I used to have a cute chair on one side of this armoire {this photo is in our bedroom} and a little table on the other. Then I realized that I NEVER sat in the cute chair or used the table other than to pile stuff.

I found a better home for the table and chair—one where they were actually needed and used, and in return our room felt instantly more tidy, spacious and pulled together. And all I did was remove a few pretty pile-holders. No cleaning required.

I’m now hyper aware of pretty-pile-holders, and I’m also learning the value and beauty of quiet, empty space. It’s the Cozy Minimalist way.

Of course, my entire house doesn’t just have large pieces of furniture and empty walls. Nope. I love, LOOOOVE beautiful things large and small. That’s part of my problem, I love pretty things so much that a few years ago I realized that my house was drowning in decor.

Now, I try to make sure our major, high-traffic surfaces are cleaned off without much decor living on them not so they’ll be empty all the time, but so they’ll be ready to be used.

Like when we were doing our taxes last week.

Or when I was prepping for some sort of gathering here.

Having a home that serves you & your family doesn’t mean it always looks tidy and pristine. 

Having a home where you value simplicity and order doesn’t mean it has to look empty and sparse.

It’s all about balance.

Our hardworking homes have a special beauty in the midst of the mess.

Kitchen counters are meant to be filled and doors are meant to be opened.

When I’m done, I’ll clean it up, not because a cleared off counter is better, but because that means it’s ready and waiting for the next beautiful mess.

Ready to clear some of your surfaces? Here’s how I decide which surfaces get decor and which go naked.