Clearing Book Case Clutter

Like many avid readers, you may have too many books for your bookshelves. Perhaps the books are piled up on the floor, table, or in a closet as well as on the bookshelf. But, books mean a lot to you and you couldn’t possibly get rid of any, right?.

One viewpoint you can follow is to only keep as many books as there is space on your bookshelf. How would you do this?

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Here are some suggestions to holding on to relevant information, while creating more space:

– Give away or recycle old reference books that contain outdated information.
– Give away books that you know you will never read or reference again. You can always find the information on-line, via audio-books, as e-books, or at a library.
– If you’ve any books that are on digital format and paper, recycle the paper version.
– If there are recipes, photos, or any crucial information you’d like to hold on to, then scan these pages and store as digital files on your computer.
– Only keep books that you love and that are useful to you.

Once you have gone through this process, you can organize your books into categories by subject; like fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, cooking, art, gardening etc…

DONATE YOUR BOOKS: More Than Words is a youth-led online and retail book selling business in Waltham, MA that provides paid employment for young adults who are in the foster care system, court-involved, homeless, or out of school to prepare for meaningful careers. https://mtwyouth.org/   Phone: 781-314-9330  (More Than Words accepts gently used donations of paperback and hardcover books, CDs and DVDs in their original cases, records, and video games. Books can be any genre as well as foreign language books. They also gladly accept textbooks, but do ask they be 10 years or newer.

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

Rainy Day? Get Rid of Magazine Clutter

Too many magazines!

It’s been raining a lot for several months now. Take advantage of those rainy days and get rid of your magazine clutter!

Gather up all the magazines you currently receive. Pull together the catalogs that have been laying around taking up space. Maybe they’re in boxes, on shelves, or piled on the floor or tables. Do you truly read and enjoy all of them? Are they a good use of your time? Or, do you let them pile up thinking you will read them when you have the time, but never do.

First, make sure the recycle bin is near where you are sorting. Then, begin by going through each magazine/catalog and put the different subscriptions into their own piles. Once you do this, take those that are over a few months old and toss them into the bin.

Even if you are itching to hold on to some of the past magazines/catalogs, don’t. Just keep a few of the most recent and relevant magazines and up-to-date catalogs. If there are a few of them that are so nostalgic that you can’t let go, that’s okay.

To cancel magazine subscriptions, call the magazine’s subscription office ASAP to stop receiving those you no longer want.

To cancel your catalogs: http://www.catalogchoice.org/

For each current issue you receive in the mail, toss old issues.

I think you’ll feel a bit lighter when you do this. Let me know the progress you’ve made on letting go.

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

Get Rid of Magazine Clutter

Hidden and Visible Storage Ideas

clear container drawers under desk            Portable letter file tote

Does it seem that your home or office has no space left to store things? Here are some ideas on how to take advantage of hidden or visible storage spaces.

  • Under your Desk or Table: If you’ve room under these furniture pieces, keep a small file cabinet on wheels for storing items you don’t use regularly. The wheels will make it easy to pull out the cabinet for accessing your documents.
  • Around your Window: There might be space around and above a window where you can install inexpensive shelves. You could purchase wall shelving and brackets to attach on your own, or hire a professional to create built-in shelving. Storing items up and around the wall will make the room look neater and bigger.
  • Inside your Closet: If you have clothing hanging in the closet, add a two drawer file cabinet, or low book shelf for extra storage under the clothing. Hang a ‘multi-pocketed over-the-door shoe bag’ for storing miscellaneous small items.
  • On the Wall: If you have a small bookcase with nothing on the wall above it, add a couple of shelves, or hang a cascading letter file tote on the wall near the desk.

Do you have any storage ideas you’d like to share with my blog followers?

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

Hidden and Visible Storage Ideas

Clearing the Clutter Indoors and Outdoors

Modern life is so complicated, why not enrich your life by simplifying it? So many of us are burdened by a disorganized home plus an untidy garden. By clearing the clutter and beautifying these spaces, you can gain more control of your life, leaving more time for the things that truly matter.

To achieve these goals:

• Take an assessment of your home and garden needs
• Create an action plan
• Carry out the action plan indoors and outdoors
• Hire side-by-side coaching by a Professional Organizer (if needed)
• Hire a Professional Gardener to provide on-site gardening maintenance instruction (if needed)
• Come up with organizational systems that are easy to implement and use

By clearing the clutter indoors and outdoors you will realize the connection between a cluttered environment and a cluttered life. Your end result will be a serene home and a peaceful garden, and the strategies to maintain them both. You will feel more peaceful and much freer.

Are you ready to do an assessment and create your action plan? Go for it!

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

Clearing the Clutter Indoors and Outdoors

Spring Cleaning and Clearing

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With the approach of spring it’s getting to be that time again to clean the home, and also get rid of items you no longer use or need.

“Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime. The practice of spring cleaning is especially prevalent in climates with a cold winter. The most common usage of spring cleaning refers to the yearly act of cleaning a house from top to bottom which would take place in the first warm days of the year typically in spring, hence the name. However it has also come to be synonymous with any kind of heavy duty cleaning or organizing enterprise.” (definition taken from Wikipedia)

Having a house cleaner every other week is fantastic. The main thing I need to do is dust my bedroom furniture weekly, and wash the dishes. I’ve been keeping down any clutter, and putting things back where they belong daily, (except for hanging up all my clothing. – me bad) Yesterday morning my partner, Steve and I, spring cleaned up and cleared our garden beds – mostly dead heading plants and pruning. Plants are poking up from under the ground, and it’s so lovely!

