December 2019
« Nov    

Decluttering Works!

Before - sitting room

Before – sitting room

Susan recently took on a flat which the owner wanted to sell, and knew wasn’t really looking it’s best. The owner has been there 12 years, and needs somewhere bigger. The front room serves as both sitting room and bedroom. It is a good size and is a lovely bright room.

It’s also quite a cluttered room. The boxes are the start of a declutter that ground to a halt – they are all full of books. The sofa is tired. And there is just TOO MUCH STUFF.







before - bed area

Before – bed area

The loft bed is a clever use of space. It makes a lot of sense in a high ceilinged tenement – and they are called bed alcoves for a reason. This ladder is actually removable and can be tucked away if you have guests. But the bedroom is unmistakably in the living room. And again there is too much stuff visible.

After - sitting room

After – sitting room








We took some big decisions. Some easy, some with cost implications.

The easy ones were:

  • Replacing the curtains. They were dark, but sunlight faded in parts and did nothing for the room. The new ones are from Ikea and were £30.
  • Throw out the sofa. It was big, and the seat was ripped – hence the throw. We kept the cushions and footstool and reused them in the window seat.
  • Putting the boxes and other small items into storage.  Self storage doesn’t cost the earth and is worth it to sell a house.

The toughest decision was replacing the carpet. The blue rug is dark and a very definite style. It went to storage, and we opted for an inexpensive neutral carpet, at a cost of about £200, fitted.

We moved the 2 chairs to where the sofa had been, and put the coffee table against the wall in between them, opening up the view, and also drawing the eye to the fireplace. The shelves were substantially cleared, leaving a few chosen objects for colour and interest.

After - bed area

After – bed area


A simple pair of sheer curtains on a curtain wire (IKEA again) make all the difference to the ‘bedroom’. We rearranged the furniture to move everything back under the bed. And new white sheets finish the bed itself.

The other thing we did was make a bigger feature of the fireplace, polishing up the original tiles and adding a simple wooden edging to draw the eye and ‘finish’ the fireplace. The pot plant gives a bit of colour and a use to a fireplace which isn’t currently in use.


The overall look is clean and uncluttered. Comfortable to live in, but making the space feel bigger and depersonalised enough for potential buyers to see the room itself, rather than just the owner’s possesssions.

The only things that were bought were : 2 pairs of curtains, 4 cushion covers (2 white for the window seat, 2 dark orange to tie the chairs to the window seat, colour wise), a new paper lampshade, a single length of finished timber for the fireplace, new sheets and the carpet. The total cost of items was just over £300. Aside from the carpet and fireplace, it can all move with the owner.  We think the results speak for themselves and a sale can’t be far away!

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