‘A Solution to the Never Ending Clothes Pile’

xcluttered-rocker        cleared-rocker

Are your clothes strewn in piles all over your bedroom with barely a square inch of floor showing? Do you tell yourself that you will put them away, but never do because you just don’t have time to deal with this process? And, do you live out of your laundry baskets, but get confused as to what clothes are clean or dirty?

I have to admit that as a very busy person myself, I don’t always put my clothes in the dresser drawers, or the clothes closet each evening when I get ready for bed.  Sometimes, they pile up on my bedroom rocking chair, and a few items can creep on to the floor as a mess of pants, sweaters, shirts, pajamas, etc.  If the pile stays like this for more than two days, I feel disgusted with myself.  At this point, I put everything where it belongs, and am happy to see my lovely clothing free rocking chair once again.

One solution to the ‘clothes pile problem’ is to choose a storage system that will serve your limited tolerance for spending time ‘managing your clothes’. First, eliminate visual barriers by removing furniture with drawers. Replace with floor to ceiling open shelving, or better yet, with cubbies, an easier system to use.

You can create areas in the cubby for each person sharing the bedroom. Use separate cubbies for shirts, pants, underwear, socks, etc… And, label each section. Cubbies towards the top can be used for clothing and accessories used less frequently. Install hooks on the wall to hang clothes that don’t need to be washed each time you wear them. This will keep these clothes separate from the dirty laundry. And, label the laundry baskets or bins CLEAN & DIRTY ONLY.

Folding, or just putting the clothes into the cubbies is quick and easy. Your bedroom will be more open and spacious, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

I’d love to know the system you use to store your clothing and accessories.

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 Organize Your Home Office Day’

cluttered office

Start of day, March 14, ‘National Clean Out Your Office Day’.

More and more people are setting up home offices. They may work virtually, manage their own business, or just take care of basic bill paying and other finances from home. Like any other room in the household, the office can get cluttered, messy, disorganized and dusty.

End of March 14, 'National Clean Out Your Office Day'.

End of day, March 14, ‘National Clean Out Your Office Day’.

‘National Organize Your Home Office Day’, observed on March 14, reminds us to stop, take a look around our home offices, and take some time to straighten up. Imagine thousands of people, including yourself, getting motivated by this national holiday! It could be like a secret national club, or even a real group of friends and neighbors who take on this task simultaneously. ‘Organize Your Home Office Day’ is a good excuse to clear your desk, throw your trash away, recycle the empty soda cans, wash coffee mugs, file those stacks of papers, wipe away the accumulated dust, and more.

Here are some tips to help you get your office cleared and organized on March 14:

1. Clear your desk and other surfaces.  If paper, office supplies,  dirty coffee cups, or other items cover your desk,  you need to clear them off.  Paper usually piles up on any flat surface if it has no designated storage space. Getting all of this stuff organized can be overwhelming, so focus first on removing it to another surface for sorting, before you take the next step.

2. Sort, shred, recycle and purge.  Bring the items to be washed and recycled to the sink and recycle bins. Throw out the trash,  pick up the scattered office supplies, and put them back into their proper containers. Then sort the papers into categories to be filed.

3. Dust off the newly clear surfaces, before you put items back on the desk. Notice how big your desktop looks? 

4. Allow  plenty of storage space in your filing cabinet. You need to have enough room to store regularly used files, and reference/archival files (papers that you don’t need to deal with on a daily basis).  If you don’t have this type of storage, invest in a two level clear plastic file drawer cabinet on wheels for convenience, or in some attractive covered boxes for keeping documents. Be sure you have enough filing room so your papers do not end up in piles, but in organized files. And, keep personal and business documents filed separately.

5. Leave plenty of room on your desk to work. Decide whether you have room on the desktop to keep all of your electronic equipment such as your computer, printer, scanner, landline or digital phone, calculator, etc. If your desktop computer takes up too much room, replace it with a laptop. Transfer some of this equipment to another small table top if needed. Designate areas on the desk for doing paper work, and for keeping your desktop folder holder, your pens, stapler, paper & binder clips, and other supplies.

5. Purge files regularly. Look through your files each month, every quarter, twice a year, or annually to get rid of outdated paperwork, and to to make room for the new.  Doing so, will keep those papers from piling up on your desk, and even your floor. Do the same with your computer files, getting rid of old email, folders, or programs you don’t use anymore.

