TheFace: Sara I. Alissa, Saudi professional organizer

Sara I. Alissa (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 08 March 2019

TheFace: Sara I. Alissa, Saudi professional organizer

  • She founded S.O.R.T.E.D., a hybrid business that lies somewhere between that of an interior designer and space organizer

Old habits die hard. I am a professional organizer and I help assist clients to declutter and organize their living and workspaces. 

My passion for organizing spaces and the urge to transform people’s lives in a positive way can be traced back to both my parents who have always been very organized. Some of my fondest memories are the summers we spent with my family in Divonne, France, as I’d accompany my mom on excursions to flea markets and antique stores where she would always find the most exciting object to bring alive a room. My mother is a perfectionist, it made me realize that it was her way of spreading joy in our lives by creating an organized and comfortable environment for us to live in. 

While growing up, I always loved tidying up and organizing my room, but it never occurred to me that I could transform these skills into a career that helps individuals organize their lives. My parents gave me the space to grow and be creative as well as gain a sense of independence from an early age. I completed my final year of high school in Lugano, Switzerland and went on to study visual art and communications at Franklin University. Although my passion for organizing began in Saudi Arabia, living in Switzerland also exposed me to a culture that saw beauty in well-organized and functional spaces.

Five years ago, I established S.O.R.T.E.D. It is a hybrid services (business) that lies somewhere between that of an interior designer and space organizer. As a mother of two young boys, I decided to embark on this career path as a professional organizer with my family’s support, even though it was an unusual career choice in Saudi Arabia at the time. 

I have developed my methods over the years through a combination of researching books on the topics, techniques, workshops and hands-on experience. My methodology is also influenced by Marie Kondo, who has become a leading force in the industry. I believe her method encourages tidying by category instead of location, beginning with clothes for example, then moving on to books and papers and so on. I enjoy providing helpful tips on how to maintain their living and workspaces once we’ve reconfigured them. Each project is different, depending on the scope — whether it is a storage area or pantry or walk-in closet to be used more efficiently or reimagining a nursery or child’s play room. Function, practicality and inspirational qualities come to mind. 

It was important for me to be approachable from the very beginning and put my clients at ease; a home is sacred and for them to open their homes to me, there’s a certain level of trust that I always maintain. Being a good problem-solver and listener are important and useful skills to have in this profession, to understand what a client’s needs are and how they use their space. I tailor my solutions to their requirements. 

I feel blessed to be able to turn a passion into a career that I liken to therapy, as I watch clients go through their own positive transformation through the process of de-cluttering. • 


KSRelief to distribute Eid gifts among orphans in Yemen

Updated 8 min ago

KSRelief to distribute Eid gifts among orphans in Yemen

  • The center is carrying out a series of such programs to support orphans around the world

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) signed an agreement on Tuesday to implement a project entitled “Their Happiness is Our Hope”, which will provide Eid kiswa (gifts) to orphans in war-hit Yemen.

“KSRelief signed an agreement with the Al-Khair Charity for Humanitarian Relief to carry out the project for the upcoming Eid Al-Adha festival,” Nasser Al-Nafe, a KSRelief spokesman told Arab News.

The agreement was signed by KSrelief’s assistant supervisor general (Operations and Programs), Ahmed Al-Baiz.

Fahad Al-Osaimy, head of KSRelief’s Urgent Aid Department, said Eid gifts will be distributed to 84,750 beneficiaries, including orphans in the governorates of Aden, Hadhramaut, Lahij, Hodeidah, Mahrah, Ma’rib, Shabwah, Abyan, Taiz and Ad Dali.

The center is carrying out a series of such programs to support orphans around the world.

This initiative is just one of many humanitarian projects implemented by KSRelief in Yemen, he said.

Meanwhile, the center’s landmine clearance project (Masam) continues to deactivate explosive devices in Yemen.

During the first week of July, teams deactivated a total of 1,092 explosive devices, including 3 anti-personnel mines, 298 anti-vehicle mines, 17 improvised explosive devices and 774 pieces of unexploded ordnance.

Since the project began in June 2018, the Masam teams have deactivated a total of 172,823 mines planted by the Iranian-backed Houthis.

Houthi militants have deployed more than 1 million explosive devices in populated areas throughout Yemen during the conflict, according to the center.

These devices have killed or seriously injured many innocent civilians and remain a serious threat to safety and security in Yemen.