‘Queer Eye’s’ Bobby Berk Shares His Spring Cleaning Must-Haves

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Bobby Berk shops like a Virgo. The “Queer Eye” star and founder of Bobby Berk design isn’t one for aimlessly wandering store aisles or making impulse buys.

“I have goals,” Berk told HuffPost. “I know what I need to get. I know how to get in there, get it and then get out.”

A self-proclaimed minimalist, Berk gets overwhelmed in large department stores. He likes things to be clean, functional and, most importantly, intentional.

“Give me a little boutique where I know that like 80% of everything in there is awesome because it’s been curated to perfection,” he says. “You know you’re going to find so many great things, as opposed to just ‘hey, let’s buy whatever we can and see what sticks.’”

When shopping for clothes or decorating a space, Berks is deeply practical. He wants everything to look great, but also have a clear, active function. Although stereotypes of aesthetic minimalists may conjure up images of wealthy people who can afford to choose to live with less, Berk is different. He doesn’t think he’s better than maximalists; rather, after experiencing homelessness in early adulthood, he no longer puts emotional stock in objects.

“I’m not sentimental,” Berk says. “I used to be and I used to hold on to stuff. But then I ended up having to give those things up because they got stolen or messed up. Or, I had no home, so I had to leave them. I think I just trained myself to be able to detach from material things. To where those things don’t mean much anymore.”

This detachment informs the way Berk engages with space. He doesn’t feel pressure to fill empty walls or shelves with doodads and knickknacks. He’s okay with leaving things open and clear. In fact, he prefers it.

“I’m a firm believer that when you surround yourself by chaos, you create chaos in your mind,” he says. “Having a lot of stuff around me creates anxiety for me. Not everyone feels like that. I think it’s a very personal thing whether you’re a maximalist or a minimalist, but for me, minimalism is how I control my anxiety.”

When it comes to spring cleaning, Berk suggests starting small. Rather than diving into a decluttering frenzy, he says to start with a single junk drawer or table, and then build to going through closets and whole rooms.

“When you take little baby steps like that, it’s easier to tackle bigger things,” Berk says. “Take a little bite. Otherwise, you overwhelm yourself and you won’t set yourself up for success.”

“Don’t be afraid to throw things away!” he added. “Marie Kondo would say, ‘Does it spark joy?’ I would say, ‘Do I need it?’”

To help you tackle your own spring cleaning, Berk broke down his four cleaning and organizing must-haves.

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