No matter how hard you try to keep your home organized, you may find that either you or your family members have bad habits that undo all of your efforts. There are often hotspots around the house for clutter, from the kitchen to the bedroom, and once you fall into certain habits, they can be hard to break. Here are some common household habits that cause home clutter and solutions to keep your home organized.
Tossing Items Into a Closet
In almost every home, there is a closet that holds a bunch of different items. From linens to cleaning products to winter coats stored away, this space can quickly become a catch-all for things you don’t use daily or are simply hiding away when family and friends visit. With a cluttered closet like this, it can be hard to find the things you need.
Solution: Instead of tossing these items into the dark depth of a closet, create a system. Install shelves from the floor up. This will help determine how much space you have for storage. Use bins, baskets or boxes with labels so nothing will be missed. For items that don’t belong together, such as cleaning supplies and winter coats, find appropriate homes for these items in different areas of the home.
Throwing Mail on the Counter
One of the most common causes of kitchen clutter is stacking piles of mail and paper on the counter. Come home, check the mailbox, head inside and toss it out of your way, as the last thing you want to do after a long day is sift through your bills. Not only can this cause clutter and stress, but it also takes up valuable counter space.
Solution: Start with an organization system for your mail. Place a stylish, yet discrete tray on your entryway table or kitchen counter where you can place your mail until you are ready to read it. Avoid mixing important mail, like bills and insurance information, with junk mail, like menus and unwanted catalogs, by placing a simple, design-friendly waste basket in your entryway. Just be sure to take one or two days a week to go through your tray and empty out your wastebasket to keep it from overflowing.
Leaving Shoes Around the House
If you have a family full of children, it’s common to find their shoes strewn across the house. From a pile of sneakers in the entryway to a pair of shoes on the living room floor, this can quickly become a tripping hazard, in addition to adding unwanted clutter and dragging dirt and grime throughout your home.
Solution: Put a shoe rack in your entryway, mudroom or garage to keep shoes organized and reduce the amount of dirt tracked throughout your home. If you have a closet by your door, consider adding shelving to the bottom to create your own shoe rack that is also hidden behind the door, clearing up space to reduce clutter and tripping hazards. Consider putting shoe racks in every bedroom as well to store shoes for different seasons.
Piling Dirty (and Clean) Clothes on a Chair
Whether you get home from a tough workout at the gym or you are tackling multiple home chores at once, clothes often don’t find their way to the dresser, closet or hamper. Clean clothes may get folded, but never put away, sitting on a chair in your bedroom. Dirty clothes may end up piling up on the bathroom floor or in a corner of the bedroom. Either way, this causes clutter that can result in a musty smell and increased dust.
Solution: Invest in a few hampers with lids and place them in convenient locations throughout your home. Place one in the bathroom (or two, one for clothes and one for towels) and one in each bedroom for dirty laundry. This will give you a place to store your dirty laundry without being able to see it everywhere. For clean laundry, get in the habit of putting it away immediately. Keep spare hangers near the washer and dryer for easy organization. Working with labels on dressers and in bins and baskets in the closet can also prompt you to stick to an organizational system.
An outdoor living area is like an extension of the home that can serve many different purposes. From afternoons spent lounging around the pool to al fresco dinners with the family, the right design can provide you with a versatile setting that caters to any occasion. Here are a few of the most important considerations to take into account to get the most out of your next outdoor space.
During the warmer months of the year, there’s no better place to host a small group of family and friends than the backyard. That’s why so many luxury homeowners can appreciate an outdoor living area that’s built for entertaining with a seating area that everyone can gather around in the evening, and perhaps even a fire pit, audio system and outdoor lights to complete the ambience.
If you plan on enjoying dinner in the open air, then there are few key features to keep in mind. A designated spot for your dinner table is essential, and if it boasts a view, that’s even better. In addition to that, you’ll probably want an outdoor kitchen and barbecue area nearby where you can prepare wholesome meals while spending time with the rest of the family.
The backyard is a place to cut loose and have some fun, especially for those with young kids running around. You can ensure there’s never a dull moment with a luxurious swimming pool and spacious lawn where everyone can play games like croquet and bocce ball. For those who want to take it to the next level, a sports court or putting green are two more exciting features to have.
After a day of work, you might prefer to simply step outside to unplug and have some downtime. Your outdoor area should certainly be designed with this in mind, providing a place to immerse in nature and simply enjoy a little peace and quiet. A casual seating area where you can curl up with a book amidst mature trees and plantings is all it takes to create the perfect escape in your backyard.
The colors that you see on paint cans or cards in a store may not reflect the way the paint would look on your walls under different lighting. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a few samples and test them all in your home before you make a choice.
Lighting and Décor Can Impact Perception of Color
The lighting in a room will influence the way you see a paint color. Even if you use the same paint and the same number of coats on each wall, the shade on one wall may look different than those on other walls depending on the way light hits each section of the room. Those differences may be more pronounced than you would expect.
Natural lighting can change throughout the day, and the types of artificial lights, their locations and the brightness of the bulbs can affect the way the paint color looks. The furniture, curtains and artwork in a room can also affect your perception of paint colors and may therefore influence your choice. It’s important to take all those factors into account.
How to Choose a Color
Get at least three paint colors that are close to what you want. You can paint sections side by side on a wall to see differences between the shades and make comparisons. Make the sections at least 1 square foot and use two coats of paint. Painting swatches on walls that get different amounts of natural light and arranging furniture, lighting and other décor the way you plan to have it after you finish painting can help you see how everything looks together.
If you would rather not paint directly on the walls, you can paint sample boards or sample sizes of drywall and tape them to a wall. One of the benefits of that approach is that you can easily move sample boards from wall to wall to see how colors look under different conditions.
Don’t Rush to Make a Decision
Think about when you are most likely to be in the room and the amount and type of lighting that will be present. If you will spend a lot of time in the room during the day, focus on how each paint color looks in differing amounts of natural light. If you plan to use the room more at night, pay attention to how artificial lighting influences the way you perceive each color. Taking your time will help you be confident that you’re making the right decision.
A coffee bar is an increasingly popular home feature these days. With more people working from home and spending less time in cafes, it should come as no surprise that so many homeowners are creating a designated space specifically for a good cup of joe. Here are a few tips for designing the perfect coffee bar.
Pick the Location
Before you get started, take some time to consider the ideal spot. The kitchen or a nearby pantry is often the first choice, especially if it’s close to a breakfast nook where you enjoy your coffee each morning. Another option, however, is to place it in your home office, so you can stay energized throughout the workday without leaving your desk. Some homeowners even choose to put a coffee bar in the master suite, allowing them to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee the minute they roll out of bed.
Get the Appliances
The only piece of equipment that you really need, of course, is your preferred coffee maker, but there’s no reason why you have to stop there. A compact refrigerator will allow you to keep milk and cream nearby, and a sink will make it much easier to clean mugs if your coffee bar is not located in the kitchen.
Consider Your Storage Needs
Chances are you’ll appreciate having some storage available to keep all the essentials, like your favorite beans, mugs and more. The right amount of cabinets and shelving space will make all the difference and provide the utmost convenience during your daily java ritual.
Create a Mood
Don’t forget to have fun with the design. You can look to your favorite cafes or find inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest to design a stylish coffee bar that gets you excited each day. Whether you’re going for a chic and modern aesthetic or decorate with a few vintage and reclaimed objects, there are plenty of ways to create the perfect spot to channel your inner-barista.
I am a 20 year educator turned realtor! I love my family, my animals and of course real estate!