Before And After Bookcase

Bookcase Before

 

This last weekend a friend and I were busy organizing. The catch all area for them was their bookcase. They estimated  the mess in their office has caused them to spend hours looking for the documents needed for a tax return.

Frustration and blame does not make for a happy home. The only way there would be success was for them to accept they needed to declutter.

The big problem for students and teachers is they may again use one of those books for reference. Getting rid of a book doesn’t mean it goes out of existence.

Donate to the library!

Let the library store it for you. If you can’t find that lost book then the library can check out other libraries and have it sent to yours.

We started by taking everything out and giving it a good clean. Then one by one, only putting back the books they needed and used. We also did the rest of the office. Lots of paper, junk mail, souvenirs, and everything in between.

Like items with like items. This will save you hours of searching.

Bookcase After

Discovering Minimalism

Living with less.

This may or may not be for you. I’m not here to twist your arm but to propose an alternative to living with lots of stuff.

Alternative – Live with less

Charity – Giving is good

Benefits – Peace of mind and freedom

SIMPLICITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Organize. Clutter = Negativity

 

Here is a recap of an old TV clip on organizing couples.

1. The disorganized young couple.

Problem. They had little space, living out of boxes, no actual closet and came together with lots of stuff. Including too many college t-shirts that needed to go.

Solution. They bought a closet they could put together so stuff they used would have a designated place. They purchased nice hangers and before hanging their clothes they did a fashion show for each other. Decisions were made on what they would keep and what they would get rid of, including 90% of those college t shirts.

 

2. The older couple.

Problem. They came together later in life and had to merge two households. He liked his MR COFFEE and she liked her FRENCH COFFEE PRESS.

Solution. They bought a coffee maker that did both. They had two of everything so consolidation was their answer.

 

3. One is messy and the other is neat couple.

Problem. He drove her crazy and needed his own space.

Solution. The man cave. This gives him an area for his own stuff that he won’t get rid of. She needs to stay out of this area.

Decluttering is a must if you want to be organized!

 

 

 

 

What To Do With Pet Stuff

pet iglooWe love our pets. My friend Betsy, loves loves looooooves hers. This is why she has spend over a kabillion dollars buying everything possible to make life good for her animals. She isn’t the only one spending that kind of money on pets.

The financial reporting of what we really spend is a little shocking. Vet visits, grooming, treats, and all of the leashes one has to buy to eventually find the perfect leash, adds up.

But what do you do when you have pet stuff that you don’t use anymore?

So here we go again. Simplify your pet stuff.

Do they use it?

Do they need it?

Do they enjoy it?

If you bought pet shampoo 5 years ago that you are not using anymore; then get rid of it.

Broken leashes can be thrown away.

Fancy nail clippers that cut your pet the first time you used; get rid of them.

Pet clothes, costumes, diapers, wigs and hats that are not being used; get rid of them.

Pet blankets and beds that are soiled, being used by ticks and in the backyard; get rid of them.

Our pets don’t need, want or even enjoy many of the things we buy. They want our attention and in return they make life good. For some, they are life savers.

Be good to your animals and they will be good to you.

 

Downsizing And What To Do With Figurines

lladrosDusting these things are a pain! From the cheapest price of 99 cents to the most expensive into the thousands, we buy and gift them with pleasure.

If you have a Lladro collection then you may be sitting on a small fortune. So before you (mom) give to the goodwill you may want to do some homework and research on selling second hand.

I don’t think I have ever been in a home that hasn’t had some type of figure or statue and I’ve been in LOTS of homes. The ones that were handed down are the most difficult to part with.

Don’t panic just yet. You don’t need and you don’t use but if you enjoy them, then keep them. However, if you are downsizing then now is perfect time to make some decisions.

 

Options;

Start with a few internet searches to see which ones are worth some $$ and which ones were bought at the dollar store.

