Tips on organizing with Lifestyle Blogger Claire Bahn

This blog post is a little special because I'm interviewing Claire Bahn, a fellow blogger friend of mine.  Her blog Living with Claire, is a lifestyle blog where she shares her tips on personal style, gluten free cooking, traveling, and even tips on organizing.  In every aspect of her life, she's all about buying quality items that last, rather than cheap items that falls apart.  

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Not only is she a successful blogger, but she's also the cofounder and CEO of Online Profile Pros. With two thriving businesses, the girl has got to know a thing or two about staying organized, which she's gonna share with you today.  Here are all her tips from our Q & A, along with a video from her YouTube channel.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.  

I love to cook, travel, talk about classic style and anything beauty related. I use my blog as a way to share my experiences and talk about stuff I find and places I go.  Many of the topics I cover come from real conversations with my friends and family. I'm also a former model and actress. Currently, in addition to my blog, I'm the cofounder and CEO of Online Profile Pros.  Online Profile Pros operates a network of syndicated professional photographers, profile writers and image consultants, in more than 1000 top cities and towns across the US and Canada. You could say that I keep myself pretty busy.

You’re all about keeping a minimal and modern home. How do you go about that?

I don’t buy everything at once, my home has evolved over the last 10 years to be what it is today.  I remember saying to my husband when we bought our first home together, our New York City apartment over 10 years ago, let’s stop buying cheaper items and save for real, classic beautiful furniture that we can have for years, if not forever.  You also don’t have to buy new, I’ve found amazing pre-loved items at local stores and online.

I loved your post, “Simple Ways to Revamp your Desk.”  Is your whole home that organized?  Will you come to the Bay Area and declutter my place?  ;)  

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Ha Ha Ha.  My house is pretty neat and tidy, except for my husband’s office.  I grew up in a more cluttered home, but my room was always neat and that’s how I keep my home now. I find that a lack of clutter keeps me sane and gives me a sense of calm. That said, I always want to make sure that my house is comfortable and approachable and that people don't feel like they can’t sit on the couch.

I literally declutter my closet every three months, but the rest of my place looks like WWIII.  How often do you declutter your house and what would you suggest for our audience?

I hate to declutter, which is why I work on keeping things neat all the time…it’s how I cook too, clean up as you go rather than waiting until the end and having a pile of dishes. If you have a space that needs to be decluttered, take a few hours on a day that you have nothing else major planned so that you don’t stress, then start with stuff that doesn’t need to be there. Let’s take a desk for instance, remove papers, any any other item that serves no purpose so you are left with only the basics (computer, lamp, notebook, etc), then only add back what you need. Find a new home for the items you took away, that may be the trash, a filing cabinet, or a thrift shop.

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I love the name of your blog.  How did you come up with it?

My blog was originally called Gluten Free Avenger, back when I only focused on gluten free cooking. I’m still gluten free, but I found that I had much more to share and I wanted my blog to reflect that. Also, my husband was tired of me telling him about the new eye cream I found and urged me to blog about it. Finding the right name was hard because you also have to consider what website names are available (I’m a marketer too so only believe in only buying a .com, not a .net or .co or the like), sounded like a good fit, and it was available.

You and my husband have a lot in common.  You’re both foodies who love to cook.  However, my husband likes to collect pots and pans.  How do you keep your kitchen organized when there are so many fun kitchen appliances and kitchenware?

I only buy what I need and have room for. If I need to buy something new or I want to replace an older item, I make sure that I have a place to store it or get rid of the older item. This can be a challenge because my husband likes to hold onto usable stuff “just in case”. We have 3 large closets in the house that are packed with items like this…..I’m trying to get rid of it, but my husband puts it in the closet. I usually try to go through the closets once a year.

You have a "Buy Less, Buy Better" series on your blog and YouTube channel.  How would you advise our audience to buy quality over quantity?

Just like with my home, save for what you want and only buy what you will keep for 5+ years. That means only buy classic items, maybe they aren’t as fun or trendy, but they will stand the test of time.

How do you care for your high quality purchases?

I would find a great cobbler and a tailor that can fix items as needed. I never did this until I met my husband, who really taught me about buying better items and taking care of them. In addition to fixing an item, a tailor can also help breathe new life into an older item. For instance, my husband had 2 beautiful suits from the early 2000s in his closet and they really needed to be updated because early 2000s suits were much more roomy than they are now. We took them to our favorite tailor and had them streamlined. They look great now.

Any suggestions on organizing for our audience?

Well it really depends on what you’re organizing. If you’re organizing your kitchen for example, the first step is to get rid of what you haven’t used in over 2 years. Odds are if you haven’t used the item in over 2 years, you will never use it. Donate it to a thrift shop.

Do you have a favorite brand or item that you like to use to organize?

I’m a huge fan of most anything at The Container Store and Target. They have so many great items to store, sort and organize any room in your house.

Awesome!  Thanks so much Claire for some of your tips and tricks!    ;)

Alright everyone, thanks for tuning in today!  I hope you found some of Claire's tips useful.  You can subscribe to her blog here, and you can subscribe to her YouTube channel here.  Also, her Instagram is a lot of fun so I suggest you give her a follow!  If you have any questions for Claire, please leave a comment in the comments' section!