We are incredibly excited to bring you this guest post from Melbourne interior design enthusiast Melanie Duzel-Zammit.
We at JCD are just one of Melanie’s 13,000+ Instagram followers and regularly feel inspired by the photos she shares of her stunning home. Not only is she an incredible stylist and photographer, she’s also managed to astutely curate a variety of beautiful yet highly functional spaces that are easily kept clutter-free. No mean feat with two small children in tow!
We asked Melanie to share with us her top 5 tips for creating a clutter-free home, to which she kindly and generously obliged and we’re proud to present below.
One of the things I am often asked by my Instagram followers is, “How do you keep your home looking so perfect?” Let me tell you, it is far from perfect. Mess is inevitable with two young children but what works for me is living without that awful “C” word… clutter! It is not always easy, but using my tips to avoid clutter in the first place will see you well on your way to enjoying a tidy home.
1. DEFINE YOUR SPACES
Define the function of each space and then decide what belongs in each one. Try to keep items that belong in the kitchen, in the kitchen. Items that belong in the bathroom, in the bathroom. Items that belong in the bedroom, in the bedroom. You get the idea! This might sound really obvious, but it is incredibly easy for things to creep into rooms they don’t belong (eg. toys, books, brushes, clothes), where they end up staying, sometimes indefinitely, thereby creating clutter.
2. KEEP SURFACES CLEAR
I love the look of sleek, clean surfaces (ie: bench tops, TV units, desks and floors). Keep surfaces clear by using all available storage to house your belongings. An area that is often overlooked is the bathroom. Hide those toothbrushes!
3. IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT, LOSE IT
This is my mantra for just about everything I have on display. Look around and ask yourself, is it important or precious to you? Does it have a function? Or do you absolutely love looking at it everyday? If you can’t tick at least one of these boxes with each item, ditch it (or hide it!). If you can tick two, or even three, of these boxes per item, your clutter-free game will be strong.
4. THINK TWICE (OR THRICE)
Before you even consider bringing something new into your home, really think about where you will put it. Then, decide on something you will remove (or put away) to make room for it. By removing something old to allow for something new, you are reducing your chances of clutter creeping up on you.
5. A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN IT’S PLACE
So many of us come home and toss our keys, glasses and mail on the kitchen bench. The mail ends up sitting there for days, along with notes from school, maybe a few photos and occasionally that random postcard you received from a friend last month. We’re all guilty of doing this but the trick to avoiding it is finding a spot that is easily accessible but OUT OF VIEW. For me, it’s in the top drawer of my buffet in the dining room. For you, it could be a drawer in your kitchen, or a box in your pantry. Wherever it is, find a place and USE IT. Make the rest of your family members use it too. Be strict and it will soon become habit.
Either first thing in the morning, or just before bed, EVERY DAY, take at least 5 minutes to whip around your home and put away some things that you might have missed throughout the day. Make everyone in your house do the same, including your kids.
All of the tips above show that if you invest a small amount of time each day, you’ll be enjoying a clutter-free home in a heartbeat!