What To Do With Vacuums and Moppers

moppersOnce again, it was the infomercial that won. If you have carpet you probably have a vacuum. For tile and wood you have brooms and mops. Sounds somewhat simple for keeping the floors clean. Doesn’t it?

But then they come out with something that does more. In fact you need to do very little. Just plug it in and magic happens! Or not.

These kinds of fancy moppers end up taking up valuable space for many of us. If you use the new and improved vacuums and moppers then keep them.

If they are taking up space and you don’t use them then now is the time to take them out of the closets and make a decision.

Are they broken? If they are, you have 2 options. Take them to get fixed or get rid of them.

Taking a vacuum to get fixed is like taking a car to get fixed. Most of us just have no idea how these things work. If the guy says, it can’t be fixed or the price to fix is crazy high then we don’t question it.

My sister recently took her very expensive hardy vacuum to get fixed. They guy said it couldn’t be fixed and talked her into buying a new one. She was bummed because she liked that old sturdy vacuum.

Two weeks later she walked by the store and saw her old vacuum in the window for sale. She went into the store to make sure it was her old vacuum and sure enough, it was. After weeks of fighting with the dishonest sales guys she decided to let it go.

Here is the bottom line with a vacuum. Most of us only need ONE. That’s it. Only one.

My sister’s advice to you….donate your extra vacuums! Just don’t donate to dishonest sales people who lie to you. You will feel better if they end up in a non profit 2nd hand store.

 

 

What To Do With Kids Sleeping Bags

kids sleeping bagsThe average family with kids at one point will need a sleeping bag. Church, school or family camping is when they are used the most.

These things can last a long time. They are washable and roll up neatly, where they stay on top of the closet year after year.

When was the last time you used a sleeping bag?

I didn’t have that many but there was this one that I had kept, because it was kind of fun.

It was never used on any camping trip but was used occasionally in the living room when making forts on Saturday mornings.

In an effort to simplify things around the house I am now looking at things like this sleeping bag and asking if this adds enough value to our lives to keep.

It’s clean, cute and does serve a purpose but truth be told it wasn’t worth keeping. Why? It was only used a couple times a year and that was because I felt obligated to use it.

Someone out there could make better use of it. What I learn from things like this is just because it’s a good deal in the store doesn’t mean it will make my life better or more meaningful.

Think of all of things in your house that you have purchased over the years that had a purpose. From kitchen gadgets that chopped things in record time to cute little sleeping bags. How often did you really use them?

Think twice before buying these things. Marketing people know how to make you think you can’t live without it.

Trust me. You can live without it!

 

 

 

Perfectionism Is The Enemy Of Progress

TulipsI heard this phrase on the radio today.

From Wikipedia;

The perfect is the enemy of good is an aphorism or proverb meaning that insisting on perfection  often results in no improvement at all. The phrase is commonly attributed to Voltaire…..

The first story that came to mind was a family I knew that lived out of boxes for years and could never make a decision. When asked why they had not hung pictures or put things away they said it was because they wanted things to look just right and therefore could not bring themselves to make the final decision.

Sometimes you just have to plow ahead and accept that you might make a decision that you regret. This is when we ask ourselves…what’s the worst that could happen? If you are stressing over hanging the picture on the wall then the worse that could happen is you would have a little nail hole eventually above the picture. So what! Fill it with fill or toothpaste, take a q-tip and dab some paint on there. So what!

The same goes with organizing which can’t happen unless you declutter.

IT’S JUST STUFF

It’s not alive! It doesn’t require a funeral or a memorial service. It’s not going to Heaven or Hell, it’s just going to someone else that could use it. That’s all.

It’s simple.

Stop stressing and relax, it’s just stuff.

Pretty Flowers, Be Patient

blooming sunflowerOrganizing your stuff is a process and if you want to be successful you will have to get rid of what you don’t wear or use or even need (which for most of us, is a lot of stuff)

Parting with expensive stuff is painfully hard. A harsh reminder of money not well spent. Ouch. Maybe the one good thing to come from parting with something expensive is next time around you won’t be lured into buying it in the first place.

