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Whilst you are starting to pack away your winter woollies and admire the latest summer fashions on sale, spare a thought for your home. It is probably aching to see an end to artificial heating and tired of being cosy but confined. Let your homes extend outdoors and give them a bright un-cluttered start to summer.
It may take an hour, it may take a week, however much or little is needed it is you who will ultimately benefit from your homes detox. Choose a day when you have plenty of time and open up all of the windows. Next let’s tackle the clutter. Instead of thinking of this as a chore, think of it as the 1st step towards your new improved home.
In the case of de-cluttering. Less is best!

As we are all accustomed to seeing our homes a certain way, day-in, day-out we very often become blind to the unsightly clutter hiding its best features. If you could walk into your home as it is now, and see it for the first time it would be like putting on a pair of spectacles. You would probably see the pile of shoes, coats, bags, keys or post in the entrance. The mountain of old magazines and newspapers in the lounge. The bursting wardrobes, failing to contain the clothes that may return to fashion. You would see the chemist contents collected in the bathroom and the unused gadgets in the kitchen.


Many books have been written on CLUTTER and the effects it can have on our lives and I am sure that most of you will agree that when you do get time to re-organise and clear out your blind spot, be it your car, handbag, garage, top drawer…… it leaves you with a sense of wellbeing, of achievement, of pleasure.

In order to detox your home and get ready for the summer sunshine, open your front door and take a good hard look at what you see. Your entrance should be as light and welcoming as possible so that you always feel happy to be home. If your lighting is not correct, it may be time to change your light fitting or clear the window contents. Try changing your window dressings to something light and airy like a sheer and buy some fresh flowers to lift your spirits.

Look at your living room from a new angle and make sure that your furniture is arranged correctly, if all your furniture is placed around the walls you will make it look smaller and uninviting. Whilst paying attention not to obstruct any doors or passage ways, re-arrange your furniture to create and define specific areas, such as reading, dinning or even watching TV. If you have shelves or bookcases make sure that you have not over crowded them, thin them out and let them breathe. It can be a good idea to have a special storage box for your decorative objects. This will enable you to change your displays to suit the season.

Your dinning area needs ambience and this can be achieved with lighting, mirrors, linen and artwork.

Next take a look at your kitchen, most could easily afford to lose a third of their contents. Focus on your fridge, remove magnets, photos, notes and menus from your fridge door; this immediately creates a cleaner more spacious feel. Clear your surfaces and add a pretty bowl of fruit, some fresh herbs or flowers and some nice new colourful linen. New door handles or knobs can make a huge difference if you feel your kitchen is looking tired.

If you have a utility room that has become a chaotic place then it is time to take action. Have a good clear out and if necessary invest in some extra shelves, wall racks or cabinets.

Is your bathroom feeling a little dull? New fluffy towels will make a huge difference and if you feel inclined to give it a bigger boost, changing your taps, mirror and lighting will give it an instant update. Your window dressing should be simple and clean, remove any curtains and add a blind or change to opaque glass. Think of your bathroom as your personal Spa.

Your bedroom can easily receive a facelift with the addition of new lighter and brighter bedding and window coverings. Put away the warm and cosy bed throws and go for crisp white cotton or colourful creations that will bring the summer into your home.

The main culprit of clutter in our bedrooms has to be our wardrobes and the reason that people with excessive clothing continue to buy more is that they can’t find or remember what they already own. When you have thinned out your wardrobes you will not only have organised, spacious cupboards and closets but you will save yourself precious time when getting ready each day. After you have De-cluttered your home take an objective look and think about your colour scheme. If you have any strong colours or garish patterns, now is a good time for change. Walls, floors, curtains and sofas are the main culprits of colour chaos. If you can’t change them at least try to cover or tone them down.

Never use just one colour in a room but no more than three accent colours to avoid a confused, busy look. If in doubt about mixing colours and which colours would compliment each other, you could stick to a monochromatic colour scheme which consists of various shades of only one colour. You can also manipulate the size and shape of a room, using colour. Darker warm colours shrink space while Pale cool colours expand. If your property was built before the year 2000 then it probably lacks sufficient lighting in most of its rooms. For correct use of Natural light, watch how it enters each room on a sunny day. Make sure your windows are sparkling and your curtains don’t obstruct the light flow. Light coloured walls and mirrors will reflect more natural light into your rooms but if they are still dark and dull add some artificial lighting; this is most effective way to transform a room.

From an easy to maintain terrace or balcony to a landscaped garden with cascading pool, make sure it is clutter free and clean. This may be the time to invest in a garden shed or just an outdoor trunk to tidy things up. Paint any handrails that are looking past their best and add new cushions to a seating area. All it takes is a well placed seat some sweet smelling herbs or flowers and a pleasant view to encourage you and your guests to relax in your “outdoor sanctuary”. A water feature or fountain when well maintained will certainly add a feeling of serenity to your outdoor retreat. Repair, replace or add some exterior lighting to extend your outdoor hours and add ambience after dark.

Here are some tips:
  • Start with one room or area at a time.
  • If you have decided to dispose of something, do it straight away before it finds its way back into your blind spot.
  • If you plan on keeping it but need it out of your way, box it and store it, there are many storage units available.
  • Throw away anything broken or unused for 12 months or more.
  • Let go of a past life. Outgrown children’s toys, redundant sports equipment or guilt ridden expensive whims, find them a new home.
Now your home is clear, fresh and bright enjoy it during those long summer days...

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