As you can imagine I see hundreds of homes every year as I visit clients and help them with their interior design solutions.
To make matters worse I may have told you about my online addiction to realtor.ca.
This is how I spend some of my down time, looking at properties for sale and mentally going through each home and adding my own colour or personal touch. Sounds like a pastime of insanity doesn’t it?
To me, looking at real estate is like treasure hunting and I feel that my choices in homes over the years have been true finds which have been a joy to renovate. As is my pattern, now that my current home is finished I am looking at new challenges in the renovation/real estate market and as I am back looking at the market I have found a startling common thread – clutter is rampant!
I cannot stress enough how much clutter will negatively affect your life and your well-being. Real estate photos show so many homes brimming with unused items and clutter. The troublesome thing is that most real estate pictures are taking the BEST photos of this home so if the ones I am seeing are this cluttered, the rest of the home must be a disaster.
We have all watched Hoarders and I’m sure it makes most of us jump up and dust our home and put extra items away when the episode is finished!
Some of the homes I have personally visited would make you shake your head in disbelief; beautiful homes on the outside with perfectly manicured lawns that house mounds of paper, magazines and loads of junk.
I was reading an article on chronic clutter by Margaret Paul Ph.D and she stated that people who are bound by clutter often suffer from fear, emptiness or loneliness and the gathering of materials makes them feel less empty.
Buying and storing meaningless items will often give someone a sense of control where they feel they have no control. Imagine a man drowning in a lake who will grab onto anything to keep him above water – in the same way people who gather clutter grab and grab onto items in an attempt to save themselves.
Storing items may also give someone a sense of security based on a past experience.
When I was in University and during my first years of marriage money was very tight and I had to be diligent about budgets and what I bought. Lets be honest, we were broke. Now that I don’t need to worry about my grocery budget, I still find myself tempted to buy back up products in case I run out. I know the truth is that if I run out I am three blocks from a store but those past memories can keep me in a time when I wasn’t sure if I would have the money to buy that item again.
It is very important to take a critical look at your home and see if you have pending clutter issues. How much stress would it cause to get rid of those old clothes and do you really need three coffee makers hidden away in your kitchen? Dig it out, donate it and delight in your clutter free home.
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.