IT’S NATIONAL SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK
WATCH MY #TossItTuesday PLAYLIST FOR INSPO TO SIMPLIFY!
You guys! Did you know that it’s National Simplify Your Life Week? I am slightly embarrassed to say that, despite my passion for simplifying life, I had no idea this week existed! A friend of mine told me about it yesterday and I think I had a simultaneous reaction of my mouth dropping open in shock and bouncing in my seat with excitement! Who knew we could celebrate such a fabulous mission for a week?
Okay, but seriously… given my love for simplifying life… I really can’t pass up the opportunity to give a shout out to this special week that observes such a positive mission. So in honor of my new favorite week of the year, I’m doing a #throwback on this Thursday to my #TossItTuesday playlist on my YouTube channel. 😁 If you aren’t familiar with what #TossItTuesday is, please take a few moments to watch my video above, which explains one of my favorite days of the week. Then, continue to watch the other videos from over the past year to inspire your mission to simplify your life, as well as give you a little chuckle!
This past February I had the special honor of being enlisted by the Katie Show to help the host herself face the clutter demons plaguing her home office. The project was a quick fire challenge—allowing only 7 hours to complete a full transformation-, but this is the kind of challenge I happily accept. It was a super tight turnaround, but with a lot of preparation and a fabulous, hardworking team I was able to pull it off and completely de-clutter Katie’s home office. A lot of great solutions came out of our work together, many of which can be seen on the Katie Show website, as well as some additional tips that I posted here.
The entire experience with Katie and her team was absolutely wonderful, so there was not a doubt in my mind when the show called me in August to ask if I wanted to help with another segment. The focus this time? Katie’s master bathroom. While I knew it was going to be another tight turn around, I was relieved to know that we were focusing on a smaller room. However, as you can see from the show, the size of that small room had no bearing on what was packed in there. We pulled out bag after bag of products, samples and bathroom accoutrement, spent a lot of time sorting, editing and figuring out how to make it all work for her again, only this time, better!
It has been nearly two months since we started on the journey to de-clutter Katie’s master bathroom, and today I am super excited for everyone to see the newly neatened space. I hope that America loves these tips as much as they did last time and can even put some of them into immediate action in their own homes. Since not everything could make it into the show, below are some additional tips and ideas that I thought I’d share from the transformation. Also, be sure to check out my Springpad notebook to see all of the items we used in her master bathroom as well as in her home office!
Pull-out drawers – Low-level, deep cabinets can often result in wasted money as you forget what was purchased, and either never use the item or go out and buy it again. Stop losing money and things to the depths of your under-sink cabinets and maximize the space by adding a pull-out drawer so everything stays visible and easily accessible.
Vertical Space – This is not just a tip for the bedroom or office, don’t overlook the vertical space in your shower. With products such as the Command™ Shower Caddy you can add more storage space while freeing up some square footage in the corners, shelves or seat of your shower. The entire line of Command bath products has water-resistant adhesive strips that are super strong, and damage-free. Unlike suction cups, these products hold strongly and remove cleanly so you can reposition them at any time.
Back of cabinet doors – This is an often overlooked but PRIME area of real estate in many rooms, and the bathroom is certainly no exception. Using the back of cabinet doors is a great way to store some of your most highly used items while opening up some square footage in cabinets and on shelves. We used this trick several times in Katie’s bathroom by using StickOnPods® on the medicine cabinet doors for her makeup, as well as Command clear caddies on the vanity cabinet doors for hair brushes, makeup remover, etc.. This is also a great place for storing your hair dryer or curling iron by using a Command hook
Adding a POC – As I mentioned last time, there is something about a little pop of color or special design detail that can sometimes bring a smile to a person’s face. It is a special touch that I love to incorporate when I can, which is why I lined the back of katie’s medicine cabinet with a decorative paper. I wanted to give her a bit of subtle flair that would help her want to keep the space neat and tidy. Since regular paper can be hard to work with in the bathroom, I suggest using wallpaper, or some other type of coated paper that will hold up well to the humidity and dampness. Chicshelfpaper.com is a great place to find lots options with various finishes to withstand the bathroom environment.
Below, in one of my Springpad notebooks, are a bunch of the other items that we used for Katie’s Bathroom. Follow the link below to Springpad to click on any item to find out more info or to purchase!
Several weeks ago I received a call that actually made me jump out of my seat – an opportunity to be a part of Katie Couric’s daytime talk show! When the discussions began, I had no idea that I was going to have the honor to work with Katie herself and makeover her very own home office. Needless to say, as more details came in about the project I got more and more excited. The planning for the project was fast and the turnaround time for the installation and the shoot were even faster yet. Six hours to do a total declutter makeover?! That’s unheard of! However, by combining my team with hers it was a task we were all ready to roll up our sleeves and take on.
