emmelinewe

Houzz challenge: What's your decluttering nemesis?

Emmeline Westin
4 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

Houzzers, did you know that National Organising Week starts tomorrow (7 November)? It's an initiative led and celebrated by APDO, the Association for Professional Declutterers and Organisers.


We know that decluttering, storage and organising are big themes on Houzz, so we thought it would be great to involve APDO (the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers), whose members are experts in this field. Decluttering is very personal, and can be emotional, too, so sometimes you need a professional to guide, motivate and support you before you feel brave enough to chuck stuff away.


The challenge this week is to share your decluttering nemesis. For example, it could be a messy garage, a wardrobe gone out of control or pieces you've inherited that you just can't part with. Accredited APDO members will be on hand, helping to solve your dilemmas with tips and advice until Sunday (13 November).

So now's your chance to get some expert help! And remember, Houzz is a friendly community, and no one is going to judge you. We're all here to support each other.


Before/After project by IDea For Your Space.

Comments (61)

  • User
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen

    There are some great ideas regarding your overall working space today. So I am thinking about the small changes: In your ideal work space image there is nothing on the worktops. In your current room, the sewing machine and cover are fixed on your desk under the window. Could you could put the machine away under its cover and slide it into the left hand space beside the desk when not in use? After that, I would challenge the unit under plastic cover on the left of the desk - if it is a printer, it really needs to move off your primary working space onto the shelf area or beyond.
    And going back to the top of the wardrobe, if the baskets are in use, then remove the painting from the wall behind it as it is half hidden therefore inappropriate in its current place. That will free up visual space over the baskets.

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Morning all,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer.

    Here's some progresses on the room. ( I'm a bit of a procrastinator so having you all 'watching' is a great help in motivating me to make things moving!)

    I have made a start and took out everything that shouldn't be in the room, ready to be re-homed.

    I am left with all this, still quite frightful!

    The bike doesn't have any other place to live (I certainly do not want it my bedroom nor living room!) so it will have to stay, maybe mounted on the wall? I'm weary of tires/dirt marks on the wall tho.

    I occasionally do sell at Art markets and have exhibitions, hence all the framed art works stored above the filling cabinet, on the left side of the desk, and things like folding tables, suitcases...

    @A tidy mind: Yes, decluterring is a fairly easy exercise for me,
    it's kind off mandatory when you move a lot!

    The boxes, drawers, suitcases are indeed organized by type, but they would most certainly benefit from fine combing! Going to work on that this week, so hopefully by week end I will be ready for next step :)

    @ Idea for space: My room definitely classify as eclectic!! Probably not in a good way ..But I try to live by the rule ' do not own anything you do not
    find useful or beautiful'

    I am planning to have a built in
    fitted where the wardrobe is; It will add value to the flat so I rather invest on that than a bigger wardrobe; Once it is in there, life will certainly be easier!

    @ Johanna Valeur: You are right, those shelves are pretty useless!

    I was of the idea that limiting the storage will help limit the amount of things I own, but it hasn't quite worked that way..

    I have my eyes on the Fjälkinge storage system from ikea but it is out of my price range. Shelving from Bunning or Office Work is a more realistic option. Unfortunately they are open and I don't like that very much.

    Also I need more work surfaces. I wonder if I could create some sort of corner desk by buying some counter top and have it rest part on the desk, part on the little night table?

    To achieve something like this?

    Incidentally I do own another desk , it's part vanity, part computer desk at the moment, it might be of some use in the studio?

    @ Rightsize: In my ideal workspace there is nothing on the surfaces, but pratically there will be 'stuff'!! The sewing machine need to be out and at hand all the time, but it would be great if I can place the printer on the shelve, in a clean spot, away from the debris and mess that come when working on a project :)

    I also need more surfaces on which to create my art ( mix media collages) I can have two or three of those on the go.

  • Related Discussions

    What's your favourite Houzz photo?

