I edit my life often and ruthlessly. Toxic people, places, and things don’t have a place in my life, and the best part is, I no longer feel guilty about it. My home is an extension of me (as if you can’t tell by the feminist art prints and venus symbols painted all over my walls), so I take pride in keeping my home finely edited too. When I moved into my new apartment, I didn’t take anything from my old life with me (for both guilt and energetic reasons).
I also hate excess shit. Trinkets. Mementos. All those little knick-knacks that come in Christmas stockings are literally my worst nightmare (sorry mom & dad slash Santa). For years I’ve donated what I’m no longer using every 3-6 months. Few things give me more anxiety than hoarding and until v recently, I pretty much fancied myself an organizational specialist (gotta flex my female, ya know?)
But, as is often (always) the case, the more things I learn (& I seek out new knowledge every day), the more I realize how much I don’t know.
I recently discovered intuitive space planning, and it’s completely transformed my space, brought clarity to my mind, and legitimately improved the quality of my life.
(I’m not even over-selling it you guys… you’ll see.)
wtf is intuitive space planning
Intuitive space planning is pretty much the most LA thing to ever happen. And like many LA things, it’s actually inspired by Eastern things. It incorporates elements of Feng Sui and practical organizational tactics to streamline not only your space, but also your routines and how you relate to your space energetically. It’s based on the idea that everyone and everything is made of energy (& literally everything in our universe is made up of the same stardust how cool is that), and that energy can either lift you up or deplete you.
Be honest, when you walk in your home, do you feel lifted or depleted?
Before I met Dany from Spatial Soulutions (btw how much do u love that name I MEANNNN branding name game on POINT!), I for sure would have told you that my home lifts me up. In fact, I literally did tell you that in this post, lol.
“Not to brag or anything, but every single time I walk into my apartment I’m fucking STOKED. It’s my sanctuary. It feels like a haven specifically designed to make me happy and, well, it is. And it does.” – Naive little 2018 me
(It’s fuckin wild how much we can learn and grow in just a few months when we commit to our own evolution, but I digress.)
Looking back now, I think what I actually felt at the time was that I was proud of my space. I was proud of how far I’d come in rebuilding my new life. I was proud of living alone for the first time and proud that I truly loved it. I took pride in the way I designed my space to express myself creatively.
There’s no doubt that my home made me happy, but it didn’t always soothe me. I run my business out of my apartment, so all the stress, long days, and chaos that comes with being an entrepreneur spilled over into my home’s energy (NOT relaxing). I’d walk in and instantly be bombarded with mental and literal to-do lists. My most scarce resource is time, so personal administration (like opening mail and returning online shopping fails) built up into piles of clutter. The only way I could relax was to literally put on blinders. I fooled myself into thinking I was organized by hiding those piles out of eyesight. But the nagging to-dos didn’t get done by shoving them in the back of a closet somewhere.
Picture your dream home. I bet the closets aren’t stocked with unopened mail and jackets that friends left behind.
Even though my place didn’t look messy on the surface, my mind felt like it was. I asked Dany to come over and help me clear the energy and help it flow in a more positive way so that I could walk into my place and feel at ease. I had no idea that she’d also convince me to get rid of half of my stuff.
Just two weeks before Dany came over, I did my regular *purge* of stuff I didn’t need. I donated all my bras that no longer fit and cold-weather clothes I never end up wearing in LA (most of the crop tops stayed, duh). I really thought I was living a lean and mean life.
What I didn’t realize is how much stuff I was saving for “someday.” Clothes with the tags on for an unidentified future special occasion. Enough brand new beauty and hair products for a small village of Glamazons to survive off of for a year. A kitchen full of casserole dishes I was never going to use and cooking utensils (let’s be real) I didn’t know how to use. And literally hundreds of products brands sent me to “test out” in hopes that I would shout them out in a post.
it’s time to redefine your relationship with your space
Dany helped me redefine my relationship with my space.
My home is a living space. It’s a working space; it’s a creative space. My home is not a storage space.
Yet I’d optimized every corner of my apartment to store as much as it could. That’s what you do in a small apartment… right? It’s not like I was storing crap. These were nice things that I wanted to keep for when I needed them someday.
But someday wasn’t here yet (and maybe it would never come). On the other hand, today, which is here right NOW, I was stressed out in my own home. And I didn’t even know why.
