Fear and Decluttering

Fear is such a strong emotion that it can paralyze us when decluttering and organizing. Common fears can include:

Fear of change

Fear of letting go of something

Fear of loss

Fear of not having enough or not being able to get more

Fear of dealing with buried emotions

What To Donate?

I know it’s often difficult to get rid of items, even though they clutter your home. Here are some categories that should be easy to discard and donate: gifts you’ve never opened, books you’ll never read again, unused gadgets and broken items. “I may need it someday” is never an excuse for keeping clutter.

Cheaper Delivery Service

When selling large items, oftentimes you need to provide transport, which can be costly. Enter the Roadie app, which connects you with drivers traveling to your intended destination for a fraction of the cost. Whether you’re sending stuff across town or two states away, (from paintings to patio furniture to pets) Roadie gives you an easier, cheaper delivery or courier service. Simply post a Gig online or on your phone, and they’ll match you with a driver who’s already going that way.

To Keep Or Let Go?

I’m often asked by clients how to decide whether to keep an item or let it go. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re torn about whether to keep something.

  1. Does it support my current values and priorities?
  2. Does it fit in with the vision I have for my ideal home?
  3. Does it feel important and meaningful to me?
  4. Does it make me happy?

OR

Could this item be useful or helpful to another person and I can donate to charity?

Bunk Bed Organizer

Kids going to camp this summer? This bunk bed organizer is a must have for campers and college students alike. Lots of pockets make it great for extra storage. $14.99 at The Container Store.

Spring Cleaning Your Closet

Spring is the perfect time for cleaning and organizing your closets. As the South Florida “winter” fades away, we no longer need the sweaters, boots and jackets that take up space in our closets.

The first and most vital step is to edit your wardrobe.  Touch every piece of winter clothing and make sure it is in good condition for next winter, that you love it and will wear it again. If the answer is no, then it is just clutter. Donate or consign items you no longer love.

Once you have edited your winter wardrobe, move those pieces to the back of the closet, or if you are lucky enough to have two closets, to the other. Then bring your Spring items to the front of the closet for easy access. Edit those items as well, so you make sure that everything is in good condition and wearable for the warmer weather. Don’t forget that new purchases will come in and further crowd the space.

Those with limited space can also store out of season items under their bed using an underbed storage box available at all big box retailers (Target, Walmart).

Put like-items together, so that you can find everything easily. Tanks with tanks, blouses with blouses, etc. I also organize each category by color (white to black).

Get rid of wire hangars – they tangle and harm clothes. Huggable Hangars, which are made of thin velvet, truly increase hanging space and the velvet prevents items from slipping off. Whatever hangars you choose, make sure they all match.

Make a checklist of Spring chores you need to do once or twice a year – take sweaters and winter jackets to the dry cleaners before putting them away, bring heavy comforters to the Laundromat before they’re stored, etc.

Maintenance: I tell all my clients that maintenance is key. Each day, put everything back where it belongs– either in the hamper, dry cleaning basket or re-hang.  It will take only 5 minutes a day and keep you organized. When you buy new items, put them in their proper category space when you get it home.

Make your spring cleaning and organizing Fun. Don’t think of it as a chore. Instead, think of it as a ‘feel good’ exercise–one that will really help you enjoy your clean and organized environment.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

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Clear Your Mailbox from Junk Mail

If junk mail and catalogs are cluttering your home, this great article from Readers Digest gives you comprehensive solutions to clear your mailbox.

 

Make Your Mailbox a Junk-Free Zone

Drowning in junk mail? New post office rules may make things even worse! Find out how to stop unwanted snail mail from clogging your mailbox.

 By Reader’s Digest Editors
If snail mail spam is one of your pet peeves, pull up a chair—you’ll want to be sitting down for this: A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reveals that in January the United States Postal Service relaxed the rules governing bulk mail (officially called “saturation mail” by the USPS), allowing more of it than ever before to jam your mailbox. In the past, a letter or package could not be delivered without having a specific address. As a result, marketers paid big money for mailing lists in order to promote their products and services. Now, direct mail firms need only address their mailings to “Postal Customer” and they’ll be delivered to every residential or business mailbox on an official route.

Feel like going postal? Here’s the good news: You can still opt-out of receiving bulk mail by contacting the marketer—or, rather, marketers of each and every unsolicited mailing. Luckily, there are several not-for-profit websites that do the dirty work for you. The following five steps will get you started, according to the folks at treehugger.com:

1. Contact the Direct Marketing Association. At your request, they’ll remove your name and address from numerous mass marketing lists for up to five years.

dmachoice.org

2. Register with Catalog Choice or TonicMailstopper to have your contact information removed from catalog lists.

catalogchoice.org

precycle.tonic.com

3. Review your privacy settings for all credit cards and utilities. Opt out of everything but communications from the company that are directly related to your account.

