Spring Cleaning and Clearing

shutterstock header photo 4.9.15_156671090

With the approach of spring it’s getting to be that time again to clean the home, and also get rid of items you no longer use or need.

“Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime. The practice of spring cleaning is especially prevalent in climates with a cold winter. The most common usage of spring cleaning refers to the yearly act of cleaning a house from top to bottom which would take place in the first warm days of the year typically in spring, hence the name. However it has also come to be synonymous with any kind of heavy duty cleaning or organizing enterprise.” (definition taken from Wikipedia)

Having a house cleaner every other week is fantastic. The main thing I need to do is dust my bedroom furniture weekly, and wash the dishes. I’ve been keeping down any clutter, and putting things back where they belong daily, (except for hanging up all my clothing. – me bad) Yesterday morning my partner, Steve and I, spring cleaned up and cleared our garden beds – mostly dead heading plants and pruning. Plants are poking up from under the ground, and it’s so lovely!

Have you begun your cleaning and organizing for spring?

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1.  Thoroughly clean one room each week. If your home isn’t too big, this should take you to the end of April. Vacuum, dust, rearrange furniture, purge, and organize the stuff in each room. Yesterday, I cleaned my bathroom. Next week, I’ll give my living room a thorough go through.

2.  Sort through one shelf, drawer, box, cabinet and bin at a time. Keep it simple, so you do not get overwhelmed. I am going to sort through and organize a kitchen junk drawer (see photo of cluttered drawer above) that holds kitchen utensils, plus a lot of rubber bands and baggie ties.

3.   Practice the age old expression: ‘When in doubt, throw it out’.  If I don’t love, need, use, or want an item, I throw it out! Or, give it away, or recycle it.

4.  Don’t spend money, be creative and re-purpose the containers you already have! Look around and you will most likely find empty boxes, canvas shopping bags, or plastic containers for storage. I have a bunch of them up in the attic. You can also sort through and purge any full containers you have to make them re-usable.

5.   Take a few minutes before work or after work to recycle plastics, wash a counter, sweep the floor. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that life will be easier if you take on this task each day. It works for me.

6.  Don’t worry about following someone else’s system for cleaning/organizing. Use the system that works for you. My way may be different from yours.

7.  And, make a promise to yourself to not procrastinate. Get it done! I’ve a big procrastinator, but when I get a household task or organizing project accomplished, I feel great!

Do you have any TIPS for spring cleaning/organizing that work for you? I’d love to hear about them.

 

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

Spring Cleaning and Clearing

 

 

 

 

Too Cold Outside? Clear Catalog Clutter!

catalog clutter

Clear Catalog Clutter now that it’s so cold outside. Why not stay indoors, and accomplish a bit of clearing and organizing of your stuff. Particularly reviewing the  catalogs you currently receive. Pull together the ones that have been laying around taking up space. Do you truly enjoy all of them? Are they a good use of your time? Or, do you let them pile up thinking you’ll read/review them when you have the time, but never do.

If not, call the catalog subscription office today to cancel any magazines you no longer want.

Or to cancel your catalogs go online to: http://www.catalogchoice.org/

For each current catalog you still want to receive, review it, and be sure to recycle old issues.

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

For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

National Buy Nothing Day: The day after Thanksgiving

Holiday shopping bags

Do you really want to get caught up in the massive crowds, wait in long lines, and get stressed buying items on sale for the season’s holidays on Black Friday; the big sales event around the U.S. the day after Thanksgiving?

Just about everyone loves to shop, which is terrific for the nation. But, for folks who collect lots of stuff and are in the process of getting organized, it’s a detrimental day. So, I encourage you to celebrate November’s National Buy Nothing Day – the same day many go out to observe Black Friday.

If you live with a lot of clutter, and perhaps are a compulsive shopper, but are taking steps to decrease your stuff, acquiring more gift items for yourself, for others this year, and to save for future giving, will bring on not only more troubles and perhaps anxiety, but will take away from Thanksgiving’s real purpose of being grateful for what you already have. 

