Styling and Simplifying your home

Do you know what one of the easiest ways to refresh your home is? Take away some of the excess clutter and only display things you love. Be a ruthless editor of what you allow in your space.

These days we see so many influencers on social media redesigning their spaces every few months with all new things. This makes me crazy. Not only do most of us not have the budget for that but it also sends the wrong message that things are disposable and something shiny and new is always better.

My favorite thing to do for my clients and at my own house is to first shop your home. Look at all of your decorative items and collections and see if there is anything you can display or use in a new way. I find that one overlooked area can be the kitchen or china cabinet with small decorative bowls or other interesting objects. Mementos from travel or family members can also be great to incorporate into your design.

Be very selective and take away anything that doesn’t add to the space or make you happy. Less is more. If you want to add a few new things then consider small changes like a new throw pillow, vase or picture frame.

My 3 main tips would be:

-Calm down the space by de cluttering and removing the excess.

-Create a cohesive color palette.

-Display old items in new creative ways and mix old with new. Make sure to add texture and color.

Is there an area in your home you can tackle today? You will be surprised at the impact even the smallest changes can have.

If you need some inspiration here are 2 of my favorite books on simplifying and styling:

I highly recommend them both!


I recently finished the book “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan. I have to say that I would highly recommend this book! Janice not only talks about her personal experience with practicing gratitude but includes lots of other research. The book is filled with many stories of how gratitude can transform your life. She interviews a variety of people including professors, friends, psychologists, CEO’s , actresses, artists and many others and has so many inspirational stories. One of my favorite lines from the book is from psychologist, Dr. Robert Emmons who is one of the worlds leading experts on gratitude. He says “You don’t need good events in your life to feel gratitude. Instead grateful people reframe whatever happens to them. They don’t focus on what they’re lacking; they make sure they see the good in what they have.”


I have been reading quite a bit about minimalism lately and what it truly means to embrace a minimalist lifestyle.  Many people hear the word minimalism and say that it is not for them. Some of us think of a typical empty house with white walls and no stuff.  But if I have learned anything lately from the various blog posts, podcasts and books I have read it is that minimalism is not easily defined.  There is not a right or wrong way to be a minimalist.  Minimalism can be defined by you and applied to YOUR lifestyle.  Anyone who is trying to rid their house of excess stuff and is willing to simplify is taking steps towards becoming more minimalist.

I just finished the book “The More of Less” by Joshua Becker. (Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own).  It was a great book and had some good insight into the benefits of owning less.  I would highly recommend it.

There are many resources available on the subject of minimalism, simplifying your life and intentional living.  All you have to do is have an open mind and be willing to make even one small change.  You just might surprise yourself.

Some of my favorite resources:


“Everything that Remains” by the Minimalists

“You Can Buy Happiness and its Cheap” by Tammy Strobel


Slow Your Home by Brooke McAlary

(her new book just came out “Destination Simple”)

Related to simplifying your wardrobe:

Courtney Carver and her blog Be More With Less

(Project 333 and The Tiny Wardrobe Tour)

You can also check out Pinterest and search my boards for Capsule and Minimalist wardrobes for some inspiration!

The life-changing magic of tidying up


I just finished reading “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo.  The book has gained such popularity that of course I had to see firsthand what it was all about.   I do have to say that out of the many organizing books that are out there this one is worth picking up.  While I won’t spoil the whole book for you here are a few of the major points.

Sort by category, not by  location:

The general theme behind her book is to gather all the like items from your house and sort by category not by location/room.  For instance, if you are going to sort your medicine then gather it from all areas of the house-the bathroom, kitchen, linen closet or wherever and organize it at once.  I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with this method!  This is the best way to organize and makes it easier to find items when they are in one general location instead of scattered all over the house.

“Does this spark joy?”

Her main mantra is ” does this spark joy?”  She believes that every item you own should spark joy.  I think this is a good way to gain a different perspective while tackling the organizing process.  It really makes you think hard about whether or not to keep something.  However, I do have to say that not EVERY item in my house sparks joy.  Most of us have cleaning products, first aid supplies, laundry detergent and other necessities that we need to run a household.  So while this philosophy works great for clothing, artwork, decorative items, books and other miscellaneous categories that are more personal it does not apply to everything in my opinion.

Never pile things: vertical storage is key.

Marie believes that everything is much more functional stored vertically.  I do have to say that this works great in dresser drawers.  Rolling or folding your shirts, leggings and other items makes them so much easier to see and access when they are stored vertically and each one is visible.  And the best part of this system is that it is a real space saver!

A few other philosophies….

There are also many other philosophies shared throughout the book.  Some of these may not be for everyone but it definitely makes for an interesting read.  For example, the fact that your socks need a rest after being worn and should always be folded flat.  Or that you should thank each item you own on a regular basis . Another one is that you should remove all soap, shampoo and conditioner from your shower after each use and wipe them down and store in the bathroom cabinet.  The thought process behind this is that it keeps your shower much cleaner and the items from building up a residue.  While this is a great thought I find it totally impractical for most people.  If I did this I would find myself in the shower and wet with no soap or shampoo!

Those are just a few of the highlights so if you are up for some organizing or “tidying” inspiration I would recommend the book.  You don’t have to agree with all aspects of the book to still enjoy it!



The Path To A Clutter-Free Life

One of the often overlooked aspects of maintaining an organized life is your own sense of well-being.
There are many reasons that people find their lives and their surroundings in varying degrees of disarray; They’re busy with kids, jobs, there may be an illness in the family, and sometimes they’re just trying to make ends meet on a day to day basis, which as many of us know can occupy our minds with worry and stress to the point that everything else in our lives gets overlooked or postponed, often with undesirable results.

When our lives become so full of stress, or a series of tragic or unfortunate events occur, typical clutter can spiral out of control, often resulting in situations of hoarding, a state of living (mental as well as physical) that is very difficult to recover from.

But that extreme condition is a topic for another post. The point is, and this may seem obvious, your mental and physical states are closely tied with how you maintain your life. When your mind is filled with the clutter of stress and worry, your surroundings will most likely reflect that to some degree. Conversely, when you feel good mentally and physically, not only will you have more energy to tackle the organizational issues at hand, but you will be more likely to see the problems for what they are, before they become insurmountable.

One book that I would suggest for further reading along these lines is Feng Shui Home, by Hale, Martin and De Winter. Feng Shui, if you are unfamiliar with the concept, is the “Chinese art or practice of creating harmonious surroundings.” While there are many books available to help people understand their organizational problems, this particular book addresses these issues with the view that replacing negative energy in your home with positive energy can help you on the path to better mental and physical health.  It may not be your particular cup of tea, (to use an Eastern metaphor), but it does offer a  lot of good advice on how to keep the spaces in your home simple and clutter free. I highly recommend it.