A Pro Organizer’s Philadelphia Home Hides Storage in Plain Sight

published Jan 10, 2020

A Pro Organizer’s Philadelphia Home Hides Storage in Plain Sight

published Jan 10, 2020
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Name: Janet M. Taylor
Location: University City — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years Lived In: 2 years, renting

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This house tour is the third 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.

According to professional organizer Janet M. Taylor, one of the most common misconceptions about getting your home in order is that once you get organized, you’re done. “I tell my clients to get into the habit of doing something daily to stay organized. Recycle read newspapers, toss the junk mail, and have a designated spot for your keys so you are not in a panic trying to find them.” It’s advice worth listening to, considering Janet’s 25 years (and counting) of organizing expertise. Along with helping clients get their homes and lives together for over two decades, Janet has also written a book (“101 Secrets To Living An Organized Life”), speaks about organizing at events, has appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, and even hosts the weekly podcast, “Got Clutter? Get Organized!

Her apartment in an older building in Philadelphia has the original hardwood floors and a big dining room, but is limited on storage. So Janet put her “organizer’s cap” on when it came to making her home work by combining “design and organization to display items without it looking or feeling cluttered. This allows me to be ready for a business meeting or a friend stopping by at a short notice.” She utilized a lot of affordable IKEA items in her home, as well as lots of “hidden in plain sight” tricks to corral her supplies for work and life.

“As someone who lives in a small space in the city a living room usually also serves as a home office so layouts (similar to what I have in my home) are done so business meetings and collaboration with colleagues can take place as well as entertaining family and friends,” explains Janet. “Bookcases double as storage for books and artwork/treasures.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Afro Eclectic

Inspiration: I am inspired by friends and colleagues who live and work globally.

Favorite Element: The picture of my cousin on my photo wall, which my mother (a photographer) took and developed in her darkroom. Also my mother’s Emily Post Etiquette Book and her Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Biggest Challenge: I have lots of photos and other items so thinking of a creative way to display some of them without taking up all of my surface space, which happens in a small space. Friend and interior designer Ellen Frances suggested I take advantage of my wall/vertical space, which allows me to use my surface space to display and store other items.

Proudest DIY: Framing the photos, postcards, and prints on my photo wall.

Biggest Indulgence: Artwork

Best Advice: Invest in a good step stool and utilize your vertical space.



  • Desk — Staples
  • Bookcase — IKEA
  • Magazine Boxes — IKEA
  • Baskets — Ross
  • Red Letter Tray — IKEA Dokument Letter Tray
  • Spice Jars — IKEA
  • White Storage Box — IKEA
  • Rug — Ellen Frances Designs


  • Curtains — Teresia Sheer Curtains-IKEA
  • Dining Room Table — Xpresso X Dining Table Base and Glass Top- Pier 1 Imports
  • Shelving — IKEA Kallax Bookcase
  • Square Baskets — IKEA
  • Mini Bar-Small Table-G. Coleman — Personal Shopper
  • The Girl Prints — Ellen Frances Designs
  • Rug — Ellen Frances Designs
  • Small Basket with lid — Found
  • Hat Box — Ross
  • Salt and Pepper Beer Bottles — My mother’s


  • Spice Rack — Ross
  • Red Canister — Le Creuset
  • Red Pitcher — Le Creuset Stoneware

Thanks Janet!

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