Simply Spaced: Clear the Clutter and Style Your Life (Inspiring Home, 1)
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Simply Spaced teaches you to think like a professional organizer. Learn to simplify like a pro by implementing the fail-safe method to declutter any space, keeping only what you love, need, and use. Streamline your home and take back control by optimizing space with strategic storage. And finally, style your home to inspire creativity and connection.
Monica Leed, CEO and owner of Simply Spaced, will reshape how you think about your home and belongings. Her practical tips make getting organized desirable, achievable, and sustainable. She’s made this all possible through a belief that simplicity and order create the mental and physical space we all need to thrive. Complete with checklists and tear-out worksheets, Monica shares her best advice on how to create a home that “rises up to meet you.” Each chapter includes:
- 5 clutter culprits
- 5 pro tips to combat clutter
- 15 things to let go of now
- Style tips for every room
The Simply Spaced method, born from the LA-based professional organizing service and lifestyle company Simply Spaced, has helped countless clients tap into their creativity for profound change. Get ready to be inspired as you clear the physical and mental clutter that’s been holding you back from living your best life. It all starts at home.
Now more than ever, the idea of “home” is incredibly important. Home is not only where the heart is, but it has also transformed into a school, workplace, and self-care sanctuary. The Inspiring Home series explores how to expertly feather your nest and create spaces for you and your family that are both purposeful and cozy. Learn how to get every family member organized even when everyone is on different schedules, find the balance between great design and helpful function in every room of the house, and update and upgrade your spaces to the latest trends without breaking the bank. With amazing style suggestions and spot-on tips from experts in the home design and organization fields, the Inspiring Home series will have you living the luxe life faster than you can say “accent wall.”
Also in this series: Blissful Nest; Home Sweet Organized Home
From the Publisher
Simply Spaced: Clear the Clutter and Style Your Life
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
This book is designed to address each area of your home, one room at a time. Each chapter is dedicated to one specific project that will motivate and inspire you to move on to the next. First, we will begin with eight space-specific projects (kitchen, bathroom, closet, etc.). Then we will move on to the “specialty categories,” my clients typically need the most help with. These include paper, photos, and mementos. Each specialty category has its own chapter and unique process. I suggest that you collect these items as you work through your spaces so that you can attack each project holistically. Things in your life may begin to change as you start to declutter. You are physically shifting energy, and since you too are an energetic being, don’t be surprised if you find your own power alongside that adaptor you have been searching for.
THE METHOD: SIMPLIFY, STREAMLINE, STYLE
This book is a blueprint to my three-pronged method that takes the guesswork out of getting organized: Step 1, Simplify; Step 2, Streamline; and Step 3, Style. Each chapter will apply these three prongs to the designated area. I’m sharing my method that I use as a professional organizer in my clients’ homes.
My hope is that you, too, will learn the process so that you can tackle any space or project with complete confidence. And in doing so, you will release your fear and attachment to perfection. Follow these steps and be prepared to do the work. I promise you clarity and calm await you on the other side. Let’s learn a bit more about each step and what it will entail.
I give you permission to donate, recycle, or toss the following:
Gifts you wish you never received (fish plate)
Items you should use . . . but don’t (dusty home exercise equipment)
Items you “spent good money on” but don’t use
Anything broken or inoperable (be honest: will you ever fix it?)
Anything permanently soiled or stained
Heirlooms that even they didn’t love
Keepsakes that even you don’t love
SIMPLIFY: DECLUTTER YOUR CHAOTIC KITCHEN
1. Complete worksheet 1.
Once you have completed the Pre-Worksheet and before starting each step in this process, develop clear goals you have for your kitchen. Think about why you want to get this space organized and what it will feel like when you do. Complete the kitchen worksheet questions to define your “why” and to motivate and inform your decisions.
2. Set up your workspace.
Use your standard tool kit. Label your bins: Donate, Trash, Recycle, Other Room, and any additional categories that you’d like to consider.
3. Pull everything out and group like-with-like.
Begin in one area, drawer, or cabinet in your kitchen. Resist the urge to leave items in place or skip over “keep” items. There is power behind pulling everything out, and you are less likely to put back anything you don’t love, need, or use. There is no hard rule for where to begin, but it is critical to take the time and energy necessary to address each item in your kitchen, from sink to stove.
