Given how work and life blend so seamlessly these days (for better or worse), it’s fitting that Meredith Schwartz, the unabashedly organized force behind Penelope Loves Lists, adores the spot where the two meet. “My favorite space is my home office,” says Schwartz, which she painted her favorite shade of green blue. The die-hard list lover blogs to her followers on an extra deep IKEA desk, topped with her favorite accessory—a 2-drawer desk organizer that holds some of her favorite notebooks. She also loves Peter Walsh's InPlace System Desktop Sorter. “Add in a couple pretty pen holders and lots of clear space and I'm ready to be productive.”
-- Meredith Schwartz, founder of Penelope Loves Lists
Awesome Office Bookshelf
"I love my organized bookshelf in my office," says Holly Bonn, founder and Creative Director of See Jane Work, a popular online boutique devoted to stylish office solutions. Bohn transformed her messy magazine and book-laden shelves into something beautiful and organized via pretty document boxes, magazine files and binders, plus bins and books in colors that complement her office color scheme. "My organizing project became a decorating project. I really want to paint or wallpaper the inside of the shelves, but I haven’t had time. Hopefully soon, then my office will be perfect!"
-- Holly Bohn, founder and Creative Director of See Jane Work
As founder and CEO of LA Closet Designs, Lisa Adams helps create outrageously amazing luxury closets for celebs like Jewel and Jillian Michaels, as well deep-pocketed clients from Hollywood to Saudi Arabia. "My favorite organized room is always the closet. I love this closet because it also reminds me of my closet, incorporating many of the same elements, including integrating in-cabinetry lighting, a 3-way mirror and an organized display of a 'purse obsession' on glass shelves!" Everything is visible at a glance, so it feels like shopping an exclusive upscale boutique (instead of a mere closet), with seriously to-die-for touches like angled shelves for flats and heels, respectively, and custom inserts for undies and jewelry. Smart and chic.
-- Lisa Adams, CEO and founder of LA Closet Design
Style Network star Amanda LaBlanc loves her kitchen pantry—can you blame her? Meticulously organized with see-through canisters and labeled baskets (ie. breakfast) instead of opaque boxes, the Alabama-based professional organizer and mom can always see clearly what she has on hand. "Gone are the days in my home when I would reach into a box of pop tarts just to find it was empty or to pour a bowl of cereal just to realize it was stale because no one closed the bag." Similarly, she pours clearly labeled kids’ snacks into baskets at their level "to give them a little independence and me a little more time to handle the important things." Other pantry musts include rolling can racks for canned goods and turntables for condiments. "These make it easier for you to see what you have and get to those items. Plus, once you know what you have, you stop overbuying which will save you money at the grocery store."
-- Amanda LaBlack, star Style Network’s The Amandas
Glam Jewelry Showcase
An avid jewelry collector, Kathryn Weber could never find what she was looking for because her massive collection had turned into a jumbled mess. “It was in such disarray,” says the publisher of the wealth-focused feng shui e-zine, the Red Lotus Letter. “So, I carved out a long garment area of my closet, inserted my jewelry armoire and outfitted it with shelves to hold bracelet forms, toilet paper holders to hold long necklaces, and a frame with hardware cloth to hold my earrings. Now, my jewelry is not just organized, it’s showcased.”
-- Kathryn Weber, Publisher of the Red Lotus Letter e-zine for wealth
Super Supply Closet
“The most organized room in my house is my home office, and the most organized space within my home office is my big office-supply closet,” says Janine Adams, a St. Louis-based former writer and author turned professional organizer. Adams created this practical and pretty nook by replacing sliding doors with tied-back curtains, tucking a cubby-style bookshelf, a narrow bookshelf, and an IKEA cabinet (repurposed from a bathroom) inside to keep her work supplies neat and chic. And, of course, everything is labeled. "It's easy on the eyes and, even more important, extremely functional."
-- Janine Adams, Founder of Peace of Mind Organizing®
Professional organizer Patty Baker has learned a thing or two about transforming a stuffy space into a stylish one. "My favorite organized space is the home office," says Baker. From medical records to manuals, we all have papers—and most them end up as stress-inducing, random piles of clutter. "Its important to create a space to manage important documents, including cabinet or box for storing clearly labeled files," such as the wicker baskets, white boxes and natural-hued files shown here. So not only are unsightly papers hidden away, buy you can access important documents when they are needed, says Baker.
-- Patty Baker, Certified Professional Organizer and “Amanda”
Toys For Tees
Barbara Reich used to fill her young son's extra large under bed drawers with trucks and stuffed toys. But as he inched towards his teens (and the toys got smaller), the NY-based organizer and author of Secrets of an Organized Mom commandeered the drawers for his ever-growing t-shirt collection, becoming one of her favorite storage spaces for three reasons. "First, he can see all his shirts. When shirts are in a pile, you can only see the one on top. Second, you can fit about 30% more T-shirts in the drawer when you arrange them like this. Third, he actually wears all of his shirts because he can see them all." Something we all can appreciate.
-- Barbara Reich, Resourceful Consultants
Room For Two
Although we suspect Erin Hogue's entire home is in perfect order, the Container Store buyer's favorite space is the closet she shares with her husband. "We’ve organized it so there is plenty of room for both of our things," says Hogue. "And I love that I have room for all of my clothes, shoes and accessories all in one place." Unlike most of us who need to dig for our favorite fashions, Hogue’s awesome set up lets her easily dress for the day and pack for trips. "I travel frequently so this is very important!" So, how did she do it? "I used Elfa decor shelving and drawers, clear shoe and sweater boxes, canvas bins and fabric storage boxes."
-- Erin Hogue, Buyer, The Container Store
Even for die-hard clutter busters, tackling the basement is often at the bottom of the to-do list. Not so for Sharon Rowley, founder of the blog, Mom of 6. "My favorite organized space in my home is my basement! I know that sounds funny, but after 12 years of using that space as a "dumping ground" for all of the things we didn't yet want to get rid of, but no longer really needed, it was time to do something about it,” says the über organized Rowley. So last February, she dedicated the entire month to de-cluttering, purging, sorting, and arranging her sprawling downstairs space. And a year later, it’s still tiptop. The lesson here? “Once you really dig in and clean up, you just really are motivated to keep it that way!"
-- Sharon Rowley, founder of the blog Mom of 6
Arrange your clothing, change your life? You bet. “One of my favorite ways to spring clean is to reorganize my closet,” says feng shui expert Ellen Whitehurst, author of Make This Your Lucky Day and a health and wellness advisor at DoctorOz.com. This simple act lets her figure out what works now, fashionably speaking, while kicking some truly powerful feng shui cures into high gear. For starters, all shoes are current, in pairs and face toe-out in order to boost her career mojo. She makes space in her closets and drawers to freshen relationship energies. And since feng shui promises that donating nine or more items from one’s closet to charity will amp up personal support, Whitehurst makes sure to give away what she no longer needs.
-- Ellen Whitehurst, Lifestylist and Better Living Expert