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Spring Cleaning Like a Designer

It’s that time of year when we freshen our spaces, take a deep breath and enjoy a fresh start. Spring cleaning! I love to take this time to wrap up projects, anticipate new ones and reevaluate what inspires me. This year I needed to get under cabinets, beds, desks and into filing cabinets to push out the old leaves and make way for new, budding ideas.

Interior Spring Cleaning Tips

Deep cleaning can be a daunting prospect. Where to start? Before Feng Shui neurosis sets in, start with this basic map:

  1.  Biggest pain point (clothing, storage, bookshelves for example)
  2. Every day business and materials
  3. Reference and art supplies
  4. Reorganize & regroup all of the above
  5. Dust, sweep, vacuum and mop
  6. Light candles, plug in new season appropriate fragrances
  7. Pour a glass of wine, sit and look around because you are beauty and creativity manifest!
  8. Love your life because baby, you designed it this way!

My biggest pain point was that the book shelves were spilling out onto the floor, stacks of magazines, notebooks and loose leaf mental notes fluttered on desktops making them cumbersome to use. It also stood as a daily reminder that I have lots of ideas I have not yet acted upon. Who needs that kind of guilt?! They needed to be organized into an accessible place. I moved old information to the hidden but accessible places and the current material to cabinets and drawers. Top of Mind!

Thinking corner

Give yourself one full day to do the big pain project. It’s tedious but will be worth it. Once you check off the biggest pain point, you’ll feel so accomplished and the rest will move rather quickly. It’s amazing how everything just fits into place once you get rid of the old fluff.

Interior Design Magazines 22
Garrott Designs Studio Entry

Organizing and regrouping things goes a long way towards long term productivity. I’ve kept a journal since moving to NYC, each book holds ideas, insights and happenings that I often reference. I finally got around to labeling them by year so now, I can find exactly that time when I wrote down that perfectly worded phrase that I need right now for this project. I freaking LOVE P-Touch!

Journal for Designers

I file away loose swipes and art project in my filing cabinet, cleanly labeled by concept and in alphabetical order, so that I can pull them out when I want them. Thanks to “Getting Things Done“,  fifteen years of fashion swipes and art projects are easily found. If you suffer from reference mayhem, I highly recommend the GTD system.



What to keep and what to throw away? Marie Kondo has an eye opening book out called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-up. In it she instructs you to ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?” as a designer, I elaborate on this further, “Does this continue to educate or inspire me?” “Will I enjoy discovering this again in five years?”  Just because you haven’t touched it in a year, doesn’t mean it’s not useful to you.

Design Studio

Cleaning out the closet!

 My closet has fallen out of the wall twice in the past year. (Thank you Mister for just putting it back up no questions asked) I’m a sample sale foraging fiend! So much of what I have collected over the years are great ideas from fashion houses that never cut for retail. Discarding and donating is a huge undertaking for me. “Does this continue to educate or inspire me?” is the question.

Cleaning a Designer's Closet

I donated three large bags of hardly worn designer clothing! That was after my friend came over and took what she wanted when she heard that I was desperate to purge. Friends are great for unloading things I love but need to be done with.

Design Studio Interior

 If something keeps popping up in the wrong place during your day to day life it is not serving you properly; put it where it belongs, get rid of it or rework it to be useful again.

toy terrariums

Once you’ve tidied, dusted, swept, vacuumed and mopped; it’s time to fragrance your home with smells that make you happy the minute you walk in your door. My studio currently smells like Tiki Mango Mai Tai. This is a very important part of the process, do not over look it. This is the pay off, my friend! Now, pour yourself a glass of wine and toast, for this is your corner of the world and it is where your best self creates your best work. Cheers!

Garrott Designs Dining Area
Garrott Designs Wall Art Interior
Garrottt Designs Living Space Interior

Create Your Space. Design Yourself.