It doesn’t get more exciting than packing up your old house and “going back to the canvas” to design a life you love.

We asked Canberra-based interior stylist Gina Ciancio, from Style Curator, for her top tips on how to live a clutter-free lifestyle when moving into your new home in Denman Prospect.


1. Design your new home around ‘experience’

Moving into a new home is a special time, Gina says, that should be less about “a big throw out” and more about the excitement of the new lifestyle you’re about to embrace.

“Start thinking about your new life and what it ideally looks like,” Gina says.

“You have the power to design the ‘experience’ of your home from pretty much a blank canvas.

“If you want to become more of an entertainer, lay out your home to support that. Using a mix of seating arrangements around the home – like bar stools in the kitchen, an outdoor living room and an inclusive seating arrangement in the living room – will give you plenty of options when people come to visit.”


Image: Blackett Homes display home in Denman Prospect 


2. Think about the “one year” rule

While the world is freaking out about – and adopting – declutter expert Marie Kondo’s “joy” rule (where you hold an object you own and decided whether or not it brings you joy), Gina also loves the “one year” rule.

“When you start packing up your house, it helps to have a rule in place so you don’t spend too much time agonising over what to keep and what not to keep,” Gina says.

“The one year rule is as simple as it sounds. If you haven’t used a particular item in the past 12 months, and you don’t have any immediate plans to use it, the chances of you using it in the next 12 months are virtually zero.”

Don’t predict or make up a future use for the item, Gina says.

“Physical items can carry a mental weight and there’s nothing more freeing than letting go of items that no longer serve you.



3. Get to know your new space intimately

On that note, knowing your new space inside out is crucial.

“You want to maximise every pocket of the home, including those in-between spaces like the sections between rooms or corners – perfect for creating seating areas or placing a sideboard where you can hang art above.

“Scale is important though. You want furniture to fit comfortably without dominating a room, or blocking walkways or windows.

“To visualise how your new furniture will fit into the room, I find it helpful to take a measuring tape and house plans with you when shopping – even if some people give you a second glance.”


Image: SM Precision display home in Denman Prospect 


4. Get excited by storage

If you’re not already obsessed with IKEA, it’s time to get acquainted. Buy furniture that doubles as storage, like this ottoman and this lounge.

“I love multifunctional furniture, especially when working in a smaller space. An ottoman that can double as a side table, or a two-seater sofa that can fold down into a bed when guests come to stay are just a few ideas. I’m all about functionality and flexibility.”


Image: Elevated Living display home in Denman Prospect


5. Create a Gumtree account, stat

When it comes to selling your existing, bulkier furniture, skip the garage sale and head straight to online marketplace Gumtree.

According to this article by The Canberra Times, “fridge” and “lounge” are two of the most searched items on Gumtree in the capital, along with “desk”, “room” and “dining table”.

“And we live in a city small enough where pick-up is easy, so things tend to get bought – and then picked up – quickly,” Gina says.

For your more prized or precious items, that might have a beautiful story, re-gift the item but make sure the person you’re giving it to understands its importance to you.“I’m all about furniture that has meaning or a story so invite the person over, make them a cuppa, and tell them why you’re giving it to them.”



Gina Ciancio is the editor and interior stylist behind  STYLE CURATOR,
an online blog about the pursuit of a stylish home.
Learn more at 

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