Sunday, January 6, 2013

what’s your clutter comfort level?

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Not a garland in sight.

Yesterday I spent the entire day cleaning the bedrooms out. Vacuuming dusty corners. Dumping junk drawers. And carrying out piles of jeans and various size pants that I’ve been saving, “just in case” one of them happens to fit either Patrick or Michael. In the meantime it occurred to me that I spend a lot of time never knowing the status of any of these clothes I’m saving. Either I forget they’re even in the closet, so they never get worn, or if I remember, I can’t seem to corner my boys long enough to make them try a few on.

They’re awful about trying on clothes. And I’m not great about staying on top of my clutter.

But I’ve decided that attacking clutter is my new thing.


via housebeautiful

In fact, I just read THIS interesting article that suggests we all have our own clutter comfort level, depending on our personality. According to this article, if you have the soul of an artist, you would tend to feel right at home in an English country home that’s laden with antiques, vases, textured pillows and rugs. And lots of patterns.


Only what you think is cozy, might be jarring for someone who has the soul of an engineer.


via othisisglamourous

Because according to the author if you have a soul of an engineer,

living around bold, saturated colors might make you nervous.


via vintagerosegardentumblr

You would NEVER want a bedroom like this.

Instead, you would gravitate toward a cleaner, minimalistic look. You’re a person that likes more symmetrical orderliness in your surroundings.


via english muse

A bedroom like this one would feel more comfortable.



Although, personally I think we’re all a blend of both these types.


While I’m drawn to deep colors and wonderfully worn patinas, lately I’ve been craving the peacefulness of white around me.


And although I’m a total “tactile person” who enjoys blending textures inside a room as much as inside a floral arrangement, I also require a balanced feeling in my surroundings. To me, it’s more of a sensation of “what feels right.” In addition to what looks good.

Do you know what I mean?


via crushculdesac

But whatever your clutter comfort level, we all need to find ways to stay on top of it.

I sure do.

And it felt so good that I finally tackled some piles of clothing. And I took down every last bit of garland and labeled this year’s Christmas stuff in big bins. I loved Yvonne’s idea about using clear bins for Christmas decorations, but I was too cheap to go out and buy them when I have my big ones sitting here.


So I’m using lots of labels for my big obscure bins.


my unfinished mantel, ready for change

I’ve always found this time immediately after Christmas to be a quiet, in-between period for decorating. My mantel is a blank slate now. I keep removing items. And waiting. I like to give myself time to get inspired by something. A color or a photo that grabs me or some quirky, found object.

I don’t mind that my house feels unfinished at this moment.


It actually feels good. Like when you get home after a night out and you wash all the make- up off your face. And your skin is free to breathe and now looks fresh and ready for some simple moisturizer. That’s how all my spaces seem now that the wreaths and shiny bulbs and colored ribbon are all gone.

And it’s nice because now I’m free to imagine new possibilities. Like the idea of painting my brick fireplace a fresh, creamy white, which is my next big project (gulp).

How about you? Do you have any new projects on the horizon?

Tell me, I’d love to hear.



Places I party :




Unknown said...

Hi there,
just looking at the pictures you posted makes me want to have a perfectly clean house, yet at this point, I won't even get my hopes up.
Projects for me? I would love to tackle my kitchen, put in new countertops, appliances, additional shelving/cabinets to store all my kitchen clutter.
BTW, great post, as always.

Brandy~GreyLaneHome said...

I'm with you Leslie on the white. I have been wanting white and pale grey everywhere. Yesterday we actually measured out out kitchen cabinets to order new mouldings. And I think I have picked out the final paint colors. So the kitchen is our project. And I have the feeling it's going to take weeks to finish.

Lori said...

I have banished Christmas but did not have the time or energy to clean and put everything back in its place so there is always next week-end! I think I am a mix of both ~ I have held onto things that mean something but know when to purge. I would love to paint our fireplace but hubby would have a kitten ~ so I shall come up with plan b. I have 2 projects on the horizon ~ in the planning stages right now and hope to start the first one in a couple of weeks time. Happy New Year!

Cathi said...

