Here are a few ideas that are quick and easy!  Make your life easier--add more calm with the more decluttering and organizing you do!

--Unsubscribe from email lists that you don't need and simply drive you loony.  I bought something ONE time from a store in Maryland, and finally decided I needed to unsubscribe since they emailed constantly the following week! 

--Keep a fix-it list.  I like mine in my phone so I always have it with me.  That way, when I have time to do a quick job I can look at my list and maybe finally sew on those new buttons for my black jacket!

--Take 40 minutes to clear out and organize your freezer.  Take everything out and place it on a nearby counter.  Wipe out the inside as (if your is like mine) there will be plenty of crumbs!  Ditch what is too old, give away to a friend anything you don't like but others may, and then put back everything in categories.  I have all my veggies together, desserts in another area, main course items in another section, etc.  

--Dump out your make-up bag and ditch old or no longer used items and restock.  

--Take all the trash out of your car.  

Give these a try.  Let me know as you think of others.  I feel the calm entering my life already....



 
 
 
 
 
Recently WebMD had a great piece about decluttering, http://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-bust-your-clutter-hotspots

For example, they suggest putting up hooks and shelves to clear the clutter that accumulates so easily at the entryway to the home.  For an overstuffed pantry, they agree with me--purge through and discard items that are expired.  I like to add that donating NON-expired items to a food drive which you find and know you and your family won't use will also provide extra space as you reload the pantry in categories to make finding what you need easily.

With the mail flowing in each day,WebMD says to change to get as much possible online.  I pay all our bills online and love it.  I think there is more you can do in addition, as mail that keeps coming can easily create a huge pile even after only a week.  Be sure to sort and process it each day.  Open it over your trashcan and pitch anything you know you don't want/need.  The rest needs to get properly filed, whether it goes into bills to be paid or file for taxes.  Get it put into the home it needs and avoid a growing pile!  To get on the Do Not Mail list through the Direct Marketing Association, go to 
https://dmachoice.thedma.org/register.php

See the WebMD piece online to discover other ideas.  You will find renewed calm as the clutter moves out from your surroundings.  It is a great feeling!
 
 
Picture
I love what author Heidi Raschke learns from the book by Joshua Becker "The More of Less"

  • Live with the least amount of stuff that works for you
  • Minimizing looks different for everyone
  • Minimalism doesn’t have to be extreme
  • Owning less stuff is freeing
  • There is no right amount of stuff; “unneeded” is in the eye of the beholder
  • Organizing things is about hanging on to them; minimizing is the opposite of that
  • Focus on quality, not quantity
  • There’s joy in making giving a priority

 
 
 
 
In Heidi Raschke's article"The Great Decluttering Experiment" on nextavenue.org, she talks about her 30 days spent organizing her home using various books throughout as guidelines.  Naturally I found it very interesting.  

Almost all of us in the business of being Professional Organizers will tell you it is highly likely that in the process you will discover "found money" right in your home.  Ms Raschke was exceptionally surprised at what she found:

  • A $25 nail salon gift card in a stack of mail
  • Six one-dollar bills tucked into a children’s book
  • Punch cards worth a free pound of coffee beans at my neighborhood coffee shop
  • Punch cards worth a free latte
  • Punch cards worth a free lunch at that soup and sandwich place by my office
  • Punch cards worth a free loaf at Breadsmith
  • A $5 Target gift card
  • Several dollars’ worth of coins
  • And now a thousand dollars [in cash in the back of her lingerie drawer!]

Now, how is that for motivation to get started on YOUR decluttering!  And even better, calm enters your life as you are no longer feeling overwhelmed by STUFF!  Get going--no better time than the present!
 
 
 
Picture
Do you live in the Celebration area? If so, consider signing up for my class at Stetson University Lifelong Learning. Find out tips to get and stay organized!

 
 
According to Organzing U, where Professional Organizers many times turn for new ideas to share, the following are suggestions to stay organized throughout 2017, with comments from me in italics.  See if you can adopt these and get some results!


