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The team at Help You Dwell.
Weekend edition March 22, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

Help You Dwell celebrates 10 years of community impact

The small business has consistently been rated the "Best Organizing Company" in the city year after year.

Ten years is a long time in the startup world. Once a business crosses that threshold and is still generating profit, it’s deemed successful, sustainable, and special. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 65 percent of businesses never make it to that point.

Help You Dwell,  a Knoxville-based organizing company, just crossed over that milestone this month. Co-founders Taryn McLean and Caroline Smith couldn’t be more ecstatic about it.

The two dreamed up a vision for this company in January 2014 at the K Brew on Broadway. They both had some experience organizing and flipping homes and decided they could be a stronger team together.  They landed their first customer a month later. But McLean said she never expected it would grow as big as it has.

Caroline Smith (L) and Taryn McLean (R)
Caroline Smith (L) and Taryn McLean (R)

From 2020 to 2023, the company saw a 200 percent growth in clients, projects, profit, and employee count. McLean said their services picked up during the pandemic, and seemingly never slowed down.

“Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool,” she laughed.

To this day, they have helped hundreds of small businesses and families find freedom from their “stuff” – both material and mental blocks. Help You Dwell is also the largest, most successful organization company in the area. City View Magazine even recognizes Help You Dwell as the “Best Organizing Company” in Knoxville every year.

However, if you asked McLean 20 years ago if she thought owning an organization business was in her cards, she probably wouldn’t have believed you.

Her background is in exercise science. When she graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she went to work at a physical therapy center.

“The most valuable skill I learned from my first job was how to listen to people,” she said.

Active listening is a vital part of Help You Dwell’s mission today. They want to meet clients where they’re at, and not force people out of their comfort zone too much or too fast. Smith’s background is in social work, so she understands the sensitivity around certain topics and situations.

McLean also emphasized the importance of sustainable change. She wants people to feel comfortable and supported at every step in the organization process.


For example, some clients may be grieving the loss of a loved one, but also need to sort, organize, and/or sell some of the deceased’s clothing and possessions. Help You Dwell specializes in sitting with the client, understanding the memories, and deciphering which items are a priority to keep.

The Help You Dwell team has met with counselors and received training on how to engage with people who may be in a season of struggle. They also can help connect clients directly to counseling services.

“We make the best of a home that’s gone through many different seasons,” McLean said. “We want to help them keep the memories but let go of some of the things.”

A typical project can take the organization team anywhere from 4-6 hours to 4-6 months depending on the size, scope, and situation. They have been contracted to do something as small as a pantry or closet, and as big as an estate sale or office transition.

In addition to helping the clients, Help You Dwell is also a committed community partner to many local non-profits. They have made a ripple effect of impact throughout Knoxville.

They always try to connect clients directly with the recipient of their items. It makes the process of cleaning out more personal and less transactional when the client can see the impact of their generosity.

Some of the non-profits they work with are Hope Central, Magnolia Ministries, and The Restoration House.

“Clients get that satisfaction knowing their stuff is going to help someone,” McLean said.

If you want more information about how Help You Dwell could partner with you on a project, check out their website, Instagram, and Facebook pages.

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