Organizing Blog

Benefits of Being Organized

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Benefits of Being Organized
How it affects your mental health!

Article from Uncluttererorganize kids room

Every day at Unclutterer, we share tips, tricks, thoughts, and strategies for a clutter-free lifestyle. As 2014 begins, I want to step back and see the proverbial forest instead of the trees. Just what are the benefits of being organized? It’s potentially a long list, but I’ve narrowed it down to what has affected me the most. Read on for what I consider the benefits of an organized life, at home and at work.

  1. Less stress. Above anything else, this is the number one reason I burn calories to stay on top of things. Here’s a great example: This year, I’m making a concerted effort to keep my office neat and tidy (I work from home and my office is also my bedroom). I added a bulletin board and have designated a home for everything: inbox, keys, wallet, office supplies, charger cables, and more. Now, when I need something, I know exactly where it is. This fact reduces stress and allows me to …
  2. Relax more. I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “Organized people are just too lazy to search for stuff.” That’s cute, but I’d rather be the “lazy” one mentioned in the punchline. Less time spent running around means more time. Just, more time to do what I want to do, like …
  3. Spend time with my family. Getting clean and clear professionally and personally means I’ve got more time to spend with the kids and my wife. For example, my workday ends at 2:00, just as I drive to the school bus. I know that I’ll be spending the next six hours with my family. That’s easy to do when I took care of all my work stuff before then.
  4. I’m ready for a curveball. I’m sure you know how this goes: life throws a kink into the works that interrupts your plans in a major way. Being prepared ahead of time lessens the impact. For example, I have a designated “emergency” office and ultra-portable setup ready. That way, if my Internet connection goes down at home, or a construction crew sets up outside my window, I already know where I’m going to go to work and what I need to bring.
  5. The overwhelming seems manageable. I never would have believed this if I hadn’t experienced it myself. I don’t care if you’re talking about work, the kids, or home management, but it’s a great feeling to have every project defined, and every action step that stands between you and “done” clearly identified. When I do this, I can look at a daunting to-do list and feel like I’m on top of it and capable of doing what needs to be done.
  6. Improved health. The stress I mentioned earlier, which I feel when things start to get out of control, does not promote good health. There are numerous studies that demonstrate a link between sustained high levels of stress and a variety of health problems.
  7. I’m a better example for my kids. There was a time when I spent most of my time behind my computer, working on this or that. I felt productive, sure, but I also worried about the message I was sending to the kids. Adults work all the time? My job is more important than them? I want my kids to become productive, contributing adults, of course, but I want them to enjoy life, too, and that absolutely includes time spent not working.
  8. Fewer little jobs. There are four people in my house. If we miss a day or two of laundry, we’re behind. That means that, some day this week, someone has to spend an inordinate amount of time digging out from Mt. Clothing in the basement. However, just turning over a single load per day makes all the difference. Little things like making sure the kids put their hats and boots away each day after school improves our family’s ability to easily function.
  9. Greater productivity. When you know where things are, what your goals are, and take care of the piddley busy work as it appears, you’ve got significantly more time and energy for the big goals in life.

An organized life takes some doing, and you’re going to slip up. No one is clean and clear all day, every day! But when you strive to do the best you can, you’ll experience the benefits listed above … and more. Here’s to an organized and rewarding 2014, unclutterers! May you experience the best of an organized life.

To check out Unclutterer’s website, click here: https://unclutterer.com/2014/01/23/benefits-of-being-organized/

When you are ready to get help with your home organizing, reach out to Organize Me!

Declutter 101

open shelf small space
Declutter 101: Where do I start?
Article from Organizedhome.com

clutter mess piles

Standing amid the stacks and piles, it can be hard to find a good spot to dive in and begin. Too often, de-clutter efforts fizzle along with the light of day.

This time, resolve to succeed! To get your organized journey off to a good start, try these clutter-cutting start points. They will help free a strangled household from the clutter monster.

First Step: A Single Small Success

At the outset, adjust your vision downward from the big (cluttered) picture, to zero in on one small, solvable clutter problem. Clear one counter, de-clutter one shelf, or bring order to a single drawer–and do choose an item that nags at you daily.

