Tag Archives: declutter

Get Your Home and Your Life Organized and Energized!

Do you feel like you and your home are energized and organized?

If you feel overwhelmed and already behind with your resolution to get your life in order, here are a few quick steps you can take to help you get ready for the holidays.

Take the time to look at your home through the eyes of a complete stranger (or perhaps your most critical relative!). I find that when I have a service provider, like a handyman or a heating and air tech, come through my house, I see my home from a completely different perspective. I see the pile that is stacked in front of the electrical box (real life scenario that just happened to me). I see the old Halloween decorations that are still not properly put back into their boxes. So, step one is to see your home from a new perspective. What would you hide or change if you knew someone was coming to appraise, repair or critique your home? Go ahead declutter  and eliminate the obvious eyesores.

Next grab an empty laundry basket and walk through your house collecting items that are not in the right place and need to be put away. After you fill your first basket, empty it by moving to each area stowing each item away into it’s designated ‘home’. Keep filling your basket and moving items to their proper locations.

Next up – declutter your guest room. Even if no one is coming to stay during the holidays, a clean and spacious spare room will give you a huge surge of energy because you will suddenly have a space to stow gifts, make lists, wrap gifts write cards and generally do whatever you need to do to get your holidays organized!

OK – now it’s time to move into your kitchen. The holidays are the time that you really need to clean and clear out your fridge. Tis the season to cook and eat and the last thing you need is a cluttered fridge. I find that the week before I buy the turkey is the best time to clear out the fridge. For most of us it is a necessity or we can’t fit the bird in anyhow!

Give your pantry a once over. As you move items around you can make mental note of what you need to add to your shopping list. It is always good to have a few quick snacks on hand and spur of the moment appetizer ingredients. This is also the time to make sure you have healthy snacks and quick meals stocked and ready for the nights that you get home wiped out from shopping or working a long day. The best way to eat healthy is to plan in advance. Make sure to stock your pantry with snacks that you can take with you while shopping. I love having small packs of nuts in my purse for the times when my outing extends into lunch or dinner time. It keeps me from stopping at a fast food place on the way home!

Set up a gift wrapping station. It is nice to have a dedicated place to store gifts and gift wrap throughout the year. During the holidays, having a space set up will save you time and energy. Imagine having all of your wrapping paper, ribbon, bags, tape, decent scissors and cards all in one place with a surface to work on. You can stow your gifts until wrapped in this same area in a large opaque plastic storage bin. This will keep your gifts clean and away from peeping tom eyes!

These are things that you can do to make your home feel more like a zen sanctuary and less like a chaotic jungle! If you spend the time this weekend organizing and decluttering, I know that you will be able to enjoy the holidays more fully with less stress and less effort.

Remember what Abe Lincoln said? 1 hour of preparation saves 3 hours of perspiration.
Get organized and eliminate unnecessary stress in your life.

If you are already feeling overwhelmed and know that you can’t get your home and your life organized and decluttered, I am here and ready to help. I work in person in the San Diego area and also consult virtually throughout the US. You can reach out and contact me here.

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You Can Use Moving as a Catalyst for Downsizing

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Most of us have clutter lying around the house: trinkets we don’t remember how we obtained, broken or worn items we’re never going to use again, things we were gifted but never wanted, the list goes on.

Moving is a great catalyst for getting rid of things you don’t want or need. A new home is a blank slate. You can start anew with only items that benefit your life. Below are some tips for using moving as a catalyst for downsizing your possessions.

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Decide What’s Important to You

The first step to downsizing is to analyze your viewpoint on possessions. What sort of items do you want in your life? Obviously, items you use on a daily basis will stay. These items make your life easier and contribute to your happiness and well-being. When it comes to décor and other items, think about whether you notice them often and if they make you smile. We all want a positive vibe in our living space, but too many trinkets can actually add stress to your life instead of bringing joy.

You’ll also want to think about what you want your new home to look and feel like. This means getting rid of items that are broken, damaged, or just don’t contribute to your space. As you pack, you’ll want to think about every item. Does it add functionality or positivity to your life? If not, strongly consider leaving it behind.

Decluttering

Purge Your Belongings

After you’ve decided your standards for keeping and getting rid of items, it’s time to start the purge. Here is a great article with tips for purging your belongings before a move. 

