Among the buzz of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix, households everywhere are trying to eliminate their clutter. Kondo’s expert organizational techniques have inspired families across the world to clean out their closets and clear off their surfaces.
But, is it possible to have “tasteful” clutter? All signs point to “yes”. While hoarding habits should always be addressed, decorative clutter is an art form of its own. If done right, it can give a room personality and a home style.
It can be hard to balance artful clutter with unnecessary clutter, however. First, keep your clutter in line with your home’s interior design. Second, in keeping with Kondo’s mantra, always make sure it sparks joy.
Coffee Table Clutter
Coffee tables are a frequently used surface. For this reason, they become a target for unopened mail, empty coffee cups, and used Kleenex. Keep your coffee table clutter to a minimum, and focus it on aesthetic pieces. If you have some books or magazines you’d like to highlight, more than the ones on your bookshelf, use this opportunity to highlight them.
Magazines can be displayed in a fan spread. Meanwhile, books should be placed in an elegant and well-situated basket or tray. Keeping books directly on the surface will encourage dust to gather, and for them to get scattered about.
Also, treat your coffee table like you would your dining table. Not in the sense that you should eat there, but in the sense that it should always be appealing to guests. Adorn it with a lovely centerpiece, whether this be a flower arrangement, potted plant, or decorative vase. This will actually prevent unnecessary clutter from forming there, as you won’t want to detract from the centerpiece’s visual appeal.
Work Space Clutter
The workspace is a magnet for clutter. Primarily because it’s where we use the most paper. Arrange the paper in your workspace into folders or trays. Use walls to your advantage by putting up a corkboard or pinning up other useful information.
Keep the main surfaces (i.e. your desk) minimal. Maybe one notebook, your computer, and a decorative object. Just because you use this space for working doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pleasant. Add photos that hold special meaning for you, or some greenery to help you re-center. Whatever you do, don’t treat your desk as a storage facility.
Kids’ Room Clutter
Every parent knows how hard it is to keep a playroom in order. However, it is possible, and you may even be able to encourage your kids to help. A little bit of clutter in a playroom is natural – and necessary. Special toys, stuffed animals, and books should have a designated display shelf.
Meanwhile, remaining toys should be kept in categorized compartments. You can designate one for dolls, one for blocks, one for educational toys, and so on. Truly take advantage of the walls in a kids’ room by displaying their arts and crafts – and perhaps even framing them. It will add a pop of color and contribute to the playful aura.
We’ve all strewn our clothes across the bed or filled our nightstand with knick-knacks. However, because the bedroom is our place to relax, improper clutter can be detrimental. Keep nightstands clear, limiting them to a table lamp, a decorative item, and any absolute necessities.
Invest in storage beds with pullout drawers and headboard shelves for miscellaneous clutter. Also, take advantage of bookshelves. They work in almost any room and are always an appropriate space for miscellaneous clutter.
Another type of bedroom-appropriate clutter is bedding. An abundance of throw pillows or a beautiful quilts adds to aesthetic value of the room without taking up unnecessary room. When it comes to clutter, less is more. Quality is also crucial. Picture frames, potted plants, and decorative lamps will do a lot more for your interior design than shabby books and eclectic knick-knacks.
In the words of Marie Kondo, try to find the items that truly “spark joy.”