Live Well

Spring Cleaning

Here are my tried and true tips for getting started.

It’s that time of year for cleaning and purging. I’m the master of coming up with excuses for keeping things (i.e. “I could wear this to a 60s-themed party” or “My future child might need this someday”). To my fellow hoarders, here are some strategies that actually worked.

A Trial Separation. Raid your closets and store everything you want to give away in a bag for one month. During that time, maybe you grab several things you need or forget about them completely. When the month is up, donate what’s left.

Question the Closet. As styles and seasons change, our closets become filled with items we no longer use. As you sift through the hangers, ask yourself these questions…

  • Have I worn it in the past few months? If not, can I wear it this month?
  • Would it look better on a friend? Give it to them.
  • Does it fit perfectly? If not, give it away or have it tailored.
  • Do I want to upgrade/invest in a similar piece? If so, I can let this go.
  • Would I buy this again today?

Confront the Fantasy. We all have fantasy items from jet skis to quirky hats. These are the hardest because we attach an idea of who we want to be to them. If you aren’t using it and it’s sitting around with a “someday” sticker, post it on ebay or craigslist and make space for things that bring you enjoyment now.

Remember, at the end of the day, it’s just stuff. Free space can be way more valuable than a closet full of things.

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On Art

Vintage-Art-1_miniVintage-Art_mini-2

It doesn’t have to be expensive or grand, it can just be a little something that speaks to you.

In my opinion, art shouldn’t just be “decorative” – it should mean something. It’s important to have an element that is more than just utilitarian in the home. Even the Japanese who live very simply have a small space called a tokonoma to display artwork.

Since I don’t have the budget for major art, I began to think outside the box. Above are two vintage Valentine’s Day cards I picked up from an antiques shop for $0.75 each. I love the handwritten messages on the backs and the caption “A great town for hold-ups” makes me smile. With simple frames, these custom pieces cost 10 bucks a piece.

When we moved to Austin without any furniture and only a carload of our things, hanging these two made our empty space feel like home. $20 DIY art that lasts a lifetime? Priceless.