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The Wise Way to Organize

With Kitchen Wise & Closet Wise, there’s a place for everything in your home

You never know where helping out a family friend will lead. When Joanne Whittaker agreed, rather reluctantly, to manage their storage facility, she had no idea where it would take her. “I became immersed in people’s relationships with their stuff. It was stunning to me how people would buy things, accumulate too much, and then put it in storage — sometimes even setting up auto renew and not thinking about it again,” she observed.

Joanne began reading books on how to just get organized and restructure your life, and got the bug. “I started diving into the mentality of ‘stuff,’ our relationship with stuff, and living a more minimalistic life.” A few years later, in between getting a degree and raising her kids full time, Joanne decided to do some professional organizing. This allowed her to manage her own schedule and assist her elderly parents when necessary.

Following a five-year stint as a design consultant, Joanne discovered a company called Kitchen Wise & Closet Wise. It wasn’t long before she became a franchise owner and then expanded, bringing on a couple of designers and installers. “I love it, being able to provide a personal service that literally changes people’s everyday lives. They might want to replace their kitchen, maybe get better cabinets because they can’t store any else in them. But they don’t want to change the layout of their kitchen,” she explained.

“What people don’t always realize is they may just need organizational structures that make their existing cabinets work. Or sometimes, they want to refresh their kitchen altogether and get new cabinets. It’s fun to go through that exploratory phase with them,” she noted.

Joanne enjoys the process. “I tell them it’s OK, I’m not the tidy police. I ask them not to move anything or clean up. I want to see how they’re functioning in their kitchen just as it is.  We’re immersed in the field of organization and access and can quickly assess the situation, whereas someone else might get lost down the Pinterest hole for months!”

After assessing the space, she provides and installs organizational structures such as pullouts in the pantry, and plastic or bamboo drawer inserts. “Organizers in the closets are the most simple and inexpensive way to change somebody’s life,” Joanne laughs. “If you’ve been in a closet that just had wire shelving, it’s nice to get things measured out and create a place for everything. In a nutshell, it’s all about creating space where people thought there was none.”