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Decluttering For The New Year

‘Clutter Foot’: the condition where you get into a car that has stuff in the foot area and you think you have enough room … until an hour goes by and you realize that you’re uncomfortable and that it has been slowly driving you INSANE; insane enough to roll yourself out of the car at a stoplight, Mission Impossible style.

‘Clutter Body’: see above, but your whole body in your own home. I know I’ve talked about this before, but every year I get ‘clutter body’ really bad. Last year I spent 5 days over the holiday break cleaning out every single cupboard/drawer/pantry in my house (I listened to Serial the entire time). It was both depressing, exhilarating and satisfying. Starting fresh is super cliche, but absolutely necessary to my sanity. This year wasn’t so bad because I had that studio sale, thank goodness, but I still had 95 charging and electric cords that needed to find a home.

So Target, Zanna and I, created a series called ‘How do you do?’ as in, ‘How do you do .. decluttering? Organization? Simplicity in the bedroom?’ Etc. In this video Zanna (who is an incredible fashion stylist, spokesperson, and someone who even launched her own makeup line recently which you’ll hear more about soon) walks you through the clothes and beauty and I take on the closet and bathroom (style-wise).

Check out the video in all my 3 week post partum glory. eeeeeeekkkk.

Target_Decluttering_Closet_Organization_Storage_Sorting Clothes

Zanna gave some great tips on how to clean out your closet starting with pulling everything out and sorting clothes into ‘keep’, ‘tailor’, ‘friends and family’ and ‘donate’. I would like to add one more that is for all the clothes that I will fit into in 6 months and if I don’t then its time to donate to the luckiest goodwill ever. I shall call this basket the ‘Emotional Time Bomb’ because in six months if I don’t fit into those jeans … tick, tick, tick … BOOM. Imma be real upset and then probably drink/binge myself whilst saying goodbye to all my denim. It’ll be denim devastation over here. Denim DELIVERANCE. If you can’t tell I’m in the middle of a cleanse to help the problem, and I’m just so hungry and could use a glass of wine really bad.


My biggest tips for closet organization are as follows:

1. Assign locations for certain types of clothes – blouses, casual cotton shirts, dresses and jackets all have their own spot, not to mention of course pants, shorts, socks, etc. The whole ‘everything has has a place and everything in its place mantra’.

2. Use shoe photos. It seems like a lot of up front work but once you do take the photos and stick them on the shoe boxes (these are just plastic storage bins) it really helps guide you everyday to put them away. I did this and I am SHOCKED and how much I use them. It’s like I’ll get in trouble if I don’t do it.

3. Get matching storage bins in a color that works with your clothes. Don’t try to get eclectic with your boxes and bins, the simpler the better. I went with simple neutrals that keep it visually clear so that the clothes stand out.


Mostly what I want to say about the above photo is thank you Danielle for what looks to be a FANTASTIC hair day.


To help decorate the closet (I know it’s a decluttering story but that doesn’t make for very pretty photos) we added some temporary wallpaper from Target, a piece of artwork by Max Wanger and a tray to corral jewelry and other bits and bobs.



I know that ‘beauty wall’ isn’t exactly a household term (yet), but after styling this, it should be. You know what this wall means? It means that you care about your face, body and hair enough to give yourself a pretty space dedicated to those things. If you don’t have this wall in your home, it doesn’t mean that you don’t care about such things, but if you do, then you DO. And good for you, and I am jealous. Every single New Year I resolve to take better care of my skin, reminding myself that it’s worth it, with the follow up point that its the biggest organ in the body (which is why I allow stupid splurges on ‘lab tested’ face oils that GH recommends). Your skin is big and important and while I’ve never had sensitive skin, I sure am sensitive about my skin and should probably be taking better care of it.

Back to the ‘beauty wall’, this could even be floating shelves in your bathroom or obviously a vanity if are lucky. Its just a dedicated space to you that has some of your favorite products a mirror and a few pretty things like your polaroids from your friend Jen.


