Get Organized // Minimalist Home Decor

i finally crossed getting my fancy bedding off my 101 list.  it included a new duvet cover (in white) and matching pillow shams (in white) and these super luxurious and way too expensive sheets my mother bought me (in cream.)  apparently, i care very little about the dirt factor... whatever, it matches my glorious gold bed frame my mom also bought for me, back in high school.  there's a sheet set in dark gray too, which is probably more practical.


the reason i felt comfortable with crossing this off the list was because i realized that these few things were enough.  i decided last year, with my word of 2013, that i simply needed less.  less of everything, but most importantly - less stuff.  and while i love the catalog-y look of matching sparkly throw pillows and a monogrammed roll pillow, those things aren't necessary.  i'd have to put them on the bed every morning just to take them off every night.  and repeat.  more stuff, more work, more things to clean?  no thanks.  one pretty bed, with the necessary side tables, and a lamp later, i decided my bedroom was to my liking and i was probably just done.  no paint, no things on the wall, no curtains.  just the way i liked it.

this is also referred to as minimalism.  not the extreme kind.  because 'real' minimalists just sleep in a one room apartment with a mattress on the floor.  but it's the basic idea of minimalism, which i've fully embraced for every room in the house (besides my bar cart. there's nothing minimalist about my bar cart with it's striped paper straws and flagged olive picks, but i can't bring myself to part with it.  but my stylescope says it's a must anyway.)  i have just one framed photo, nothing on the walls, and certainly nothing that could ever be categorized as a 'knick-knack.'  just the thought of knick-knacks makes me panic a little.  but even without these things, my apartment doesn't strike me as empty.  it's clean, organized, has everything i need.  plus a fun bar cart and a cozy blanket, with squishy couch cushions that give it the right amount of 'lived-in.'  especially when i light the bajillion (rough estimate) candles i have.  one day, when i'm not renting any more, i would love to paint my walls. haha kidding. hire someone to paint my walls.  paint would be a nice touch to make it look homier, without adding anything i need to clean.

nothing gets you organized like being a minimalist.  if you don't have the stuff, you don't have anything to organize.  i don't have to find spots for the extra pillows, because there are no extra pillows.  funny how that works.  my bathroom was easy to organize, because i just don't have a million products to put in it.  my living room is easy to clean, because i don't have a dvd collection to dust.  so yes, i have tons of tips and ideas for getting organized, but the biggest and most important one - just get rid of it.  and i don't mean store it in your mother's attic.  i mean assess your attachment to the item, take a photo of it, and let it go.

i might just be crossing off 'fully decorate my apartment in my style' next.  because it is decorated in my style.  minimalist.  at least it is for now.  if you're thinking about embracing minimalism/simplification this year, i think you rock.  start here and here.

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i've heard in some blog feedback that a lot of you love my posts on organization (or are inspired by my instagram photos.)  i love them too and i'll definitely be bringing you more, but i also want to direct you to steph.  yes, another stephanie, apparently we stephanies are organizing fiends.  she too is a de-clutterer, but seeing as how she has 3 pups and a pack rat husband, and is a home cooking, flower planting, holiday decorating queen of the hausfrau, she doesn't have the luxuries of total minimalism like i do.  she gets rid of what she can, and organizes the rest.  for fun.  it is fun we swear.  so if you're sitting here thinking 'that's great, but i have way more stuff!  i could never get it all organized like you!' then you need to check out life according to steph.  because she is proof that it can be done, even if you have the things to host thanksgiving or fully decorate a home for the holidays.  you just have to make a plan and get down to it.  oh yeah, and she has a full time job in an office that she commutes to.  no excuses!


31 comments

  1. Ahh I want to be a minimalist. I do! I just don't know if I'm ready yet. I love my stacks and stacks of books. I suppose my extra pillows could go. And definitely random products I never use could be tossed. This could be a good project.

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  2. I actually love more minimal looks. I wish my house could be that way. I somehow have way too much stuff when I'm trying to get rid of more? go figure.

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  3. Sometimes, I wish I could be a minimalist. It seems like it makes things much more simple. I've decided that I'm just going to try to downsize instead (baby steps!). I've been really clearing things out, making it a rule that if I forgot I had it then I don't need it. Needless to say, it's been a struggle (I hate tossing things).

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    1. Yes, baby steps! It's hard at first because you think you 'need' something or 'might' use something - but you won't. I find that most people, once they get started, find that they love their open space and freedom much more than they liked all the stuff they were hanging on to! Then it starts to get much easier.

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  4. I tried white...well it was maroon and white, but mostly white and i can never have white again...Matt messed it up by eating the blankets and cover in his sleep!! right now my apartment looks the opposite of yours with pictures and matt's baseball cards crap all over and i have to share one sink and one bathroom counter with NO storage or room for storage so all my makeup and shit are all over the bathroom...i can't wait to move an throw it all away!! or at least find an organized space for it all!!

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  5. Maybe thats why I'm not that organized...I like the "extraness" in everything! Okay minimalism you say? Let me try! Lol

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  6. i love it! actually on my 30 before 30 list i embraced minimalism in my home and life and i have to say i love it and it feels so free :)
    XO
    Ellen
    www.askawayblog.com

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    1. ooo goals lists are my favorite :) I totally agree - it's a wonderful freeing feeling. There's so much space and you're not tied down to so much cleaning and worrying!

