Giovanna Averill Interiors / Interior Design  / A Case For Order Before Design

A Case For Order Before Design

The slower pace of the summer months affords us a chance to devote some time to long neglected tasks like the purging of extraneous household and personal items, but if you’ve not started don’t despair at the approaching end of summer- because really any time is a good time to start.

If you launch into a nervous tick at the thought of having your partner or that VIP visit your home for the first time, chances are it’s less than impressively put together. Personal style goes beyond what you wear, it also includes what your home wears. Before you can get that showstopper space that most of us covet, you’ve got to have a clean slate that can support all that eye-candy once it arrives. Even if you are building your home from scratch or doing a major renovation, a hardcore pre-design clean out of your existing home should be high on your list. It eliminates the need to plan and design your next space around superfluous items.

Take inventory of what you really value and store only what you have room for:

This is fundamental to your success in readying yourself for the design process. I’m not going to lie though – it takes a little teeth-gritting and a heaping dose of honesty, but it’s so worth it in the end. We all have too much stuff – no way around it. Do you need 3 gym bags, your first -year university biology notes, BBQ tools for the BBQ you no longer have because you now live in an apartment with no balcony? You get my drift.

Your space is prime real estate – truly, don’t waste it. If you have a lot of random possessions that add no real value to you, cull them to donate or sell. There may be things you absolutely can’t part with for sentimental reasons or are stocking up for when you upsize your home, in these cases consider a modest off – site storage unit, but avoid living with what you don’t currently need or use on a regular basis. Once you have eliminated the unnecessary and superfluous, you can now breathe a big sigh of relief and knowing that what is left is essential and truly valued. It is from this point that we can now think about organizing those items into an efficient storage system.

Everything you own should have a dedicated home – everything.

From cleaning supplies, to bed linens, to where your keys live, to loose change, to your various electronic remotes, to your work-bag. There is no one right storage system – except the one that works well for you. Make deliberate consistent efforts to put things away as you use them because luckily for us all, repetition makes habit. With the purge behind us, the next tip becomes just that much easier to realize. What tip is that you ask? Read on:

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Always be in a state of ready:

This encapsulates my underlying philosophy for living an ordered life. By that I mean you should try to maintain your space as if you’re selling and about to have an open-house. The busier a person you are, the more critical this philosophy becomes. “Wha, whaaat!!!!!! Come on, that’s not realistic!” you say? Actually, I do say, and it’s not as big of a deal as you might think. Don’t mistake order for perfection, we’re not talking perfection here, just thoughtful organization paired with a shot of style of course. Messes happen, and life is not perfect, but that doesn’t preclude an effort to raise your game. After all, having to receive a visitor on a moment’s notice shouldn’t trigger a frenzied race around your home jamming things into closets or violently swiping your arm across a cluttered bathroom counter to hide all of your lotions and potions in the drawer below. In a future post we’ll tackle the details of how to achieve this but if refer back to the prior tip as your baseline- you’re well on your way in the process.

Order is the name of the game and it is a direct reflection of both the internal and external state of your life. Read that one again. Order isn’t just a lack of clutter, it’s a system of operation, and it sets the stage for a calm and inviting space (and this includes the space inside your head too). As a former psych professional, trust me on this one. And clever interior design can be a fantastic tool to help you achieve it.