I’m bringing the bracelet tower back, this time in lucite. Don’t ask about how you get to the bottom bracelet quickly. You just do because it looks cool.


I’m going to talk more about this this year in a series i’m calling ‘lifestyle mafia’, but there are people that decant things and people that don’t. I long to be ‘A Decanter’ myself (the person not the thing). It means you’ve made it, that you are an adult and that you are allowed to buy nice things because you can handle it. It means you read the Sunday Times and buy $38 measuring cups. This year, I shall decant. I shall take pantry items (foods, soaps, etc) out of their original packaging and put them in pretty containers that work with my decor. When I do decant I will decant 12 bars of soap into a white jar like that to make sure people know I take cleanliness very, very seriously. I’ll use each bar once and throw it away to prove the point that I should absolutely be part of this mafia.


The gold-lidded jar at the top is not online but I found this one that is new which I like a lot, too, by the way.


I love this bathroom styling and what it says. It says that this person takes care of herself and probably even throws away her makeup after the expiration date even though there is one squirt left; One squirt that you don’t want to waste because what if you lose your first makeup bag and have to use your backup makeup (a good boy band name, which no boy will actually understand). And then if you don’t have good/gross backup makeup because you’ve thrown it away then what do you do? Go to a producer meeting with kinda red eyebrows? Or no eyebrows drawn in at all?? True story: my 3rd backup eyebrow pencil was for a red head, but without it I look a bit freaky – there is no pigment in my eyebrows. So red I went, and I looked like a tween albino who got into her mom, Mrs. Ronald McDonald’s, makeup. I was maniacally covering my eyebrows all meeting with my hands and fingers, which I’m sure they thought was super “quirky”.


There is more on the video that you should watch. Zanna and I go through all the tips that you see here (and that I’ve hinted at) and more. It involves us laughing and saying ‘How do YOU do?’ a lot.

Here are some of the products that we used, and stay tuned for the rest of the videos that are more design-centric and show off some of the new pieces that I alluded to on Monday. The office and living room New Year videos involve some product that I LOVE. I know I say that every time a new line comes out but how right was I about the fall Threshold line? This one isn’t as big but it has some really good things that you’ll be shocked aren’t vintage.  You can see many of the products here (but you know the drill, in store has others, too).

Meanwhile here are some of the staples we used.

Decluttering For New Year_Target

1. Slim Hangers | 2. Storage Ottoman | 3. Clear Bins | 4. Towel | 5. Marble Dish | 6. Clear Glass Container | 7. Glass Organizer | 8. Vanity Mirror | 9. Candle | 10. Woven Basket | 11. Grey Basket | 12. Basket with Leather Handle | 13. Decanter | 14. Steer Horns | 15. Bracelet Holder

Zanna and I are answering any reader questions about style over on ABV (Target’s blog). So head on over and leave your questions in the comments and then we’ll post another story answering your questions. Questions like “How is Zanna so adorable after having twins a year and a half ago?” or “why is decanting the wave of the future?”.

Thanks, Zanna for being such a spectacular cohost with me. While I love hosting videos, I love hanging out with cool people even more, so this was obviously the best of both worlds.

P.S. I just googled ‘clutter foot’ and nothing came up which means that i’m worried/hopeful that I am the inventor of that phrase. Have you guys heard of it? Follow up Q – who knows a patent lawyer??

Photos by Tessa Nuestadt for Target. Head on over the ABV blog for even more style info and a photo of Zanna and me in beauty masks, bathrobes and in bed.


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60 thoughts on “Decluttering For The New Year

  1. I know you are not serious about using the bar of soap once and throwing it away, lol, you are just kidding, right? you really are part of the mafia! And your hair does look gorgeous in that picture, I hate you! Ok let me stop, I love it, I love everything you made me want to go make my bathroom all pretty and stuff, off I go!

