Category Archives: Clutter Issues

Ten Questions to Help You Let Go

give away bags

This person is letting go of lots of stuff!

Are you having trouble letting go and uncluttering?

At some point, I may want or have to move from my present home, and will need to ask myself some questions regarding what to do with all of my possessions. Whether you are moving or staying put, answering the following ten questions honestly will help you decide what to keep and what to let go of:

1. Do I use this item regularly?  YES  NO

2. If not, do I love the item?  YES  NO

3. Am I keeping this because I think I should love it?  YES  NO

4. Do I feel obligated to hold on to it?   YES  NO

5. If I let go of it, will it really hurt someone else feelings?  YES  NO

6. Am I holding on to this item because someday I will repair it?  YES  NO

7. Am I saving this ‘just in case’ I may need or use it some day?  YES  NO

8. Do I have extras (I never use) of the same thing?  YES  NO

9. Can I use another item that will work just as well?  YES  NO

10. Can I store something more useful in this space?   YES  NO

If, when answering these questions you found that you don’t like, will never use, will never repair, or feel guilty letting go of something, you’ll know that the item doesn’t mean that much to you. And, that it’s time to get rid of it, or give it away.

If you notice that you have a hard time deciding, or saying NO to particular items, put them aside and look at them in a couple of days. Then, ask yourself these same 10 questions, and you may be surprised that you change your answer from NO to YES. 

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Don’t let the ‘Clutter Creature’ take control!

Are you afraid to look under the bathroom sink because you might be attacked by all the clutter inside? Don’t let the Clutter Creature’ take control!

Disorganized stuff under bathroom sink

It’s time to tame that creature, and put some systems in place under the sink.

1. Ask yourself; what belongs under the sink and what doesn’t? – Do you really want to store your extra toothbrushes and deodorant there? It makes sense to keep cleaning products, air fresheners and toilet paper in that area. So, sort through all these items and delegate other storage areas for items that should be stored elsewhere.

2. Store vertically – To maximize your vertical space, purchase an inexpensive shelving unit for stacking. This will be good for small items.

3. Utilize the doors – If there’s room on the insides of the cabinet doors take advantage of the space. You could install a small rack on one door for holding cleaning rags. On the other door, attach a narrow shelf to hold new sponges and rubber cleaning gloves.

4. Under the drain pipe you can place a shallow metal or plastic tray for keeping more items organized.

Once you’ve followed these four suggestions, try to keep everything stored under the bathroom sink organized. Otherwise, you might have to deal with the ‘Clutter Creature’ once again!

Let me know if you’ve conquered the beast!

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Timesavers to Keep Clutter at Bay

cats on bed

To keep your clutter at bay, and free up some of your time, check out the following five things to do every day.

1. Sort Your Mail
Take a few minutes every day to gather the mail, open, read and sort it. Keep a recycle bin near the mail sorting area for junk mail and opened envelopes. Put the other mail into categories to either take care of the same day or later in the week; bills, personal correspondence, catalogs and filing.

2. Manage Your Clutter
As you leave a room, take a quick look around to see if there are items that don’t belong there. Pick up those items and put them where they belong. Ask all others in the household to do the same.

3. Clean While You Cook
Don’t fill the sink with dishes and pots while you are cooking. Wash them or put them in your dishwasher as you make the meal. You’ll have less cleaning up to do when the meal is over, and more time to do other things.

4. Make Your Bed
The bedroom will look more orderly when you make the bed every day.  It’s also a good Feng Shui practice to make the bed everyday. An unmade bed with bunched up blankets and sheets is actually a form of clutter which can remind you of other difficulties and annoyances in your life.

5. Hang Up Your Clothes 
It’s ok if at night (like myself) that you are too tired to hang up your clothes and/or put them in dresser drawers. But, make it a habit that to put them away every morning before you choose that day’s clothes to wear.

When you try these five time savers each day, (even if you only accomplish a couple of them at first) please let me know how it goes!

