What To Do With Bedspreads And Comforters

How many of these two have you owned in your lifetime? Maybe dozens? Just when you think you have the perfect bedspreads or comforters in your rooms……they come out with new patterns and designs. At some point you give in and buy the patterned look and then you are bombarded with ads saying the solids are back in style.  white comforter

And just when you have painted your room that perfect color, to match what’s on your bed, you are told that wallpaper is now back in style.


Businesses are in the business of making money. Their job is to continue to come out with the latest and greatest look, whether it’s clothes or something for the house. But be honest. Most of the time we really don’t need many of the things we buy, (me included).

It’s nice to have something new and that can make us feel temporarily happy but if you think it through you might just say NO to that new bedspread or comforter.

Eventually what you buy today will be old tomorrow.

I had 2 comforters that were in the closet. They were still in decent shape and I kept thinking I would use them if we had a visitor spend the night. We did have visitors spend the night but we never needed to use the comforters.

It was time to make a decision. Every bed in the house has what it needs. These things were taking up valuable space. Letting go of things, (gifted or bought) that are no longer being used, gets easier every time you declutter.

The holiday season is almost over. Did you use that extra comforter you have kept all these years for guests? If not, then think about decluttering the extra bedspreads and comforters around the house.

Make some room!

A Distraught Grandma

Last week a co-worker told me about a recent event that happened in his family. His wife’s sister, her husband and kids moved into grandma’s house. One day, when Grandma was gone, they thought they would do her a favor and organize the garage to make room for their stuff.   This meant taking her old stuff and getting rid of it. They were making the decision for her, without her knowing about it.  After a couple of big trips to the goodwill and even the trash dump, Grandma returned.

Grandma was not just, not happy, she was horrified.

It not only caused big resentments, just in time for the holidays but she had actually hidden some of her Christmas gifts within the piles of stuff that were discarded.

Helping someone organize against their will is a really bad idea. The ironic thing about it is, eventually they will be the ones to have to go through her stuff.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


Black Friday – Think Before You Buy

It’s not only Black Friday but now we have Gray Thursday. No matter what you call it, it’s coming.

The financial analyst folks forcast it will be the worst shopping season since 2008. You know what that means? It means the stores will try harder to get you to walk into their store and buy. I’m not saying there are not great deals out there but THINK before you buy or you will be buying stuff that you and others don’t need.

You may not need an extra TV for JUST IN CASE.

Be smart. You are spending hard earned money. You may be spending money you don’t have.


Be creative this year with gift giving. What about the gift of time?

Hoarding Awareness Week

WOW!   composting food

I just found out that this is Hoarding Awareness Week. This is now getting lots of attention. More and more studies along with more publicity not to mention the TV shows. Over the years I have met a few serious hoarders but most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

In fact most people would simply say… “I would like to be more organized”

Organization means being productive and happy. If you are finding it hard to get organized you might want to consider the possibility that you have too much stuff.

If the key to happiness is being organized then what is the key to being organized?

Get rid of things that you don’t use!

That includes;

Clothes you don’t wear.

Broken things in the garage.

Gadgets in the kitchen that you have never used.

Towels and sheets that haven’t been used in 5 years, 1 year for the brave.

It’s a start.sunflower

Give yourself permission to NOT be a hoarder.





What To Do With Old Candles

candlesChances are you have received one as a gift and have gifted one as well.


Some people…Aunt Debbie… have thousands of them. This might be the very thing you collect. All shapes, sizes, colors and fragrances are available all over the world. Actually if you collect these, then buying a gift for you is easy.

But how many is too many and when is it time to get rid them? Some of you will use them until there is hardly any candle left and even then won’t through it out.  I have never been a candle person but when I started to look up what to do with candles, it made me want to collect and melt and create. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all of the creative things that are out there to do.

Did you know that there is actually a Candle Association?


So if you are looking at your candle collection and you use, enjoy and even need for light then maybe your desire is to keep all of them. If you are ready to shed a few then today is a good day to start.

What to Do With Old Candles

Collect the candles around the house. Be brave and simplify.  If you cannot part with them, then try melting and creating new ones instead of buying more.

Remember to “keep out of reach” for children. Lighting candles can be fun for a 3 year old. Just ask my younger brother!




