds are flowering, and your home…well, your home is a dirty disorganized mess after a long winter, isn’t it?  Don’t worry, this is a common seasonal problem and luckily there are lots of solutions for tackling it.  Here are some ideas to help make your home summertime fine.

Declutter

If you don’t love it, or you don’t use it, then it’s clutter. Spring is an ideal time to embrace Feng Shui, the Asian art of uncluttered living.  The main tenet of Feng Shui is that if energy can easily flow through a room, your life will be happier and more harmonious; clutter is the most basic obstacle to reaching a calm and relaxed state. Be ruthless when it comes to decluttering. Getting rid of excess knick-knacks, pieces of non-functional furniture, and kitchen appliances you never use means you’ll have less to dust, less junk to look at, and an easier time finding the things you do use regularly.

Decluttering for spring cleaning

Make a Donation

Once you’ve done all that decluttering, anything you’re getting rid of that’s in good, usable shape is a candidate to sell or donate.  Gather these items together in boxes or plastic bags.  If you choose to donate, consider giving them to a local Salvation Army or Goodwill, or even a shelter in town.  Many organizations will even pick up your donations at your doorstep.  If you would rather sell, consider a yard sale, and see if any neighbors want to join in.  Or, take digital photos of the items you’re looking to sell and post them to a site like eBay or Craigslist, or even to Facebook – and watch things disappear.

Donate for spring cleaning

Checklist

Make a master checklist of all springtime cleaning/organizing jobs that you only do once or twice a year, like bringing large comforters to a laundromat, or dry-cleaning drapes or winter coats.  There’s also the seasonal clothing changeover, and things like checking batteries in smoke alarms or dusting hard-to-reach light fixtures and ceiling fans.  If you commit these odd jobs to a list, you won’t forget to do them. Then, try to do one or two of these chores per week throughout the spring, (and assign some to your family!) so you’re not overwhelmed with the list all at once.  The physical act of crossing items off the list and seeing progress on your to-do list is both satisfying and motivating.

to do list

Drawer Organizers

A quick and easy organizing hack that will tame disarray is drawer organizers for the kitchen, bathrooms, and office.  Divide and conquer the clutter and keep order by kitting your drawers out with wire or wooden organizers to keep small, loose items tidy and contained, and help you find that cheese grater or cookie cutter in the kitchen drawer jungle, or the paper clips or Sharpies in your office. If you can’t find an insert that perfectly fits your particular drawer, create a custom setup by lining the drawer with small containers or trays that fit next to each other like a puzzle, or divide the drawer in half.

organized drawer for spring cleaning

Courtesy of Cambria Bold at http://www.thekitchn.com/

Downsize your Bedside

You should prize your sleep, which is why it’s in your best interest to create a restful environment around your bed — and a cluttered nightstand does not help. An avalanche of books or magazines, lotion, device chargers, cups and tissues does not promote rest and order.  Instead of attempting to make space for every possible item you might ever want on your nightstand, consider using a more petite table that fits only what’s essential.  If you love to read in bed, choose one book.  The others can wait on a shelf.  If you like to write before bed, place your journal and a nice pen there. Make room for a glass of water and that’s it.

 

Clean night stand

Courtesy of http://hominicious.com/

Central Message Board

No, we aren’t talking about something online; make space in your home for a multitasking message board.  A message board will ramp up efficiency in a kitchen or home office. Not only does it act as a quick reference for everyone’s important appointments, to-do lists and must-revisit ideas, it also boosts organization and productivity.  Consider including a calendar on the board or giving each family member a dedicated corner. For added practicality, use a board you can write and tack/tape papers on, like a white dry-erase board or a magnetic chalkboard.

Incorporating even a couple of these ideas into your spring-cleaning routine will improve organization and get your home ready for the warmer seasons ahead.