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Organize Your Manuals and User Guides

user manuals and guides

Are your product manuals stored in various places around your home, thus making it time consuming and difficult to find one if you need it?

I used to keep manuals in drawers in the kitchen, in my study, and in the attic. If I had a problem with an appliance or an electronic gadget, I wasted time trying to find the correct manual. I eventually put all of these documents into one folder in a drawer in my study.

Here are THREE TIPS on  how to keep track of those manuals and guides:

TIP # 1 – Keep all your manuals in one place (in a binder or file drawer). To find them easily, file your manuals in categories such as appliances, electronics, computers, or furniture. Every time you add a new manual, go through and recycle the outdated ones. If you move, be sure to leave the manuals for any kitchen appliances, washer/dryer, garage doors, and anything else you don’t take with you.

TIP # 2 – Create a spreadsheet that lists all of your appliances and electronic items; including make, model, purchase date and serial number.

TIP # 3 – Once you’ve created the spreadsheet, you can recycle all of your manuals. But before before recycling, click on -http://wwwAppliance411.com/ to see if all of your gadgets and appliances are listed there with care and repair needs, plus directions. This site keeps the most frequently requested information on home appliances up to date.

Organizing your guides and manuals in one place, with easy access, simplifies things for when you need to retrieve one.

I’d love to know if these documents are already filed in a convenient location, or which of the 3 TIPS you will use to get them in order.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Active and Inactive Files

Active files

Do you have piles of papers/documents on your desk, but don’t know which ones you should take care of within the next few days, or week?  And, perhaps some of those papers don’t need to be looked at for at least a year?

In case you didn’t already know, there are two basic categories for filing documents; ACTIVE and INACTIVE .

ACTIVE files are for papers you will want to access during the upcoming week for temporary use. Keep these papers on your desk in what’s called a vertical table top ‘step’ file holder (viewed sideways, this type of holder is reminiscent of a staircase). Label 5 to 7 manila folders (not pendaflex) with ACTION words such as To- Do’s, Phone calls, RSVP, To file, Bills to pay, Pending, and Order & Purchase. 

Sort your mail right when you bring it into your house or apartment. This will take about a minute or two.  Recycle the junk mail directly into the waste basket, or recycle bin (should be located near your ACTIVE files). Shred credit card solicitations, and other unwanted mail containing sensitive information.

Put unpaid bills into the PAY folder. If you’ve a question about any of these bills, put them into the CALL folder. Once you are ready to pay the bills, take the PAY folder to the location you pay your bills, and pay them all at once. (Schedule in your calendar specific days/times to pay bills, make phone calls, and do your filing). All bills that have been paid, stamped and addressed should go into an OUTGOING MAIL folder until they are ready to be mailed.

Keep your ACTION file in a prominent place such as your desk, wherever your mail tends to pile up, or where you pay your bills.

An INACTIVE file or record is one with which all actions have been completed. These documents won’t need to be referenced on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, Files such as  former tax returns, bank statements, or memorabilia such as greeting cards, letters, certificates  can be stored in a filing cabinet, or in plastic or sturdy cardboard storage boxes that are covered and labeled.

Be sure to keep up with both of these types of files by reviewing them periodically, and purging what you don’t need to keep. 

I’d love to know if you already have these types of file categories, and it not, what steps you will take to create them?

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clutter in Your Car

Car seat organizer

I have car clutter: I run two businesses; organizing and gardening. I have a small car, with a small trunk. From spring thru fall, I actually need to keep certain items in the back seat most of the time; such as lawn bags, and a metal dolly on wheels to transport heavy bags of fertilizer, compost or mulch, from my car to a garden client’s yard.  Small tools and other supplies stay in the trunk, out of site.

And, when I take my organizing client’s giveaways to GoodWill, I put the bags and boxes of stuff in my front and/or back seat. These things might stay in the car for a few days until I can schedule the time to do the drop off.

