Organizing can be an art form. Most of us will admit to one too many junk drawers, a closet in need of purging, or a jam-packed pantry with expired items we don’t even know are in there, and the task of making a dent in that mayhem is a daunting one. While clearing out clutter and taking a more minimalist approach to material belongings tends to be a common New Year’s resolution, WIPT designs can help you take that goal to the next level.
Officially launched in March of 2019, WIPT designs is the brainchild of Beth Hayden — a single mom who moved to Nashville from Florida in 2017. Her interior design background and a personal need for organization ultimately led to a career in helping others achieve efficiency in their own spaces. “I had my daughter at a young age, and basically, efficiency was the only way we survived,” explains Beth. “We didn’t have extra time to be looking around for stuff. I wanted extra sleep in the mornings or to be able to enjoy my coffee, so I always kept everything in its place. Friends would come over and say, ‘I love your pantry; can you come and do mine?’ So, it started that way in the beginning — as a side thing.”
Eventually, that side thing turned into a full-blown career — and a successful one at that. These days, Beth goes into clients’ homes and tackles what she refers to as their “challenge areas,” whipping the spaces into shape and teaching her clients how to maintain that organization for the long term. “I want to teach people that being organized is really a way of living,” she says. “Once you get there, it’s so much easier to maintain. A lot of people just don’t know how to get there, and that’s why I do what I do.”
If you’re curious, “WIPT” is an acronym for “Where’d I Put That?”, and that’s a question you’ll no longer be asking yourself if Beth has anything to say about it. Her business is built around the concept Life is hard enough, so when you come home, it should make you happy. The self-proclaimed math nerd (“organizing is kind of like a Tetris game that I try to do in a beautiful way”), Beth is a huge proponent of having everything in its place, which not only saves time but also reduces stress and frustration. She emphasizes that anything that causes you to walk across the room multiple times throughout the day is a waste of your time — and it can quickly add up. Even small considerations can make a big difference, such as keeping your coffee cups next to the coffeemaker.
Being organized saves money, too. When everything has its place, grocery shopping and meal planning become a more manageable affair, and you have less of an urge to over-buy. “It not only makes everyday life easier,” she says, “but when you can see what you’re low on, it also makes it easy to know what you need at the grocery store.”
The trick to beginning your organization journey is to begin by tackling the living spaces you use the most. Do you go through your garage every day to enter and exit your home? If your answer is “yes,” Beth says that’s your starting point. In fact, keeping a clean and well-organized garage has benefits beyond the obvious ones. “People don’t realize how important it is to have that space organized and make it look pretty,” she explains. “If you’re rushed in the morning, and you get in your car, and your garage looks like a mess, you’re already starting your day with an extra 10 pounds on your shoulders.” Similarly, no one likes coming home to a disaster at the end of a long day. Opening the door to a mess means you’re taking that frustration into your house with you. Beth recommends getting a furniture piece or shelving unit with bins to store everything that’s typically stacked by the door. She also notes that labels always make everything look cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing.
The idea is to avoid feelings of dread while searching for something, whether you’re retrieving a fork from the utensil drawer, looking for a particular pair of shoes, or looking for aspirin in the medicine cabinet. “For every space, I want you to get a little smile on your face,” Beth tells us, suggesting that being organized can change your outlook on life. In fact, it can even reduce arguments. “A lot of people complain that they help their kids clean their rooms, and then they make it a mess again,” she explains. “I tell them, ‘Well, that’s because each thing doesn’t have a home.’ If they constantly pull their dinosaur figurines out, but there’s not a [designated] place to put them back, then they’re always putting them back in a different spot, and things get cluttered.”
When it comes to closets, Beth wants you to feel like you’re walking into a boutique every day, stressing the way you place a pair of heels or how you display your purses can make all the difference. “When you walk into a grocery store or shop for clothing, how much more exciting is it when everything’s displayed nicely?” she asks. “You know exactly what aisle to go to for crackers. That should also flow through your home because that’s the easiest way to live.”
As for kitchens and pantries, which happen to be Beth’s favorite spaces to dig into because they affect everyone in the house, she recommends avoiding the habit of stacking things on top of one another. “I want everything to be seen,” she says, “so sometimes it’s about getting long, clear bins that you can pull out as faux drawers. That way, you don’t wind up with eight bottles of ketchup. Otherwise, things end up expired, and you’re wasting not only your money but the time it took to go purchase it, and the wear and tear on your car.” She also submits a helpful tip to keep items that are used for various activities in multiple rooms of the house. “Have a pair of scissors in each room,” she offers as an example. “It’s worth that extra couple of dollars so you don’t have to walk three rooms over to get them.”
Beth is a caregiver by nature. At least once a quarter, she offers her services to clients with smaller budgets, largely donating her time. Her dream is to eventually expand her business enough to allow her to focus on clients who can’t afford her services. “I’m a luxury service, just like a personal trainer or a housekeeper,” she acknowledges. “I would love to make the most impact by going into homes that can’t afford me. They’re usually the ones with the smallest spaces, so they would benefit the most from what I do. It’s something their kids can then go through life with and bring with them into their dorm rooms or first apartment.”
She’s also the perfect person to call upon if you’re overwhelmed with the prospect of moving from one home to another. After all, boxing up a lifetime’s worth of collected furniture and miscellaneous items can be a daunting task. You’re in luck — Beth loves helping people purge and pack, teaching them the most effective methods for “packing to unpack” in their new space.
The biggest takeaway is that a more organized home makes for a happier home, and thankfully, getting organized doesn’t necessarily equate to emptying your wallet. Beth is quick to say that while she loves making everything look aesthetically pleasing, she’s also thrifty. “I don’t care how much money someone has. I make suggestions I feel are the best solution,” she tells us. “You don’t necessarily have to go out and spend a lot of money on organizational or decorating stuff to make a space organized. I don’t upcharge items, and I’ve told clients, ‘Do you have a bunch of empty shoeboxes? Buy a $4 can of spray paint and paint them before I get there. We’ll put some labels on them, and it’ll look just as pretty as if you went to The Container Store and bought a special decorative box. It doesn’t have to be something that you spent hundreds of dollars to look good and use the space efficiently.'”
It’s also worth noting that enlisting the help of WIPT designs isn’t simply about having Beth work her magic on your home. Learning to maintain your space and continue the organizational efforts is equally important, so Beth is all about making sure she’s educating as she goes. “In the process of organizing spaces,” she says, “I teach clients (even down to bras and underwear) that if you continuously put on the same thing and it doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to go out to conquer the world that day, get rid of it. Obviously, we all have bad days when nothing makes us feel good, but why keep something if it doesn’t make you feel good first thing in the morning when you start your day?” She carries that concept through every room of a home, adding that her objective is for clients to feel empowered and excited about their new organization system. “It really becomes a way of life,” she adds. “I truly love and believe in it, so it makes me happy to be able to help other people.”
All images courtesy of James Williams Photography.
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