Posts Tagged "clutter"

When Is Too Much Reality [tv] Enough?

Posted by on Jan 28, 2011 in Featured, Problem-Solved!, Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Small Space Living | 0 comments

When Is Too Much Reality [tv] Enough?

Not too long ago, I read a blog post from John Trosko, an organizer in Los Angeles, about the new show on A&E called Storage Wars. The show chronicles the lives of four tough guys who basically prey on those who have stored their stuff in public storage facilities, then lapsed on the rent and now their stuff is up for grabs. John pointed out that this shows only a nano-second of the “victims” side of the story and condones (just by the shear fact that it focuses on the tough guys) the predatory style of these men searching for the American Dream. Ha.

My opinion on public storage is in agreement with John’s. There are only a few reasons one should ever use public storage:

  • Home Construction: You’re involved in a home renovation (and need to clear the house so workers can kick up construction dust);
  • Working out of State: You’re leaving to go out of state or the country (many folks in Hollywood work overseas for film and music projects for extended periods of time and rent out their homes);
  • Quick Home Sale: In-between living arrangements (our current economy has created some tricky relocation scenarios)

Other than those reasons, it’s time to evaluate your personal situation and make some decisions.

Clutter = Other people’s expectations of us + indecision

TV is no longer the escape from “reality” it once was. It’s now a smack in the face with “other people’s reality,” which in all honesty I don’t really want to see. If I wanted drama, yelling and nasty people in my life, then I’d engage them personally. I think it’s important to ask ourselves why we would want to sit in our home home (hopefully it’s our sanctuary) and watch other people argue. We all know that it costs a lot less money to produce an “unscripted show” and the train-wreck factor has got millions tuning in. Personally, I no longer watch much television and if I do, it’s mainly HGTV and a few drama series. There is one exception, however: I am fascinated with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills–mainly because I love to see the lifestyle (but can’t stand the constant conflict between Kim and Kyle–family dysfunction at its finest!).

I doubt I’ll tune in to Storage Wars (not even linking to it!). I’m in agreement with John Trosko: I don’t want to watch a bunch of thugs benefiting from someone else’s hard times. Has our society forgotten how to put themselves in other people’s shoes. Apparently so!

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Five Simple Steps to Easing Your Stress in Today’s Economy

Posted by on Mar 13, 2009 in Mom Moments, Sanity Savers, What You Need & Where to Put It | 2 comments

We’re all under a lot of stress these days! The economy has everyone tightening up and fearing for their future. Surely everyone’s blood pressure is a little higher than normal. However, there are ways to gain control of your personal situation by taking a few simple steps:

1. Re-establish your personal and professional goals. Now is a great time to reevaluate what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. It may be simply scaling back, cutting expenses. But how will you do that? Write down specific action steps and the steps necessary to get started.
2. Use the time to get organized. A little sorting can help you get clear on what you’re doing. File paperwork and get a jump on gathering paperwork so that this month, you can get your taxes done without filing an extension.
3. Sell stuff. What do I mean? Now is the perfect time to declutter and generate some money by selling items you no longer need or want on ebay or craigslist. You will accomplish two goals: generating extra money and decluttering.
4. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes each morning to get centered. How many of us get up and hit the ground running without giving ourselves time to get centered. Before we know it, we’re checking email and twittering. Setting time aside may seem inconsequential, but could mean the difference between approaching the day in a reactive versus a proactive manner. 

5. Get moving. I’m talking about exercise. There’s nothing like a good run, or walk for that matter, to reduce stress and feel a little better. Pumping up your endorphins ups your “feel good” neurotransmitters, which can lead to an improved mood overall.

Implementing one or all of these strategies can help you gain control of your time and surroundings, which is how you can weather the storm of the the poor economy.
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Clean Jeanne: One Woman’s Journey to Becoming Clutter Free

Posted by on Dec 5, 2008 in Embrace the Urge to Purge, Green Living, Mom Moments, Reduce Your Carbon Footprint | 2 comments

Clean Jeanne: One Woman’s Journey to Becoming Clutter Free

Once again, Jeanne Verbel is guest blogging about her journey to decluttering and organizing her home. 

    About six months ago, when I went in to my closet to find something to wear for a meeting at school, I had the thought this closet looks exactly the way I feel… and let me tell you, sister, it was a thought that rocked my world! 

     Two and half years prior to thinking that thought, my fifteen year old daughter had been diagnosed with several disorders. Her diagnosis shifted the focus of my life and I found myself putting all of my time and energy into helping her get well. Trips to doctors and therapists and pharmacies took the place of hair appointments, lunch dates with friends, and family get-togethers. Daily household chores and small pleasures were pushed aside as I worked with my daughter on her daily exposure and cognitive behavioral therapies. It didn’t take long for the stress and anxiety of my inner life to become reflected in my home…closets and cabinets and drawers became full to capacity and were on the verge of collapsing. Nothing was functioning well, myself included, and standing there in front of that closet, having that little thought, was a pivotal moment; and the beginning of a six month journey to reclaim my life…and my closet space!

