If you want to honor your mom, grandmother or someone who has been “like a mom” to you, there are some wonderful, meaningful options that will not add clutter to their lives.
First of all, consider the following:
Has she dropped gift hints? If so, then at least you know she wants the gift and will use it.
What hobbies does she enjoy?
Now for some options:
- If she enjoys reading she might like a gift card to a local book store, Amazon.com or I-tunes for book downloads.
- If she gardens give her a potted outdoor plant, gift card to a nursery, or offer to help plant her garden.
- Is she a bird lover? Present her with seed for her bird feeder.
- Does she love to cook? A gift card to a store that specializes in spices, oils or vinegar may be nice.
- Has she been asking you to teach her a skill you excel at? Spend time teaching her to knit, paint, cook, play golf, tennis, garden, play the piano or organize.
- Is she in need of some pampering? A gift card for a massage, pedicure or manicure may be perfect.
- Do you enjoy each other’s company? Take her out to lunch, dinner, to a movie, or a concert.
- If she is sentimental a handwritten note telling her how special she is would be lovely.
Make this mother’s day a clutter-free day! Leave a comment with your clutter-free gift ideas.
The gift of organization is clutter-free! Contact Jill if you are interested in learning about her gift certificates. 608-575-7467
Spring is the time of year for filing taxes, disappearing piles of snirt (snow+dirt), de-cluttering and FREE paper shredding events.
If you live in the Madison, WI area, click here for a list of local events.
These events are happening all over the U.S. Search the internet for events going on in your area.
Spring is the time of year where I really get in the mood to lighten up and let go of the clutter. How about you? Are you ready for a change?
If are ready to kick out the clutter, join my 30 Day Spring De-Cluttering Challenge. Receive support, motivation, and daily organizing tasks. It begins on Monday, April 1st, 2013. Here are all the glorious details:)
If you have donated to charitable organizations in the past you probably receive several donation requests in your mailbox every week. Did you know some charities sell, share or rent your information with other charities? It’s confusing and time consuming to keep up with the solicitations. You wonder, didn’t I donate to this charity already? When did I donate to that charity, this year, last year, never?
How do you keep track of all those requests and plan your giving? Before you become more confused and frustrated, take back control and organize your giving with the following steps.
- Create a budget for your total annual contributions and revise this annually if needed.
- Do you want to give monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually?
- List the charities you want to support on a piece of paper or in a computer document (spread sheet or word doc.) Now you know what organizations you want to support, when you want to support them and your budget.
- When you collect your mail you can be confident and toss, shred or recycle solicitations from charities you do not support, charities you are not scheduled to support, or duplicate solicitations. Don’t let fear prevent you from tossing. You will receive another mailing or you may find the charity on-line when it’s time to donate.
Have you received solicitations from new charities and you want more information before giving? Check them out at the website Charity navigator.
Most of us have collected one thing or another during our lives. Our collection grows, sometimes out of control, once we tell someone about our collection. We receive pieces to add to our as gifts than we may have intended to collect.
What do you collect?
I was a collector, until I outgrew my collections. I started out collecting soap from hotels when my dad traveled for business. He was very frugal and convinced me, rather easily, that the hotel soap he presented to me upon his return, was actually a great souvenir! My collection grew until it filled a large box that resided under my bed. When my sister did a semester abroad, she brought home soap from other countries. I was thrilled! This collection brought me joy, believe it or not. Friends had to look at it and smell the soap when they visited. Weird, huh!
During one period of my life, I was an avid figure skater. Because of this skating obsession, my mom began giving me skating ornaments. This was a wonderful collection because I had something to put on my tree when I married. I looked forward to trimming the tree with my skaters. I have since out grown this obsession and given most of the skaters away to charity.
So what is the point of my sharing my collection’s story?
I would like you to think about your current collections. Do they continue to bring you joy? Are they a burden because you feel guilty when they no longer bring you pleasure? Do you continue to receive pieces for you collection as gifts and you have run out of space? Does your collection require space you no longer want to devote to the collection? Think about it.
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it may be time to part ways with your collection.
What is the worst thing that would happen if you donated or sold your collection?
Has your dining room become a room to dump items you bring into your home, items you recently purchased, or a room for projects? When was the last time you dined in your dining room? Even if you rarely this room, wouldn’t it be nice to have it organized and clutter-free?
Set up containers for trash, recycle, donate and items that belong in another room and follow these 5 steps for a dining room you can dine in.
- Clear the floor. Put items where they belong or donate. Vacuum. This will make a big impact.
- Clear the surface of the dining room table and dust. Put items away.
- Clear other surfaces and dust. Now you are beginning to see the light!
