Posts tagged declutter

The Psychology of Clutter

A very thoughtful piece about why we hold onto things we no longer really need and more.

Giving Away Gets Rid of the Clutter

What if clutter was ruling your life and you didn’t even want to go home to face it?

When I feel like I have too many things, I start to look around and decide what I can subtract from my life. I don’t have the time or energy to sell on Ebay or Craigslist, so I donate to my favorite charity. Once I give away the “stuff”, I feel like a load has been lifted.

So much of what we keep is stuff we no longer use or need, like old kitchen appliances, books we have finished and don’t plan to reread, old clothes, and even gifts we don’t really like or use.¬†

What if you could subtract from your clutter and do a good deed while you are at it?

It is so important to take stock of your own happiness, versus the dollars and cents approach: “I could get $20 for this,”. Maybe you could, but only after a lot of your valuable time and effort has gone into it. I suggest that you value your time and the health of your environment by culling the things around you that give you angst and giving them to someone who may really need it and an ¬†organization that may really need the funds.

What things in your home need to be subtracted for your own well-being?

When Things Get Messy, Start Subtracting

As an organizer, I am always trying to find new ways to help people make the most of the space that they have. Honestly, the best way to find your way out of clutter is to stop adding to it and then to subtract from it.

The Bathroom

A simple example is the bathroom. Do you really need 5 different shampoos lining the shower or a dozen different lotions and 5 mascaras? No, no you don’t.¬† Once you cull through the maze of products in your medicine cabinet and your shower stall, you could be left with just the essentials. When I do a clean sweep in my bathroom, I always feel better. The shelves aren’t so crowded and it’s easier to clean.

Subtract the old sunscreens and nearly empty bottles of things you don’t use and you are left with a minimal approach to your space. That can be applied to your whole house. Just because Costco is selling a crate of Pantene shampoo, doesn’t mean you need to buy it.

Be strong! Buy less and subtract more.

I don’t have very many emails in my inbox. In Gmail I use labels to store emails I no longer need to do anything about, but I need to keep. I look at how to deal with my email in a few ways: delete, defer, file, reply. If I have to reply I keep it short and sweet. To the point. I try to think of myself as an email ninja, using my awesome powers to cut through all of the flotsam and jetsam that lands in my path. In layman’s terms: don’t waste your precious time reading every last Facebook or Linked in update. Skim and delete the noise from your inbox. If it’s a coupon and you need it that’s one thing, but if it’s the 100th email from a store that week, delete, delete delete. 

When you do reply to an email stay on point. It’s not a letter. It’s supposed to be short, polite and answer the question, problem at hand.

Periodically, I go through my archived emails and throw out everything that is older than 6 months old. It can’t be that important and I’m not looking for it.

Hope this helps you get through your emails. Any other good suggestions?

I don’t have very many emails in my inbox. In Gmail I use labels to store emails I no longer need to do anything about, but I need to keep. I look at how to deal with my email in a few ways: delete, defer, file, reply. If I have to reply I keep it short and sweet. To the point. I try to think of myself as an email ninja, using my awesome powers to cut through all of the flotsam and jetsam that lands in my path. In layman’s terms: don’t waste your precious time reading every last Facebook or Linked in update. Skim and delete the noise from your inbox. If it’s a coupon and you need it that’s one thing, but if it’s the 100th email from a store that week, delete, delete delete.

When you do reply to an email stay on point. It’s not a letter. It’s supposed to be short, polite and answer the question, problem at hand.

Periodically, I go through my archived emails and throw out everything that is older than 6 months old. It can’t be that important and I’m not looking for it.

Hope this helps you get through your emails. Any other good suggestions?

How to Organize Papers

We all have tons of papers to file and sort and sometimes it gets out of hand. I have a sure- fire way to sort papers successfully.

First: you need some tools

You need a filing cabinet, file folders and labels. You also need several paper bags for sorting, a sharpie and a pen.

Second: Put on some music or a good movie for distraction

Put on some music that you like or a movie that you love, but have seen 15 times to help you pass the time.

Third: Bring it all together

Bring all of your papers, file folders, labels and the filing cabinet, if it is on wheels, into your living room, or wherever you feel most comfortable. Also bring the paper bags and pens.

Fourth: Start sorting

Take a pile of papers and put it into categories using your paper bags. For example, with your Sharpie in big letters label one bag Medical, another Credit Cards, Mortgage, Car, etc. If something needs to be shredded or tossed out have a shredder and a garbage bag handy.

Once all of the papers are sorted, you can start filing.

Fifth: Filing

Make sure your file folders are labeled in such a way that you can find them gain. Use labels, or the folder itself and write things like: Medical, Banking, Mortgage, Car, etc.

Try to avoid a Misc. file. Separate everything into as many categories as you can so there isn’t a junk file folder. You’ll forget things in there.

Take the papers out of each of your bags, one bag at a time and start putting them into your labeled file folders. If you find more stuff to toss out or shred, go for it!

Sixth: Celebrate!

You’ve just completed a very tedious task. It’s time for a glass of wine, a nice dinner and a happy dance!

Tips to Stay Organized from Oprah.com

I thought this quick slideshow/article was really helpful and had some great tips!

How Quickbooks Can Help You Organize!

I just recently started using Quickbooks online for my business and it’s changed the way that I feel about organizing my invoices and expenses.

I feel a great sense of satisfaction knowing that everything is inputted correctly and I can breathe easy come tax time.

Learning a new program can seem intimidating at first, but it’s well worth the learning curve. Imagine having all of your receipts for expenses, all of your invoices and payments in one place. It’s an amazing program and no, I’m not being paid to say this.

If you have a small business and you are trying to keep track of all of those pesky bits of paper, this program is for you. It’s easy to use once you get the hang of it and the customer service is painless and very helpful.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
Hans Hoffman

Craigs-list Cleans House

So I’m decluttering again as usual, so I’m starting to sell things that I haven’t used in a while: a steamer, a garment rack and three picture frames. I even sold an old computer.

The reason that I am writing about this, is because it is an incredibly easy way to discard old things that are gathering dust and get some cash in your pocket. We all hang on to things that we think we will use at some later time, but never do. Now’s the time to say goodbye to that appliance you’ve only used once, or the hiking boots that give you blisters.

Give it a shot! Besides getting some money, which we all could use, you are decluttering your house! Go for it!

ebay is your friend when you declutter

Yesterday, I was looking through my closet and my wallet. There was too much stuff in my closet and not enough bills in my wallet. What I decided to do next was not only fun, but hopefully lucrative. I spent three hours taking photos and posting stuff for sale on ebay.

"Boy", you might say,"That sounds like such a bother!"

Nevertheless, a little effort can garner you oodles of cash. Who doesn’t want cash?
I am proud of myself for having made the effort and in a few days I may have a bunch of dollars in my PayPal account.

Take a look at that stuff you aren’t using and think about how you could trade your “junk” into cash.