One of the first steps to living tiny is to downsize one’s belongings. At the end of the day, there simply isn’t enough space to fit 2,000 square feet of stuff into 200 square feet! While decluttering coach Morgan lives in a modest (but not tiny) 1,200 square foot home, her organization advice is relevant to tiny homers as well.
During our interview she mentioned that a home is like a garden — each season it needs care and upkeep — it’s not a “one and done” project. I love that reframing of mind! We constantly need to evaluate what we have, what we need, and what we should pass on in order to live more simply.
Enjoy the pictures below of her mid-century modern home, and then read the Q&A with some advice for decluttering below! Follow her on Instagram here.
Interview with Morgan
What are your name(s)?
How many people (and animals) are living in your home?
6! Two humans (my husband, Vince, and I) our pup, Lola and our three kitties, Otis, Marty and Norman.
How did your business get started? How did you become a decluttering coach?
Helping friends and family with their spaces is something I’ve enjoyed doing my whole life. Whether that’s been more on the design end – helping pick out paint colors, room layout, etc… or helping organize and declutter. I finally decided to take the plunge and go at it on a professional level last year and thus Humble Home Organizing was launched in April 2020!
Why do you think people have so much clutter?
There’s a lot of emotions wrapped up in our belongings and sometimes we can have a hard time navigating them. This could be feelings of guilt put on by ourselves and/or family members or fear of letting go. It can be hard to take a step back and look at our things from an analytical perspective, which makes it much harder to sort through.
How does your business help people?
On the surface, I guide people through letting go of items that are no longer serving them and then help set up systems for what is kept. However, it’s so much more than that. My clients go through a genuine transformation that improves their confidence, decision-making skills, and ultimately their state of mind and emotional well-being. It’s really amazing and I truly feel so humbled and honored to get to do this work.
How many square feet is your home?
1200 sq ft
How does keeping a small home help you stay decluttered?
Because our home is small, we are physically limited by the amount of stuff we can keep. A boundary like this can be super helpful though in finding that balance of what you need vs. what you want.
What do you do to keep a minimalist space?
There’s always going to be new items making their way into your home. A big factor in maintaining a more minimalist space, and using minimalist principles in general, is editing regularly. I am constantly evaluating and reevaluating our things. Asking myself questions like, ‘Do we use this? Can someone else get better use out of it?’ etc…
What are the benefits of living with less?
It makes tasks like cleaning and getting a space ready for guests so much easier. I love a clean house, but I don’t love cleaning. The less you have to work around, the easier and faster the job is going to be! If we have an exceptionally busy week and the house gets unraveled (which it definitely does!) it takes like an hour to put it all back together again, and then it looks great.
How long have you been living minimally?
For me, this has been a process over the past 7-8 years. I read Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ back in 2013-2014-ish and it was such an eye-opening read. Since then, I have read other books, challenged myself in what I can live with and without, and see it as a continual learning process that will always be a part of my life.
Describe your decorating style and philosophy.
My style draws a lot of inspiration from the mid-century modern era. I’m a studio artist as well, so keeping color and unique pieces in our space is very important to me. I love the juxtaposition between these two concepts mixed with natural elements like stoneware and woven baskets. So I’d guess I’d say I’m pretty eclectic haha! An artsy, earthy, mid-century blend? Is that a thing?
What benefits are you experiencing from minimalism?
I think about my belongings in a much different light now. I acknowledge that everything is temporary and so there’s much more fluidity to what comes in and out of our home.
What about some challenges?
Holding true to your boundaries. I think especially with family this is going to be the biggest challenge for anyone wanting to live more minimally. Discussing gift-giving and hand-me-downs can be uncomfortable at first, but having an open and honest discussion will strengthen mutual understanding.
What makes your home special?
When we first looked at our house, it reminded me of my grandparents’ home that my dad grew up in. My grandfather built that house and we visited every summer and during holidays. I showed my parents a photo of this house and that was the first thing they said too! It immediately felt familiar and comfortable.
What is your favorite part of your home?
I love our bedroom. I decided to paint it a deep spruce green all the way around. I had never painted a whole room dark before, so it felt bold at the time, but we absolutely love it. I designed our bed and had our friends at Gray Fox Design Works build it out of gorgeous cherry. We remark all the time about how much we love our bed and our room. At night our dog and cats sleep in bed with us and it’s just so cozy and special.
What helpful advice would you give to others interested in minimalism or decluttering? What’s your #1 tip?
Give yourself permission! Permission to let go, to say no thank you, and to do what you want with your space. Once you free yourself from what you think you ‘should’ do or keep, the process will begin to really open up.
Anything I didn’t ask about that we should know?
One last thing I’d like to emphasize is this idea that our home is a living organism of sorts. Thinking about it as a point A to point B process just isn’t realistic. If you think of your home more like a garden – a space that needs to be pruned seasonally and tended to, it’s going to make everything that much more enjoyable. I think with our homes we tend to want this sense of completion, when really it’s ever-evolving based on our needs and phases in life.