Archive for The Cost of Clutter

How to Get Organized Anywhere at Any Budget

I want to help everyone find the freedom of getting Organized for Life regardless of where they live, or how much money they have. But there’s only one of me, and I need to make a living too. Too bad I can’t work directly with all of you for free.

There are lots of ways I can help you, though! In this post I’ve listed some options for getting organized, in order of affordability. Let me know which ones you need and think will work for you.


Is Your Unfinished Project Really Worth Doing? (The Sunk Cost of Clutter — Part 2)

Unfinished Project BoxMy client and I are sorting and purging her belongings. We come across some fabric she has had for years. Decades, in fact. She puts it in the KEEP pile, saying, “I always thought I could make something out of this.” Not being a sewer, or a quilter, she does not otherwise have a stash of fabric she is attached to. I say, “Yes. You could. But do you still want to? Is it really worth doing?” It is a serious question about whether it’s worth it to HER, neither a judgment, nor an indication of whether or not I personally think it is worth it. And that’s all it takes. She puts it in the DONATE pile.


Organized Charitable Giving

Hand donating money to charityAre you deluged – all year long, but particularly as the year comes to a close – by charitable giving solicitations? Does your heart go out to every cause? Do you feel obligated to donate? Wish there were a better way? Here are my suggestions for organized charitable giving, with personal examples:


Keep or Toss? “But I might need it someday!”

Keep or TossOrganizing and decluttering go hand in hand.

Sometimes the choice to keep or toss something is easy: I love it! I use it! I need to keep it! OK, obviously a keeper. Put it away, or create a home for it.

Sometimes it’s not so easy, though: But it was a gift…but I paid a lot of money for it…I can’t decide…sigh…

What do I hear most often from clients? “But I might need it someday!”

Well, yes, you might. Or maybe not. Let’s think about that for a moment.


Are you taking it too far? (recycling/donating/selling/repurposing)

I was so happy when my recycle bin was delivered!

Decluttering and letting go of unwanted items is good for the soul. One man’s trash can indeed be another man’s treasure! Repurposing can be a creative and satisfying endeavor. And recycling is good for the planet. But… there’s a limit to what one person can do. You can’t save the planet single-handedly. Don’t forget to save yourself, too!


“But I paid good money for that!” (The Sunk Cost of Clutter – part 1)

2015-05-21 14.34.06When I help a client sort through their things, there are any number of reasons why they have difficulty letting them go.

This, despite the fact that they don’t love or use them. “But it was a gift! But I might need it someday! But I paid good money for that!”

Wait! WHAT? (Cue screeching phonograph needle on vinyl.)

You spent good money for that? Oh…well…that’s too bad. But so what? (more…)

Buy the best. Forget the rest.

Are you frugal?

Are you frugal?

I’m pretty frugal, but perhaps not in the same ways you are. The definition of frugal that I like best is this: Spending money on the things you value and saving on everything else.

I don’t have the best of everything, but I am willing to spend money on things that are important to me. For one thing, it allows me to be happy with what I have, which curbs the desire to have more. Here are some examples: (more…)

Yes, you really CAN afford it, and you really DO have the time!, what is it, exactly, that I think you can afford and have the time for? Anything you want! All you have to do is to prioritize it and include it in your budgets. You know — your financial and time budgets. And I mean budget in the sense of allocating resources, which does not necessarily involve scrimping.

We say, “I can’t afford that” when it comes to money, when what we really mean is, “I actually don’t want that,” or, “I don’t think I deserve that,” or, “I’m not willing to do what it takes to get that.” And we say, “I don’t have time for that,” when we mean exactly the same things. And both are equally erroneous. You can afford to do whatever you want. OK, maybe not everything you want all at the same time. But you can have a lot more of what you want than you think you can! (more…)

What is Your Clutter Costing You?

dreamstime_xs_30424420You know you have clutter. We all do, in one form or another, and to varying degrees. But have you ever thought about what it is costing you? Sometimes the cost is obvious, such as late fees incurred for an overdue bill that was lost in a mystery pile of paper, or that you couldn’t find the time to pay. Other times the cost is mental or emotional, such as the embarrassment of having others see your cluttered space. Or, missed opportunities. Or, time you could have spent doing something else.

Why do I care so much about clutter? And about helping people to declutter? Well, here’s what I believe: (more…)

Money Mondays: Are You Paying Your Money Enough Attention?

dreamstime_s_1898318Call it what you will — The Law of Circulation, Feng Shui, The Principle-of-not-getting-your-lights-turned-off-because-you-forgot-to-pay-the-bill — money ebbs and flows and takes on a life of its own. Managing money is kind of like raising children who misbehave to get negative attention if they aren’t getting enough positive attention. (more…)