Lifelong Oak Forest resident Monica Danna has had a front-row seat to the evolution of the neighborhood over the last few decades.
A great number of residences have been torn down to make room for bigger houses. But Danna said a bigger house isn’t always the answer for needing more space.
“People will say, ‘We need more space,’ and really you just need less stuff,” Danna said. “Growing up in this neighborhood, watching the growth, and these big houses going up, I know there’s another way to be in a community that has original homes. They may be on the smaller side, but there are ways to make that work.”
To help families figure out what they need less of, Danna, who is vice president of leasing and marketing at Revive Development, recently launched Make Space Home Editing as a side gig to help others reduce stress by eliminating mess.
“My mom was a ‘thrower awayer,’ ” Danna said, “so I’m naturally a minimalist.”
When the pandemic hit, Danna began to go through her own home using organizing consultant and author Marie Kondo’s philosophy of living among the things that bring you joy. If something that sparks joy for you is mixed in with other clutter, it’s lost to the eye.
From there, Danna said she began to help family, friends and other families in the community edit their spaces so they are living among things that bring them peace and comfort.
“It’s different than home organizing,” Danna said. “We go through it with the intention of editing, or having a conversation about if some of these items are really being used. It’s about helping them live with less.”
With Make Space Home Editing, homeowners participate in the editing process, and Danna becomes an objective party in the conversation that asks questions like: Is this useful? Does it bring you joy?
“I’ve worked with families who have used home organizers without editing,” Danna said. “In six months it looks like it did before. I teach (clients) how to maintain the system.”
Danna said organizers typically come in and just organize a space. When she edits a space, it’s about getting rid of what isn’t needed and teaching how to maintain that editing lifestyle. For example, Danna had a client who said that when she bought a new pair of jeans, she didn’t just add it to her closet, but edited out a pair of jeans that she no longer needed.
Make Space Home Editing provides home editing at a rate of $75 per hour as well as options to tackle projects by space or category. Other packages include weekend warrior, which is two full days of deep-dive home editing, and helping to pack and unpack during a home move.
“People think these services are expensive and that’s why I did the hourly rate,” Danna said. “I can work with people of all size projects, with small or large houses.”
More information can be found at www.makespacetolive.com.