Organize Your Life
Photography by Kady Dunlap
If you’re anything like me, you probably look at the clutter surrounding your space and wonder, “Isn’t there somebody that can come and organize this for me?” Margaret Williams, founder of Edit Spaces, is a professional home organizer and styler, and she just might be the answer to all of your organizational prayers. Williams is an Austin local, born and raised, but moved to New York City after college to work in the art scene. Five years into her time in the Big Apple, she listened to the advice of her friends (whose closets she willingly helped organize) when they said, “You should do this for a living!” Since then, she’s relocated back to Austin and has been creating order and managing material chaos on a professional level.
Q&A with Margaret Williams
What is the first thing you do with your clients when you agree to help them organize a particular space?
First thing, I’ll do a complimentary consultation where we’ll discuss what it is that the client wants and needs. I’ll take photos, measurements, notes, and we’ll talk about the plans and the outcome. Later, I’ll send an email with the logistics: a supply list and the cost.
How much do your services cost?
I have a fixed rate of $100 per hour, unless the client just needs a mini-edit, which is essentially just an expanded consultation. With a mini-edit, the client wants to execute the project on their own, I just help them get started.
What is your process?
I always tackle one space at a time and I make sure start and finish one space before moving on to the next. I help people find the right system and supplies, and suggest the right bins and labels to create order.
What would you say the most common problem area is that clients struggle with in their homes?
Definitely pantries, because the items inside are bulky and have no particular shape. Also, closets! People often have way too many shoes, socks, and pairs of underwear, but they don’t have the storage capacity for it.
Let’s talk on a smaller scale. How would you organize a gym bag to make the transition from work to the gym a little easier?
Be proactive. Pack a bag the night before. Have a bag that you LIKE and want to carry. If you like to look at it and want to carry it, you’ll be more likely to keep it organized. Have different pouches and sections within the bags—have a pouch for your toiletries and a pouch for your gadgets.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job and what is your biggest success story?
My job is totally about solving a puzzle. I love creating something sustainable and maintainable for my clients, and you can’t beat the feeling of seeing their excitement and shift in mindset to get on board with the organization that I planned. I suppose my biggest success story happened about a year ago. I helped organize the entire kitchen at Patricia’s Table, a cooking school for children and adults.
Margaret’s Pro Tips
Pick one small space. Start with a drawer, or something very manageable, and then move on from there. If you see success in one small space, you’ll feel inspired to continue.
Only bring things into your home that you either really need or really like.
Always try to visually create rows in a space.