5 Tips for Decluttering + Simplifying



Do you ever get an overwhelming feeling to toss everything and start over? My last big clean out was two years ago during my last move, and over the past few months I’ve had a visceral feeling that it was time to go through everything again.

I’m currently over halfway through the Marie Kondo-ing of my things – the kitchen, living room, guest room, bathrooms, and master bedroom have been sorted. About half of the castoffs have been given away and the rest are sitting in my finished attic waiting to be sold or donated.

But the room I was dreading was my office.

As a blogger I work out of a home office, and it often ends up as the room where submissions, samples, and products for projects get tossed. In other words: the Dump Room. Just walking into it made my anxiety jump a few levels, which definitely isn’t conducive to productivity.




We’ve written about Poppin before, and you might’ve seen them yourself in some big box stores. The New York-based brand is a leading manufacturer of workplace furniture, as well as those brightly colored supplies you’ve likely seen, supported by the belief that everyone deserves to work happy. (That’s something we can all get behind, isn’t it?) Their well-designed, clean-lined pieces were a perfect match for my office, and I chose two white Stow 3-Drawer File Cabinets to tackle my biggest issues: organizing and decluttering.




These powder-coated steel beauties showed up completely assembled and ready to rock – all of Poppin‘s furniture is always in stock and ready to ship asap – and I got right to work storing office supplies in one and craft and tech in the other. A bonus: one lock protects all three drawers! I chose white to match my desk, but the Stow Cabinets also come in a bevy of other colors.




Everything else went into boxes on these shelves – notecards, notebooks, washi tape, etc are all hidden away nice and neat. The only things left out are the ones I need access to often, like pens, markers, and greeting cards.




Tip 1: If you forgot you owned it – toss it.
I came across plenty of things that I either never remembered purchasing or thought I’d thrown out long ago. You’ll never have an easier decision.

Tip 2: If you don’t use it on a weekly basis – store it.
There are lots of items you own that are only get used occasionally. Tuck those things away in drawers, closets, or pretty boxes that are preferably labeled.

Tip 3: Don’t keep duplicates.
Extra supplies (Sharpies, tape, etc) excluded, you usually don’t need more than one. Get a new printer/camera/coffee maker? Get rid of the old one right away.

Tip 4: Donate it.
Guilt played a huge role in my entire decluttering process. My mom gave me this. I remember what I was doing that one time I wore this. I could maybe use this again if… Pass on your wealth by donating these loved but unneeded items.

Tip 5: If it’s broken, throw it away.
You’re not going to fix it. In fact, if it’s that important of an item you’ve probably already replaced it. To the trash can you go, end of story.



This post sponsored by Poppin. As always, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!


Tips + Tricks: Food Styling and Photography

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Apt. 34


I’m endlessly fascinated by food styling and photography because when it’s executed in an interesting way, well, it just doesn’t get any better. Time and time again I find I’m drawn to a certain style of the art that’s equal parts delicious and creative – I definitely want to jump into the photo and devour whatever’s on display but I’m also deconstructing just what makes it so beautiful.

Check out these tips and tricks whether you’re looking to amp up your Instagram lunch shots, an aspiring food blogger, or just love amateur photography.

  1. Play with light and shadow
  2. Experiment with interesting cropping
  3. Take direct overhead photos
  4. Play with action shots
  5. Show off the messy aftermath
  6. Display deconstructed ingredients
  7. Showcase the monochromatic


Coco Cake Land-Design Crush
Coco Cake Land


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Garnish & Glaze


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Grant Cornett


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Joseph de Leo


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Kang Kim


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Local Milk


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Rachel Correra


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Rachel Korinek


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Shay Cochrane


Stephanie Gonot-Design Crush
Stephanie Gonot


Tatjana Ristanic


Design Crush x eBay

A series we used to run last year – Tips + Tricks – is making a return in a different form. Design Crush has partnered with eBay to bring you a series of guides between now and the holidays showing off different seasonal themes, projects, and advice. I’m really looking forward to stepping back into these shoes and sharing some interesting, helpful things with you over the next few months! Here are the first ten guides that went live in September, and I’ll be popping in here and there to share more with you. Just click on the image to head over.

