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Meet our Organization Heroes, holy grail products and strategies for getting—and staying—tidy.

They say no one can really prepare you for all that parenthood brings, and that definitely includes the stuff—the laundry, the toys, the never-ending dishes. It seems like there is always a pile of something somewhere. And, as a working parent of two children, ages 7 and 6 months, life is really busy. Like really, really busy. From packing lunches to getting out the door on time each morning, everything takes just a little bit longer, and finding the time to tidy up doesn’t always happen. I’ll try anything to buy back some minutes in my day. And sometimes that involves outsourcing.

Photography by Anna-Alexia Basile.

A few years back, I met Wiebke Liu, an organizing pro and founder of the Bay Area–based company Blisshaus. Liu has worked on spaces all over the globe—including the Goop test kitchen—and her spin on home organizing is unique in the sense that it sets you up with systems for future success but also puts sustainability at the forefront. I had never envisioned tapping an organizer, and I completely acknowledge it is a luxury, but I swear to anyone who will listen that she has streamlined our lives in major ways. Plus many organizers these days offer à la carte packages and video consultations, making it a lot more accessible and affordable.

For us, setting up structure in the kitchen and kids’ area felt the most pressing, because that is where we spend the most of our time. After a lengthy evaluation of literally every item we own—who knew someone could hoard that many spatulas?—Liu implemented processes that have saved us so much time. Hear me out on why I think investing in an organizer is so worth it. 

Photography by Anna-Alexia Basile.

Everything Has a (Better) Place

This is the biggest one for me. Having Liu come in and revamp the kitchen, pantry, snack drawers, fridge, and my daughter’s craft cabinets has saved us so much effort in the long run. She took us back to square one and gave everything a place that made a lot more sense and taught us to sort in really smart ways. For example, I would have never thought to put the dishes in the drawer next to the dishwasher, but when you’re loading and unloading, it’s so efficient. The spices? They are all now uniformly labeled and in a drawer lying flat—so I don’t shove the cinnamon behind things, forgetting I have it on hand.

Photography by Anna-Alexia Basile.

The Kids Got Involved

Organizing with kids in mind is important ,because they use the space just as much as we do. My daughter’s snacks, tableware, and crafts are now at her level in drawers in the kitchen and dining room. Prior to this, her stuff was mixed in with ours, out of reach—chaotic when we’re trying to get things done. This new setup allows her to get her things on her own, making her feel superproud and independent. It’s not just about corralling their stuff somewhere (although that helps!), it’s about allowing my kids to take ownership and be participatory. We’re skill building here!

Photography by Anna-Alexia Basile.

I Bulk Shop Without Overbuying

Before Liu, we would just shop for what we thought we needed that week and place it in a cabinet. Liu’s particular system emphasizes the importance of bulk shopping to reduce the use of plastic and packaging, and puts a halt to overbuying. She set us up with a routine that makes it easier to hit up the bulk section (she supplies cotton bags tailored to the size of the jars) at the local farmers’ market or grocery store for grains, baking supplies, and legumes. All my pantry items are in glass containers about 9 inches tall with labels and cooking instructions on the jar. My daughter even printed out custom labels for her things. When I see that a container is dipping below the halfway mark, that’s my sign to replenish the ingredient. Nowadays that’s only once per month.

Photography by Anna-Alexia Basile.

Overall, I was able to trim a lot of excess and really think about what I actually use. I now know where everything lives and can reach for it with ease. It was definitely a process, but in the end, I have drawers, shelves, and a pantry that not only allows for better function but looks nice, too. Oh, and it saves a ton of time—which is the whole point.