Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Declutter Your Home

Declutter Your Home

How do you declutter your home? You've probably heard the term a lot, but what exactly is it? And how do you do it? Clutter can be stacks of clothes, magazines, empty potato chip bags and a floor full of pet toys.

Clutter can also be volumes of rare books, photographs, collectibles and priceless family treasures. What makes it clutter...is that there's so much of it.

If your goal is to sell your home for top dollar, sorting and packing will get you started and help you identify items you already own that are perfect for staging. If you just want to enjoy your home more, decluttering can breathe new life into it.

Doug's Story

Doug retired from a successful teaching career and said goodbye to city life. He packed up a lifetime of books, family mementos, duck decoys, a stuffed mountain lion, and cheerfully moved the lot into his new home.

Then...he got married.

Doug's new wife thought his clutter was pretty cool, but was a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it. Everywhere you looked, a priceless treasure was staring back at you...some with eyes.

When Doug and his wife agreed to host the local Cabin and Wildflower Tour, it was the perfect opportunity to address the issue. Because when you have too much of everything, it's hard to appreciate anything.

Doug's Dining Room Before

Doug's Dining Room Before

Doug's Dining Room After

Declutter Details

  • A collection of beer steins was grouped and moved to the mantle.
  • A stuffed mallard and a horsehair pottery lion stand out on either side of the mirrored sideboard.
  • Red leather bound volumes add balance and color to the center of the sideboard.
  • The gold tablecloth was replace by red quilted placemats.

Doug's Family Room Before

Doug's Family Room After

Declutter Details

  • Desk beside the front door crowded the room and was removed.
  • Sofa and chairs switched places (see why in arranging furniture).
  • New area rugs with red accents emphasize the color scheme.
  • Red table topper and pillows provide unity.
  • Collections on the mantle, end table, and stereo were simplified.

Doug's Guest Bedroom Before

Doug's Guest Bedroom After

Declutter Details

  • A block quilt made by a former student and the needlework hanging made by his mother were carefully packed away.
  • The crib his girls used 38 years ago was donated to the local church and replaced by a pack-n-play that can be stored, or assembled for the occasional baby guest.
  • A small dresser stores linens and the mirror above it reflects more light into the bedroom.
  • Rustic woven brown drapery panels were hung inside the closet to simulate doors.
  • Bedding was updated with a western theme.
  • A lariat on the wall, and a few western decorator items welcome guests without overwhelming them.

Doug was somewhat traumatized by the experience of having to sort through his possessions. It was hard to make decisions about what to keep and what to let go. But when it was all over with, he loved the outcome and the feeling of space.

His girls were happy because he passed many of the family treasures on to them, and the Cabin Tour was a huge success because everyone loved his home.

Ready to Declutter Your Home?

If you're surrounded by a lifetime of clutter and not sure how to proceed, start small. Go to work on one area of one room. Get a friend or family member to help. Find people who will enjoy some of the things you no longer need. 

Be gentle with yourself. Enjoy the memories, and look forward to the feeling of freedom and space to come.

Home Organizing Declutter PaperCould you use more time and money? If you're not on top of your bills and paperwork, you're literally standing on a corner throwing money to the wind. Seems crazy, doesn't it? But if you're not aware of what's happening, it could be happening to you.

Home Organization Tips Declutter DrawersWould you like to add more minutes to your day and more money to your bank account? Get organized. 

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Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.