There’s a modest approach to decluttering that balances too messy with overly obsessed.


Milkcart Brentwood Coffee Table

Minimalist. Contemporary. Chic. The popular discussion of simple living, which continuously takes over our newsfeeds and glossies, shows no signs of slowing down. They say that outer order brings inner calm, so it makes sense that choosing a fresh and crisp decorating approach is the best way to go. Then in order to keep that style, you have to keep the chaos out — meaning, you’ve got to be prepared for serious decluttering, all the time. Is this realistic? Maybe. For some, definitely.

The impact of the “let it go” lifestyle trend isn’t easy to ignore. I recently visited a friend’s house for dinner in her East Village 1-bedroom apartment (read: tiny) and her “minimal” space felt likened to a miniature experimental art gallery — bed, dresser, picture, plant. I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Where’s all your stuff?” For which she replied, “Thank you!” You see, the essentials-only life has transformed from a stylistic choice to an all around craze. Everyone wants to be clutter free. Clutter? Just say NO.


Perhaps my friend had dabbled into Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a title praised for it’s life-changing methods on simplifying your “stuff” for a healthy mindset. Kondo’s organizing services command a waiting list a mile long in Japan, thus for the rest of us, her book breaks down her radical, two-pronged approach to tidying. First, put your hands on everything you own, ask yourself if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it.

Yes, this is a much harsher tactic than the usual three-question approach: “When was the last time I wore this?” “Will I really ever fix the thingamajig?” “But if I loose five kilos?” According to Kondo, if you hesitate at all… It’s time to say goodbye. In today’s overtly visual landscape, we’ve come to celebrate the practice of intense decluttering. However, as Drew Ramsey, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University recently stated in Vogue, such intense organization could also be a sign of displacing other anxieties, “Our virtual world is shapeless and endless, but you can master your closet.”


LA COOL & CHIC perfectly and realistically styled desk

At the end of the day, don’t get bogged down — or worse, obsessed — with the ongoing streams of listicles, books and YouTube videos constantly telling you that colour coding and vertically folding your clothes like files in a filing cabinet is the key to a happy life.

Your home should allow you to feel introspective, and if that means you enjoy having 10 magazines across your desk on any given day, then accept it. Or vice versa, if you enjoy your shoes aligned per size, colour and designer, then by all means… The key is balance. If you have to dodge piles on the way to bed, you might have an issue. If you can’t sleep because you’re upset you didn’t have time to vacuum, you might also have an issue.

So, in efforts of sanity, here are a few brilliant tips to keeping a positive, well-proportioned atmosphere that’s both stylishly and mentally pleasant.


CONTAINOR CHAOS. Just because stylish organizational containers are awesome, doesn’t mean you need to own walls and walls of them. If your space could rival an Ikea showroom, it might be time to get rid of some stuff so you can also toss unneeded storage arrangements.


ROUTINE RITUALS. Rid the excess on a regular basis, instead of waiting until you’re literally triple hanging tank tops and reading shampoo bottles for expiry dates. You don’t have to be on an I’m-no-hoarder spree to shed some layers. For instance, I use the same coffee mug every day, or a beloved backup. The other day I was glancing in my kitchen and realized I have 15 mugs! Why! Seven of them were of no hysterical road trip value and offered nothing in terms of looks, so out they went. Just like that.

decluttering-living-space-tips featuring Barnaby Lane Arm Chair.

SIMPLER. If you don’t want to constantly get rid of stuff, don’t constantly buy stuff on a whim. This is probably the hardest one, as we’ve known this concept our entire lives yet when we walk into a Priceline we come out 100$ down and two plastic bags up.



PLUS, AND MINUS. So you want a change? A new throw rug, new picture frames, maybe some large lightweight pots… Out with the old, in with the new. Instead of constantly adding to your décor, try replacing. [inspirational images via Pinterest]

We hope inner calm awaits you! How do you stay organized? We want to know your methods!

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