Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why Worry Wednesday - Pitiful Plants

Small steps make big impacts.
By working through small steps you build a strong foundation for the
larger areas in your cluttered space

House Plants - Real and Plastic

Plastic = dust=allergies. Plastic also equals cheesy, lazy and, well, senior citizen. Real plants that are dying, trailing across the floor and wilted brown are worse - they can change the entire look and feel of a room! I am a true believer in live houseplants, if you can keep them alive. They make a room brighten up, help clean the air and can be very enjoyable.
Assignment, Phase One: Go through and collect EVERY SINGLE plastic, fake or dried arrangement and BAG it! Even those fake trees in the corner with spider webs all over them! OUT! OUT! OUT! Please Note: Yes, this does include those dried out roses your prom date gave you back in 1990. Take the bag to the Assisted Living Center in your town. The senior citizens will be thrilled to have these (they make arrangements with them to resell). Okay, you are done - wasn't that easy?
TIP: You may think you have a brown thumb instead of a green one, but plastic arrangements are not the answer. They fade, gather dust (and spiders) and just take the life out of your home decor. Put a large, empty, pottery vase in the fake plant's place - it will up-grade your decor AND it's easier to dust!

No, no, no, no! Pleeesssaae!

Assignment, Phase Two: Now, gather all the live plants you have into one spot, preferably in your garage or back porch. TOSS the completely dead ones into your compost bin , garden or trash. TIP: Shake as much dirt off the roots of the dead plant and re-use it to top off the good plants. If the plant has signs of life, prune it back the best you can, give it a little fresh dirt, and set it aside. Next, see which plants have outgrown their current pots. TIP: If the dirt is compacted around the base of the plant or you see roots growing from the top or underneath the pot - it's root-bound and needs a larger pot. Make note which ones need new pots and add that to your notepad. Instead of buying new plants, take cuttings from the ones you have and make multiple smaller versions. To your note pad also add one bag of potting mix, a household fertilizer, a spray bottle and a household watering pitcher (with a long spout.)

TIP: PLAN what type, size, color and material the new planters should be before you leave the house. When purchasing new planters, try to stream line all your plants. Instead of terra cotta or plastic planters, be creative and try other items such as pottery vases or clear glass planters. You want them to be subtle and fade into the decor, not be the decor - that's the plant's job.

Once you get the new planters, carefully cut back your plants and repot. The little trick of keeping just a FEW plants in subtle containers will make your area seem cleaned and less cluttered. Don't crowd your home with too many plants. It's your home, not a jungle.

REASON THIS HELPS YOU CONTROL YOUR CLUTTER: Faded, dusty plastic plants and dying real plants scream "clutter!" If you can't keep it alive, don't have ANY plants in your home. The dead leaves drop all over the floor, the spiders love to hang from plastic tree limbs and your mis-matched planters call attention to the already dreadful looking plants. Streamlining your planters and keeping live plants ALIVE will reduce the area's smothered feeling.

Wednesdays in the Simple Life Series are for YOUR CLUTTER (and yes, it multiplies in my home too). I will let you know what I am doing to make simple changes in my own home to clear out my clutter. I hope you follow along and try some of these steps yourself. Please let me know how you are coming along by leaving comments at the bottom of each post. Tell me what works, what doesn’t, if you are bored – whatever – we are learning and growing together.

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