How Our Homes Become Filled with Wallpaper

The tricky thing about wallpaper is that regardless of it’s color and pattern, we see it but, over time, cease to notice it. The same way you can hear something but not truly listen to it. Wallpaper can blanket the walls but disappears the second we blink our eyes.

The same is true with our stuff.

What’s in your home? Most of my clients have only a partial answer to this question. They can no longer see what’s in their space. If they could, there would be items they put to good use, have an opportunity to admire, avoid purchasing duplicates of, or have gotten rid of years ago. Not knowing what is in our homes, regardless of how much stuff we own, can be a waste in and of itself.

If approaching with honesty, we can see the general laziness in this. The couch is positioned in the way it’s always been. This kitchen drawer is wonky but we continue to struggle with it rather than get it fixed. The bookcase was always there and remains there. Perhaps it’s contents have changed- opening up space- but we view this open space as something to be filled rather than to question the bookcase’s stature. There are the old boxes we see peaking out from a closet’s corner. We are used to this sight but aren’t sure what is in them. Wallpaper can line anything.

Our knick-knacks are orchestrated in a precise manner and yet we don’t care about half of them anymore. Perhaps some get in the way, but we keep the status quo because they were always there. Always isn’t always a long time. We adapt to our circumstances quickly.

There is great value in setting aside time, perhaps on a scheduled basis or when a rut is coming on, to rub our eyes and see the wallpaper. Consider how your lifestyle has evolved, preferences skew differently, functionality needs changed, or trouble areas have been identified. Your space isn’t set. Allow it to mirror your fluctuations. 

I’m not referring to full-fledged downsizing or organizing. That’s a more involved project. I’m talking about a layer, one that addresses what’s in view, what is not and how your space is arranged.  Perhaps with this movement you can fulfill needed functionality without buying a single item. Maybe getting rid of a piece of furniture or using it differently can do the trick. Shop in your own home. Keep it fresh. The outcome of removing the wallpaper, typically, is a space that is a bit downsized and organized even though that isn’t the sole purpose of this project.

If this feels too big at the moment, pick something smaller and more contained. Perhaps review the items on your refrigerator. You may barely notice them anyway, so what’s the point of them being there? Or take a look at just one shelf or the arrangement of furniture in just one room. Take a step in this direction and notice the results.

Don’t succumb to leaving your space as is just because it has always been that way and is comfortable and familiar. We all need some jostling to stay sharp and understand what’s in our space. Unlike the wallpaper that remains on walls for decades due to the difficulty in removing it, this version of revamping doesn’t cost dollars and painfully slow peeling. It takes some thoughtful and meaningful time- and is well worth it.