Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On the Floor and Out the Door

I work with a client decluttering an area. We end up with a nice pile of items for donation. Perhaps the client is going to continue to work some more after I leave. Great!

I come back two weeks later and the pile is still pretty much there and the client is not real happy looking at it. What happened?

I tend to see several patterns:
  • I'm not positive about letting go of some of these items - I need to think on it a bit more
  • I know I should take pictures of all this and then type up an itemized list and then log it in with the charity - I don't have time for all of this
  • I know I should donate these items so others can use them but I really don't have any spare time and now I feel guilty and resentful when I see this pile
This is how I respond to these situations:

  • Pull out the items you are unsure about and box them up with a label - then stash that box in the back of a closet for 6 months, a year, or whenever you tackle that closet again. Then see how you feel. Meanwhile, donate the rest.
  • The idea is that you want a charity to have these items. What do you have time to do? I can help you with a quick itemized list and then put them into your car (or mine). The list does not have to be exact, or typed - just a remembrance. You don't even need the list if you do not care about a tax write off.
  • Your main concern is that these items go away. Your sanity and time is more important than getting these items to charity. Just let them go.
Once you have made up your mind that you no longer need or love items, they should leave in a timely manner. You can get on the list of some organizations that will call you when they are in your neighborhood and pick up your items. So, have a donation box in a closet and drop items in as soon as you decide you no longer want them.

Then wait for the call and just put the items on the curb. If this is done frequently enough, it is not too difficult to take a picture and write up a list if you do want the tax write off. And bottom line, these are your things. You do have the right to just pitch them.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Even a Closet Needs an Out Basket

Closet clutter is often a case of clothes coming in but not going out.

You look into your closet and declare, "I don't have anything to wear!", yet your closet is bursting to the seams. So much jamming in of clothes makes it impossible to find and coordinate outfits.

If this shoe fits (what a terrible pun!), then follow these tips for a closet that makes it easy to get dressed for an outing.

Pull out your clothes. If your closet is really large, do this by sections.

Sort your clothes by type - tops, long and short sleeve; pants; skirts; dresses; vests/sweaters; or dressy; casual; sports. This is not rocket science, so don't get caught up in a "Should this 3/4 sleeve blouse have its own category?" question.

Go though each stack and get rid of:
  • not the right size
  • out of style
  • makes you feel ugly/old/fat
  • needs repair
  • has spots that won't come out
  • won't match up with anything else you own
All of these items go into your out basket.

You might also pull out of season clothing that you are keeping and store them in a guest bedroom closet.

Now you are ready to return the clothes you are keeping to your closet.

Hang them up by type. What categories you come up with is entirely up to you and what helps you with putting together outfits.

Some possible categories are:
  • Tops, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses
  • Work, casual, dressy, sports
  • Frequently worn, special occasion only
  • Color (usually a sub category)
Reward yourself by buying some (no, not new clothes!) nice hangers that will make your closet even more attractive and workable.


Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Clutter and Your Peace of Mind

We really stop seeing things that we gaze at day after day. But they are there and they will impact our thoughts and peace of mind.

I have recently started working with Wendy Watkins, CPCC, PCC's (http://www.wendywatkins.com/) in a coaching program. Part of this personalized program is centered on my business and part of it is centered on increasing my joy factor. One thing I have been working on is increasing my awareness of my surroundings (not always with great success- according to my husband who washed and vacuumed my car and I did not even notice). But, imagine my despair when I looked into my medicine cabinet this morning and saw the mug that is in the picture. I have been looking at that same mug every day for years. What has it been saying to me over and over again? What does the stack of paperwork that needs attention and is sitting on my desk say to me? What does the stack of unread books say?

Simply removing items that give negative vibes, moving items that we love so that we really "see" them again, pulling out treasures we have hidden away, repairing or disposing of broken items, all make a big difference in the feel of our space. Organizing and cleaning is a very inexpensive way to remove bad feelings and introduce the feeling of calmness and peace.

We can give the old things to others to enjoy and open up space for newness to come into our home. Making our space uncluttered lets our energy flow freely. Develop your vision of how you want your home to look and feel and then make your space reflect that vision.

Now let the calm and joy enter your home and heart.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Taking Back Your Laundry Zone

The month of August is a good time to organize the laundry area. You may have some laundry stacked up from vacation. There are new school clothes and sport clothing that need washing. You really want this zone under control before the fall season really hits.

Keeping up with laundry is less of a hassle if you have your space well organized.

  1. Decide what the purposes are for this zone. Besides the washer and dryer, do you also have your iron and ironing board stored here? Besides your laundry products, do you also store other cleaning products here? Do you store your pet food? Do you keep your recycling bins here? Be very clear on what you expect this area to house. Then zone it out so that everything has its own home. If you have stuck something in this area "just for now", now move it out.
  2. Think about how you want this zone to look and feel. You will spend a bit of time here so make it work for you. I like a fun calendar that makes me smile. I also have a stain chart, and since my recycling shares this zone, I also have a list of what is accepted in each bin. I also like to have as many things containerized as possible.
  3. Sort all of your cleaning products. Did you buy a product that you really did not like, but that is still hanging around? Toss it now. Do you have spray starch that is 10 years old and you barely have a nodding acquaintance with you iron? Toss it now. Do you have 2 half bottles of Woolite? Consolidate them. If you buy large containers of soap powder, transfer some into a smaller container to cut down on spills.
  4. Schedule your laundry times. Don't wait until you need something to do laundry (Mom, where are my gym shorts?). The goal is to keep laundry moving. Only bring to the laundry zone what you intend to laundry that day. Leave the rest in the dirty clothes hampers. Only cats love mounds of dirty laundry. As soon as clothes are dry, get them back to their home. If you have some clothes that need ironing, designate a container to hold them until you schedule your ironing time.
  5. Having a different colored basket for each member of the family is helpful. As you pull clothes out of the dryer, put them into the correct basket and then carry them to the appropriate room.
  6. Have a small container nearby to toss any items you find in pockets, the dryer, or for loose buttons.
Having this zone organized may not make you love to do laundry, but it should make the chore an easier one.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer