Decluttering 101: Where to Begin (And How to Stick With It)

room with boxes and lamp and plants

What is it about going through and cleaning out stuff that feels so cripplingly overwhelming?  Decluttering can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to follow a strict guideline or schedule. Rather, it should be a cathartic, satisfying process that leaves you (and your home!) feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever comes next. 

For an organized home that feels less encumbered by clutter, follow these tips:

Set a timer. 

The reality is, decluttering is time consuming work. It can be entirely overwhelming to see all that has built up in your home and get discouraged before you even begin. Carving out a set amount of time (and then sticking to it!) is key to not getting overwhelmed. 

Try starting out with shorter amounts of time — say, 10-30 minutes — and then as you build momentum and confidence in your decluttering abilities, you can amp it up to hours-long stretches. Plus, the timer will help keep you on target — otherwise, you’ll look up from nostalgically flipping through old photo albums and realize that hours have gone by! 

Don’t do it all at once.

This tip is pretty self explanatory. Tackle your trash one drawer at a time! With no real deadline in sight, there’s no reason to pressure yourself to rush through. After all, all that junk didn’t pile up in one weekend, and so you shouldn’t expect yourself to be rid of it in one weekend. 

Maybe you take on one kitchen cabinet per day for a week, working in 10 minute spurts. Or, instead of a “room by room” approach, you could establish a number system. For example, every week you will donate or throw away 10 items, repeating the process indefinitely. Your system has to work for you. Don’t forget to celebrate your baby steps along the way!

clothes organized in baskets

Just give up on “just in case.”

During a declutter session, your things inevitably begin to fall into the “just in case” category. Of course, you should keep items that you genuinely believe you will use in the next year. The issue is when you start clinging to things just because you have trouble letting it go. 

Thinking “one day I may need…” is a dangerous gray area of indecision and procrastination, and if you don’t believe that, just take a peek at the back of your closet or junk drawer! These items are often just the result of not being ready to move on from something, or fear that you’ll have to be without it one day. Do yourself a favor and sell or donate the item to clear space for new memories (and your sanity!). Things are replaceable — people, memories, and your mental health are not!

Remember your “why.”

Sure, getting rid of piles of stuff you don’t want or use anymore feels good, but identifying your “why” will help keep new stuff from piling up all over again. Consider the benefits of more minimalist living, and remind yourself how good you feel when the clutter isn’t taking over. Your reason may be different than someone else’s — perhaps you are making room for a new family member, or maybe you’ve started a new venture and need space to work from home. Whatever the cause, let your “why” lead your cleaning-out efforts.

woman folding clothes on bed

Getting rid of things that no longer serve a purpose clears the way for things that DO spark joy. Once your space is clean and open, you may even be inspired to do a little redecorating to suit your “less is more” lifestyle. If you’re looking for sleek, minimalist frames for your walls, we can help.

6 Practical Ways to Add Decor to Your Hallway

hallway with purple rug and highland gold mirror

Hallways don’t typically get the same amount of decor attention as living rooms or bathrooms, but that doesn’t mean you should totally ignore yours. Hallways don’t need to be dead space — they can be stylish, functional, and full of your personality. Since hallways do pose some specific spatial challenges, read through the tips below to find a few clever solutions. 

1.) Pack in practicality.

If your hallway allows for it, add in elements that are both pretty and practical. A chic credenza with bonus storage cabinets below is useful, as are wall-mounted organization systems like mail hubs or hat racks. Additional items that are both functional and stylish include a bowl or tray for wallets, a custom-sized mirror for final touch-ups as you head out the door, and sturdy hooks for a purse (but make sure it’s secured in a stud if you tend to load your bag to the brim!).

brown bench with pillows and cheyanne round mirror on the wall

2.) Use a runner.

Add instant warmth to a long, narrow hallway with an area rug specifically sized for it — AKA a runner. Whether you go with a traditional-looking multi-colored pattern, go for a more modern look, or choose something on the neutral side, a runner can effortlessly define a hallway and infuse style. 

3.) Pick a pretty pendant light. 

Still working with the dome ceiling light that came with your home? Especially if your house was built a while ago, this is one update that is often overlooked. The best part: Replacing a pendant light doesn’t have to be expensive! Find a style that suits your home decor and swap out your fixture for one that adds a little ‘oomph’ to your hallway.

4.) Make it feel bigger with mirrors.

Mirrors do a magnificent job of opening up a space thanks to the way they reflect light and bounce it around. That’s wonderful news if you’re working with a hallway or entryway that feels a bit cramped! Whether you want to use Add A Frame® to customize a mirror for an awkwardly long wall, find a Decorative Mirror that perfectly reflects your home style, or simply incorporate a mirror into a gallery wall, we have what you need.

