I’m doing a happy dance folks. Why am I doing a happy dance? Because the Wisconsin State Journal invited me to be a weekly columnist for their new Wednesday features section called “Balance.” They named the column “Together.”
This is a wonderful opportunity for me to help their readers go from overwhelmed to organized. I will be posting the articles on this blog so you may benefit from my simple-to-implement tips.
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:)
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?
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!!
Happy Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with family, food, and gratitude.
A few organizing tips for the season.
Pare down your Thanksgiving and fall decorations before storing them. Especially if you didn’t use all of them or no longer like some of them.
Store large platters, gravy boat, and any special Thanksgiving dishes in your basement or a closet if you are short on space in your kitchen.
If your family is together at Thanksgiving, suggest choosing names out of a hat for your Christmas gift exchange instead of buying gifts for everyone.
What is one task or one event you can give up this holiday season to make the season more joy filled instead of stressful? Maybe it’s Christmas cards, making a dozen different cookies, or attending every party you are invited to.
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
Why are bags one of my favorite tools? They are the perfect size and sturdy enough to hold a variety of items. It’s also an easy way to reuse the bags.
I use paper bags to hold my donations for my favorite charity and also to hold my client’s donations when I transport them to the donation site. If you are sorting large piles of papers, they work well as a container for recyclable papers and for papers that need shredding. Be sure to label the bags with a sharpie to avoid confusion!
Set up a donation station somewhere in your home (mine is in our basement) and use paper bags to hold the donations.
Why is it one of my favorite tools? It’s a useful organizing container for many areas of your home, not just the laundry room.
I’ve used laundry baskets to hold balls, sand toys, and more in client’s garages, for toys and dress-up clothing in play rooms, and in closets as dirty clothing hampers. We even used one to contain our puppy during car rides (for the first couple of days).
What non traditional items do you contain in a laundry basket?