I have almost all of my Christmas decorations put away except for a few lingering favorites. I also love the clean slate after the holidays cleaning out decorations has led to cleaning out the kitchen cabinets, clothes closets, bathroom cabinets,etc...I live with a clutterbug but I am definitely not one and since we live in a pretty small place I am very creative about storing his clutter. My projects for this year starting next weekend are painting the bathroom and renovating the kitchen - I am so excited, I love a good home improvement project! Have a fabulous week! xxoo

Debra@CommonGround said...

I fall somewhere in the middle. LOVE English Country, but I just can't do all the pattern anymore. I like neutrals and texture with just a little pattern. But I DO have a clutter threshold. every once in a while the trashcan makes the rounds. Great post, Leslie!

An Oasis in the Desert said...

It is very nice to lighten up the decor after Christmas, but I don't have any major painting plans. I'm not big on painting furniture -- at least I haven't caught that "bug" yet. I like the simple vignette in your last photo and have the same tray and the glass hurricane -- so many things you can do with pieces like that.


Sew a Fine Seam said...

Very interesting about our clutter comfort level! I definitely have some of my engineer father in me but only to a point! While at times I get very much in the declutter mood and decide I want a minimalistic look in my decor it never lasts long. I'm soon adding stuff here and there and tweaking this and that!

Leena Milligan Lanteigne said...

I don't mind decorative clutter, unless it is WAY over the top too much, like when the wallpaper, drapes, bed linens and carpeting all match - yikes! REAL clutter, junk mail, jackets, books, shoes, newspapers, etc, strewn about make me insane! I seriously cannot concentrate around stuff like that and have to clean it up before I can accomplish anything else. Right now, my office/studio is a mess because of lack or storage space and it's making me crazy! I can't work down there with all that stuff! I need help LOL! Hugs, Leena


I just did the same. My house is so fresh and clean, I'm loving the blank slates. As for clutter tolerance, each room is different for me. I like clean counter tops. I am not meticulous enough to clean under lots of appliances and doo dads in the kitchen. So I try to keep the surfaces clean. I am leaning more and more towards a minimal modern farmhouse style. ♥Linsey

Between Blue and Yellow said...

I like some clutter, it gives a home a more lived in look. When it' all white and no clutter, it looks like a museum.

Pam Kessler said...

My clutter level changes with the seasons. This time of year I go on a big purge and put away or donate the excess. Then when Fall comes I start to layer more stuff around. And then by the time Christmas comes you can barely see the furniture under all the stuff. That reminds me - I still have a box of stuff to drop off at Goodwill in the back of my van.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Leslie, With a blog named "No Minimalist Here" my clutter comfort level should be pretty high. Actually, clutter drives me crazy. I have been busy helping my dad get rid of things and organizing his house.
xx, Sherry

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

Love these photos. I used to love lots of stuff and dark rich colors, but now as many, I prefer cleaner, simplier, softer colors or no color at all.

The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy said...

Though I am the daughter of an engineer, I am also the daughter of a musician! So you can imagine the confusion. I love patterns, ceramics, wood. I also had a gallery in Africa so my house is full of art pieces. Sometimes -yes- I dream of empty space, but when I walk into my coloured crowded front sitting room my heart still leaps. Xxcat

Stacey said...

I really do agree that we have clutter comfort levels. I always admire clutter in other homes and in pictures too. In my own home though, can't do it. Often times just adding one more thing into the room seems like too much. Only you can know what's right for you.

Art and Sand said...

Our little cottage is small so my clutter comfort is very low. Fortunately my husband feels the same way. When we downsized to this little cottage we really followed the "keep only what you love and know to be useful" adage.

My husband likens it to living on a boat and deciding what we need to take on the cruise. We did add pull down attic stairs so we have things stored and circulate items throughout the year.

I was sick in bed all day with an allergic reaction to medicine and the thing that upset me the most was that the house was a mess because I was too sick to straighten up. A little OCD of me.

Your home looks lovely.

Debe said...

Visiting from Cedar Hill and loved your pictures and the thoughts. I fight that battle constantly & usually lose. I did paint my fireplace years ago and have never regretted it. Did it on a whim when I was painting walls. Surprised husband when he got home but he lived! Paint it!! Going back to read your past doing that when I find someone new!

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