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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How To Stop Organizing And Re-Organizing The Same Things Over and Over Again

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

DV IMAGE

Do you find yourself organizing and re-organizing the same things over and over again? That can be very frustrating, time consuming and stressful.

So, why is this happening?

I’ve worked with clients over several years and have walked into the same issues each in the same areas.

Why?

Here’s a list of reasons it happens to them, and possible reasons it keeps happening to you too.

1) Not taking the time to put stuff away.

2) The system is not working any more.

3) You’re not using the system.

4) Got a new system that doesn’t work, or was never put together or installed completely.

5) Too much stuff.

6) Indecisive about what you really want so don’t cull out what you don’t want.

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK AGAIN

Using systems that work, that are functional, sturdy and durable, that you like and even “love” will save you time and stress.

Let’s look at how to make your systems and space work for you again and stop the insanity! 🙂

1)  If your original system (shelving, tubs, containers, drawers, etc.) will work, you just need to work it. Take the time to reorganize one area at a time and plan to maintain it ongoing.

2) If your system is not working, or you don’t “love it”, then figure out why it doesn’t work and see if you can adjust it or find a new one to replace it.

REMINDER: I always teach the 80/20 Rule. If your system works 80% of the time well, then keep it. That’s really good. You’ll most likely never find one that works 100% for you and waste time and money trying to find one.

3)  Too many categories crammed into one area.

Makes sense, right? You can only get so much in one space before it overflows. If it’s constantly messy or hard to work with, you’ll stop trying and start piling. That’s a bad thing.

4) Your system is cheap, broken, parts missing, wobbling, cracked or otherwise less than wonderfully functional, it’s time to replace it. Spend the extra money, one system at time, and get good products that will work and last a long time.

LET’S TALK IF YOU NEED MORE HELP

I’d love to see photos of your frustrating areas where I can offer ideas for change. Schedule a one-on-one phone session with me today and let’s get that stress and mess out of your way!

Scroll down to #4 Organizing Consultation by Telephone on this link to pay for an hour session. We’ll can get a ton done!

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When, Why And Why Not To Use A Self-Storage Unit

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Disaster and Preparation, Sorting, Storage, Stress Management, Time and Money Management No Comments »

org - storage units

During our recent, devastating and historic floods in northern Colorado, over 20,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. Not included in this number were self-storage units, lined up like horse-race gates waiting for nervous horses to jump out and race down the track. Unfortunately, thousands of dollars of short and long-kept items and memorabilia, in paid storage, were lost to the rushing waters.

FLOODING_STORAGE
Amber Genova, of Spring Gulch, a neighborhood near Lyons, CO removes flood damaged belongings while clearing out her storage unit, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, at Storage West Self Storage in Longmont. The Genova’s home near Lyons was not damaged by the flood. (Matthew Jonas/Times-Call Newspaper)

WHEN, WHY AND WHY NOT USE A SELF-STORAGE UNIT

When is a good time to use storage facilities? Sometimes the answer is never, but sometimes the answer makes sense.

Before you start making monthly payments on self storage space (on items you don’t remember you even have and for decades!), ask yourself:

1. Why do I need to keep it in the first place?

DECIDE: Sometimes people use “storage” as a way to ignore items and put off decisions on what to do with their, or other’s, stuff and things.

Ask yourself, “If my house burned down, and this item was gone forever, would I even remember I’d had it or would I miss it?” If the answer is no, then just move it out now – donate, sell or give away.

EVERYTHING HAS A SHELF LIFE: Also, realize that some things, left too long in outdoor, non-controlled climate storage, don’t last that long. Rubber, plastic, wax, fabric, even wood changes, and not in a good way!

DON’T PACK YOUR EMOTIONS IN STORAGE: If you’re keeping it purely due to sentimental value, or emotions, maybe take a photo of it, but let the item go. Keep the photo, display it well to remember the memory.

So, if you reeeeeeeeally think you have to keep it, keep asking yourself more questions to decide.

2. Can I wait and just keep it in the basement or garage and make other decisions on it soon?

3. Is the cost–often $100 or more a month– justified for what I want to store?

Old furniture with little value, for example, can be replaced with new pieces for the cost of a year or two of self storage. If you have too much clutter in your home, consider getting rid of things rather than paying to keep clutter out of sight. However, self storage does make sense in certain circumstances.

4. Add up the numbers. How much will this have cost me in 12 months from now? Could I have used that money for something better?

GOOD REASONS TO USE SELF AND OTHER STORAGE UNITS FOR FEE

1. You’re Between Houses or Work Being Done

  • Sometimes people must move out of one place before their new permanent residence is ready.
  • Maybe the new house is under construction.
  • You don’t have time to shop for a house before relocating.
  • You have a small fire or water break in our home and need to be out for a while to have it repaired, carpets torn up, etc.

While temporarily living in a small apartment, a hotel or with friends or family, self storage is an option that allows you to keep your furniture and belongings during the transition.

2. Someone Dies, or a Settlement of an Estate

  • When there is a death in the family, sometimes the deceased’s belongings need to be stored while the Will and legalities are settled.
  • Sometimes the home simply needs to be emptied to sell or be passed down, and the contents need a temporary place to go.

3. You Have a Small Living Space

If you don’t have a garage, attic or basement, storage can be a legitimate issue, especially if you have sports equipment and other items that are only used seasonally. If you are a long-term dweller of a small apartment, condo or house, self storage may be a worth the cost for keeping things that are used every year, such as ski equipment, bikes, surfing gear and holiday decorations. Self storage may even be a necessity if you have big toys such as jet skis, ATVs, RVs, boats, snowmobiles and motorcycles.

4. You’re Trying to Sell Your Home

Staging is always a necessity when selling a home. So, when your home needs to look like a model home, that’s inviting and not too “lived in,” it’s recommended that the contents of your home are reduced to a bare minimum so the space looks open and uncluttered. Prospective buyers will be looking at the basement and garage, too, so a temporary solution is to box toys, knick-knacks and small appliances and stash them in a self storage unit.

SUMMARY

Sometimes storage units are helpful and maybe necessary. But really think it through so that you’re not just paying for nothing and dumping it all in the trash in years or decades to come, or worse yet, your stuff ends up on a TV show like Storage Wars and someone else makes money on it! That’s just kind of crazy!

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