9 Expert Tips For Creating A Clutter-Free Home
Author Monica Leed is the CEO and owner of Simply Spaced, an L.A.-based professional organizing service and lifestyle company. Her new book Simply Spaced: Clear the Clutter and Style Your Life is a practical approach to streamlining our lives, complete with a worksheet for a “year of clear” with an eye to attractive decorating solutions. With a background in design, Monica has spent over a decade focusing on efficient space design, time management and the power of organizational systems.
Here, Monica shares her best advice on creating a clutter-free home.
1. Choose Storage That Doubles As Art
Whether you need space to hang dish towels or store utensils, hooks and floating shelves are functional and stylish additions in a kitchen. “Don’t be afraid to add some of your own flair, such as a beautiful apron, a favorite farmers’ market bag or a Turkish hand towel,” says Monica. “Stylish storage is my secret weapon. She suggests decanting items out of their original packaging and putting them in streamlined bins, jars and baskets to maximize space and maintain freshness.
2. Customize Your Closet
“Ditch the rod and shelf and install a modular closet that will maximize space in your closet, no matter how big or small,” says Monica. “With options galore — from stores like Ikea and The Container Store to Home Depot — the custom solutions are endless, easy, and affordable.” Replace hangers with one hanger type and get rid of dry-cleaning hangers and plastic immediately — or even better, bring your own hangers to the cleaners to cut down on waste, suggests Monica.
3. Display Cherished Items
Consider re-purposing a cabinet with divided, labeled drawers to store overflow accessories and keep them organized. “Dedicate a display area for your favorite items: sunglasses, perfume, earrings, go-to accessories, an inspirational image of your favorite icon,” she says.
4. Resist Decorating Every Inch Of Your Space
Resist the urge to cover every surface: leave breathing room to allow the eye and the mind to rest — and use your walls as a canvas for inspiration and creativity. “From wallpaper to gallery walls or a simple coat of paint, you can transform your space with just a touch of intentional love,” says Monica. “Color is a powerful tool that stimulates our subconscious mind.”
5. Create Tidy Drawers
The best way to keep your bath and beauty drawers organized is by adding drawer organizers. “Add fun-colored paper for extra joy and inspiration to keep the drawer tidy.”
6. Keep Track Of Expiration Dates
Write the date of purchase on the underside of beauty products with a Sharpie so you’ll know when to chuck it.
7. Store Everyday Essentials In One Place
“The living room and entry are right up there with the kitchen as heavy traffic zones,” says Monica. “From shoes and keys to backpacks and take-out cartons, these living spaces are where the family congregates and the stuff of everyday living lands. Setting up systems to control the chaos will help get the family on-board for shared living.” Set up a command center for all the things that come in (ie. keys, dog leashes, mail) on a regular basis — it’s better to store certain items right where they are used.
8. White Always Works
“Whether you are replacing your pens with a pretty upgrade or your magazine files with a new collection, use a cohesive, simple color theme for basic items throughout your space,” she says. “When in doubt, white works out. If color is too bold, opt for whites. They can be mixed and matched or streamlined for optimal simplicity.”
9. Opt For Vertical Storage
Optimize storage in a garage or utility space with clever use of vertical storage. “Look up when planning these multi-use spaces; think overhead and above doors, along walls and inside cabinets,” says Monica. “Every inch is precious here, but it does require a little planning.”