We work off a 'multi functional' principle in our house. Our spaces are always changing due to a growing family, guests needing space to stay, running a business and also just my own personal need to constantly rearrange our house (I've been doing this since I was a child!). The best thing about keeping things multi functional is we rarely need to buy new stuff as we are able to simply move it from room to room and evolve it into the required item. This keeps our house simple from a colour and design perspective, helping it to all flow and match from one room to another, and also from a storage perspective in that we use what we own and don't have lots of stuff sitting in cupboards.
We have also found after doing a lot of travel, that the nicest places we stayed were simple in design. They were clean, light filled, free of clutter and often featured a lot of light colours and plants. So we decided once we had kids and were renovating our family home that we wanted to recreate that feeling of being away somewhere nice.
Here are a few ideas on how to simplify your home.
HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR HOME:
- Storage is behind closed cupboard doors, not open shelves, even books for us apart from a few favourites are put away.
- We keep minimal decor out and it is mostly plants, photos and lamps.
- We have designated drop zones in a few main rooms of the house so things can be put there if they will be used or worn again the next day and otherwise things get put away in their drawers or cupboards.
- We have mostly decorated in whites and creams and all linen, cushions and throw rugs are along this line too. Colour and patterns are in large blown up photos and paintings on the walls. This helps to create a feeling of calm and simplicity which is nice and relaxing.
- We have a children's play area behind our couches so toys and books are (somewhat) contained to one area and they are not visible from most parts of the open plan living until you walk to that side.
- We have a few guest bedrooms so what I do for linen is buy it all in king size (to fit our master bedroom size) and in white or textures that I would use in the master bedroom, and simply rotate them out of the linen cupboard onto guest beds (Queen Size) or in our room so I don't have excess linen in varying sizes that are specific to certain beds. The baby linen is all gender neutral too so sheets are swapped between rooms no problems except for one or two special quilts or sheet sets which stay in the respective child's room.
- Our furniture is multi functional and interchangeable from room to room. Even the furniture in the nursery is general house furniture so once it's been used for babies it can be used somewhere else.
- Don't accumulate stuff, go through your drawers and cupboards regularly, I'll often do this when I'm getting ready for a big online top up shop I'll go through what I need to buy and throw out or recycle anything that is broken or empty etc it helps to illuminate cupboards that end up being full of half used products and things that have dried up and gone bad or whatever.
- For the laundry, keep cleaning products to one basket. Also works for things like electrical goods such as power boards, cords & light bulbs are kept in one basket. Easy to transport to where you need them and easy to put back on the shelf.
- As best as I can I try and pack up/clean up as I go during the day so the house doesn't get too crazy. Some days this works much better than others but general rule of thumb it makes it much easier to keep on top of things and it also helps to have a designated 'home' for everything. It all goes back where it came from.
- Appliances in the kitchen are multi functional and we only keep a few. Same with bake ware, pots, pans and oven trays, we have one of a few different sizes and that's it.
Mostly, apart from putting away as I go my main theory for a simple home is not accumulating too much stuff, and what I do buy, making sure it can be used in multiple rooms or I don't already have 3 of. It really is nice to love the space you spend most of your time, and for me that is at home with little ones! So I appreciate a simple home in that it makes cleaning and putting away easier, and the day to day functions of raising children and running a business a bit easier and less stressful. Because of keeping things simple in our home I love being at home!