Coupon Collection Chaos

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?

I don’t cut coupons from magazines, but I do get them in the mail. Staples, Tags Hardware, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and BJ’s send special deals to me regularly. Some of these are decent; like BJ’s recent three month free membership card that expires 12/31/16. I doubt I’ll make it there before the end of December. Bed, Bath & Beyond mails out large coupon post cards that offer either $5.00 or 20% off your next purchase. (Don’t tell anybody, but the sales clerks don’t check the expiration dates on these coupons, so you can use outdated ones from as long ago as a few years.)

I also get discounts printed at the bottom of purchase receipts from CVS and Walgreen’s. If relevant to my needs, I tear that part off of the receipt to use on an item or two I might want, and put them in a folder with a clear plastic window so I can see them. Ultimately, I never take advantage of them before they expire. Whole Foods Market has seasonal Coupon booklets offering deals on various items in their stores. Sometimes, I cut a couple of them out, and once in a while use them, but usually don’t.

Plenty of discounts/coupons are sent to our email inboxes. I’ve recently purchased ink toner online, and am now receiving at least 2 special toner and other office product deals in my email inbox per week. When I next need toner, I will click on one of those specials and order more. Know that you can unsubscribe from these offers so they don’t become clutter and clog up your inbox.

Does my experience seem familiar to you? Look around, and find your own coupons. You probably won’t be surprised to find that some, or most of them are out of date. Recycle any that have expired. Then, quick-sort the coupons that are still usable 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, in your pocket book, or in the office so they are easily accessible when you need them. (as long as they are organized, and not scattered about)  And, check them often for expiration dates. We all love saving money and getting a good deal!

Let me know if you have coupon collection chaos, and how you deal with it.

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

Do You Have a Clutter Problem?

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You know you do when:
  • It’s hard to part with items and clothing that you don’t use
  • Your closets are filled to the brim and overflowing
  • Stacks of newspapers and magazines are piled sky high
  • You are embarrassed or ashamed to invite people over
  • Your stuff is hindering your ability to function
  • Your clutter controls you

You’d like to get organized without any help but:

  • You just don’t know where to begin
  • Anxiety, shame, fear, procrastination are some of your road blocks
  • You may not be at the stage where you are ready to let go.

If you are ready; some tips for you to get organized on your own:

  • This process can be anxiety provoking, so TAKE BABY STEPS
  • Select one specific area you would like to un-clutter in your home or office such as the surface of a coffee table, or the top of the file cabinet.
  • Take the items off that surface and sort them into five separate piles. Categorize the piles as: recycle, throw away, give away, charity, keep.
  • Label five grocery sized bags, or plastic kitchen trash bags with the titles: RECYCLE, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, CHARITY, KEEP.
  • Once you’ve got the items into sorted piles, go through each item and ask yourself:  Do I need this?  Do I love this? Will I really use this?  Am I willing to recycle it, throw or give it away?  As you make your decisions, put each item into the appropriate bag, and then distribute the items to their appropriate place.
  • Be sure to reward yourself for taking these baby steps!

Continuing the organizing process:

  • If this process was doable and not anxiety provoking, keep choosing small areas in your home or office and repeat the steps until you have cleaned up the clutter.
  • If it is difficult for you to even take the first step, think about contacting a Professional Organizer in your vicinity to help you let go and get organized.
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

Simplify to Make Time for What Truly Matters

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With all the fast paced activity in your life, do you ever forget to make time for what really matters to you?

Below are some ideas on how to simplify and reclaim some time for yourself, friends and family.

• As soon as mail arrives, sort, file or recycle it. The best place to do this is right next to the recycle bin. If you have children, sign any permission slips for school trips right away and slip them back into their backpacks. Make a note of catalogs you no longer want to receive, and don’t wait too long before you go to http://www.catalogchoice.org/ to unsubscribe.