    Q

    Comments (19)
    @wickedxx If you're using the mobile app, you can either do a screen shot and attach the image to the discussion. Or, you can copy the link and paste it in the discussion (tap on the box with the arrow in the bottom left corner). Very excited to see your pick now :)
    ...See More

    Houzz Live Chat - Get your garden ready for summer, May 15th at 3pm

    Q

    Comments (143)
    Hello donned2004, Well you could remove all the things from the hearth.. So it has more space.. Hang the mirror and paint the chimney breast a nice colour to bring the fireplace into full focus.. If you wanted to have an even bigger recess.. you could open the fire out up to the sides of the wooden surround.. So taking out the 30's tiles.. Make sure the lintel is in place or doesn't need replacing and keep the surround it's rather nice.. Remove the current tiled hearth if you chose to open it out more.. and install a flat piece of slate.. So then you would have an open brick recess and a lovely iron basket could sit nicely inside for logs! Another idea to continue into the room.. might be to look at painting the woodwork a colour to compliment any wall colours you have.... Some lovely painted floorboards, or parquet or a natural Jute or Coir flooring if you have not already decided upon something.. : ))
    ...See More

    Houzz Live Chat - Tips for dressing your windows, September 4th, 3pm

    Q

    Comments (81)
    Hiya Jill, thanks for sending those images over. In response to your first question about your bedroom, I can think of a couple of solutions that may work. The first is the same solution as my previous French window answer to @montbray and fit something that moves with the window, either a Pleated or a Venetian which operate under tension and open with a thumb tab rather than a cord. Alternatively, it would look quite nice if a blind, particularly a Roman blind was fitted right to the top of the wall above the window, at the ceiling. This will allow the blind to be ‘dressed’ to form a valance effect above the window when the blind is open, giving full view from, and use of the window and when it is closed, it will give the illusion of the window being taller. In the case of your bathroom blind, you might like to try a waterproof Roller blind made from PVC fabric. Alternatively, Faux wood blinds are a really great idea, as they have all the look of traditional Wooden blinds, but won't warp in wet or steamy conditions. Admittedly, it is a difficult window to dress and there are not a lot of options, but hopefully, these will give you some ideas. Sarah
    ...See More

    Submit questions to Houzz’s Agony Aunt Kate Watson-Smyth

    Q

    Comments (43)
    Redoing my dining room which I would love to change into a kitchen family room but kitchen is relatively new hence stuck with renovating just the dining room. Switching from dark wood furniture to a more modern look. I have really a blank canvas but a complete mental block, need some help with picking furniture. Kitchen is a very soft green, livingroom is beige with accents of blue Was looking for modern pictures, colourful rug, and ideas for windows. The dining room has two large windows. Any ideas would be helpful. House is late 18th century, semi listed but modern. There are 4 doors in the dining room all painted white with white skirting boards and wooden floors. Would like a real wooden table, something of a talking point, then can move forward. Any help welcome
    ...See More
  • PRO
    IDea for your space
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen,

    Open shelving might work well if you have similar containers on the shelves: same colour, same design... (for a visual unity). You already have a few white boxes, you could add more of these ones. If you stick a label, it should be really easy and quick to to find what you need.

    For extra storage, you could also use the wall space above the bike with extra shelves and transparent boxes.

    The other desk/vanity might be useful in the studio as it would create another work space and its 10 drawers could house lots of items you use for your craft projects.

    If the night stand is the same height as the desk you could use both to support some counter top but make sure you will be able to fix it either to the wall or to the furniture underneath. It would be a great way to use the corner of the room.

    Good luck!

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I like your thinking ,'less storage =less suff! On that note I don't think you will need floor to ceiling shelving, specially as you will get a built in. You can get one of those shelve from bunnings and divide it in two, that way you will have your storage underneath and some workspace above. you can hide that with a curtain,

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago

    @ Lostinreno

    Such a good idea! And should I need more storage I can put it back together as one unit and buy another one.


    @ Idea for your space.