Folks don’t usually need to keep their business things in the car.  That’s what a trunk, or the rear space in an SUV is for.  But, you might have ‘small item’ clutter; like protein bar wrappers, empty soda or water bottles, kids’ toys,  notebooks, food take out bags, etc. on the car seat or floor.

Here are some TIPS for keeping car seats and floors uncluttered:

  • Purchase a car seat organizer to store the clutter crowding the passenger seat of your car. (I purchased one a few years ago) There’s the ‘Mobile Office’ from the Container Store (http://www.containerstore.com ), the ‘High Road SwingAway XL’ car seat organizer which can swivel from front seat to back. ( http://www.cargogear.com ). Target stores also carry car seat organizers. These organizers are great for holding cell phones, tissues, water bottles, maps, snacks, music CD’s, and there’s even a place to put file folders.
  • Plastic storage containers can be placed in the trunk, or under a seat to hold items like umbrellas, rain ponchos, tissues or water bottles.
  • Keep children’s toys and games in a covered plastic container that can be placed either on the floor or in the middle of the back seat.
  • Put a travel sized waste can or basket in the car so there will be a place other than the floor to put trash.
  • In case of emergencies always keep a pair of jumper cables, a flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel, bag of sand, non-perishable snacks, bottled water, and a first aid kit in the car.

 Let me know what you use to keep from having clutter in your car.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

‘A Solution to the Never Ending Clothes Pile’

xcluttered-rocker        cleared-rocker

Are your clothes strewn in piles all over your bedroom with barely a square inch of floor showing? Do you tell yourself that you will put them away, but never do because you just don’t have time to deal with this process? And, do you live out of your laundry baskets, but get confused as to what clothes are clean or dirty?

I have to admit that as a very busy person myself, I don’t always put my clothes in the dresser drawers, or the clothes closet each evening when I get ready for bed.  Sometimes, they pile up on my bedroom rocking chair, and a few items can creep on to the floor as a mess of pants, sweaters, shirts, pajamas, etc.  If the pile stays like this for more than two days, I feel disgusted with myself.  At this point, I put everything where it belongs, and am happy to see my lovely clothing free rocking chair once again.

One solution to the ‘clothes pile problem’ is to choose a storage system that will serve your limited tolerance for spending time ‘managing your clothes’. First, eliminate visual barriers by removing furniture with drawers. Replace with floor to ceiling open shelving, or better yet, with cubbies, an easier system to use.

You can create areas in the cubby for each person sharing the bedroom. Use separate cubbies for shirts, pants, underwear, socks, etc… And, label each section. Cubbies towards the top can be used for clothing and accessories used less frequently. Install hooks on the wall to hang clothes that don’t need to be washed each time you wear them. This will keep these clothes separate from the dirty laundry. And, label the laundry baskets or bins CLEAN & DIRTY ONLY.

Folding, or just putting the clothes into the cubbies is quick and easy. Your bedroom will be more open and spacious, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

I’d love to know the system you use to store your clothing and accessories.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

‘FREE YOURSELF from PAPER CLUTTER’

paper clutter

April 4, 2017 TIME: 7:00 – 8:30 pm FEE: $28.00

Brookline High School
115 Greenough Street, Brookline
bacep@brookline.k12.ma.us 617-730-2700

http://www.campusce.net/brookline/course/course.aspx?catId=64

From junk mail to important documents, we all have paper clutter in our homes and offices. If we don’t spend time getting rid of it, it will completely take over. Organizing the pile can be an overwhelming task, and this class will explore the causes of clutter, systems to organize it, and habits to maintain organization. Through a focused presentation and discussion, you will explore with a professional coach how to overcome the roadblocks to clear your paper clutter. You’ll soon be on your way to prepare your paperwork for tax season.

