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Hammond Star article

Giving sanity for Christmas: Organizer helps remove clutter, restore peace of mind

Monday, December 20, 2010

By Susie Cambre

There are three kinds of people who clutter: those who were once immaculate housekeepers but suffered a major event in their lives; those who are too busy to concentrate on organization; and those who are so sentimental they hold onto even the most insignificant of things. Aly Luccari is considered something of a miracle-worker for all three. Luccari is owner and chief organizer for Bright Organizing Solutions, helping people and businesses eliminate clutter and become more organized by creating a system tailored to their personality, needs, interest and lifestyle. “My system for living in and with a more organized life and space is structured to fit the clients, not the other way around,” she said. “Each person is different. They have a different flow of how they do things. We work within those possibilities and recondition some issues.” While still a child living in Palm Beach, Fla., Luccari discovered she loved organizing things. She had a knack for it and was good at focusing in on a problem and finding ways to get it solved quickly and easily. She started helping family, friends and neighbors organize their closets, kitchens and homes just for fun and soon began to develop her system for making others’ lives better. Luccari, who studied to become a biology teacher with a minor in psychology, found that her scientific mind and human insight enhanced her ability to understand people and their needs on a level that would ultimately help in her organizing business. Those skills proved far more helpful than she expected when she began her Slidell-based company in 2005, right before Hurricane Katrina. “What seemed to be the darkest, most difficult days in our lives ultimately became a tremendous business opportunity,” Luccari said. “When people started rebuilding and re-establishing their homes, their lives and their businesses, they came to me to help them get a good system in place for more organized spaces and lives.” “I can’t say enough about Aly. She helped me get my head back together,” said client and New Orleans artist Maggie Mae Kennedy. “Everything was destroyed in my studio, and I needed desperately to have an art studio where I could find things, put my hands on what I immediately needed and just feel better about my own creative environment.” Kennedy, a nationally recognized artist who did most of Jimmy Buffet’s art work, among others, lived on the second floor of an old New Orleans high-ceiling duplex, so her home was spared of flood waters. But the self-proclaimed sentimental clutterer said her home was so filled with keepsakes, mementos, essentials and non-essentials that she could never find anything and had no time to bother with it all. “During our first consultation, she asked the most insightful questions, getting immediately to the root of who I am and what my goals were for a living space,” Kennedy said of Luccari. “And then she set up a four-hour session to sit with me and go through my invaluable collectibles and sort out the clutter.” There is no good or bad clutter, Luccari said. It’s all about what makes a person feel happy. “I will do what you ask and want me to do,” she said. “That’s why the initial consultation is so important. And it’s free. If you feel you are really not ready, that’s OK. We’re here whenever you want us.” Kennedy said the lessons she learned in the process of decluttering her home were tremendous. “She implants ideas, educates and reconditions you to learn the system to living better,” she said of Luccari. “She improves your organizational skills and teaches you to uni-task instead of multi-tasking.” Luccari believes people need to learn to focus on one thing at a time, or they will never feel completed. Trying to talk on the phone while washing windows makes it impossible to commit to either task, she said. Time management is a more effective way to handle the day and will give people more time to do things better, she said. “The busier you are, the better the system will be to enhance your life,” she said. Luccari’s clients appreciate the help in focus. “I loved the fact Aly was not judgmental,” Kennedy said. “She understands clearly working families and people trying to do it all. The first thing she said was, ‘It’s going to be OK. You are doing your best.’ “I was relieved to put my faith in her,” she said. Sometimes people feel guilt, shame or a sense of failure because they haven’t been able to live up to the image of the super homemaker, Luccari said, but contemporary families need to be realistic in their goals. “I can make someone’s home look like it belongs in an architectural magazine, but that would not be practical,” she said. “I will make their home spacey, livable and a positive, functioning environment to have a more efficient, productive daily life with a natural flow to their own schedules.” Kennedy credits Luccari with saving her sanity and enhancing her creativity with space to think — everything in its place — and says she has been freed of the junk that cluttered her life. “There were difficult moments where I had a hard time deciding what to discard,” she said. “Aly held my hand, put things in perspective and in the long run, I still have a lot of my keepsakes, but they have a rightful place.” “Everything is so pretty,” Kennedy says of her new space. “I love opening the door to my home and studio and seeing space and light. The best part is, I have kept it this way and have not fallen back into my old bad habits.” “I feel so light, free from that stuff which weighed me down,” she said. “I am so much happier, and my art and productivity are so much better than they have been in years.” Ivan Gomez, a professional in the automotive field from Hammond, agrees.

Gomez travels internationally and said he just didn’t have the time or know-how to get organized. “I had my own confused system in my home office, where I work out of, and my home just piled with my things all around,” he said. “I heard about Bright Organizing Solutions from a friend and thought maybe she could help me get straight and organized. “A big part of what she does is teaching me how to do it,” Gomez said. “That’s exactly what I needed and wanted.” Luccari’s clients range from celebrities, professional women, families, single guys, seniors looking or needing to downsize and business clients. She has tailored organization systems specifically for couples with seemingly opposite points of view. “Sometimes I save marriages,” she said. “I teach both the husband and the wife how to organize and structure their environment to both their satisfaction.” Luccari also works with children to help them keep things neat and better organized for school and home tasks. “One of my best students was a 4-year-old, developmentally challenged child,” she said. “She learned quickly and was a whiz at staying with the system.” As for Luccari, she says there is an immense satisfaction in seeing the pride of accomplishment, joy, optimism and elevated positive attitude in a client’s eyes. “I love my clients and truly care about them,” she said. “It’s so nice to be needed and to be able to help them.” Luccari said her clients, who often become friends in the process, are the reason she keeps her rates reasonable. “Many of my clients would not be able to afford these kinds of services otherwise,” she said. “This has become my life’s calling.” Luccari’s motto is, “Feel better about where you work, play and live.” She never dreamed she’d make a living out of helping people do just that, but she’s so glad she did. Bright Organizing Solutions serves clients throughout the Northshore and can be reached at (985) 710-2573.

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