Parting with sentimental stuff can be just as hard. There are ways to safely let go and at the same time keep the memory.

No matter what method you use you need to remember to be patient with yourself.

If you follow through and begin to declutter you will eventually see something pretty in the simplicity of life.

Be patient.

 

 

 

 

What To Do With Belts

beltsFor some reason when we give our pants to the charity many of us quickly pull out the belt. The reason could be that our belts go with many pairs of pants and this would make sense to not include the belt in the charity bag.

But what do you do when you are trying to organize and you face dozens of belts that haven’t been used in years?

Do your belts have creases or cracks at a visible area when you wear them?

Are there extra holes that don’t look good?

When was the last time you wore the belt?

If your answers are, Yes, Yes and I can’t remember then maybe it’s time to declutter the belts.

For decades I wore a belt almost everyday. But the designers are not designing clothes that need belts. I’m convinced this is why many of us women have thicker waists. If you have belts that go with only certain outfits and you wear those, then keep.

Belts are usually hanging in your closet and can be used with many pairs of pants. Use the same criteria you do with clothes. If you haven’t worn in a year then consider giving to charity. What’s the worst that can happen?

The worst actually isn’t that bad. Grab another belt

If you can’t part with the belts but you know you won’t wear again then here are a few ideas;

Jewelry Hanger, Furniture Handles, And/Or Weave A Chair Seat

 

 

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.

NEED OR WANT?

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!

Is It Worth Keeping?

pink buttoned shirtThis morning, like every morning, I stand in front of the closet and make that same decision. What do I wear today?

Most of us women have less pants, but more shirts, tops and blouses. Therefore, the bigger decision is usually what top to wear.

If the criteria is; keep if you have worn during the year, then I am OK to keep everything, but….

Is it necessary to keep if you only wear few times a year? My conclusion is, NO.

Years ago I went to a funeral, wearing a blouse with buttons.  It was about a month after my first son was born and I was feeling proud of the weight I had lost. I thought I would only be there a couple of hours, in time to get back home and nurse.  The service was a little longer than expected and I of course wanted to visit with people and eat a bite.

At some point while eating, a man signaled to me to look down at my blouse and to my horror 2 buttons had snapped. I have no idea how long I was walking around exposing myself but I have forever been aware since that day, that blouse buttons do occasionally pop open. Maybe this is why I rarely pick blouses but go more for the comfortable t-shirt type shirts.

I’m discovering more and more how freeing it is to have less stuff. Getting rid of what I don’t wear and narrowing it down from there is even more freeing.

 

 

 

 

What Will You Leave Behind

The WakeWill you leave memories of doing fun things with grand-kids or will you leave things like this?pig with lipstick

The broken garden pig with lipstick. I finally threw it away!

Yes, one day someone will be going through your stuff. Please do them a favor by going through it first.

Keeping that in mind might prompt you to get rid of things you would have normally kept.

If you are not using it and you don’t need it and in fact you don’t even enjoy it, then what are you waiting for?

Organize by decluttering today!

 

 

What To Do With Old Ski Outfits

Jim_Kathy4If they are too tight and you don’t wear them anymore then it is time to give to someone else.

Our ski outfits really did last a long time. They may be a little outdated but they still do the job.

The bigger decision is what to do with all of the gloves that are missing a mate and dozens of hats and scarves for our once a year snow trip.

If you live in an area that gets snow then it would make more sense to have more hats, scarves and gloves.

We will ask the same 3 questions.

Do I use it?

Do I need it?

Do I enjoy it?

If your outfits are ripped or won’t zip anymore then maybe it is time to get rid them. If you have a missing glove then get rid of the other one.

How many scarves do you need? Probably not as many as you have.

If you have a second hand sporting good store near by check to see if they’ll take your ski stuff on consignment. If you want to save money, buying a second hand ski outfit is the way to go.

Simplify your ski stuff before winter!

 

 

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.