Sitting With…Josie Floyd of Superfine

Residing in Brooklyn, New York, and with an affinity for drinking at bars named after really old ladies, Josie Floyd is here to help you get organized. Looking to positively affect people’s lives Josie took the “get-stuff-done” prowess she acquired in ten plus years of experiential production and turned it towards organization. She started Superfine to help clients achieve simplicity, create beauty, and find peace of mind. The Superfine mantras are listed on the homepage: (1) Less Stuff, More Clarity; (2) Quality Over Quantity; (3) Discard, Donate, Discover; (4) Love it, Use it, Keep it; (5) Acknowledge and Release. While we admire these mantras, we wanted to know more, so we recently reached out to Josie to find out her organization philosophy.

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Smith

What’s your approach to organization and design?

Less clutter, more clarity. I believe less is more, both in home organization and overall design. With less stuff you will not only find mental clarity by reducing your over-stimulated visual field, but you’ll also notice that the physical clarity allows you to focus your attention on what matters to you. Organization is the framework for creating a comfortable home; it’s the fundamental piece that is oftentimes overlooked. It’s important to understand how you use your space and create an organizational system first, then design around that clean canvas with a functional, aesthetic eye in mind.

What inspired you to become a professional organizer?

I worked in experiential production for over a decade and wanted to apply my ‘getting-stuff-done’ expertise to positively affect individuals’ lives. I find it to be hugely rewarding to help someone get comfortable in their most intimate space — their home — and live their life with more clarity. When it comes to home organization, getting started is often the hardest part and I like helping people get over that hump.

How much of an impact has minimalism had on your life?

I think I’ve been a minimalist since before it was a trend, I have my no-nonsense mother to credit for that! The biggest thing I’ve learned from teaching this mindset to others is that it translates across so many areas of your life: your time management skills, personal relationships, and overall wellness are also impacted — not to mention a tidy home that allows you to relax.

Photo Credit: Dave Katz

What benefits do you think anyone can gain from adopting the minimalist philosophy?

In short, I believe that by decluttering and adopting a less-is-more mindset you’ll have more time, money, clarity, and boost your mood. You’ll spend less time searching for lost items, save more money because you know what you own and don’t end up purchasing multiples of the same thing, and have feel better about being in your home because it’s contents aren’t unknown.

What’s the first step towards a well organized space?

Mari Kondo says it best: Discard first, store later. In order to be organized you need to sort through your possessions and understand what you have, then make decisions on whether or not to keep and store each item appropriately. Do you need it? Love it? Use it? If you answer ‘no’ to the questions above, I suggest removing it from your living space. Try not to get caught up in the perceived value of the object. Instead, focus on the true value it brings to your life right now.

How do you help clients let go of things that they no longer really need?

There is a lot of fear, anxiety, and guilt surrounding the de-cluttering process. For example, the items you spent good money on but never used, gifts you don’t like from the people you do, and, of course, the old box of sentimental keepsakes you don’t love anymore (or never did). But if you’re able to pinpoint that sentiment, you will be more likely to be able to part ways with the object. I remind clients that with time you’ll find clarity about what to do with these sentimental objects, whether that be keep and cherish, or remove. I think it’s also important to remember you don’t have to get rid of everything. A handful of items can make the world of difference. People also struggle with how to best remove something — the guilt of having something go to waste causes people to oftentimes sit on something long after they decide to discard it. I provide alternatives for that, be it donation, consignment, or recycling suggestions.

Photo Credit: Sarah Bode Clark

Has living in Brooklyn influenced your aesthetic at all, or were you drawn to Brooklyn because of your aesthetics?

I live in a small 230 square foot studio in Clinton Hill, so space limitations encouraged me to look critically at how I set up my home. I am constantly thinking about how I can reduce and merge functions, and I’ve found it quite easy to adapt to living with less. I recently read an interesting study in Life at Home in the 21st Century that showed that only a small portion (40%) of a home’s square footage is used with any regularity by the humans who live there — which probably isn’t the case in my studio, or many Brooklynites! But I also think urban environments encourage resourcefulness (aka Carrie Bradshaw storing her shoes and sweaters in the oven), and force us to be creative and prioritize. Living in a culturally vibrant place like New York, you can find so much design inspiration, art, culture, and general energy outside of the home, so I try to keep my living space pretty clean and utilitarian. Negative, blank space is important too!

What have been some of your biggest design influences?

Any designer that thoughtfully considers form + function: Japanese interiors, Le Corbusier, mid -century modern Scandinavian designers like HAY and Marimekko.

Are clients ever surprised by how much space they actually have after you’ve helped them organize?

Yes! But I’d also say that the benefit they are most surprised about is the mental space they create. It’s a huge relief to have the weight of those ‘just in case’ items removed from your life.

What’s your favorite system of storage (baskets, shelves, etc.)?

Storage is very specific to the existing space and the items themselves. In general I like to remind people to utilize vertical space, and to keep items visible. If you see it, you will use it.

What do you think is the most overlooked space in the home, in terms of organization and design?

The entryway — it’s the first thing you see when you step into your home and often becomes a dumping ground for shoes, coats, bags and mail. By setting up a storage system you can impart a sense of order that sets the tone for the entire house. If space allows I suggest adding a console table, a box for outgoing action mail, a plant, a designated shoe storage area, and hooks so you always have a spot for your keys and handbags.

Photo Credit: Dave Katz

What tips do you have for staying organized once the initial organization is complete?

One in, one out. If you’re bringing something into the space, take a look at why you’re adding it, and what, if anything, can be removed to make way for that new item. It’s an easy principle that helps to maintain that critical organizational balance.

What’s the best piece of advice you have about organization?

All that negative space you didn’t know you were missing will bring a peaceful calm to your home.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, and thanks for the advice Josie! If you want to see more of Josie’s work you can check out the Superfine website, or follow Superfine on Instagram.