Organizing From The Inside Out – How To Stop Hoarding, Stockpiling and Use Stuff Up

Inner Clutter: Consciousness Building and Self-Care, Kitchen, Storage No Comments »

Too much tea (1)

Can one have too much tea?

Yes.

Stop it.

Drink what you have before buying more.

What do you have “too much” of?

Most of my clients have one or two things bursting at the seams in their houses, like

  • canned soup
  • candles
  • jewelry
  • shoes
  • magazines
  • a specific craft – yarn, quilting, scrap booking stuff
  • a specific collectibles, that they don’t even like or care about anymore, like pigs, penguins and Red Hat stuff

HOARDING OR JUST UNCONSCIOUS BUYING?

After we’ve unearthed piles of “it” I tell them, “Okay, I have to give you the ‘Dr. DeClutter Rule of Stop It.’ Stop buying more of “this” until you use it all up! or have a plan to organize it, and use it more often and enjoy it, in the case of clothing or accessories.

We always end up laughing, but they get it.

When buying more and more of certain items but not really using them, appreciating or honoring them there is an edge to this behavior that is close to hoarding, but for most people it is unconscious, habitual buying.

WHAT TO DO

Use what you have, use it all up, before buying more. Otherwise, you’re just feeding an addiction, wasting time and money, using up space, adding to clutter, staying distracted, etc.

In the case of shoes and jewelry, make sure they are organized so that you can really see them, enjoy them, find them and wear them more often.

TRUTH BE TOLD

Oh, by the way, that image above, that’s my kitchen counter! “Was” my kitchen counter. Boy, I drank a lot of tea to cull that stockpile down! Much of it was given to me, I didn’t buy it, but still.

EXPIRATION DATES AND FADS FADE

Another issue with collecting, storing, not using what you have or enjoying it is that some things do go bad, they deteriorate, lose their flavor and freshness, go out of style (as in clothing/shoes/accessories) etc. So, by the time you do get around to using it, it’s not that great, and in regards to food products, actually bad for your health and has to be thrown out.

So, let’s stop the madness, stress and waste. Let’s all shake ourselves awake, get organized, and enjoy what we have without buying more.

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How to Store Bottle and Jar Lids – Never Lose One Again

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Kitchen, Storage No Comments »

Pantry - Contain lids

I save glass jars and bottles for reuse many times over. Having a jar with no lid however is frustrating.

It’s additionally maddening looking for the right lid to a jar or bottle, not finding it, so recycle the jar, only to find the lid later. Rrrrr.

What to do?

Easy, take a plastic container (that you won’t be using anyway because it’s not healthy for your food storage!) and store the lids next to the jars and bottles on the same shelf! Works great.

QUART AND PINT CANNING JARS AND LIDS

When you have canning jars that are missing lids, you can buy the lids and bands separately. Love that.

You can see two boxes stacked on the right behind the plastic container  in the image above, these are Kerr lids with bands. You can also buy Ball lids with bands in different sizes.

org - ball lids with bands

Figure out what size you need to buy to get your jars and lids ready to be used every day, for cupboard, refrigerator or freezer. They come in 12 per box usually.

You can also buy plastic lids. See here.

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Quick Way to Organize Long Boxes in the Pantry

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Kitchen, Storage, Stress Management No Comments »

Pantry - Messy long boxes 1

Storage areas come in many shapes and sizes. Some however need help keeping items in place yet usable quickly.

From aluminum foil, to plastic wrap, parchment paper and others, there are long boxes of  necessary items that don’t always fit in the kitchen cupboards or pantry well.

Above in the image are those kinds of long boxes looking messy, taking up more room than necessary and always ready to fall out when the door is opened.

One simple way to contain them is to take a box that fits into your designated area easily, cut off the top and one side and put the long boxes in it. Works great!

Pantry - Messy long boxes 3

 

 

 

 

 

You save room, time and frustration. Yea!

Pantry - Messy long boxes 2

 

 

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8 Ways To Organize And Take Control Of Your Summer Eating Habits

Aging Well, Health and Medical, Holiday Organizing All Year Round, Inner Clutter: Consciousness Building and Self-Care, Kitchen, Stress Management No Comments »

food - bbq - meat on bbq

The 4th of July is past (I hope you had a good one!) and you’ve probably been to plenty of summer fun events… with lots of food. Summer holidays and vacations are here. What our childhood brains are programmed for is ROADTRIP!!! JUNKFOOD!!! BACKYARD PARTYYYY!!!!

  • Do you overindulge?
  • If so, how does it affect you?
  • How to you feel about yourself afterwards?

