Getting Organized… Storage Edition

Ok guys, let’s be real here. The other day I opened the door to our storage area and literally tripped over a stack of fabric books and fell into a pile of bubble wrap/ cardboard boxes. Isn’t it so cliche that our store and studio looks absolutely fab all of the time, but behind the scenes our storage room is like a total hot mess? After I dusted myself off and untangled the bubblewrap from my hair, I knew it was time to make a call. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it was time to bring in the big guns. Cut to: my begging/pleading call to Jen Robin- the utterly fabulous fellow (female) entrepreneur, and CEO of Life in Jeneral. If you don’t know them, Life in Jeneral is a lifestyle and organizing company that helps create customized systems to meet their clients needs, so obvi they were the perfect team to bring in to help. See below what our storage area looked like and why I was so desperate for professional help!

Um, hi- can you say absolute hot mess? I know, a few of you are shaking your heads right now in pure shock that an interior designer could let her space get this gross. I get it! The truth is, that this space ended up being like a catch-all for us, and it just kept getting worse.

As you can see, the main issues were big ones. We needed a cohesive plan that would eliminate the piles and clutter, and enable our design studio and store to share the space and utilize to meet their evolving needs. Enter- team Life in General. Jen and I spent a good deal of time talking through our issues and creating a “wish list” of stations and areas, and how I would have the entire space function in a perfect world. Inventory for Kate Lester HOME needed to be accessible and kept in a tidy and organized fashion, but we also needed a bit of space for the Kate Lester Interiors team to store client boxes and binders, and fabric and design books.

Apparently the key to solid organization is starting from scratch, and that meant taking EVERYTHING out. Guys. Everything. This took a few hours in and of itself, but obvi Jen’s team handled it like champs! After everything was out- we went away and let them work their magic. You know how I always go on and on about “trusting the process”? That’s what I had to do here, and it was hard! I kept wanting to peek or “check in and take a look” but I restrained myself because of all people, I KNOW the best results are achieved when you let the experts do their thing!

Two days later the storage makeover was complete, and it was time for the big reveal! When I opened the door, and stepped in, the first thing I noticed was the floor. I hadn’t seen it in ages! Jen and her team had gotten everything on to a sea of completely, perfectly, deliciously organized storage racks. Store inventory was sectioned off and breakables were stored in bind with lids, like items were grouped together, and pillows were organized by size and color. Everything was labeled with these amazing reusable labels and it was heaven!

Toward the back of the storage area they even created a small area dedicated entirely to the design studio where we could store client boxes, binders, and fabric books. We use these less frequently as loose samples, so it’s important to have them accessible- but not at arm’s length in the design studio library. They even created a small shelving area along one wall completely dedicated to supplies. Cleaning supplies, paper supplies, and supplies we use for our install kit were all housed in plastic bins and labeled accordingly. Please take a minute to enjoy these photos… why is a perfectly organized space so satisfying?!

See something you like here? (Hello, EVERYTHING!) Since I was sure you guys would be asking for links, I wrangled all of our organization must-haves that we used in the makeover. (From left to right) Ikea plastic bins with lids, Pillow storage bags from The Container Store, Metal storage racks from Home Depot, Ikea storage bookcases, Reusable label pockets, Large plastic bins, and small plastic bins with lids for client boxes. How is it possible that plastic bins can change your life???

Because I know you guys are all probably drooling and wanting to hire Jen to come and tackle all of your gross spaces, the link to her site is here. She has teams in place all over the country, so you can get this VIP treatment no matter where you are! In the meantime, you need to follow her on instagram asap, because her feed is literally thousands of perfectly organized, color-coordinated spaces, and it’s essentially designer porn. A huge thank you to Jen and her talented team, I would still be on the ground tangled up in bubble wrap if it weren’t for you, so thank you for breathing new life into our storage area!

Kate Lester Interiors