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5-ways-to-relieve-seasonal-stress-Design Crush

getting your home guest ready-Design Crush

5-tips-for-bar-cart-styling-Design Crush

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celebrate fall with a picnic-Design Crush

5 ways to ease a hangover-Design Crush

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5-tips-for-crafting-a-better-cheese-board-Design Crush

how-to-brew-the-best-cup-of-tea-Design Crush

Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!


Happy Weekend

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01/ Szymon Swietochowski used holi powder to create staff portraits for his agency.
02/ Lego creations know no bounds, Agabag uses them for purse exteriors.
03/ An app controlled stove knob provides the right amount of heat for the right amount of time? That’s Meld.
04/ Ice Cream That Understands PMS is a student project, but I’d totally buy it.
05/ Want to keep your glasses from sliding off your nose? Nosewax is where it’s at.
06/ Travis Rice has a way with shredded paper.
07/ Sophie and Sarah are two beautiful models, who happen to be sheepdogs.
08/ Ben Brucker used 8.024 Post-Its to create superheroes on his office walls.
09/ The lunar cycle made out of Nilla Wafers looks incredibly delicious.
10/ How to break in a t-shirt and make it feel vintage.

This week on Design Crush:
Eight prints that make owning great art insanely affordable.
Have you entered our Moulton giveaway??
I love Laura Carlin‘s animal collage on tiles.
If you’re thinking spring take a look at these structural plant walls.
Creepy cool illustrations from Swan Bones.
Annie McLaughlin captures pattern and light so well.
Nest is saving me money in my 115 year old home one degree at a time.
Crazy sexy manipulated imagery from Eli Craven.


4 Ways to Give a Traditional Space a Modern Touch

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The biggest issue I faced when picking up and moving halfway across the country into my new home was that it was 114 years old. It doesn’t get much more traditional than this colonial beast, but when you fall in love with a space that’s the opposite of your aesthetic what’s there to do? I’m partnering with HP x360 #BendTheRules + Meghan Trainor’s That Bass Tour to talk it out and share four ways I’ve modernized my home.

Add Contemporary Art. This tip is first for a reason, and that’s because it adds the biggest dose of personality right off the bat. I’ve added pieces and prints of all shapes and sizes through my home, grouping the smaller together and leaving the oversized to stand on their own. One thing I abided by was sticking to the same frame style and color – simple and white. It helps to pull everything together and achieve the sleekness I was after.


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Embrace Clean Lines. Furniture, light fixtures, all of it. I love how the simplicity of almost all of my dining room in particular is the polar opposite of the ornate banister on the stairway and the 10-inch moldings throughout the house. It allows you to appreciate what the space does best without competing with it, which should really be the end goal of every design decision you make.


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Go Light and Bright. Before I moved in the moldings and framework were thankfully already painted white, but the walls were a buttercream yellow. Safe for staging, but not even a little bit my taste. So within two months I had painted the entire interior (you read that right, all of it) a lovely white-grey/grey-white. The natural light bounces throughout now, creating an almost gallery-like feel that makes every room feel bigger.


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Use Modern Patterns. I like to keep my patterns in check by using them sparingly and choosing modern global repeats. It keeps things feeling fresh and contemporary while breaking up the monotony of large fields of color for your eye. I prefer to neutral tones, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from color if that’s your aesthetic.


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The HP x360 has four great things going on for it, too. Actually four modes – notebook/laptop, tablet, stand, and tent – in one device. I’ve especially loved using tent mode in the kitchen, it’s so convenient to have my favorite recipes at arm’s length while I make dinner. Its touchscreen properties also make the tablet mode perfect for flipping through my emails in bed first thing in the morning (bad habit, I know). The compact size and weight are perfect for carrying the x360 around the house from one room to another like I tend to do through the day. See all four modes here, along with more info on HP + Meghan Trainor’s That Bass Tour and episodes from the fan-generated documentary being created using the HP x360 Convertible PC.


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This post sponsored by HP. Be sure to follow along with the Meghan Trainor tour by watching Behind The Scenes episodes or following @HP for updates. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!


Tips&Tricks: Moving



Having just completed a move that took me halfway across the country, I can openly admit that I wish I’d read some of these tips and tricks on the task ahead of time. (Especially on having the essentials on hand in case of the unpredictable!) What’s your best tip and/or trick for relocating, be it one block or 1,000 miles?