     I started with that one closet. I went downstairs and got a box of trash bags. I took  every item out of the closet and separated it into three piles: to toss, to donate, and to keep. I took the time to look at each item. Had I worn it in a year? Did I really love it? Did I really need seven black turtlenecks? Within an hour I had four bags of items to donate, two bags of items to toss, and one clean and organized closet. And I can’t begin tell you how good that one clean closet made me feel! I knew that not only did it look great, but it would make my life easier as well. Putting away my laundry would no longer be a difficult task because there was actually room in the closet to put the clean clothes. Getting ready for the day would take less time because it would be easier to see my clothing choices. Then, as I standing there looking at that clean closet, I had another thought… What if my whole house was this organized?

     The thought was frightening and the task was daunting, but I didn’t back away from the challenge…I embraced it!  Excited, I sat down at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee and wrote an organizing wish list. I had a sheet of paper for each room in my house and wrote down what I wanted from that room, how I wanted it to function, and the tasks that needed to be completed in order to accomplish that functionality. When I was done 30 minutes later, I had fourteen pieces of paper and a solid organizational plan.

    And so my odyssey began. I stared with my bedroom and one simple rule- choose one task per day and complete it! If I only had fifteen minutes available on that day to complete a task, then I cleaned my nightstand drawer instead of my dresser drawers. And drawer by drawer, closet by closet, room by room, I transformed not only my outer space, but my inner space as well! I discovered that a clean, well-organized room increases its functionality and makes the completion of daily tasks so much easier and more time efficient. The time I’ve gained back allows me the opportunity to reconnect with myself…a thirty minute coffee break with a strawberry scone and a good book does wonders for a weary soul! 

     It wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always pretty (how many of you have sweatshirts in your closet from your high school days 25 years ago or canned vegetables from 1996 in your cupboard?) but ten closets, 5 dressers, 3 bathroom vanities, 20 cabinets, 25 drawers, one attic, one basement, one garage later (and after six months, countless hours, a ridiculous amount of garbage bags, and one 20 cubic foot dumpster!), I can proudly say that my house is organized, clean, and clutter free! 

     And what, dear Reader, is in your closets? 

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In Memory of George Carlin who talked about “stuff” in a way no one else could!

Posted by on Jun 27, 2008 in What You Need & Where to Put It | 0 comments

In Memory of George Carlin who talked about “stuff” in a way no one else could!

Note: If you are easily offended by a little profanity and mention of “unmentionables” please don’t watch the video of George Carlin.

“A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.” George Carlin

With the recent passing of George Carlin, I remembered his bit on “stuff” and thought I’d share it! His observational-style comedy brought to the forefront of our minds, long before the whole “decluttering and organizing” trend, a new perspective on stuff. (“A Place for My Stuff”, perfomed at Comic Relief in 1986). Although he could be over the top with his profanity, this bit is hysterical. I don’t think anyone has done a funnier and more entertaining skit on “Stuff.” Watch at your own risk: You Tube.

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GO Green Using the GOPACK® Method

Posted by on Apr 22, 2008 in Easy Organizing, GOPACK Method | 0 comments

GO Green Using the GOPACK® Method

What’s one way you can go green? Reduce your carbon footprint, which is the measure of emissions of CO2 emitted by each individual. These emissions are associated with the burning of fossil fuels including domestic energy (electric and gas in the home) consumption and transportation (car and plane) and the whole life cycle of products used. For example, clothing, cars, food, etc. Become conscious of your footprint and use the GOPACK® Method to help you eliminate excess and reduce your carbon footprint in your home.

How it works? GOPACK® is an acronym for: Group Objects, Purge, Assign, Contain and Keep it up. If you start by putting like objects with like objects, you obtain a clear picture of what you have. Next, Purge what’s no longer needed (for example, if you find you have two fax machines, consider donating one to a local charity). Now you can Assign a place to put your things, THEN choose Containers. It’s hard to choose the appropriate containers until you know exactly where things will go and the amount of space they will take. Keep it up is all about developing a habit of putting things back where they belong. You can do it! Generally it takes about ten days to three weeks to develop a new habit, but once that habit is part of what you do, you no longer have to give it a second thought.

There’s a new site on the Internet and it’s filled with GREAT organizing products! Check it out! Not only do they offer a line of Earth-friendly products in their Go Green Collection, you will also find everything from Kitchen to Furniture to Laundry (remember to use the GOPACK® Method and buy containers after grouping objects, purging, and assigning a home) to Storage, and much more.


Stumped on what to do with the corner space in your kitchen cabinets? Check out this Recycling option that will help contain bottles, cans, paper, and more.

Related articles:
Container Epidemic?
Can Clutter Really Effect My Health?

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