Pro Organizers Share Their Favorite Before/After Makeovers & Tips

August 22, 2017

Welcome to Spring Clean Your Life, your one-stop shop for gotta-try-those tips & bookmark-me inspiration to spruce up your kitchen and home this season—and well beyond.

Have you heard of the ladies at The Home Edit? Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, Nashville-based professional organizers with a long list of celebrity clients, are especially adept at turning headache-inducing problem areas into functional and beautiful spaces. It doesn’t hurt that this hilarious duo, working moms with addictive Instagram Stories, have so much fun along the way, making the task of organizing seem downright enjoyable—well, almost. Here, they share their favorite before and after makeovers with us.

With all of our projects, we aim to blend function and design—but the function has to come first. We spend an inordinate amount of time constructing smart and sustainable systems, and we don’t stop tweaking and arranging until we are 100 percent satisfied. We can style anything to be pretty, but unless there’s a smart system to back it up, it won’t stay that way.

Project No. 1: Before

Medicine and first aid are intended to serve a purpose, not be easy on the eyes. But if you add some divided turntables, and lose the boxes, you can have it both ways.

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 1: After

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 2: Before

Before starting any project, we immediately scan the space for stylish accents we can incorporate into the organization. Since we were designating this pantry for baking and breakfast, we thought the pitchers and cake stands would be a perfect complement.

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 2: After

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 3: Before

Two words: Band-Aid caddy. Why do kids love them so much? We will never know. But with this client's THREE kids (someone get this family a medal!), and 15 types of Band-Aids, having everything neatly organized in a labeled bin makes life a little easier.

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 3: After

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 4: Before

When we walked into this pantry, we immediately noticed the shelf height. In order to maximize the footprint, we knew we had to use stackable storage bins. We were also able to use a Crazy Susan (a Lazy Susan with a 16-inch diameter!) for the first time, and it provided endless laughs throughout the project.

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 4: After

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 5: Before

A brand new house means a completely blank slate—and this client's blank slate was LARGE. We added baskets across the shelves to hold the food categories and kitchen supplies, and glass canisters for the (one million) staple items.

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 5: After

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 6: Before

A blank slate closet is just as fun as a blank slate pantry. The sky (ceiling?) is the limit and we like to find ways to optimize every square inch. We lined the top shelves with baskets, hung purses on handbag hooks, added stackable shoeboxes, and swapped out all of the hangers for the velvet variety.

Photo by The Home Edit

Project No. 6: After

Photo by The Home Edit

Does your home have a clutter zone? Let us know how you've managed the chaos in the comments.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Written by: thehomeedit


Connie March 8, 2019
For me this articile completely missed the mark. They show some lovely photos with some good ideas and not one reference as to where to purchase any of the products used to organize. What was the point?
Adrienne K. September 4, 2017
I have been using large canning jars to store my flour, sugar, etc. You can write on them with a permanent marker. Their square shape allows you to fit them better on a shelf than the round containers shown here. They usually are inexpensive.
Ed H. August 28, 2017
Wow, I'm really not that impressed. Most of the difference is the lighting, as melissa says, with the dingy Before photos being replaced with ultra-bright white After photos. And some of the items in the first photos aren't addressed in the second: where did those bottles of oil go? And turntables may seem neat, but they are space inefficient. And I actually saw an efficient "stepped" organizer in one of the Before photos, and it disappeared in the After.
JJ September 12, 2017
I don't love the space lost under those step organizers, but they do make things way more visible.

I think it would be much more helpful to have before/after shots at the same angle with the same lighting so you can really see the difference in the space, not just two completely different photos.

I'm also a definite non-fan of removing all packaging for things with lot/batch/expirations. I don't think it looks much better, and that's information I like to have on hand in case of a reaction or recall.
Jennifer K. April 16, 2018
I agree with the photos. That bothered me. For expirations you can always write them on the container with a permanent marker if it's not already on there (which is should be because packaging can get damaged or tossed)
Alice August 27, 2017
Where to buy the organizers online? No container store within 100 miles of where I live.
Alix September 2, 2017
The Container Store has an online channel and will ship anywhere.
CCR August 27, 2017
I'd like to know where you purchase the divided carousels as well. I can't find them on line and have never seen them in a store, to my recollection. I have the flat lazy susans but things always seem to fall off of them. HELP! Thanks
CCR August 27, 2017
I found them! At the container store. Two sizes. They ship if you are not close to one.
Joan S. August 27, 2017
Where to but these things?? Especially the divided carousels
Joann L. August 22, 2017
Off to spend hundreds on baskets and bins!
melissa August 22, 2017
it seems like the unspoken difference here is the LIGHTING. some of the befores wouldn't look so bad if they were lighted the same as the after's.