Beginning your war against clutter with a small success provides welcome motivation for the long haul. When you feel yourself starting to flag, returning to that one clear space, shelf or drawer will remind you of the goal–and give a new burst of energy for the next step. You can do it!

Slow and Steady Progress

Clutter tolerance seems to run a fever cycle, much like the flu. Every so often, the cluttered household will become intolerable, sparking short-lived but fiery anti-clutter efforts. Piles will be shifted, boxes will be filled, stuff will be stashed–until the fever breaks. Then the clutter tide flows back in, confusion redoubled because of the flushed and furious attempts to get a grip in a hurry.

Just as clutter arises gradually, over time, so it must be fought gradually and over time. Beating clutter requires building new habits, applying new organizational methods, and creating new household routines. The clutter cure takes time, and can’t be short-cut.

Resist the temptation to go all-out in fevered, short-term sorties against clutter. Like the fable of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the declutter race.

Schedule Declutter Sessions

A successful attack on clutter requires time, energy and motivation. There is no such thing as a declutter fairy, who works while you sleep!

First things first: schedule time to declutter. Even 15 minutes a day will make a good start. Better, schedule larger blocks of time, from two to four hours once or twice a week, for maximum declutter efficiency.

Scheduling declutter sessions brings the goal out of the stratosphere and into real life. By committing time to decluttering, you strengthen motivation and embrace the goal of a clutter-free home. By keeping the declutter appointments, you begin to create islands, peninsulas, then continents of decluttered space.

Trust me. It won’t happen magically behind your back, so schedule your declutter appointments today!

Change Begins With Me

In family settings, clutter accumulates for myriad reasons. Adults shed newspapers and personal items with abandon. Children clutter with playthings, art materials, and school papers. Poor housekeeping routines land clean clothing in piles on the couch, paperwork in stacks on the counter and mail in jumbled heaps everywhere.

When you need help beginning your decluttering project, reach out to Organize Me!

To view the article from its original source, visit Organizedhome.com

Receipts: Keep vs Throw Away

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What Receipts Are Safe to Throw Away vs. Shred?
Free yourself of receipt clutter!

receipt clutter

 

You’ve probably heard warnings about identity theft and how professional criminals can get all the information they need to make your life miserable just by taking your old, unshredded receipts and financial documents out of the garbage dump. Those warnings are true, but you really don’t have to shred everything. You can just throw away receipts that don’t have any real identifying information.

Shred It:
Anything with even part of your credit card, bank account or Social Security number on it, along with your signature, should go right to the shredder. This includes any receipt that has your entire card, Social Security or bank account number on it, signature or no signature. Any receipt that you sign is best shredded, especially if it also includes identifying information such as your name or address. Shred anything that has any identification number along with your name, even if it is just a customer number or retailer account number.

Throw It Away
You can throw away simple cash purchase receipts such as supermarket cash register receipts. They have no information at all about you. You can even throw out receipts that just have your name and address on them. Your name and address are already on record and accessible by everyone and anyone. If the receipt shows the last four digits of your credit card number or Social Security number and it is not signed, you can throw it away.

Shred It Right
Inexpensive strip shredders just cut your documents lengthwise, and today’s pros can put them together again and get your information very easily. Spend a bit more and get yourself a cross-cut, confetti or diamond-cut shredder. Alternately, you can incinerate your sensitive documents in your fireplace or barbecue grill, but make sure they’re reduced to ash.

For help sorting through your pile of receipts, contact Organize Me!

Click here for the full article: Budget.thenest.com

Culture of Clutter in America Article

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Culture of Clutter is Taking Over America
Article by The Christian Science Monitor

A mulit-year study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Connecticut College sheds new light on the culture of clutter taking over America. It’s not pretty. The results are coming out in a book, complete with photos, called ‘Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century.’

Raise your hand if any of this sounds disturbingly familiar:

A garage that doesn’t have room for the family car because it’s filled with bikes, baseball bats, rusting tools, old furniture and possibly even a large snow blower. (Arm a-waving over here. The snow blower is a long story.) Or, how about a hall closet that can’t hold any more coats? Or a child’s room filled with more than 100 Beanie Babies?  Or a fridge covered in hundreds of pictures, magnets (even the free ones that come in the mail, because, you know, you never can have enough magnets), calendars, dry erase boards and shopping lists?