Let family know you are organizing and the key to organizing is getting rid of stuff. Gift some of these figurines to kids and grand kids.

Sell online. Using a dealer is an option, but remember they will take a portion of the profits.

Use them for a fund raiser for your favorite charity or simply donate.

It is hard to part with things that have strong memories attached. Keep in mind, these are just porcelain, glass, clay or plastic.

Memorialize by taking a photograph.

Remember, it’s just stuff and you can’t take it with you into the next world.

 

 

 

What To Do With Puzzles

PuzzlesDoes anyone out there have patients anymore for putting together a puzzle? For some it’s a hobby and can be a relaxing hobby. The art of piecing together a puzzle could also mean a good social time. Where you are actually having a conversation with a real person sitting in front of you instead of a computer.

Oh….The Good Ol’ Days

For most of us, they were given to us as gifts, and those gifts are now up in our closets. The honest truth is… we will NEVER work on these things again and yet we keep, despite the missing pieces. Why? Not sure.

Maybe you put together a very impressive puzzle and then had it laminated to hang like a picture on a wall. It may even be a conversation piece.

If you are working on a puzzle or if you enjoy looking at the puzzle hanging on the wall then, keep. But, if you are tired of keeping them for no good reason then consider selling them or giving them away.

Do you use it? Do you need it? Do you enjoy it?

Starting with these questions will help you begin the process.

It’s this simple…Are you working on the puzzle or is it just taking up space?

 

 

Do You Believe In Miracles? Dejunking Rubberbands

rubber bandsOne reason my mom believes in miracles is because of a simple rubber band. There was a time when she was working in an office. The post office was very strict and had a firm rule that if you mailed several envelopes they had to be neatly clumped together by a rubber band. She was a rule follower and diligent at that. The company sent mail all during the week and she was the one to take that mail to the Post Office. During her time as a secretary she had seen many people yelled at by postal workers and she did not want that to happen to her.

On one of those trips to the post office, while getting out of her car, she realized with horror that she didn’t have a rubber band. This is when she started praying… Ohhh Lord, I really really really need a rubber band. Her palms began to sweat, her heart beating fast and there was that icky feeling of despair. Just as she stepped out of the car there was a BIG SHINY NEW PERFECT SIZE RUBBER BAND, right at her feet.

THANK YOU LORD!!!                                                                                            perfect rubber band

She sweetly told that story over the years to convince people that the small miracles matter.

So lets talk about rubber bands. We use them for all sorts of things. My husband used to take rubber bands and put them around his pants at the ankles while riding a bike. Kids use them as slingshots and I use them for.. yes, taking lots of mail to the post office.

Like mother, like daughter.

Rubber bands come and go. They are often in our mailbox and for sure in every junk drawer in every house around the world. When I feel like rubber bands are oozing out of every drawer I will often grab them and take them to work.

My husband bought a package of rubber bands years ago. That little plastic bag still ebb and flows with rubber bands. It’s kind of a mystery.

One thing about old rubber bands is they lose their elasticity. Then it’s easy to throw away.

Dejunk those extra rubber bands today!

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.

How To Keep A Secret

Keeping A secretThe question that is asked the most is,

How do I successfully get rid of my spouses stuff?

The answer…. You don’t!

Now before I take the spec out of your eye, I need to remove the log out of mine and confess that I rarely follow my own advise. We know how attached we can become to our stuff. Especially the stuff that has sentimental value. Maybe it belonged to a mother or a father. Maybe it is worth a lot on E-Bay and we have plans to make millions… whatever the reason, it is important to keep (for now).

Would you agree that most women are in charge of the stuff in the house? This should be reason enough for the women to make the decision on what stays and what goes. Some might think that women are typically the hoarders but I’m not so sure that is correct.

So for today don’t throw out his stuff. Find a place that is his. Like the man cave in the garage or a corner of a room or his closet where the stuff can be stored.

If it happens to disappear make sure you are the only one that knows about…….

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.