Shira Gill shows us how to make her disciplined, less-is-more philosophy work at home.
When you imagine an organizer's home, you might expect perfect stacks of labeled bins, all neatly ordered, but the home of organizing expert and author Shira Gill is a little more laid-back. The 1916 house, which she shares with her husband and their two daughters is uncluttered yet layered and lived-in, a style Shira calls “warm minimalism.”
Her devotion to keeping what’s essential and stripping away the excess has resulted in a space that feels sophisticated and looks spacious, despite its relatively modest 1,200 square feet.
She knows how a cluttered environment can impact someone’s mental outlook, so Shira chooses quiet colors and natural fibers to bring a sense of calm to her rooms. Art, mementos, and everyday objects are beautifully displayed, and the rest is kept tucked behind closed doors and within bins. She says maintaining order creates beauty.
While her home is a product of her professional experience, it also demonstrates that getting your home in order isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime event. Rather, it’s a constant evolution. “You have to be flexible and take stock once every year or two about what your family needs,” Shira says. “Things can always be improved.”
Quiet the Scene: Shira minimizes visual clutter with a tight color palette, subtle patterns, and clear surfaces. She sees it as a way of giving the brain a break from processing information.
Remove Doors: Shira removed the upper cabinet doors in her kitchen. She found when you see into a space, you’re less likely to keep things you won’t use or don’t want to see.
Remove Doors: A shelf built between wall studs puts everyday spices within reach. To display spices, dark glass jars with screw-top lids keep flavors fresh.
Create a System: Small bins and boxes in the dining room cabinet contain office, art, and entertaining supplies. Shira stores these where they will be used—by the table.
Hide Hardworking Items: Shira hired a carpenter to revive the 100-year-old built-ins, replacing the glass-fronted doors with solid ones. “This is where we store so many of the things we own, but now it’s all behind closed doors, and the cabinetry almost disappears into the wall,” she says.
Recess Shelves: When she renovated her bathroom, Shira added niches to eliminate the need for a caddy. Hooks are an affordable way to max out storage in a snug room.
Divide the Space: Shira outfits vanity drawers with bamboo dividers from The Container Store, making obvious what she has and where it is. A cutlery tray can do the job too.
Customize a Closet: A shared 3×6-foot closet in the primary bedroom convinced Shira to try California Closets to take advantage of everything. She and her husband both love shoes, which informed their design of short shelves.
Shira Gill’s second book, Organized Living, inspires with stylish solutions from the homes of 25 professional organizers.
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