I adore Dwell magazine for its brash architectural minimalism, unapologetically touting simple interiors with organizational innovation and sparse design sensibility.
As a professional organizer, I live in clutter. Most workdays are spent meticulously toiling in the closets, garages, hallways, playrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, home offices, kitchens, and messy spaces of my local client base.
Sifting through endless piles of stuff, sorting what stays from what goes – Dwell is a soothing salve, a recalibration for my daily overdose of excess.
For the clients who request my radical transformation “Dwell magazine make-over,” we start by shifting their paradigm around material possessions.
Dwell’s interiors have one thing in common: blissfully few things painstakingly put away.
If you envy sparse interiors, start by removing as much as possible. Then slowly, methodically reintroduce one strategically scrutinized item at a time. You may be surprised how little it takes to effectively fill the room.
Our nervous systems are stimulated by these spaces. We are inescapably drawn to them like moths to the moon. Without the mounds of terminal dross, we have room to simply be – unencumbered from our relentless piles of things.
If you are ready to dramatically transform your spaces, this is my proven-effective, 3-step method for your own personal Dwell magazine make-over.
Purge as much as possible and then purge some more. Become fanatical about what you keep, what you toss, and ultimately what you allow to cross your threshold from now on. Inspect every single item with an unwavering commitment to your ultimate goal. You’ll need a trash bin, a recycle bin and several labeled laundry baskets for thrift, gift, and consignable items. Turn on your favorite music and grab a tall glass of water. As quickly as possible, working floor to ceiling from one corner to the next, purge, purge, purge. Once your bins are full, get them out of there. Then refill them, over and over again. Get passionate with step one and you will succeed. Get stuck here, and you will spin your wheels, tirelessly digging holes and filling them back up.
Once the mundane, irrelevant and extraneous are gone, it’s time to get organized. We organize our essentials in four ways: 1) like things together, so things are 2) easy find, 3) easy to reach, but (4) out of the way. That means socks with socks, pens with pens, jeans with jeans, pasta with pasta. Easy to find means logically labeled or transparent containers – so you can visibly see what’s what. Easy to reach is the convenience factor. Out of the way is the clutter factor. So, remember the formula, proximity equals urgency to determine which items are most accessible for imminent use or out of the way for storage.
Maintaining the lifestyles depicted in Dwell magazine requires more than tidying up now and then. It implies a commitment to carefully analyzing what comes in, combined with strategic systems for moving things out. I have a dedicated laundry basket that travels my home throughout the week. Every day, as we come across items we no longer want, like or use, we toss them in the basket. At the end of the week, those items go away forever. Motivation to maintain your immaculate spaces comes with two prerequisites: ownership and accountability. You will become inspired to do the maintenance when you implement designs that are 1) aesthetic, 2) functional, 3) flexible, and 4) match your personal preferences.
My practice is squarely focused on the belief that the intentional absence of excess creates the tangible space for abundance.
Clutter has been scientifically linked to obesity, depression, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Clearing away the excess whittles life down to its bare essence revealing purity of heart, integrity of character, and inspiration of purpose. Using Intentional Solutions’ 3-step method, you can implement proven-effective and practical strategies to inspire simplicity in our pursuit of a more rewarding, more meaningful life. That is the peace and serenity, the very essence Dwell inspires.