• Limit the time you waste on activities such as checking emails on your computer, looking at Facebook, and watching TV. As I mentioned in my last post, I had a habit of checking my email often, and sometimes spent a half hour on the computer doing so. I would add my latest blog post onto my Facebook timeline, and then scroll down for more than several minutes reading the other entries and fun U-tube videos. Setting time limits helps me now. I recommend that you check email just twice each day, and go on Facebook once a day. When watching television try multi-tasking. Fold the laundry, exercise, or sort desk papers. And, limit the time you and your family spend in front of the TV, so you have more time doing other activities with one another.

• Have your spouse, partner or family members help you with the household chores. For example; after a meal have someone clear the table, someone else wash dishes or put them into the dishwasher. The tasks will get done faster, and you’ll have more time to spend with one another, or with yourself.

• Just say NO! It’s good to volunteer for a non-profit, community event, or help friends and neighbors, but don’t take on too much at once. Helping others is commendable, but for your own health and peace of mind don’t lose sight of your priorities.

What sorts of things are robbing your time? Can you eliminate or simplify anything?

Let me know what you’ve done to simplify your agenda.

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 or 617-776-8382

October is National ADHD Awareness Month

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During the first week of ADHD Awareness Month, the 2016 ADHD Awareness Expo will take place ONLINE October 2 – October 8. This is a FREE event for people from all over the world to find help and support for ADD / ADHD.

Click on http://www.adhdexpo.com/?blog   to register for this FREE virtual event.

Also, The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) believes there are safe, extremely effective, scientifically proven methods of treating and coping with the effects of ADHD on adults. On their website https://add.org/adhd-awareness/ you will find sources of information you can trust, resources you can count on, and caring people you can connect with.

ADHD affects the ‘executive functioning’ portion of the brain. This area of the brain helps you with organizing, planning, managing time, making decisions, being able to focus and pay attention, and remembering.

Do you have trouble:

  • Keeping papers and other stuff organized
  • Wasting time searching for lost items
  • Losing track of what you need to do
  • Getting to your destination on time
  • Concentrating and paying attention
  • Remembering information
  • Following directions
  • Completing projects
  • Organizing tasks

If so, you may be affected by ADD/ADHD.

Here are some tips to help you take control of these issues:

  • Plan ahead by scheduling dates and times in your calendar for appointments, tasks, and projects you need to attend to. Refer to these often as a reminder not to forget. Use a kitchen or clock timer, or the ‘reminder’ APP on your smart phone, computer, or watch as a tool. (I use Yahoo calendar which sinks to my iPhone). You can use paper calendars, or other on-line calendars.
  • Keep your daily essentials such as keys and eyeglasses on a hook , or in a small bowl or basket near your exit door. To get into the habit of doing this, add it to your list of things to remember to do. (I put my keys in the same small bowl everyday. That way I always know where they are, and don’t have to run around looking for them when I’m leaving the house.) Also, put your keys in just one pouch or section in your pocket book or carry bag; don’t dump them in the large interiors where you waste time having to scrounge for them.
  • Purposely allow an extra ten to fifteen minutes when getting ready so you won’t be late to an appointment or meeting. You can set an alarm clock or timer for this. (I try my best to be out the door so I’ll be on time, but sometimes find some last minute thing to do such as fill the cat bowl with water, add a napkin to my lunch bag, throw some nuts out for the squirrels. Even though I do arrive on time, and sometimes early, I’ve still got to work on this so I’m not rushing around before I leave.)
  • Always have a To-do list, and check off each task as you complete it. Write the list of things to do in a small notebook that you keep in your pocket or pocket book, or the ‘notes’ APP of your digital gear, and not on small pieces of paper or post-it notes that will get lost in a pile. (I used to write my shopping lists on pieces of paper, but don’t anymore. I write my daily to-do’s in a composition notebook, and also use the Notes APP on my phone.)
  • When you begin a new project such as knitting a sweater, cleaning the car, writing a term paper; put the yarn & knitting needles, the sponge and soap, or the references you’ll need for writing in a central location close to where you will be using them. Do not pile anything on top; keep them in site. Remember: Out of site – Out of mind.
  • If you have trouble remembering these tips after you’ve read them, print them out and either put them on the bulletin board, or tape them to the wall or car dashboard.