I can’t speak for other countries, but one of the things we Americans do that can really make one “crazy” – for lack of a more sophisticated term – is how we talk about food, eat food, aren’t conscious of food and waste food. In order to really enjoy food and feel good about what you eat and what it’s doing for, not “to” your body is to consciously do some decluttering of your thoughts about food and eating.

ENJOY AND LOVE YOUR FOOD

love - banner I Love You w flowers

The bottom line is, as the hot summer winds blow, start loving food. Yes, love your food, appreciate and be grateful for it and your body that is eating, enjoying and profiting from it’s “fuel” energy. Don’t just eat lots of food to eat it, for the immediate gratification. That’s how we get into problems with bad decisions, unnecessary calories, fat and additives.

8 WAYS TO ORGANIZE AND TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SUMMER EATING HABITS

Here are the “rules” to become more conscious, plan ahead, take care of yourself better and learn to love your food and enjoy yourself a little more this summer around eating:

1. MAKE A PLAN

When you buy food, plan ahead and don’t let yourself go on autopilot and trance out, bringing home food you “shouldn’t” have, or that your family and all “bodies” concerned don’t need.

Example: A customer in a grocery store, a woman I don’t know, was looking at high calorie food, saw me come around the corner and said with a laugh, “Oh, I should never go shopping when I’m hungry, I buy the stupidest things!” I replied, “Just say no!” It made her stop and think.

2. BE CONSCIOUS ABOUT YOUR EATING AND CONVERSATIONS ABOUT YOU AND IT

Whatever you choose to eat from now on, you can’t talk about it negatively, even in jest.

Example: “Oh, I’m going to order chocolate pie, but you know what it’s going to do to my waist!” This will test your routine, programmed and unconscious conversations with others. It’s harder than you think.

3. PLAN AHEAD

Take control. Let protein help you out of low-sugar bad decisions. Eat before you go shopping, and before you go to an event where you will be around food.  Or, grab an individually wrapped cheese stick and eat it while shopping, remembering to pay for it before you leave. 🙂  Don’t set yourself up for bad decisions that you’ll regret.

4. CHOOSE THE BEST FOODS FOR YOUR BEST OUTCOME

If you want to eat something, don’t keep thinking about it. Either eat it, in moderation or go for it, or change the focus of your thoughts, stop thinking about it or leave the table or area where the food is staring at you.

Example: “I’ve been thinking about eating chips all day, it’s driving me crazy!” Well, if you’re saying that out loud long enough, you’re driving everyone else crazy too! You can buy 1-3oz. bags of chips and sate your craving. You don’t need to buy the 100 oz. biggie-size-my-butt-bag and then complain about that for another couple of years! (I don’t support you in eating any chips, but you get the point!) If you’re going to eat something like chips, then find the highest quality, organic and healthy, and eat a little.

5. CHANGE YOUR OLD STORY ABOUT YOUR BODY – LOVE YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT

Stop talking about your weight, “fat”, cholesterol, calories and any other related topic. Eat or don’t eat. Think ahead: be wiser, buy, shop and order wiser. We all know what to do – it’s in the doing. X-calories a day + X-minutes of exercise = where you are now and where you’ll be in the future. Pretty simple! No, not easy, but simple.

Watch your language about yourself… and others. No more putting yourself down. No more self- or other- criticism, even in jest. Your body hears everything you say and takes it VERY seriously.

Example: “I will never lose this weight.” “I feel so fat all the time.” Also, let others know that it’s no longer okay to put you down or joke about your physical appearance. Remember this: We teach people how to treat us. Don’t laugh at their jokes about you or themselves or anyone. It’s not funny, it picks at your spirit until your self-worth quits fighting. You can say, “stop,” no matter how they feel about it.

6. TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH

Tell yourself the truth, and then live with it. OUCH!

Yes, we rarely really want to see ourselves as the self-deceiving and creative people that we are. There’s nobody “out there” with a tally card. It’s just you and your body and your health. If you tell yourself the truth, what will you hear?

Example: “The truth is, I’m afraid to lose weight because I won’t feel in control and safe.” This is a pretty common feeling and thought by women.

7. LOVE YOUR FOOD – IT SHOULDN’T SCARE YOU

food - tiger watermelon

Love every morsel of food you eat and enjoy every morsel of food you love!

Example: “Oh, I love strawberries and cream.” “I just so love garlic bread!” Enjoy food. It’s here for us to enjoy. No “tags” to the back of your joy statement like, “but…”. Nope, just stop at your enjoyment.

