Weekend Projects

Try This Quick Weekend Project to Reset and Refresh Any Small Space

published Aug 21, 2020
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Credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

The more I have to process in my mind and my heart, the more my surroundings at home start to affect my inner world. When storms ebb and flow on the inside, my outer world holds more power to influence how I feel. This is why, lately, I’ve been more clutter-averse than ever before. But in my quest to achieve a peaceful environment, I often sabotage the effort by stressing out everyone in my household.

In an attempt to channel my energy into actions that actually produce calm and order, I’ve found myself not only addressing clutter, but also simplifying spaces at home where I can. This endeavor creates physical places that, like a big deep breath, help put me at ease.

This weekend, you’re going to make your own calmed-down space.

Credit: Chloe Berk

This Weekend: Pick one small space to “quiet.”

I learned the concept of “quieting” a space from Myquillyn Smith, aka the Nester, and it’s my favorite way to re-set a space. While Smith touts the concept as a way to refresh an entire room, you can apply the principle to any small space as well, such as the counter tops in the kitchen, the coffee table in the living room, or the desk in your actual or makeshift office.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take everything out of the space. Clear off the entire desk, take everything off the counters, or empty the coffee table of all that’s on it.
  2. Pare down the items. Go through the items that you removed and see what needs to be put away elsewhere in the house. Toss what you can toss and donate what you can.
  3. Replace items—sparingly. Begin adding items back to your space, but only what you need or love and nothing else.

The final step is to enjoy your freshened-up space that’s not only more functional through being stripped to its essence, but is now also a little oasis that inspires serenity.

And if you’re inspired by this quick effort in search of a quieter space, you’ll probably enjoy the Decluttering Cure: It’s Apartment Therapy’s free 20-day decluttering class packed with lessons just like this one. You can sign up now to get your first assignment on Tuesday, September 8.

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.