Disorganization Disorganization can be a huge problem for people in every area of their lives. You don’t have to live with it though as I wrote about in a previous blog post, “Disorganization, Situational or Permanent”. If the sheer quantity of items that you have is creating disorganization it’s time to confront your resistance to letting them go, or at least reducing the amount. Read on and check out my special offer. Resistance to letting things go shows up as: Procrastination – Putting it off because you don’t want to deal with it. Indecisiveness – Avoiding making the decisions to keep or not seems easier. Distorted thinking – “I may need it sometime.” When I hear someone say, “I may need it sometime”, I ask them guiding questions such as: When was the last time that you…used it, looked at, or referred to it for information? What would happen if you got rid of it and then later, needed it? Would you be able to find or replace it? The most common types of items that fall into the “stuff I may need sometime” category include: Massive amounts of office supplies, particularly pens, pads, envelopes Clothing such as old tee shirts from school, concerts, races, etc., jeans, or never worn items of clothing. A stockpile of hotel toiletries. You don’t use them and most of your overnight guests bring their own toiletries. Vases from flowers that were delivered. Pots and pans, casserole dishes, chafing dish, soup tureens, and other serving pieces. Name tags, conference totes and handouts from meetings. Reusable shopping bags. Gifts you’ve never used (or liked). Unread newspapers and magazines. Catalogs, including duplicates. Expired coupons and circulars. Bins full of unidentified cords, cables, etc. Piles of business cards. You can use this list to begin to declutter things… read more →
How to Reduce Clutter – Sentimental Items Reduce clutter if you want to simplify your life. Clutter takes up valuable space, is expensive to move, and most times you don’t even look at all of it. Many Professional Organizers like myself will tell you to declutter sentimental items last because it is more emotional and detailed work. What types of sentimental items create clutter for you? Photographs, slides, videos Collectibles, souvenirs Trophies, plaques, awards Children’s art work Baby clothes, toys Wedding gifts Birthday and special occasion cards, old letters and postcards If you want to reduce clutter from the sentimental items you’ve held on to for years you are not alone.According to therapist Dr. Robin Zasio, “Sometimes it feels like we should save things simply because they were given to us, not because they’re meaningful or useful.” (2011). We hang on to sentimental items because we feel a sense of responsibility and anticipated guilt if we let them go. These items sit in boxes, storage containers, albums and baskets. They take up space in cupboards, on shelves, garage floors, space under the beds, in closets…all of which could be clutter-free. Imagine what that space could be used for (or not,) if it were clear! At a time when many of us are thinking about simplifying our lives and downsizing our homes it is useful to revisit which items you really want and need to keep. You literally can’t take them all with you if you plan to move to a smaller house and travel more. If you have difficulty letting go of sentimental items here are some organizing tips designed to get you started: Limit the quantity Display them Repurpose them Limit quantity to reduce clutter- be realistic As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I want to assure… read more →
How to Reduce Clutter As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I’ll be blunt… to reduce clutter you need to take action. You already know the reasons (and excuses) why you don’t let go of stuff. I can assure you that guilt, fear, and distorted thinking can prevent any one of us from letting go of the things that we don’t need, use or want. Yet having things pile up, collect dust, attract moths or silverfish, stress us out, cause shame and make us feel badly about ourselves can motivate you to get help. Taking action means changing your thoughts, behaviors and even the way that you speak. Do any of these sound familiar? “I have to have that.” “You can never have to many of these.” “I know that I’ll get a lot of use out of this.” “It’s such a good buy.” “If I don’t like it I can return it.” When shopping is your problem If you can declutter on your own or with the help of a non-judgmental relative or friend consider trying any of the following decluttering and organizing tips: Return it – most stores will take back never used or worn items. You may not get the full amount back. Instead you may get a partial refund or store credit. Congratulate yourself for letting go without self judgment. Use this as an opportunity to be more intentional about your purchases. Resell it – online sites are great for reselling new and gently used items. Be realistic with your pricing. Scrutinize the buyers’ payment method (no checks) and method of delivery or pickup (not in your home, especially if you are alone). Consignment shops always take a percentage of the sale but can be a less time consuming method for resale. Donate it –… read more →
