Tag Archives: Chronic Depression

Naked House Interview: “Voids Can Give Meaning and Emphasis to Chosen Elements”

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Pablo and Beverly Solomon have been minimalist designers for over forty years. Their work has been featured in over forty books as well as numerous magazines and newspapers; on TV and film; and on the radio. You can see examples of their fashion and home designs at PabloSolomon.com and BeverlySolomon.com.

Mollie: What is the essence of your minimalist design philosophy?

Pablo: You have so often heard it said that the core of minimalism is the concept of “less is more”. We would modify that a bit and say that putting quality over quantity is also minimalism. Minimalism is also the recognition that simplifying your life and achieving a harmonious balance between things and experiences, between your comfort and respecting nature, between activity and rest, etc. are also goals. Minimalism strives to be a physical representation of a serene, uncluttered mind that lives in harmony with nature.

Mollie: That’s an interesting idea. What does minimalism have in common with living in harmony with nature?

Pablo: Beverly is part Native American. One of her core beliefs that we try to follow is that we are just passing through this life and should leave the smallest negative marks behind—that we respect nature by using only what we need and protecting the rest. Minimalism design not only tries to blend the architecture into the setting, but to do the least amount of damage in the process. The concept of your home blending into the setting is representative of your being part of nature, not at odds with nature.

Mollie: Can you share a few specific tips for living a successful minimalist lifestyle?

Pablo: It really begins with choosing to live in harmony with nature and to create a setting for yourself that puts you at peace. Keep the things that you cherish, that bring you happy memories, that make your life more pleasant. Eliminate those elements that just fill space for the sake of filling space. Learn to embrace the concept that voids can give meaning and emphasis to chosen elements. And it is okay to be as minimal or non-minimal as makes you comfortable.

Mollie: How do voids help give meaning? Can you give me an example of how you would use a void in an interior or exterior home design?

Pablo: The most simple example would be a wall. Having one valued painting is emphasized by the blank space around it. Were the wall to have as many paintings as you can cram on that wall, no one painting would have much impact.

Mollie: Any other thoughts?

Pablo: Like so many truths in life, the journey is often more important than the destination. Just considering the mindset of minimalism and taking the first steps in simplifying your life and calming your mind are worth it. Just let go of one thing today. Tomorrow is another day.

The solution is almost always fewer things. Get The Naked House: Five Principles for a Minimalist Home.

Naked House Interview: “Respect the Space as a Defined Perimeter for How Much You Can Keep”

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Amanda Clark is the owner or Ever So Organized®️, a full-service home organizing company based out of Orange County, California. They specialize in decluttering and creating beautiful, functional and organized systems for homeowners. See eversoorganized.com for more information.

Mollie: Have you ever significantly reorganized and decluttered your home? What led to the decision and what did you change?

Amanda: A few years ago I moved into a new home, more than doubling the square footage of the previous home. I did not declutter before the move because I was pregnant with my third baby and fairly immobile. A month into the move my third baby was born and I decluttered my entire house during my maternity leave. I no longer wanted to organize and re-organized the amount of stuff I knew I didn’t even need. I wanted to enjoy the expanded space without adding more stuff in it.

Mollie: So now you actually have a large home that is spacious, too? What is that like?

Amanda: With more space in my home comes more space in my head; a weight has been lifted. I’m extremely proud of my house and it has been featured in a local publication. That never would’ve happened if it was filled with stuff.

Mollie: Can you share your process for decluttering?

Amanda: Look at one area at a time. For example, a pantry, closet, or even a drawer.

Step one: Remove everything from the space. That means everything!

Step two: Wipe down and clean the surfaces while they are empty.

Step three: Sort like items together. You may be surprised at how many black socks, tubes of toothpaste (you can never find) or cans of beans you own.

Step four: Declutter. Be ruthless. Do you love it? Does it improve your life? Can you purchase it in twenty minutes for under $20 if you need it later?

Step five: You are now allowed to shop for those pretty containers only after you know what you have left. Can risers, plastic dividers for drawers and matching slim velvet hangers really can make a big difference organizing your space. Go wild on Pinterest for ideas or check out my Instagram @eversoorganized.

Step six: Use containers to separate items and label everything.

And finally: Respect the space as a defined perimeter for how much you can keep. Don’t cram more stuff in the space later on. Use the one-in, one-out rule to keep it under control.

Mollie: Any more tips?

Amanda: Yes!

  • Turn all of your hangers backward in your closet. As you wear something replace the hanger with the cleaned item as you normally would. At the end of the season you can clearly see which clothes you have worn and which you haven’t. Consider decluttering those never-worn items.
  • Have a pretty bin, basket or container in a handy area. Put your mail, to-do items and even broken items you’ve been meaning to fix inside the container. Set aside time every single week to work on those actionable items. If you are consistent, very few things will fall through the cracks.
  • File fold your clothes in your drawers. This will change your life.

Mollie: What is file folding?

Amanda: File folding is a simple way of folding your clothes in a square or rectangle shape and then placing them in the drawer on their sides instead of flat. It looks similar to folders in a file cabinet. No more forgetting about what’s on the bottom of your pile: now there is no bottom.

Mollie: Any final thoughts?

Amanda: Less stuff truly means more time, more money and more freedom: less time maintaining the stuff, more money in the bank account because you are buying less and more freedom from consumerism.

The solution is almost always fewer things. Get The Naked House: Five Principles for a Minimalist Home.