- Donate decorative items you no longer like and no longer want to dust.
- Go through every drawer and cabinet. Break it up into small bits, one drawer or cabinet each day or each session. Donate excess. How many table linens and serving dishes do you need to keep? Beware of keeping items because of guilt. This won’t help you become clutter-free. Evaluate every napkin holder, candle, candle holder, trivet, and salt shaker. Use a clip style clothing hanger to hang linens in a spare closet keeping them wrinkle free.
Choose just one of the above steps to focus on at a time and in a matter of days or weeks you will have a clutter-free and organized dining room once again.
De-cluttering your home will result in a more organized home. We all have too much stuff. Even the professional organizer has too much stuff! I’m constantly de-cluttering and putting things back where they belong to maintain an organized home.
Just imagine if we pared down our belongings by a third!
- We will have less to maintain.
- We will have more freedom.
- We will have empty spaces thus more storage.
- We will be able to find things.
- We will love coming home to a clutter and chaos free space.
Grab a couple containers and choose one room to de-clutter today. It doesn’t matter what room you choose just make a decision. Set a timer for 30 minutes and quickly go through the room looking for items to donate and trash. If the room has drawers, shelves, or a closet, check those areas also.
I bet you will fill at least one container in 30 minutes. Don’t agonize over your decisions, do it quickly.
Put the donation containers in your car and drop them off next time you are near your favorite charity.
How many containers did you fill? Congratulations!!
It’s National “Get Organized” month. Is your closet full of clothing you don’t wear? Is it unorganized and uninviting? Hop on over to this month’s Blog Carnival featuring closet organizing tips from professional organizers–including ME:)
Now is the time to get your closet in order so you may get dressed…..not stressed! Start with these closet tips.
There are 5 key areas in most homes that become overstuffed and need regular editing or purging to keep them organized and to create space. Editing on a regular basis will prevent you from out-growing your space.
1. Files: Open your file drawers, glance at the files, look for the thickest files. Pull them out, one at a time. Pull old pamphlets, papers, or brochures from the file. Look for paper that is taking up a lot of space (a large brochure) in the folder. Can it be tossed or recycled? Is it out of date? Do you really need it or will you be able to find the information on the internet? It will be much easier to file paperwork once you weed out the old papers.
2. Clothing: Are you running out of room in your closet? You may think you wear all the clothing in there but take a closer look. Donate items that fit the following criteria: too small, too large, not flattering, no longer in style or worn out. Gather all the empty hangers, recycle the wire ones and put the empty hangers in one area of your closet. If you have too many, relocate the extras to your laundry room or front closet. Now you can see what you own and have some breathing room in your closet.
3. Refrigerator: Has your refrigerator become a black hole? Food enters it and is never seen again? Time to edit it’s contents. Toss the expired items and wipe down all the surfaces. Remember to go through all the bottles and jars in the door also. A clean a healthy fridge, doesn’t that feel better?
4. Pantry: Same as the refrigerator. Toss the expired items. Wipe down shelves. Categorize food and label shelves.
5. Reading Material: Are your bookshelves at maximum capacity? Consider donating books you have read to a local library or shelter. Be real with yourself, how likely is it that you will reread them? Put away the odds and ends that have gravitated to the bookshelf.
Edit one of these areas each month and you find it easier to maintain organization and not out grow your space.
What area are you going to edit this week?
Deferred decisions or the lack of decisions tend to cause disorganization, clutter and chaos! Think about it, if you don’t make a decision about whether to keep something, decide where to put things, decide on commitments/activities to participate in, decide to maintain organization, or decide to ask for help you aren’t going to change your circumstances.
I’d like to share a client story with you about decisions. This client was a virtual client of mine which means I coached her over the phone. She’s a lovely client, she took my advice and also thought of her own solutions.
Let’s call this client Laverne. Laverne had piles and piles of dirty dishes so I suggested she tackle them 10 minutes each day until she was caught up. We can do anything for 10 minutes, right?
During our next phone coaching session I asked Laverne about her dishes and her progress. She said, “Jill they are gone!” I told Laverne that I was so happy and proud of her and asked how she did it. Her response……”I threw them out!”
Wow, what a decision! Unconventional isn’t it? You know what, she made a decision and moved on. Now Laverne has one plate, one glass, and a couple spoons, knives and forks from Goodwill. Laverne decided to keep it simple and never face a pile of dirty dishes again.
Way to go Laverne! This solution isn’t for everyone but bottom line, she made a decision and moved on.
What are going to decide to do today? Please comment. If you decided to ask for help I’d love to have a conversation with you. 608-575-7467