1. Create a routine.
Include organizing in your daily routine and soon enough keeping things neat will become a habit.  (Note from Steph:  Put it on your calendar!  That way you will have the time, even if it is only in small chunks of time--15 minutes can give you good results.)

2. Clean up as you go.
When you leave an area, or finish a project or task, clean up everything you’ve just used.

3. Make it easy to prevent clutter.
Keep boxes in the garage marked “give away” and “sell” that you can easily drop things into. (Note from Steph:  I like to keep a "give away" shopping bag right in my closet so if I put something on that doesn't fit any longer or just doesn't look great, I can drop in in my bag right there and then!)  Have numbers for charities that will pick up from your home in your contacts. Be sure every room has a trash can, including the laundry room and the garage.

4. Have systems to receive and corral the clutter that accumulates daily.
This includes folders or baskets where you open your mail and receive paperwork for: Financial- bills, receipts, account statements, paycheck stubs, etc. Children- permission slips, game schedules, notes, etc.
To File- if you are certain you will need a paper again  (Note from Steph:  Make time to file every few days so these don't just pile up and create more clutter!)
To Do- for mail that needs a response, bills to pay, questionnaires, invitations, etc. (Make sure you tackle the To Do basket every few days).

5. Sort mail directly over the trash or recycle bin.
Get rid of junk mail immediately.  (Note from Steph: You have heard this one from me before more than once!)

6. Deal with sentimental clutter.
Rotate photos on display periodically. Pack things away carefully to keep for posterity. If a sentimental item is large or bulky, consider taking a picture of it and saving the photo instead of the item.  (Note from Steph: Or, if it really no longer brings you great joy, small or large items, get rid of it.  It has served its purpose in the past and now you can make room for new memories!)

7. If something is broken, take it to be repaired, fix it yourself, or dispose of it.
Give it a month. It you don’t need it in that time, get rid of it. Be realistic.  (Note from Steph:  I put a post-it note on it with the date so I am sure when I have given myself the month.)

8. Do the dishes before you go to bed.

9. Have a place for everything.
Put things away when you first get home. Don’t let stuff accumulate in entryways and on kitchen counters.

10. One in, one out.
Make it a rule: when something new comes in, something has to go out.

11. Make the bed every morning.
This doesn’t really have anything to do with organizing, but it will make your space look neater.

12. File, don’t pile.
Take that extra few minutes to put those papers into their files or proper place and you won’t have a pile waiting for you next time.

13. Create an organizing playlist
Choose a few songs that will get and keep you motivated.

14. Take 15 minutes a day.
Once you get organized, maintaining it should be quick and easy. Carve out 15 minutes a day to maintain your systems and you’ll stay organized and clutter-free!

15. Set a timer.
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re organizing. Set a time for your 15 minutes – or even 5! You’ll get a lot more done when you’re focused.

16. Reward yourself.
Don’t forget to carve out some time for you. Do something you enjoy, or sit back and relax in your organized space.

17. Get some help.
If you’re having trouble maintaining your organized systems, you may just be too busy. There are only so many hours in the day, after all. Enlist other family members, delegate tasks, or contact us. We can help with maintenance, too.




 
 
Sometimes we women (and maybe even some of you men!) buy clothing that we actually never end up wearing.  Why do we do that?

Many times it was because it was such a great sale we couldn't pass up a terrific buy.  In the end, that turned out to be a money WASTER!

If you find shortly after the purchase you really don't LOVE it, take it back.  But be careful...may stores have a no return policy on sale merchandise.  It is best not to buy it in the first place, so remember that in the future.  Have some sitting in your closet now?  Time to donate those!  Maybe there is someone out there that would truly LOVE it!  And--shop smarter in the future. 
 
 
Picture
Having extra batteries around is a great idea.  But you need to stored them correctly in order to be sure they are ready for use when you are ready for them!  According to the experts, do NOT keep them in the refrigerator, as condensation can cause damage.  Instead, keep them in their original container or rubber banded with all positive ends pointing the same way.  Or put them in a plastic bag and keep them away from metal objects like your keys, which could cause electrical shorting.