Functional Spring Cleaning with Kristen Ziegler
With spring's arrival comes a new set of possibilities and exciting challenges. This year, with all the extra time spent in the comforts of our home, we're taking a pause from W-F-H to re-prioritize matters of the hearth and get a jumpstart on spring cleaning. The first person that comes to mind, a dazzling person indeed, is Kristen Ziegler of Minima. A Richmond-based organizational powerhouse (no pun intended), Ziegler's thoughtfully-curated home is inspiration alone for anyone questioning their current home-organization-situation. We *virtually* sat down with Ziegler to discuss her business as well as her personal philosophies on leading and encompassing a minimalist life. Read on to unravel Ziegler's musings, both personal and professional, as she contemplates what it means to lead an organized life...
- Your tagline is “Make what is necessary beautiful.” Can you expand on the philosophy for us?
“Make what is necessary beautiful” is about subtracting the excess and noise from our lives and creating something beautiful with what remains—both visually and experientially. Excess can be in the form of clutter in our homes, but it can also be in the form of too many unfulfilling commitments, or toxic relationships. I go back to this philosophy in every single decision I make, whether it’s about a new purchase or a business move. I ask myself, “Do I really need to have or do this thing? Will this be highly impactful?” If the answer is no, I protect my time to continue focusing on the priorities I’ve already set for myself.
- What does “minima” mean and how do you persuade clients to re-think the value of their possessions? If you’re like me, you're a bit of a hoarder and keep cardigans that you haven’t worn since freshman year of college. How can we move past this, for lack of a better word, hoarding?
The word minima is a calculus term that references the smallest value on a function curve. In organizing, I see minima as each client’s desired point on the organization curve. It’s a different place for everyone. I don’t expect our clients to convert to strict minimalism—I want them to succeed in a way that works for them.
I have a saying: “Don’t let the past or possible future crowd out the present.” I encourage clients to let go of things that aren’t serving their current lives. When we get stuck in the past or the possible future, our present lives get squeezed out and we won’t be able to move forward.
- What are recurring obstacles your clients seem to face and how do you help them overcome challenges?
Many clients aren’t sure where to start, or how to successfully complete an organizing project. Some simply don’t have the time to work through it on their own. Hiring Minima is akin to hiring a personal trainer or nutritional coach, but for your home. We start by creating an organizing plan together, then clients can either DIY the plan or hire us for additional organizing support. Usually that’s in the form of hands-on organizing help, but we’re now offering expanded virtual organizing service options. My goal is to see a skills transfer where clients are learning how to minimize and organize and feel empowered to keep things up after we’ve finished working together.
- What “spring cleaning” tips do you have to offer? How can we rethink our spaces and cultivate our homes in a way that emphasizes who we are, without all the mental/physical clutter?
Start by establishing a clear vision of what you want your life to be—this is your reason for getting organized. Assess everything you own (leaving no stone unturned) with this vision in mind and be rigorous about paring things down. Letting go of stagnant clutter opens up space for new opportunities to flow in. It’s amazing how quickly some of our clients have seen this happen after working together. Simplifying has been the key to a sense of freedom and calm in my life, even when the going gets tough.
- Boketto translates roughly from Japanese into English as “to gaze into the distance without thought.” How do you find your “Boketto Moment,” as we call them, in your day-to-day life? At work?
In my day-to-day life, mundane tasks can feel like a meditation moment: folding the laundry, doing the dishes, making the bed. Minimalism helps me live in the present and find enjoyment in each task instead of rushing through it. When I’m working with a client in their home or workspace, my process is so streamlined that I often find myself in a deep flow state while sorting and organizing. I usually leave the job on cloud nine—working through a spatial transformation with someone is such a high.
If you're interested in working with Kristen, send her an email at email@example.com to get the conversation started.