CHARLOTTE – A woman with a natural talent for organizing, Jenifer Shaw was inspired to turn her passion into a business pursuit over two decades ago when a friend lamented that she couldn’t find anything in her large gourmet kitchen. Shaw asked her friend to open her cabinets, and she immediately saw the problem: her friend had space, but it wasn’t well-organized. She dove into an impromptu kitchen makeover, and “Jenuinely Organized” was born.
Life has changed a lot since Shaw took on that first job. Adults are working from home, kids are attending school from home: everyone is home, together, all the time, in spaces that likely weren’t designed or purchased with that in mind.
“Organizing during the pandemic has some special challenges, and space is definitely one of them,” says Shaw. “What I’ve been challenged with is that clients have an open concept but need a division of space.”
How do you make a single space like the living room function as your office, your kids’ school, and a place to relax and enjoy at the end of the day? One of the ways Shaw can help is by repurposing spaces. Many people, for example, only use their dining room a few times a year, yet they can’t imagine it as anything else. That’s a space that can be repurposed until the world changes.
Another important thing Shaw focuses on with clients is visual space. “What is in your visual space is so important to your state of mind,” she says. In other words, it’s hard to relax at night in your living room when you’re staring at your daughter’s science project. “Visual space can be the most invigorating or the most debilitating.” To solve a problem like this, she might suggest a rolling desk, something your daughter can work at during the day, but that you can slide behind the couch and out of sight when the school day is over.
In tight quarters, utilizing vertical space is key. “Vertical space is so underused, and making use of it is vital, especially in small spaces,” says Shaw. “If you can store things or incorporate decorations vertically, you have more horizontal space to work with, and your space seems bigger.”
Another key to optimizing your space, says Shaw, is vessels. Whether it’s a decorative, artisan tray or a repurposed shoebox, the things you use every day need a landing pad, and in a multipurpose space, you need to be able to put things away when you’re done with them for the day and remove them from your visual space. Vessels can be repurposed – like using a potting vase for pens – or purchased inexpensively from a place like the Container Store if you prefer everything to match. For those on a budget, The Dollar Tree has many options for inexpensive vessels.
According to Shaw, the importance of vessels in every room in the house just can’t be overstated. “Vessels contain things and make what looks a mess neat,” says Shaw. “For example, let’s say you have 4-5 spices you use all the time, and they never get back in the cabinet. I would put them in a tray or a basket, and now instead of looking at loose spice bottles on the counter, everything is contained but still accessible.”
The last concept that Shaw helps her clients understand is what she calls prime real estate. “Things you use every day or several times a week, they need prime real estate,” says Shaw. Just because you don’t use something every day doesn’t mean it has to go – it just means it doesn’t get that prime real estate. “Let’s say you haven’t used your bread maker in five years, but you really want to get back into it,” she continues. “Great – I’m not telling you to throw it away, but it doesn’t need to be out all the time.”
Organization, for Shaw, falls under many different categories. Whether it’s organizing a space in your home, assisting you with personal or business-related administrative tasks, or helping you prepare for a move, Shaw can help, and she tackles each unique challenge in a personalized way. “There hasn’t been one organization challenge I couldn’t handle,” she says. “Everyone’s issue is personal to them. There’s nothing too big, there’s nothing too small; whatever makes your life tick, I can organize it and make it more efficient and more functional.”
When you take advantage of Shaw’s services, you may be surprised to see bigger changes in your life than just a more organized house. “When your physical space is decluttered, you have more space for happiness, for success,” says Shaw. “When you take the clutter out of your house, you’re also taking it out of your mind, and your life itself becomes less cluttered, more streamlined.”
“As a working mom, it is difficult to always find the time to keep my home organized,” says Business Owner and Customer Kimberly, “but thanks to Jenifer, I feel like I am gaining control and peace in my home. She has helped me gain great organizational tools and useful solutions so that I feel like I can control the clutter and keep my home looking like I want. She always comes with a smile and great ideas that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve on my own. She has helped me quickly and efficiently complete so many projects I dreaded and put off for years.”
If you’re ready to get “Jenuinely Organized,” call Jenifer Shaw at (781) 820-5325. You can also keep up with on Facebook @JenuinelyOrganized.