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We Asked Clutter-Free Organizing Expert, Monica Leed, 5 Questions

July 8, 2021  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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When we started crafting Summer School, I knew I didn’t want to be the only teacher in the classroom. We’re covering a lot of ground this month, and I wanted to invite guest experts into this space to school us on what they do best. Enter: Monica Leed! Monica is the CEO and owner of Simply Spaced, a LA-based organizing company, helping high-performers transform their cluttered minds and spaces to support their best lives. Her team focuses on organizing, transforming and styling cluttered spaces. She’s the queen of clutter-free, the answer to all of your organizing woes, and we’re so happy she’s joining us today to answer 5 burning questions we had about cleaning and purging the home. Take it away, Monica! 

 

1. Where do people forget to clean?

People always forget to clean under the sink, but getting rid of extra packaging, toxic cleaning supplies and old sponges can be a cathartic cleaning ritual. It’s typically an easy, quick win, but this space tends to collect clutter and feel chaotic.

2. What room do you recommend people organize first to have the best snowball effect on the rest of the house?

I definitely recommend people start organizing in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the first chapter of my book. In my opinion, it’s where the health of our home starts and ends, so getting intentional about what you’re storing here can have a snowball effect on how you approach the rest of your home.

3. What questions do you ask yourself when purging?

I always start with three questions: Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it? If you can’t answer yes to any of these questions, let it go.

4. How can someone make cleaning a more enjoyable experience?

I like the idea of turning cleaning into a ritual. It’s one of those things that must get done so thinking about cleaning as a sacred time takes it from a have to to a want to. Personally, I want to have a home that supports me to live my best life and I want a home that’s a reflection of my inner vision for my life. So even when I don’t feel like cleaning or picking up, I turn it into a ritual by lightning a candle, turning on some great tunes or a podcast and make it a sacred time to cleanse my mind and space.

5. How can I get my kids involved in taking care of the house, too?

It’s important to teach kids that there’s a home for everything. Once they understand the system, it’s easier to hold them to maintenance. Start small by identifying simple habits that can be expected to adopt. Designate a donation bin and ask them to use it. Label bins where they are expected to put their toys away. Be explicit. Systems thinking doesn’t come naturally to all adults so it certainly doesn’t happen spontaneously with kids, which is why “clean up your room” doesn’t always work. I also think it’s important to understand that people are different and each of us has a different clutter capacity. You can take my clutter capacity quiz to find out more about yourself and the people you live with here:
Understanding the clutter type of each person you live with helps you develop systems to accommodate your specific dynamic at home.

Anyone else taking the clutter capacity quiz RIGHT NOW!? THANK YOU, MONICA!!!
Monica is the CEO and owner of Simply Spaced, a LA-based organizing company, helping high-performers transform their cluttered minds and spaces to support their best lives. She is the Author of Simply Spaced: Clear the Clutter & Style Your Life, available on Amazon. For more information about services or courses by Monica visit www.simplyspaced.com and follow along on Insta @simplyspaced

What do you think?

  1. Morgan J Anderson says:

    Loved this post and this series! Can’t wait to keep purging and learning more this summer! That dish drying rack is beautiful! Anyone know where to find it!

  2. Diane says:

    I would also urget hat if you are feeling overwhelmed then maybe DO NOT start with the kitchen. Yes… it can be very satisfying and cathartic. However, it can be overwhelming and intimidating. Start with a drawer, then a cabinet, just one! maybe the one that holds the tupperware… and go slowly. OR start in the bathroom or mud room.

  3. Tarynkay says:

    I think that the question of whether you love something or something “sparks joy” works really well for some people. Then there are people like my kids. They see the potential in every broken toy. They love every empty ring pop ring. Everything is a precious treasure. I know a lot of adults like this too!

    Dana K White at A Slob Comes Clean has been very helpful to me in dealing with my house and with my family of lovable pack rats. She has this great idea which she calls the Container Concept. The idea is that your house is a container and as such, it has limits.

    I tell my kids that we can love more than we can store. So I give them limits. The toys need to fit in the toy bins. The books need to fit on the bookshelves. The special treasures need to fit in the special drawer. If things don’t fit, they need to go through and get rid of their least favorite things. This has worked really well for our kids. It takes the emotion out of it for adults as well.

    • mribaro says:

      You have so simply explained it. I love this concept! It’s very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

    • Myriah says:

      I love this!!!!! I have specifically one very lovable pack rat that wants to save all packaging, clothing tags, rocks, leaves, popped balloons, EVERYTHING. It’s very cute but makes me crazy. Gonna have to work this way of thinking out with her.

      • Kate says:

        I’m so glad you posted this because I thought I was the only one! A few months after Halloween we found out that my 5 year old had saved all of the “pretty candy wrappers” in a drawer in his bedtime table – oy!

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