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Storage and Organization

Decluttering Hacks to Embrace for the New Year

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Each week, Mansion Global tackles a topic featuring an elite group of designers from around the world working on luxury properties. This week we explored easy ways to clean up for the new year.

A cluttered home can lead to a cluttered mind and no one wants to start the new year anxious and overwhelmed.

There are many ways to approach decluttering and while the best one depends on your personal preference and workflow, there are some tried and true methods.

“Starting with a simple rule as you work through areas, such as the 20/20 rule (if you can replace it in less than 20 minutes for less than $20), can help create a rhythm to get rid of things,” says Anastasia Pinnick, designer at Chick Brothers Company, Inc. in New Jersey.

If organization rather than accumulation is the issue, it may be time to reconfigure your storage space. Follow along for more advice from design pros to get your space in shape for the new year.


Hiding is fine

“Don’t be fooled by those perfect houses you see everywhere; even the most organized people need solutions to hide clutter behind closed doors.

“The most successful storage solutions are hidden and there are several options on the market today. Look at sliding and stackable components, bins and closet organizers of various kinds. If you want to store more unique items efficiently, like wrapping paper for example, look to social media for inspiration. You’d be amazed at what people have come up with online to solve their storage problems.

“When I come to people’s homes, I often see bins, baskets and decorative boxes on shelves or in rooms that are empty. The piece is placed there to be decorative, but items in your home should serve you and support your needs. Use those items and spaces for storage and make sure they contribute more than just aesthetics to your life.

Even the most organized people need solutions to hide clutter behind closed doors and concealment techniques are totally fine.

Miranda Estes for Interiors by Popov

—Anna Popov, designer and founder of Interiors by Popov in Bellevue, Washington


Purge what doesn’t excite you

“As a certified KonMari consultant, I can absolutely confirm and validate someone’s overwhelming feelings when it comes to tidying up. Let’s face it, a messy room is stressful just looking at it, now imagine how to organize everything. Where do we actually start? I often find piles and clutter in clients’ homes when there’s no room for the things people need. I see a theme in most people’s homes, including mine. We have too much stuff and we buy more and more.

“Here are two rules I live by and apply to clients’ homes: keep only what excites you, whether you use it or not, and only buy what excites you (and I mean love every item you buy, down to paperclips, toilet paper, straws, everything).

“Once you have that, you can now create sections in your home or drawers for those items. The only reason clutter constantly reappears is because items don’t have designated spots. The spaces they need are filled with overcrowded” non-exciting’ items. When these two principles are applied, you’ll find a home that looks tidy, with items you absolutely love.”

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The owner of this Los Angeles loft sold and gave away any jewelry that didn’t excite her, and anything that did, she kept and displayed.

Carlos Chavez

—Alexis Peters, CEO and founder of Home Styling By Alexis in Nashville, Tennessee


Put things back

“To stay organized, everything needs to have a home. Even the mail needs a good place. It’s easy to develop good habits if you always follow the rule of putting things right where they belong. This mindset keeps your house tidy every day, so you don’t have to deal with a big mess later on.

“Switch similar items together so you can easily find them later. Use clear storage solutions or labels so you know what’s in the box before you go through it. Use decorative baskets, boxes and bins to store smaller items.”

—April Gandy, founder and lead designer, Alluring Designs Chicago


Consider furniture that maximizes your space

“Strive to maximize the space of each room. Expansive glass, clean lines and simple and generous use of natural materials help make a space feel larger and more luxurious. To complement and further enhance this experience, selecting the right size furniture – traditional or modern – can make the room feel more spacious.

“The same goes for smaller items like wall art, table lamps and the other things we all collect to decorate our homes. The key is to give them enough space so they don’t clutter the tabletop or shelf, just as the furniture shouldn’t make the room feel overly cluttered.

—Thomas Gluck, designer and director of GLUCK+ in New York

Set rules for the future

“I err on the aggressive side of cleaning and do two light pick-ups a day; one in the morning and one before going to sleep. In the morning I put everything in the kitchen away from breakfast and coffee, pet toys, fold any blankets and make beds. This way you go into the day with a tidy house and you return to a clean house. At night I do the dishes, put away the mail, put my family’s things in their storage areas for them to manage, change and sweep the laundry as needed. I think of it as two to five minute rounds a day to keep the house super neat and organized and you don’t have a huge cleanup project to tackle over the weekend or evening.

“If tidying up twice a day seems aggressive, I recommend a five minute tidying session before going to bed. It’s great to wake up in the morning and feel like all you have to do is focus on leaving of the house and starting your day instead of stressing about the various messes in the apartment. Messy space, messy mind.”

Light tidying sessions once or twice a day keep the house neat and organized.

Alchemy Studio

Stephanie Schroeder, director of Alchemy Studio in New York

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