If you find that you can’t accomplish these steps on your own, or you get started and need help to stay focused, check out the:

ADHD Awareness Expo website FREE event at: http://www.adhdexpo.com/?blog

and/or the ADDA website  https://add.org/adhd-awareness/  for more information on dealing with ADHD.

In addition, consider hiring a professional organizer to assist you with scheduling, follow through, and getting organized.

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 or 617-776-8382

‘Free Yourself from Paper Clutter’ class

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October 6, 2016 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

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 or 617-776-8382

 

What’s Working, and What’s Not Working for You?

Old blender

When I talk to my clients about their disorganization issues, I first ask them what’s not working. Answers vary from “I’m overwhelmed by my clutter, I can’t find a thing, I’ve no place to put stuff, my files are a mess, I forgot where I put my things,  I’m embarrassed to invite anyone over, and nothing’s working”.

What’s not working for me is my memory and my ‘Imperial Osterizer Blender’.  “I have been unable to let go of my old blender”.  I inherited this wonderful blender in 1980 when my siblings and I were wrapping up our parents’ estate. I think the blender is at least 45 years old. For sentimental reasons I’ve held on to it, even though it’s pretty yucky looking. The glass receptacle has had a slow leak from the bottom for the past few months and the blender’s speed buttons are not all working. Today, I totally forgot that I had kale and soy milk ready to be blended as the first two ingredients of a smoothie. I got side-tracked writing a blog post (not this one), and the slow leak got faster and dripped onto the pantry floor. While wiping up the mess, I knew I had to dispose of this cherished object and buy a new one. So sad.

So…. What is Not Working for You?

Fill in the blanks below, or compose your own statements on what isn’t working:

My clutter ……………………………

I am unable to ………………………..

There is nowhere to put………………………………………….

I can’t……………………………….

I feel………………………………..

Then I ask clients what is working for them in their home, office, lives.

Most of my clients are surprised to discover that there are some systems of order they have created that do work for them.

And….What is Working for You? ………………………………

Now that you’ve thought about this, let me know what is and isn’t working for you.

 

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

‘Mind Clutter and Meditation’

 

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Did you ever think about how a cluttered home or office, and things outside of ourselves in this over stimulating world, are connected to a cluttered mind?

Is your living environment cluttered with an abundance of stuff that you’d really like to get rid of, but you just can’t take that first step because your mind is triggering feelings like anxiety, overwhelm, shame, or uncertainty?

Are your days filled with busy schedules, work and family demands, to-do lists, and many other distractions such as electronic cell phones, laptops, computers, TV, GPS, on-line games, etc.? Thus cramming your mind with too many things to do, too many thoughts to think, and too many things to listen and respond to?

I get caught in this ‘cluttered mind’ trap too. But, I have found a solution that helps (even if temporarily) calm my thoughts, and relax my mind. Meditation. 

You can attend meditation classes, research the subject on-line or in the library, or join a
meditation group. Or, you can simply take time each day to sit quietly on your own, perhaps listen to soothing music, and choose to let go of your ‘mind clutter’. If you haven’t meditated before, begin by sitting quietly for 15 to 30 seconds, (until you can do so for a longer amount of time). Take some slow deep breaths in and out. Listen to your breathing, listen to the sounds around you, and feel the air on your skin. Even this short amount of time can bring you into the moment, free of ‘mind clutter’.

A friend of mine suggested that I try meditating to the on-line website, ‘Insight Timer’. https://insighttimer.com/     (You can also get it as a free APP). People from all over the world can listen to any of the numerous musical and guided meditations of their choice via this site. Now, every day, (once or twice) I take a few minutes to listen to a four minute guided meditation that focuses on breathing, and being in the moment.

Do you have a meditation practice? If not, I highly recommend you give it a try using any method you find works best for you. My blog readers and I would love to hear how meditating helps you clear your mind.

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