Your home is probably a perfectly arranged sanctuary—no loose papers, toys, or snacks running haywire, just everything in its clean, allocated place like a well-oiled machine. But if you find yourself living a less robotic lifestyle in need of some repair, let Neat Method be your guide.
Neat Method is a luxury personal organizing business that spans over 60 cities across the country and even a few in Canada. Devan Miller, a Fort Mitchell native now living in Newport, is Cincinnati's representative. She bought the franchise and launched the area’s first Neat Method in July of 2019, covering homes and businesses as far north as Dayton, OH and as far south as Lexington, KY, treating homes in Indian Hill, Triple Crown, Liberty Township, and plenty of other neighborhoods in between.
When life gets hectic, it becomes difficult to maintain a sense of organization in the home, leading to messes that interfere with your peace of mind. Devan’s eye for detail and ability to spot the “prime real estate” in your home (that is, the areas of the home you see and utilize the most) helps you declutter areas like closets, pantries, playrooms, offices, and other areas where having a sense of order and flow can make life a whole lot simpler.
Devan's always had a knack for organization. "I like organizing other people’s things. It’s not as much fun to organize yourself," she says.
Devan also claims her grandma, Nana, as a big inspiration. Nana’s been on hand to help her organize every home Devan’s ever moved into and continues to give her advice on the best organizing methods. Despite being retired, Nana jokes about wanting a part-time gig on Devan’s team, so she acts as an unofficial member on Devan’s ‘Board of Directors’.
Devan and her actual (sorry, Nana) team of organizers, Courtney Kohlhepp, Lauren Stoker, and Carolyn Venter, are a full-service crew who manage the entire process from start to finish as quickly as possible. They will work their magic in any room, from an entire house to a basement or closet, but Devan likes to focus on one or two “priority spaces” at a time to get an idea of how the client functions and what all needs to be done in the most cost-effective way.
Here's how it works:
Devan meets with a client either in person or over the phone to make a plan of action for the desired space to be organized.
- Let's Have a Look
The team comes in and takes everything out of the space to sort and categorize it, tailoring what they have to fit in their space.“That way you know you have 18 black t-shirts or five ice cream scoops. Trust me, it’s happened before,” says Devan.
- Purge (if Necessary)
Neat Method makes purging easy for the client and never makes them get rid of anything with which they’re unwilling to part. They can do the purge with the clients watching or via pictures if the client isn’t home/prefers the process to be more hands-off. Having an unbiased party helps clients let go of things.“If you’re not using it and you haven’t used it, it doesn’t belong in your closet—or as we like to say, your ‘prime real estate’ space,” says Devan.They’ll also make keepsake bins for special items or find ways to store things elsewhere.
The team stocks the place with products like bins, baskets, hangers, and clear containers that are functional and go with the aesthetic of your home. These come at an additional cost to the service, but labeling them is a very helpful tool in maintaining organization.“If it has a label, it’s much harder for your husband to put the pancakes in the snack bin, rather than back in the breakfast bin,” Devan explains.
And no, Devan doesn't consider herself the Marie Kondo of Cincinnati. "We do get asked that a lot, and organizing has become a much bigger thing because of her show. We totally love and respect Marie’s method, but ours is just a little bit different. We try to make those categories for clients because that’s what works for us," she says.
Among her favorite spaces to organize are offices because they are a personal challenge. "This is one thing I’ve always struggled with—hoarding paperwork or not filing things away," she admits. "Now I know how good it feels to have a good filing system. It’s just an area that stresses people out so much. It was always my biggest stressor, so I feel like I can do great work in someone else’s office."
OTHER NEAT METHOD SERVICES
Neat Method provides two extra services beyond in-person organization. The first is Neat it Now: Virtual Organizing, which allows the Neat team to put together a plan for a client over the phone or via a video chat service so the client can organize it themselves. "It’s not just for people who don’t have a Neat girl [in their area], sometimes people aren’t ready to pay for the cost or they feel like they can do it themselves, but they don’t have a game plan.”
The second is moving services. Devan's team will pack stuff up on the front end and neatly unpack it all on the back end. They don’t move the boxes themselves, but they work with a client's movers to manage the operation. Sometimes clients aren’t even home during the move, making it all the less daunting to return home from work or a vacation to see your new digs already unpacked and in order.
Overall, Devan emphasizes that Neat Method promotes an uncluttered, and therefore calmer, lifestyle. You might consider yourself a hoarder, but she doesn’t like the negative connotation of that word. She says everyone has their one thing they want to keep in bulk, and it’s all about finding the right place for it all.
“We’ve seen it all and we have clients say, ‘This is going to be the worst!’ But we’re not here to judge you and your stuff. I don’t want you coming into my home and judging my lipstick or candle collection," Devan says. "You can hoard anything you want if you have the space for it. It’s when you don’t have the space that we will need to sit down and chat."
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