Tag Archives: Organizing

10 Lifestyle Guidelines for Trimming Down Your Clutter

1. If you are looking for something and you are unable to find it immediately, unclutter the area surrounding that object as soon as possible.

2. Ask your family or housemates to help you declutter and rearrange your home in a more organized fashion. The more buy-ins you have from others using your space, the easier it will be to maintain your new systems!

3. If you can no longer see the surface on your counters or tabletop, it’s time to clean up your act and ditch the muck!

4. Set up a particular area for the items that you use daily – install hooks to serve as key holders, a bin for magazines, etc.

5. Make it a habit to clean up and stow random objects from your living room before you go bed each night.

6. Be uncompromising.  Throw out papers, such as newspapers, magazines and useless mail every week.

7. Create a list of household essentials and hang it on the inside of your pantry door. Checkmark the items when you run out. This will let you see at a glance what you have on hand and what you need to restock during the next shopping expedition.

8. Set a regular schedule to rid the house of unnecessary objects such as dead batteries, dried-up pens, burnt out lightbulbs and other garbage. Make it a point to find the locations nearby your home that recycle those items.

9. Do not be sentimental on things! Donate or trash items if you are no longer using them.

10. Set up a donation box somewhere in your home where it can  live permanently. Place it in an easily accesible location and add  to it every time you run across something that you no longer need, love or use.

Find your closest donation facility and go there every month to empty your box. Getting rid of at least one box per month will make a big difference in your lifestyle!

According the the US Soap and Laundry Association, clearing your clutter will save you 42% more time cleaning your house. How’s that for a bit of motivation?

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Daily tip #8: Internal conflict creates external clutter

Sometimes clutter can be an indicator that the person wants to retreat from the world or even a relationship. After all, if the house is too cluttered, friends cannot come to visit.

If the person who is in charge of cleaning the house lets it go, perhaps they are hoping that the person they share the house with will go as well.

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Daily tip #7: Let go of the past

Here is another ‘clutter versus change’ scenario to ponder. Sometimes people hold onto possessions they no longer use because it reminds them of times gone by when they were in a happier state of mind or life circumstance.

I have noticed that when my clients are surrounded with objects from the past, they have a hard time being in the present moment. This makes it difficult for them to be open and spontaneous to creating new and happy experiences.

The more clutter you have, the less you are able to be in the present moment and grab the good times as they happen.

Here’s a bonus to get you moving towards a clutter free home. Did you know that simply getting rid of clutter in your home can save you 40% of your cleaning time?

Click here for more information on how being organized and ditching old items can make you healthier…

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Daily tip #5: Confront the cause of your clutter.

There are many hidden reasons why people have cluttered surroundings. It could be that they are avoiding something, and I don’t necessarily mean housework!

Bills and statements could be piling up because they don’t want to confront their financial woes.

Many people have the idea that if they do get on top of their bills once and for all, they will see how dire their financial situation really is. The good news is that when you organize your finances, you are two steps closer to taking control and avoiding late fees and rebuilding a potentially poor credit rating. 

Click here for more tips on organizing your finances…

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Daily tip #4: Stop paper clutter from entering your home

Here’s a staggering statistic: The average disorganized home contains over 3000 documents. Papers often enter your home without effort. Come rain or sleet or hail or shine, the mailman always delivers. Maybe this is the year that you should unsubscribe from all of those pesky mailing lists, unread magazine subscriptions or perhaps even sign up for paperless online bill paying.

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Daily tip #3: Switch to Online Banking and Turn off the Paper

Here’s tip #3 for 2015. Ditch the paper bills and take advantage of online access to your banking information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- no mailing or filing necessary! 

If you have been meaning to convert to online banking, make it a priority this month. You will save boatloads of time and money by taking control of your finances and becoming proactive with your bank account!

While you are at it, turn off the related paper bills. Save the trees and save your clutter! If you do implement online banking, make sure to download and save your financial statements onto your computer hard drive or onto some type of cloud software like Dropbox so that you can access it years later if necessary.

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Planning and Organizing a New Years Party


Dear Kathi,

I am planning a party this New Year and would like to hear some suggestions on how to prepare ahead. I hate being bogged down at the last minute. Thanks for your help.

Glenn, San Marcos

Glenn,

You can make your last day of the year fantastic by preparing for your party days in advance.

Stock up on all your party snacks and drinks several days ahead of time. You don’t have to worry about cooking; most items can be store bought.
Light snacks, cocktails, or finger foods are the way to go on New Year’s Eve, as opposed to a sit-down dinner. This will give people the opportunity to mingle with others, without restricting them the dinner table.
Arrange all your food onto platters the day before and then cover them with aluminum foil and place them in the fridge until party time.

Make sure you have a nice selection of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Have hot coffee on hand for those guests who are the designated drivers. Explore the transportation options ahead of time and compile a list of transportation phone numbers. Hang this list by your front door.

