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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

Hidden Behind Clutter

Whether for leisure or work, traveling starts in our mind, and the reality that follows may be exciting or disappointing, but one thing is always sure: traveling is about adapting and learning. How many times have we entered a hotel room and thought 'WOW, this is fantastic!!'. Well that's how we wish traveling always was. But it must have happened to you, as it happened to me, that when entering a room we are left speechless, and not with joy.

'Oh... wow!' I think I said when I walked in the small Melbourne apartment, last week. The landlord was charming and with smiles and good manners he kept showing us around the concentrated space. I could have enjoyed the bright light flooding the place and discovered the city views out there, or appreciate the functional kitchen and comfortable bed... but I was in fact too distracted by the clutter on every surface.

Blessed by clean architectural lines this modern apartment is like many others, welcoming us back from a day of busy city-life. Cleverly designed floor-plans include one or two wardrobed bedrooms, an open kitchen with effective storage cabinetry, a bathroom so streamlined it almost cleans itself and a laundry recess so well disguised we barely know it's there. This was a good apartment as many others I have rented through Airbnb. You see the photos on the site, you read the reviews... nothing can go wrong.

The man kept smiling and telling me the 'where is what' but I couldn't really follow; that clutter was really bothering me. One basic rule in our Interior Design bible: First Impressions Count, hence CLEAN & DECLUTTER! Storage cabinets were invented to store, and also to hide, because all that's useful to us can be easily taken out of the cabinet when needed. I could have given this gentle man a quick class in Interior Design for Profit, but I realised he was indeed very proud of all the things he had left purposely out for us to enjoy. I don't remember what I said to him I but took the keys and quickly saw him at the door. "I have to fix this", I thought to myself as I went to open the kitchen cabinets and placed all the paraphernalia neatly away and out of sight. It took me less than ten minutes. Done!

I went back to the entry door and took a deep breath, as if arriving again for the first time. I looked around the little apartment, flooded with natural lights, all the amenities there, the streamlined although basic furniture, the spacious clutter-free surfaces. I could appreciate now this little apartment without distractions, and it looked indeed comfortable and welcoming. It was perfect for the next few days of business. I might even recommend it.

“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.” ― Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel


James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.
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