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  7. i want to be a minimalist but my husband is the complete opposite. he's a maxiumist to the max. like his dad. he has eleventy billion bins of cords and drill bits and this and that and no matter how many times i try to get rid of it, he freaks out and shouts BUT I NEED IT! i swear, his Room of Many things would be your wet dream.

    kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  8. I am a big fan of organizing things and donating or getting rid of what you don't need. Lucky for me this trait is slowly catching on with my boyfriend/roommate so we started the year off with a big house overhaul and getting rid of the things we don't need or use. Loving the minimalist look of things and how organized it all is, lets see how long this last.

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    1. Oh that is the perfect way to start of the year! Hopefully he sticks with it, but I find that people do once they really get it all out. There's so much more space, you find that you really enjoy what you do have so much more. You're not so overwhelmed all the time or bickering about closet space and who's turn it is to dust your 1000 knick knacks. It's pretty nice!

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  9. I like to have all the stuff "just in case" but I'm running out of room for it. My husband has the minimalist thing down, as in "don't buy toothpaste this week, we will squeeze that tube and make it work" so it isn't sitting on the counter for an unnecessary week. All of this to say, I don't have a lot to organize, but I really should work on some kind of system rather than the stuff explosion I currently have working. I just don't know that I would ever call it "fun!"

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  10. Thanks for the shout out!

    It is definitely a challenge either way - you as a minimalist face your challenges with what to keep/toss/where it goes, and I as a person who has "stuff" for hosting, holidays, etc etc. have a challenge in how to assess what is REALLY necessary and where to keep it all. And we both think this challenge is FUN!

    I really really really want to be a personal organizer. Because no matter if I just finished organizing something, when I read a post on organizing, I want to stop whatever I'm doing and do MORE of it. Which sucks when you're at work and not at home.

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  11. I'm trying for minimalist but Tyson is a hoarder and I have a 4 year old, there is nothing minimalist about my life. I've decided though when those two aren't looking I'm getting rid of stuff, they'll never even miss it!

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  12. I like the idea of minimalism, but I just don't think I could do it. I'm definitely ok with getting rid of shit, but I still love my stuff. If that makes sense.

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  13. I am all about the minimalism!! I go through my house every few months and just purge stuff it is theraputic!

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  14. I try to balance out being minimal with my need to want all the pretty things. One of my winter goals is to get rid of things that we haven't used in the last year. Mostly for me this is clothes, but there is certainly clutter in some of our spare rooms that could go!

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  15. I have hoarder tendencies [I recently realized I have a lot of shoe boxes for shoes I don't even own anymore - you never know when you might need a box! (???)] so this inspires the shit out of me. I need to purge soon, very very soon.

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  16. Too minimal for me personally but I like that it reflects a clean organized space. I need art or color on my walls or I go crazy. I like to think I have a nice balance.

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  17. Oh I hear you, I am so not a hoarder, the exact opposite actually, I am a tosser. I hate clutter.

    Allie of ALLIE NYC
    allienyc.com

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    1. I could see that about you! You like things streamlined, I totally agree.

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  18. I am so going to get rid of a lot of stuff this year but will never be a true minimalist. I have way too many hobbies that require items.

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  19. When I move, I am going to work on the minimalist thing. There are five of us... We have a LOT of "stuff"

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  20. Love this. I often feel like my bed is so bare. I just have a quilt and matching pillow cases, but at the end of the day I don't need all that extra crap. I'm trying hard to focus more on needs over wants and I love the way you lay it out like this!

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  21. I totally struggle with being a minimalist, it's something I want to do and am working on but the thought of not being prepared for something makes me panic! I don't *need* extra pillows and blankets, but what if a friend sleeps over!? Of course they could just bring their own but my "be prepared" mentality simply will not accept that scenario.

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  22. When I lived in STL, I definitely had a more minimalist style. I remember a few times taking out all my boxes of photo frames and knick knacks to decorate and then just putting them all away, nothing ever hung up, a few hours later. The mind knows what it needs to feel rejuvenated.

    I agree that one day when I own a home and am not in this transitory stage of life, maybe I'll want to "decorate" again. I don't think I ever want to decorate with just knick knacks though...my home doesn't need to look like a reporter is about to walk through. If there are going to be books stacked on a random end table, they're going to be books I'm actually reading...not books I saw on Instagram with a random jar on top.

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  23. I love your kind of minimalism. It's doable and I would still feel like I'm in a person's home if I came over to your house. I am all for people holding to whatever standard of minimalism they feel led to, but I feel most comfortable in homes that feel lived in, and I think you have a good balance of enough stuff that it feels lived in and yet it's comfortably minimalist.

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  24. OMG IT'S A LIFE SIZED STEPH AND I WANT TO MAKE OUT WITH IT!!!
    I love a simple, classic, clean look! I hate knick-knacks, etc.

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  25. It looks beautiful! Very clean and simple. I don't want to add clutter, but I would suggest a bed skirt or a fitted sheet on your box spring. You'll love that look even more, promise!

    -AJ

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    1. Oh fitted sheet is smart! I can't do the bed skirt, anything than hangs down collects a ton of Hawkeye hair and it's impossible to clean off without taking the whole thing off and washing it (which is super difficult on my own with that heavy mattress.) But I didn't think of a fitted sheet, one in white would be perfect!

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  26. i want you to come visit but i'm afraid the home i live in might cause you to freak out.

    p.s. i wanna sleep in your bed.

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