I love moving. Not the spending a lot of money to get a new mattress because you deserve a queen kind of moving, but the unpacking which means you get to space-plan and decorate a new place kind of moving! Because I can’t bare to leave my rent-controlled studio, I take advantage of my friends who move to San Francisco. Case in point Denise and Steph. They recently moved to the Mission and were blessed with this built-in shelving feature. The problem being that they both used to live by themselves so they had a lot of small things for a big space.

Cue Gen. This amount of stuff may seem daunting to some but it looked very fun for me so I couldn’t wait to tackle this. So take in some of these tips about how to group your items so it all looks on purpose…which is the point, no?

1) Lay out all your stuff


Lay out everything you have. Nothing except books stacked on top of each other so you can see what you’re going to be working with (thank you Marie Kondo). This way you can start imagining groups of items and color blocking before you place things.

2) Use the rule of three


Each space is a moment. One moment or three moments look strategic but two can feel like an accident. You can create a specific moment by grouping things of the same ilk (love that word) together. Juxtapose everything to keep things interesting by ensuring you’re varying heights, creating levels and grouping colors.

3) Use tiny trinkets to fill a space


Although this might defy the rule of three, let’s tout that rules are meant to be broken. A tiny candle, sparkly geode or a faux, mini succulent can help balance a space. You’ll feel if it belongs there or not.

4) Step back for perspective


Like plucking your eyebrows, you want to step back with each pluck because things look differently from further away. Spoiler alert, people see you from far away a lot more than up close. This way you can properly place a print of an animated Jesse Pinkman that has a lot of yellow in a place that needs more yellow. Or you can put two green glass vases on the opposite corner of your house plant because it’s the only green you have to play with.

And there you go! Beautifully styled shelves and everything is on purpose. It’s the perfect backdrop for a magical sketch of Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live (yeah, I didn’t even think to turn the T.V. off when I took the picture). You got this!


Do you want to style with me sometime? Shoot me a line here or on my contact page.