Three weeks into June and we’re still running the risk of getting lashed on every time we step outside the door. The rain jackets we hung up for (what is supposed to be) the Summer are begrudgingly being taken back down. Even the ever-reliable and sacred Leaving Cert weather has failed to deliver this year. The reality of summer in Ireland: we could well be spending a lot of time indoors.
Being stuck inside can really dampen your mood at the best of times, but if your home is filled with unsightly clutter it can be pretty miserable. We’d much rather be cosy and warm in a tidy, clutter-free home while the rain pelts down outside, right? So, given that we’ll most likely be seeing the inside of our homes a good bit over the next while, why not take this opportunity to do that declutter you’ve been putting off for so long. It’s the perfect time give your home a bit of a sprucing up.
Architect, designer and star of Home Rescue, Róisín Murphy has shared some thoughts to keep in mind for when you’re doing a clear-out this “Summer”!
1) Don’t think of it as “decluttering”
“First of all, ‘decluttering’ is really just like a spring clean.
Traditionally it’s something we all did for years and years before it was called decluttering and everyone knows on Home Rescue. I never ever use the word ‘clutter’. Ever! It’s your stuff. Your things. Things that have accumulated because of a bad routine or not having enough time. Sometimes things are hard to let go of, or your home hasn’t enough space to accommodate your stuff. Or your home is dysfunctional so it needs a bit of a makeover. Things are precious that’s why we accumulate them and why they’re hard to let go of, especially if they have sentimental value.
But if you cannot see your room as beautiful anymore or you’re avoiding certain rooms then maybe you might look at reorganising your gear. And that may also mean sending stuff off to charity or indeed finally putting into the attic the Christmas decorations that escaped the big box up in early January when it’s now June.
2) Give yourself a reason to clean
If that’s hard for you, try do what I do. I wait for a party when all the family are going to be there and I want the place to look really good. It’s then and only then that I’ll take a whiz around the house and in a hurry, with a big wicker basket I put everything in the basket. Under pressure its easier. I don’t get so emotional or sentimental.
I also carry three bags for rubbish: one for recycling; one for organic waste; and one for the bin bin. The rest goes in the basket.
I then put the bins and the basket together to one side and I dive into the deep clean. Hoover, wipe, dust, polish, arrange, put flowers out. Then I’ll take a photo on my phone and visualise the space like a magazine shot. This means I can see things that might have been there for years and never noticed. They’ll get moved or hung up or framed. Or moved on.
I’ll sift through the basket after the party but not until I’ve had at least a day to decide whether it’s going back! It tends to get sorted into charity! Or tidied away finally. But my untidiness stems from a poor routine and when I have work, doing the housekeeping comes after everything else.
3) Be aware of what a build-up of stuff might mean
I’m also aware that the build-up of my stuff means I need to work a little less. It can mean that something has gone off kilter so it’s a good way at keeping a pulse of your life. When I’m looking at anybody’s house before we take it on in Home Rescue you can tell by what people have left hanging round what’s going on! Sometimes it can mean the house is at odds with no place to hang clothes or the kitchen is unworkable or sometimes you need a little help to make a routine for tidying your gear!
Just remember the most important room is the bedroom and but we can worry about that later! It’s not something you wait for the in laws to come around to do, or for a party to happen…”
There’s another option too. You could leave all it to the experts. Róisín, builder Peter Finn and their team of Clutter Busters are on the hunt for homes across Ireland to give the Home Rescue treatment. The team will be taking six homes and, over the space of just three days, giving a flash makeover to two of the worst rooms in the house, all with the help of IKEA. If you’re drowning in clutter this Summer and are in desperate need of a visit from Róisín, Peter and co., fill out an application form today!