Manage Your Magazine Clutter

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March is certainly coming in and staying ‘Like a Lion!’ And it’s already spring. Do you have an excess of magazines or store catalogs? Are they stacked in piles, filling up shelves you could use for something else, or overflowing bags or boxes?

With the crummy weather forecast for this weekend, why not take some time and sort through those magazines and catalogs. And, while you are at it, also deal with those alumni college magazines you’ve been holding on to for years.

A couple of years ago on a cold and rainy day, I set aside a couple of hours to deal with my many magazines. On that day, while gathering my magazines, I looked under the table next to my couch, and in addition to the full magazine rack that was there, I noticed another full magazine rack I’d forgotten about just behind the front rack!  So, I looked through all of the magazines I had held on to, recycled most of them, and chose some to give to the garden club raffle.  I made the decision to keep just a few of the most relevant magazines and up-to-date catalogs. Since then, I only receive one garden magazine in the mail, and do research on-line for any gardening information I need.

You can do the same on any bad weather day. Gather up all the magazine subscriptions, catalogs and other periodicals you have saved that are taking up space. Do you truly enjoy all of them? Are they a good use of your time or space? Or, do you let them pile up thinking you’ll read them when you have the time, but never do. This is the time to purge, recycle and give them away. Keep only the most recent subscriptions that you truly love, and know you will read within the next couple of months. Libraries, doctor, dentist and therapist offices are good places to give your magazines to.

If you want to terminate any magazine subscriptions, call their company office to cancel any magazines you no longer want.

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

For each current issue you receive in the mail, toss the previous months if you haven’t read it yet.

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

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

BE CLUTTER FREE Indoors and Outdoors!

Cluttered table              tidy table

I published this blog post about two years ago, but still find it relevant for those of you who have both  homes with gardens, or apartments with access to the yard. The end of April and during early May are excellent times to clean up and get your garden in order, as well as inside your home, garage, or storage shed.

So many of us are burdened by a disorganized home plus an untidy garden. By clearing the clutter and beautifying these spaces, you’ll feel less stressed and freer; leaving more time for the things that truly matter.

Over grown shrubs             Garden after pruning & clean up

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 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. The systems you’ve implemented can be used in the future. Your end result will be a serene home and a peaceful garden, with you feeling more calm, much freer, and more in control of your life

Are you ready to do an assessment and create your action plan? Go for it!  And, let me know what you accomplish.

For help getting uncluttered indoors and outdoors, contact Judy Eisenberg @ http//:ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net/ or http//:SunandShadeGardening.com/

 

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

Seven Days of Organizing Tips – Day # 2

 

vase memorabilia on shelf

DAY # 2 – TIP # 2

Reduce Knickknack Clutter

Like me, you most likely have at least one shelf that’s full of knickknacks or memorabilia.

Proclaim that shelf to be knickknack free. Remove all collectibles, trinkets, picture frames, etc. Put these items into storage for a while, or sort through the stuff and make some decisions. These decisions might be painful or difficult to make because you might think ‘these things have feelings’, or you might think that ‘you are what you own’, or if you get rid of anything ‘you will lose a part of yourself’. In reality, these notions are not true. You are you and things are things; even if it doesn’t feel this way at first. So, ask friends or family if they want any of these items, give some to charity for others to enjoy, or throw out if in bad shape. You will still be you once you do this.

Then, 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.

Once the 17 days are up, if you’d like, allow yourself to put back only 1/4 of the things you originally had on the shelf. Perhaps, every couple of months, you can switch the items on the shelf for some of the stored memorabilia. This way, you’ll get to see and enjoy other items from storage instead of not knowing what’s there because it’s so cluttered.

So, what knickknacks have you put in storage? And, what ones will you put back on the shelves in a couple of months?

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

Spring Cleaning & Clearing

Disorganized Drawer          Neat drawer

We were very fortunate to have a mild winter! This coming Saturday night, we turn back the clocks by one hour; a sure sign of spring. Yippy!

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

This past weekend I looked through files and drawers in my office, and removed outdated documents to be shredded, papers to recycle, and small decorative items I no longer like or use. I took the papers to be shredded to the Staples Office Store. They have secure locked bins they put your documents into, and a secure Iron Mountain Shredding truck picks them up to shred at their facility. I will bring the office and decorative items I don’t want anymore to Goodwill for others to enjoy and make use of. As for cleaning, I will do my weekly chores as well as a more thorough cleaning of the apartment.

Have you begun your cleaning and organizing for spring?

Here are some tips I offered from last year’s blog post 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. This week, I continue to un-clutter and clean my office space.

2.  Sort through one shelf, drawer, box, cabinet and bin at a time. Keep it simple, so you do not get overwhelmed. I have sorted through and organized a drawer I keep nail polishing items, Band-Aids, over-the-counter meds, and other small toiletries in (see before and after photos of drawer above.) Yes, I let it get out of hand. But, it’s never too late to take control of your clutter.

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’ve been using my plastic covered containers as needed. You can also sort through and purge any full containers you have to make them re-usable. Perhaps you can use old ice cube trays, tiny cardboard boxes, or empty egg cartons for storing jewelry or other small items.

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. Yesterday , I cleaned the dish drain tray, which took about five minutes.

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’m 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.

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

kitchen junk drawer

“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)

But, the question is: Will spring really show up this year? I’m beginning my spring cleaning and organizing even though it’s going to be 15 degrees overnight, and there are still some big frozen snow banks in Somerville. March is coming in like a lion, but hopefully, it will go out like a lamb.

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’m 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.

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning/Clearing – Go Green and Re-use!

Reuse tiny boxes for storing jewelry

When spring de-cluttering and purging, re-use what you already have in a new way!

Re-use  tiny cardboard boxes (you know, the ones you can’t bear to give away because they are so cute and maybe you’ll use them someday?), old ice cube trays, or empty egg cartons for storing jewelry or other small items.

Or, instead of putting a used plastic flower pot into the recycle bin, clean it up and use it as a pen and pencil holder. Checkbook boxes can be used as drawer dividers. And, if you have items you don’t want anymore but are usable, giving them to a charity of your choice helps support the charity, and will be useful for the next owners.

Look around your home or apartment to see what  you can use in a different way. Let me know some of the green choices you’ve made!