Check out these stats from an article in The Wall Street Journal. Clutter isn’t just physical stuff. Be careful not to clutter up your smart phones with apps you don’t use, need or love!
The improper disposal of leftover household chemicals can be harmful to the environment and to public health. Due to unforeseen conflicts with other necessary site improvements, there has been a delay in the construction of the first permanent hazardous waste collection site in St Louis.
If you have boxes of old paperwork that you’re ready to rid yourself of, Commerce Bank in Kirkwood (300 N Kirkwood Rd, 63122) is holding a FREE shredding event tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Bring up to 10 boxes of paperwork and they’ll shred them for you. It’s the perfect way to properly dispose of sensitive paper. For more information, call 314-746-5200.
I bet you’re holding on to things with the intention of selling them someday to make a hefty profit. But you’re life is so busy and that plan keeps falling to the bottom of your to-do list. The problem is that with each and every item you plan to sell, but never get around to, your clutter increases.
Unfortunately, staying organized and clutter-free is a process that never ends. It’s something that you always have to stay on top of, always have to devote time to and constantly have to tweak. Just as maintaining a weight loss requires constant attention, so does being organized. But it becomes easier and easier as habits and systems are created to do just that.
If you want to finish the race of life, if you want to make it to the finish line, you’re going to have to let go of some things that may be holding you back in the race. Call it de-cluttering; call it simplifying; there are some things that need to be laid aside in order to finish well.
Gather up your donations and bring them to any metro Goodwill on Tuesdays or Wednesdays in July, and receive a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich. Eat more chicken at any of the six area Chick-Fil-A locations: Mid-Rivers, Des Peres, Chesterfield, Arnold, St. Clair Square and West County Center.
A prom dress exchange will be held this Saturday, April 9th from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the commons area at Windsor High School which is located at 6208 Hwy 61-67 in Imperial, MO.
The flavor experts at McCormick recommend the following tips for checking your spices freshness:
If you want to declutter but you don’t want to see everything end up in the trash, or if you lack the resources to hire a professional organizer, rent a truck to move the big stuff or invest in a dumpster, I’ve got a great solution for you. I actually have to give all of the credit to one of my clients.
If you’re like most people, you probably struggle with what you should and shouldn’t keep. Part of what Professional Organizers do is help our clients think through whether or not they should keep something by asking them a series of questions.
A very big part of getting, and staying organized, is weeding constantly – everywhere. Rather than looking at your entire house or entire office and thinking how you have to weed all of it, break it down into manageable pieces. This way you can tackle it in little bits rather than thinking you have to give up an entire day to weed out unwanted stuff.
If you have small children and have a hard time finding “alone time” to work on getting organized, why not buddy up with a friend? Pick a specific weekday and time and then every week, take turns keeping each other’s children for a couple of hours. Your children will have fun hanging out with someone else and you’ll be a happier, more focused Mom when they return.
Check out the interesting email I received. Seems like a fantastic idea.
Now is the time to get those old paints and pesticides out of your house. These free hazardous waste disposal drop-off events are for residents of Saint Louis County only. Proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or a tax bill, is required.
If you’re like most people, there’s probably a bunch of stuff in your house that you no longer really want or need. Yet you just haven’t taken action on getting it out. Sometimes that’s because you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of sorting through everything to determine what you no longer need. Sometimes it’s the sheer physical stamina that it will take to get it out.
Make It a Home is a dream that Jackie Swinnie has had for years. Their mission is to visit the homes of people with disabilities to determine what their needs are to make it a home. To meet their client’s needs, they collect gently used items from wherever they can find them.
Today’s blog post comes from Harold Taylor of Harold Taylor Time Consultants. What a great reminder.
Is your home so filled with clutter that you don’t know where to start? You can begin by looking for things that you know you no longer want or need that you can give to someone else that desperately needs it. Why not start looking for the items that are needed by the following groups?
Waste Management and the St Louis Cardinals are teaming up to host an “Unplug, Drive Up and Drop Off” event on the Ballpark Village parking lot, located at Walnut St and South Broadway. The public is invited to bring old electronics to the FREE Annual Downtown Unplugged event on April 29, 2010 from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Did you know there is a very big reason why you feel so overwhelmed when you look around at your clutter and think about getting organized? It’s because all clutter is delayed decisions. As you look around at your things, you feel overwhelmed with the amount of decisions you’ll have to make, so we normally tend to just delay getting organized longer without realizing why.
The first step in getting organized is to determine what your vision is for the space or system you are working on. My vision for the junk drawer is to be able to quickly find what I need, quickly retrieve it and quickly return it so I can easily find it next time I need it.
Cell Phones for Soldiers is seeking donations of used cell phones to be recycled and used to buy prepaid calling cards for military personnel serving overseas.
Have you ever wondered where you would find a fork, or where the fork should go when you’re finished with it? I doubt it. That’s because the fork has been assigned a home in your house. Getting organized simply means finding a home for everything, so that you can find it as easily as finding a fork, when you need it. And you know exactly where it goes when you’re finished with it.
