As we live, love, and grow, our homes reflect the unique journeys we take. They serve as the backdrop for our greatest celebrations and swathe us in comfort when we find ourselves face-to-face with heartache. It is our everyday stories that breathe life into each space, our passions and interests that make them sing. Simplifying home doesn’t mean creating cold, empty spaces; it means thoughtfully enhancing the experience of your home from the inside out. Every element should have purpose and bring value. Whether you’re simplifying to improve your daily grind or you’ve finally vowed to get yourself organized, now is the time to dedicate yourself to this life improvement process.
Tips for mastering simplicity at home fill up those supermarket magazine racks, and while adding one more thing to your to-do list may seem impossible, getting organized will make a positive impact on every other area of your life! We’ve taken notes from a few of our latest faves, including The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Love the Home You Have, to compile a list of our top 7 tips for simplifying and celebrating the beauty of everyday living.
The thoughtful and consistent act of purging your home of unnecessary items serves as the foundation for living a simplified life. Once you’ve removed the elements that no longer speak to your heart (or your routine), you can focus more intently on the ones that do. Surrounding those special items with a fresh, clean environment allows you to appreciate and highlight them more effectively!
When it comes to purging, picking up one thing each day is unlikely to get you there. You’re better off knocking it all out at once (or over the course of a few days)! Donate things that no longer bring you joy, and then sort your possessions by task, not location.
Fun fact: when you own less things, you’re more likely to take good care of the things you have. Take the time to stain proof and professionally clean your most cherished furniture pieces, and launder clothes appropriately (opting to hand wash and dry clean when needed).
Once your purge is complete, everything you own should have a pretty home. Measure out your shelving and buy trays, bowls, baskets, and bins to ensure that all of your carefully curated pieces have a special place to live!
2. MAKE YOUR HOME WORK FOR YOU
When it comes to interiors (or just about anything, really), a strong union between form and function is quite a beautiful thing! Design spaces with your family’s everyday tasks in mind, and select furnishings and decor that share your sense of style while also serving a significant purpose. If you’re a bookworm, choose a table or shelf that allows you to easily access your latest reads. Or, if you prefer things tucked away and tidy, choose a chest with ample drawer space for those Sudoku puzzles and night creams.
A bench at the end of your bed looks lovely and is also a wonderful place to stash your decorative pillows when they’re not in use! A good rule of thumb: limit your pillows to how many you can fit on your bench. Removing and replacing tons of pillows every day can be a chore and, if we’re being honest, ain’t nobody got time for that…shall we celebrate our newfound freedom with this little clip from Along Came Paulie!?
One of our favorite tips from Real Simple is to create “drop spots” in your entryway. All of our most used belongings need a place to land, so go crazy with organizational pieces like change bowls, sunglasses trays, baskets for packages, key hooks and mail bins.
Multi-purpose furniture is also a win! In addition to the nifty built-in shelving, this sunroom serves up seating that carefully conceals a trundle bed and storage ottomans with removable lids for stashing toys. (Curious to see what this space looked like before? It is a prime example of how pausing and thinking through the way you actually want to live in a certain room, rather than relying on how it has always been used, can transform a wasted nook into your favorite spot!)
3. OPTIMIZE YOUR SPACE
We have been so inspired by the book Love the Home You Have because finding contentment is an essential part of leading a simple, joy-filled life.
Regardless of how much we all purge, there always seem to be seasonal items eating up precious storage space (adorable sparkly reindeer centerpieces, anyone?) You can maximize your square footage by placing the items you use intermittently each year into storage. We know what you’re thinking – No way! I’ll stash it and forget all about it! That may have been true in the past, but not anymore! Full-service companies like Callbox Storage have hit the scene with services like: free pick-up (including all the lifting and loading, y’all!), a photo inventory viewable 24/7 from their app, and free delivery of your items once you need them back (scheduled via that awesome little app). Routine storage is now easier and more exciting than ever!
Use code MFISPRING for 1 month of free storage, because the convenience of having your holiday decor hand-delivered as you’re busy feasting on leftover turkey is truly priceless.
4. UNPLUG & UNWIND
Hiding our technological devices out of sight gives our minds and eyes a much needed break. Less distractions (and cleaner countertops!) allow us to focus on enjoying the company of those we care about most. Stash cell phones, iPads, and laptops in state-of-the-art docking drawers so that you can refuel as your devices recharge.
5. EXERCISE CLOSET CONTROL
Having an organized closet can make a world of difference when you’re trying to get out the door, whether it’s for work or a special event. Design your wardrobe to look, feel, and operate in much the same way as your favorite boutique. Each moment should feel fresh and exciting, with a beautiful view of your most treasured pieces on display (because all the rest was given away in that purge, right?)
If you’re in the mood for a total closet overhaul, consider implementing the capsule wardrobe, a concept coined by Susie Faux. The idea is to keep a few essential items in your closet that can later be augmented with seasonal pieces…a fashionable life made simple, and we’re loving it!
Store shoes and purses on shelving to protect their shape, and display jewelry so that each item is celebrated and easily accessible.
A garment rack or valet rod can serve as an artistic accent in your bedroom while functionally allowing you to prep your outfit for the day to come!
6. CALL IN SUPPORT
There are times in life when we just can’t do it all. If you’re working long hours, have a large family, or struggle with deciding which things are best let go, the thought of decluttering your home can be overwhelming. Time to delegate! Working with professionals like NEAT Method, RiOrganize, or Simply Maven (a local HTX gal fully trained in the KonMari Method™) means you’ll have a support team dedicated to overhauling the look, feel, and operation of your home. Hopefully this results in a happier, healthier you who has more time to pursue the activities you enjoy most!
On the topic of staying organized and saving time, be sure to automate as many things as you can! Pesky bills? Put those on autodraft. Important dates coming up? Set reminders. Little things like that will help you free up your time (and brain space), allowing you to truly appreciate the present!
7. DROP THE PAPER WEIGHT
So, what do we do with all of those exquisite invitations, handwritten notes, holiday cards and family recipes? If you’re a bit of a paper hoarder like me, you likely tuck them into a box because you can’t bear to throw them away. Sadly, as much as we love those precious papers, it doesn’t make sense to keep them all!
When it comes to holiday cards, most of them can likely be recycled. Store the super special ones with your holiday decorations so you can spend some time marveling at how fast everyone has grown next season! If you’re really in the mood to declutter, consider scanning and saving them all to your computer. You’ll never risk losing them in a flood or fire, and your desk will have the tidiest drawers on the block!
Children’s artwork can be a tough one, but we love the idea of snapping photos of each piece and creating an album at the end of the year! It’s likely that you’ll look at them more often if they’re in one easy location, and pulling out a book is much easier than tracking down each piece in your attic!
For those extra special pieces like Grandma’s handwritten recipes, frame and hang them in a place you pass daily. Or why not print them onto a dish towel?! Meaningful reminders of your life’s greatest joys are always worth saving. The crucial part is removing the insignificant stuff that surrounds those items so that their story can be discovered and enjoyed.
Did any of these tips speak to you, or have you already tried any for yourself? Did we miss one of your go-to methods for living out the “less is more” mentality? Let us hear you!