    1. regarding the bracelet stand…I have used a vintage standing small guest towel stand for bracelets. shaped like a T , with a base, it is easy to take bracelets on and off( even holds enough for a jewelry slut like myself)

  2. Dear Target, please please put mouthwash in pretty bottles! Until then…what can you gurus recommend for keeping mouthwash out (so that we remember it) and looking pretty (so that I don’t go nuts)?

    1. I got a bunch of decanters at an auction and use them for mouthwash. They are pretty enough to sit out and be seen and I like the fact that I get to enjoy them–otherwise they’d be relegated to the when-we- have-a-party-and-we-decant-our-liquor cabinet and will never see the light of day.

    2. I found a glass ‘flask’ with an attached plastic top at a kitchen store that I use. It was probably meant for syrup, but works really well for mouthwash!

      1. I love this thread. For the video we used a wine decanter with a clear glass that sits upside down on top of it. At first I was all ‘HA! Who would actually do this?!!’ and then after we did it I was like, ‘this is GENIUS and so easy’. BUT I do think that there is a market for a cheap pretty glass mouthwash. IF the can put cold press coffee or even frappuccino or kambucha in glass bottles and sell them for not too expensive then why not mouthwash?

        1. We stock up at Costco with mouthwash, and I transfer to one of Target’s Threshold “Oil Can” dispensers. My husband was so confused at first but now gets it. 😉

    3. At a restaurant I used to work at we would decant mouthwash into pump bottles (like a soap dispenser) with little cups in the guest bathrooms. Worked awesome!

  3. Great suggestions here! I love an organized bathroom. I’d love to hear your thoughts/suggestions on bathroom wastebaskets. They are one of those sort of unfortunate necessities and I’m sure there are “cute” (if a wastebasket can be such a thing) ones out there that don’t cost $100, but I’ll be darned if I’ve found them.

    1. I found a black wastebasket w/ a white interior at bed,bath, and beyond. It was like winning the lottery.

      1. This is the most inspired idea ever! Although two weeks in our clumsy house and I’d have knocked it over and smashed it, but the giant vase is a brilliant idea. It would be gorgeous in a home office too…

  4. Look, Emily, I know you have some serious body image issues going on right now but the endless fat shaming has GOT TO STOP, as does the postpartum body shaming. It’s really not okay for you to be spreading the message that somehow women who had a baby 3 weeks ago deserve a big “eeeeek” to describe their bodies.

    If you want to lose weight, please do so without sending the message that postpartum women and big women should be ashamed of their bodies. You just sound so, so shallow and mean.

    1. I think this comment is uncalled for. Emily is neither shallow nor mean. I feel like your feelings (sensitivities) on this stem more from your own issues than hers. I didn’t take any of her comments negatively and I think any woman who has had a child understands that we are all very conscious of the changes in our bodies after childbirth. I think that is all she meant.

      1. I tend to agree.

        The only thing I sort of side-eye is the cleanse comment because those are just stupid, but even then I have to stop myself. I have plenty of friends who do weird juice fasts, and I’ve certainly participated in a fad diet or two, and I really appreciate that Emily keeps it real. I don’t think we can ask her to share her life in an authentic way (post-partum body issues and all) and then tell her that she’s shaming all of us by doing so. I’d much rather have more of the real or real-ish Emily who says what she’s thinking (and to which I would reply, as I would to any of my girlfriends, YOU LOOK AMAZING AND DON’T NEED TO CHANGE A THING) than a sanitized version that would please every audience.

        TL;DR: being uncomfortable in your body is an incredibly common thing for women, and I don’t think we (the royal we) are doing anything to help by telling ladies to stop talking about it.

        1. I love hearing she does cleanses. If someone admits to avoiding baked goods, sugar, alcohol and fried foods to lose weight no one bats an eye. But call your temporary removal of some food groups a ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ and suddenly you’re accused of not understanding how your liver works.