Instead, for one day, lighten your stress levels and enjoy your family and friends, spend some time uncluttering your home, take a walk outdoors, go to a movie, or anything else enjoyable instead of shopping on Black Friday.  There will be other days that things will go on sale.

 

Seven Days of Organizing TIPS – Day # 3 – ‘Reduce Knick Knack Clutter’

DAY # 3 – TIP # 3

vase memorabilia on shelf

Like me, you most likely have at least one shelf that’s full of knick knacks or memorabilia.

Declare that shelf knick knack free. Remove all collectibles, trinkets, picture frames, etc.  Put these items into storage for a while. (You can revisit them a few months down the road, and if you haven’t missed anything, or you forgot about some items, then you know it’s time to give them away to a good cause like a charitable organization).

Dust or polish the shelf until it shines. Add one small vase of flowers, or a small house plant. Don’t put anything else on this surface for 17 days.

You’ll be amazed at the peace you feel with that nearly empty space.

(And, at the end of 17 days, put a few more items on the shelf, but please don’t clutter it again, so that nice feeling remains)

Let me know when you’ve cleared that shelf full of knick knacks, and how this uncluttered shelf makes you feel when you see it.

Seven Days of Organizing TIPS – Day # 2 Purge Your Pocketbook Periodically

DAY # 2 – TIP # 2

Cluttered Pocketbook

Purge Your Pocketbook Periodically 

Is your pocket book so full of stuff that it’s hard to locate an item quickly?  When searching through your purse, do you frequently ask yourself; Where are my keys?  I thought I’d put my to-do list in here. Where’s my credit card?

If so, then it’s time to purge the stuff inside your purse! Dump everything out, and recycle expired coupons, old receipts, scraps of paper. Put an envelope in your bag for current coupons and receipts. Throw out used tissues. Then, add a small zippered pouch or zip-top bag to hold personal items like lip balm, lipstick, hand lotion, a comb, clean tissues, and hand sanitizer. But, not duplicates of these things, as they will crowd your purse. (replace any of these items that are out-dated) Keep your keys in one safe location, and your credit cards and money in another.

Or, get yourself a pocketbook that has different sections that zip up. I love my pocket book because it has separate zipped sections for my keys, my ID cards, my cash and change, a slot for my iPhone, and a snapped section for my travel sized hand lotion and tissues, chewing gum, Band-aids, and small comb. And remember, after you use something from your purse, put it back in the section it belongs.

Purging your pocketbook periodically and keeping it organized, eases up on frustration and saves you time.

To schedule a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation, contact Judy at
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net

Seven Days of Organizing Tips – DAY # 1 – ‘Shred Sensitive Papers’

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I posted this ‘Seven Day’ blog post just a year ago. However, in case you need a reminder, here it is again for the next seven days!

DAY # 1 – TIP # 1

Shred Sensitive Papers

Papers are constantly coming into your home. You need to make sure they’re leaving your home at the same rate. Invest in a sturdy home shredder, so you can quickly and safely dispose of papers and mail that contains sensitive information, such as credit card offers and bank statements. You’ll feel more at ease when these types of documents are not sitting around for anyone to access. During tax time, it’s important to rid yourself of any personal documents that you no longer need to keep. If you’d like to know how long to keep personal financial documents, you can find out by clicking on either of these links:

http://apps.suzeorman.com/  (record keeping), or – https://publications.usa.gov/epublications/keeprecords/keeprecords.htm

Later this fall, I will be purging the papers/documents in my home office, and taking the personal documents I no longer need to be shredded at Staples.  Staples, at least at Fresh Pond Shopping mall, charges 99 cents per pound to safely shred paper. The Iron Mountain shredding company provides Staples with locked bins. When the bins are full, Iron Mountain picks them up to shred in confidence back at their facilities.

I’d love to know how many bags full of paper you shredded with your own shredder, or took to be shredded safely elsewhere. And, how helpful were the website links?

To schedule a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation, contact Judy 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