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Tag >> clutter
There are times when it seems as if the clutter will never, ever end. I spent Saturday morning working with a young widow to continue organizing just one floor of her home. A massive amount of clutter has already been removed from her home. Ten truck loads to be exact which included over 800 books, a treadmill, a 50 gallon salt water fish tank (and all the accessories), tools, clothes, miscellaneous stuff and simply junk that was not needed any more. She knew that their hobbies which included ceramics, crafts, "gaming", sewing and reading books had taken over their home and it was always their intention to get organized. Really, it was! The plan was to work through it all together and eliminate clutter and donate items that they weren't using any longer. They just hadn't gotten around to it. And, they found out that this was just not to be.
Several years ago, her husband became very sick and within six months she became a widow. Not only did face the reality of losing her best friend of 25 years, she was left alone with absolutely no family and very few friends - but that she was going to have to handle all of this clutter by herself. Until we met!
While it has been a slow process (believe me, anything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong), I continue to be amazed with her change in mindset and attitude that is a major contributor to the results that we are experiencing. Let's see, there was an incompetent contractor involved (which cost an enormous amount of money and time) along with a water pipe that burst which again put projects our organizing on hold until it could be resolved. Throughout it all though, she has been patient and continued to manage to keep a positive attitude toward everything. She has an amazing contractor now who has fixed, painted, and has installed shelving to hold the massive amount of "gaming" materials that she has accumulated over the last 25 years. Places have been designated for holiday items, crafting materials, books, ceramics and we are making amazing progress.
It is with her permission that I am sharing her story with you. She is a prime example of being realistic with your goals of de-cluttering your space. The accumulation of items didn't happen overnight, it developed over 25 years of marriage. The reality is that it would not get organized, uncluttered and sorted in a short period of time. Thousands of dollars have been donated to our local Goodwill Store and we aren't quite done yet. It has been a great tax write-off for her. (Of course, everything has been documented for tax purposes).
When you are dealing with decades of clutter, it is important to be realistic. There are a multitude of emotions involved, sadness, depression, good memories and some not so good that may affect the level of your progress. Be realistic in your expectations and strive to continue moving forward. I can already see the smile in her eyes - the reality of being able to have new friends over to craft and play games in a space that she will love again. This is my dream for you too.
Part One of a Three Part Series
Top Ten Excuses and How to Overcome Them
I believe that some people are natural-born organizers. I'm the daughter of an Organized Mom. Everything in our home had a place, everything could be found whenever it was needed and we were all aware of where everything was kept. There was never a reason to ask mom where to find things because they were always put away in the same place, every time.
But this isn't true for everyone and this is why you may find it necessary to ask for help from a Professional Organizer. Asking for help to become organized can be a difficult decision but will be worth it in the end. There is a reason that you would call a plumber, electrician, tutor...why is calling on an Organizer for help any different? If being organized will help you get your life on track and ease the chaos and stress in your home or business it is something worth considering.
Did you decide to organize as one of your New Year Resolutions? How many items were on that list....several closets, your kitchen, bathroom or possibly a few dressers. How much have you achieved so far?
January is the month Goals are set. However, goals need to continue to be a part of our lives throughout the year. Only 24% of those goals are typically reached and this is usually because of our mental clutter. In order to cut through our physical clutter and reach our goals, our mental clutter needs to be in check. The thoughts that we allow to float around in our head will stop us from making progress toward our goals. There are some simple steps to remove these mental thoughts:
1. Write your goals down and post them in several places throughout your home or office. Putting them in places that you go to frequently will ensure that you see them often. This could be your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, posted on the wall so that you see them as you leave each morning.
2. Chunk out your goals. Telling yourself that you need to lose 50 pounds this year isn't realistic. I've never known anyone that just dropped 50 pounds within a week or two...at least if they did, it wasn't healthy! Break your big goal into smaller goals that you are can work on daily to reach bigger goal. In order to lose the weight, will it require you to exercise 30 minutes, 3 times a week? Put this on your schedule and hold yourself accountable to getting it done. Week after week...don't disappoint yourself by allowing excuses to get in your way.
3. Motivate yourself to keep on track. Allow your mind to notice how the exercise makes you feel. Does it give you more energy? Does it allow you to think clearer? Hearing and reinforcing your mind with positive thoughts will allow you to stay on track with your smaller goals. Tell yourself things like..."I'm so proud of me! " "I knew that I could to it".
