Spending more time indoors has forced me to re-examine my home life, compelling me to create a space that is conducive to maximum peace and comfort, which also means a space that is aesthetically pleasing. One way to effectively advance towards my goal of ultimate serenity is living in a thoughtfully curated and organized clutter-free zone with everything having a proper place. Although a perfectly organized home looks as if it's only seen on TikTok or Pinterest, I'm finally ready to make it my everyday reality.
It can be difficult taking on home projects without feeling tired and overwhelmed from all of life's other responsibilities. When thinking of getting our homes in order, no matter your family size, tasks such as organizing can sound overwhelming and expensive, especially when working with limited space and a limited budget. In need of expert advice, I enlisted the help of LA-based professional organizer Charlotte Upshaw to jumpstart the process. Lending her expertise with projects large and small from LA-based brands to family home projects, Charlotte is known for her beautiful and masterful work when it comes to maximizing any space, perfect for individual and family needs.
Keep scrolling to check out our conversation for insight on how to get started on decluttering your home to live your best gratifying life.
Meet Charlotte Upshaw, "the Iverson of organizing."
Courtesy of Charlotte Upshaw
1. What's the first step when tackling a home organization project?
"At the beginning of a project, it's important to access what you have. The best way to do so is by pulling everything out of the space you want to organize, then do an honest edit of things you no longer need. Editing is very important here so that you're not re-cluttering your space all over again."
2. What about bathroom tips for women like myself with tons of makeup and hair products with limited drawers and cabinets?
"When it comes to bathrooms, categorizing is important. I like to organize according to category and store it as such. I'm not big on crowding a sink with product. I suggest editing down to everyday essentials if anything. Stackable containers are great for bathrooms and allow you to get the best of your space under the sink."
3. Any closet hacks for those of us struggling to work with minimal storage space but want to maintain an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere?
"I always tell clients that vertical space is important, so make sure you're using all of the height as well as width. Getting rid of original boxes is a huge help; bulkiness takes up much-needed space. A few of my favorite closet products that I always suggest for those with storage space are slim hangers (they come in various colors and textures), drop front shoe containers, and 's' hooks for purses and accessories. Another thing I do is use decorative bins that can function as both as storage and a cute piece of furniture."
4. For those that feel like a professional organizer would be too expensive, what are a few tips on organizing on a budget?
"First, I want to clarify the misconception that professional organization services are expensive and unfeasible. It's a great investment because it's essentially a lifestyle elevation. However, when organizing on a budget, I suggest doing things in phases. Whether that's buying new hangers and getting rid of your old ones or tossing flimsy shoe boxes that are taking up too much space. The Container Store is actually not as expensive as people assume; their perks program is extremely rewarding. Your local Target is always a good resource for organizational and aesthetically pleasing things as well."
5. I have a hard time organizing overall but the amount of accessories I own such as jewelry and sunglasses are overwhelming. Any suggestions on storing these smaller items?
"I love an open acrylic tray for sunglasses and accessories. They can easily just lay flat, lined up and look great on a dresser."
6. Growing up, a junk drawer and utensil holder were the only two things organized in our kitchen, ultimately causing me to create the same bad habit. What are a few kitchen organization ideas I can adopt to break this cycle?
"Drawer organizers! Adjustable drawer organizers can be used for more than utensils. You can find them at Target, Amazon, etc. I also love incorporating clear fridge bins whenever I can to create the most refrigerator space."
7. You mentioned hiring a professional organizer is more affordable than people assume. For those that are now considering this new lifestyle elevation, what can they expect from an expert such as yourself vs. an everyday DIY project?
"By hiring me you're paying for a specific creative execution. DIY is great for the short-term but I feel like everyone needs to have an organizer get their space to another level. DIY projects are time-consuming and the result sometimes doesn't meet the initial vision you may have had. Essentially, once I come in and create a system for you, I'm setting the tone and you just have to maintain it. It's absolutely worth holding off on that pair of shoes or bag you were going to cop and hiring an organizer instead."
