Do you wish your kitchen pantry looked like this?
What do you think of this fridge?
How about this closet?
Do you dream of having an organized, clutter-free home but you just aren’t sure where to start?
Or maybe you’re like me, and you spend hours purging and putting away, only to have things end up right where they started in less than a few weeks. You end up disappointed and deflated, feeling like a domestic disaster!
If you live in Coronado, you’re already probably tight on space. Whether you rent or you own, land is at a premium and its really, really hard to squeeze all the things you need for day-to-day living in small, confined area.
Take our family. We’ve been renting the same townhome by the Ferry Landing for more than seven years, and we’ve had yet to do a major purge. We have too much stuff in too small a space and we are bursting at the seams. I knew I needed to do something, but each project I started ended in chaos and despair.
Then there’s my kitchen. That’s the absolute worst. You open my pantry and plastic baggies and cereal boxes fly out at your head. My mismatched silverware is in an old, yucky organizer littered with chopsticks and packages of soy sauce. The spice cabinet? A disgrace. I must have four different bottles of ginger. I keep buying new ones because I can’t find the ones I already own.
I can never find my nice serving platters and we have sippy cups from when my kids were toddlers. I have eight sets of Tupperware, but ZERO matching lids. How is this even possible?
Then there is the junk drawer. Do you need a leaking AAA battery from 2005? How about some boob tape? Or how about an expired gift certificate for Landrys? (what the heck IS Landrys? Do we have even have one in San Diego?) It’s all there.
What’s a girl to do? I needed a domestic fairy godmother, and I needed it fast!
Enter, Renata de Oliveira from Get Organized (www.getorganizedsd.com).
Renata has worked in the home organization business since 2009, but on the (fabulous) advice of her mother, went out on her own and founded her own company in June. And guess what? She just so happens to be a friend of mine. When I found out about what she was doing, it was an answer to a prayer!
A Coronado local, Renata has helped people organize their homes from Rancho Santa Fe to La Jolla, from Carmel Valley to our enchanted isle. In addition to home organization, she also helps with home staging, pre-move de-cluttering and move in.
“When my mom told me I should start my own company, I thought you know… why not?” said Renata. “I really, really love to organize. I just really enjoy it!”
Was I interested in her services? Heck yes! I hired her on the spot to organize my kitchen.
“Everyone needs help organizing and de-cluttering some part of their life,” she says. “Let’s make things so it’s easier for you to do what you want in your space.”
Sold. But just how does this work?
“The first thing we do is set up a time to talk on the phone or meet in person to talk about what you are looking for,” says Renata. I met her at Villa Nueva over a cup of coffee and we spent about 30 minutes talking about my kitchen.
“You’re going to be horrified,” I told her. “The pantry literally throws up all over you when you open it.”
But Renata didn’t seem scared. She just smiled and seemed perfectly at ease.
“The most important thing is you get what you want,” said Renata. “We cater to each person and their needs. We want to create efficient storage strategies to not only de-clutter the space, but to make you feel at home.”
We chatted a little more, she gave me a quote, and I agreed! She outlined each step for me so I knew exactly what to expect. (And in case you are wondering…her services aren’t nearly as pricey as you may think! And it helps that her business is just starting to grow on the island. Hint, hint: book her fast before she gets too popular! )
First, we scheduled an appointment at my home so she could actually view my kitchen. Then we scheduled two more appointments…a morning appointment for the de-clutter and purge (where I needed to be present), then the next day for an eight-hour full reorganization. (I didn’t need to be around for that one.)
She showed up for our “viewing” appointment in the morning before my husband left for work, so he got to weigh in too.
Ian (who I consider to be super O.C.D., God bless him) really wanted labels on each of the drawers and different sections of the pantry and cabinets.
His fear was that we would get everything perfect and organized, and someone (me) would unload the dishwasher and put things back in the (ahem) wrong place. Yeah, this could happen. I guess.
We talked about what of organization did I want (glass jars for pasta or plastic bins? Would I like some Lazy Susans so I can store my spices more effectively?)
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted, so Renata showed me lots of pictures and examples so I could decide.
She also took a bunch of measurements.
We talked about my budget for extras. I decided I wanted new a silverware organizer, plastic clear bins for my pantry and I was super jazzed about the Lazy Susan option. I didn’t really want any baskets or new jars for my spices…I just wanted them organized in rows so I could actually see what I had in their original containers.
“Some people just want to organize and use what they have, so we just work with what they have,” said Renata. “Other people are OK with getting some organizational tools like plastic bins or baskets or things from the Container Store. Or maybe they want to mix and match. Sometimes people want to keep the budget really low so I come with a plan.”
Renata told me that she would actually go to the Container Store for me and buy all the extra organization stuff I needed, within my budget. Hooray! I wouldn’t have to go to Mission Valley!