Presenter: Judy Eisenberg, Professional Organizer – Clutter Clearer Coach  cluttercluttercoach@comcast.net

Manage Your Magazine Clutter

IMG_4597

March is certainly coming in and staying ‘Like a Lion!’ And it’s already spring. Do you have an excess of magazines or store catalogs? Are they stacked in piles, filling up shelves you could use for something else, or overflowing bags or boxes?

With the crummy weather forecast for this weekend, why not take some time and sort through those magazines and catalogs. And, while you are at it, also deal with those alumni college magazines you’ve been holding on to for years.

A couple of years ago on a cold and rainy day, I set aside a couple of hours to deal with my many magazines. On that day, while gathering my magazines, I looked under the table next to my couch, and in addition to the full magazine rack that was there, I noticed another full magazine rack I’d forgotten about just behind the front rack!  So, I looked through all of the magazines I had held on to, recycled most of them, and chose some to give to the garden club raffle.  I made the decision to keep just a few of the most relevant magazines and up-to-date catalogs. Since then, I only receive one garden magazine in the mail, and do research on-line for any gardening information I need.

You can do the same on any bad weather day. Gather up all the magazine subscriptions, catalogs and other periodicals you have saved that are taking up space. Do you truly enjoy all of them? Are they a good use of your time or space? Or, do you let them pile up thinking you’ll read them when you have the time, but never do. This is the time to purge, recycle and give them away. Keep only the most recent subscriptions that you truly love, and know you will read within the next couple of months. Libraries, doctor, dentist and therapist offices are good places to give your magazines to.

If you want to terminate any magazine subscriptions, call their company office to cancel any magazines you no longer want.

To cancel your catalogs: http://www.catalogchoice.org/

For each current issue you receive in the mail, toss the previous months if you haven’t read it yet.

I think you’ll feel a bit lighter when you do this. Let me know the progress you’ve made on letting go.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

‘National Clean Out Your Closet Week’

hanging shoe holder          clothes in color order

Did you know that the third week of March is ‘National Clean Out Your Closet Week’?  

Even though it’s not quite spring outside (20 degrees today, but feels like 6 degrees below with the wind chill factor) in the Boston area, the third week of March is a great reminder for everyone to begin taking small steps towards spring cleaning.

Remember that, March 14 is ‘Clean Out Your Home Office Day. And, once you’ve taken care of your home office (or even if you haven’t), you can begin to overhaul your closets the following week. I’m going to clean out and organize the back hallway closet, and then see if my clothes closet needs help.

Below are some tips on cleaning out your closets:

  • Begin with one closet, perhaps your clothes closet. Schedule a block of time to begin and complete the clean out in one session.
  • Remove everything from the closet. Clean the inside walls, shelving, and the floor. You may decide to paint the interior a more pleasing color, install new lighting, or use some decorative containers for storage to save space. If you decide to make some changes, set aside extra time to do so.
  • Sort the items into categories; shoes, pocket books, belts, scarves, shirts, sweaters, pants, dresses, skirts, jackets, and anything else that was in there.
  • For items that don’t belong there, put them aside to relocate later.
  • Get rid of what you don’t need, don’t love, doesn’t fit, is damaged, out of style, and haven’t worn during the past year. This means throw out, repair, give away.
  • Decide on a plan so you know where to put things back in the closet. Do you want to put your shoes in a hanging shoe holder bag or in a shoe rack instead of jumbled on the floor, hang your clothes in a particular order, (I like hanging my clothes by color scheme; all blacks, greys, whites, blues, reds, etc. in that order on the clothing rods), or arrange folded items on the shelves differently.
  • Then begin putting them back one category at a time. You can always change or rearrange the items.
  • When the first closet is clean and re-organized, reward yourself by doing something fun or pleasing for a job well done!
  • Then, it’s on to the next closet; clean, purge and reorganize.

There’s seven days during the third week of March, hopefully allowing you time to take care of all, or most of your closets.

Organizing your closets will make it easier to locate items in a timely manner, thus simplifying your life. Let me know how it goes, and if you have any clever and creative ideas you’d like to share with my blog readers.

 If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net