Intuitive space planning taught me that when we clear the physical excess from our home, we literally make way for new inspiration, energy, and orderly direction to enter.
(Besides, let’s face it, Santa Monica rent is expensive af, and all this excess shit wasn’t paying rent.)
I had to evict the things that weren’t actively serving me to make space for new energy to FLOW IN!!!
Dany took me through her 5-Step process for mindfully redesigning your space. On the surface, the steps are the same steps I’ve used to organize and declutter 1000 times before. The difference I found is in her ruthless approach to completing each step. Her rules and her questions pushed me out of my comfort zone (which I obviously loved). She’s basically like a therapist… if your therapist came over to your house and went through your shit. And you know how much I love my therapist.
Ready to mindfully redesign your space?
Here’s how to do it in 5 (ruthless) steps.
Step 1: Pull everything out
Unless you’ve literally never organized anything yourself in your life (god bless), you’re prob familiar with this first step. Before you organize, you need to take inventory of everything there is to organize. Duh.
Where I’ve gone wrong on this step in the past is that I’ve only pulled out the “top layer” of stuff. I neglected to pull out the stuff that’s out of sight, hard to reach, or in storage for “someday.” In my head, I’d already gone through all that stuff anyway (I only moved in six months ago after all), so what was the point in dismantling it all just to put it all back? Like, I’m busy.
Wanna know what’s happening with all that “out of sight, out of mind” stored stuff? Well, remember what I said earlier about how all things are made of energy. When you stuff that energy in a bin at the top of your closet, that energy gets STUCK there. It doesn’t flow. And we want our space to be flowy af.
So Dany mercilessly pulls every last thing out of every single nook and cranny. I mean jeez if I knew intuitive space planning was this intense I might have been a little more discrete with my vibrator, but that didn’t phase Dany in the slightest. She was much more disturbed by the fact that I had a bin of 20 bottles of dry shampoo. … What?
I lost track of the number of times Dany pulled something out and said, “Wow. Really?” (her sass makes the whole thing way more fun).
Step 2: Edit
The next step, as you prob predicted, is to purge what’s no longer needed. You know, Marie Kondo this shit and get rid of everything that doesn’t bring you joy – duh.
Except not duh. Because Dany’s version of editing is SAVAGE.
Basically, toss half your stuff. Then do that again. In fact, if you aren’t WILDLY OBSESSED with it, get rid of it. If it’s not adding to your life in a way that is supporting your highest self, it doesn’t belong. Just because you like it doesn’t mean you need to keep it. The clear is space is more important than the extra thing.
Let me give you some examples of things we edited out….
- We donated my ENTIRE collection of costumes. There are sorority girls all over the world crying right now reading this, but if I ever need a Kylie Jenner costume again, I’ll just buy one. In the meantime, someone at the Goodwill is looking v fresh in her new wig.
- Next time I go to New York in the winter, I only have two coats to choose from. I also have one pair of gloves, two scarves, and one umbrella.
- I no longer have “useful but not essential” things such as wrapping paper. I chose a couple of my favorite books and games to keep (I love game nights) and the rest I passed on.
- I don’t have placemats or cloth napkins anymore because let’s face it, I don’t even have a dining room table so who am I kidding.
- I have one shoebox-sized box of mementos.
Are you wondering what happened to those 20 bottles of dry shampoo? Here’s the deal. We’re optimizing our space for TODAY, not “someday.” Any products you’re not using TODAY are considered backstock. Dany graciously allows ONE BIN of backstock. When that bin fills up, go back to step one.
Also, PSA, there are like four trash bags of brand new, unopened high-end beauty products at the Santa Monica Goodwill rn.
In the end, my living room was floor-to-ceiling-full of donation piles. Like, so much so that I was like, “Where did all of this even fit?” The funny thing is, I don’t remember most of the stuff I got rid of. And I definitely don’t miss it.
(For more tips on editing, be sure to download the FREE Intuitive Space Planning Checklist!)
Step 3: Create new categories
Whoa. My space has a totally different energy when it only houses stuff I’m using TODAY. Next, it was time to find a home for those things.
Y’all are smart; you know how to put things into categories, so I’m not going to linger on this step too long.
For instance, Dany insisted that my printer didn’t belong on my kitchen counter. Makes sense I guess.
