August 6, 2022

Clutter & Compassion: Professional organizer Carolina Harvey has become a ‘Hoarders’ star, though she’ll also help you clean out your closet.

Caroline Harvey

As sole proprietor of Cure The Clutter, Carolina Harvey has compassion for clients who need her expertise in home organization.

Harvey founded his home-based business nearly 13 years ago, offering a range of home organization services from tidying up neglected closets to cleaning out cluttered homes overwhelmed with hoarding.

“I always wanted to do something to help people and find a way to connect with them,” said Harvey of Susquehanna Township.

In 2021, Harvey became the first Latina to host the long-running A&E television series, “Hoarders.” She was selected for the program after responding to a casting call the previous year for professional organizers to work as support staff. His first episode as a rotating host of “Hoarders” aired in November 2021, with additional filmed episodes slated to air in 2022.

“There is so much pain that accompanies hoarders,” she explained. “One thing they all have in common is that they have trauma. Maybe they believe they don’t deserve a nice home or have a problem with decision making.

When not hosting, Harvey works off-camera as an on-set cleanup/organization expert, part of a rotating crew of 10-20 workers per episode, including an on-set psychologist.

“The one thing to remember is the mental health aspect behind hoarding,” she said. “Not all stories are success stories, but our goal is success.”

there for us

Harvey is no stranger to life’s difficulties.

She and her brother, Bonafide, grew up in New York in a poor family led by their single mother, Martha, a first-generation Colombian American. Her father floated “in and out” of her life, she said.

“Our family struggled,” she said. “We fought for everything we had, but my mom was an absolute rock star. She was always there for us no matter what.

Harvey’s fortunes turned in 1982, when she started attending Milton Hershey School in second grade. She remained there until she graduated from high school in 1993.

“I learned so many things at Milton Hershey,” she said. “I learned what a big family was like. It gave me a number of parent figures and lots of siblings there. I am still close to my house parents. They are like grandparents to my children.

Today, Harvey and her husband Lukeman are busy raising their own family, sons Jackson, 17, Gabriel, 14, and Elias, 11. Harvey is currently president of the Central Dauphin East Junior Lacrosse League, which his sons play for.

If that wasn’t enough, Harvey also finds time to coach his sons’ robotic teams at Covenant Christian Academy in Lower Paxton Township. Currently, she is the head coach of the high school team, Technological Intelligence, and the assistant coach of a fifth-grade set, Falcon Logic 10.

“I had coached in middle school (robotics at Covenant) but I grew up with the kids on the high school team,” she said. “In total, I was a coach for seven years.”

Carolina and Lukeman also serve as family spokespersons for Donate Life Pennsylvania, a collaborative initiative between the Gift of Life donor program, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, and the state departments of health and transportation.

In 2017, Lukeman received a life-saving kidney transplant from a Connecticut donor after undergoing dialysis for three years. Three years earlier, he had been diagnosed with kidney and heart failure and told he needed a new kidney to survive.

Although Harvey was not compatible with her husband’s transplant, she, in turn, donated a kidney to a woman in North Carolina. These procedures took place eight days apart as Harvey’s mother stayed to help around the house.

Before his transplant, Lukeman waited “in the fog” and couldn’t play with their boys.

“He woke up (after the procedure) and said, ‘I can see!'” Harvey said. “As soon as he got home from the hospital, our second son said, ‘Can we wrestle now? “”

Keep it tidy

Not all of Harvey’s business revolves around hoarding and hoarders. Many Cure the Clutter customers are just regular people looking to downsize and streamline their lives.

Joanne Traub, for example, hired Harvey to help her dump items and organize cluttered areas around the family’s suburban Harrisburg home. Since then, they continue to maintain a tidy house using his strategies

“(Caroline) said she never judges anyone,” Traub said. “She asks the personal questions. She wanted to know why I kept things, the psychological reasons. Why was I clinging to these things? It’s in the past, she tells me. She tried to make me understand that I could use the space for something else.

Megan and Steve Miller of East Pennsboro Township enlisted the expertise of Cure the Clutter in early 2021 to revamp the couple’s home office. Steve used the space for tasks related to his physiotherapy practice, while Megan took care of the household finances there. After four sessions with Harvey, the Millers regained order in their office and kept it that way, according to Megan.

“It took a lot of time and mental effort,” she said. “Together we got through everything in there, which was a lot. The greatest gift was the system Carolina put in place to keep the room organized.

In his profession, Harvey draws on his often difficult personal life experiences. She credits compassion for much of her success, which has resulted in both a thriving local business and a presence on a popular reality TV show.

“It’s my gift, for someone to let me into their house to help out,” she said. “I will not judge them.”

For more information, contact Cure the Clutter at 717-229-6890 or www.curetheclutter.net.

Donate Life Pennsylvania is a collaborative initiative between the Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL), the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Transportation.

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