By Michelle Ball
I’ve loved decluttering and styling since I can remember, so I thought I’d share my top tips on these 2 topics. I hope they help you!
I am not, and have never been a hoarder. I believe in the principal of letting go of excess, and as you do, even more beautiful things come into your home. In saying this, when we had to let go of all our belongings as part of the competition on House Rules and give them all to the Salvation Army, it was difficult for me. We boxed up all our photo albums and personal belongings, then any furniture in the house, including rugs, went.
I remember telling Grace Removals to keep so much; the lounge we had just been given, replica Eames chairs I had bid for on eBay and loved. Then the producer called me, saying Michelle you have to let go, trust me. So I did, not knowing if I would come home to anything I liked with 5 teams replacing all my belongings with new things.
I can honestly say letting go is the best thing I did. So when you decide to declutter, although not as radically as me, there are 3 things I want you to consider:
1. Does the item mean something to you, is ot a family heirloom, like your grandma’s bed, which was the only item I kept in our house. Or did your son make it or is it a gift from your husband for you anniversary? If you say no to any of these things, get rid of it.
2. Is the clutter that bad you won’t have people over? Time to let it go.
3. Do you really need it, have you used it or worn it in the last 12 months? If not, then get rid of it.
If you can’t do it alone, do you have a friend who can help? Or hire a professional like myself. It’s worth the money and time. Don’t be overwhelmed either. As I said to my daughter when she was doing her HSC, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Start in one room. I would do your bedroom as it’s your sanctuary. Got shoes and clothes that don’t fit or are dated? Pack in a bag and donate it to charity. If you need the money, sell things. It feels great getting a little bit of cash, then go spoil yourself and have dinner with the family. If things are old or not good enough for the Salvation Army or to sell, throw them out. You will have a ball, and will feel so much better in your mind too.
Cluttered house, cluttered mind. Clear the clutter I say.
When styling, you can make a room look like a magazine shoot as long as you keep the kids away for a while! On the show I was called the budget queen. We have had to learn as a family to make ends meet and make our home lovely without buying very expensive things. Ikea and the Salvos have been a great source for us as family to make things beautiful. A lick of paint is a great cheap way to make a room amazing as well. So is Pickawall. We used it in Perth and in our dining area. It’s a canvas product that comes on and off the walls, you can transport it to anywhere if you rent or own your home or unit, and it looks amazing.
Cushions are also a great way to style a room. Also remember that different types of cushions look amazing together, spots and stripes, plain or bold, all look amazing. Gone are the days of matchy-matchy boring.
So now you have decluttered your home, get in there and style it. Another great idea I live by is to shop from one room to the next. Just because a rug or picture has been in you bedroom forever, does not mean it won’t work in your lounge room too. If you have the same theme throughout your home, of course it will match.
Caroline Burns-Mcrave, our interior designer on House Rules, would say do a Coco Chanel. Put everything in the space, take a step back, and take things away. If we had the time we did it, and it worked.
Michelle Ball and her husband Steve were finalists on Channel 7 makeover show House Rules. They have a styling business, Styled by Michelle and Steve.
Jen is currently on honeymoon in Tokyo, Venice and the UK, and has opened up the blog to a series of fabulous guest posters to share their interiors-related expertise in her absence. She hopes you’ll enjoy them and look out for the odd honeymoon post from overseas! The new Mrs Francis (who will still be known as Bishop for work purposes) will be back at her desk on 11 November.