4 Steps to Making Permanent Live Changes
Over the years I have learned that the best way to keep a New Years’ Resolution is not to make any. Every time that I would set a resolution I would disappoint myself and then the guilt would set in. My self-esteem would take a hit and I would slide back into old habits. There were a lot of reasons why they didn’t work but the biggest reason was that my mind wasn’t in the right place. They were simply words that I was saying because I thought that was the right thing to do. I was always setting myself up to fail by making resolutions that were too big, too little, not significant or too significant. What I had to decide to do is change my thought patterns. Everything had to be said in a positive, reinforcing way. Our words affect our outlook, attitude and affect the results that we achieve.
Here are four steps to reaching any goal that will help you reach any resolution you are contemplating.
What is stopping you from changing your life? Are you really ready to make a change? People who are serious about a goal don’t put the goal off until a more convenient time. They realize that it can make be a life-changing event and are excited and passionate about making the change. Tell yourself you are going to make an improvement in your life right now. This minute.
1. Pick one small goal.
What Motivates You?
I just returned from an event in Northern Virginia with David Neagle, Suzanne Evans, Bari Baumgardner and Blue Melnick. I attend just a few of these type of events every year for motivation and education for my business. In 2010 I dedicated more time and funds than any other year into education and events. This has helped me grow personally and professionally and I have definitely realized the results. This has made such a huge change in my own attitude, motivation, clarity and desire to help others.
How are you motivating yourself to make 2011 your best year ever? Do you know what inspires and motivates you personally to make change? Once you are aware of how and what gives your gut that feeling of Christmas morning as a child it is easy to become motivated to reach your goals.
The other day I was watching Oprah and she had the adorable Nate Berkus and the clutter cutter Peter Walsh on. They were showing neighbors swapping furniture in order to recreate new looks in their homes. The point behind the show was to open our eyes to how, in hard times with limited budgets, we can be creative in our design to get the best out of our space. Now of course having a fabulous designer makes a huge difference when you are decoratively challenged (I think I just created a new word), but the point was easy to get. The "one man's trash is another man's treasure" was spoken loud and clear here.
Posted by: Barbara Tischler in residential organizing, organizing tips, organizing homes, how to organize, home organizing, home organization, disorganized, disorganization, decluttering, declutter, de-cluttering, de-clutter, clutter on
Apr 21, 2009
It’s spring-cleaning time.
Choose an area to de-clutter, and gather a large garbage and/or recycle container, a box or boxes for donations/garage sale/consignment, and a box for items that go elsewhere -- i.e., don’t belong in the area you are de-cluttering. Sort items into these containers, and then deliver the “goes elsewhere” items to their proper places.
The above organizing tip is taken from my booklet, "36 Home Organizing Ideas for Your Family Around the Year". This 16-page booklet provides month-by-month, timely tips to help you and your family organize your home. My booklet also makes a great gift to friends, family, colleagues, clients, and potential clients. You can even choose to add your company logo and/or information to the booklet. To order one or more copies of my booklet, please go to http://www.thecluttercoach.com/booklet.html.
We've all heard the phrase "waste not, want not". It means that if we don't waste what we have, we will not be in need in the future. In general, I think this is a great rule to follow. The recent recession has caused a lot of us to rethink how we spend our time, money and efforts, and motivated us to reuse and recycle a lot more. But what happens when you take this philosophy too far?
As I talk to my organizing clients about why they keep as much as they do, I often hear them say "It would be a shame to let anything go to waste". The irony here is that they are, in fact, wasting an awful lot by hanging on to so much stuff.
Most of us are now participating in some sort of in-home recycling effort. But what happens when your recyclables start to become clutter? Not everyone has the room or the incentive to keep up with recycling efforts. But because of green guilt, we let our milk jugs, soda cans and glass jars pile up until it's convenient to get rid of them the responsible way.
How much does your recycling plan affect your lifestyle? Does it get in your way? Have you changed how and what you purchase in an effort to be more environmentally responsible? I think a large percentage of our population, myself included, is baby-stepping into the "green" world. If it weren't for the small financial incentive from my city, I would probably be doing less. I have to pay 50 cents for every bag I put at the curb, so it behooves me to put as much as possible into the recycling bin they provide! I also get a few bucks a month from the cans I take to the local recycling center. I haul my glass in at the same time, although I get no compensation for that.
Oprah recently aired a re-peat of a program about organizing. It was called "Oprah's Messy House Tour", complete with goofy jingle. In this program, professional organizer Peter Walsh surprised people in their homes and helped them clean up their clutter. Many organizers have a lot of love for Peter Walsh, not just for what he can do with a cluttered space, but for the attention he brings to our profession. He also has the wonderful ability to explain to people what clutter really represents.
Peter emphasized in this program that the physical clutter in your home is often a reflection of the clutter that is present throughout your entire lifestyle. The apathy and sense of defeat with which people view their jobs and relationships shows up physically in their closets, kitchens, and home offices. When we don't respect our possessions, we show people that we don't respect ourselves.