Home Tip: Spring Cleaning w/ Homepolish

Pick just one

One of the most common obstacles I see on the road to organized living is what I like to call multiples. We’ve all been in that place where you buy a new powder compact but the one previous isn’t quite used up, and it was so expensive, so you end up keeping it for a rainy day, to be responsible. WRONG. One old compact turns into 2 and then 6 and before you know it you are swimming in barely there old makeup. Especially in regard to products that we “use up”, if one comes in, another must go. You only use one, so you should only be housing one. The idea of editing can be applied to just about anything, kitchenware (why do you have four slotted spoons?), office supplies, and wardrobe. Of course, it is not unreasonable or uncommon to build a collection when it comes to clothes, shoes, and accessories, however holding yourself accountable to keep multiples in check will free up a huge amount of space physically and mentally! Ask yourself which jeans you ACTUALLY wear? Chances are you will have a few star players, and the rest most likely sit in the back of your dresser. Yes, you loved them once, and that is not to be forgotten, but keeping anything that is not actively in use is of no benefit to you. Challenge yourself to only keep clothing you wear, no matter how much it cost, what label it is, or how much you used to wear it. Having less will guide you to…

Know what you have & LOVE what you have

Now that you are moving away from having 3 separate sets of flatware, and 16 red lipsticks, it’s imperative that the one red lipstick you keep is absolutely perfect! This rule is simple; don’t settle for anything that you don’t absolutely adore. Avoid purchasing or bringing anything into your home “that will do for now”. However once you decide the item no longer suits you, release it! Don’t feel guilty about not keeping gifts that you would have never chosen on your own, be gracious to the giver, and then be gracious to yourself by not letting the gift become material baggage. By making precise and thoughtful decisions on what comes in and stays in your space, you’ll, in turn, be able to inventory your belongings. It sounds impossible, but I promise you it’s not; know every single item you have. The more specific you get about what you want to have, the more familiar you will become with what you do have. “Oh I forgot I had this” will soon be words of the past.

Can you see it?

Just because you can squeeze that extra T-shirt in the drawer doesn’t mean it fits. Treat your storage furniture and décor like a retail shop. Remember how nice that dress looked hanging in the store? How excited you were to try it on? You can have that in your own closet too! Think about setting up your closets, drawers, and cupboards like you would if you were trying to sell everything you own. I like to say, “Leave a little air!” You will find maintaining organization much more manageable if you can see everything you are looking at individually. Try out different ways to style your storage. For example, hang clothes monochromatically, it will create the experience of shopping for the perfect white blouse, as opposed to searching for that one white blouse “it has to be somewhere!” Chose a seasonal color palette, and display those items on a clothes rack or nicely folded on the shelf. It’s a nice trick to creating storage in an inherently aesthetic and personal way. Use shelf dividers and display cubes, so often cabinet space is wasted, double or triple playing around with stacking dividers, they are extremely functional and look fantastic too! Finally, know when to use clear/acrylic storage and when NOT to. Clear storage boxes and trays are excellent for make up, shoes and accessories. Opaque storage is best for our less design savvy items, such as scotch tape, USB cords, and band-aids. Invest in good-looking matching storage receptacles. Yes, a shoebox can hold the same amount as a white lacquered bin, but they aren’t same, I promise you they are not the same.

Form vs. Function

I would like to officially put this battle to rest, forever! When is comes to organizing I believe there should always be form, AND I believe there should always be function. In my experience people get hung up on what they think organizing looks like, where things should go, and what you should keep them in. These myths have perpetuated uninspired and unattractive organizational solutions for years. One tip I have is to use unexpected items to house opposites. I keep my lip color collection in a vintage silver cream and sugar duo that used to belong to my grandmother. They are the perfect size so that the brass and silver caps of my lipstick pop out the top, like a tiny metallic flower arrangement. I love having a piece of my grandmother utilized in such a functional way, as opposed to keeping the small cups empty on display. Avoid being too precious about anything, keep your toothbrush in a crystal jar, and paint brushes in a copper vase. The organizational tool never ever has to be unattractive, EVER. In general, if you simply avoid plastic as much as possible you will be way ahead of the game in functional and fantastic organization. Glass, wood and metal hold up much better than plastic, while adding an authentic elegant touch to your space. You also don’t have to spend a fortune; thrift stores are wonderful for finding these treasures!

Let yourself cheat

We all know about the junk drawer, and there’s a reason it’s been such a fan favorite for so long! Designate a few select areas of storage that will be for miscellaneous overflow. Make sure that this storage is concealed so that when the drawer is shut, bin sealed, or cupboard closed, no one will know what’s inside. Try your best to keep all chaos confined to these spaces, in turn allowing your other brilliantly organized drawers and shelves to remain functional, beautiful and clutter free. If the junk drawer runs out of room, go through and edit, make space by disposing of old junk for new junk. At all costs avoid adding another space for random nick knacks. Hold yourself accountable to managing how much comes in, in order to keep an organized, thoughtful and freeing environment.

About the Author

Megan Hopp resides in NYC where she spends her time organizing closets, arranging table tops, and painting furniture as an Interior Designer/Organizer/Lifestyle Consultant. She is an interior designer for Homepolish as well as founder of Megan Hopp Design. Megan believes in small spaces, big choices, and doing things the old fashioned way.