theNeatNiche Tames the Clutter-Monster!

Yup, we can't find our stuff!
Yup, we can’t find our stuff!

My daughter Dahlia and I were pretty excited about having Erin Podbielniak from theNeatNiche organize our upstairs crap room – sorry, I mean Craft Room.

At least Erin’s written assessment had indicated that my home wasn’t beyond hope. The comments were: “clean and well-kept overall despite select areas of clutter. Main exits are not blocked, and there is no obvious concern regarding fire and/or chemical hazards.” (That last part really made me wonder what kind of people Erin was normally used to dealing with!)

Erin and Dahlia decided on seven basic categories for her things: film props (one of Dahlia’s hobbies is making videos), crafts supplies, Dahlia’s art, Barbies, Legos, dress-up and stuffed toys. These were the things that could stay in the room. Anything else had to go into one of two boxes: either “not here” (different room) or “gone” (trash or charity).

Decisions, decisions
Decisions, decisions…

Then Erin told Dahlia that they were going to review every single item in the room. This is when I started to get a bit concerned. First of all, there had to be at least several thousand items in the room! Secondly, I was wondering how “ADD girl” was going to hold up during the process. I was dubious about getting it all done in the three hours that we had available…

It gets worse before it gets better!
It gets worse before it gets better!

After about an hour and a half, the room was starting to look like a demilitarized zone! Seeing all that stuff spread out all over the place made me wonder if we qualified as hoarders or not. I had to remind myself that this was all part of the process. Also, Dahlia seemed to be enjoying herself, periodically exclaiming, “Oh hey! I was looking for that! Yay!”

Miraculously, after three hours it finally all came together. The room was neat and organized, and things were put away in labeled containers. (Erin even let Dahlia use her label-maker.) I must say, we were all very pleased with the end results.


And I’m happy that Dahlia can now find her stuff without my help!

Props, art, Barbies, Legos and crafts all organized!
Props, art, Barbies, Legos and crafts all organized!


Look at the tidy closet!
Look at the tidy closet!


Is your life getting messy? Contact Erin at theNeatNiche to help cut through the mess and make your life easier!



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A professional “trailing spouse” and mother of two, Suzanne has lived in several different countries. Her fifth corporate relocation (yes count ‘em, five!) brought her family to Richmond VA in the summer of 2011, and she is really excited about exploring all of the possibilities that Richmond has to offer! Also, she in not moving again. Really. She means it!