4. Say “No” to credit card solicitations. OptOutPrescreen.com is the official site of the Consumer Credit Reporting Industry dedicated to opting consumers in or out of credit card offers and promotions. Choose either a 5-year or permanent opt-out on the website or by calling 1-888-5OPT-OUT.

5. Research junk mail reduction services. Organizations such as SlotGuard and 41pounds.org offer low-cost options along with advice.

For even more ways to fend-off junk mail, check out these planet- and privacy-friendly sites:

ecocycle.org

Global Stewards

Treehugger.com

Affordable Closet Organizing Products

Closet space got you down? For those who are renting their homes or who can’t afford to put in a custom closet system, adding affordable closet organizing products to your existing space can give you a lot of storage you didn’t know you had.

Believe it or not, bulky hangars waste a lot of hanging space in your closet. By purchasing these Huggable Hangars, you can add about 20% more hanging space. Another reason I recommend them is that their velvet coating prevents clothes from slipping off and onto the floor. They also look really great! (Joy Mangano Huggable Hangars)

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Huggable Hangars

If your closet doesn’t already have shoe shelves, these shelves from ClosetMaid are awesome! Made of sturdy melamine, you can fit 9-12 pairs of shoes on each rack. Buy more than one unit and stack the shelves to get a “wall of shoes.” (just make sure that you secure them to the wall if you’re going to stack them high) Or, use several of them along the floor under hanging items. They’re so easy to put together and are available at Target and Walmart.

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Shoe rack

The contents of drawers tend to become disorganized fast. I love Dream Drawers to help you get control of your belongings. Divide the drawer in half or thirds and you can separate bras, underwear, socks, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts and even belts. Available at Bed Bath and Beyond and The Container Store.

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Drawer divider

If you have shelf space in your closet, you can store purses, t-shirts, sweaters or jeans. While shelved items do have a tendency to get messy if you’re not careful, these dividers can help tame the clutter. Available at www.organizeit.com.

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Shelf divider

While you may think that plastic shoe boxes are only useful to store shoes, they have so many other great uses in a closet. Use them to corral belts, scarves, jewelry, even junk.

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Shoe Box

 

You don’t need a custom closet system to get the benefits of an organized closet. These affordable closet organizing products can make any space more organized. Plus, you can take them to your new space when you move.

Happy organizing!

Tame The Electronic Clutter

With new electronic devices constantly coming out and grabbing our attention and our dollars, we have more cords and equipment than we know what to do with. Here are some ways to tame the electronic clutter that comes with our new toys.

Do you have lots of electronic cords and don’t know what equipment they belong to? Next time you purchase electronics, place the unused cords, adaptors and instructions in a Ziploc bag and label what it belongs to (ex: tablet, computer, phone). Put all the bags in one plastic bin and label it “Electronics.”

Traveling with electronic devises and their chargers can lead to a tangled mess of cords and confusion. GRID IT holds all your devises securely for easy travel. www.cocooninnovations.com

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Old laptop ready for the trash heap? It can release hazardous metals into the environment, so be careful. Instead www.cashyourlaptop.com will buy and refurbish it. Just make sure that all information has been securely deleted first. You can also check to see which local charities need your device at www.cristina.org/donate.html.

Tired of your cords and cables tangling. These Bobino cord wraps are awesome!

BobinosAll_x

 

With new cell phones constantly coming out, you can make money from your old devices by selling them to recyclers who sell them for parts. www.yourenew.com or www.BuyMyTronics.com gives you a price online and sends a prepaid shipping label to make it easy. If you prefer to donate, www.wirelessfoundation.org lets you download a prepaid mailing label.

Many clients have issues with unsightly computer cables that clutter their space. This Clutter Bin is a sleek container designed to hide cables and uses adhesive to latch hubs indie the sidewalls. www.bluelounge.com

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Wondering what to do with the used CD’s, DVD’s, video games and books you no longer want? www.abundatrade.com will buy these items and provide free shipping if you earn $50 or more from your trade.

With 4 USB ports, you can charge all your devices at once with this cute hub. www.bluelounge.com

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Here are some neat do-it-yourself solutions for organizing your cables.

paperclips-to-ogranize-cables use-old-toilet-paper-rolls-to-store-organize-cables-and-chords

It’s never been easier to tame the electronic clutter!