For a more detailed home organization consultation, feel free to contact Charlotte on Instagram @CHELF.LIFE.
Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images
- 7 Spring Cleaning Tips That Will Make Your Home Shine ›
- Professional Organizing Tips To Declutter & De-Stress - xoNecole ... ›
- 100 Best Organizing Tips - Easy Home Organization Ideas ›
- Tips for How to Declutter Your Home - Organizing ›
- 7 Organizing Tips I Learned in My First Week as a Professional ... ›
- Secrets Personal Organizers Would Never Tell You | Reader's Digest ›
- 39 Best Tips for Organizing Your Home, According to Professional ... ›
- 58 Best Organizing Tips From 24 Top Professional Organizers ›
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Over the last few years, the upkeep of my nails has become a top priority. I’ve explored different lengths, tested out a range of designs and colors, and have gone from gel-x to acrylic and, currently, Russian manicures. As assured as I am about my signature nail look, one thing that I will always be open to is a new trend that sparks inner confidence — and the “black nail theory” is the latest to do just that.
If you’ve been on TikTok lately, you may have noticed that manicure lovers are putting new concepts surrounding their nails to the test. Last fall, the “red nail theory” took the internet by storm with promises to evoke male attention, compliments, and even a date or two on a subconscious level. And now, just a year later, a deeper and more mystic hue is being spotlighted for its alluring appeal.
#blacknails💅 #boldyblooming #blackspiritualists
What Is “Black Nail Theory”?
The concept of “black nail theory” is centered on the idea that applying black nail polish can significantly influence an individual's inner confidence and overall lure. Black nails are thought to possess a distinctive quality that communicates a sensual and captivating energy, bringing forth boldness and mystery. On a psychological level, black is said to be symbolic of “power, elegance, and sophistication.”
Personally, red has never quite been my color; so when I saw the black nail theory making its rounds, I immediately knew it could be an internet trend that I could get behind and try for myself.
Testing Out The Theory
Deciding on the approach that I would take with my black nails came fairly easy. I’m a French tip girl to my core, so if I was going to commit to such a bold color like black, I’d have to take it gradually, and not commit to a fully blacked-out nail look.
Leaving the nail salon with my new set, I instantly felt myself channel my inner baddie. The black French tip complimented my complexion perfectly, and I was even able to test the theory out while on a date later that evening.
Throughout the night, I was complimented by both my date and the waitress on my nails, and I felt an inward motivation to share just enough about myself while leaving more to be discovered.
The following week, my friend and I went out to a party with the sole purpose of being cute and having fun, only to find a handful of men stopping to get my name and make conversation. One even went as far as to take my hand and examine nails that were adorned with gold rings.
On a more personal level, my time with black nails has been my handy reminder to trust my intuition and enter every room with confidence. Having my nails done naturally gives me an extra boost of confidence, but with the added touch of having them painted black, I’ve seen myself tap into the sultry and captivating "dark feminine" energy that I desire to embody.
Would I Try This Again?
If all it took was a change in my nail color in order to attract love and confidence into myself, I would probably be married by now. But testing out black nail theory has been insightful to explore interpersonally.
How I present myself to the world and what I feel like I deserve all matters, and that doesn’t just start or end when my nails are freshly done.
Confidence is a full-package deal that comes wrapped in self-care, self-concept, and self-esteem. I get my nails done because that’s what makes me feel good, and whatever attention that draws in, I know that it’s a part of what I’m putting out into the world.
If I’m feeling fiery, I’ll test out a red design. If I’m in a girly mood, I’ll test out pink or ask for painted bows. And if I’m going for something more standout, I’ll let my nail tech take an idea and freestyle from there. All in all, nails are just another form of self-expression and should be a chance to showcase your inner world on the outside.
So yes, if red nails are the flashy antidote to drawing in attention, then black nails are the look to channel a “quiet” confidence that keeps them wanting more.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Andreas Kuehn/Getty Images