A bad day in a tiny New York City apartment looks a bit like this: cookbooks in the bedroom and book-books under the kitchen sink, work pants draped over a TV, and the cat MIA (probably in the laundry basket). Stuff, it seems, is everywhere these days. And considering most people are spending 90 percent of their time indoors (ahem, hi, winter), all that clutter can really mess with your head.
According to Emmett Shine, cofounder of Pattern Brands, it’s only natural that we’re falling back in love with smart storage. Hence, today’s launch of Open Spaces, Pattern’s newest brand, which sells responsibly made storage essentials: underbed bins, containers, nonslip coathangers, clever risers, and more doodads that help people take back “a little bit more control of their personal time and well-being.”
Behind the soft colors, matte materials, gently curved edges, and stackable shapes is the intent to banish clutter (of the mental kind, too). It’s technically more stuff, yes, but it’s all designed to help us develop more mindful relationships with our homes. “We saw this opportunity for homes to become safe places or sanctuaries from all the craziness that I think a lot of us deal with, particularly around what’s going on in the world and politics and our work,” says Shine.
Beyond the products, Open Spaces has open-sourced (read: it’s freeeeeee) their own 10-step guide to organizing—complete with audio recordings from a calm-voiced guy called Alex. The mini-podcasts run between a few to 10 minutes and cover topics like deciding what to keep and what to let go of, personalizing spaces to help manifest your priorities and reflect your values, and letting go of perceptions around where things should go.
What starts as simple cleaning pivots to a hard look in the mirror, with thought-starters like: “How does a cluttered or disorganized space make you feel?” and, “If someone in your household sees an issue that you need to deal with, how and when would you like them to let you know?” And for the harder-to-rally tidiers, Open Spaces has curated a playlist featuring Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, and The Beach Boys.
Where the KonMari method encourages a cataclysmic one-off cleaning event, the Open Spaces way is about building daily and weekly habits around organization. “What we’re trying to do is help people create routines that benefit who they’re trying to be,” says Shine. “It’s about relating meaningfully with your objects and your space on a regular basis.” And nice, sturdy hangers and sleek underbed storage make that task easy—even suspiciously enjoyable.
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