How to move long distances with houseplants.

The one thing almost everyone gets wrong when moving into a new home.

Four reasons why moving is pretty awesome.

Make a kitchen moving care package.

How to physically and spiritually cleanse a new home.

The moving survival box: Kitchen Edition.

No ordinary move-in essentials box.


Tips&Tricks: Travel


I usually look forward to traveling, but in this day and age it can be tricky. So many regulations, so much security – and that’s just in the U.S. Going abroad or taking a serious road trip is an entirely different story. With summer just around the corner and so many vacations on the horizon, I pulled together some tips and tricks that you’ll want to remember for years to come.


Tips for traveling with a toddler.

Tips for traveling on a shoestring budget.

Tips for surviving extremely long flights… in economy.

Five tips to help you survive a road trip.

How to fight jet lag.

The best packing tips and tricks.

Learn about the best time to book travel.

The 8 things you never pack but should.

How to affordably stay connected abroad.

Fifteen tips for first time cruise-goers.

Dealing with money while traveling.


Tips&Tricks: Beauty


I’m sort of a beauty product junky. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, but it eventually got out of control and I had to put myself on a bit of a spending hiatus from the stuff. Thankfully I’ve learned to rein it all in, and one of the ways I’ve done so is by relying on a little DIY. I have all of the fantastic links below bookmarked for use in the near future! What’s your go-to home beauty remedy?

Yummy pumpkin pie lip balm and lip scrub.

Mix up dry shampoo for light hair and dark hair for about $2 a jar!

Homemade coconut vanilla body butter.

Homemade natural deodorant with baking soda coconut oil, and rosemary oil.

Tingly peppermint rose lip balm.

Or fresh lemon rosemary lip balm.

Make your own tinted lip gloss for a pretty pucker.

All-natural aftershave for the dude(s) in your life.

Edible ginger snap lip scrub to get rid of the flaky stuff.

Or coconut mint lip scrub.

Five bath scrubs you can make in your kitchen.

Feel smooth and smell amazing with this rose body scrub.

An all-natural beauty mask made from flowers.

Four easy ways to help your face overnight.

Get ready for sandal season with this strawberry salt foot scrub.

Gentle rose water toner.

A rose and chamomile facial scrub that will made washing your face incredible.

A bevy of DIYs to elevate your winter skin woes in a snap.


Tips&Tricks: Winter Remedies


If you’ve made it past the halfway point this winter without a major cold or a case of the flu let me be the first to salute you. I was taken down for the first half of January with an upper respiratory infection, and I’m crossing everything that that will be all. Here’s a bevy of tips and tricks for everything winter has to throw at you!

Ten holistic remedies for everyday ailments.

Make your own all-natural herbal vapor rub.

Homemade Vicks Vapor shower disks.

DIY Kool-Aid lip balm.

A DIY lip peel for your flaky pucker.

DIY first-aid antiseptic ointment.

Make a homemade decongestant.

This home remedy cuts through a sore throat, hacking cough, and the croup.

Try this flu season ginger honey lemon tonic.

Another option is this lemon cold remedy.

Cocktail recipes that can help cure the common cold. Ahem.

Five things you must clean during flu season.

Ten natural cold remedies.

Let’s not forget wintery skin, the 10 best winter beauty recipes.

DIY orange coconut whipped body butter and 5 winter skin care tips.

DIY cuticle cream.

Luxurious eucalyptus mint whipped body butter.


Tips&Tricks: Entertaining


Ready or not the holidays are just around the corner – that means digging out the good wine glasses, adding some festive decor to the house, and putting on your best hostess smile. Here are a few tips and tricks for entertaining that are sure to make any get together a little bit easier and a lot more impressive!

How much food and drink to serve at a party.

How to make a box cake taste homemade.

Great tips for throwing a shindig.

Secrets to making the best cocktail.

Five recipes for big batches of party cocktails.

Tips and tricks for hosting a cocktail party.

An entertaining guide for wine and cheese.

Choosing the best ice for cocktails.

How to stock a home bar.

How to make the perfect cheese plate.