Plan for the new year with tips from a Baton Rouge organizer

Sara West helps locals declutter their spaces and minds

It’s not easy letting things go. Varsity letter jackets, your first-born’s baby clothes or jeans just one size too small—these are a few of the items Sara West helps her clients sort.

“The biggest thing is creating a home for everything,” West says. “When you have a designated spot for everything, it’s easier to tidy up. But sometimes people don’t know what they want. So that’s where my kind of expertise comes in. I can kind of be a decision maker.”

West launched her professional home and office organizing business South Coast Organizers last January. She handles everything from organizing closets to staging homes for sale. Her schedule is booked with daily consultations, one-on-one organization sessions and shopping trips for organizational goods.

For the New Iberia native, every project is like an exciting new puzzle. She loves tackling messy rooms and transforming them into functional, clean, aesthetically pleasing spaces.

But until last year, West didn’t think she could make a living from organizing. Before starting South Coast Organizers, she was a first grade teacher for more than 6 years. Although she loved teaching, she wanted to utilize her skillset in a more creative setting. After studying professional organizers’ accounts on Instagram and consulting with her professional organizer cousin, she made the jump and started her own business.

“It was just kind of a thing that I would always help people do, and I never realized it was an actual skill,” West says. “I think that’s one of the reasons why it took me so long to start the business—I thought, ‘Everyone can do this.’ And now I’m realizing everyone can’t. It’s something special.”

Sara West launched South Coast Organizers in January 2019.

Each project is different. While her most requested services are for sorting clothes, she also helps clients pack and unpack boxes during a move, arrange kitchen pantries, organize belongings for the deceased and style shelves and walls.

During the initial decluttering part of the process, she works with her clients to identify whether items should be kept, rearranged or donated. She makes tough decisions for her clients and creates order out of chaos.

“I like to streamline things so that people can get back to doing what they want to be doing,” West says. “There’s a difference between being organized and being perfect. It’s about whatever works for you.” socoorganizers.com