It is Friday once again, and time to read further on in the book "Lessons from Madame Chic" written by Jennifer L. Scott. I am into part 3 " How to Live Well" and this weeks chapter is titled "Clutter Is So Not Chic" .... I AGREE! I truly dislike clutter, it does not matter if it is clutter like scattered mail or magazines, or clutter like a lot of collectibles on every surface. I feel that if I have a lot of clutter of any kind around me I just can not think strait! That is not to say I do not have my drawer (yes drawer) and in the past, as a child I had a closet that was from Hell , but I try my hardest to stay on top of it all. Jennifer starts off the chapter with this sentence " I do not exaggerate when I say Famille Chic's home was completely clutter free. ", so perhaps once again I have been channeling my inner French girl without even knowing it.
|My mess drawer. I try to not open it!|
So why are the French less apt to have clutter? According to the author the reason Famille Chic had no clutter was that they enjoyed living well and to have that pile of mail or shoes or coats that were not put away was the complete opposite to living well. Now I said above that I also do not like to have cluttered surfaces full of collectibles, that is not to say I do not have collectibles, I just try to create nice vignettes here and there and I do try to leave some blank space. I do not collect things just to have things ( well except maybe shoes and jewelry) and if something comes into Muse Cottage, it has a reason to come in and if there is not space for it, then something has to be taken out to allow something else to come in.... same way with my wardrobe. It is mentioned that Famille Chic were not be consumers, that helps, I have been a shopaholic in the past, but have tried very hard after going through some very tough times with out financial situation to curb that since things have gotten better, and it has cut back on the clutter of the collectible type.
|via google search for retro and closet|
If you have a lot of clutter of any kind it can be daunting to get it under control. There are countless books and tv shows on how you are supposed to go about the process, and you may have a day when you say " this is the day", then open that closet door or that drawer and quickly shut it again. I have been there. Most days I do not have the energy to tackle much of anything for very long, so what is a girl to do? Go slowly. Pick an area that really drives you crazy. One of my first places I see when I get up is my closet so I have always made sure that it is organized. I keep my shoes in shoe boxes that are grouped by color and style and one day I will add labels. I keep my scarves in plastic shoe boxes as well. My jewelry case is organized as well, I bought plastic containers that are actually nuts and bolts holders from the hardware store and that is how I organize my earrings etc. , they need labels as well, but it is a start, you will notice my belts are in clear plastic bags, not a perfect way to do things, but it works.
The next place I see is my bathroom, last place I see at night too, and it is important to me to be able to get what I need to do over with in a timely matter and not have to deal with clutter. I keep my medicine cabinet and my make up very organized and it really helps speed up both getting ready for the day and for bed in the evening. After that space it is the living room. I am here all day long, my desk is in here, and when you spend a lot of time in a space that is cluttered, I fully believe that it can affect your mood, spirit and creative juices too. Cluttered house, cluttered mind. I try to go through the mail the minute it comes in, I keep items I have to have in the room that is not decorative in small wooden boxes, they are actually wooden cheese boxes my daughter got me from her work, baskets hold the blankets and spare toss pillows, but really anything can work... I even keep my snacks in the kitchen in a brass garden pot and my tea in an old wire basket. Just because it needs to be out does not mean that it can not be organized.
|Being able to see everything at a glance|
truly helps start and end the day in a good way.
|I can grab what I need quickly without|
searching since taking my make up out
of the bag and putting it into the drawers.
|Not perfect, one day I will upgrade,|
but this works well for keeping shoes,
keys and outgoing mail etc. in one place.
|A wooden cheese box for coasters,|
eye glasses and the remotes keeps the
coffee table clean and organized without
being completely devoid of decor...off
screen, magazines are stacked neatly.
What happens when you are organized but your family is not and you keep having to pick up after them? It is all about the training. Start slow and gentle with that too. It has taken me many years of kindly reminders and of living/teaching by example to get my husband to stay organized. He is still not as good at it as I am, but he does try and I love him for the effort. I no longer have to worry about the girls anymore, they are all out on their own, but they knew when they were still living under my roof that they could ( even if it bugged me) keep their room as they wish, to an extent, but the main living space needed to stay neat, clean and organized... I will say two of the three daughters now keep their own spaces in the same way I keep my own.... so it can happen. It is all about discipline, self and influencing others to have it too. Having a routine really helps, simply starting with putting your shoes and purse away when you come in, going through the mail and getting rid of what is not needed, and cleaning up as you go when you are cooking a meal can make a big difference. Having a place for everything and everything in it's place is also makes a huge difference in keeping the clutter at bay....and if brave enough clearing things out that you no longer need that is taking up space and creating clutter just by existing in your space.
I am not going to go into further detail of the hows, something tells me even if you are not organized and are surrounded by clutter, you know how to clear it all up and possibly out, you most likely know how to do that. I may have even given you a few new ideas , now it is all about becoming motivated or motivating those around you if you are not the problem. I will say this, just think of all the extra time you will have if you are not always trying to straiten up the clutter if it is already organized as part of living a better lifestyle and habit. So channel your own inner French girl ( yes I know grasping at straws with that statement) and become more chic , because as the author stated, "clutter is so not chic..." and we all want to be more chic, even if we do not want to channel that inner French girl side of ourselves.