Jen Robins is one of those humans that radiates the most positive energy. If you don’t know about Jen, she is the founder of Life in Jeneral, an organizing company that simplifies spaces. She’s kind of a genius at creating systems to help keep your home or office life in order — and trust us, she knows what she’s doing, we’ve seen it first hand. Jen and her team came to organize the entire Amber Interiors, Shoppe and All Sorts Of offices a while back, and they pretty much changed our lives! She can look at a space, and instantly knows what to do to get it into its best shape. We were lucky enough to chat with Jen about how she got started in this biz, lessons she’s learned along the way, and of course, her favorite organizational items.
You are the queen of organization! How on earth did you get started in this career? Tell us everything!
I moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to be the executive assistant to a high profile individual. At the time, I had no idea what being a personal assistant really entailed, but I quickly realized in order to be successful, I would need to create the most efficient systems in order to stay on top of everything. I ended up packing, organizing, and overseeing countless moves, coordinating multiple daily schedules, planning events, and everything in between, all while trying to manage my own life. I naturally created organizational systems for my employer and his family to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. When I realized this was something I truly enjoyed doing, I began organizing for friends and family on the side and started playing with the idea of starting my own business. It took some time to figure out the logistics, but in 2014 I launched Life in Jeneral!
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced as you got started, and how did you overcome them?
It was really difficult figuring out how to actually run a business! I knew what I wanted my company to do and look like but all of the logistics, legality, contracts and insurance were things that I had to figure out along the way, and it was not an easy process. I knew I was capable, and the dream of having my own business coupled with something I truly loved always kept me focused on the end goal. I had a few friends who were also in the beginning stages of starting their own companies and it was very helpful to be surrounded by like-minded women. I also had the support of my brother who is a lawyer and is incredibly helpful in breaking down any legal jargon I don’t understand!
What’s some of the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
My favorite piece of professional advice received is that there is plenty of room for everyone. It doesn’t matter how many people are doing it; we all offer something different and valuable, and I pride myself on focusing on what sets Life in Jeneral apart from everyone else.
Do you ever get super overwhelmed when you see a space prior to organizing it? Because, that’s totally how we feel and we need your advice!
Haha, No! I have not met a space that scared me by the amount of stuff. When I see a space, I envision what it can look with systems in place, so I get more excited than overwhelmed! I truly love what I do and honestly know the feeling that our client will have when we are done, so it is worth the process (every time!).
What’s one of your favorite rooms to organize, and why?
My favorite space to organize is the pantry! A properly organized and categorized pantry can really trickle down to most other aspects of life. Healthy habits start at home and food/meal prep is much easier and more efficient when every item has its own home. We create back-stock areas in the pantry as well, so you always know what you have on hand, and what needs to be replaced which saves time and money grocery shopping each week.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
Living in community! I really believe you are who you surround yourself with, so I always strive to associate with people that help me grow, learn, and evolve. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.”