Below is a top ten list of reasons to help you make the decision to “get rid of it”:
1. You don’t need it anymore – You’re over it.
2. Someone else does need it – Cell phones, for example, are frequentlly refurbished and given to victims of domestic violence.
3. There’s just too much stuff – If there’s no place to put it, get rid of it!
4. It doesn’t work anymore – FYI, chances are the parts can probably be recycled.
5. It doesn’t fit you anymore – Whether you’ve lost weight or gained weight, whatever the case may be, get rid of it. You can get a tax deduction for donations.
6. It no longer suits your lifestyle -You’re moving, redecorating or downsizing or, you’re just ready for a new look.
7. You can get value from it – Sell it on e-bay, donate it and get a tax deduction, have a garage sale or set up an estate sale.
8. Less stuff makes your life easier. There’s less to clean. Getting rid of clutter will reduce housework by 40%.
9. It’s expired -Oh, just get rid of it.
10. Because “Less is More” -Ludwig Miles van der Rohe
If you’re still not sure whether you should get rid of it or not, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the information still current?
2. Can the document be duplicated if needed?
3. What is the worst thing that can happen if I get rid of it?
4. Is it a duplicate?
5. How long do I need to keep it?
6. Do I need it for tax, legal, insurance, or warranty issues?
7. Can I find the information some place else?
1. Do I love it?
2. Does it fit?
3. Is it too worn?
4. Is it out of style?
5. Do I feel great in it?
6. Does it match anything else?
1. Is it broken?
2. Do I use it?
3. Will I really need it?
4. Does it make others happy to see it?
5. If I keep it, will I remember I have it?
6. If I was moving, would I want to pay to have it packed and shipped?
7. Can I borrow or purchase another one if I need it?
8. Does it make me happy?
9. Am I keeping it because someone else gave it to me even though I don’t like it?
Get started today by getting rid of the things that either have no value (sentimental or monetary) or no longer have a place in your life. Ready, Set, Go!
The job of an organizer encompasses many different things and many different areas. Sometimes it’s as simple as organizing a linen closet. Other times it’s unpacking and organizing an entire house. It can be organizing a two or three car garage with random items stacked to the ceiling or a storage unit. Other times it might be filing system, or a craft room, an office or a playroom and the list goes on.
I believe I speak for most, if not all, of us (Professional Organizers) when I say that we do our best to find a place for everything. You know the saying “A place for everything and everything in its place”. It truly is a Professional Organizers motto. To take it a step further, while we do our best to find a place for everything, we also try to make sure that “the place” makes sense. That it is functional and accessible.
It doesn’t matter if you have a home that’s 500 square feet or 6,000 square feet. There is only so much room in each house, office, closet, etc. We must work within the confines of that space and make it work. While we can make suggestions and introduce you to some great organizing products or space savers to help you get the most out of your space, we can’t make space where there just isn’t any. We are NOT magicians!
If you have to much “stuff” and there’s no room to put it all away, it is then considered clutter. Even if you love it. Even if it was very expensive. Even if your favorite Aunt left it to you. If it doesn’t have a “home” and we can’t find a place to store it or put it away, it’s clutter.
If you want an organized and functional home, office or other space, and it happens to be so full that’s there’s no more room, the only answer is to let some of it go. You can sell it if you are so inclined, you can donate it to charity and get a write-off or, you can throw it away.
Here are some suggestions as to how you can get started.
1. Get rid of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is no longer serving your purpose and hasn’t for a while.
2. If you have VHS tapes of family reunions, vacations or other special events, have them transferred to a smaller updated format, i.e., DVD or hard-drive (especially if you no longer own a VCR player).
3. If you have tons of t-shirts or sweatshirts from your college days, instead of storing them in a large bin which is taking up a lot of room, consider having a quilt made of them.
4. Donate books that you started to read but just couldn’t get through or are no longer interested in.
5. Toss magazines that are older than 3 months. After that the information is pretty much obsolete and you can probably find what you need on the internet. If there is a particular article that you want to keep, rip it out and put it in a file (digital or physical) and throw the magazine away. FYI, hospitals, senior centers and doctor’s offices would be happy to take old magazines if they are in good condition.
