Archive for decluttering

Organizing to De-Stress in Stressful Times

These are stressful times. It’s been an intense week for the whole country. OK… it’s been a stressful couple of years!

And I think we’re all feeling it one way or another.

Are you remembering to take care of yourself?

I forget sometimes, so I’m writing this for myself as much as for you.

Here are my suggestions: (more…)

Embrace the Clutter!

Embrace the ClutterEmbrace the clutter!

Why on earth would I, a professional organizer, say such a thing?

Well, think about it. What’s the opposite of embracing something? Fearing it? Ignoring it? Avoiding it?

Doesn’t it seem like anything you fear, ignore, or avoid persists? It doesn’t go away, it just nags at you. Doesn’t it? Maybe not every second of every day, but repeatedly and persistently.

Meanwhile, it usually gets steadily worse, not magically better. Right?

Why not embrace your clutter – and yourself, and your flaws – and make friends with them?

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“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…)

How Clean Does Your House Really Need To Be?

2014-03-08 07.32.35I love nothing more than a clean, tidy, organized home!

But those are three completely different things:

Clean = the absence of dirt, dust, grime, pet hair, bugs, etc.
Tidy = no visible clutter lying around on surfaces such as counters, tables, and floors
Organized = you can find what you need when you need it, and get stuff done on time (more…)

Have a Garage Sale…If You Must

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-garage-sale-sign-image19727236Love ’em or hate ’em, garage sales (yard sales, tag sales, whatever you call them) are here to stay.

Here’s why I hate ’em: (more…)

Clear Your Mind and Get it All Done… Sooner or Later

2013-05-21 06.40.52I know how to get stuff done, and I can teach you how, too. I have tools and systems for all the stages of workflow (collect, process, organize, review and do). I have an inbox and project lists which I clear and review weekly. I say no to activities that don’t support my goals and priorities. For the most part I capture and process new tasks as they occur to me, adding them to my Master Project List or scheduling them on my calendar. I have a notebook handy for capturing stray thoughts when I want to stay focused on my current activity and not worry about losing the thought.

But life happens. Sometimes I get lazy, or sick, or preoccupied, or I’m traveling, or busier than usual, and stuff piles up (physical and mental clutter), and I start to get overwhelmed. (more…)

Clearing Mental Clutter

accept what you can't changeClutter comes in many forms. If you are worried about something, but aren’t doing anything about it — or can’t do anything about it — it’s mental clutter. For any persistent, worrisome thought, ask yourself: Can you do something about it? If you think so, or if you don’t think so, or if you’re not sure — think again just to make sure. If the answer is yes — you can do something about it – great! Do it! The pure fact that you are doing something about it will help you to not worry about it so much.

Why can’t you part with your mental clutter? Here are some reasons why this is difficult:

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3 Steps to Falling in Love with Your Home Office

Home Office AFTER

How does your home office make you feel? If you have the sort of business where you have clients in, are you embarrassed to let them see it? One of my organizing and redesign clients said, about her cluttered, drab room, “I feel like I’m going to prison every morning.” Oh no, that’s terrible! Depending on how you use it, you might be spending more time in your home office than you do sleeping in your bedroom! (Which, by the way, is the other most neglected room in the house for décor, but that’s another story.)

So, what can you do? Here are 3 steps to falling in love with your home office:

  1. (more…)

How to Live and Work by Design, not by Default

Living and working BY DEFAULT means choosing the easiest path, either by unconsciously resorting to bad habits, or by maintaining the status quo. Sometimes we seek to avoid the conflict that can come with making a change. Sometimes we feel we have no choice in the matter. But I’m with Henry Ford, who said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.”

Those who live and work BY DESIGN notice when things aren’t going well, and make adjustments accordingly. They live more calmly, purposefully, and mindfully.

Here are some examples: (more…)

Be Prepared: How Girl Scouts helped me get organized for life

Girl Scouts then.

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that I was a Girl Scout. I started out as a Brownie and ended up working as a counselor at Girl Scout camps in the mountains of Idaho and Colorado as a young adult. I recently reconnected with some camp friends who reminded me how valuable the skills were that we learned through scouting. Yes, we learned how to make one-match campfires, and how to pack a backpack without forgetting anything essential (or ending up with too much to carry). But we also learned to teach these skills to others.

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