How to Design an Anxiety-Free Space


After five long months of waiting, paperwork, hiccups, and rainy days trudging items out of our rental and into our newly-purchased home, we’ve finally finished. We have everything crammed into this slightly-smaller house of ours. And I’m anxious. All the time, anxious - up until this last week when I “Marie-Kondo’ed” the heck out of my space, again for the second time in the last few months.

Your home and the space you occupy have this uncanny ability to determine your mood. Here are some tips from some top designers and generally-awesome ladies for keeping your home anxiety-free through design.

Only keep the things you love.

Image courtesy of  Darren Asay

Image courtesy of Darren Asay

Audrey Crisp, a designer and mom living in Orange County, California, says to “get rid of all the clutter and only keep pieces you love.” I’ve found this is easier said than done, but it’s evident that her space is hand-curated and kept sacred.

Start with one area of your home - and really examine what you have and imagine life without it. Maybe even put it away for a while. If you find you don’t miss it or that your space is thirsting for it, give it away.

Be sure to have a plan for giving items away, though! I have a designated area in the trunk of my car for giveaway items, and as soon as it fills up I head over to Goodwill and the folks at the side door help me get the items out. It’s such a wonderful feeling to let things go!

Give every item a purpose.

photo courtesy of  Jess Hartman

photo courtesy of Jess Hartman

Jess Hartman, an interior designer and mobile style coach, says:

“Creating an anxiety-free space is super important to me as I personally suffer my anxiety, depression and occasional panic attacks. Your home should be your safe-haven and a beautiful place of rest and restoration. For me, it’s all about functional design - if you can physically use all of the pieces in your space than you are eliminating clutter, keeping it minimal and honestly you feel good knowing that everything in your home has a purpose. This is so crucial for me when I’m designing for clients as well - I want them to be able to utilize everything we bring into their home, it’s not a museum after all, things can look pretty but also be functional.”

This advice is so applicable - and something that can be done immediately. Have a basket you love but feel it’s just not serving it’s purpose? Add a plant or replace that plastic hamper you’ve been holding onto. In this case, even a functional ladder can be used as a super-unique and grounding focus piece.

Let go of perfection.

Let your space work for you.

Meegan Buschor, mama to four and interior designer from Olympia, Washington, says:

“Being a mom to four, the words clutter and anxiety are a constant in my life! It took me some time to realize that having a clean home all the time is a feeble concept and once I was able to let go (a little) of that ideal, the anxiety levels have lessened. It’s all about creating spaces that work with the children, not against them.

She adds, “Baskets are key! They are great for storage, easily accessible for the kids to get to and therefore put away their toys – and most importantly, they are cute! Every few months we go through their toys together and make a pile for giveaway. This goes for the rest of my house and I find that letting go becomes a lot more easy when I know I’m gaining a more functional and clean space by clearing out the unnecessary. Less is definitely more.”

photo courtesy of  meegan buschor

photo courtesy of meegan buschor

Copy of Copy of Baby Mobiles.jpg

Well, there you have it. Own less, have more. Design that is purposeful and unapologetic is ultimately the best way to lift anxiety from your space. Also, baskets.

Looking for purposeful pieces to add to your home? Check out The Curio - a collaborative I’m developing that brings together the best vintage sellers to curate a shop full of joy and functionality for your home.