Are You An Organized Hoarder?

“Nothing good happens after 12 midnight” is a line from one of my lectures to all of the teenage boys in the family. They tell me I just don’t understand because I go to bed early and I’m up early.

Last Saturday was no exception, although it was a little earlier than usual. We are dog sitting and one of the dogs heard something on the front porch and went bonkers. It was a raccoon. After a cup of coffee it was time to plan the weekend.

There were a few movies we wanted to see but my big goal was to continue organizing the garage. In order to be successful in organizing the garage, several things will have to go. Just doing the household shuffle, or in this case the garage shuffle, would be a waste of time.

Having things off the ground and hanging is the way to go. If you ever look at those magazines that do garage makeovers, notice the floors are shiny and empty.  Another amazing thing about those makeovers is they make it so you can actually park your car in the garage.

Recently a family member, who parks his car (unlocked) in the driveway, had his garage door opener stolen out of his car. Two lessons learned, try and park in your garage and if you can’t, at least lock your car.

Would it be possible to park in your garage if things were hanging rather than on the ground? If you have already purged things from your garage that you will never use again then it is time to organize.

It is a toss up between Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond. I don’t get out much but when I do, Home Depot is the place for me. They have all sorts of hooks and shelves for garages. Epoxy coating, to tiles and plastic bins, all to make your garage look spectacular.

Word of caution about containers. The stores make them look so organized in the pictures but for those who are trying to simplify they can be a real trap. Storing Christmas decorations that you use every year makes sense but what else are you storing? If it isn’t see through plastic or at least labeled you will waste time trying to remember what the heck those containers are storing. You don’t want to go out and buy stuff only to find out later you had it hiding in your organized mess.

Are you an organized hoarder?

I remember an episode of Hoarders where the woman had everything labeled in boxes. It was quite impressive. The problem was she would not have been able to use all of it in a lifetime.

The blue hanging organizer was in the closet for years and one day I looked at it with new eyes and realized I didn’t use most of what it was storing.

Start looking at your stuff with new eyes.

Closets and garages are a challenge. Start looking at your stuff with new eyes. Get up early this weekend and before you organize, declutter the containers.



It’s A New Day Today

My year is up, now what? I took a year to really get organized. What I discovered is what I already knew. Being organized or at least feeling organized creates calmness. Makes you feel at peace. It is the opposite of chaos.

How does one get organized?

They get rid of what they don’t use, need or enjoy. For most of us, that is a lot of stuff. I’ve posted dozens of short stories on getting rid of things along with ideas that came from many of you.

Something else I discovered was I like being a minimalist. This is not to say that I don’t have stuff but less for me was best.

For now my stories will continue. There are other areas that I want to declutter. I’m always interested in your stories and any ideas you might have to help others get organized.

Get out a tissue we all have issues.

One more thing that has become clearer over this last year is that whatever your issues are, someone else has had it and worse.

It’s official. Hoarding is now a disease. You are in good company and no need to go it alone.

You need support and it’s out there.

Stay tuned for more!

What To Do With Unusual Party Gifts

Unusual gift/hatUnusual and clever party gifts are fun! The laughs they get, along with the photo ops are memorable. They are hard to get rid of because we think we might be able to re-gift it back at the next party or even use it or wear it.

This hat was given to us while we lived in South Africa. The weather there is great but there are times when it got really hot. The sun would hit the little solar panel on top of the hat and then the fan would start to go and cool you down.

This fan hat actually worked!

My husband wore it a few times and it was often a conversation piece. After  the summer was over it went up in the closet with the rest of the hats. He hasn’t worn it in years.

Someone out there will get this and hopefully enjoy more than we have. It served it’s purpose for a season but was now taking up space. Think about clever gifts or gag gifts you have received over the years. Where are you storing them?

Going to a birthday party, 30th, 40th or more, where many of the gifts are prune juice and denture cream, can be a blast. Lots of laughing and joking. Many of those gifts you can actually use but so many end up under the sink or in the closet.

One idea is to re-gift it back when it’s their birthday.

In an effort to get organized you can ask yourself the same questions as before.

When was the last time I used this gift?

When was the last time I enjoyed this gift?

Can I give away to someone else who will enjoy or appreciate?