8. LOVE YOURSELF TODAY AND EVERY TODAY

Love yourself. No matter how you look, love yourself. Start any change from where you are, one new positive conscious choice at a time. Or not! Either way, love yourself. In fact, fall madly in love with yourself this summer. See how your life, thoughts, beliefs, habits and life around food start changing naturally. Why? Because what we resist persists. What you put out comes back like a boomerang. Just love.

Happy summer!

COULD YOU USE SOME PERSONAL ENCOURAGEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY AND BRAINSTORMING TO HELP YOU WITH THE CHANGES YOU WANT TO MAKE IN YOUR LIFE?

telephone - retro

I am a Priority Coach for Lifestyle and Wellness Change and Transformation. I work with people worldwide by telephone.

Contact my office for your free 20-Minute Consult to discuss your needs. kim@drdeclutter.com

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How to Keep Your Horizontal Surfaces From Becoming Pile Holders

Kitchen, Sorting, Stress Management No Comments »

DV IMAGE

 

Does your table gather piles, stacks and overflowing lumps of stuff? This can be the cause of increased stress and loss of time and productivity in any home.

Whether your tables are in the basement, the kitchen, dining room or loft, it is not a storage device! Kitchen counters and islands are certainly in the group too.

The dining room table should not be a dumping ground for piles of paperwork,  craft materials, bicycle parts, unfinished projects, fishing gear and school projects that don’t have deadlines.

A cluttered table can’t do what it’s meant to do, like have a nice meal several times a day, read the paper, do lessons, etc.  when it’s a mess.

WHAT TO DO?

  1. Stop
  2. Decide
  3. Sort
  4. Return

STOP walking by the table and ignoring it! STOP for 10 – 90 minutes at a time and DECIDE what each pile is about.

SORT each chunk you pick up into a box to reroute to and RETURN to where it really belongs. See more on sorting in my post here. 

With everything you touch and pick up to decide what to do with, always think, “Where does this LIVE?” And, “Where is its HOME?” Take it there and teach everyone in the house what the plan is for them to help keep “it” living, or returning to live, in its home when done with “it.”

Example:

  • Newspapers, magazines and catalogs need a TO READ basket near where they’ll be read.
  • Outdated newspapers, magazines and catalogs to recycle bins.
  • Papers and mail need to be filed or taken action upon.
  • Clothes need to go to laundry, repair, appropriate rooms and put away.

Learn to value emptiness rather than seeing it as a vacancy and open space to just dump on and walk away.

Resource:

I have lots of great ideas for decluttering your home and office in my ebook, Burn Your House Down!

book cover - BYHD

9 Plus Ways to Stop Wasting Food — Get Organized!

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse, Kitchen No Comments »

food-milk-products.gif

  • Americans throw out about 14% of the groceries we buy.
  • In the UK, it’s estimated that 8 billion pounds worth of food goes to waste, which equates to a third of total purchases.

And in your household? Those are scary stats that are echoed in many other countries around the world.

People complain about rising food costs, yet waste food daily. Does that make sense?

And, did you know that, unless you are feeding your food waste directly to animals or composting it, all trashed food typically ends up on landfills thus producing the greenhouse gas methane, on top of all the damage and landfill that the excess packaging and transporting causes?

I’ll add another problem here — we’re teaching another generation to waste, to not be efficient and to care be oblivious about how their daily patterns and habits affect themselves and others. We can change, and we can be better teachers and stewards starting today.

Here are keys to become more conscious and more organized for ourselves, and a better steward to our very cool planet, while saving money! How great is that?!

9 Plus Ways to Stop Wasting Food

1. Inventory, Declutter and Organize What You Have — What’s in your cupboards? Fridge? Freezer? Pantry? We tend to buy more and waste food because we don’t know what we have to begin with. Get a notepad and take stock of what you have. Categories will include: meats, veggies, fruit, dairy, prepared meals, canned foods, etc.  While you’re taking your inventory you may of course be tossing some things as you’ll find you forgot something in the back and it’s rotten, rancid or growing parts unintended!

TIP:  From your inventory, don’t buy another thing until you plan meals from what you already have that needs to be used up, especially opened products and fresh fruit/veggies.

2. Use Grocery Stocker Techniques — Move perishable foods, like dairy products with the nearest expiration date and leftovers to the front of the fridge and cabinets, store the newer items behind the older ones. Use labeling to mark containers for all to see when it was cooked, when it should be used by, etc. to help out too. (No, you don’t need a fancy labeler for this! Just a piece of scratch paper taped to the side or top of the container is fine!)

