There’s nothing like a freshly organized living and work space, especially when it’s done by someone else.
For as long as she can remember, Amy Smucker has been the organizer in the family and among her friends. The Del Ray resident is a professional photographer and has a clear vision for how she wants things to look.
Smucker lives in Del Ray with her two daughters, so she says she knows what it’s like for a space to get messy quickly. It was last year, though, that she started putting her Tetris-like arranging skills to professional use.
Amy Smucker Home Reorganization launched last spring, and she has since helped more than 100 clients to bring order to their lives. After a $50 in-person or Zoom consultation costs $75 an hour to have Smucker in your home or office.
ALXnow: How did this business start?
Smucker: I’m a very organized person. Last year during Covid, when everything was still shut down, I had a friend who I was still seeing. Like many of my clients, she needed organizational stuff done in her house, which she said was a mess. ‘I’ll just come help you,’ I said, and she insisted that I pay her. That was really the beginning, and afterward I thought, I love this. I love it.
ALXnow: Is it about having less stuff?
Smucker: I live in a Del Ray row house with my two daughters, and things pile up quickly. Everything has its place, and things can get messy quickly. For my clients, it’s about how you live your life, your personal style. That’s why the consultation is so important — to see what clients need. Do they need someone to come in to clean once a month, or once a year, or do they just want things to look pretty?
ALXnow: Do you deal with hoarders?
Smucker: There’s a negative connotation that comes with that term, but yes. People hold on to their stuff for different reasons. Sometimes it makes them feel safe. My client is the one who has to make the decisions. If someone feels an emotional attachment to something, I have to figure out what works for them. I sometimes need some say something like, ‘Okay, you have 25 things here. Can you get rid of two?’
ALXnow: Like keeping a Nerf football from the seventh grade that’s half-eaten by a dog.
Smucker: That’s an excellent example, yes. I’ll sometimes ask clients to send me pictures of the space that they want reimagined to get a pretty good idea. I ask folks to take a hard look at the things that they have and figure out what is making them unhappy, because all our stuff will suck away our energy.
I try to get things organized up front. If it’s decluttering a kitchen, for instance, I pull everything out of the room and start reorganizing things piece by piece, organizing like with like.
ALXnow: Are you a fan of shelves and boxes?
Smucker: I do like bins and baskets and systems. I have one client who bought a whole bunch of baskets to organize her closet, but they were too deep. The baskets were overflowing and it was a mess. So, I cleared them all out and gotten clear, shorter bins so that she could get in them. I reorganized them and she is much, much happier.
ALXnow: Have you considered expanding your business?
Smucker: I don’t think it’s my style to hire someone like myself to go talk to the client, and figure out what they needed. I think that will always be my thing, because it’s very personal. Sometimes people have said it feels like therapy, you know, and I’m very non-judgmental. I’m happy to provide them with emotional support.
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Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.