Your choices.


Give away.

Throw away.

¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro!


What To Do With Pretty Boxes

Or maybe not so pretty. I saved this box for years. Not sure why. It held coins for awhile, but for the most part, it was empty. Every year at work we get candy, cookies, cheese and crackers from vendors, thanking us for the business and every year they come in the prettiest packages. Whether it is a weaved basket or a pretty box, it is so tempting to keep around after the goods are gone. I’m thinking this is where this box originally came from but I actually don’t remember for sure.


Keeping boxes are a trap.

They usually hold things we don’t use. Marketing people continue to come up with ways to hoard stuff. At least if the boxes are the clear plastic ones then you can see what’s in there. But if you have boxes you can’t see through and are not labeled then it makes it hard to know what you are storing.

Boxes are the organized hoarders best device. Don’t fall for it.

Take today and look around your house at all of the boxes. Ask yourself two questions.

1. Do I know what is in the box?

2. When was the last time I used the contents of the box?


If you haven’t used in years then think about donating.

If you want to make an effort to get organized please don’t go out and buy a bunch of boxes. You are setting yourself up for failure. Yes, there are things we keep in boxes that are used through out the year. Like holiday decorations and stuff from your jewelry box.

In determining whether or not you should keep stuff in the pretty boxes, use the same system as before.


1. Do I use it?

2. Do I need it?

3. Do I enjoy it?

If you empty and/or declutter the contents of the box using the system then consider getting rid of the box itself.

Pretty or not you don’t need that many boxes.



Wrapping with Roaches

Most people I know have a drawer, a closet or a tub under the bed with enough gift bags, pretty tissue and wrapping paper to wrap for their extended family for this year and next, no matter what the occasion.

We are fast approaching Valentines day so this would be the perfect opportunity to weed out what you will use or not use this holiday or for any of the holidays throughout the year. As I go through all of the paper I painfully acknowledge that most of this stuff I have had for years. Many many years. This is when I begin to wonder if I am seeing dust, little pieces of dirt or even worse, possible roach eggs on the old paper. Some where along the way I too have heard of those stories about roach eggs on old envelops and in corners of paper bags.

The website below not only had scientific research behind it but cleared up some myths. Some sites confirm that roaches are attracted to dirtier homes while other sites make you feel better by saying that your space might be clean but if you are in an apartment building that has them then you are just out of luck and will have to fight them off one by one.


Q20: Anthony writes:
… a story (is) reputed to have aired on CNN about a woman, who while licking an envelope, got a paper cut from the flap on her tongue and was exposed to a cockroach egg which incubated inside her tongue. The woman later had the alive roach removed by a doctor. Is this possible?

A: Anthony,
This item is utter trash. The cockroach egg is huge. Most eggs are 2 mm long and are closely packed side by side and 2 by 2 like franks in a dozen package. They do not survive outside of the oothecae or egg case, which contains 12-40 of the eggs, and I can not imagine them being associated with the lickable surface of an envelope in any way such that they were transferred into a paper cut tongue. You just have to sit back and laugh at the gullible nature of the CNN producer/director who did not have enough biology in his education to know when he/she was out of her depth and needed to consult with someone who knew better. The producer/director of that program should be fired for promoting misinformation. I almost doubt that it ever aired.
Thanks for playing the skeptic!

Glad to read that story wasn’t true!

My conclusion is it was just dust and dirt on my wrapping paper and gift bags. This is what happens when you don’t use things for years.

The better gift bags ended up in my Goodwill Bag and some of the crummier ones with shriveled up tissue paper went into the trash. If you are gift buying most stores give a bag or box so you don’t need to save the old stuff.

There are those of you out there that can’t resist saving those empty boxes and ribbons after the family has opened all of those gifts. Don’t be tempted. You don’t need them. They take up space.

Step One. Take out all of the wrapping paper, empty gift boxes and ribbons and put on table.

Step Two. Ask yourself, what hasn’t been used in 2 years. If that roll of Christmas paper is still in the plastic after 2 years then you probably won’t use next year.

Step Three. Take what hasn’t been used in 2 years and put in trash or Goodwill bag.

Step Four. There should be very little left in your pile. Take the rest and organize it back in its place.

Step Five. Buy gift cards!