Kimberly Stewart is a professional home organizer and founder of The Realm. She has worked with a variety of brands and publications such as Vogue, Elle, Tommy Hilfiger, and more. Below, she shares her best tips for elevating your space seamlessly.
Like many people, I moved back home during the COVID-19 pandemic. My daughter and I were staying at my dad’s house in Palm Beach. Also like other people: I had far too much time on my hands and far too little patience for the state of my dad’s house.
I couldn’t handle looking at the closets and pantries without wanting to organize them. So I decided to redo my dad’s entire house and documented the process on my Instagram account.
The response I received was incredible! People loved the transformation and were encouraging me to start a business. That’s how The Realm, a luxury lifestyle organizing and curating company, started. What was once just a passionate hobby turned into a full-fledged profession.
Now, it’s time for me to share what I’ve learned. So whether you’re organizing your kitchen, living room, or don’t quite know where to start, here are the steps to creating a space you love.
Step 1: Assess Your Space
The first step in getting organized is assessing your space to make it as multifunctional as possible.
Step 2: Declutter
Decluttering is as much visual as it is mental. Since this step can be the most overwhelming part of the process, this handy do’s and don’ts list will keep things streamlined.
- Pull everything out before you start sorting.
- Measure your space to see what will fit when purchasing containers.
- Check expiration dates on everything—the more you get rid of, the more space you have.
- Invest in a label maker.
- Separate foods and items into categories that will make it easy for you to find.
- Make sure to stay calm, present, and not jump too far ahead.
- If you haven’t used it or worn it in a year, let it go.
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy—a must-try tip from the organizing guru herself, Marie Kondo.
- Don’t talk yourself into keeping items or keep them out of guilt.
- Don’t keep items you wouldn’t buy now.
- Don’t try to do too much too fast.
- Have a decluttering holding space and a plan of action on how to get rid of unwanted items.
- Have a number for a junk or donate service on hand or have it scheduled.
Step 3: Categorize
The step is broken down into three separate groups: Keep, donate, or store. Additionally, I like to label three bins so that way it’s prepared for purging. This makes the transition from clutter to clarity easier. Now that you have an empty space, you can get a clear understanding of the best way to utilize what you have. For example, in a small closet without a lot of shelf space, you would want to use hooks for belts and scarves and a shoe rack on the back of the door to store shoes.
Step 4: Make a List
Start with a measuring tape to see what items will fit. What always works for me is to draw out the space first and write the measurements in the designated areas. Then comes the fun part: Purchase your bins or baskets. (This is the one time I will say this!) That way, you can return what you don’t use instead of going back and forth to the store.
Step 5: Place Items and Label Your Containers
When it comes to closets, color-coordinate your clothes, purses, sweaters, etc. I always like to organize from light to dark. For the pantry, remove any bags or boxes, and choose clear food storage containers to keep everything looking cohesive.
Final Step: Take a minute to be proud of yourself and your new environment. You have officially made it from clutter to clarity.
Categorized under Lifestyle