Home Office Before & Afters

The first thing I do after I get home from a long professional organizing session is upload and edit the before and after photos.  I love to see the changes that we made and they help keep my clients motivated to maintain the space.  Some of the projects I work on take several sessions to complete and others take one session, it all depends on how motivated and unorganized my clients are.

A few weeks ago I helped my clients transform the back room of their house into a functional and spacious home office.  It was cluttered and unusable and my client said it had been the thorn in her side for years.  This is what it looked like before…

Before

Behind the metal shelf was a huge pile of boxes and garbage.  The closets were overflowing with bags full of collectibles, boxes of books and photos, and miscellaneous junk.  Behind me in this picture is a twin bed covered with old linens, cat hair, and junk.

Before I get started on any project I always ask my clients their goals and vision for the new space.  It is important that we are on the same page and it helps my clients stay focused.  As we find things that my clients are unsure about keeping I will ask them if the item fits in with the goals and vision for the room.

My clients wanted this room to function as a guest room and a home office.  They also wanted extra storage space in the closets for craft items and memorabilia.  In one 5 hour session we were able to organize all of the clutter, make piles for goodwill, and find everything a home.  This is what the room looked like after we were finished…

After

In this particular situation I think we were able to complete the project faster because I have been working with them to organize the rest of their home for the last year and we had systems in place.

When I work with a client I don’t just try to get them organized by sorting through their items, I also help them diagnose the cause of their clutter.  We talk about emotional triggers, events in their lives that have made it difficult to stay organized like death, divorce, and illness, and childhood habits and learned behaviors.

This particular client is guilty of the “shove and shut” disorganization.  That is what I call it when people put things into baskets, bags, and baskets and shove them into a closet and shut the door.  The problem with this client is that most of her closets were overflowing when we first began working together.  This is what the closet in her home office looked like before…

Before

The secret to organizing a closet like this is to take things out one by one and ask yourself these questions…

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Have I used it in the last year?
  • Does this item fit with the goal and vision of the space?

Create piles for items that you want to keep, donate, and toss out and just keep sorting.  Don’t worry about where things should go or taking items into the room where they belong until you are done sorting (this cuts down on time and helps you complete the project).

After we sorted everything in this closet all my client wanted to keep was a bin full of family photos and a bin of vintage dolls.  Everything else was donated or thrown away.  Now she has a blank slate to work with, as she lives in this space she can decide if she wants to add shelving or buy products that will enhance the space.

After
Before
After

This is another angle of the room, as you can see it was hard to walk around.  There were boxes and piles everywhere!

Before

This is an after shot, can you believe the difference?  They really have a blank slate to work with, I left the mirrors and artwork lined up neatly against the wall so as they add furniture they can decide where to hang it.  We covered the twin bed with a vintage coverlet for the photos so it wouldn’t look so incomplete.  My clients are going to live in the space before they make any big decisions on changing the paint color and adding furniture.  They couldn’t be happier and either could I!

After
This transformation illustrates how much more you can get done with a professional organizer by your side.  I act as a project manager and keep things moving along as we declutter and organize the space.  It only took us 5 hours to complete a project that has taken them years to get started.  If you or someone you know has a space within their home that is not functional and organized please have them contact me at [email protected]
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