5.) Stick to simple. 

If you have a smaller entryway with a narrow hall, it’s smart to pare things back a bit instead of going overboard with all the decor ideas. For example, if you do use a small credenza, try not to overstuff it with picture frames, trays, a vase, and various knick-knacks. Let each item “breathe” — maybe just one flower vase and a tray for your wallet and keys. This will help keep the space from feeling cluttered.

flowers on table with cheyanne round mirror

6.) …But not boring!

Even if you need to keep things scaled down in your hallway, that doesn’t mean it has to be bland! A hallway is sometimes the perfect place to inject a little personality without it feeling as over-the-top as it might in a full room. Try a fun, botanical wallpaper or chic modern print — it’s a great way to pack a design punch without worrying about cluttering your space.

Let us know which tips help your hallway style the most! Looking for more style inspiration? Check out this post: 5 Tips to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger

How to Effortlessly Mix Vintage & Modern Mirrors In Your Home

boho living room with round decorative mirror

Home style should be a reflection of who you are — and sometimes that includes beloved hand-me-downs, cool flea market finds, or vintage keepsakes you can’t bear to part with. That’s part of what allows a space to showcase your individuality. The issue: You don’t want anything to stand out for the wrong reasons. 

A vintage piece thrown in the middle of a mid-century modern living room will feel completely out of place. In order to thoughtfully juxtapose old and new, striking the right balance is important. If you’re not sure how to seamlessly blend sentimental or vintage pieces with more modern trends, you aren’t alone. It is possible, and it can make a home feel creative and lived-in. Follow our design tips below to learn how to incorporate the perfect mix of old and new. 

Choose a color palette.

Everything in your space shouldn’t be matchy-matchy — after all, the point of mixing up your pieces is to create visual interest and character, not make everything look like a stock catalog. That said, a color palette is what will keep your room from feeling chaotic and thrift shop-esque. Don’t be afraid to be bold, especially when it comes to things like throw pillows or mirror frames. (After all, those items aren’t quite the commitment of a new interior paint color or new sofa.)  

navy blue bathroom with round mirror and vintage light

Balance the use of “warm” and “cool” metals.

In your combination of old and new, consider the tone of your metals. Using multiple metal finishes — like silver, copper, gold, stainless steel and more — can add depth to your décor, without overpowering it. Warm metals are generally considered to be anything with yellow undertones, like gold, copper and brass. Cool metals are more in line with aluminum, stainless steel or any other silver metal. You can mix these, but do so intentionally, with thoughtful balance. For example, while a gilded, aged bronze may pop next to a sleek brown frame, it may totally clash with a modern gold frame. 

Read More: 5 Tips for Decorating With Mixed Metals

Don’t forget to factor in the sheen of the finish in your equation, too. From matte to glossy to aged — your possibilities are endless. To avoid going overboard and creating a disjointed feeling, choose two or three metals maximum. And sometimes, you simply have to try it out in your space to see what works. 

[PRO TIP: Don’t forget you can order samples of our Add A Frame selections so that you can find the perfect fit!] 

Think geometrically. 

Sometimes, a successful layout is less about the actual color of a mirror frame and more about the lines of the piece itself. Striking a balance between sharp angles and softer ones is often the key to mixing old and new pieces.

Believe it or not, an ornate, white plaster mirror frame can look absolutely perfect between two smaller, straight-lined walnut frames. This idea applies broadly; you simply need to think a little outside the box. The key is complementing each “shape” with a balancing act elsewhere. 

gold vintage mirror on white wall

Go for a gallery wall. 

This is one easy way to ensure your eclectic style is showcased. Use a mix of frame styles in the same color scheme and in all different sizes. Since no one piece is the focal point, the eye easily roams from piece to piece, appreciating each in its unique beauty without singling out one mismatched piece. A gallery wall is also the perfect opportunity to tie in whatever era you need too. Did Great Aunt Barb pass down a Victorian armoire that lives in your industrial-chic space? A gallery wall is your chance to mix in a mirror frame or two that give a nod to that time period.

Whether you’re looking for a classical outline or clean, modern look, we have all your mirror needs covered. Shop our Framed Mirrors
here!

Should You Frame Your Mirror or Replace It?

woman putting add a frame on existing mirror

Whether you’re redecorating or simply upgrading your space, you have to decide: Should you frame your mirror or replace it? Framing your mirror can be a cost-effective way to get an all-new look — but you have to consider whether or not your current mirror is too worn out to be useful. Ahead, a few tips on how to tell if your mirror is ready to be replaced: 

You have major dark spots.

