Buying Duplicates

too much soap

How many of you go to the grocery store, hardware store, clothing store, etc., and buy an item you think you need, and then get home and find that you already have at least one or two of the same item?

I’ve done this before. I’ll buy a container of yogurt and realize that I already have a yogurt in the refrigerator. This could be a good thing, as when I run out of the first yogurt container, I’ll already have another. The same goes with the soap I buy. I think I need another package of soap and then find I already have more than enough at home.

If you do this kind of buying, chances are you are spending money you don’t need to spend, plus the items are taking up space on a shelf that could be used for something else.

Can you identify with this? Do you have a ‘what if I run out’ way of thinking behind buying in quantity? Are you afraid there might be a shortage and you won’t be able to get what you need? Don’t worry, stores are well stocked, plus most items can be purchased via the internet.

Or, ‘do you have so much clutter that you don’t know what you have’ on the shelf or in the closet because things are stocked so tightly, or piled up and covering up stuff underneath. And, once you buy the item you think you need, you find it at home and exclaim “I didn’t realize I already had this!”

To conquer this habit, the next time you are going shopping, take a photo on your phone of the pantry shelf or closet. While at the store, refer to this image and be aware that you already possess the item. Or, to keep track, keep a written/typed inventory of the things you buy regularly, and put a check next to each item you finish or use up. Or, tackle your clutter and let go of excess stuff so you don’t buy duplicates.

Let me know if you buy ‘extras’ and how you control this habit.

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

Making Lists

making lists pad

Make your life easier by MAKING LISTS

I’m in the process of moving from one home to another in Somerville. There are so many things to take care of for this move. I have a spiral bound notebook where I’ve written my To-Do List for what to pack, give away, throw away, changing phone numbers and addresses, calls I need to make, dates tasks need to be done by, costs of things I’ve needed to purchase for the move, etc.  I would not be able to recall all of these changes if I hadn’t written them down.

If you have ADD, ADHD, Chronic Disorganization, a busy lifestyle, or lots of tasks to take care of with very little time, it is a good idea to make lists. Writing is a useful way to spell out what’s on your mind, process information and help you to remember things.

Lists help you:
– To express your ideas.
– To remember things better (like taking notes in a class).
– To be less anxious about forgetting what needs to be done.
– To slow down your thoughts and get your ideas recorded.
– Give you a feeling of satisfaction when you can cross off a completed item.

Be sure to make your list easy to follow. Prioritize what needs to be done and in what order, add important information such as who you are going to see, their phone numbers and addresses. Don’t make the list too long. Write clearly or type your list.

Now, how does it feel to cross something off of YOUR LIST? For myself, it feels very satisfying.

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 857-919-4735

Are You the Cause of Your Own Disorganization and Lack of Time?

iPhone with calendar

When not in the field with organizing clients or doing gardening for clients, I work from home on my business paper work, invoices, marketing and my blog. Sometimes I check my emails, Facebook page more than a few times each day.

I am going to work on this habit, and only interrupt my work flow a few times each day instead of every 20 or 30 minutes when I am at my desk. I know by doing so, I will be able to manage my time better.

Do you find that you are addicted to looking at your emails, Facebook page, on-line news, podcasts and videos? How often do you check your smartphone, iPad, or computer for the latest messages from friends, list serves, and cute cat or other animal videos on your Facebook page?  I’m thinking often.

Here are some of the most common time wasters:

– Losing things (like keys, eyeglasses)
– Checking email and Facebook frequently
– Spending too much time talking on the phone
– Not having a daily/weekly plan to follow
– Ignoring the clutter because you are too busy

Here are some solutions that will save you time, and keep you more organized:

– Use an in-basket/bowl in a central place for keys, glasses, cell phone, etc..(it’s nice to find them in the same location all the time)
– Schedule only several times a day to check email and Facebook (it’s not going anywhere)
– Limit the time you talk on the phone (use a kitchen timer, and get to the point)
– Schedule your to-do’s and appointments in your calendar (to stay on track)
– Designate short blocks of time to get organized (like 1 hour, once per week)

Try putting these solutions to the test, and you’ll notice that you are more organized and have more time!  I’d love to know how following these steps changes your life.

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 857-919-4735

Getting Organized: What’s Working & What’s Not Working?

Hanging shoe holder

When I talk to my clients about their disorganization issues, I first ask them what’s not working.  Answers vary from ‘I just can’t get started, 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’ve no system for putting away my clothes, I’ve got too much junk mail.’

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. One of my clients was proud to say that she’s attached a shoe holder bag on the back of her closet door, and she no longer throws her shoes on the closet floor.

And….WHAT IS WORKING for YOU?………………………………

I’d be interested in hearing what is and isn’t working for you.

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

 

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

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

Get Organized for the New Year!

xmas wrap    Suitcase & wrappings    IMG_4847

Make Getting Organized One of Your New Year’s Resolutions:

I stick to a pretty simple New Year’s resolution in regards to organizing. Rather than make it complicated or difficult for myself, I follow three simple resolutions; Clear, Sort, Store. And, I make a list of what task I am going to do first, and when to do the task. Because of my work and social schedule, I allow several weeks in early January to take care of all these things.

Below are the organizing tasks I recommend for the New Year:

– Holiday Gifts: If you know you won’t use particular gifts, and can bear to part with them, either exchange them for something you’d prefer or give them away instead of having them take up space. And, if someone gave you a present that you dislike, perhaps display it for a couple of months, and then give it away.

–  Holiday Gift Wrap and Ribbons: If you’ve got a lot of wrapping paper and ribbons left over, sort through the pieces that are worth saving and using again. Then, put them in a covered container; could be a plastic bin, a trunk, a vintage suitcase. And, if attractive, keep the container out so it can be seen. (as long as its not cluttering up the space).

– Holiday Decorations: Don’t let holiday decorations sit around for too long after New Year’s Day. Avoid clutter by packing them up and putting them back into storage.

Back and front hallway entrances: Un-clutter the vestibules that lead from the house to the exit doors. And, un-clutter landings that lead to the basement or other areas. For good energy and safety reasons, be sure to keep the area behind the doors clear of all things.

– Kitchen Pantry: Go through the shelves and drawers and throw out anything that has past its expiration date. Re-organize those shelves/drawers as they might be out of order.

– Bedroom: Sort through your clothing. Pack away any summer clothes and accessories still in the closet and drawers. Donate or give away clothing you haven’t worn in the past year.

– Living room, Study or TV room: Recycle magazines, newspapers and junk mail that is cluttering these rooms. Magazines can be donated to physician and therapist offices. Take stray mugs, glasses & plates to the kitchen to be cleaned.

– Home office: Tidy up your desk. Test all your pens to see if they still hold ink. If not, throw out. Recycle and re-organize the papers on your desk and in your files. Delete all of those hundreds of emails that are taking up too much space.

– Address book: Update the addresses in hand held paper and virtual address books.

I’d love to know the organizing you plan to do! 

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