Summer Decluttering – Shed, Yard, Tools, Machines and More

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Garage, Stress Management, Time and Money Management No Comments »

yard tools

Summer is a time to open the windows, do more outdoors, take vacations and enjoy your lawn, patio, deck and/or pool. Whatever you have in your yard that needs attention, there will be tools and other supplies that are probably part of the picture. Unless you pay a service to take care of your property (think pool boy!), then tag!, you are “it”, and must be on top of your tool and supply needs.

TIME TO DECIDE, or, Sorry, Tim the ‘Tool Man’ Taylor!

By now you might have realized what you need for your lawn, garden, acreage, etc., and what you just are not using, year after year. Don’t let this summer go by without cleaning out your outbuildings, sheds, garage, yard, etc. of tools and machines you don’t need, use or are broken and can’t use.

If you have mowers, weed-eaters, tools and such that don’t work or are not something you need or use anymore, repair the keepers and let go of the rest. Only have what you use and need.


Why? Because a) having tools that are broken and damaged will waster your time, keep you from using them effectively and will cause you stress every time you go out to get them. Who needs more stress? . . . it’s hot out there! And, b) if you have tools and such that do work but won’t be using, sell or give them away and let someone else use them before they are too old and damaged by weather and aging for anyone to use.

Best ways to declutter tools and machines that still work:

  1. Give to thrift stores or non-profits (if they still work): Check if you have a ReStore in your area here’s ours in Longmont, CO. ReStore is the thrift and repurpose arm of Habitat For Humanity.  A great way to recycle for reuse (and they get the profit) – good tools, machines, cabinets, cupboards, sinks, tubs, etc.
  2. Garage / Yard Sale
  3. Local Extension Office (might know of someone who needs them)
  4. Community Garden
  5. Ask around and see who might need them

Best ways to declutter tools and machines that don’t work:

  1. Give to parts stores if they have good parts that someone could use on other machines that need repair
  2. Trash or take to recycle center or dump if too big or inappropriate for trash – follow your cities dumping policies for “hard to recycle items” if necessary
  3. Make art out of them! The photo below is repurposed shovel blades! Lovely!

recycle art - shovel blades


1. Because you really need it for your work.

If you really need a new tool, and can’t borrow the item from a neighbor, it’s time… but always buy new or used (“pre-owned”) that work well. It’s amazing how many times people get the “almost good enough” item “on sale” and then regret it.

2. Safety

If what you are using isn’t safe, it’s time to replace it.

3. Tired of hearing yourself complain “one more year.”

Bottom line, stop listening to yourself complain about the same old stuff! Clean up and out your tools and machines for outdoor work. Let go of the one’s that don’t work or need repair or you won’t use any longer.

Or, the second right answer, sell the house and move into a community that takes care of all that. That’s my answer, “I have ‘people'”! Make choices that work best for you, your family and your lifestyle.

Happy summer! Enjoy your yard!

For more ideas on how to declutter and let go of too much, order my ebook, Burn Your House Down!



Decorate Your Home Like a Pro in Jill Vegas’ School of Speed Decorating Course

Children: Bedrooms, Toys, Stuff and School Papers, Closets, Clothes and Shoes, Cool Ideas, Garage No Comments »

Want to learn how to redecorate your home like a pro from the pro?

Register today for The School of Speed Decorating – a 4 week course for the Impatient Decorator who just wants easy-peasy solutions for every room in their home.

Next course begins today,  September 17, 2012


Jill is the best seller of 

Speed Decorating: A Pro Stagers Tips and Trade Secrets for a Fabulous Home in a Week or Less.




Declutter and Reorganize Old Piles Around the House and Yard – Spring Clean Early!

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Closets, Clothes and Shoes, Garage, Safety and Security, Sorting No Comments »

Everyone has stuff sitting around somewhere . . . small piles in the back office storage cupboard to big piles in the garage or outdoors leaning up against buildings!

You have them, right?

  • Items and stuff that take up space
  • Things that no longer work
  • Things you’ll never use again
  • Stuff that needs a re-decision
  • Stuff that needs a proactive nudge to move on and out!

Get honest and be ruthless! These items may not seem to bug you, but they do.  They cause an inner clutter hum of sorts. Feelings of stress, anxiety, feeling bad about yourself, guilt, etc. Sometimes even resentment in the case of items with memories that stay fresh every time you look at them. And… they may be bugging your family members or even neighbors too! Have you had arguements or fights over this stuff?

Stop the madness!! 🙂 It’s spring. Move old stuff out and release all that old yucky inner clutter while you’re at it… along with the outer clutter!


This time of year is the perfect opportunity to declutter your home, spring clean and make room for the stuff that you actually do use!  — However, I’m not giving you permission to just go buy more stuff just because you have room! Leave space open and enjoy it!


1. Schedule uninterrupted declutter time (ask for help if you need it!)

2. Get it all piled up and ready to go in sorted sections:

    a) Stuff that goes to others to whom it belongs! Remember that picnic basket you borrowed 5 years ago from you neighbor? Give it back!  🙂

    b) Donation. Take or call for a pick up.

    c) City trash/dump. Check your city’s bulk trash pick-up date.  Call or go online. It’s like magic really! You get it out there, and City Elves come take it away!! 


