Action Items for Renewing Your Space


For many the new year brings a renewed sense of commitment to well-being. Our spaces are often complementary to how we feel. Our spaces can either add to our stress or be set up in a way that is supportive as we navigate our days.

Last year Work/Life offered an email series focused on organizing spaces including the office, kitchen and living room. Professionals provided action items that could take 15 minutes, one hour, two hours or more. I wanted to share some tips from that series, focusing on the 15-minute and 60-minute action items that may seem the most doable, while still providing a big impact.


A big thank you to Melanie Gnau and Amábile Pacheco for the following insights below. You can learn more about Melanie and Amábile in their bios at the bottom of this post.


Office Space - Melanie


Fifteen Minute Action Item

Clear off your desktop. Remove everything, wipe it down and only put back the items that are essential for daily use.

One Hour Action Item

Clean up your inbox. Don’t forget that digital clutter is still clutter! Unsubscribe to sales emails and file important emails away into folders.



Kitchen Space – Amábile


Fifteen Minute Action Item

It's time to simplify your routine by creating an organized coffee & tea station in your kitchen.

  1. Pick a spot! You probably already have the perfect counter, corner, or shelf for creating a coffee or a tea nook at home. It doesn’t require ample space, and you just need enough room for the essentials.
  2. Store mugs and other coffee & tea essentials inside the cabinet or drawer, then place your coffee maker/teapot on the counter above or below. If you’re short on counter space but have plenty of spare floor space, a beverage cart or small kitchen island make great coffee bars, too.
  3. I encourage you to keep all the necessary drink supplies and tools in one spot near the station. That way, you don't have to search or go back and forth to different cabinets, making life easier. Consider keeping everything in one or two baskets or trays, so it's grouped neatly together.
  4. Try to keep your coffee & tea station close to the sink. The closer you are to the water supply you need, the easier it will be.

One Hour Action Item

Organize Your Spice Cabinet

  1. Take all of the spices out of the cabinet.
  2. Put aside the spices you already know you don’t use or like.
  3. Check the expiration date of each spice and toss the expired ones. Spices are used to enhance the flavor of food, so if they are expired, it means they won’t do the job.
  4. Clean the spice cabinet with vinegar and a cloth to get rid of any strong smell.
  5. It can be hard to organize when different sizes and shapes. If you desire, buy matching spice jars that come with labels to store your seasonings in, but don’t forget to write the expiration date. If you have one or more of the same spice, just combine them.
  6. To organize the spices, you can use small baskets or a lazy Susan turntable inside the cupboard, a spice rack, or a spice drawer organizer.
  7. Store them by keeping the ones you use more often in the front row.
  8. Take inventory of your spices, and don’t keep the ones you don’t use. Always check the expiration date, and before buying more spices, check the ones you already have.


Living Room – Melanie


Fifteen Minute Action Item

Create one clutter-free surface. Just clearing one surface can make your entire space look cleaner, tidier and more inviting.

One Hour Action Item

If the idea of cleaning and organizing your entire living room is exhausting, think about investing in “clutter containers.” Clutter containers are things like baskets or boxes that you can throw things into when guests are coming over or when you’re too tired to clean up.




Melanie Gnau

Melanie is a small space expert living in beautiful Asheville, NC. She specializes in helping folks make the most of their small spaces. You can learn more on her blogpage:


Amábile Pacheco

After going on her home organization journey back in 2018, Amábile Pacheco wanted to share all the benefits she experienced from decluttering and getting organized. Four years later, she helps busy professionals to reclaim their time and bring order to their physical & mental spaces. You can learn more on her website:


About Author

Katie Seavey Pegoraro

Sr Associate Work Life Program Manager

Katie Seavey Pegoraro supports employees with issues of stress and balance, providing tools and resources to cope when life feels overwhelming. Katie is a contact for those who may be coping with issues of mental health, substance use, or grief and loss. A young professional herself, Katie is a unique support to employees who are navigating the many life transitions that occur in your 20's and 30's.

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