We all deserve to live and work in beautiful, functional spaces. Orderly environments create calm and
happiness in our lives and allow us to be purposeful in our intentions and actions. Earlier this year I had
the chance to speak with NBC Washington to share some tips on resetting for the New Year. Here are
the ones I shared related to our homes:
1. Set a vision you have for how you would like your home to feel.
• Sit down and spend time thinking about this and writing it out. If you live with other
people, make this a shared exercise so you can communicate the ‘why’ behind all of
• Make a commitment to work towards achieving this.
• You may want to try practicing the KonMari method or another technique, but pick
SOME structure to help you honor your commitment.
2. Treat the time to declutter and organize your home like an appointment.
• Allocate time in your schedule to implement this method. One hour, twice a week
or a full afternoon, as a start. Treat this appointment seriously as a chance to make
life easier and more joyful for your future self. Start with yourself and if you live
with other people involve them step by step as they see you doing your part.
3. Take a “shopping pause” while resetting your home.
• We have to remember that while we are focused on decluttering during this period
we can not keep adding items into our homes without being thoughtful about them.
I often recommend that my clients have a ‘shopping pause’ while they are doing this
– set ‘someday maybe list on phone’ and tell family members so no one gives you
something else. this pause is a way to stop the influx and break potentially difficult
habits. We don’t have to think of this as being forever, but it is a good way to star a
behavior change process. On your ‘someday maybe’ list you can list items that
cross their screens they might normally buy right away but instead they are going to
wait until the end of our process to see if they still need/want their items.
• As you go through this exercise you will learn more about your buying habits, which
will hopefully be better for your wallet and the planet moving forward!
4. Set up your home for the items and activities that are most important for the people who live
• Design your space for what is important and the volume of what you have left after
you complete your decluttering.
• Use your vertical space wisely! A wall mounted file organizer is a great way to
organize papers by project or category, especially for items that are actively being
used. Choose a color that blends into your wall color to minimize the visual noise.
• Make your storage easily contained and moveable. Did you declutter your papers
yet and do you only have the ones you truly need to keep? Ok, great - why not
store them in a small portable file box? I like ones with lids and handles - easy to
move around and tuck into a closet when you are done with work for the day, and
having the lid means you will see less of the visual clutter of clusters of paper. Label
folders inside alphabetically for ease of sorting.
• Incorporate love and joy and your culture into your home! I recommend the books
“joyful’ and ‘afrominimalist’ and always lots of plants.
• Incorporate the 5 senses into your space: sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste
Decluttering is about so much more than getting rid of things: When we make purposeful choices about
what we want to live with, we also set intentions for how we want to live.