by Mimi Montgomery
photograph by Jill Knight
Leah Friedman has always been organized. “Starting at 6, I would rearrange my bedroom furniture every weekend with my friend to maximize floor space,” she says. It’s a habit that followed her into adulthood: Even during her days as a News & Observer reporter, her stories were always turned in before deadline and her desk was always pristine.
It’s no surprise, then, that a business coach suggested she turn her love of organization into a profession. Friedman did just that, and in 2013 she started her business, Raleigh Green Gables. She specializes in organizing and decluttering clients’ homes, offices, and even cars, helping them pare down their belongings to just the essentials. “It’s hard to do this on your own,” she says. “People are very overwhelmed … Everyone lives in these large homes with lots of closets. People just fill those up and they get to a point where they can’t breathe anymore.”
Friedman is committed to making the road to organization as smooth as possible: Raleigh Green Gables even has a clothing consultant who will guide you through cleaning out an overflowing closet, tossing out clothes you no longer wear and keeping only the necessities. The consultant will also help you put together outfits with the remaining clothes and give you suggestions based on your body type.
It’s all part of Friedman’s approach to a more streamlined, efficient life. “People are drowning in stuff. I think that they want a major change,” she says. And what better way to start off 2016 than with a lightened load? “Life does become easier once you purge.”