Posts

Project BEFORE / AFTER photos

Image
 Project "Cute Rules" -  These before/after images are from a sewing/craft room and an office in a home that is sneakily cluttered. This home is beautifully kept, tastefully decorated, and delightfully welcoming because the client is a master of creating memorable moments with friends and guests.  The "sneaky" part is that the cluttered state is behind closed doors in cabinets, closets and drawers.  These drawers represent about 4 hours of work (there were some other cabinets that also got a makeover during the same session), and the client made a considerable of sacrifice in letting go of things--difficult decisions. I was/am terrifically proud of her! She stated that she probably avoided using the sewing room a lot because it was just overwhelming trying to find the necessary tools for projects.  Getting it in order makes it a real joy to work on projects now! The contents of this drawer were a "repeat collection" of things that had already been sorted

6-Step EECDID Decluttering Process

Image
 What in the heck does EECDID stand for?!?!  Glad you asked! E vacuate  E liminate C onsolidate D esignate I n a Crate D efend the State  EECDID (pronounced "EEK did") is my own goofy acronym for the decluttering and organizing process. I'm posting it here for you just in case you: Don't have access to a professional organizer Haven't yet read a bunch of books on the topic, and want to try to go it alone ;   Have read some books about how to declutter but haven't yet put any of it into practice;  Bought the book but haven't gotten around to reading it, and it's sitting on a cluttered shelf... Are just curious Let's start with planning for a decluttering session.  When someone works with me, I request a minimum  2-hour session, preferably 4.  But my very presence with the client is what may make it possible for her to make it through that period.  When tackling it on your own, a 15-minute session, or maybe up to 1 hour, may be the maximum you can

7 Top Questions for Controlling Paper Clutter

Image
  In another post, 3 Best Declutter Questions for "The Collection" , I covered 3 essential questions I ask  clients while helping them decide what to discard.  There are also some basic questions for paper clutter , and if put into practice they build some real "mental muscle" when confronting stacks of paper.  I once watched a particular client in just one session go from total indecision about every piece of paper she touched to literally flipping paper into the recycle/trash piles at a glance as if she were dealing cards!  😁 Question #1 What's the worst thing that can happen to me if it didn't exist?   (If nothing, or something really minor, toss.) Question #2 Is it replaceable (on the web, by phone call to original source, logging in to your account somewhere, etc)? This includes bills and monthly statements... Almost any so called important piece of paper that comes into our homes and requires a payment or has to do with financial, medical or tax-rel

Pet Snakes and Paper Clutter

Image
    While wandering through my head one day, thinking about paper clutter, the following occurred to me after working with a particular home organizing client. A couple of my clients (including the one in mind) have kept "pet" snakes among their "collections". Unlike the rest of the accumulations, the snake isn’t usually considered part of the excess, though I wonder about that…  Pet just doesn’t mesh well in my mind with snake . Pet evokes images of cuddly, furry, warm creatures, alternately comforting and/or amusing us as we interact with them through daily life. We speak of loving our pets, as if they were people. Not so the snakes. I haven’t heard that kind of sentimental talk about them yet. Announcing that you keep one elicits a broad range of responses, generally negative; in fact, “aversion” seems mild for the most common reaction. As for usefulness or entertainment value,

3 Best Declutter Questions for "The Collection"

Image
The "collection"?  Yes, that's my euphemism for the mountain of mostly useless possessions the majority of people in the USA live with, aka junk, or "clutter" .😏 And when it comes time to declutter, there are some key questions I use to help clients make decisions about "editing" (discarding) things from the collection.  If you're working with me as your home organizing consultant, you'll hear me ask a the decluttering questions pretty often, especially when you hit a decision-making snag in the process. Maybe you'd like to try the decluttering process yourself with out professional assistance, but you're pretty overwhelmed; possibly you've tried in the past without much success. Maybe these questions will help you, if even on just a small project like a single drawer.   #1 question: If this object were lost or destroyed in a flood or a fire, would you replace it?  NOTE: The "I can't!! It's an heirloom" reaction

6 Essential Principles of Home Organization

Image
  What does it mean to "be organized?"  It's simple--you should be able to easily find and lay hands on anything you need in your space within 1-5 minutes, depending on how big the space you live in is.  That leaves you some time in case you have to get a ladder to reach it... 😏   Having read over 70 books on the topic of organization, whether general home, time management, paper clutter, or more specific categories like craft items, clothing, pantry items, etc., I can assure you that the principles for organized living are fairly consistent throughout all of them.  The individual authors may have their own acronyms for the processes they teach, and their approaches will reflect their own personalities, but in essence the principles are the same. However, I think we all know from experience, it's not uncommon to hear different presentations on the same material, and yet one particular version or explanation of it may "stick" and make better sense for you .

4 Reasons for Clutter M.E.S.S.

Image
M.E.S.S. stands for the following categories of possible problems. M echanical -  Examples:  You have intended to store something in a particular drawer, but because the drawer is broken or "sticky" so it won't open and close properly, you feel it's a hassle and don't bother. The door sticks on the intended closet or cabinet, so you set it nearby saying, "just for now...", which seems to turn into never... The shelf it goes on is warped, etc. E motional - This topic is simply too complicated to be addressed here in a single post, but go to FAQs for a brief introduction, and future posts will explore various emotional issues on a more detailed level. This topic is very real, and serious. Emotional and psychological factors that result in cluttering or hoarding behaviors may be destroying someone's life, relationships, finances, etc.  Occasionally someone voices to me--maybe jokingly, maybe sheepishly or even a little fearfully--the question of bei