Harrisburg Business Owner Helps Declutter A&E ‘Hoarders’ Series Homes
As a student at Milton Hershey Residential School, Carolina Harvey had to keep her room clean, just like the other students. But in eighth grade, she said, her parents realized checking her room would be a waste of time.
“[My house parents] I just thought, ‘it’s not even worth it,’ Harvey said. “There’s no point in me checking her room.” She [cleans] all alone. I’ve always been very organized, always wanted to have a clutter-free space and just focus on my homework or whatever I wanted to do.
Harvey has since transformed her cleaning and organizing habits into a company, Cure the Clutter, where she is hired by individuals and businesses to help sort, organize and streamline everything from kitchen counters and cupboards to documents and filing systems. And now his Harrisburg-based business is helping people across the country through the A&E “Hoarders” series.
Harvey was first approached by the show in August 2020, as they were preparing to shoot an episode in central Pennsylvania. While that initial plan failed, she was hired again to help with an episode shot in Virginia, and several more followed in various states.
“After doing my fourth in Oklahoma, they asked me to be the cleaning expert [for future episodes]”Said Harvey.” It was pretty exciting, a little scary, but it was such a great experience for me. You know, being able to help people. That’s what I really love to do.
“Hoarders” documents interventions and assistance for people with compulsive hoarding disorder or other serious problems with their home. The series generally combines the treatment of the individual through a psychiatrist or therapist with a professional cleaning and home organization service.
Harvey started his job in 2008, first helping a few clients develop word of mouth for free. Since then, Cure the Clutter has been hired widely by residential clients, helping stay-at-home moms stay organized, decluttering garages and basements for retirees, and a similar project. But she also often works with small businesses, whether it’s helping set up filing systems or organizing donations of car seats and strollers for a nonprofit group.
The vast majority of Harvey’s work isn’t as extreme as what’s seen on “Hoarders,” she said. But there are cases that she addresses where the situation is just as dire as on the show, where the individuals who call her face dire consequences if they can’t organize themselves.
“Sometimes there’s a hoarding situation where I’m called and, you know, in about two weeks that person is going to lose their home,” she said. “It’s like the TV show, where usually there is an urgent matter. There is something going on that they need to take care of, and if they don’t fix it, they could lose their home, their livelihood, or a bunch of different things that could be harmful to their health. But for the most part, none of this is really not urgent. Sometimes people want to be ready for Thanksgiving with their family or for Christmas. You know, that sort of thing. “
There is certainly a market for cleanup and organization, even if it is not an emergency. Taking on such tasks in your own home can range from a daunting task to a nightmare situation. But for Harvey, tackling the damage is a dream come true.
“I absolutely love what I do, so very much,” she said. “I often think to myself, you must pinch me because I don’t know if I’m dreaming or what. I do what I love every day.
Best of all, she said, “is being able to help people. That’s what I like. This is really what I love to do.
Harvey will next appear in an upcoming episode of “Hoarders” airing at 8 p.m. Monday, December 7 on A&E. For more information on Cure the Clutter, visit his company website here.