As the article states, you’ll want to be very intentional in your organization. Designate piles and boxes for items you’re keeping, items you’re donating, and garbage. I suggest creating these groups in piles first, then packing your “keep” pile a few days later. This will give you a second chance to analyze whether each item truly positively contributes to your life.

You should get rid of:

Items you haven’t used in over 6 months

Items you’re only keeping to make someone else happy (gifts you never wanted)

Anything that is broken (if you haven’t fixed it yet, you probably never will

Clothes you haven’t worn in 6 months (with the exception of seasonal wear)

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Keep the Momentum Going

Once you’ve moved, you have a chance to keep the momentum from your purge. You can do this in several ways. The first is to resist the urge to fill your new space with clutter. Keep your home organized and only buy things that you actually need. 

The second trick is to pay attention to what items you’re using. My favorite trick for keeping the closet organized is to turn the hangers backwards when hanging all your clothes. Then, after you wear them, re-hang the item the opposite direction. In 3 months, you’ll be able to quickly see which clothes you haven’t worn. If they aren’t seasonal, there’s a strong case for donating them.

Sometimes it’s easy to get in a funk with clothing. You wear the same clothes over and over again because you like them. But then maybe a certain shirt gets really worn. You keep wearing it because you used to love it, but you no longer feel confident in it. Learn to purge clothes as soon as they don’t make you feel good. This includes shirts with un-removable stains, clothing with (un-fashionable) rips and tears, and jeans that no longer fit properly, resulting in the zipper constantly sliding down. Removing these items from your closet will result in a functional wardrobe full of clothes you truly enjoy wearing.

These are just a few ways that moving can help you be more intentional in how you view your belongings. Do you have any downsizing tips? Share in the comments!

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* Contributor Jeriann Watkins blogs at dairyairhead.com. As a crafter, she knows the challenge of wanting to keep items for their potential. You can see her organization tips and downsizing successes on her blog.
 
 
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Two Sisters Get Organized, Decluttered and Moved into Seperate Bedrooms

 

UGH!

I recently had the pleasure of helping two girls move into separate rooms.

These 2nd and 4th grade girls had spent their entire lives sharing the same room and now that they are older (and all grown up, they say!) the oldest gets to move into her own separate bedroom.

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There were three stages to this project:

1. Sort through clothes

2. Sort through books

3. Sort through toys and papers

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STAGE ONE – Clothes Sort

The first step taken to separate the clothes was to figure out:

#1 Whose clothes were whose

#2 See if they still fit the owner

So to start, each girl went through the closet and decided either to keep, toss, donate or handed it off to the other sister so she could proceed with the same process.

After we sorted clothes, we moved the 4th graders clothes down into her new room so I could determine what type of organizing supplies were needed to set up a system within her closet.

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STAGE TWO – Books

Following the same process, we continued into both steps of determining who owned what and eliminating the unloved or unused books from their gigantic collection.

By the time we made it to stage two, the girls were feeling a bit ancy so we decided to up the fun factor and have a book auction!

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This is how it went:

I held up a book and each girl could vote for it if she wanted it.

The first hand up – got the book.

If no one raised their hand it went off to charity for some other young child to receive who normally could not afford  new book.

If there was a tie, the girls had to barter among themselves for what was fair and if they could possibly trade out later.

The funniest thing happened during this process! I was holding up what appeared to me to be a great reference book on animals. When neither of the girls raised their hand, I asked will you possibly need this for future class projects? The second grader looks at me in disbelief and says ” there is such a thing as the internets you know!”  I think I will always remember that day!

Kids are truly tuned in, tapped on and hooked automatically into the internet! Isn’t it great? Thinking about it now, I think it is such an advantage for any school report – most of the information in the world is literally at our fingertips x 100,000 or more!

After these two steps, we called it a day and set up our next appointment so we could tackle toys and finish setting up systems within each room.

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STAGE THREE – Toys, toys and more toys!

On the first day we did a rough sort of toys and placed each sister’s toys put into boxes and then moved them into each closet so we could sort later.

Now it was time to sort, eliminate and organize all of the other toys throughout the house.

