Regardless, of whether I am working on a residential or commercial project one of the first and most critical tasks I ask a client to do is to go on a massive purge, declutter, detox, cull or as a former boyfriend of my called it “crap control”.
In my experience, most people have things jammed into drawers and cupboards, piled in corners on the floor or even worse cluttering up table tops or counters. Usually about two thirds of this stuff can be superannuated. While there can be a certain comfort being surrounded by stuff, a home or office which is bulging with things will never be truly stunning nor will it be an easy, let alone an inspiring place in which to to live or work. I am not advocating minimalism here. It’s not about living like a Zen monk, giving away your worldly possessions and owning just one bowl and spoon and mattress. It is about everything you have providing value in your life whether it be purely aesthetic or practical. Naturally, this is a purely subjective. The 19th century English decorator and artist, William Morris, summed this up in his famous mantra: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
While I would like to say that my own house is an exemplar of Morris’ philosophy. It is not. Prior to the birth of my son, some six years ago, my husband and I would spend a day every six months going through all our possessions and get rid of anything we no longer needed. Since becoming parents I simply have prioritised other things, like spending hours playing Lego, going to the park or getting to bed at a reasonable time. Children come with stuff which are vital at one stage of their lives and are obsolete shortly after. I have been struggling to get rid of toys and clothes at the pace my son outgrows them. Now I am paying the price as our smallish house is suffering from indigestion. It is creating a lot of mental noise in our lives. So I am on a mission to cull our possessions and I am going to follow the advice I give my clients.
Stay tuned for some practical advice and guidance.