Mother Essentials: Shira Gill, Author of Minimalista

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
1:00 pm
11/02/21

Is your home—and maybe your life—in need of a good purge? Mama of two, professional organizer, and design expert Shira Gill has you covered in her brand-new book, Minimalista: Your Step-By-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life. The beautiful book serves as an approachable, fun, and effective guide to understanding what you want and need to feel better at home. The sustainably minded author takes readers through a five-step process (Clarify, Edit, Organize, Elevate, and Maintain) before diving into a room-by-room guide, offering a plethora of mindful check-ins and tried-and-true #ProTips along the way. Knowing the cream of the crop in each lifestyle category is a big part of Shira’s craft, so we knew her Mother Essentials list would not disappoint. Check out her inspiring Minimalista edit below—from the perfect bag and jeans to at-home must-haves.

To Contain the Clutter—Open Belly Baskets. “A simple, stylish solution for storing everything from books, magazines, firewood, games, stuffed animals, linens, and shoes. The baskets are shallow but roomy, so they can be tucked neatly under a coffee table or bed. We love them for stowing our kids’ toys at the end of the day.” Mercado Floor Baskets, $125, The Citizenry.

The Coziest Kid PJs Ever—Dodo Banana. “My kids go bananas (see what I did there) for these ethically sourced and manufactured, certified 100% organic pima cotton pajamas. The line was actually co-founded by my high school bestie, designer Fiona Montgomery, and features original hand-illustrated artwork by artist Alessandra Olanow. I’m just waiting for them to make them in adult sizes!” PJs, $55, Dodo Banana.

On the Bookshelf—Minimalista. “My debut book! Minimalista contains my entire process and toolkit to help you edit, organize, and elevate your home (and life), one small project at a time. My goal in writing the book was to break down a pretty universally daunting process into small, bite-sized steps. You can start making progress even if you are short on time and juggling ALL OF THE THINGS.” Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life, written by Shira Gill, $27.60, Bookshop and Amazon.

For Quick Trips—Away Carry-On. “I don’t check bags. Period. When it comes to travel, my motto is ‘carry-on or bust!’ To stay true to this credo, I use my small Away carry-on suitcase. It is good for weekend getaways, road trips with the kids, and even extended business trips. I also swear by their coordinating set of packing cubes for easy compressing and organizing within your bag.” The Carry-On, $245, Away.

Everyday Denim—Mother. “I live in denim, and after a lot of trial and error, I’ve found the high-waisted options from Mother to be the most flattering and comfortable. I’m currently living in the looker ankle fray and the insider ankle fray styles. They both contain a little stretch but don’t lose shape after washing and wearing. The best!” The Looker High-Waisted Ankle Fray Denim, $228, Mother

Staying Hydrated—MiiR Water Bottle. “I’m a sucker for a good water bottle, and this one checks all the boxes. It’s stainless steel, BPA-free, and has a wide mouth so you can add ice. It is insulated to keep things hot or cold, and has a handle for easy toting all over town. Also, MiiR is a mission-driven company and every water bottle sold helps fund trackable giving projects.” Wide-Mouth Bottle, $29.95, MiiR.

The Best Sun Protection—Salt & Stone SPF. “I’m crazy about this lightweight, sheer sunscreen moisturizer combo, and I especially appreciate the plastic-free packaging. I toss it in my everyday handbag and also keep one in the glove compartment of our car for daytime excursions.” Lightweight Sheer Daily Sunscreen SPF 40, $34, Salt & Stone.

For My Sweet Tooth—Jeni’s Ice Cream. “I have a bit of an ice cream addiction and have semi-accidentally passed it on to my girls. When we’re not making our own flavors at home, I’m sampling pints to find the best flavors. Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp tastes like a fresh berry crisp a la mode and feels like a warm hug from your mother.” Brambleberry Crisp Pint, $12, Jeni’s

2-Minute Makeup—Rose Inc Lip & Cheek Cream. “A quick application of this lip and cheek hydrating cream creates a healthy glow on the go. It’s long-wearing and buildable, and a nice pick-me-up when you feel ragged or less than glowing.” Blush Divine Radiant Lip & Cheek Color, $30, Rose Inc.