Our next appointment, a few days later, was for the de-cluttering and sorting.
“It doesn’t matter what you have, I’m going to take EVERYTHING out,” said Renata. “We will make the space so you can use it better. We will decide together what you want to keep.”
True to her word, Renata took every last thing out of my kitchen drawers and pantry. She displayed everything together on my dining room table and we decided together what I would keep, items I could donate and what went straight to the trash.
I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had. Serving platters I haven’t seen since the birth of my second child (who is seven), broken can openers, no less than 12 muffin tins (I don’t bake muffins) old yucky plastic cups from breweries, two cheese graters, mismatched dishes, several gross cooking trays, and so many more items I didn’t ever want to see again.
It was a little embarrassing.
“I think that we definitely buy way too much,” said Renata. “Sometimes you don’t know that you have something, because you aren’t organized, or you can’t find it, then you go out and buy some more of it, so you end up with things you already have or you don’t even need. And then you fill up the house, and fill up the house.”
Renata is big on using sets, and keeping only one set of each item. “You only need one set of measuring spoons and one set of spatulas. If you have more than one, it’s probably too much.”
Next, Renata boxed everything up. I had three big boxes full of donations and several of straight garbage.
“One of the things I do is arrange the donation guys that come with their trucks and haul everything off, including furniture, so you don’t have to deal with it,” she said. “And I source from the smaller companies so it is less expensive. “
Sure enough, a nice man showed up and hauled away all my unwanted stuff. It was magical! (Otherwise, who knows how many weeks/months I would have driven around with those boxes in the back of the SUV.)
I have to admit, it was a little crazy going through all my kitchen stuff, especially because I realized how much of it I didn’t even want to keep. I just felt gross. But Renata walked me through it.
“I really don’t push people, and I don’t want people to get stressed out,” she said. “I am very patient. I try to make people feel more comfortable.”
And she did. After watching those boxes get hauled out I felt pounds lighter and happier. Renata’s positive attitude and hard-working nature made me feel at ease. We were getting the job done!
The next morning was the big day! The day my kitchen would be TRANSFORMED into something beautiful, clean, and organized!
On transformation day, she brought along her co-worker Nati who is an interior designer. Renata explained that she is great working with space and makes sure everything looks pretty and fits nicely.
First, they cleaned up all the cabinetry and drawers up so everything would get put away on a clean surface. Next, they started putting things back!
I had a million errands to run so I took off. I could hardly wait to see the finished result!
And finally…FINALLY…at the end of the day, I got to see my new kitchen.
It was sparkling. It was beautiful. It was happy. And it was organized!
The first thing I opened…the pantry! Everything was neatly arranged in clear, plastic bins and organized into rows. Everything was labeled. I could see everything. Nothing flew out at my head. No flour tipped over and dumped everywhere. I almost cried.
My junk drawer…not so junky any more! Just fabulous. I could find my scissors and my tape. I could actually wrap some presents!
My silverware drawer! I splurged and bought a new flatware set from Homegoods since my two other sets were not complete. I smiled from ear to ear.
Here are some fun before and after pics.
I loved my new kitchen so much, I yanked some of my old art off the walls and decorated with some of my favorite prints from other parts of the house including a couple of new purchases from Homegoods (God I love that store.)
What was once a disorganized, messy eyesore is now one of the my favorite rooms in the house! Don’t you just love it? Even my HUSBAND smiled when he opened the spice cabinet. And for Ian, rarely is anything clean enough/organized enough/perfect enough. But he actually SMILED!
The best part? The girls did my BAR too! It used to be a cluster of keys, sunglasses, mail and junk. Now it’s a charming little space for some of my most precious things! (Aka, my bottles of wine, hello!…and my new crystal champagne glasses from Poland, also from Homegoods.)
As happy as all of this made me, I guess it didn’t really sink in until the next morning when I went downstairs to start breakfast. I found the coffee no problem, and selected a mug from the cute ones I found in my cupboard (we trashed the old yucky ones.)
Setting the table was a breeze because my napkins and silverware were perfectly organized. I felt so much calmer more peaceful. I couldn’t wait to cook dinner in my new kitchen!
Was it worth it? Every single penny.
I can’t emphasize enough how much de-cluttering and reorganizing just ONE room in my house has impacted my life. Would I recommend this service? Absolutely! I can’t wait to tackle the other parts of my house.
And when we move into a new house one day, I will DEFINITELY hire Get Organized to help me pack and move into a new space.
Questions? Message Renata at 619-366-7850 to set up a brief meeting and get a quote. Now excuse me while I pour myself a glass of champagne in from my cute little bar and grab a chocolate from the adorable “snacks” section of my pantry. Cheers!