You’ve likely seen a tarnished mirror in an antique store with blackened edges. This process, called desilvering, can happen when mirrors aren’t properly maintained. If the damage is just on the edges, you can likely cover it up with a nice frame and get many more years out of your mirror. However, if the dark spot is in the middle of the mirror or somewhere not close to the edge, it’s time to replace it. 

Your mirror has a crack. 

A cracked mirror is more than just seven years of bad luck, it can be a real safety threat! A crack is susceptible to a full break, which can cause injuries and cuts. This is one sign that you definitely need to replace your mirror. 

Your image gets distorted. 

A warped mirror is only fun in a fun house — not so much when you’re trying to check out your new outfit or apply makeup! The glass in a mirror can wear down over time to a point where the reflected image is no longer accurate. While looking taller or thinner may be fun, it’s a clear signal that it’s time to let that mirror go.

Sure, there are some obvious signs that it’s time to replace a mirror — but what if it’s not ready to be rid of entirely? 

working on putting add a frame® together

Here’s how to tell if you should frame your existing mirror:

You want a new look. 

Maybe you’re renovating the bathroom and going for a refreshed mirror style, or maybe you are just bored of what you have and are ready to change things up. Either way, you can save money and enjoy a new style by repurposing what you already have! Framing your mirror is a wonderful option if yours looks unfinished or unprofessional.

add a frame on a double sink

The desilvering is just around the edges.

As it’s mentioned above, if the black spots on your mirror are limited to just a few inches from the mirror’s edge, using a custom frame for your mirror provides an easy way to hide those dark spots while aesthetically enhancing your space. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to make your mirror stretch its lifespan!

You’re fitting a specific space.

If your mirror is in pretty good shape and it’s in a funky spot or has an atypical shape, you are likely better off adding a frame instead of trying to find one to replace it. Awkwardly long hallways, off-center bathroom vanities, at-home gyms — all of these spaces tend to call for uniquely sized mirrors. Luckily, our Add A Frame® option is ideal for any mirror size. 

Instantly add a pop of personalization and polish to your space with a framed mirror. You have a wide range of styles and finishes to choose from — and you can find the perfect fit here!

How to Prioritize Your Home Improvement Projects

white bathroom with gold hardware and a hanging plant

As a homeowner, your list of maintenance projects is likely long and winding. Home improvement can be a daunting task, and it can be hard to know where to start. To kick things off, create a wish list of projects in no particular order. Next, go through our top tips below and learn how to prioritize your projects so that you can make the biggest difference as fast as possible.

Put function first.

As boring as it sounds, it’s smart to start with the house projects that impact safety or your daily function. Water heater on it’s last leg? Better upgrade before it blows. No functioning guest toilet? That’s where your list begins! Projects involving the roof, gutters, door locks and electrical work should take top priority. 

installing mirror in a bathroom

Consider the season.

Timing does make a difference for many projects. Practically speaking, some tasks are simply easier to accomplish when the days are longer and warmer, while others may not be compatible with sticky, humid weather. Think realistically about how long each task will take, and determine if you have the weather to work on it or if it should wait until next season.

Think about first impressions.

A whole-home renovation may be your end goal, but most people can’t tackle it all at once. Think through what guests (or prospective homebuyers) will notice first, and start there. For example, a fresh coat of paint can instantly transform a room. An outdated kitchen can vastly decrease your home value, so that may be the room to start in. Adding a tastefully styled entryway table can add a wow-factor right when people walk in, and the right window treatments can make a home look more pulled together. You don’t have to do it all at once, but begin with the projects people will first absorb as they spend time in your home. Leave the boring-but-nice projects that nobody will admire slightly lower on your priority list (besides the safety-related and necessary functional to-dos mentioned above!). Being able to see your progress really does make a difference!

woman hanging gold decorative mirror in bathroom

Start with low-budget, high-impact projects.

At the end of the day, the goal is to pack the biggest punch possible without breaking the bank — right? Arrange your home improvement to-do list in order from least expensive to most, and then compare that to a project list sorted by what will make the biggest difference in your space. If you opt to start with the most expensive project first (especially one that nobody really notices), it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burned out before you get where you want to be. By starting with bite-sized projects, so to speak, you’ll gain momentum that keeps you moving forward toward your end goals.

One easy way to transform your home without blowing your budget is to add or refresh your mirror! Mirrors have a way of opening up a space by bouncing light around the room, and framed mirrors can make a room appear more polished. Best of all, it’s a cost-effective way to make a big impact in your space. Browse our entire collection of framed mirrors here.