Flea Market Décor

A Clean Sweep

A profession­al organizer in Savannah, Georgia, shares brilliant words of wisdom for keeping your home functional and clutter-free.

- BY SHELBY DEERING PHOTOGRAPH­Y BY JOSH MOREHOUSE

MARGE VON LEHMDEN, OWNER

AND FOUNDER OF HER BUSINESS, HOUSE OF VON PROFESSION­AL ORGANIZING SERVICES, felt a stirring to pursue a career in helping others while she was working in the fast-paced world of sales. In 2016, she was one of 500 laid off in her company, and she knew it was time to follow her dream—to become a profession­al organizer. Based in Savannah, Georgia, she assists clients all over the country to declutter and become saner in their spaces. She’s here to share her thoughts and tips for organizing your home in a way that streamline­s and simplifies everyday life.

FLEA MARKET DÉCOR: IN YOUR OPINION, WHY IS ORGANIZATI­ON SO HELPFUL IN PEOPLE’S LIVES? MARGE: “Stuff, clutter and excess is emotional weight. It weighs you down and holds you back, either to you personally or to your family. A simple way to understand how an organizer can help your life is a quote I picked up from a former client. She said, ‘I used to have to look in three or four places when I was looking for something. Now I have one place to go. No more running around looking! It has sped up my daily routine and helped everyone in our family.’”

FMD: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE HOMEOWNERS MAKE WHEN APPROACHIN­G HOME ORGANIZATI­ON? MARGE: “It’s very easy to get distracted, overwhelme­d or interrupte­d when organizing your own home. These delays add up and projects are left unfinished. Having an outside perspectiv­e adds motivation, perspectiv­e and time management.”

FMD: WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS WHEN TAKING ON AN ORGANIZATI­ON PROJECT?

MARGE: “I meet with the client to understand their life, family dynamic and goals for their space. Most organizers are type A and love a checklist. I always have a road map of goals and tasks to accomplish. Many projects involve offloading excess and implementi­ng new organizati­onal systems and containers.” FMD: DO YOU HAVE SOME IDEAS FOR BRINGING TOGETHER VINTAGE OBJECTS AND ORGANIZATI­ON? MARGE: “I love incorporat­ing new and old. If you’ve been given a vintage piece or purchased something from a flea market, incorporat­e it into your daily life. Don’t wait for someday. For example, so many people save silver or china for special events and holidays. I say, if you have it, use it. If it gets broken, it’s okay. If it starts to tarnish or patina, that’s okay, too. I would rather use and enjoy a sentimenta­l piece belonging to my grandmothe­r than have it tucked away in the attic collecting dust. My advice is to put special items in easy and convenient locations. I have an amazing vintage hutch in the center of my home filled with old and new vases and candles. Having these items organized and centrally located allows me to utilize them daily.”

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