Include plenty of ice (at least a pound per person), glasses (at least two per person or you’ll be washing glasses all night), cocktail napkins, and backups of everything (hidden in the kitchen or under the bar)
Because this is typically considered the biggest party of the year, it wouldn’t hurt to have ibuprofen and aspirin on the food table to take care of all those “Oh, my aching head” complaints. Tums wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

If there’s ever a night for champagne, this is it. Make sure you have some bubbly to cork open when the clock strikes twelve. Also, make sure to have champagne flutes, or at least wine glasses handy.
Arrange to rent a large screen television at least one week in advance.
(if you don’t have one) to show the Times Square New Years Ball drop.

Decorate your home with streamers in black, white and silver the day before the party. Order balloons in advance from the local party supply store and pick them up the morning of your party along with the extra ice you will need. Other party favors to consider are; party hats, confetti, horns, noisemakers, and tiaras.

Organize a buffet table the night before, and arrange cutlery, plates, and cups on the table leaving space for the food platters. Use paper cups, plates, and plastic cutlery to avoid things from breaking and to avoid having to do the dishes the morning-after.
Select the music you will play a few days in advance of your party and program it into your system or burn a few CD’s. Your play list should include dance, dance, and more dance, and some slow music for when things get mellow.

A really cool thing to do during your party is to ask each friend to write a letter that describes his or her personal wish for the coming year and seal it in a self-addressed envelope. Write this task into your schedule now and store these cards with your holiday decorations. Next year they will magically appear at the right time and ready to mail! Then surprise your friends by mailing the letters the next Christmas or New Year’s.
This special treat only requires a few envelopes, paper and pens gathered in advance and grouped into a basket. Many of your friends will meet or exceed their goals next year and you will be amazed at the many thank-you calls and stories that come back to you from the letters!
You want to be jolly and jubilant when guests arrive, so plan your prep time and menu around your available time and budget. Relax and realize that even if you serve Mexican take-out, your guests will know they’re part of something memorable.

Have a great New Year’s, party like it’s 1999, and remember, don’t let others drive home drunk.

Kathi is a professional organizer, image consultant and event planner based in San Diego California.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com
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Helping Kids Learn Organizing Skills is a Worthwhile Endeavor

Helping Kids Learn Organizing Skills is a Worthwhile Endeavor

One of my readers seems to be at her wits end trying to keep her son from tossing everything on the floor. She was so tired of the constant chaos that she wrote to me for help. This is her situation and my recommendations:

Dear Kathi,

I am a subscriber to Add Space to Your Life and enjoy reading and seeing people’s lives change by simply getting organized.

Well, my question involves my son.  He is 8.5 years old and is the most disorganized child I’ve ever known, he keeps everything and most of it gets left on the floor or stuffed in a drawer.  It drives me crazy and I need some suggestions. 

He has school papers, books, toys, art/craft items, etc.

What we have in place (more…)

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Tips for Decluttering Your Life and Your Home

Tips for Decluttering Your Life and Your Home

I recently received a question from an addSpace follower. I am certain that many of you also have a similar concern so I wanted to go into detail and provide practical steps to help you declutter your life. This is what she asked:

What questions can I ask myself as I sort through boxes of “stuff” in order to get rid of most of it?

The answer:

For starters, if these boxes have been packed and loaded for a long period of time (over 3 months), before you open them you need to ask yourself – “what exactly is in there?

If you don’t have a (more…)

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Organizing time for the holidays

Time

Time is our most precious resource. We all have the same amount and although it can never be replaced, it can be optimized. During this busy holiday season it is especially important that you prioritize your list of tasks at the beginning of each week and also each day.

Begin by recognizing your daily energy peaks and surges. Use your biological rhythms to your advantage. Identify the times of day when your energy levels are high and schedule your most important tasks at those times. For example, if you don’t function well in the morning, plan your brain-intensive activities for late afternoon and use the morning for errands or follow-up phone calls. After you determine your most productive hours, you can begin to tackle your scheduling issues.

To accomplish more each day, never do errands on impulse. Plan your routes carefully, handling as many errands as possible each time. The sequence in which you perform tasks on an everyday basis has a profound effect on how much you accomplish in life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, every minute that you spend planning your day will save you three – five minutes later. I Minute Planning = 3-5 Minutes Extra! Abraham Lincoln stated that every one hour of preparation saved him three hours of perspiration. Are you ready to change your habits to have more free time?

The very act of taking a moment to think about your time before you begin your day will improve your time management skills dramatically. Take for instance, you need to run several errands and make several stops today. If you think before you drive and consolidate your trip into zones, you will save gas, time and money. You can cross off each errand on a well-thought out route planned to avoid traffic and back-tracking.

Chunking tasks into similar activities will also help you optimize your schedule. Double up on certain tasks. Do small tasks simultaneously, such as sorting through mail while you are talking on the phone or answering emails while eating lunch.

Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to do everything on your list. As you go about your day, you might decide to push a low priority item onto a future day’s schedule. Timelines will also reposition activities of lower priority to activities of higher priority as you near deadlines.

Diligence and flexibility will help you reshuffle your priorities as necessary. The best schedule is one that is fluid and able to seize the golden opportunities as they present themselves.

These tips will help cross off everything on your list quickly and still give you time to relax and enjoy the holidays! Kathi is a Professional Organizer, image Consultant based in San Diego California.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com

San Diego Professional Organizer

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