    Lots of great ideas, specially about adding a shelve above the bicycle therefore making that wall a little more useful. If I go with the low shelves as suggested by Lostinreno I might have all the counter space I need.

    It's all coming together, in my head at least!

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    So I went and got some shelves last night. And they certainly do take care of all the stuff and do work well in that sense.

    But I find them too bulky , they take too much space. I used some fabric to get a sense of what they would look like with curtains but I'm still not convinced. They are too high to use the top as work surface and I' m not that keen on the garage look.
    What do you guys think?

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago

    That was quick! The shelving certainly took care of business as you said altho I see you were not able to fit everything in there. If you are not happy with it, take it back, and save the money for your built-in. In the meantime you can move the little desk in there so at least you have some workspace which is what you are missing the most.

  • PRO
    Organise Your House
    4 years ago

    Hi @Jen Osborne, Great challenge you have posted and well done for already getting some shelving units. Can you maybe put them on top of each other instead of next to each other to make it work? I agree with @lostinreno though that if you're not happy return them.
    I also came across this bike storage. Is that maybe an option if you're afraid that the tyres will damage your wall?

    Also try to keep the storage boxes as similar as possible in style and color. That will help if you do end up using some open storage instead of closed storage. I agree with others that having all the different types of furniture give it a more cluttered look. Maybe you can pick one or two favorite pieces of furniture and change the others. Good luck!

  • PRO
    Helen Sanderson, creating Calm from Clutter
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen, would love to comment, however there are so many good tips here! What I always like to do with space is to move things around and try them in unlikely places to see how the space wants to be used differently. That often frees up energy. Ask a friend around to help you change the space, this will help you see it with fresh eyes. Sometimes we get bogged down in the detail and an overview is helpful. Keep going, you are doing great!

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago

    Hey Jen, I came across some rooms you might find inspiring, only you have more room!

    Urbane shingle style Residence · More Info

    Contemporary London House · More Info

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    @ Organise your house

    Thanks, I like the bike storage idea, but I would be weary to damage the ceiling! And I know what you mean about keeping all the boxes in same colour, Hopefully after more decluttering I will only need the white ones :)

    @ Calm from Clutter

    Good tip! I'm actually keen to see what the desk would look like on the wall where the bike is. Would be nice to ' free' the window.

    @ Lostinreno

    I like both rooms, thanks; Ah the think you can achieve when you have some $$$ !!

    I think I might have to diy the storage, so it has the right proportions for my room. Something more like that first photo you posted, low enough to be used as a worktop. Do you have the link for it by any chance?

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago

    Here it is http://www.skreytumhus.is/?p=26183 Look like they've used similar shelves to your original ones!

  • championcat
    4 years ago
    our hallway is my decluttering nemesis. we have a purpose built cupboard for shoes, yet there are always abandoned shoes in front of the cupboard. we have a cponsole with drawers for hats, gloves, scarves, sunglasses etc, and an organizer for mail, yet the top of the console is always covered in stuff. we have coatpegs galore, yet coats end up on the end of the bannisters. the hallway splits the house in 2 and becomes a natural dumping ground. its a discipline issue for sure but the worst offender isn't the kids, it's my husband! he's not otherwise untidy, there's something about the convenience of the console. but the hallway is too empty without it (I tried that)
  • PRO
    Revive Your Space
    4 years ago

    Hi @championcat,


    You're certainly not alone in the hallway clutter, so try not to despair.


    I would like to ask you: do people in your house have a specific hook and cubby hole for their own coat, gloves etc, if they do that's great - do they remember that? - perhaps you could have some fun labels so each person can be and feel more responsible for their own things.


    Also, do you just have too many things that mean it's difficult to pop things back where they came from? As the seasons change its good to check what is kept by the front door - can you store summer coats and shoes away for the winter?

