What To Do With Candle Holders

candle holdersThere are now over 7 billion people in the world and climbing.  I figure when I sneeze, at that very moment someone else in the world is also sneezing. Or if I throw up then someone else in the world is also throwing up (misery loves company) so when I was trying to decide what to do with brand new candle holders that have been in the closet for about 10 years then I figure someone else out there was trying to decide the same thing.

I bought these because they were on sale, in a fancy store, for a just in case I needed a wedding gift moment. What was I thinking? For starters, when someone gets married they usually have a “wedding wish list” at their favorite store. It makes it so much easier to buy a gift and this way they get what they want instead of 10 toasters.

It’s painful to get rid of something you paid good money for. I say good money but it was on sale and I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay all that much. This is when I decided to look on ebay. More and more I do that, so I can assure myself I’m not sitting on some unknown fortune.

There were some for sale, very similar for $15.00 (0 Bids), another for $19.00 or best offer and then I found the exact pair for, again $15.00 with 0 bids.

All these years taking up space. It never added any value to my life. They were moved around several times because I didn’t quite know where to store them and the time has come.

It’s strange to think that I would have to emotionally detach from these. It’s clear to me that I won’t be gifting these anytime soon so decision is made.


Give yourself permission to emotionally detach.




What To Do With Handmade And Homemade Gifts

Who out there received gifts this year that were handmade by a family member? I did and I love it! Those gifts will be kept for a long time. Passion, thought and time was spent making it, just for you.

Seems almost cruel to get rid of them. Does this mean you have to keep forever?


Think about all of drawings, hand molds, ash trays (even though many of us don’t smoke), popsicle stick masterpieces and more, that you have received over the years. You would need an entire room or more just to display.

It’s not practical to keep forever. Here are some ideas;

1. Consider re-gifting your child’s gift back to them or even to their children.

2. Memorialize it in a photograph.

3. Let family members know that you want to declutter and organize and give them the opportunity to take back some of those gifts they made at camp.

4. If these homemade gifts are stored under beds or in garages this is the time to take out and display. Turn them into conversation pieces.

5. Frame those works of art and put up on the wall.

6. If it is something someone else could use then give away.

7. Offer it back to the person that gave it. If it is something from their youth, they may want to keep it.

If getting rid of it would cause a family uproar then keep it.

If keeping it means more to one of your grandkids then maybe just for now, keep it. 

One in one out theory

Try this…for every gift you received, you get rid of something.









Time to declutter, Clutters Last Stand

This book, along with many others, have inspired and motivated me to get organized. These books collectively confirm the key to organization.

The key to organization is to declutter.

It’s almost too simple.

If you have less stuff to organize, you will be more successful.

More and more I’m leaning towards minimalism, and I like it. Living with others will force us to compromise and teach us those life lessons we often don’t like to learn. However, if you begin to get rid of some of your stuff them maybe others in the house will like what they see and do the same.














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.


Decluttering And Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving in the USA. One of the few times we come together to celebrate regardless of religion or politics. What does this have to do with organizing and decluttering?

You know me, any subject, any holiday at anytime, can be spun into conversation about organizing and the benefits of decluttering.

Does it add value to your life?

Many of us want to be organized so we can spend more time doing what we love. Spending time with friends and family is usually at the top of the list along with a favorite hobby.

Today is about being with family but that is not to say you can’t take a mental note of the things you are using around your Thanksgiving table.

Remember those platters, gravy bowls and that special electric knife you save year after year for your big T-dinner? Well, now it the time to use. If you don’t use then you have some thinking to do tomorrow.

Do I keep or get rid of?

And by the way…. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



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?

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!



Does This Add Value To My Life?

Green TractorBelieve it or not, today this toy adds value to my life and is a really big deal to my three year old grandson.

Organizing is something you do everyday even if you don’t recognize it as organizing.

The question for you today is, are you organizing and shuffling stuff around the house that you don’t value?

Do I use it?

Do I need  it?

Do I enjoy it?

In other words…

  Does it add value to my life?

Obviously that answer will be different for everyone. A baby swing for a young mom adds incredible value to her life.

Today is an exciting day! I will be playing “garbage truck day” with my 3 year old grandson. This is when we pretend to be garbage trucks and make loud sounds using our arms as claws as we pretend to pick up garbage cans.

I am old enough to realize that when he is 12 he probably won’t want to play our sweet silly games like he does now. This is what I value today.

If things are not adding value to your life, then why do you keep them?

The answer I get the most is….just in case. Then my next question is…What is the worse thing that could possibly happen if you get rid of it and then need it?

It’s a process. The more you declutter the better you will get. Your anxiety level will go down because you will soon realize that it is only stuff. For most of you out there, stuff isn’t what you value. It is the people in your life that you value.



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 Toothpicks

Does anyone out there not have toothpicks in the spice cupboard? I will tell you how old mine are if you tell me how old yours are. Mine….decades old, I’m sure. Many of you know that my mom is the queen declutterer. She must of had 2 boxes of these toothpicks because that is her writing on the box…..it reads;

I have another box so keep this Toothpicks

This morning I got up with a great idea. I would paint some rocks with the old florescent paint that has been in the shed for a couple of years. The artist in me is always looking for ways to make the garden bright and interesting and what could better light up the path to my chicken coop (with no chickens, yet) but florescent green rocks?

rocksFirst I headed to the recycle trash can to pull out an old blue plastic box, put the rocks in, then went to the shed for the paint. Ready, set, go… and nothing. The thing was clogged. What now? I know, I will boil water, put the tip in and get a toothpick to get out old paint.paint cap and toothpick

It has been months, maybe years since grabbing a toothpick. The message on the box caught my eye. The box was old and falling apart, it even had old tape holding all sides together.

This project is ongoing and you will get an update.

The question for today is;

How many toothpicks do you need? I suppose if you make lots of hors d’oeuvres (had to look up proper spelling) then you would have need for a box but I don’t routinely make them so they sit in my cupboard for just in case.

Time to declutter old toothpicks!