Have you begun your cleaning and organizing for spring?

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1.  Thoroughly clean one room each week. If your home isn’t too big, this should take you to the end of April. Vacuum, dust, rearrange furniture, purge, and organize the stuff in each room. Yesterday, I cleaned my bathroom. Next week, I’ll give my living room a thorough go through.

2.  Sort through one shelf, drawer, box, cabinet and bin at a time. Keep it simple, so you do not get overwhelmed. I am going to sort through and organize a kitchen junk drawer (see photo of cluttered drawer above) that holds kitchen utensils, plus a lot of rubber bands and baggie ties.

3.   Practice the age old expression: ‘When in doubt, throw it out’.  If I don’t love, need, use, or want an item, I throw it out! Or, give it away, or recycle it.

4.  Don’t spend money, be creative and re-purpose the containers you already have! Look around and you will most likely find empty boxes, canvas shopping bags, or plastic containers for storage. I have a bunch of them up in the attic. You can also sort through and purge any full containers you have to make them re-usable.

5.   Take a few minutes before work or after work to recycle plastics, wash a counter, sweep the floor. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that life will be easier if you take on this task each day. It works for me.

6.  Don’t worry about following someone else’s system for cleaning/organizing. Use the system that works for you. My way may be different from yours.

7.  And, make a promise to yourself to not procrastinate. Get it done! I’ve a big procrastinator, but when I get a household task or organizing project accomplished, I feel great!

Do you have any TIPS for spring cleaning/organizing that work for you? I’d love to hear about them.

 

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

Spring Cleaning and Clearing

 

 

 

 

Letting Go of Stuff You Don’t Need

catalog clutter

It’s easy for some people to let go of unneeded items. But, you may feel reluctant or guilty getting rid of sentimental items, as well as everyday mundane stuff, knowing these things bring no value to you anymore. Could this be you?  What are some of your best excuses, including guilt, for holding onto sentimental items, or just any old clutter?

• I’d feel guilty if I got rid of it
• I might need it someday
• I might read it someday
• I might fit into this again
• It was a gift I can’t give away
• I’m saving it to give as a gift

Below is a list of some of the things that
some people feel fine about parting with:

• Old notes on small pieces of paper
• Old shopping receipts and unneeded invoices
• Recipes cut from magazines but never used
• Cookbooks, other books no longer in use
• Outdated cosmetics and toiletry items
• Saved pieces of wrapping paper for re-use
• School notes and school books from the past
• Letters and birthday cards not meaning much
• Gifts you’ve kept from guilt rather than pleasure
• Scrap-booking supplies you’ll never use
• Desk clutter; too many pens, highlighters
• Clothing that doesn’t fit, or has gone out of fashion
• Old extension cords, outdated electronic gadgets
• Broken lamps, used light bulbs

Yes, other folks may have an easier time letting go. But, it really is OK to get rid of stuff. If it’s ‘guilt’ or some other reason that keeps you from doing this, give yourself permission to let go of your stuff ‘guilt-free’. 

What are your excuses for holding on?  Can you feel good about yourself if you let something go?

 

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
Letting Go of Stuff You Don’t Need

Spring Cleaning: Declutter Your Attic

Spring is this Thursday; time to begin spring cleaning and decluttering.  Why not begin with your attic?

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During early summer 2018, I was in the process of moving from the apartment I’d lived in for a number of years to another home.  I spent a good amount of time going through my small attic; deciding whether I wanted to keep, throw out, or donate the items stored there.

Some of the downsizing decisions I made were easy, and some difficult. I felt like some of my organizing clients who feel attached to their memorabilia from the past; having difficulty deciding what to do about these things. There were plastic containers holding costume gear including vintage hats, papers and ceramic tiles from a former business as a potter, two boxes of family photos, and more nostalgic items. Among my stuff there were also holiday decorations, an old printer, framed prints, winter clothing, and a beautiful long vintage coat my mother had custom made for herself in 1940 (the coat still fit me).

I brought the printer to the DPW trash area, sold most of the framed prints, got rid of some of the ceramic tiles, and donated a lot of the holiday decorations. Going through the boxes of family and personal photos, I threw out of people my parents had known that I did not, plus many of my repetitive travel photos. I kept some of the nostalgic pottery documents & photos, a few of the framed prints, most of the winter clothes, costumes, and of course the 1940’s era coat.

If you have a long time cluttered attic and haven’t yet tackled it, schedule an hour or two of your time when it’s convenient. Begin by labeling some empty bags or boxes with “shred, recycle, throw & give away, donate, keep”.  Dress in comfortable old clothes, put on your work gloves and be prepared to deal with things that will bring back old memories (good & not so good). If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, ask a friend or family member who will not be judgmental about your ‘letting go and keeping’ decisions, to be there as your ‘body double’. (Someone to sit with you and keep you company while you declutter).

After your one or two hours of purging, decision making and bringing the full bags & boxes down from the attic to distribute as appropriate, reward yourself with a nice treat – a hot bubble bath, a walk in nature, a nap, or a do a happy dance singing ‘I did it, I started tackling my cluttered attic!”

Then schedule a few more one to two hour sessions for the near future to once again tackle your attic stuff.

Let me know when you begin this task, and how you feel as you progress with the ‘letting go’ of attic stuff.

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