EXCESSIVE CLUTTER and how it affects your life

cluttered office

Does having too much clutter affect your life in a negative way?

Clutter can be defined as things you do not use or need, untidy or disorganized things, too many things in too small a space, and anything left unfinished.

Excessive clutter can affect your life in some of the following ways:

Relationships:
• Can keep you from inviting people to your home
• Keeps you from being close to others

Emotions:
• Can cause feelings of embarrassment, shame or guilt that holds you back.
• Clutter drains your energy. Items that are not used or cared for hold stagnant energy.

Low Self Esteem:
• Not being able to stay organized can cause you to feel bad about yourself; thinking that you don’t have the skills that other people have.

Stress:
• When you can’t find something, or want to clear the clutter but can’t seem to do so, your stress levels rise.

Money issues:
• You buy duplicates because you can’t locate the original item you purchased.
• Bills that are paid late as they are hidden beneath clutter
• Compulsive buying via credit cards
• Spending money by moving to a larger home in order to store more stuff
• Spending money to rent storage units

Time:
• Not being able to locate things
• Having too much stuff sucks up your time
• Too much stuff leads to procrastination and being late

If you can relate to this post, and 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 or 857-919-4735

Save the Environment: Use Re-usable bags

 

re-usable bags

Did you know that it takes one 15 to 20 year old tree to make 700 paper bags? That’s chopping down a lot of trees to provide thousands of grocery stores, gift shops, and large box stores with bags.

All stores in Cambridge, MA, no longer give out free paper bags, but charge ten cents per paper bag if you haven’t brought your own. (Sometimes, I still forget to bring my re-usable bags with me when I go shopping, and have to pay this fee.) Many towns are now or in the process of banning plastic bags. You know, the ones with that cut-out for handles. This link will give you details of the statewide bag laws in Massachusetts.  http://www.baglaws.com/legislation.php?state=Massachusetts#StatewideLegislation

To do your part in helping to save the environment and conserve resources, use strong reusable bags instead of paper ones for all of your shopping errands (not only food/grocery items). Bags that are manufactured from natural fibers, or 100% recyclable material come in all shapes and sizes. Some are even insulated.

So, here are some tips to help us go greener by using recycled bags:

• Use two sets of bags that can be alternated between your home and your car.

• Assign one convenient and visible area in the home and car for each set of recycled bags. You could keep the bags on the front car seat for easy access and near your home’s exit door closest to the driveway or garage. NOTE: If you travel as a pedestrian without the use of a car, keep the bags near the exit door you use most.

• Jean Bambara is a sales rep for the company ‘Thirty-One Gifts’. You can purchase canvas carry bags in a number of sizes, colors and patterns from Jean. I bought two bags from her; one for gardening tools, and one for organizing supplies.  Cell: (412) 977-9146  jmbambara361@gmail.com

• If you are out and want to make a spur-of-the-moment purchase, carry a fold-able recycled bag in your purse or backpack. ‘ChicoBag’ is an online company whose mission is to help humanity stop the single-use habit. Most of their reusable shopping bags compact into an attached pouch to make them easy to keep in your purse or pocket so you’re never without a reusable bag again. http://www.chicobag.com/. 

• Keep four to five bags grouped together either in one reusable bag, or purchase the reusable bag organizer, the ‘Chalk It Tote Buddy’. It comes with an erasable chalk pen for writing to-do or shopping lists on the outside of the tote. ‘Tote Buddy’s’ help you to de-clutter and stay organized and can hold ten reusable bags. http://www.TheToteBuddy.com/

Do you have re-usable bags that you don’t use? Begin utilizing them now to save those trees! Or, purchase some to use again and again. Let me know what kind of bags you re-use.

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

Reduce Coupon Clutter

Coupons

If you collect coupons, you know they can get out of control. It’s easy to cut them out and collect them with good intentions of getting a bargain. But, do you put them in a pile that gets lost in the clutter, or put them aside in a designated spot that you forget to look at periodically?

Look around and find your coupons. You probably won’t be surprised to find that some, or most of them are out of date. I certainly forget about my coupons at times. Recycle any that have expired. Then, quick-sort the coupons that are still useable into categories such as food items, health and beauty, restaurant, clothing, office supplies, etc.. Put each category in a labeled envelope or fasten with a paper clip.

Be sure to keep your organized coupons in one particular area at home or in the office so they are easily accessible when you need them. And, check them often. We all love saving money and getting a good deal!

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

Everyday Timesaver Tips

Unmade bed           Baby & Blackie 2

To keep your clutter at bay and free up some of your time, check out the following four 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 file 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. Doing so, you will be more inclined to also put clothes away. 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.

When you try these four time saving things each day, 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

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 # 5 – ‘Create an Errand Box’

DAY # 5 – TIP # 5

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Create an Errand Box

You, like me, may make a list of errands you need to do, but get busy with other things and don’t get those errands done in a timely manner. (I meant to drop off some items to the Salvation Army the other day, but still haven’t; so tomorrow morning I will.)

So, here’s the TIP:

Place a container or basket by the front or back door (whichever one you enter and exit from most frequently). Toss in items that you’ve purchased or borrowed that need to be returned, work supplies, or library books and movies due back. Take the box with you each morning, and see what you can get rid of that day.

Be sure to bring the errand box back into your home after you’ve distributed the items for that day. It’s easy to forget and leave the box in your car, so choose a bright colored box so you notice it easily.

So, what items will you put into your errand box?

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

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.