When Nettie Owens founded Havre de Grace-based Sappari Solutions 10 years ago, she never envisioned her home-based, post-corporate profession would position her for a role as the lead organizer in an episode of the TLC series “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” Likewise, most people never envision themselves as having legitimate causes for their clutter. “Cleaning companies straighten and neaten. We really try to understand what’s causing your challenges and address that,” Owens says. “The majority of clients have challenges whether they know it or not. They tell us, ‘I’m overwhelmed,’ ‘I’m disorganized’ or ‘I’m lazy’ when in fact there is something else going on.”
|Client Services• In Person Organizing for Residential, Small Business & Corporate Clients
• Training, Classes & Workshops for Organizing, Time Management, Goal Setting & Productivity
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After one of Owens’ corporate workshops, a class she teaches through Harford Community College, or after a few sessions with Sappari Solutions’ organizers or coaches, some clients become aware that conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and everyday aging can impact our ability to sort, cull, categorize and limit the stuff that surrounds us. “We’re not therapists, and a client may or may not be diagnosed. But sometimes, there is something beyond their control happening and we have a role in helping clients get control of their lives,” Owens says, noting she and her three staff members use therapists and social workers to support their clients and consult for situational assistance.
“Sometimes it’s as simple as what they have tried before isn’t appropriate for them. If the organizational methodology is keyed to logic and they are more creative, or the system is visual and their gifts are auditory, no matter how hard they try, failure is probable. When we help them find a method that will work for them, people learn they aren’t lazy or disorganized.” Sappari Solutions’ staff members work with clients to organize specific spaces and functional areas of their lives. With a commitment to the environment, don’t expect these professional organizers to show up with a slew of plastic bins. With a laugh, Owens says, “By the time they call us, they’ve tried a few methods and have enough plastic bins.”
Owens extends her environmental commitment community-wide. She founded Clear Your Clutter Day, which will be held at HCC on April 26, and people are asked to donate $5 per carload of clutter. Donations go to Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, and event partners find homes for your unwanted stuff. Visit www.sapparisolutions.com/events/10-acts-organization to learn about Random Acts of Organization, a contest that awards two hours of organization to individuals, families, small businesses, corporations and non-profits. I95