You’ve seen Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy in 2007’s Spiderman 3 and you’ve watched her run from dinosaurs (in high heels, no less) in this summer’s blockbuster hit Jurassic World, but here’s one thing we bet you didn’t know about her: she’s a self-proclaimed organization junkie. “For me, organization isn’t just about having systems in place, but also about discovering and implementing a philosophy for living that will provide peace of mind,” she says. Below, she inspires us to get back on track this fall with her eight genius organizing tips.
Bryce Dallas Howard.
1. Use a Dry Erase Board as a Place to Brainstorm
Although Howard admits it’s a bit impractical, she is obsessed with her new classroom-size dry erase board, which she utilizes as a brainstorming board. “Ideas, notes to myself, goals, phone numbers, and to-do lists end up scribbled on both sides of the board,” she says. “I am a bit old-fashioned and enjoy the cathartic nature of writing a thought down, but there is something especially satisfying about writing on a classroom-sized whiteboard.”
2. Seasonally Purging Your Closets Will Make You More Appreciative
In preparation for fall, Howard purged all the closets in her home to clear away clutter, which she found sparked a new appreciation for the things she had. “Consigning, donating, and selectively choosing to store seasonal or sentimental pieces gave me more room in my closet, and allowed me to see what I owned and to appreciate and use what I have all the more,” she says.
3. Ask Yourself, ‘Am I Really Using This?’
When deciding what to keep, store, and get rid of, Howard takes the time to think if she’s really using the item in her day-to-day life or plans to use it in the next three months. If the answer is no, then it’s time to let it go. When she’s on the fence about something, she’ll put it away in storage until she’s reached a decision. “I add a date to my calendar to check back with myself about that item,” she says. “By then, I am able to make a clearer choice [and decide] if I really need it or not. Nine times out of 10, I realize I am fine with it outside of my home and life and am ready to let it go.”
4. Condense Your Seasonal Wardrobe to 35-40 Pieces
During her seasonal closet purges, Howard condenses her wardrobe to no more than 35-40 pieces including outerwear and shoes (sometimes 50-60 pieces to accommodate last-minute formal occasions).
5. Live By the Philosophy ‘Less is More’
To ensure she stays organized all year long, Howard lives by the minimalist philosophy “less is more.” “What helps me stay organized are my personal philosophies on how I feel happiest and calmest,” she adds. “Repeating those (almost) habitual practices—such as less is more, seasonal reviews, and usage of storage—enables me to live a life that feels, how should I put this, organized enough!”
6. Travel Only with Things That Are Worth the Space
Howard admits she was once the girl lugging around multiple suitcases while traveling, but now, thanks to her smaller, highly curated wardrobe, packing is lighter and much easier. “My pieces have to be versatile, and therefore, I don’t have to take as much with me,” she says. “Before I pack, I think to myself, ‘How do I plan to use this?’ rather than, ‘Will I maybe need this?’ As a result, I only bring items that I plan to use frequently.”
7. Look to Services Like Clutter Storage & Gift Card Granny
“Clutter Storage is amazing and truly helps me to keep my house free of just that—clutter!” Howard says. “Websites such as The Real Real and Thred Up take pieces on consignment. Organizations like Safe Place for Youth and Dress for Success are incredible and put gently used second-hand clothing to the best use. We also use Next Worth to sell our electronics that we have outgrown, and Gift Card Granny for all of those gift cards that we will never use. I am also venturing into using the app Stylebook to help with the organization of my closet.”
8. Get the Most Out of Your Storage Unit
In order to abide by her “less is more” philosophy, Howard ensures there is zero clutter in her home by putting her Clutter Storage unit to good use and keeping things like seasonal sports gear, film memorabilia, and holiday decorations. “Clutter Storage comes to my home, packs and catalogs the items, and brings them to its storage facility,” she says. “When I am ready to bring something out of storage, I simply take a look at my catalog, request those items, and they drop them off at my door!”