We’re well into 2021 and many of us are still spending most of our time at home. Whether it’s working in our home office or we’re still not sure that we want to go back to normal just yet, home is our workspace and our oasis at the same time. Sometimes, however, the two become so intertwined that we have difficulty separating them and the objects that go with them. Work papers and post-it notes begin to spread into piles onto the dinner table, our car keys, sunglasses and magazines scatter across our desk. Trust us, we empty our pockets on the coffee table, spread our bills into the dining room, leave our sunglasses (when there is sunshine in Pittsburgh) near the printer where we’ll never remember to look the next time there is sunshine, AND have a mound of clean masks on the bookshelf that looks like a small pile of dirty laundry. Hey, it happens to everyone at some point. It’s ok, but finding a good work-life balance is essential to healthy mindful living, and a cluttered home can have a real negative effect on our psychology. There have been many studies regarding how clutter and disorganized homes cause a spike in Cortisol (your body's main stress hormone) which can decrease not only comfort and contentment but also physical and cognitive health. This article in The New York Times from 2019 discusses the topic quite well. Why do you think Marie Kondo is so popular right now! Our environment influences everything from sleep, productivity, anxiety, and focus. A cluttered home has been linked to decreased life satisfaction and even a negative effect on our immune system by causing our bodies to create a continuous fight or flight response. Think of the last time you couldn’t find your keys or wallet, because your house was messy. You probably got pretty frustrated, I know we do. Taking steps to declutter your home not only clears your tables and counters but also helps to cultivate peace of mind by creating a balanced living environment.
Our first core value states “Live lagom with fewer, better things”. Lagom is the Swedish lifestyle concept of everything in balance, moderation, and equality. It's an ideology of contentment with one's place in life. It translates to “just enough” or “not too little, not too much”. You may have already heard of the Danish concept of hygge, which focuses on finding contentment in cozy moments with friends. The difference between lagom and hygge is Sweden's emphasis on moderation, social awareness, and a sustainable lifestyle extends to work-life balance, getting outside with nature, spending time with family as well as interior design among other areas. It is more of an all-encompassing concept. Lagom and Fika, the daily Swedish coffee break during the day with friends, directly influence an ideology conducive to a happier and more conscious life, putting far less of an emphasis on work productivity alone. Lagom also cultivates a perspective of decluttering your home to relieve stress and live better, which is why it influences everything we do with Camp Copeland Studio producing home goods and decor as well.
If you know us here at Camp Copeland Studio or follow our blog/newsletter (which you should;)) you probably know that all of our products are designed out of necessity for that object in our own home. This is how everything in our product line has gotten started from spoon rests to wool catchalls. Need breeds creativity and results in meaningful and elevated design for our home and yours. Once we decided that better organization and taking steps to declutter was our goal, the creative wheels started turning. Questions like, “What is the thing that most always causes the clutter in our home?”, “What is the best way to remove the clutter?”, “What material should the organizational object be made of?”, and “How can we make it interior design fashion?”. These questions lead us to our felted wool mail baskets and cellphone pouches. They answered all of our design questions!
1). What is the thing that always causes us to have a cluttered house?
This is easy. Although we’ve always struggled with where to keep our bills and important mail, our clutter stems from our new normal. Tables have become landscapes filled with hand sanitizer, masks, keys, cellphones, and wallets. Our living room coffee table was now a place to unload all of the pandemic equipment that we took with us to the grocery store, to the bank, or post office. We needed something that could accommodate these items and our mail. Something tall enough for bottles of hand sanitizer, fit a standard size letter but also wasn’t too tall that we couldn't see the items in the basket and forget that they’re there. A smaller pouch could be used as a cellphone dock or a place to keep your sunglasses instead of on the table. Maybe this could even be hung near the bed to eliminate clutter on the nightstand, we thought!
2). What is the best way to declutter my home?
This question will probably be up for debate. We fully believe in Marie Kondo’s approach that if the object doesn’t bring you joy you should get rid of it. Honestly, if you haven’t used or even thought of something in your home for 6 months or more, there’s a good chance you don’t need it. That said, with the current state of affairs in the world, objects that we do need are sitting around our houses more and more due to the lack of us leaving. Add to that how many of us are still sharing our live space as our workspace and decluttering becomes even more essential to healthy living. As stated above in question one, our table had itself become a catchall, and that clutter induces stress even though it is full of items that we need. Our felted wall baskets move the objects in an organized way from our tables and counters to empty wall space. We’ve hung one designated for mail and one by the front door designated for masks, notes, and keys. It has worked wonders!
3). What material should the organizational object be made of?
As you may know, at Camp Copeland Studio we work in a variety of materials and mediums, but this one was a no-brainer. We wanted something lightweight, that also had some give, but sturdy. It had to be soft and child-safe, but also fashionable and fit into our lagom minimalist style. It had to be felt! Each basket is made of 100% industrial wool remnant and is hand-cut and assembled by us. Silvery plated button rivets and rings allow the basket to be hung easily and securely hung with nails, screws, or even adhesive hooks!
4). How can we make it home fashion?
As we mentioned above, when we designed our felted wool wall baskets and cellphone pouches, we did so with an eye to our own home, which has a minimalist interior design style, although we are not afraid of color. Clean lines, simplified shapes, and pure colors are themes throughout our home. Clutter in design, in our opinion, is just as detrimental as a cluttered house. A minimalist interior design style lends itself very well to broader eclectic home design motifs such as lagom, japandi style, and boho amongst others. Hopefully, you agree, if not tell us why. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Currently, our baskets are available in charcoal, light grey, and turquoise. These are our standard colors, although we are always looking for additions to our palette.
Truth be told, we started making our felted wall baskets right before Christmas 2020 in anticipation of getting more organized in the new year as part of a larger undertaking that we’ve been calling “operation tie the room together”. Since we’ve been working from home so much more we’ve begun to notice things around the house that needed improving. For instance, we installed new sheer pink curtains throughout our first floor to maximize the amount of sunlight we get and add a pop of color to our grey and white walls. We’re also finally ready to refinish the floors. The pandemic induced clutter from our new normal, however, was a big one on the list and one that we needed to tackle in just the right way. It needed to be functional, sustainable, and fashionable. We think our felted wall baskets and pouches check all the boxes! Put one by your front door to hold keys and masks. Hang one in your kitchen to hold your favorite recipes. Organize seed packets, pens and pencils, notes, and more. Buy two for even more organizational power. Goodbye cluttered tabletops and counters, hello peace of mind!
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