If you hold on to the beautiful dish sets your mother collected after she dies, but they are wrapped up in boxes in the basement, are they really there as a memory of her? Wouldn’t it make more sense to save one of the dishes and display it? Or take a picture of the set and then pass them on to someone in need, or sell them?
Since there was enough stuff in my spice cabinet to really fill two spaces, I separated the spices from the flour, sugar, etc. After raising a couple of the shelves in the cabinet so that the larger spaces were on the bottom two shelves, rather than the top two like it had been before, I began returning items to the cabinet.
After determining your vision, sorting and then tossing your items, it’s time to determine where they should live based on their usage. I had an empty drawer in my kitchen that I hadn’t realized before. I shifted other items in my kitchen around so that the right size drawer was empty. I wanted to put my spices in a drawer so that I could make my vision for the spices a reality.
- I would be able to see the spices easily.
- I would be able to get anything out of the drawer I needed very quickly. And return the item to the drawer just as quickly.
- I could also reach in very quickly and get my Sweet & Low for my tea, rather than having to struggle with getting the box out of the cabinet each time I made a glass of tea.
After establishing my vision for the spice cabinet and sorting the items, it was time to toss or consolidate items.
- Check expiration dates and toss expired items.
- Consolidate duplicate and triplicate items.
- Determine if you still need the items.
Once I figured out what wasn’t working with the spice cabinet, and what my vision was for it, I took everything out of the cabinet. Needless to say, there were many duplicate items and even more triplicates of items than I want to admit. After grouping like items with like items, this is what I found:
- 2 bags of sugar – one 1/2 full, one 1/8 full
- 2 bottles of virgin olive oil – both pretty full
- 3 bottles of vanilla – two full, one missing about 4 tablespoons
- 3 jars of chicken bouillon cubes – two missing about 6 cubes each, one 1/2 full
- 2 lemon peppers – one 1/3 full, one had about a tablespoon
- 2 garlic salts – one 1/2 full, one full
- 2 garlic powder – both about 1/2 full
- 1 bag flour – 1/3 full
- 1 bag brown sugar – 1/4 full
- 1 container coffee
- 1 package coffee filters
- 3 seasoning salts – one full, one 1/2 full, one 1/4 full
- 2 peppers – large one 2/3 full, small one 2/3 full
- 2 salts – one full, one 1/8 full
- 2 paprikas – large one 2/3 full, small one full
- 2 cinammons – large on 1/2 full, small one 1/2 full
- Several other random items
This spice cabinet in my home has not been working for a long time. It is crammed full of things, I can’t see what’s in there, and it’s a nightmare to get anything out of it. I’ve been putting off re-organizing this cabinet for so long because I didn’t want to stop and take time out of my busy schedule to do it. Saturday I tackled and conquered it.
- Go through your spices and foods, and combine duplicates.
- Check expiration dates on the foods in your fridge and pantries. Toss those that are expired.
- Put all holiday dishes and large bulky items you seldom use in the hardest to reach place in your kitchen.
- How many glasses and mugs do you really need?
I had the great fortune of meeting Tom Ponche last week. Tom, an eldercare advisor, works for A Place For Mom which is a free online service for seniors and their families. They offer free eldercare advice and referrals. Since assisting seniors and their families is one of our specialties, Tom will be using our team as a resource when seniors need help downsizing, de-cluttering and preparing their home for sale, getting their paperwork in order and to assist families with the physical mess that is left behind after the loss of a loved one when their emotions are already running high.
I finally made myself block out some time to declutter and organize my closet. It took me about 3 hours start to finish. I was right when I said that I thought at least 80% of the clothes in my closet would end up being donated. I dropped off the clothes that no longer fit me at Mercy Ministries, which is a home for troubled or abused teenage girls. They get to live there completely free while they seek help dealing with their pasts. Not only do I feel great about tackling my closet, I also know that I’ve made a difference in others lives by donating my unwanted things to a charity that needs them. How did you do?
Did you know that clutter represents delayed decisions? Once you know that, it makes the thought of de-cluttering seem less overwhelming. You think to yourself All I have to do is make decisions on everything. That can’t be that hard. While de-cluttering is extremely empowering, it is also mentally and emotionally draining.
- Do you dump whatever you don’t want in the basement?
- Do you remember what’s in your basement?
- Are you overwhelmed at the thought of tackling the basement?
- Do you wish you could use your basement as a family room or extra bedroom rather than a storage area?
Most anyone I talk to has a basement full of stuff they haven’t really looked at in years. They share with me the amount of stress they feel about the basement at all times. Though they never express those feelings verbally to anyone, they are feeling the weight of the clutter at all times. I can tell you that whenever a client hires us to help them, normally they are more than ready to let go of at least 50% of their stuff. They just didn’t realize it was there. You can tackle you basement by:
- Sorting like items with like items
- Purging those items you no longer need
- Determining the best place for each category to live based on it’s use.
