Spring is in the air so now is the ideal time to clear the clutter, pack away those winter woollies and generally store anything that hasn’t already got a homeIt seems the more we have, the more it begins to drag us down. So why do we seem to be so attached to our clutter? In this month’s design tips we take a look at storage solutions and ask, ‘Are you dependent on your mess?’
Deciding whether to keep or throw away our precious belongings can be a difficult choice. But before you dump the lot and go minimal, it is essential to differentiate between storage and clutter. Storage is tidy and accessible, and more importantly, it is useful. Clutter on the other hand, is anything that is no longer being used and does not have a home.
“If you want to create a new future for yourself, then clear the clutter and make some space in your life for new possibilities and opportunities to enter”
Clutter can have a significant effect on us by impeding the smooth flow of ch’i around the home, reducing the chances of us progressing through life with ease and comfort.
A well-designed storage system should be tailored to the individual and be something that you can control, rather than the other way around. If you want to create a new future for yourself, then clear the clutter and make some space in your life for new possibilities and opportunities to enter.
Look and see where your clutter is – how does it relate to the pa kua and your best Directions? For example, if there is a mountain of old newspapers destined for recycling in the Career Corner then you could expect this to symbolise, and even cause, a lack of progress in your chosen career.
It is crucial to avoid piecemeal decisions about storage, that’s why devising a masterplan, which takes into account the entire house, is the best approach. When thinking about where you could add storage facilities in your home environment, keep in mind that locating storage in your most inauspicious Directions is a good way of making sure that the bad ch’i stays trapped and out of harm’s way. Never put storage in your auspicious Directions because it is stagnant energy and will create the same effect in areas that should be activated, ie your sheng ch’i (or best Direction).
Now begin to devise the ‘masterplan’ – but remember to think about any possible problems, like blocking off electric sockets, hinged doors, height of storage systems and not being able to reach them, and the strength of walls for shelving. Your ultimate goal should be to surround yourself with vibrant and free-flowing ch’i energy.
Imagination need not be left on the shelf when tackling your storage needs. By breaking away from conventional storage solutions and improvising, it is possible not only to find a sense of individual style to suit your tastes, but also to produce far better storage results. You may even find the answer to your storage problems by looking somewhere else in history – English country classics, cool 20th-century contemporary interiors or even by utilising thousands of years of rich, colourful ethnic style.
There are three main types of storage:
• free-standing furniture (singular items that usually stand alone, eg bookcases, cabinets)
• built-in units (whole storage units that become permanent fixtures in the home, eg kitchens, wardrobes)
• modular systems (usually in kit form and can be added to as the need for more storage arises, eg shelving, cupboards)
Reasons why you should get a good storage system:
• beneficial ch’i is able to circulate throughout the home and office
• less stress from a clutter-free environment
• quick retrieval time locating important things, eg keys
• minimal damage occurs to stored items
• creates more space to do what you like
• often reveals hidden features of things such as furniture and walls when the clutter is gone
The clutter buster checklist:
• What kind of storage do you want – flexible or permanent?
• Is there any extra space or a particular part of your home which could be used for storage only?
• Decide on what objects need to be stored away and where they can be stored. Do they need to be stored in certain rooms, eg sports equipment/hobbies?
• Are some important items always difficult to find, eg keys?
• Do you need somewhere to put sentimental items that you don’t look at often, eg letters, holiday mementoes?
• Do some items need to be stored on a seasonal basis, eg winter/summer clothes?
• How much can you spend on storage?