4. Process your items.
Donate, trash, or recycle any kitchen items that no longer serve a purpose. By purging unused appliances, tossing expired food, and streamlining collections of dishes to include only the most frequently used, you will see the room become more spacious and easier to navigate.
5. Wrap up.
Always allow at least one hour for this step.
Once you have processed your items, wrap up your work session by clearing away any trash, recycling, and donations from your kitchen. Put away all “Other Room” items around the house. If you are ready to move on, skip ahead to Streamline or put away any items that have an intuitive home and make note of any items that don’t. Move any homeless items to a temporary landing zone.
THINGS TO LET GO OF NOW
Expired foods and spices
Foods misaligned with your current diet
Toxic and expired cleaning supplies
Mismatched/no-lid food storage containers
Appliances, dishes, and tools that are broken or missing parts
Gimmicky gadgets and impulse buys
Dud Duplicates (a fourth strainer with a broken handle, for example)
Reusable bag overflow
STREAMLINE: OPTIMIZE SPACE IN YOUR KITCHEN
1. Complete worksheet 2.
Use your worksheet to guide you through this process to refine your kitchen ecosystem. Identify what has and has not been working. Now that you have decluttered and identified your categories, think about what can be improved by optimizing storage.
2. Create zones.
To figure out where to place items, match your Post-its from your categorized piles, place them in their optimal new homes, and then step back to consider how it all flows together. Store items where they are used. For instance, place a Post-it that says “Mugs and Glasses” on a cabinet near the refrigerator and coffee maker. By using Post-its, you’ll be able to plan out the space without moving a single fork or spoon.
3. Maximize space.
Adjust shelving, add pull-out drawers, and identify where you need storage solutions like shelf risers and drawer organizers. Use your walls and vertical space and take notes on any product solutions you may need in your worksheets.
Visit simplyspaced.com/shop for our best clutter-free product recommendations.
4. Implement storage solutions.
For this step, it really helps to work with a blank canvas. Add in your shelf risers, storage baskets, lazy Susans, and whatever products will help optimize your space. Make sure everything fits to accommodate every category you need to store in your kitchen.
One of the best ways to maintain an organized kitchen, or any space for that matter, is to use labels to help you and your loved ones remember where everything lives. Even temporary labels can go a long way until you and your family get used to the new system. If everything is clearly labeled and easy to see, it’s more likely that everyone who uses your space will be on board with the changes.
STYLE: CURATE A KITCHEN THAT’S THE HEART OF YOUR HOME
1. Complete worksheet 3.
Use your worksheet to inspire some fresh styling elements in your newly organized kitchen. What will make you feel excited and encouraged to be in this space? Use the styling tips below, or any throughout the book, to style your space and make it your own.
2. Curate your counters.
I talked about keeping your everyday tools and utensils accessible, so perhaps this is a good opportunity to find a beautiful vessel or heirloom that can double as a utilitarian home. If your counters now only house appliances you use every day, they will look less cluttered. Instead, display a few of your favorite cookbooks or put a decorative cutting board or candle on the counter. Small, personal touches like these add a sense of warmth and give the space a less sterile look while maintaining the order you’ve been craving.
3. Add hooks and hanging shelves.
Whether you are hanging kitchen towels or drying chilis, kitchen hooks and hanging shelves are some of the most functional and stylish additions you can add to your space. 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. Stylish storage is my secret weapon for small spaces.
4. Master the art of decanting.
One of my favorite tips for a tidy kitchen lies in the decanting method.Today, so much of what we buy comes in packages that function mostly as advertising. Take items like liquid soap, nuts, seeds, and supplements—even flour and baking items—out of their plastic packaging and display them in transparent glass jars to give your space a magazine-ready feel that’s functional (and healthier than plastics). Decanting allows you to see what you have, saves space, and reduces advertising, plastics, and cardboard.
5. Identify your top three.
In any space in your home, identify the three most significant decorative items that you’d like to feature. You may have more than three, but choose and name only three to start. Maybe you have a favorite painting, a handmade ceramic bowl, or a fancy teapot. Let those items shine and decorate your kitchen with a personal touch.