Like goes with like. So, undergarments go together… that’s obvious. You can take that category to the next level by organizing your underwear by color and type using drawer dividers. Shit like that just makes me happy.
Ok, then, makeup goes together… right? Or does it….
Step 4: Establish new systems
Establishing systems is one of the most important things I learned from Dany. It’s one thing to organize your stuff into categories, but it’s a WHOLE OTHER LEVEL to organize stuff by use case and workflow. Now THAT’S how you optimize your life.
Rather than organize products by type, I organize them by function.
For example, I used to organize my makeup by category. Lip stuff went to together, face makeup went together, eye makeup goes together, etc. Everything had it’s dedicated place. The problem is that I only used maybe 10% of those products regularly, and they were dispersed across those categories.
That method makes it easy to find stuff, but it doesn’t make it easy to use it. Now, I think about how I actually use items in my day-to-day life, and organize my stuff to best suit those FUNCTIONS. This is called a “system.”
So, we created a system around my beauty routine. For makeup, there are probably ten makeup products I use regularly, but applying makeup is part of a larger beauty routine that involves facial toner, serum, moisturizer, and primer. I use this stuff regularly so I need to have easy access to it, so I got a countertop makeup organizer. The rest of my makeup is not part of my regular routine and can be organized by category. I don’t need super easy access to it (one cabinet lower is fine).
My morning and nighttime routines also have a system. I use this stuff super often, so it gets the medicine cabinet real estate
My hair stuff is similarly systemized, and great care went into *de-stressing* this system. My hair tools are organized in such a way that the cords don’t get tangled, and you’d be amazed at the effect this has had on my happiness.
Another system I optimized is travel. My travel bag (with travel shampoo and conditioner, travel toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.) is pre-packed and in my suitcase. This literally saved me 20mins when I was packing for Cartagena last minute.
Just take a second to appreciate how much better your life would be if all of your regular routines were systemized like this. How much time would you save? Yeah. The difference is v real. My new organizational systems have totally streamlined my day-to-day life. They’ve also helped me feel lighter and more clear-headed. The way I’ve planned my space has helped me to better plan my life.
Step 5: Install the right products
A big part of making these systems run is having the right containers to hold them. Once we knew what my systems would be, we measured out all the spaces (drawer size and depth, etc.) and went WILD at the Container Store. Sidebar: is it just me or is the Container Store SO FUN? Like literally I could spend the day there. Dany may as well be a Container Store ambassador she spends so much time there (and has no joke memorized every single product), so she created a shopping list to help my systems run.
It’s important to note that we shopped AFTER the first four steps because we were shopping to optimize systems, not just to categorize shit. That also meant that I got rid of my old organizational products (containers, bins, etc.) that didn’t serve my systems. It’s honestly amazing what investing in the right organizational products can do to set your systems up for success.
OH, and once you install all of your new products – don’t forget to LABEL THEM! I love labeling.
I’m in a [healthy] relationship with my space
Healthy is somewhat implied bc obviously, I don’t do toxic relationships.
I used to walk into my place and feel overwhelmed, smothered even, by the endless to-dos. My place might not have looked insanely cluttered (at least, to those who didn’t open the closets…), but my definition of clutter has broadened. Clutter is anything that doesn’t support your highest self. Excessive belongings don’t make me happy; they actually just hold me back. Besides, keeping things unnecessarily ties you to the past. I only keep stuff for who I’m becoming NOW.
Now, I’m in a healthy relationship with my space. And just like a healthy partnership, my space gives me room to breathe. The excess space is way better than the excess stuff. LESS IS THE NEW MORE!!
With less stuff, I feel a palpable sense of lucidity. I swear, my thoughts are clearer. Decluttering my life truly decluttered my mind. I move through my apartment with mindfulness and intention, and there’s space for me to grow. I feel set free!
If you feel stressed by your chaotic life, that’s a clear sign that you need to declutter and free yourself of stagnant energy. Girl, I’m here for you. Dany and I put our heads together to pull all of the most important tips for creating a more intuitive space, which I compiled here for you in this free intuitive space planning checklist. GO GRAB IT! If you want to schedule a digital planning session with Spatial Soulutions, Dany is offering the B/B fam 20% off! Just email her and mention B/B in the subject.
Remember, how you plan your space is how you plan your life. Idk about you but I want both to be flowy and functional af.
Now, Dany, do you do email inboxes?