- Determine the best container choices for each category
- Label, label, label!
- Enjoy your newly cleared and organized space!
I recently had a tooth pulled that had a crown on it. The dentist told me to send the crown to Garfield Refining. They buy any gold, silver or platinum bearing items for cash on the spot. Within a week I received a check for $10.10 for my crown that I would have normally just thrown away, unaware there was another option.
Jefferson County P.R.I.D.E. (Partners Responsible 4 Increasing Drug Education) have planned a series of prescription medication take-back events. They will take unwanted prescription medications, specifically controlled substances, for safe disposal under federal EPA guidelines. People have thrown away or flushed unused medications in the past but they are finding traces of medication in our water supplies these days. For additional information, contact 636-464-4423.
At this time of year so many people are tackling their clutter filled basements. A great resource to donate your unwanted items to is OASIS International. This fantastic ministry takes your donations and passes them on to immigrants that come to the St Louis area with absolutely nothing. So many of our clients have donated unwanted furniture to OASIS International and the great part is that they will come in a truck, staffed with movers, and pick up your items for you. There is a minimal charge for this service, but our clients have all agreed that the convenience of it far outweighs the charge. You benefit from decluttering your home and the recipients of your donations benefit as well. I love a win-win situation!
So many of our clients struggle with CHAOS; Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. They are embarrassed about the condition that their home has gotten into and therefore they never invite anyone over to visit. Many times when people call us they express how much they wish they could invite guests over, or even more often we hear about how they wish their children could have friends over to play or visit. The true problem stems from the fact that a clutter problem left untouched can grow and multiply very quickly. Thus leaving you feeling completely overwhelmed and unsure of where to even begin. This then snowballs into depression, stress and low feelings of self worth. So many times clients will say they just want their lives back. As professional organizers we will come into your home or office and help you declutter, get organized and set up systems to keep you organized so that you have more time for the things you love. Aren’t you ready to take back control of your life?
Are you ready to rid your basement and garage of all that unwanted paint? If so, now is the time. This Saturday, June 6th is the last hazardous waste pick up in the St Louis area for this season. The event will be held at the South County Mall from 8:00 – 3:00. Visit our resource page for a list of acceptable and unacceptable items.
After months of waiting you finally sold your house and are preparing to move. Here’s a quick check list to guide you through the process.
A couple of weeks ago I posted about my problems with time clutter and how I tend to fill my planner and to do list without even considering if what I am scheduling will really benefit me, my company or my family.
In order to remain organized and clutter-free you must establish systems, or rules, for your stuff. Here are some fairly basic rules that you can easily implement to help you keep a handle on your clothes:
Our closets are a place that we use very frequently. If they are clutter filled and not in order, this can add to our daily stress because we waste time and energy searching for the things we need on a regular basis. Start off tackling the closet by pulling everything out of the closet and sorting the items into categories. Do not try to make any decisions on whether you need an item at this time, just sort. Once you have completely sorted the entire closet into categories, you can go back and make a more informed decison about the things you need or don’t need. Here is a list of the advantages of sorting before you make decisions:
- Rather than looking at twenty different white t-shirts through the course of looking through your closet, and making twenty separate decisions, you will only have to make one big decision. You may have chosen to keep all of them if you looked at them one by one, but you would make a better educated decision if you saw a pile of twenty white t-shirts together. More than likely you would realize that although you like each t-shirt, you probably don’t need twenty of them.
- You can combine two or more 1/2 empty containers of the same thing such as tylenol, lotions, cold meds, etc.
- Once you have decluttered the things in your closets, everything that is left will already be sorted into categories. This way you can easily store those items together which will make finding those things easier in the future.
If you have piles and piles (or boxes and boxes) of paper clutter and you attempt to tackle it the way we would automatically by making a decision on each paper you pick up, you will be mentally exhausted after the first pile. The best way to tackle this, or any other clutter, is to sort the paperwork out first. Without making any decisions at all, sort your paperwork into these categories:
- Action papers – These are any papers that require action. Even if that means to enter a phone number in your phone book, a party invitation, etc.
- Reference papers – These are papers that you have already taken action on and the information just needs to be saved for future reference.
- Toss – These are papers that you no longer need.
This is the most eye opening statement that I share with my clients. It’s true! Clutter is nothing but delayed decisions. I know we are all busy and just don’t feel like we have the time to tackle our clutter. But if you think about it long enough, you’ll realize that it is not just that we are too busy to deal with our clutter, but we also realize that to deal with the clutter we must make decisions. Realizing the necessity to make decisions in order to declutter only makes us put it off longer. The more we put off the decisions, the bigger the pile grows until we are completely overwhelmed. Here is the catch…even when you think you are not dealing with your clutter, the pending decisions are weighing you down with stress, anxiety and leaving you feeling overwhelmed. When you hire a professional organizer, we are well trained to help you make these decisions in the easiest fashion possible. This weeks blog posts will help you break your clutter down into manageable chunks. We will also share some tips to make it easier for you.