Clutter, it turns out, is a hallmark of mainstream America. (Depressing, no?)  And now a new book coming out by researchers from University of California, Los Angeles, and Connecticut College – “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” – details just how much clutter, and promises to take a sharp look at the impact of all this stuff on daily family life.

toys organize kids frederickThe researchers immersed themselves into the daily lives of 32 families in the Los Angeles area, taking tens of thousands of photographs, hundreds of hours of video, and copious notes from first-hand observations about how people move through their homes, and what they have.

“People’s homes are a canvas for self-expression, so it is crucial to see what middle-class America buys, cherishes and displays at home, along with, in their own words, what their possessions mean to them,” said Jeanne E. Arnold, professor of anthropology at UCLA and the lead author of the book, according to the Connecticut College news service. “We measured. We photographed. We filmed. We interviewed. We gave parents and older kids cameras and they gave us narrated home tours. We now know what goes on moment-by-moment and, as our book documents, we know exactly what people keep in their homes and where and how they use things.”

Some of the findings:

  • The volume and sheer number of things in our homes is unprecedented. From toys to music collections to books to knick knacks to large quantities of paper towels bought (it was a deal!) from Costco. And managing the volume of possessions turns out to be so stressful that it elevated the level of stress hormones for moms.
  • Most families spent little time in their yards – even if they had spent a lot of money on outdoor furnishings.
  • Seventy-five percent of garages had too much stuff in them to fit cars.
  • And I love this one: The number of objects clinging to your refrigerator may indicate how much clutter can be found throughout your home.

“Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century” is coming out in August, but I am already tempted to get a trash bag and start tossing stuff.  Anything.  Because one of the other findings of the authors is that Americans are really bad at getting rid of things – we think that we’ll use them some day, or that it’s wasteful to just toss objects.

And in the meantime, the stuff takes over.

A good time, I say, to ponder consumption, materialism and how to adjust our way of life.

View the article from its original source here: Culture of Clutter 

For assistance in trying to make your life less materialistic and clutter free, contact Organize Me! Scheduling available here: Schedule with Organize Me!

Photo provided by Photography By Barb

Tips to Help a Parent Downsize

grandparents aging downsize
20 Tips to Help a Parent Downsize

Moving an aging parent out of their home can be filled with emotions for all parties involved. For parents, it’s a place that they have likely spent a great portion of their lives and have a lot of memories there. As the child, it serves as added stress and something else that has to get done. With such high emotions, tensions can rise in an already difficult situation.

Caring.com put together an article of 20 tips to can help make the transition easier on both ends. From sorting, to trowing items away and how to deal with treasures, this article can be highly helpful. Below is an overview of the basic points, with the full article link at the bottom of the page.

  1. Avoid tackling the whole house in one go
  2. Frame questions as yes-no decisions
  3. Use the new space as a guide
  4. Banish the maybe pile
  5. Encourage parents to focus on the most used items
  6. Packs bits of a favored item (instead of the whole thing)
  7. For collections, ask which is the favorite one piece
  8. Take photos of remaining collections for a book
  9. If it’s meant as a give or legacy, encourage that now
  10. Think twice before selling on your own
  11. For high value items, consider appraisal
  12. Understand how charities work
  13. Target recipients for specialty items
  14. Try the ‘free books’ tactic
  15. If it’s chipped, broken or stained, toss it
  16. Weigh loyalty to recycling against your time
  17. Don’t be shy about tossing replaceable items
  18. For a price, you don’t have to haul it away yourself
  19. Consider bringing in the pros
  20. Investigate one-stop solutions if time is tight

Moving an aging parent from a home they have known for many years can be difficult. The parent-child relationship isn’t always understanding of each other views. The full article gives in depth details on how to better handle the challanges you may face. Click here for all the details and to gain additional assistance on estate planning: Caring.com/estateplanning

When you are ready to help your parent sort through the years of items, contact Organize Me! Together, we can work through the challenge of sorting, donating and trashing a household full of stuff. Visit Organizemefrederick.com for more information about Organize Me!

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