Dad did an amazing job gathering all random toys and setting us up to sort them in the den.

IMG_2203 IMG_2205 To keep it fair and make it more fun, the girls wanted to do another auction – this time with Barbies and all of her accessories. Dad suggested that we use a giant bin for donations and he was definitely correct! with all of the small pieces, shoes, clothes and Barbies, we filled up a giant bin for donations. The girls did a great job!

After sorting, we jumped into containerizing and decide if the toys should live in the bedroom closet or the newly designed toy closet.

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SETTING UP THE TOY CLOSET

In between appointments, he also purchased and installed two new shelves and a rolling cart for mom’s work out equipment so it would fit within the toy closet.

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The rolling cart is such a smart idea! When mom wants to work out, she simply rolls it out of the toy closet and all her weights and belts are right there and ready to use!

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All in all, this project turned out great and the girls were so much fun to work with, even when they got bored and restless!  They are great sisters who truly love and respect each other.

As an author and lover of books, I am also relieved to see that even with the ‘internets’ they are avid readers of “real” books with covers and actual paper pages inside!

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Tips for Decluttering Your Life and Your Home

Tips for Decluttering Your Life and Your Home

I recently received a question from an addSpace follower. I am certain that many of you also have a similar concern so I wanted to go into detail and provide practical steps to help you declutter your life. This is what she asked:

What questions can I ask myself as I sort through boxes of “stuff” in order to get rid of most of it?

The answer:

For starters, if these boxes have been packed and loaded for a long period of time (over 3 months), before you open them you need to ask yourself – “what exactly is in there?

If you don’t have a (more…)

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Clear the Clutter Before the Holidays

As a child the holiday season seems so magical. Houses are decorated, there’s always amazing food everywhere, visitors stop by from all corners of the world, and everyone is happy – except for the person in charge of making sure the holidays go off without a hitch.

That person is generally the primary caretaker of the family and he or she has a lot to do to make the home holiday-ready. As tempting as it may be to shove everything that isn’t aesthetically pleasing under the bed or in a closet, cutting the clutter is what really needs to happen.

The following things help make sure that your home, family, and mind are free of clutter and ready for the holidays.

Start Sorting Out the Clutter

Begin with what’s most important. If you know that guests will be staying at your house overnight or, God help you, longer, and your spare room is a catch-all for all the random things in your life, start with that room. Sort through the room and make three piles: one to keep, one to throw out, and one to give away.

Toss the trash out that day. If time allows, drop off the other pile at a thrift store, or at least get it in the trunk of your car. If you don’t have the time to put away all of the items you’d like to keep, store them in a container and stack it neatly in the closet, basement, attic or garage so that it is out of the way, but not adding to the clutter.

Once the clutter is removed from a spare room (or rooms), tidy things up so it is fresh for guests. Then close the door and pretend that room doesn’t exist until guests arrive.

He Sees You When You’re Cleaning

The next to think about are the areas that are going to be the most visited during holiday get-togethers. This generally involves the kitchen, dining, and family rooms. Take a look around these rooms and identify items that are either used infrequently or not at all and remove the items. That doesn’t mean the items have to be discarded or thrown out, but they should be stored in an area where they won’t get in the way of holiday entertainment.

Other areas that need to get free of clutter before the holidays include the refrigerator, cupboards, and closets.

The refrigerator gets a lot of abuse during the holiday season as it is the go-to place for storing large platters, eggnog, grab-and-go foods for guests, and all the necessary ingredients for a Christmas meal. Before you’re faced with the task of cramming yet another dish into the fridge, take some time to go through and get rid of unnecessary food items. You might be surprised by what you find.

The same goes for cupboards and the pantry. Plus, when you clean out these areas, you might find canned goods that can be donated to those in need.

Clear Your Mind and Clear Your Home

As for the last, and perhaps most important thing that needs de-cluttered before the holidays, well, that’s your mind.

Don’t be afraid to schedule a massage, spend a day at the spa or on the golf course, or do something that helps you de-stress and clear your mind. After all, the holiday season isn’t about being stressed; it’s about spending time with family and friends and enjoying one another’s company.

 

Dana Rasmussen writes about ways to organize your home, office, and life on sites like Reputation.com.

 

 

 

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