Here’s for my county, Boulder County –


Notice CHARM services on that page for toxic items too. Very important.

The Space Junk Problem: Not Just In Your House and Garage Anymore!

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Garage, Safety and Security No Comments »


You think paying me to help you get organized will set you back a few Piggy Bank dollars? How about a declutter job that costs $84 million per year over the next 12 years!

No, they’re not from Hoarders TV Show.

Look up! Because that’s what Jerome Pearson, president of Star Technology and Research, Inc. says it will cost to clean up the clutter that’s in our heavens. But, hey, not to worry! Since space debris is a global problem, that cost could be shared among a number of nations, he added!


Humans. We trash everything! We consume, then trash. Very sad.

I don’t there are any sofas or plastic lawn chairs floating up there right now, but I’d guess there will be soon.


NASA estimates that Earth’s orbital debris cloud contains more than 20,000 pieces as big as a softball and more than 500,000 bigger than a marble.

All the talk about going to Mars, putting a hotel up in space, etc. just seems to me to be a few more places we get to litter and trash. I can see it now. I pay $250,000 to go to the Space Hotel and Lounge and while sitting having a lovely cool fruity drink I see trash floating all over in space out the window. Geez.


They plan on creating spacecrafts just for this job. To job to declutter space.  At least it will put some people at NASA back to work.

Each spacecraft, known as an ElectroDynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE), would capture orbital debris in a net, then drag the junk down out of harm’s way.

Pearson says that, EDDE’s services may be sorely needed. A new report warns that there is already so much junk in space that humanity may have reached a “tipping point,” in which collisions could start to increase exponentially, spawning more and more debris.

Yeesh! Don’t drive in space anytime soon to avoid this.


How fast and heavy is your clutter?

Pieces of space junk — which may be defunct spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicles or fragments from satellite collisions — zip around Earth at speeds up to 17,500 mph (28,163 kph). Okay, that’s fast! Keep a watchful eye out! In fact, that’s so fast that even tiny paint flecks can damage a spacecraft  And there’s a lot of this stuff, much of it larger and far more dangerous than paint flecks.

LEO (low-Earth orbit) is cluttered with about 2,500 objects bigger than a softball (roughly 4 inches wide), Pearson said. No big deal, right? Wrong. This debris would weigh about 2,000 tons here on Earth


While on or off the planet:

 – Don’t litter.
 – Pick up after yourself.
 – Don’t live in clutter.
 – Get organized.
 – Don’t jettison stuff out of your rocket ship if you’re not going to go back and pick it up before coming home.

You can read the entire article with more photos here.

Organizing? What’s the Plan, Man?

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Garage, Goal Setting and Success, Stress Management, Time and Money Management No Comments »

There is a long used adage, “We don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan.” When it comes to organizing, we need a plan!

This article is a direct spinoff from an organizing job I did recently. Jan and Tom (not their names) hired me to help them get their garage cleared out in order to get their two cars in before the snow flies. They also gave me the “tour of the castle” and we discussed what and how they could declutter, get more systems in place and reorganize areas that were a bit cluttery.

By the time we were done with the garage – sorting through everything in the middle stacks and piles to go to donation, trash or stay and put away – Jan and Tom started talking about all the many other projects that had to now be done.

I suggested that to make it all sane and doable, keeping them both on the same page, that they get out a notebook and make a PLAN. (Planning like this also keeps couples from getting into heated discussions and fights over jobs and clutter not dealt with. They both have THE PLAN in front of them on which to take action.)

You can do this too. If you have multiple areas of your home and life that are out of control or need work to get up to speed for your enjoyment, do this.

1. Get out a piece of paper and draw a table on it – 2 columns and 6-7 rows, giving you 12-14 blocks.
2. Each block in the table is for a project.
3. Write down every project that needs to be done, one to a block.
4. Write down for each, in each block, if you will need help or extra tools or anything to get the job done, including systems, like tubs or containers.
5. Now, this is the great part! Write an amount of time it will take to do each project in its block.

This is great, as now you can move past overwhelm and procrastination into the doing phase.

If you can see that it will take 1/2 hour to clear out some magazines and paper piles, you can figure out quickly when you have that 1/2 hour and do it. Cross it off!

If you can see that it will take 3 hours to declutter a section of your garage, then plan ahead for that as it’s a bit longer.

If you have children you can now plan ahead for each project for when they are in school, or plan for a babysitter.

You can also figure out easily which jobs need help from others or systems and can plan ahead to get those in line and ready for your project time.

Thank you Jan and Tom for a great morning of organizing, and your lovely post organizing email.
“Woo hoo! Thanks so much for all your help Saturday. It was a great learning experience and we accomplished a LOT!  Looks like we’ll be able to get the cars in later this week when Tom’s niece comes to pick up the couch and we do one last run to donate. Thanks for getting us on the right track before the snow flies!”

So, don’t fail to plan. Get a plan, man! 🙂

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