The entire project was an incredible experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Katie’s team truly helped to make the experience a memorable one. I am not only grateful for having had this opportunity, but I am deeply indebted to Katie and everyone who was involved.
It has been 20 days since we began this journey and today I am super excited for America to finally see the product of many hours of hard work. I hope that everyone finds our tips to be easy and helpful. Since not everything could make it into the show, below are some additional thoughts and tips that I thought I’d share from the transformation. Enjoy!
Wires – Messy cords are probably the number one kind of visual clutter that stirs up my anxiety like none other. I see it and feel almost instantly compelled to unplug everything and start fresh with wrapping and bundling. Cords and wires are a notorious culprit of visual clutter for many people and are actually a very easy thing to neaten up. With Katie’s cords, all it took were some zip ties (also known as cable ties), a couple 3M Command Cord Clips, a BlueLounge Cable Box (one of my favorite items, which I wrote about back in 2010) and a little patience. In about 20 minutes we had all the wires rerouted, wrapped up and looking neat.
Multi-functional furniture – As I mentioned during the makeover segment, multi-functional furniture should almost always be considered for a room. Finding the right 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 piece of furniture that matches your taste in design can feel like you’ve struck gold. Pieces like the Safavieh ottomans we found on Overstock.com are great for adding additional storage, an extra seat or a place to put your feet up. Using two smaller ottomans like we did also allows for more flexibility within the room. If you have children and want to open up the floor for play time or are entertaining a lot of mingling guests, these are easy to move out of the way to create a bit more space.
Mailboxes – If you are like most of us in America, then you will agree that mail is a huge source of clutter in our homes and offices. Personally, I have made it my mission to remove myself from as many mailing lists as I can by making phone calls to the various credit card and catalog companies and using services like catalogchoice.org. While that process does take time, there are more immediate methods to help manage mail such as the sorting system we created for Katie using the Kvarnvik linen boxes from Ikea to help her separate her personal mail from her work mail. This quick, macro-level sorting allows her to manage her mail more efficiently and avoid feeling too overwhelmed by having it as one large bundle.
Frames – A large part of Katie’s home office makeover was her photo collection. There were framed photos on the wall and on the shelves, as well as several unframed photos in various drawers and piles around the room. Katie was definitely on the right path with her photo gallery wall by using uniform frames to create a visual story; however, it was upstaged by too many differently framed photos on the dresser in front of it and the two large lamps. Photo gallery walls are tricky because too many frames on a wall and in one place will start feeling cluttered and can make it harder to enjoy the special memories each picture holds. In Katie’s case, our solution was to simply move the photo gallery wall from the space above the dresser where it was harder to see to a space above the sofa where it became more of a focal point in the room. The wall above the sofa provides more breathing room for the photos and are now the first thing her eyes see as she walks in. We kept continuity throughout the visual story by using frames that had a similar color tone, like she had initially done, however we used frames with a darker wood to create a softer contrast with the red wall. By mixing the espresso multi-mat frames from Pottery Barn with some non-matted espresso toned frames from Hobby Lobby we were able to add some variation while maintaining a unified look.
Desktop – One of the initial things I noticed when walking into Katie’s office was the size of her desk. The antique desk is beautiful, but it is very small and had a limited amount of work-space due to the papers, notes, random items and more photos that were covering the surface. Since we didn’t want to replace the desk, I wanted to open up the surface space and allow her to view her photos and other special items at the same time. To do this, we had a piece of quarter inch glass cut to fit the top of her desk exactly. Then, since I also wanted to lighten up the space and bring some texture and dimension to the desktop, we cut a piece of linen to place between the desk and the glass. We cleared off the top of the desk, laid the down the linen, neatly placed our special photos and notes on top of the linen and gently set the glass on top. This simple update opened up the desk’s work surface, updated the look of the desk, lightened up the area, and was completed for less than $150. Katie loved it!
A Little Pop – There is something about a little pop of color or special design detail that can sometimes bring a smile to a person’s face. It’s a treat that brightens the day and in some cases, even helps to incentivize organization. If fighting clutter is not something that comes naturally for you, try adding some flair and style to the area to keep it neat and tidy. You’ll visually appreciate the styled space more and have more of that incentive to keep it put together. We used this technique in Katie’s desk drawers by lining them with a fun, bold-printed wrapping paper which we found at Paper Source. Once we cut and laid the paper in the drawer, we then outfitted them with clear drawer dividers that we found at the Container Store. We chose clear dividers so that the bold colors from the paper could shine through. Now, not only are Katie’s supplies organized, the extra pop of color helps to make it worthwhile to stay organized.