My collections include romance novels (guilty pleasure) and photography
All this month, our YouTube Organizing videos have been focusing on the fun stuff - organizing music, memorabilia, cameras, and video game accessories. We'll finish out the month with board games and party supplies (in a special Halloween video of course). The trickiest part of these types of items is that they can be a fun collection... or a tangled-up mess.
So when is this stuff clutter and when is it home decor?
If you are not sure about your items, there are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
Can I clean around my items easily?
Can I find exactly what I'm looking for quickly (a particular cd perhaps)?
Is everything functional and usable?
Does it bring me joy or is it just taking up space?
Does everything have a designated home or is it put in different places all the time?
Be honest about your answers and decide if your items are bringing you up or down. If you love your movie collection and watch them all the time, then embrace it. Put your movies front and center in your media area and make it your theme. Organize them so you can easily find any movie you want to watch and also so they can be dusted quickly and efficiently. Then they become a collection, not a burden.
If family photos are your pride and joy, then download them off your phone and move them out of those old photo boxes. Get them framed, hang 'em up, and celebrate your loved ones. Make it easy to clean and devise a regular cleaning schedule so they stay beautiful, not dusty. Dusty items don't look as well loved and can cause allergies, too, so keeping your collection pretty benefits your health as well.
Keeping party supplies and seasonal home decor organized makes for an easy transition from season to season. I absolutely love switching out a vase or a throw pillow or curtains when summer winds down and fall comes around again. It's easy when I know where everything is, that it's clean (from being stored away correctly), and that it's an easy fix. If I switch one throw pillow for another, it takes less than a minute. If I'm switching out 20 pillows, it's less of an HGTV makeover and more of an hour-long hassle. Where's the fun in that?
Speaking of HGTV, a lot of our home decor decisions are based on the things we see on decorating shows or Houzz or Pinterest, but we've got to remember that those homes are staged to look great in the moment and not for real life. Have you ever seen an actual toothbrush in one of those bathrooms? It's just not realistic to have nothing on your surfaces, but the opposite is true as well - everything on your surfaces is just too cluttered.
So how much is too much?
Let's find your happy medium between everything out and about, collecting dust and needing to be constantly cleaned, and hiding everything you love away, so no one can see the things that make up your life and make it great. My suggestion is to walk around your home and find the things you absolutely love the most. Find several spots to highlight those items on a fireplace mantel, a bookcase, a dresser or even a window ledge. Place your treasures in groups of 3 or 5, as displays with an odd number of items work better than even numbered groups. Any more than that and you get into the clutter zone, with your favorite pieces getting lost in the shuffle.
If you immediately think you have way more favorite pieces than just 3 or 5 (like when it comes to memorabilia), then highlight the best ones and store the rest nearby. So new pictures can be rotated into frames seasonally, but the rest kept in a closed box under the frame. Or favorite movies can be displayed in their cases, but the majority kept in a CD binder for easy storage. Or a vintage camera can be displayed on a bookcase, but the accessories and cords for your digital camera are kept in a box on the shelf below it.
When in doubt, remember to keep things to scale. You live in a beautiful home, but one that requires regular cleaning of course. The more you decorate, the more you have to clean. Last year the White House put up 37 Christmas trees for the holidays and it took a team of over 400 people to decorate all of the public rooms. I don't think you have those kinds of resources at your disposal, so keep it doable, keep it fun, and keep it clutter-free!