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.

Sentimentality, and My Kitchen Blender


Saying hello to his mother’s blender

Old blender

Saying goodbye to my mother’s blender

Recently, I wrote a post about the blender that I’d inherited from my mother over 30 years ago. The blender is at least 50 years old.  The bottom of the glass pitcher had a minor leak during the past year. Unfortunately, the minor leak became major. I was so dismayed because using it brought back happy memories of my mother using the blender in her kitchen in New Jersey.

The leak was not repairable, so reluctantly, I threw the item away.

I asked my boyfriend to buy me a new blender for Christmas/Hanukkah. We both searched the internet for blenders with glass pitchers, as I didn’t want plastic, and was hoping for a classic vintage reproduction. After about a half hour looking online at various different types of blenders, he exclaimed, “Hey, I just remembered that my mother’s blender is still in the kitchen cupboard, and I haven’t used it since her passing seven years ago! You can have it.” He went into the kitchen, and brought back a vintage Osterizer blender with a glass pitcher which was in good working condition. I was so excited!

My mother’s blender was useful, and not clutter in my home. But, when sentimental objects don’t make you happy anymore, or are no longer useful or working, they become sentimental clutter. You’d like to get rid of them, but part of you can’t let go for the sake of the memories they bring, the people they symbolize, or the guilt you’d feel if you did get rid of them. In order to deal with this contradiction you must make a mental shift. Think about what you really want. Do you want to hold on to these items and stay stuck in your clutter and disorganization? Or, let go and have a sense of freedom, and peace of mind.

To make this mental shift, think about the people who can benefit from the items you could get rid of. Particularly during this holiday season! Do you have clothing and coats in your closet that were your mother’s but that you never, ever wear? Perhaps you can donate them to a homeless shelter to help cloth other women who are lacking. Or, have you got shelves full of children’s books that your kids no longer read? Maybe you can give them to an orphanage, preschool, or children’s hospital.

So, instead of clinging to these items, send them on a ‘Sentimental Journey’ that will bring usefulness and pleasure to the recipients (homeless women, other children, etc..)

I’d love to hear about the ‘sentimental items’ you are willing to part with; giving other’s in need some things they really could use.

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

Mementos versus What Really Matters


A memento is an object or item that serves to remind one of a person, past event, etc.; keepsake; souvenir.

An essential part of getting organized is to simplify and let go of unnecessary things, so you can enjoy the things that really matter. Over and over I see clients regard inanimate objects as more important than their own well-being. They hold on to stuff when it actually takes away from the quality of their life.

Buying and keeping objects can be a good thing; something that enhances the quality of life. But when you become a slave to your possessions and move them from room to room, or have to step over the pile they have ended up in, they become a problem.

I encourage you to let go of things that don’t make your life better. You say, “I can’t get rid of that because it’s a memento”. But when you can’t remember what it reminds you of, or you haven’t made use of it in years, it has just become a thing.

Let go of those things to make way for peace of mind and more space.