Decluttering To Change Life

Lisa Dickmann: Helping St. Louisans Tidy Up And Simplify Their Lives

Do you start your morning digging through a pile of clothes to find just the right shirt you want to wear that day? When you’re ready to leave the house, is it a struggle to locate your keys under the mound of items stacked on your kitchen counter? If you can relate to these scenarios, you're not alone. Clutter plays a major role in our lives, but many people don’t realize its impact on mental health. For the last six years, Lisa Dickmann, owner of Tidy Upgrade, LLC, has been helping St. Louisans simplify their lives.

“I was one of those people that needed help, and I think the best kind of organizer to have is somebody who's been there before and can identify with what that feels like to struggle in my own life,” says Lisa.

She was homeschooling her children and finding no joy in it. Things weren't good until the day she picked up a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It would change her life.

“I thought this method was amazing and sounded like nothing I'd ever read. This concept of things sparking joy just resonated with me, so I gave it a try in my own home, then got certified and started working with clients,” Lisa recalls.

She went on to become Missouri’s first and only certified KonMari Consultant, determined to make sure everything her clients own brings them joy. Lisa believes having too much stuff holds people back.

Lisa explains, “Whether they’re things from a past relationship, a current divorce, or the loss of a loved one, learning to keep only what brings them joy and letting go of the rest, that's what this process is all about.”

Lisa does say becoming a professional organizer is not for everyone.

“An important skill of the organizer is empathy, being attuned to people's emotions,” she says. "I have a master's degree in counseling, so I'm utilizing my counseling skills from the moment I walk into the room."

She calls what she does “home therapy” and says tidying up can heal other things beyond just the mess in a home.

“It's amazing," Lisa says. “When people work with me, they tend to become mindful shoppers and only bring home what they really need.” 

She stresses getting started is the hardest part and recommends setting aside the time to get it done quickly. Lisa uses the category approach with her clients and taps into their intuition, accessing how they feel about certain items.

Lisa explains, “Every person has an amount of stuff that feels right for them. What’s right for one person might be four pairs of shoes; for another person, it might be 400 pairs of shoes. What I do is help them find the right amount that fits in their space comfortably and help them let go of what doesn't.”

She says she starts with clothing, which is the easiest category because if you make a mistake, clothes are easily replaced. She then subdivides, for instance, the number of shirts the client has versus how many they really need. If something is weighing them down, she says it's time to let it go.

"I feel so grateful to Marie Kondo. I was able to meet her in person and thank her, and I literally feel like she saved my life," Lisa reflects. 

314.635.TIDY (8439)

"I absolutely love what I do, and I want to see other people doing what they love to do also, whatever that is."

Simple Ways to Declutter 


Start the overall process by being sure to remove trash.


Choose one small area to organize, such as a drawer, and be inspired by it.


Sort items being reorganized into three piles: Keep, donate or toss.


Find a specific 'home' for everything that's intended to keep, for example, a hook for keys.

Lisa Dickmann is a professional organizer, owner of Tidy Upgrade, LLC, and Missouri’s only certified KonMari Consultant. She believes the KonMari Method is the most effective, life-changing method for transforming living spaces. Lisa is also a mom to four children on Earth and one angel in Heaven. 

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