She’s not only stylish, she’s organized. I used to call her my Kate Spade bride, back in the day when I shot weddings – because she had gold sequin Kate Spade shoes, and wore a gorgeous J.Crew wedding dress. Kate and I became friends immediately after her wedding, having regular dinners, and I’ve attended to her baby showers. Altho Kate now lives in Philadelphia, we Marco Polo video messages back and forth throughout the week asking each other for fashion and design questions.
Kate is one of the three women I always ask design advice when it comes to home, and almost always my go-to girl for fashion approval.
She now lives in Malvern, a suburb of Philadelphia and has joined the entrepreneur life – starting a stylish home organization business called House of Turk. She is not only a talented organizer, with her organization she also has the ability to transform spaces including closet organization, declutter, pantry organization, closet storage, and home office organization – and also check out the adorable child’s closet she did in this post.
It’s not just organization, as you can tell, it is stylish in design, and it’s beautiful – just like Kate and her outfits.
We photographed these images for her new brand this past fall. And for those of us who don’t live in the Philly area, you can pin away the inspiration and also I do a Q&A with Kate as she shares her organization tips and favorite products. You can have a bit of House of Turk in your own home.
What have you found out that people have too much of? And how do they stop themselves from buying too much – is there a thought process before they buy more?
Honestly, I don’t judge anyone for how much they have of one thing or another. That isn’t my job. Everyone consumes at different levels and for different reasons. Most clients don’t know they have too much of something because they don’t know it’s there. Enter House of Turk. The goal is that each client can see what they have in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way and thus cut down on the amount they think they need to buy. You might not realize you have 4 boxes of kosher salt in your pantry until we are done. There are a few principles that can help a client when we have to evaluate:
- Is it a necessity? Toilet paper, tooth paste, salt, sugar, flour, etc. If yes, will you use it by the time it expires? Yes? Great, keep.
- Have you used it in the past year? Is there a pair of sneakers in the depths of your closet that you used for trail running, before they were demoted to grass cutting shoes, but now you have a new pair for that? Yeah? Ok, remove them from the premises.
- Do you love it? Like real love, not like “my daughter only loves hatchimals when we are in Target” love.
- Is it sentimental? Photos, heirlooms, keepsakes, treasures. I recommend keeping and also storing these in a way that they are easy to access and add to over time. I also recommend using digital storage when available and applicable.
What are some your favorite products to help with organization?
There are so many amazing products out there to solve for any scope, style, and budget. Water hyacinth baskets (in both natural and mocha) from The Container Store are my basket of choice. They come in a variety of sizes making it easy to accommodate a variety of storage needs while maintain a cohesive aesthetic. I love mixing them with open storage like this.
I am also really into the Luxe Acrylic drawers and dividers. These make it easy to enjoy your things even when you aren’t using them and they look really chic too.
I keep a collection of a few of my favorite things at houseofturk.co/shop
How often do you recommending tackling the junk drawer? And is having a junk drawer ok? ;)
Ok, let’s just call it the “anytime essentials” drawer – a centralized drawer or contained space with a few easily accessible essentials and a spot to sort mail is a must have. This will look different for every household, but keep it to things you use regularly or items you might need to file like receipts or paid bills. Do a quick 5 minute sort once a week and file away any papers that don’t belong there long term. Pair this routine it with something else you do once a week like taking the trash to the curb or doing your weekly meal plan. Finally, invest in properly fitting drawer dividers (here| here| here) to keep everything in its place.
You decided to leave corporate and jump right into this stylish organization career, how did you know it was time?
Truly, it felt like one thing after another started falling into place. The decision felt so organic that it almost just happen one day and I never looked back. We had moved across the country for my husband’s career and had our third baby shortly after. After my maternity leave I had a conversation with my mom that sparked the entrepreneurial fire and that was that. There were several months of planning and taking clients on part-time before I put in my notice and bid adieu to the corporate world. It was one of the best and most terrifying times, but more than worth it to be able to say I am doing what I love.
What is a small thing can we do to feel more organized?
Make your bed in the morning and clear off your counters in the evening. It doesn’t have to be perfect. My bed never looks magazine ready and my counters are never entirely cleared off (I keep a cannister of baby formula on my counter at all times because, well, convenience). Taking small steps to minimizing visual clutter will make a meaningful difference in your space.
If you’re wondering how I shot these in the small spaces, I used a Speedlight with a Gary Fong Universal Diffuser. For the other portraits, I used an off camera flash and umbrella to diffuse the light. You can see my photo bag here.