Joanne Yurich is the busiest of busy moms. Mother of two sets of twins and “a single,” the owner of her own public relations firm is prepping for a trip to Mexico with husband, Joe, contemplating another five-basketball-game weekend with the children and working out the logistics of getting a client on the TV show “Harry.”
What’s a working mother to do? It helps that Yurich has a passionate commitment for conquering clutter and a mother who is known for interior architectural design.
The family, whose children attend Greenhill School, bought the Preston Hollow house in January 2012 after it had been on the market for a year. Yurich’s mother, designer Robyn Menter, had a plan for the renovation and the family moved in two weeks before Alex, 5, was born.
“No joke, in two days my mom had the entire house done,” Yurich says. “You would have thought we had been living there forever — art on the walls. It was ready to go.”
Yurich describes the 4,200-square-foot house as having a clean look with “pops of color.”
“The house feels a lot bigger than it is,” she says. “One of the perks of living in this neighborhood is that the lots are bigger. There’s a trampoline, a swimming pool and a playhouse, plenty of room to play soccer.”
Yurich and Menter renovated the house in two phases. First, they gutted the kitchen, redid the master bathroom and expanded the laundry room to include two washers and two dryers. In March 2017, they tackled the kids’ bathrooms and converted the playroom into a workroom for the children. The room features desks for the 7-year-old boys, magnet and dry erase boards and stools made of aluminum and lawn chair strappings from the 1950s. A dresser is outfitted to hold magnets, Dominoes and toys. “I’m a little bit anal, and I don’t really like stuff everywhere,” she says.
The art in the workroom is color photography on canvas by local photographer Dave Shafer.
“I think art makes a house,” Yurich says.
Yurich’s favorite room is the couple’s bedroom, which is bright and looks out onto the backyard. A painting by Dallas artist Ruben Nieto is one of her most-loved pieces in the house. She credits her mother for creating the soothing environment.
“I was thinking about this when I was home by myself 30 minutes last weekend,” she says. “We are lucky that we have such an awesome home. It’s such a happy place to be. I told the kids that at dinner that night.”
Yurich says the family spends the most time together in the living room, watching movies and playing Rummikub while sitting on the floor. How does she declutter? The kids know that when they’re done playing something, they have to pick it up, she says. Nothing is allowed on the counter or floor.
“Everything has a place, and I pick up a lot,” she says. “I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t. On the weekends, Joe will say, ‘That’s OK, honey. The house doesn’t have to be totally picked up.’ But I feel better when the house is in order. I was hard-wired this way. I’m sure that’s why I was meant to have this many children. I’m super-organized, and I always have been.”
Joanne Yurich’s secrets for conquering clutter:
- Create a mudroom. Five cubbies store backpacks and shoes. “The kids know when they come home that everything goes there.”
- Opt for custom closets and bins.
- Invest in built-ins for the garage. A ping pong table folds up; a rack holds the bikes.
- Tackle a room once a month with your child. What are you donating? What are you keeping? What are you trashing?
- Use a label maker. When in doubt, create a “random box” for loose items. “Everything is in its place, and it helps me sleep at night.”