Decluttering with Composed Living

We’re still offering 20% off baskets, bins, trays, canisters, and jars on McGee & Co.! We’re excited about organization in the new year and we want you just as excited. Each day of the sale we’re talking to the pros. Get caught up by seeing our interview with The Organized Home and The Home Edit.

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Today we’re talking to Elsa of Composed Living! She’s telling us why she’s so passionate about decluttering, and how small acts make a big difference in your happiness!

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I have always believed that having a physically organized space fosters a sense of emotional calm. When things are out of place, or overrun with clutter, it causes a physical reaction of stress whether we acknowledge it or not. The visual distractions subconsciously pull our attention away from the things we want to be focusing on – like quality time with your significant other, or being a really present mom for your kids. I know from experience that if my kids are trying to tell me a story, but their backpacks are strewn all around the room, my attention is split between the visual distraction and wanting to really connect with them. By creating systems in our house that are easy for my kids (and husband!) to use, they are able to keep their belongings organized, our house stays relatively clutter free, and as a result, we get to spend so much more of our time just being together as a family. I love helping my clients to achieve the same sense of calm that comes from having an organized home.

Photo via  Composed Living

Photo via Composed Living

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When organizing your bedroom, a great place to start is with your nightstands. I always prefer having a nightstand on each side of the bed (symmetry!), and preferably one that offers you both closed and open storage space. The drawers on the Josiah Double Nightstand, for example, allow you to keep your bedside essentials neatly tucked away, while the open shelf space allow you to add your signature style. I always keep a book, a journal, a gorgeous candle, and my fave hand cream nearby. If you need additional storage, try using a trunk at the foot of your bed. This is so handy for storing extra bedding, or even out of season clothing. Whatever you do, try not to store anything underneath your bed! Another bedroom essential is a beautiful hamper. Make your everyday items beautiful – you’re going to see this every day, so you may as well be in love with it!

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When organizing a living room, I like to start by taking inventory of everything that needs to be in this space so that I know what storage solutions to implement. As a mom, I fully understand the importance of keeping kids toys and books in the main living space (it’s not practical to believe your kids will only play in their rooms!), so I like to design spaces that are geared toward real life while still looking “grown up.” A sideboard or media console with closed storage is a dream for hiding electronics, baskets filled with kids toys, or even extra blankets. Whether you’re short on space or simply need more storage, go vertical! When styling open shelves (or any surface), try to leave some open space. Storing smaller items in gorgeous boxes is a great way to hide the visual clutter while still keeping what you need accessible.


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An etagere is wonderful because the doors on the bottom hide less aesthetically pleasing items, and the open shelving above gives you room to showcase your treasures.

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The pantry is usually the messiest part of any kitchen, and rightly so. It’s just a large open space intended to hold all those little packages of foods, spices, and so much more. Whether you have a cupboard or a walk-in, the first step in getting organized is to decant as many of your foods as possible into clear containers. Not only will your food stay fresh longer, but you will eliminate the visual clutter of all that packaging. Market baskets are fantastic for containing (and hiding!) larger items such as paper towels, while wood handled storage baskets help keep snacks tidy and accessible. I keep a tray near my stove to contain all my daily cooking essentials, such as olive oil, wooden spatulas, and salt flakes. Keeping ceramic berry baskets filled with fresh fruit makes me smile every time I open the fridge, and makes it easy for my kids to snack on fresh berries!

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