Contemporary Living Room by Koo de  Kir1. Imagine it empty. Imagine your room without any furniture in it — the walls and floors completely blank. This may be easier said than done, but it’s worth a try. Pay close attention to which areas seem improved without your stuff in them — this is a good clue that something in that area needs to go.

Since we’re not discussing how to do a complete room makeover here (an ideabook for another day), try to stay focused on what you can realistically accomplish before the holidays. Removing items is always easier (on the budget, at least) than buying something new, so see what you can do to refresh your room simply by taking away what’s bothering you. Even moving a piece to another room could work — if you don’t miss it, sell it or give it away.

How to Get Rid of Your Extra Stuff

2. Find your focal point. In a living room with a mantel, that is often the natural focal point. But you might have something else you want to draw attention to, like a gorgeous painting, a statement-making sofa or a beautiful view. Once you have determined your room’s focal point, remove anything on or around it that detracts from it: Is the mantel cluttered with decor? Are there so many throw pillows on your sofa that you can’t see the beautiful nailhead trim?

7 Tips to Get With a New Minimalist Mentality

3. Consider the flow. Some rooms are simply easier to arrange furniture in than others. If you’ve been having trouble getting the furniture in the right spot, try stepping back and snapping a few quick pictures from the doorway. Is there a major piece of furniture blocking your view into the room, or is there an easy and obvious way to enter and flow through the space?

Sketch out a few furniture arrangement ideas on paper before doing any heavy lifting — your muscles will thank you.

How to Get Your Furniture Arrangement Right

4. Get inspired. Is your room still missing that special something? Dip into yourideabooks and find a few pictures that really make your heart sing. But don’t stop there — notice what attracts you about the images. Some things (high ceilings, enormous windows), you won’t be able to have. But there may be something else that calls to you — a particular style of chair, a cool tray, a color, a pattern — that you could bring into your space. Track it down if you can!

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