September, 2011 browsing by month


Book Review: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life

Friday, September 16th, 2011

I am a big fan of Julie Morgenstern’s books. She has a way of boiling down a hairy problem to the essentials and then providing a step-by-step process for walking a person through the solution.

Julie’s original work Organizing From the Inside Out, is a great place to start if you want to do DIY organizing. I use this book as a basic text for the group program “Clutter Management” offered twice a year.

Julie’s latest offering, SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, is a timely message for those of us realizing there is more to life than status, things, or even security. We yearn to make a difference, to become a force for change, to be light in a dark world.

This answer to the question “What is SHED?” from Chapter One will give you some insight into how this book can impact your future:

SHED is a transformative process for letting go of things that represent the past so you can grow and move forward. The four steps of SHED (Separate the treasures, Heave the Trash, Embrace Your Identity, Drive Yourself Forward) provide a framework for proactively managing change, transition, and the feeling of being stuck and unsure. By releasing the defunct, extraneous, and burdensome objects and obligations that are weighing you down, you create the space to discover what’s next and gather the energy and courage to move forward.

I have not finished the book. This is not one to rush through, but to thoughtfully and actively immerse yourself in the process as you go. I heartily recommend this read!

7 Mistakes that Lead to Paper Piles, Part 1

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

7 Mistakes That Lead to Paper Clutter

  • If the entire surface of your desk, kitchen counter, or dining room table is covered…
    you just might be a paper piler!
  • If you have magazines you haven’t read from a year ago…
    you just might be a paper piler.
  • If your filing system consists of “more recent” and “older stuff”…
    you just might be a Paper Piler!
  • If you put the event tickets in plain sight see so you won’t lose them, but now you can’t find them because they are totally covered…
    you just might be a paper piler.

Piles of paper are the symptom, not the underlying cause of this frequent clutter problem.

We can try to blame the information explosion or the 49,060 pieces of mail we will receive in our lifetime.  To find a lasting cure, however, we must look closer to home.

What is your personal relationship with paper?

This is Part I of 7 Mistakes That Lead to Paper Clutter. See which one(s) best describes the way you relate to paper. Use the tips below to find a solution that works for you.

  1. The Visualizer is afraid that out of sight will mean out of mind.
    Bills to pay, party invites are left where you can see them and not forget to take action. Soon the “important” is covered by “everyday” and gets lost.
    Remedy:Visual/tactile people need to find a filing solution that is in plain sight, yet keeps paper contained. Two options are:

  2. The Librarian feels compelled to store valuable information.
    This person prints online research as well as emails to answer later, and has a hard time parting with newspaper articles and magazines.
    Remedy:Save only the information that is imperative to your job or that you think will be hard to replace. Think about scanning hard copies, bookmarking email sites on your browser, or noting the article URL on a resource list.Sally McGhee, author of Take Back Your Life, says we only use 15% of what we file. We never retrieve the other 85% – a waste of filing time and of valuable space.
  3. The Generous Shopper gives to charities and orders gifts from catalogs. Her name has been sold repeatedly so she now receives dozens of gift requests and catalogs.
    Remedy:One of the best ways to reduce paper in your home is to reduce the amount coming in. At home, the #1 paper dropper is the mailman. Always open your mail the day you receive it. Return unsolicited charitable requests to sender. Shred unwanted credit offers.Use these sites to opt out of catalogs and credit offers:

Four more common errors are yet to come in Part 2. Did you see yourself yet? Don’t worry, you will…

“Ask the Expert” Event Tomorrow: Register Now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (ET) in Columbus, OH

Click here to register.

Stop the paper piles from multiplying with a proven self-purging paper management system, the FREEDOM FILER. Professional Organizer, Martha Clouse, has successfully implemented this system with dozens of clients. YOU bring your banker box full of paper piles to train and begin your personal FF system.

Learn ways to reduce incoming paper and practice your paper tossing technique!!

Materials FEE: $52 paid at time of class – this purchases your Freedom Filer which has a retail value of $99.

Class is also scheduled to be held on 9/29 from 9:30am – 11am. Tickets purchased above will be honored at all event times.


Organizing Product Review: More Container Store Favs

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

I have to limit my trips to The Container Store – hard to keep my total purchase under $100. However, there are a few items that are so versatile, I use them often in client’s homes. If you are lucky enough to live close to a store, don’t forget you can do the shopping online and then pick up to avoid shipping.

Translucent stack drawers – $4.99-11.99

Slotted Interlocking Drawer I use these with Slotted Interlocking Drawer Dividers ($4.99) for custom medicine storage.

24-Pocket Mesh Overdoor Shoe Bag – $12.99

Pocket Mesh Overdoor Shoe bag Use this in any room of the house: pantry – for individual packets & odd-shaped items; bathroom – for most used toiletries; craft room – for scissors, glue, etc; kid’s closet – for small stuffed animals.

Clear Handled Storage Baskets – regular price $3.99-4.99

Clear Handled Baskets These are great for storing toiletries by category so you can find what you need easily. The handle makes it easy to pull out and look.

Who says organizing can’t be fun? I can easily spend 2 hours wandering in this store! You?