It’s nearly a full month into the new year, and the cleansing bug has captured us at Pen – this week we completed an essential tidy and reorganisation of our studio. We feel ready to embrace 2019. We know we are not alone, with nearly everyone we have spoken to also furiously decluttering. But, how do we avoid falling into bad habits as the year takes hold, so that come 2020 we are not again surrounded by ‘stuff’? Much like our previous articles where we spoke about ‘good design’, and ‘buying once, buying well’, decluttering allows us to again discover those pieces that hold true value and posses the qualities imbued in good design. Pieces that are impactful and relevant, pieces that are functional, beautiful and evolved. We are reminded of what should always be our benchmark for purchase. Our first blog of 2019 unravels this. Enjoy the read!
De-Cluttering Means Choosing Well – Making the Most of Beauty and Space
It seems that everyone’s interested in decluttering lately. Living sparely..…embracing minimalism. Marie Kondo and her catchphrases are everywhere from Netflix to social media and there’s a lot to be said for following her advice and ensuring that all of the items in your home “spark joy”.
The basics of the Kondo way involve ridding yourself of unnecessary objects; clearing your home of clutter and keeping only those things which bring you happiness or which are strictly necessary. One quote which holds a lot of resonance for many people from Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising is “The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.” The reason this quote speaks to people is that the majority of us want to improve, to grow and to succeed. Clutter and mess only serve to distract.
Responsibility and clutter – choosing well.
Taking responsibility for the planet on which we live is an important part of minimising our belongings. Shopping is fun of course; most people enjoy acquiring new things and there’s nothing wrong with that, to a point. The problems only begin with over-consumption and thoughtless purchases. The trick to taking responsibility and still enjoying beautiful things is to choose well. Choosing well involves consideration. What do you need? Where will you keep it? Is there space for it? Is it of quality that will last? Does it possess both form and function equally? Asking these questions before any new purchase will help ensure that you choose only what’s needed and that you’ve considered the built environment in which the piece will live.
Clutter clearing and how to begin
If there are certain spaces within your home which fill you with horror because they’re a disorganised mess, then it’s likely that you’re more than overdue for a clear-out. We all have things we love and have kept because they’re souvenirs or keepsakes. Again, the problems start when we keep too many things or store them poorly. Going room-by-room, evaluate the contents of each space. Start with the worst and carry on until you have a list of things you consider might possibly be superfluous to your needs. Good choices for the “get rid list” include things which are broken, things without functionality, and things which you haven’t looked at or used for a year.
Organisation – keeping your things neat.
A good mantra to repeat to yourself as you go about your reorganisation is “a place for everything and everything in its place”. For many people this is the key to a tasteful tidy and peaceful home. If each and every item has a spot reserved for it, then there’s no problem when it comes to keeping your home looking beautifully organised. Storage boxes, shelves, neatly arranged cupboards all play their part in this and so do beautifully designed organisation pieces like Linea by famed Adelaide designer Jim Hannon-Tan. This architectural piece is reminiscent of a streetscape and is beautiful in it’s own right…but it’s also brilliantly useful as a storage component to any room which needs a special place for smaller items. The first set is available with components made from brass, and Carrara marble whilst the second is a contemporary range using coloured silicone. Linea is incredibly versatile finding organisational function bench-side in the bathroom, hallway, in the kitchen or in the home office.
Choosing pieces which will last a lifetime, retain their sense of style is a key part of living a clutter-free life. Beautifully made pieces please the eye, are made well and serve a purpose. This is what you need to bear in mind as you evaluate your home and its contents.