An Organizing Expert’s Small Home Shows How to Create a Tidy, Serene Oasis

published Jan 17, 2020

An Organizing Expert’s Small Home Shows How to Create a Tidy, Serene Oasis

published Jan 17, 2020
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Square feet
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Name: Jen Robin and Charlie Robin (my adorable dog)
Location: Manhattan Beach, California
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years, renting

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This house tour is the fifth in a handful of organizing experts’ homes we’ll be touring this month. January is a great time for a fresh start (speaking of which, have you joined our January Cure yet?) and seeing inside the homes of organizing expertsand reading their advicewill hopefully inspire your home in 2020.

Professional organizer Jen Robin launched her lifestyle and organizing company, Life In Jeneral, in 2014. Helping clients with everything from getting rid of clutter, to adding organization systems, to closet design, interior design, and more. If it’ll help your home look and function better, chances are Jen and her team can help, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Jen actually explains that one of the biggest misconceptions is that “you have to get everything done at once. You can tackle one room in a day or a week—the most important part is that you start!” 

Credit: Hana Asano

The instagram account behind her business, @lifeinjeneral, is incredibly popular, and it’s easy to see the cause: photo after photo of enviably tidy and organized rooms, drawers, closets, and more, many from clients’ spaces. And when it comes to Jen’s home–it’s not only full of enviably tiny rooms and drawers, it’s a beautiful example of how to create a small, serene retreat.

“My apartment is like a little oasis near the beach,” describes Jen. “This space is where I dream about all the possibilities for Life In Jeneral. When the world is asleep, that’s when my creativity comes alive. I get to live on my own and love being able to choose how I spend my time. I don’t entertain as much as I’d like to because of all the traveling I do for LIJ, but I love to when I can. I found my apartment on Craigslist and it was a bit of a risk because the listing didn’t have any pictures, but I definitely lucked out.”  

Credit: Hana Asano

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Beachy, modern chic

Inspiration: I find a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest, similar to where I find inspiration for Life In Jeneral. I love to mix simplicity and beauty. Both my business and my personal style come from marrying function and aesthetics for a simple, clean, and beautiful look.

Credit: Hana Asano

Favorite Element: I love my kitchen because I love to cook. It’s where I can dream up new things that don’t necessarily have to do with business. 

Biggest Challenge: The apartment is on the second floor and I end up taking a lot of product home if it doesn’t get stored at the office. It can be kind of hard to haul everything up flights of stairs all the time, but the silver lining is that it’s also good for my health.

Proudest DIY: I painted an IKEA bench and made it into a space for my record player. I put it beneath a beautiful Gray Malin piece and the two together bring me so much joy. 

Credit: Hana Asano

Biggest Indulgence: My beautiful Gray Malin piece.

Best Advice: Everyday you want to walk into your home and love everything, so you should only own things that you really truly love. 


Credit: Hana Asano


  • Hanging Ladder — Urban Outfitters 
  • Curtains — Restoration Hardware 
  • Lexmod — Rocking Chair 
  • Bench — IKEA
  • Art — Gray Malin
  • Couch — Custom 
  • Rug — RugsUSA  
Credit: Hana Asano


  • Floating Wood Floor Mirror — West Elm 
  • Bed frame — IKEA
  • Chimes — Urban Outfitters 
  • Sheets and Pillows — Maven
  • Shams — Anthropology 
  • Nightstand Light — Schoolhouse Electric
Credit: Hana Asano


  • Pom pom shower curtain — Urban Outfitters
  • Shades — Urban Outfitters 

Thanks Jen!