The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
by Marie Kondo

This book has unexpectedly become a huge bestseller.  So much so that our local library is swamped with requests and ordered additional copies which the publisher cannot satisfy until there is a next printing of the book!  Although there are plenty of processes which Ms. Kondo promotes which I don't agree with, I do agree that it can be life-changing indeed to declutter and instead live in a place of calm and order.  If you have read it, share with me your thoughts, as I would very much like to hear what others think!
Remember in purging your closet of clothes you no longer wear that you are getting more than extra closet space as well as the great satisfaction and calm from decluttering.  You are also getting that "warm fuzzy" that comes with donating clothing to your favorite needy charity.  Here in Central Florida there are lots of opportunities to give.  Check in your area and you'll find the same need there!

When purchasing paint, have the store print two labels.  One will go on the can, as  usual, but put the other on the back inside of the light switch plate of that room so you can know the exact details when it comes time to do touch ups or repaint.  Wish I had known this when I last repainted...
Are you here in Central Florida?  If so, please note that expired or unused medications can be dropped off at the Kissimmee Police Dept. at 8 North Stewart Ave from 8-5 Monday thru Friday.  They don't take needles or liquids.

It is a good idea to keep your medicine cabinet free of unused drugs.  Decluttering a small area like this is easy.  This is a great time to clear yours out.  If you are not in the Central Florida are, contact your local police at their non-emergency number and see if your area offers the same service as in Kissimmee.  

So, is it really a bargain when you purchase something you don't need?  And what about that tee-shirt from your older sister?  Do you need that?  Remember in purchasing things or accepting hand-me-downs that they need to also meet the criteria of non-clutter--either serving a purpose or bringing you great joy.  And, if you have 30 tee-shirts already, a 31st isn't serving a purpose.  Say no politely and let it go to someone that can really use it.  
Remember that we all have time for what we choose to find time for--today find time to organize!  Doing so adds calm to your life.  Purging gives you more space so you don't feel overwhelmed.  Start with small places where you can see results quickly, which gives encouragement to keep going!  You are giving yourself a well earned gift as you do so!  Don't we all love calm in our lives?
The Washington Post had a terrific article about replacing stress and chaos in your life with calm, simply by getting organized.  They had four suggestions in the article.  They are listed here with my comments.

1.  STEP OUTSIDE THE CHAOS  As we have discussed, you need to have a vision of the life you want.  You want to know where you are going before you begin.  Close your eyes and imagine your home without clutter, and organization instead in its place.

2.  DO IT NOW  Alexandra Hughes, of In Essence coaching in Alexandria VA, said "Decluttering space may be the first step in decluttering one's time and mind."  So with decluttering, you not only free up more closet space, take a tax donation for items donated to charity, bring joy to friends that you pass along unneeded items, but you also get the calm of your mind to make better use of your time.

3.  REFINE HOUSEHOLD SYSTEMS  I like using my phone for all my appointments, even if they are with myself.  Today I had an appointment noted for writing this blog entry.  With my calendar in my phone, it allows me to have my schedule always with me, adjust them when an emergency arises and keep on track.  I combine errands this way and stick to  my lists.  It makes life simpler and relaxes what could otherwise be a day of chaos. 

4.  TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF  As the flight attendants tell us, please secure your mask before that of your child, we know that without giving time to ourselves for a bubble bath, a manicure, time to listen quietly to a podcast, reading a good book, sitting on the porch and enjoying the sunshine or just petting your cat, these times for ourselves are very important.  Be sure to schedule those times in.

Think also of the happiness you will bring others in your home when they live with a calmer, happier YOU!
Just a reminder:  Clutter is anything that does not serve a purpose or bring you great joy.  Look around you--I bet there is clutter that  you can take of right now.  Pass along to someone that can use it, donate it or ditch.  Getting decluttered brings calm to your life!
When organizing the garage, I like to use uniform boxes on shelves which are easy to access and can be clearly marked. Be sure to purge thru while sorting so that any items no longer needed are passed along or ditched.  As with all organizing, like items should be stored together.   

Do you have family heirlooms you no longer want but don't know what to do with?  How about passing along to younger family members now?  Remember with very high value items to speak to your tax specialist to determine tax consequences.