Tips for Organizing and Decluttering this Spring

Michele Vig offers a solution with the help of "Neat Little Nest," a home organization business aimed to tackle clients' clutter for good.

Every closet, cupboard and drawer—emptied, wiped clean and reorganized. Blankets, curtains, pillows and rugs—washed and aired. Clothing, toys and whatnots—sorted into donate, save and toss. And so the ritual goes—spring cleaning. For those who commit to it, the annual chore can be overwhelming.

But there can be another, more important task—transforming the way you think about, organize and live with your belongings. Michele Vig offers a solution with the help of Neat Little Nest, which is more than a home organization business. Its mission is to transform clients by “helping them tackle their clutter for good.”

Vig, a former Caribou Coffee president, had considered opening the business for some time. “I’m an innovator at heart,” the Edina resident says. “It’s what makes me tick.” She began writing a blog, Neat Little Nest, in 2013 to explore the arena. After her decade-long career with Caribou ended, Vig decided to take a leap, launching her business last summer.

Vig is certified in the KonMari Method™, Japanese organization expert of Marie Kondo’s system for decluttering and organizing spaces. Kondo has authored The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying.

The method’s driving principle is—does the item bring you joy? Is it useful? If not, eliminate it from your home. It sounds easy enough, but Vig says, “In practice, it does require the person do a lot of decision making.”

To begin, clients receive a complimentary, in-home consultation to share their vision for their home and life, provide a tour of the home and learn about the KonMari Method™. Next, Vig guides clients through the method in five- to eight-hour sessions, working through specific categories (clothing, books, papers, kitchen tools, sentimental items and more). The number of sessions is determined by the amount of space being addressed. The program doesn’t come cheap. Sessions covering entire homes can range from $3,000–$6,000, and all sessions are billed at an hourly rate.

Vig says what sets Neat Little Nest apart is it also offers custom storage solutions, marrying the art of interior design with organization. “When people open their cupboards, they’re as beautiful as what you see in the homes,” she says. “When things look beautiful, you’re most likely to maintain them.” A storage design plan is implemented with the client’s approval and budget at the forefront.

While clients bring unique challenges to the table, Vig does see some common issues pop up, one being handling paperwork. “When we get the category of paper, I see a lot of anxiety,” she says. Forms, bills, registrations, correspondence and the like can pile up into a heap of angst if not addressed on a routine basis or kept in one spot. (Vig’s big on designating one location for each type of item, so don’t even think about storing your seasonal wardrobes in any other place than your closet!)

Another common issue is handling sentimental items. Think kids’ artwork, greeting cards, gifts from loved ones and more. This can be the most challenging category to address, so Vig intentionally keeps this task for last. By the time clients have moved through clothing, books and the like, they are better armed to handle sentimentality. “There’s a process that is happening to them,” she says of the transformative shift in thinking that unfolds during the sessions.

The connection between uncluttered spaces leading to a sense of peace and an orderly mind can’t be overstated. “You’re at ease and at rest,” Vig says. “Things have a home, and they’re the things you love.”

As Vig continues to build her business, she remains inspired. “I love it,” she says. “It is so rewarding. I feel like I have a gift to help others.” Clearly, she’s transforming clients, who Vig says describe themselves as overwhelmed at the start and conclude the process feeling peaceful
and happy.