          1. Well, that’s kind of how words work. In our society today, “cleanse” and “detox” most definitely connote something akin to only consuming spicy lemon water or cabbage soup because everything else fills you up with toxins. Just like if I say, “I’m on a diet,” that’s understood to mean I’m restricting what I eat to lose weight, rather than its broader definition.

    2. I actually thought the exact opposite. It was great for her to share her feelings on the issue because I’m sure many people can relate. NOT talking about it seems even more shame-y than being honest.

      1. Emily also has been very open about how her looks are important for her. So when you don’t feel like you’re looking your best, but still have to go on a national web-tvshow… I think that deserves an “eeek”.

        Although I did raise an eyebrow to the idea of going on a juice cleanse (the lemon-juice and chili kind), while nursing a newborn? Isn’t that a bit nuts? Doesn’t milk production need nutrients and calories to work?

  5. Hey Emily, I love this series all ready. I want to give you some advice though, don’t throw your jeans out in six months if they don’t fit. You just had your second baby, you deserve more than a few months to adjust to the new life and get back to your old size. It’s not a race. You will feel great when you do it, and you should for your health, but you don’t have to race to it. That being said, I think it’s great that you are already making time to work out and listen to Hamilton! I love your blog!

    1. On the other hand, bodies do change. After two kids, I finally got back to my pre-baby weight and, wah-wah, jeans still don’t fit. My body shape is actually different now. Other weird things happened too. My feet shrunk a half size. I had to buy all new heels (which was actually really fun). My eyesight got worse, then better, then worse, then better, for each kid. Apparently, that’s common. (So don’t get laser eye surgery the year you have a kid.) Six months is fast. I would say a minimum of 9 months. (As they say, 9 months on, 9 months off.)

  6. My closet looks JUST like that. Haha, not. That’s gorgeous.

    I never really understood shoe boxes. I’m fairly certain I would wear even fewer of my shoes than I do now if I had to un-box them. I can see shoes fine on shelves, more of them fit than when boxed, and dust doesn’t hurt them. I guess people do it because it looks tidier, though?

  7. Love this, of course. Love decluttering, love the awesome Target stuff you found and love the bracelet/paper towel holder! Also, cannot believe that glass/metal organizer is from Target! Heck yes.

    What I don’t love is how you disparage your post-baby body. Or your body at any time. I know you live in/near LA, the mecca of body dysmorphia, but this blog would be better if you stopped talking about your body negatively. Millions of women have bodies that can never look like yours even post-baby. Bodies change dramatically and irrevocably after having a child, it’s madness to berate yourself after your body has done something so incredible.

    Give yourself and women everywhere some love, speak out about how great your body is, not how your jeans don’t fit.

  8. Your eyebrow story is the funniest thing I have read all week! This seems like a great series – can’t wait to watch when I’m not at work. Also, it sounds like Zanna may be one of your new regular contributors – if so, great pick!

  9. LOVE that glass cosmetic organizer. I have an acrylic one, but I’m upgrading to the metal-trimmed glass asap if it looks as nice in person as it does here!

  10. Hi Emily, Zanna,
    I love this video. Reminds me of the book by Marie Kongo, Life Changing Magic of Tidyng up.
    Also, I was wondering about Zanna’s stripped dress. Its beautiful. Who makes it?
    Love your blog and congratulations on the new baby girl.

  11. I need some serious decluttering action in my bathroom. I am a makeup hoarder. Oh this cream eye shadow from the drugstore that I used once and don’t even like? What if I need it?!

    Maybe I’ll treat myself to #7 if I declutter the bathroom this weekend!

  12. Love the video! You two are too cute and all that soap and mouth wash sure looks pretty in their special decanters 😉 Thanks for all the great tips and ideas 🙂

  13. I so want to be the person who has this bathroom. But I am totally the person with backup makeup to my backup makeup. . . . and who orders things from Sephora just to have more samples to hoard.