Flower Power – Incorporating Floral Prints in Your Home Decor

There is nothing more classic in home decorating than the floral – it never goes out of style.  Floral prints can be botanical and iconic, or colorful and modern, and they provide a fresh, feminine sensibility to a space.  In honor of spring and all its heady blooms, here are some ideas for incorporating the floral into your decorating.

 

A Bright Accent

If you’re not sure about committing to floral prints, you can test them out with some bold floral accent pillows on your more neutral furniture or a pretty flower-patterned tablecloth in your dining room.  Swap out some wall hangings you’re tired of for a pair of garden-inspired framed botanical prints.  These are all easy and low-risk ways to try florals in your home.

Floral print throw pillows

Courtesy of http://nestprettythings.com/

Here we have a beautifully done example by Tamar at Nest Pretty Things where the throw pillows have a subtle touch of floral print that really blends in with the room. The goal is to not be overwhelming with this pattern, and Tamar has done a wonderful job! Check out here awesome blog and accessory designs over here!

In the Bedroom

A floral duvet cover or another bedding is a great way to introduce a bouquet into your sleeping quarters and adds femininity to the room.  The same can be said for floral window treatments, lampshades, or a headboard upholstered with a floral fabric that complements the bedding.  If your aim is to keep the space more gender-neutral, pick a floral on a grey or tan background.  Finally, the bedroom is a lovely and unexpected place for fresh flowers by the bedside or on a dresser.

Floral Duvet Cover

Courtesy of http://www.smartstyleinteriors.com/

Phoebe Oldrey of Smartstyle Interiors has done a fantastic job with this master bedroom! The blue shade makes is not overwhelmingly feminine, but still gives a classy touch of floral. The matching color wall and curtains tie the whole room together, making this an excellent example of floral print being used in the bedroom. Check out her blog  for some very insiteful design tips with her English background and style!

Wallpaper

Garden-inspired prints are classic wallpaper subjects, but there are just as many bold and modern floral wallpapers on offer.  Consider an accent wall of paper behind your sofa or your bed, to bring florals in without overwhelming a space.  Small prints look great in bathrooms or kitchens, but you can also use papers with bolder patterns and colors as an alternative to tile in a kitchen – bonus: most wallpaper is more durable than paint for use in food prep/cooking areas.

Floral Print Wallpaper Kitchen

Courtesy of http://www.lisawolfedesign.com/

Lisa Wolfe used floral wallpaper as an accent wall in this kitchen to bring this eclectic, bohemian kitchen to life! While it is not behind the cooking area, this pattern makes this an interesting and unique kitchen design without overwhelming you with the floral pattern. Check out her blog for some cool design tips and lifestyle tricks!

Pattern Mixing

If your sofa is a checked pattern, that doesn’t mean you can’t use florals in the living room too.  In fact, layering patterns is a chic way to sophisticate a space. Traditional florals on classic upholstery are one of a decorator’s favorite tools. Try matching your accent chairs and sofa pillows to tie together a cohesive look. The key is to use patterns of differing scales; if your floral is a large cabbage rose, pair it with a smaller more geometric pattern for balance.

Courtesy of http://www.wesley-wayne.com/

Courtesy of http://www.wesley-wayne.com/

Texas based designer Carl Wesley Lowery executed this technique with ease and class in this living room by matching his chairs with the throw pillows on the couch, contrasting the leather footrest in between. Well done Carl!

Try Floral Underfoot

Artful floral prints on the floor are another way to use this style. Awaken a room with pale neutral walls by adding a lively color palette underfoot.  Use the colors from the floor covering as inspiration for accompanying textiles. Floral kitchen rugs are an excellent way to add pattern, color, and warmth, and a bright print effortlessly livens up a white or neutral kitchen.  Area rugs in the kitchen should be durable materials that can withstand traffic and spills – an added plus is that floral prints tend to hide stains!

Floral pattern kitchen rug

Courtesy of http://www.bannercarpets.ca/

These Canadian carpet experts have managed to place this carpet strategically by the island for cooking prep, and doesn’t let the pattern make the kitchen feel too cluttered. Wonderful job!