  • championcat
    4 years ago
    we do store too much stuff in the hallway, but we have a general shortage of storage throughout the house, so things and up by the front door because there's nowhere else to put them. there's a large basket under the console for school bags, but it now also contains bike helmets, hi viz cycling vests, tennis rackets, swim caps and goggles because there's nowhere else to put them. im sure less stuff is the answer but how to achieve that in a busy family home?!
  • PRO
    IDea for your space
    4 years ago

    Hi @championcat,

    Thanks for talking about hallway! Most of the time this is a neglected area but it really shoudn't as this is the room which welcomes you back everyday.

    That's so true, with a busy family it's difficult to keep a hallway nice and tidy. This is the first room we enter and the temptation to drop everything there is huge.

    Could you post a picture of your hallway, showing the built-in shoe storage, the console, the hooks... It would be easier to give you some ideas on where you could maybe fit more storage for the items which clutter the current space.

    I like your suggestions @revive your space.

    Thanks!


  • PRO
    SortMySpace Ltd
    4 years ago

    Hello Jen, Great momentum you have going this week! Keep up the good work!

    I don't have a bike myself but when I saw these storage solutions a few months ago, I was sorely tempted to buy one to enjoy these clever solutions! http://www.homecrux.com/2015/09/14/34738/20-minimalist-bike-storage-ideas-for-tiny-apartments.html

    I particularly like the curvy Peri bike rack as it looks more like a piece of art than merely practical so could be inspiring in your creative space. The neat wall hung solutions that make use of a shelf like PedalPod or Bedford examples I believe help keep the bike off the walls themselves to reduce scuffing. I've found Dulux Endurance paint range is great for wiping off most day to day scuff marks but you could also mount some decorative wall protectors for the key risk areas (eg perhaps a display of old vinyl records or a cork noticeboard or if you have fabric swatches as part your art supplies perhaps a row of hooks with those swatch books hung up and placed where the handlebars are most likely to touch the walls).

    Looking forward to seeing your finished pictures!

    Katherine

  • PRO
    Equilibrando... Space Planning with Feng Shui
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen, my suggestion is to first move all your stuff out of this room and start reorganising your studio from your desk turning it 90 degrees and placing it the way you will have a wall behind. This will divide your room into two spaces, working space and storage. In the storage organise all your stuff according to its use and all things you don't need for work (bicycle, shoes ect.) should go out. Good luck! \ Marcin

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    @Sort my space ( Great name!)

    Thanks for the link, some of those bike storage are indeed fabulous! With mine tho it's simply going to be the case of taking it out of the room when I work in there and back when I'm not...

    @MM Feng shui

    Your idea of moving the desk against the wall makes lot of sense so I went and did just that! I've also moved in my other desk to have a long continuous work surface. Not as streamlined as it could be but I have to make do with what have for now :) Maybe I'll paint the desks the same colour or something.

    Obviously I still have a lot of organizing to do, but I think this right here classifies as progress!

    (The filing cabinet will go )

  • Emmeline Westin
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Great suggestions all and exciting to see the progress Jen!

  • PRO
    IDea for your space
    4 years ago

    Hi @Jen Osborne,

    Really great progress in your studio! Do you need to keep the big machine which is covered on the new desk you just brought in? If it's a printer or this kind of stuff, can't it go underneath one of the desk? I will free up lots of working space on the desk.

    Maybe you could also decorate the wall above the desks with your own creations (mix-media collages), some pictures you like, a mood board, some inspirational images... to make the room more alive, more enjoyable to work in, to personalise your work area a little bit more.

    Good luck!

  • PRO
    Equilibrando... Space Planning with Feng Shui
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Hi Jen, what I had in mind is visualised below. Is it possible to create? As you see you have two separated spaces, storage place and studio. In case you are planning to get some furnitures and shelves get some high once so you get advantage of the whole space along the walls up to ceiling. The working place I wouldn't overload to much with furnitures or other stuff as its better if you have some space around. I would also leave free access to the window. Please let me know if you have any doubt. What kind of art you work with? / Marcin


  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago

    @ MM Feng shui

    Oh, now I get what you meant! I would have never thought of setting the room like that . (That's what make you a pro undoubtedly!)