6. Old shoes that are worn out, that no longer fit or are missing the match.
7. Clothes that don’t fit, are no longer your style or that you bought but never really liked when you put them on.
8. Anything that is expired including, but not limited to, food, spices and medications
9. Things that you intended to fix or mend one day but haven’t gotten around to for more than a few months. It’s okay to let it go. It’s broken!
10. Something that your favorite cousin or best friend gave you, but you never really liked. They gave it to you to enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t keep it. They love you and wouldn’t want you to keep something that is keeping you stuck and surrounded by clutter.
11. Socks that are torn, worn out or missing its match.
12. Lingerie or underwear that are stretched out or not comfortable any longer.
13. Purses that are out of shape or just worn out.
14. Hats that no longer fit or are just dirty/stained from too much wear and are beyond repair.
15. Old computers that have been sitting around for ages. If there’s important info that needs to be retrieved, take it to Best Buy and pay the Geek Squad or your IT guy to get it for you. If there’s nothing on there that you need, then take it to a place that recycles e-waste. Again, think Best Buy.
16. Going back to clothes… since this is usually a tough decision (especially for women). If you’re no longer working in the corporate world and haven’t for quite some time, start scaling down the business attire. Maybe keep one or two suits but you don’t need your entire wardrobe from that time in your life.
17. Furniture that is no longer serving a purpose. A lamp that doesn’t give off enough light. The couch that you can no longer sit in because you sink into it and can’t get up out of it. The broken rocking chair that’s been in the garage and you just haven’t had a minute to get it to the curb. The baby seats that have been in the garage since your kids were small and now they’re in their 20’s. (FYI, if you’re saving them for your grandkids, please don’t! Your kids will have newer/better models that your grandkids can use).
Bottom line is you gotta start somewhere. If you keep everything for “someday” or for that “just in case” scenario, you will always find yourself in this constant state of clutter. Getting rid of anything will give you more room than you had and free up some space.
If your space feels like it’s busting at the seams and you want or need some assistance, give us a call. We’d love to help!
We’re all living in a 24/7 world. So, I’m assuming that everyone is using a calendar of some sort. That is, anyone that has a job, is a student, has a family, a job, a life.
They are really so important for so many reasons on so many different levels. We can use them for:
• Time Management and, of course, the best for last…
Here are my top tips for putting a calendar to good use:
1. Decide if you want to use a paper planner or a digital planner. Go with whatever you think will work for you.
2. Use whatever option you decided upon for a few weeks as it does take time to get used to.
3. If you decide to use a paper planner and it doesn’t really work after a few weeks, CHANGE it. It’s okay to change it if it’s not working for you. In fact, that would be a good thing as chances are you won’t use it if it’s not working for you.
4. Make sure you use your calendar CONSISTENTLY. If you’re not consistent it’s not going to work well. In fact, not using it consistently can have an adverse effect. For example, when you look to see if you’re available when making an appointment and you forgot to add an appointment that you previously made, you could wind up double-booking or missing an appointment.
5. Check it each night before you shut things down so that you are prepared for the next day. It will remind you of what you need, where you’re going, etc.
6. Remember to update it when appointments change or cancel.
7. Don’t forget to cross off the things that you have accomplished. This step can be very rewarding.
8. If you use a paper planner, make sure that there’s enough space. What’s enough space? For me, it’s got to have enough room for appointments, To Do’s and whatever notes are important for each day (ie, someone’s birthday). I’m old school. I use a paper planner with two pages for each day. One side is for appointments, the other side is used for my To Do’s and the bottom has a section for notes. (See photo above)
9. If you use a digital planner make sure that you are synching it with your phone so that you have it on the go. Also make sure to back it up.
10. USE YOUR CALENDAR EVERY DAY!
I can assure you that using a calendar, each and every day, will help you in your day to day life by keeping you on track and, of course, ORGANIZED.
Let me know how it goes…I’m interested!
Yup, it’s true. Getting organized, or better organized, as the case may be, is one of the top ten New Years Resolutions and has been for a really long time.
However, organizing isn’t just something that happens once. IMHO it’s something that we all “should” do every day. Maybe it’s a load of laundry, or dropping off a bag of donations or tossing something that is broken. Spending just a few minutes every day on something/anything will help you get organized and stay organized.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We all have choices about how to spend that time. When it comes to organizing, you can do it now (as you go about your life) which will help keep things neat and organized OR, you can do it later when the piles are high or you find that you can’t find what you want or need.
