How to Team an Organizer and a Designer

Organizer and Designer


The work of an interior designer focuses on the living areas of a home. As a professional organizer, my work focuses on the storage areas of a home. By making the storage areas function better, the living areas can become places of beauty.

Organized storage is key to a beautiful space.

When the basement, garage, closets and file cabinets of a home are full, people begin to store items in their living spaces. This makes for cluttered living. Have you been in a home that has stacks of books because the shelves are already full? Have you started to remodel a kitchen only to find an excessively large inventory of items that needs to be stored in the new space? Let’s face it, we are a society of consumers. It is important to deal with what we have and keep it organized so it doesn’t begin to have an adverse effect on the way we live our lives.

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Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.

--       Pearl S. Buck, Author and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize

The key to decluttering is deciding what is not necessary.

I support my clients in the decision-making process of what stays and what goes. Often, it can be difficult for clients to let go of items they have kept for years even if the items are no longer serving a purpose. I help them work through the organizing process by keeping them on task, facilitating sales or donation of items they no longer need, and making it fun!

By making the storage areas function better, the living areas can become places of beauty. Click To Tweet

I focus on finding systems that will work for an individual and will help keep them organized. Do they have too much paper piling up? Is it because they don’t like using a traditional file cabinet? Or do they lack the time management skills to finish a task and therefore leave things unfinished and left to pile up?

As a professional organizer, I support the work of Interior Designers.  A space will not remain beautiful if it does not function well. We can make a great team!

Learn more –  Redesign Your Space After Organizing


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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Cynthia Walker on January 1, 2019 at 5:53 am

    I think also storage area before designing room interior. Thanks for sharing this great information.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 1, 2019 at 8:27 am

      Thanks Cynthia. The foundation of organized storage certainly supports beautiful interior design.

  2. Linda Samuels on January 27, 2020 at 8:30 am

    I believe in form and function. Things should not only look visually appealing, but they should be designed in such a way that they are functional. There are times when my clients aren’t sensitive to the design or visual appeal of their space. When that is the situation, then I focus more on function. But even then, I try to make it as visually pleasing as possible.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 27, 2020 at 8:40 am

      I agree Linda. I focus on function first and that helps create a more pleasing space.

  3. Seana Turner on January 27, 2020 at 9:41 am

    I am not a designer, but I do think our skills complement each other. Function is what “jazzes me,” as it seems you and Linda agree. I love a space that works well. On the flip side, I’ve been in many beautiful rooms that don’t function well, and that can be frustrating. Spaces that are organized and uncluttered are very appealing to me:)

    • Janet Schiesl on January 27, 2020 at 5:00 pm

      Seana, I have worked with several designers. It’s a great combination. We focus on our strengths and the clients gets what they want – a beautiful room that also functions well.

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on January 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    When I was in high school, I took an entire year of Interior Design and enjoyed the techniques and other things I learned. Then, I went to college and got a business degree and started organizing homes part-time. It is incredible at how much I ended up using over the 20+ years of organizing from just that one year of interior design. I am so grateful for those classes.

    • Janet Schiesl on January 27, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      Organizing and design really support each other to make space work.

  5. Nancy Haworth on January 27, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    You are so right that organized storage spaces can lead to beautiful living spaces. I often tell my clients that decluttering and organizing comes first, and usually after that, they will think about the redecorating or interior design of the rooms.

  6. Janet Schiesl on January 27, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    I agree, but sometimes the client doesn’t know that organizing comes first, so it’s a great to partner with a designer who can refer you for a successful project.

  7. Janet Barclay on January 28, 2020 at 6:53 am

    It’s always great to work with trusted pros in related fields – benefits the client as well as the service providers involved!

  8. Ronni Eisenberg on January 28, 2020 at 11:29 am

    I always believed that interior designers and architects should work with professional organizers to complete a space and make it the most functional. I’ve worked in so many homes where the space doesn’t function in a smart and easy way. Storage wasn’t thought through properly, cabinets for glassware were designed too far away from the sink or refrigerator, clients needs weren’t considered in the construction.
    I’m so glad you wrote about this as it’s such an important aspect of design.

  9. Janet Schiesl on January 28, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    I have always wondered why designers and architects don’t look at function, but I guess that’s why we do what we do.

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