A place for everything…
Alumna Sarah Carpenter had “40 different jobs in 20 years” before she came to JCCC, and now she owns her own business helping others get their lives in order.
Carpenter is the owner of The Clutter Maven, where she helps the organizationally deprived get a handle on their surroundings. She started the business in 2012, shortly after completing her studies in the interior design program at JCCC.
“I help people create the environment that they need or they want in order to be successful,” Carpenter said.
Her choice for an area of study didn’t come easily, she said. She knew she wanted to go back to school, but she didn’t know what she wanted to do with the second act of her life.
“I never really had that one thing that I was passionate about, that I knew that I could be good at,” she said.
From watching episodes of “Clean House,” where a group of designers and organizers refurbished a cluttered home, she felt the stirrings of a potential passion. “I thought, ‘Maybe I could do that here.’”
So she did. And a Clutter Maven was born.
“"Perpetually practicing and developing good habits in my own spaces, I have come to enjoy helping others clear up the paths and piles that snake their way through their homes,” Carpenter posted on her website. “As best we can, I will try to employ organizational systems, furniture and items you already own to neatly organize your things.”
Her clients have included an organizationally challenged woman who hadn’t dealt with her mail in four years and Prairie Village couple who could have starred in their own episode of “Hoarders.”
“That was sad, because there was just so much that I would have liked to have recycled,” Carpenter said. “So much that other people might have used. But it was so damaged – by rodents, dirt – that we had to just haul it to the dump.”
She didn’t have the budget for her usual intended outcome: cleaning things up and repurposing them for the client or for others’ use. “I want to help teach people better consumer practices and how to be more thoughtful when disposing of unwanted items,” she said.
In addition to being the Clutter Maven, she also does landscaping and works for a candle-making company to diversify her income.“But looking back, even at all those jobs I had before coming here (to JCCC), the similarities between them all was that I wanted to help people.”