Now: Every time you take your clothes off they “should” be put in the laundry or put away. If you’re putting them away, you “should” either hang it up or fold it and put it where it belongs.
Later: If you decide to throw your clothes on the floor, eventually you will have to pick them up and do one of the following: put it in the laundry, hang it up, fold it and put it away. Note: By throwing your clothes on the floor, you’ve actually added an additional step (having to pick them up and determine what to do with them) which will ultimately take more of your time.
So, save yourself some time and just do whatever you can, when you can. Take a few minutes every day to stay on top of things. Clean the dishes or put them in the dishwasher, fold the laundry and put it away. Just do something around the house every day so things don’t build up and get out of control.
Food for thought…why not just make organizing a part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Just a few minutes each day. It’s still the beginning of a New Year. Why not just try doing things differently for one month to see how it works out? As we’ve all heard… “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result”. Why not stop the insanity and try selecting one area, one small area, that needs to be organized? Take a few minutes (since it’s a small area) and organize it. Here’s how:
• Take everything out, sort things into categories
• Get rid of the trash
• Make a pile of donations if applicable and then decide what to put back into that space.
• Start putting things back into place so that they accessible and functional.
• Put like items with like items.
• Use supplies if necessary (bins for laundry, boxes for donations, new hangers so that things look cohesive, labels so you can find things easily).
I can assure you that you will be more inclined to keep that area organized (at least for a while) because you’ve put in the time and effort to organize it.
Now, all you have to do is maintain that area. If you take something out, put it away when you’re finished. Put it, whatever “it” is, where it belongs. If something doesn’t belong in there, DON’T put it in there.
It’s that easy. Organizing isn’t rocket-science. It just takes time. Take the time and get organized little by little. Eventually you’ll get there.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
• Check your schedule and make time in your day that works best for you to get things organized. Put it on your calendar. Make an appointment with yourself.
• If you don’t want it or don’t need it… get rid of it. You can sell it (whatever “it” is) or you can donate it and get the deduction.
• Learn to say “NO”. It will free up some time to do the things that are important to you.
• Delegate. If you don’t want to do something, give it to someone else to do. Sometimes you’ll have to pay someone else but that’s okay. You can’t do it all!
• Ask for help. It’s okay to ask for help if you want it or need it. Let me repeat… you can’t do it all.
If you need or just want help, give us a call. We will help you achieve your goals.
I was talking to a good friend of mine last week and told her that I was going to spend time over the weekend organizing my garage. She was surprised that my garage wasn’t already organized. I explained that EVERYONE hits a brick wall at some point in their life or in some place in their life when it comes to organizing. For me (and my husband), it’s the garage.
Because our home is relatively small, we use our garage for storage. After we take the time to organize the garage which is usually about once a year, we try our best to keep it that way. Unfortunately, as time goes on, things slowly but surely get out of hand. So, while not the perfect scenario, especially for someone as organized as I am, sometimes things just can’t be perfectly organized. Perfection is hard to maintain so, as I tell all of my clients, getting organized isn’t about perfection. Getting organized is about:
1. Being able to find things when you need them (quickly)
2. Getting rid of things you don’t need (regularly)
3. Making sure that things are accessible (especially the items you need frequently)
4. Making sure that things are where they make sense. For example, plates should be in the kitchen. You’re probably thinking… duh, where else would I put plates. Well, you’d be surprised at the crazy places where I find things when organizing for other people.
5. Having a place for everything that you want to keep. If it (whatever “it” is) doesn’t have a place it is considered clutter. If you don’t have room perhaps its time to get rid of something else to make room.
BTW, true to my organizing principles, everything does have a place (even in the garage), it’s just that sometimes things don’t find their way back to that place when it comes to the garage.
One more thing… because I have to share my space with my husband, it helps to get him involved in the process. Neither of us enjoy spending a day organizing the garage when we can be doing something else (or nothing else as the case may be). So, if he’s involved in the process, he’s more inclined to TRY to maintain the space, at least for awhile.
So, my point is that things don’t have to be perfect to be organized. They just have to work for you and whoever else lives with you.
If you or your loved ones need help getting things organized or better organized and don’t know where to start, give us a call. WE’D LOVE TO HELP!