TIP:  Perishables can be repurposed! If you have strawberries, bananas, etc. that are just not going to get eaten soon enough, including bread, rolls and leftovers, put into zipper bags and freezer suitable containers and freeze. Use fruit and veggies in smoothies later! Breads can be used anytime for anything again.

3. Use Your Inventory for Your Shopping List — Place your inventory notepad on the fridge with a list of the basics in your categories. Scratch off items as you use them (keeping you from overbuying).

4. Buy Realistic Quantities — Don’t bulk buy when there’s no way you and your family, which may have dwindled over the past year or more, can possibly eat. You are NOT saving money!

5. Cook Realistic Quantities — Don’t cook for eight when there’s only two or three of you. You don’t need the leftovers or calories. Or, if you’re really into leftovers, great! (I like leftovers!) But then make sure to a) plan to eat them soon and, or b) freeze them – with a label!

6. Plan Ahead — Not only on your food list, but meal plan as well. With a meal plan you know exactly what you need and are not buying haphazardly.

7. Food Shopping Tips

a) Don’t shop on an empty stomach – you’ll tend to buy more and items you normally wouldn’t “crave” or impulse buy.

b) Shop more often and buy less – you’ll buy and eat the food more quickly and consciously in a plan, leaving less opportunity to find that later in the week you don’t want that great selection anymore and it’s decaying every second.

c) Buy only what you will definitely eat – you know what your eating habits are, you know what you really like and don’t like, buy accordingly. If yours is not a great diet then make only one change a week and eat it right away before you fall back into your old patterns and it rots one more time.

d) Set a budget – a budget in any area of our spending life limits our unconscious spending. Thinking through your purchases is not a sign of poverty or confusion, it’s a sign of discernment and healthy decision making for what you really want and need.

8.  Use Your Freezer — There are very few foods that can’t be frozen for future thaw and use. Buy extra meat (getting a better price), split it up and freeze it right away for future use. Break apart loaves of sliced bread and freeze 3-4 pieces in a baggy to use when you’re ready. Be sure to regularly review your freezer contents and LABEL them so as not to risk freezer burn creating more wasted food!

9.  Eating Out Tips — When you know you’re going to eat out, carry a “doggy bag” with you. I do! I keep some in my car all the time “just in case” too. Why waste more containers and bags to the landfill for a small leftover when you can take in your own zipper bag, plastic or glass container in which to haul it back home for another great meal? Restaurants overfeed us, but we can make a meal or two more out of it saving money and enjoying it again, while keeping food and packaging trash from the landfill. You can also NOT biggie-size your orders and ask for 1/2 orders.

Bottom line? Food is a wonderful thing and how nice to have so many choices! Enjoy it while being organized and efficient with it.

Bon appetit!

book cover - It's in the Bag - Food Storage
Find some good answers here too:

It’s in the Bag a New Approach to Food Storage 

Tips for Safe Thanksgiving

Health and Medical, Holiday Organizing All Year Round, Kitchen, Safety and Security No Comments »

Too many things can go wrong around the holidays from food going bad or not being fully cooked, lots of people in the kitchen and the stove not being attended to by one or fires from candles and early holiday decorating.

Some basic tips are:

  1. Plan ahead.
  2. Play attention.
  3. Enjoy.

American Family Insurance has a simple list of reminders to keep us on top of unnecessary disasters at Thanksgiving. CLICK HERE to read.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

Carved Watermelon Fruit Basket – Have Fun This Summer!

Cool Ideas, Health and Medical, Kitchen No Comments »

Carving a watermelon into a fruitbasket was always fun for me to do. I always got compliments on my creative job, but wow, these are all sooo awesome!

Gather up yummy fresh summer fruit, carve up a watermelon and have some fun! YUM!

Or, carve an animal!

Or, just use the outside for a canvas! AWESOME, eh?

Go ahead, play with your food! 🙂

 

Organize Your Pantry With These Cool Labels – Free to Download

Kitchen, Products, Services, Free Stuff & Referrals, Stress Management, Time and Money Management No Comments »

How lovely to have a pantry organized and all containers labeled.

Stop wasting time and getting stressed because you can’t find what you want when you want it.

CLICK HERE to find these lovely labels and print to use for yourself!

10 Most Impressive College Farmers Markets

Health and Medical, Kitchen No Comments »

10 Most Impressive College Farmers Markets

I’m so glad that colleges are doing farmers markets too!

Go to BestCollegesOnline.com and find out more about each of these great farmers markets and colleges!

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