The Perfect Stow Everything Pouch—The Side Hustle. “Made by NYC designer and busy mom, Amanda Cercone, this durable pouch is the perfect sidekick whether you’re grabbing coffee, picking up the kids, or just need a chic place to stow your daily essentials. The best part? The pouch includes a brass carabiner so you can easily clip it to your favorite tote or even your stroller. No more hunting for your keys/phone/hand sanitizer, and other items that get swallowed by your bag.” The Classic, $85, Amanda Cercone.

On the Go—Cuyana Classic Structured Tote. “The search is over—I finally found it. The perfect all-purpose on-the-go bag! Chic enough for business meetings, yet roomy and durable enough for storing kid gear, water bottles, and snacks on the go.” Classic Structured Leather Tote, $225, Cuyana.

Laundry + Cleaning Hero—Branch Basics The Concentrate. “Ask anyone and they’ll tell you I love a dual-purpose product. When diluted with varying amounts of water, this plant-based, non-toxic concentrate can replace ALL of your cleaning products. Bonus! It also becomes laundry soap (we keep ours in a cute little glass bottle with a pour spout next to our laundry machine).” The Concentrate, $49, Branch Basics.

Kitchen Sponge Alternative—Wood Dish Brush. “Ditch the mildewy kitchen sponge. One of my favorite simple, sustainable swaps for the kitchen, this long-handled wooden dish brush actually makes doing dishes a wee bit more pleasant. The brush head can be popped off and easily replaced when needed. We store ours in a pretty ceramic tumbler next to the sink.” Wood Dish Brush, $10.99, Wild Minimalist.

Favorite Candle—Jenni Kayne Topanga Candle. “I’m obsessed with this glass candle. It is scented with a lovely blend of vanilla, eucalyptus, moss wood, and grapefruit, and it makes the whole house smell like a spa. Run, don’t walk!” Topanga Glass Candle, $55, Jenni Kayne.

For Daily Dose of Positivity—The Five Minute Journal. “This linen-bound daily journal is filled with easy prompts to help you become more positive and mindful. It helps you make the most of each day with morning gratitude, end-of-day reflection, and motivational challenges. A great gift for yourself or someone you love.” The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day, $29.99, Amazon.

Practical Storage—First Aid Kit. “We’ve whittled down all of our family medicine and first aid essentials into this compact metal box. It’s nice to know that the next time someone needs a band-aid/Neosporin/ace bandage/sleep gummy, we’ll know just where to find it.” First Aid Box, $60, McGee & Co.

The Best Hat—Lovely Bird Felt Fedora. “I’m a sucker for a good hat, and this structured felt beauty is sustainably made by Malibu-based designer Jaime Haskel. Perfect for staying cozy in fall and winter, and sun protection year-round—I swear it just gets better with age.” Montana Wide-Brim Fedora, $215, Lovely Bird.

For My Sanity—Solo Morning Walks. “I’ve started walking a 45-minute loop around my neighborhood each morning, rain or shine. Moving my body first thing before I get sucked into emails and family life has been a total game-changer for me. Ahhh, the sound of silence!”

For more Mother Essentials, peep our recent past columns with Domino’s Chief Content Officer Kate Berry, the two-mom duo behind Morrow Soft Goods, mega-influencer Nabela NoorAngela O’Brien of Cleobella, Nikki Osei-Barrett of District Motherhued, Blair Paysinger of Post 21, Idia Lanlokun of Ola & Mide, Karam Kim of Bluecut aprons, children’s authors Evan Sargent and Joanna HoEli Yonas of Toki Mats, Shaina Kerrigan of Molly J., Jenna Levine of LINNÉ botanicals, Eunice Byun of Material, and Sandra Lin of Kiwi Co.

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