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this fantastic rendition. Can I move in there right away?! It looks so smart and serene, very inspiring.

    Unfortunately I can't offered shelving units as good as the ones shown but it's something to strive for.

    I'm trying to sell one of the desk and the filing cabinet to regain some space.

    @ Ideas for your space:

    That big machine is my semi pro printer, I will find it a better place for sure, still moving stuff around! ( And more importantly, getting rid of some of it)

    Can't wait to get to the decorating stage...

  • PRO
    Equilibrando... Space Planning with Feng Shui
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen, just for curiosity I have tried to move the desk to the right however I think the first option is much better and more cosy, separating your working space better from the door.

    About the type of furniture...you can combine the furnitures you already have and get some new once. They don't have to be equal just take advantage of the whole wall (in case you really need so much space for storage). Organise your stuff in the storage according to the type of material, paper with paper, fabric with fabric, stuff you need every day keep on the middle shelves, things you use just sometimes store on the top. Decorating place I always recommend to use natural materials, wood, cotton, wool ect. Remember also to keep your working place free of any not necessary objects and furnitures and keep it simple and minimal and as open as you can. This will help to have batter flow while you are working. And don't forget to get some plants as they always bring life to the space ;). Good luck! /Marcin

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Hi Marcin,

    I agree first option is better.

    I won't need that much storage, I can't fit one behind the door anyway and I can do without the one as you walk in, actually a good spot for the bicycle :)

    I'm still working on declutering, and it's going great as I'm being quite ruthless. Feels a lots better in there! Can't wait till the filing cabinet and extra desk are gone.

    Thanks again for all the advises!

  • PRO
    Equilibrando... Space Planning with Feng Shui
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen, that's sounds good. :) Once you start moving your stuff you realise what you really need and what is clutter and new ideas come meanwhile. Once your studio is done I would suggest to do the same with the rest of your house especially in the place you rest and sleep. Please post some pictures of the final result. Good luck! / Marcin

  • PRO
    Organise Your House
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen,

    Have really enjoyed your enthusiasm and all the fantastic advice by everyone. I would advice you to keep decluttering and being ruthless and yes do post a picture once you're done. Good luck! Ingrid

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Thanks guys! I was away this weekend and won't be home till tomorrow, so not much happened, but I reckon one last big push Saturday ( gee it's almost like giving birth!) and I will be done for grand opening on Sunday :)

    Marcin, thankfully the rest of my home is pretty much clutter free, because,hey, guess where all the unwanted stuff ended up ?!!

    Actually my bedroom is almost too empty according to my boyfriend... Well it had gained a 'new' side table and painting recently :)))


  • PRO
    IDea for your space
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen,

    It's nice to hear you feel happy with the global result, not only on the studio but also on the other rooms.

    You beat your decluttering nemesis! Well done to you.

  • PRO
    Equilibrando... Space Planning with Feng Shui
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen, It is good to hear the rest of your house is clutter free...lucky you that there was a spare room for all unwanted stuff ;). I like the colours of bedroom and the furnitures..It looks very cute and cosy. Just quick feng shui advice...the bedroom is not good place for mirrors...It is quite difficult to explain why but some feng shui schools say that they brings bad luck and whether they bring in bad spirits...the feng shui I practise is very close to the earth and very logic however experimenting with myself and other people I have experienced that the mirrors in some way affect people when they sleep or work in front of it. After removing mirrors from bedrooms many people started to sleep better, got stronger energetically or emotionally more stable so since then I always say no mirrors in bedroom. Another advice is to get a wooden headboard for your bed, if it has round corners its even better. Hang the painting on one of the walls but not above your head. I think a nice carpet made out of some natural material would make you bedroom even more cosy. What do you think? I'm just wondering where is the door in your bedroom?

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Lovely bedroom Jen ! @ mm feng shui, why shouldn't the painting be hanged above the bed ? It would look good there. Would it interfere with sleeping, as you would be unconsciously worried it would fall on your head? Or is it the landscape that is bad feng shui?