  14. I love the little white bowls that sit on the tray in the bathroom. Are these Target? If so, which ones from Target?

    Thanks for the great post!

  15. At the risk of being a one-upper, I can beat the red eyebrow story. After college I lived in Manhattan and interned for almost no money. I slept on a couch and had no proper place to apply makeup. One morning in the winter when it was still apparently too dark to apply makeup effectively, I used a lip-liner pencil to fill in my brows. NO ONE told me how awful it was and I discovered it later in the day in the bathroom mirror at work. It was not even a little bit pretty.

  16. Girl, I was JUST looking for a chic way to organize my make up and many eyeliners in particular and as per usual, you show me the way. You are awesome! This is a great post

  17. Hi. I love this. It all looks amazing. But I noticed you never talked about the white wall display box with built in compartments or cubbies…where can I get one. I need one or two! Please answer, I hope to hear back soon, thanks! <3

  18. I am drooling over that closet. I’m pretty sure it’s bigger than my bathroom, and I’m incredibly jealous. Mine is not much bigger than the ottoman. Also, I want to be a decanter. I like pretty things. I am not sure if this is decanting or not, but my cotton balls and Qtips live in glass jars on my counter. 🙂

  19. While I really love pretty ways to hold our possessions, storage bins are one of the ways we slippery slope into having too many possessions and not culling our “stuff”. Just google George Carlin and “stuff” and you will get the laugh of a lifetime. I’d also like to give a shout of to Becoming Minimalist blog. I am not a minimalist (at all) but I appreciate the concepts about having too much stuff and how storage containers just create an illusion of organization.

    1. Agree 100 per cent! Idon’t see how buying a bunch of products will help you get rid of stuff.

      Also, When I put something in a bin, it’s usually to avoid having to get rid of it and I end up forgetting it’s there until I open the bin a year later. Slowly, slowly getting rid of things and buying less–truly the only way to declutter.

  20. I pretty much died regarding the comment about the “back up makeup bag”. I am not alone! This actually happened to me. I packed everything for my honey moon and put the back up makeup bag in my luggage BUT my everyday, tried and true, was left behind at the wedding night hotel. I spent 1 week on a cruise ship working with the off color/regect/club stuff and no foundation. Ugh, bought foundation on the boat. Most expensive purchase ever! #married11years

  21. The problem with decanting things to make them look pretty is that one of your little babies is going to think the same thing…and then someone is going to be on the line with poison control, crying, because they won’t know if it’s mouthwash or soap or whatever!

  22. I love all of targets pretty pink and white home accessories for this spring. I’m trying to organize my bathroom so this post was great. I have a problem though. I live in a small, one bathroom, rental apartment with an interesting bathroom design problem. Our toilet and shower are in their own room with a door, while the sink and vanity are in a nook…in the hallway. So as you walk down the hallway to use the bathroom you pass the sink before you are actually in the powder room. How do I connect these disjointed spaces (hallway, sink/vanity, bathroom)? How do I organize bathroom necessities in this tiny public space?

  23. You are my spirit animal! The decanter paragraphed killed me. SO good. As a 22 year old living on her own, it’s pointless to buy in bulk, but you better believe I have decanted as many nonperishable goods as possible. Cotton balls, grains, tea, lentils, you name it.

    Emily, I come for the pictures (i.e. inspiration), but stay for your authentic humor. I have so much admiration for you!

  24. Hi Emily & friends,
    I also searched for clutter foot and you really have invented a new phrase – excellent work!
    I read the post first and then watched the video which made it even more entertaining and fun. I have forwarded it to my declutter group (we give updates and exchange before and afters and offer the better decluttered stuff around).
    My sister and I have been styling our mantels since we first saw that video and that’s another phrase we use. “What are you doing Friday night?” “I am staying in to style my mantel” and then we light a candle and admire our work.
    Thanks for all the inspiration and pretty pictures and funny posts. I am a big fan. X

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