Designing Diva: Start Decorating by Clearing Out

One of the most important elements of decorating is the process of clearing out clutter. For those of you who know me, I’m sure you find this statement amusing. I have such a hard time with clutter: paper in my office reproduces itself on a regular basis, and I haven’t seen the floor under my laundry pile in years. In spite of all this, I have been working to organize my home and clear clutter from my life. I have seen the benefit of clearing—and lived with the side effects of not doing so.

Clearing a home has both physical and spiritual aspects. Clearing is more than just being neat: clearing the clutter in your space allows the energy to move through without obstruction. When I have physical clutter in the house, my mind is cluttered as well. I get bogged down with heaviness and confusion. I have recently noticed a number of people talking about clearing. I have one friend that totally downsized her house and her life. Everything in her old house was sold or given away, down to the last stick of furniture. Her new house is simple, uncluttered, and filled with light. Her life and that of her family is so much more peaceful and complete without the physical and spiritual distractions of too much “stuff.”

My sister had had cancer for years when she decided she needed to clear her house and her life. Like my friend, she got rid of all of her old furniture. She wanted to give herself and her home a clean, clear, unadulterated space. When she redecorated, she chose contemporary furnishings in a soft, neutral color, and now her home has a Zen feel to it. She even added a water element, a copper wall fountain. She is amazingly alive even though the odds were against her and she is still living a peaceful, powerful life.

There are services available that will help you organize your home. You can hire someone to clear out the years of collections in your attic, basement, and garage. In addition, there are people that can come and help you organize by designing systems that will help you and your family get more organized. There is a Bromfield mom who has an organizing business called Resolutions. Her name is Emily Gitelman, and her specialty is designing workable plans for better organization. In addition, she will do everything from sorting family photos to shopping for storage containers to dispersing unwanted items. Part of her goal, she said, is to honor a client’s memories of a piece while finding a new home where the piece will continue to be treasured. For more information on Emily Gitelman and Resolutions, she can be reached by email at

Anne Hentz. (Courtesy photo)
Anne Hentz. (Courtesy photo)

Stephanie Bennett Vogt of Concord has a business clearing spaces of both physical and psychic clutter, and she came to my home recently to disperse a feeling of sadness that had lingered here since we first moved in. While her methods would strike some as unconventional, my home has had a cozier, more inviting feeling to it ever since. Vogt talks about the benefits of clearing out clutter in her book Your Spacious Self, as well as in her website,

Clear space offers freedom and peace, as well as the chance to go forward choosing the colors, furnishings, and accessories that will enhance your new life. Your home is a reflection of you. If you are open and uncluttered in both your space and your heart, your home can then become an environment that will comfort and sustain you.

Anne Hentz of Ann Lee Road is the Designing Diva. She can be reached at


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