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Hi Marcin, thank you for taking the time to give me all those really interesting advises.

    I had a look around the web and found a few options to cover mirrors like mines, and I will give that a try because, as it happens, I do not have the best of sleep in that room...

    My bed does have a headboard but it's very low and I had thought of extending it upward for better proportions. Coincidentally, I saw one at the Vinnie shop just last Saturday, it had a solid wood, rounded headboard! I don't look at beds normally but that one somehow caught my eye.

    The door is opposite the wall, is that ok? Furniture placement is not the easiest in that room.

  • PRO
    Equilibrando... Space Planning with Feng Shui
    4 years ago

    Hi @lostinreno, the safer the place where we sleep is and the less obstacles it has the better so I would say that if nothing is hanging above head while we sleep our subconscious will also be more calm.

  • PRO
    Equilibrando... Space Planning with Feng Shui
    4 years ago

    Hi Jen, no problem. The door looks ok. Please try to cover the mirrors and install headboard for your bed and see how you sleep. I think it may help you to sleep better. Don't worry about the furniture placement, just keep it simple as it is and let us know if you feel any change.

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago

    Thanks @mm feng shui. That makes a lot of sense!

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Well guys, I came home to a very lovely surprise last night: My wonderful boyfriend decided to help me along while I was away and came to my place to pretty much finish the room for me!

    He reconfigured the desks, put up a shelve, hide the shelving unit behind fabric, cleaned everything spotlessly, set up the computer...

    And if that wasn't enough he also took all the unwanted stuff to Vinnies, bought me the rug I had my eyes on, and even decorated the room with my favorite things.

    I still can't quite believe it!

  • PRO
    Your Space in Mind (Johanna Valeur)
    4 years ago

    That's what I call a very lucky woman! Hope you will feel in a good place to start being creative now. All the best

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago

    Aww, that's so lovely to hear ! I can tell great and beautiful things are going to come out of your studio :) happy creations !!

  • PRO
  • PRO
    IDea for your space
    4 years ago

    Amazing, you've got your vey own and unique interior designer!

    Enjoy your re-vamped studio and I wish you a happy creative mind.

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago

    Yea, he's the good sort really... Still aiming for the organization of Marcin's rendition in the future tho...!

    A big thank you again to all of you who took the time to give me so many precious advises. I have completely hijacked this thread but it was totally worth it!!

  • lostinreno
    4 years ago

    Where is your round rug from by the way ?

  • joolshicks
    4 years ago
    Anywhere my husband has been
  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago

    Spotlight!

  • Jen Osborne
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Marcin, I bought a new( old) bed! Hope it's ok ( Feng Shui wise) I love the round carving, I decided it was the moon :)

    I'm still undecided about leaving it as is or paint it that's why it's not up yet.

    Anyway, a tiny update :) Oh and the filing cabinet is gone from the studio.

  • Paul Walsh
    4 years ago

    Mine has to be the wardrobe and under the bed! The joy of a one bedroom London flat. Love the desks for the work place.

  • PRO
    IDea for your space
    4 years ago

    Hi @paulmatthewwalsh,

    Feel free to tell us more about your wardrobe and under the bed issues, I'm sure many people would be happy to help you on this thread!

    Isabelle


  • PRO
    Equilibrando... Space Planning with Feng Shui
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Hi Jen, I would leave headboard as it is without painting, I'm not sure about the round thing in the middle...the best would be a simple natural wood one with plain surface... Anyway if you decide to paint it sand it first with sandpaper and make all corners round, it will give a special personal touch. :) Make sure that it is well fixed to the bed.

  • Trazza B
    4 years ago

    Want to get the bikes and buggies out of the hallways? We designed the Bikebox to deal with our bikes and bins and created a beautiful garden wall in the process. More info on the website Bikebox.London

United Kingdom
Tailor my experience using cookies

By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. Learn more.