They say necessity is the mother of invention. Shannon Acheson, the woman behind the blog Home Made Lovely, can attest to that. Her growing family, in part, led her to reinvent herself as a decorating and organizing author. Since then, she has expanded her writing outlets to print and has recently written her second book, “The Clutter Fix.”
We interviewed Acheson to learn more about how her career started and what she’s discovered along the way about cleaning up the clutter in the home. Read on for her insights into what she terms Clutter Personalities and more.>
What inspired you to become an organization and home decor blogger/author?
Twelve years ago, my husband and I were deep in renovations on a tiny run-down, war-era bungalow. We’d bought the house with this mortgage so that we could get money back on renovations we did and so I’d kept photos and detailed notes as we went along. After we’d submitted them to the mortgage company, I thought, “hmmm, I think maybe other people would like to know what we did.” And I saw others creating this business from blogging, so I dove in! We eventually expanded from just DIY projects to decorating and organization and faith and recipes, too.
What do you think is the main cause of clutter? How can people break the cycle?
I think people collect clutter for different reasons – their Clutter Personalities, if you will.
- Dreamers gather clutter because they want to be something – like someone who practices yoga or who has fondue parties every week. But then they eventually decide they don’t actually like those things, and yet they still have all the stuff that goes with those aspirations.
- Bargain Hunters love the thrill of the hunt and of finding a deal. But if they only buy something because it’s on sale, they’ll soon find they have way too much stuff that they don’t need.
- Worrywarts are always concerned that they should keep all the things – just in case.
- Delayers say “I’ll get to it later” and never do.
There are a few more Clutter Personalities that I outline in my book, but you get the idea. There’s no one reason. Everyone collects clutter for very personal reasons.
In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about creating and keeping a tidy home?
I think it’s that it has to be perfect or that if you could just get it in control once, it would always be fine. Don’t get me wrong. You can do a huge purge and it will be great. But you will still need to create habits that help you keep things in order. Those are ongoing.
What are some questions people should ask themselves before they begin their decluttering journeys?
I think it’s important to ask why you want a clutter-free home. Like what is really driving your desire? Is it to have a pretty home to show off or is it because you desire a peaceful and calm house? Neither is bad, but they are very different motivators.
How is your book different from other organizing guides?
“The Clutter Fix” is different because it deals with all of the facets of a cluttered home – the mental/emotional/spiritual side of just having too much stuff, the specific why that YOU collect clutter, how to get your mindset right, how to purge, how to fit decluttering into your life, and then how to come out the other side and keep your home clutter-free for good!
Do you have any easy-to-implement tips to help people get started?
I suggest starting with a very small space, like a drawer or cabinet and just making some sort of progress. Stop putting it off. That and/or starting with the garbage in a room – just gathering up all the broken, damaged and useless trash and tossing it. Either will get you going and give you a little starting momentum.
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How can readers get more personal guidance from you?
I would love for readers to come on over to HomeMadeLovely.com to check out our blog posts and guides for all things home-related.
You can also purchase Acheson’s book, “The Clutter Fix,” online or in bookstores now.Declutter your home