The Order of Things with Rebecca Szeto


Moving to a new house or even spring cleaning your closet can be a daunting task. Hiring someone to create the perfect plan of what you need and then execute it for you often feels like a luxury. As our lives get busier, everyone needs a helping hand to tackle the purging and organizing.

We talked with Bernal neighbor and local artist, Rebecca Szeto about her organizing business, called the Order of Things.  She told us about a few crucial steps that leave a home feeling calm, cozy and polished. And shared her top tips for creating a calmer closet.

Rebecca Szeto The Order of Things

Can you tell us four important things to think about when you start organizing a closet?

Rebecca:  It’s important to remember these things:

  • Consistency is key: Organize your clothes into categories of like with like. It can be by color or types like pants, shirts, and dresses. Or it can have a unifying accessory that is the same color or type like hangers, baskets or trays. For the more advanced, feel free to mix and match those containers, but do it in groupings.


  • Use the back of your door: Don’t forget about the vertical space on your door. There are many brands and types of over-the-door shelving. Organizers pockets and the mirror plus hanging hook combo fit every taste and budget. It also doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be as simple as installing 2 screws for a towel bar. Then using S hooks to a pegboard with hooks and trays from the hardware store. Reclaiming that space is a great way to keep your ties, scarves, shoes, jewelry, purses easy to see and grab.


  • Lighting: Closets are notorious for Out of Sight, Out of Mind. You need to see it, to use it. For lighting,  a pleasant natural daylight bulb (5000 Kelvin) is best. For something a little warmer 3500-4000 Kelvin in temperature works well. I always try to buy LED energy saving bulbs. This adds cheerful visibility and warm atmosphere. If your closet isn’t wired for lighting, consider a remote-controlled magnetic and rechargeable LED strip. Be sure to secure your wires on the ceiling and/or wall with adhesive or nail-in wire cable clips for a neat and tidy look.


  •  Symmetry: This is a simple, but a more subtle way of organizing that deals with how you layout your closet. Paring the same bins side by side is where I start. I also use boxes in solid cubes, stacks or rows. Think about consistent shelving widths too. According to scientist Alan Lightman, the human brain strive to see things symmetrically. “The reason must be partly psychological,” he says. “Symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in… [It] helps us make sense of the world around us”.

How do you think you help people most besides just the basic organizing and categorizing of stuff?

Rebecca: Physical clutter is very much linked to emotional clutter. Modern life, especially with kids, is very demanding of your time and energies. I love that organizing is a way for me to support people and families. Especially people who want more clarity, lightness, and purpose in their lives. 

We work together to create strategies that are fun and efficient. That way their daily living is easy, enjoyable and beautiful long after I’m gone.

Every home is different, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. So I tailor solutions to the needs and budgets of each client. As a parent I enjoy working with busy families who need that extra helping hand. We put together a thoughtful plan for maintaining order in a way that makes finding things easy. Then clean up becomes much quicker. 

Humor, thoughtful placement, and good labeling go a long way in creating good systems.

Our things accumulate over time or even within a day. Looking at your things laying around can be mentally draining, especially if you can’t get to it right away. Everyone has tried to “quick fix” their way into organizing by buying a bin here or a basket there.  Organization works best when you start by addressing your needs. When you look at the physical requirements of your things, and your personal style.

It’s also an ongoing process. There won’t come a point where you’ll never have to organize again. The question is how to keep the process as low-maintenance as possible.

It’s about finding a place for all your things. When you set that in motion your home becomes more relaxed, calm and comfortable.



Tell us about your organizing business and why you started it?

Rebecca: I have a decorative painting and art & design background. I’ve worked as a real estate project manager, a studio manager for artists, and a stylist for film and video.  Then I settled into a career of interior faux finishing. I assisted interior designers for the better part of twenty years.

When my daughter Oona was born, I wanted to stay home to spend quality time with her. While I was home with her, I took the opportunity to examine what I was good at and what I enjoyed doing. 

Since I was little, I had always loved sorting things and putting them in a specific order. Plus, I’m a homesteader. I enjoy making a home feel cozy but also very practical. Homes are not museums, they are for living in. I realized I’d been helping friends get organized for years.

Creating order, beauty and working with children were reoccurring themes that inspired me.

  Once I realized that organizing was an actual job . . . well, it had me at “O”.


The infamous “Junk Drawer” before

Sezto Organized Junk Drawer

And after…

What kind of projects do your clients ask for most often?

Rebecca: Clients often find me at moments of life transition. When they are moving or having a baby.  I help with unpacking and putting things away to make a move-in more turnkey. I do some color consulting or furniture layout for the new space.

There are also people who need help with cataloging belongings for estate planning. All the packing, sorting, labeling and clearing out garage storage can be overwhelming.

I also have some regular clients who call when they want some fine tuning. They need a closet outfitted to better hold things. Rearranging kitchens to be more efficient and of course “toy management”.  Every now and then,  I have fun tracking down interesting artwork or new furniture for clients.

The holidays are right around the corner. This is a perfect time to get the house in order for family coming from out of town.  Things like, resetting closets and drawers and starting fresh for the new year. It’s a lot of fun helping people curate, purge and better define their priorities and possessions. They are able to get on with more inspired living.

You can find Rebecca at:

Order of Things SF
IG: @OrderOfThings.SF
Email: Help@OrderOfThingsSF
Phone: 415-825-2090