6. Are you happy with your office environment?  If not, make some changes so you enjoy being and working in the room. Is your desk and other furniture including shelving functional?  Buy a new desk with drawers if you work on just a flat desk surface, add more efficient shelving if needed, get a more comfortable chair, hang new curtains, bring in photos, artwork, plants. Make this a pleasing place to be.

Following the tips mentioned above, you will have less on your desk and work area, will feel better, think more clearly, and be more productive. If you need assistance, you can contact me for help.

And, you really don’t have to wait to organize your home office again until March 14, 2018!  

(Let me know if you, friends and family decide to celebrate,and get organized on this national holiday – and the steps you take to create a clear, comfortable, enjoyable office)

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

 

A Former Client’s Success Story

cluttered table

H.M.’s cluttered table four and 1/2 years ago

Yesterday, I received an email from a former organizing client of mine who was quite happy, and proud to have been able to stay organized since our last organizing session four years ago. This client, who I will refer to as H.M., is a wonderful person, very creative, compassionate, and generous. Having ADD though, she found it difficult to get organized, was easily distracted, and was a chronic procrastinator. There were always huge piles of clothing on her bedroom floor, lots of papers and other stuff on her dining room table, too many books on her many shelves, and too much clutter around her home.

For several years from just January through June (for financial reasons), we tackled her untidy home, getting rid of clothes, shoes, books and other things that she no longer loved or needed. Final decisions on what to keep, give away, toss or recycle were left up to H.M. We also worked together to address and resolve her feelings of overwhelm, shame, and anxiety about all of her stuff. Her ADD behavioural habits were put to the test. For her ‘homework’ between organizing sessions, she practiced putting things away after using them (into storage areas we designated for each item’s category), refraining from purchasing unneeded items, and keeping her dining room table clear, etc.. And, she was successful!

H.M. had a vision for herself. She wanted to feel lighter and happier, with a neat and clear home. She especially wanted to hold a dinner party for friends, but was embarrassed to have people over (very typical of people who live with clutter). She wished for a long term relationship, but knew with her home in the state it was, she wasn’t ready to be in one.

Since our organizing sessions came to a closure in 2014,  H.M. held her desired  dinner party, and met the love of her life. (Letting go of excess clutter opens a door for new changes to occur in your life.) She has continued to keep her home uncluttered and tidy. In reply to her email to me yesterday, I noted that I was quite impressed, and mentioned that a number of people who have ADD tend to backslide (resorting back to old habits).

H.M. wrote back: “As to ADD, that’s a helpful insight. What helps is having systems: a drop file box AT MY FEET for all expenses, tax-related house receipts, etc.., and making decisions immediately (rather than putting them off, procrastinating) on what notices I get in the mail that I want to act on. Of course — the portable file used to be a foot away, in a closet, and I would build up a ‘to be filed’ pile ON THAT gorgeous, cherry wood dining table, and would put off filing for too long, after the pile sloshed around, and then some — now, I open the mail daily, and drop it into its relevant file folder, a joy!”

h-m-dining-table-4-years-after-organizing-sessions-ended

1/20/17 – H.M wrote: “My dining table TEN days after a gathering
I had here for my writing group women!!!”

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

 

Sentimentality, and My Kitchen Blender

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 clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Simplify to Make Time for What Truly Matters

pumpkins-in-ipswich

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

Duplicate Buying

Popcorn duplicates.

 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 bag of pre-popped popcorn and realize that I already have an unopened bag on the pantry shelf. This could be a good thing, as when I run out of the first bag, I’ll already have more popcorn. The same goes with the soap I buy. I think I need another package of soap and then find I have some 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.

To learn more about how Judy can help you de-clutter your home, email her at:

ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net

ADULT ED CLASS – ‘Free Yourself from Paper Clutter’

What it is about the junk mail, notes to self, catalogs and piles of papers that can so easily take over our lives and overwhelm us?

This workshop will provide you with loads of tips and tricks to help you conquer paper clutter in your home or office so you can feel freer and more in control of your life. There will be time for all your questions.

Presenter: Judy Eisenberg, Professional Organizer – Clutter Clearer Coach

May 28, 2015               TIME: 7:00 – 8:30 pm                FEE: $20.00

Arlington Community Education
869 Mass. Ave., Arlington, MA
(enter through the front door with white pillars)

ONLINE registration: http://ArlingtonCommunityEd.org/
CALL: 781-316-3568 to register by phone

Or for more information:
Contact Judy Eisenberg @ clutterclearercoach@comcast.net