Organizing clothing clutter Organizing clothing clutter is especially difficult for some people. The top 5 reasons people tell their San Diego Professional Organizer they can’t let go of clothing: It used to fit; I hope it will fit again – “I’m hoping to wear it again when I lose those extra pounds.” Sentimental value; good memories – “I remember how happy I was when I wore that.” It can be repaired – “I can get that stain out. I keep meaning to get it altered. I can use it for something else. My favorite: I can wear it at home.” It cost a lot to purchase – “I spent a lot on it. “I have no where to wear it but I spent a lot of money on it. I feel guilty getting rid of it.” “I may need it…for an interview, formal event, funeral, etc.” How to organize your clothing and get rid of clothing clutter: What you will need: A full length mirror, a 3-way if possible For women: a bra with excellent support for when you try tops and dresses on Bags or bins for each of the following: hangers to recycle, donating, consignments, alterations An honest friend, family member or Image and Wardrobe Consultant A hanger stand for the extra hangers you are keeping Wardrobe Organizing Tips – How to declutter your wardrobe: Schedule adequate time on a specific day to begin the process Start with the easy decisions – let go of items that you know you will not wear again Try on each bottom – pants, shorts, jeans, skirts. Do they fit your current body shape? Are they comfortable? Do they fit your current lifestyle? Try on each top – coats, jackets, shirts, blouses, sweaters, tee shirts, camisoles. Ask yourself the same questions.… read more →
Organizing Sentimental Items As a Professional Organizer I know that organizing sentimental items is challenging for many of you. This is especially true during the purging stage when you are deciding what to keep and what to let go of. Remember that the benefits of organizing anything, including sentimental items, is that you are able to revisit fond memories. The question is why do we let sentimental items become clutter? The reasons are usually emotional: Fear Guilt Attachment Perceived emotional value Perceived financial value Fear When organizing, some people fear that letting go of a sentimental item is a sign of disrespect, or that they will forget the person or event the item reminds them of. Organizing Tip: If you really don’t want or need the item take a photo of it and add the photo to your other photos of that person or the event. Then donate the item. If you aren’t ready to let it go, display the item next to a framed photo. Guilt Items that are passed down through families aren’t always valued by later generations. Even though, some of us feel guilty letting go of family heirlooms. As a Professional Organizer I don’t think that it is fair or reasonable to tell someone not to feel guilty. It is something that the person will have to decide. Organizing Tip: If you really do not want the item try packing it away and letting a friend or relative hold on to it. Set a time frame for when you will be ready to let it go. If feelings of guilt arise during that time frame retrieve the item and find a way to use it or display it. Attachment If sentimental items bring you pleasure that is sufficient reason to keep them. Organizing Tip: You don’t… read more →
Things I Can’t Let Go Of! Date: March 3, 2016 Denise was the featured speaker at the Del Mar Rotary Club on March 3rd, 2016. She spoke to the Rotarians about techniques that she uses with clients to help assess which sentimental items are okay to keep, and which items to let go of because they create unneeded clutter. Book Denise to Speak More Articles on Letting Go
Paper Clutter Paper clutter can easily sneak up on you. Paper clutter isn’t limited to your office either. I’ve seen paper clutter in: Bathrooms Garages Kitchens Bedrooms Cars Backpacks Purses Closets As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer I suggest that you organize by room and focus on paperwork, only. Schedule 30 minutes on a specific date, at a specific time to: Discard, recycle, shred Sort, file Purge old files & papers. Which types of paper clutter drive you crazy? Let’s identify the culprits… Receipts Unopened mail Catalogs Unread piles of magazines Stacks of newspapers Unclipped and/or expired coupons; circulars Business cards Handouts from meetings, conferences Papers your children bring home from school Never ending to-do lists, notes Unused notepads Unpurged files Old tax records Boarding passes, tickets, maps In my series, “Things I’d Rather Die With” I’m going to give you lots of organizing tips to help you to get rid of clutter. I came across a terrific article that will help you with some ideas about how to declutter your paper situation: Taming Paper Let me know what you do to reduce the amount of paper in your life by posting on Outside In Organizer and Makeovers on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.