Clearing the Clutter

kitchen cabinetWho likes to hunt?  I’m talking, in your own closets, pantry, cupboards and drawers?  Are these areas unorganized and filled with random stuff?  Is what you need, want, and use mixed in with a bunch of items you don’t need, don’t want, and don’t use?  Having to sift and hunt every time you’re looking for an item is a waste of time, not to mention stressful and frustrating.  Organizing these areas can help.  Organizing these areas can start with 3 important actions, separating, discarding, and removing.
Action #1 – Separating:
Separate what you need from what you don’t need.
Separate what you want from what you don’t want.
Separate what you use from what you don’t use.
Action #2 – Discarding:
Discard as much as you can from the don’t need, don’t want, don’t use piles.
Any remaining items should be given away or donated.
Action #3 – Removing:
Remove what you’re not CURRENTLY using from the need, want and use piles.
Now put the remainder of items back into your space in an organized way based on frequency of use.  Viola, no more hunting.

I understand this process is sometimes not as easy as it sounds, and that it is helpful to have assistance.  If you’d like my assistance, please email me to set up a complimentary consultation.  Another option is to attend one of my class on the subject.

© September 2013 Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer® All rights reserved.

NAPO

Proud member of NAPO

Closet Organizing

clothes hangersWhen I’m shopping, one thing that I find frustrating is looking through overstuffed clothes racks that are so tight you can’t slide the hangers, even an inch, to get a good look at what’s there.  Is this what it’s like in your closet at home?  Have you taken to not hanging up your clothes because you can’t possible squeeze anything else in?  If that’s the case, I’d recommend one workable organizing guideline, the one in, two out rule.  This means when you add a new item to your closet, you get rid of two unwanted items from your closet.  Unwanted items can be any clothing, footwear or accessories that no longer fit, flatter or suit your current style.  This one in, two out guideline will allow you to strategically un-stuff your closet over time.

Now that you’re removing unwanted items from your closet, what do you do with them?  Here are a few options:

Consignment:
Janet’s Consignment Boutique (women & men)
49 Belmont St., South Easton, MA 02375
508-238-1513
Blackbirds Consignment Shop (women)
401-353-2028
www.blackbirdsconsignment.com
Togs on Brook (women & men)
117 Brook St, Providence, RI 02906
401-274-1200

Donation Drop Off Sites:
Clothes To Go Clothing Pantry
20 Hoppin Hill Ave., North Attleboro, MA -2760
508-339-6040
Savers
1385 South Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA 02760
www.savers.com
Saint Vincent dePaul
173 Washington Street, Route 1, Plainville, MA 02762
www.svdpusa.org
The Goodwill Store
115 Washington Street, South Attleboro, MA 02703
www.goodwillmass.org

Pick up Charities:
Big Brother Big Sister Foundation
www.bbbsfoundation.org
800-483-5503
Salvation Army
www.salvationarmyusa.org
800-958-7825
Epilepsy Foundation
www.epilepsy.com
888-322-8209

 

© August 2013 Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer® All rights reserved.

NAPO

Proud member of NAPO

yard sale

Yard Sales

yard saleSelling what you no longer want or need is one way of bringing in a bit of extra cash, so long as you know what you’re in for.  Yard Sales are a lot of work.  If you want to give it a try here are my top 5 tips:

1.   Spread the Word – if no one comes, you won’t be selling a thing.  List your sale locally, both on line and in print.  Share the date with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.
2.  Price to sell – remember people are looking for bargains.  Group things together by price and have a colored sticker code.  This beats having to print up or write up price tickets.
3.   Get a permit – some towns require a yard sale permit.  You don’t want to have to pay a fine, if your town requires a permit, and you don’t have one.  Check with your town hall before you plan a yard sale.
4.  Donate after the sale – establish the rule that nothing from the sale goes back into the house or garage.  Instead pick a donation location before the sale and set up a pick up date or drop off date.
5.   Have cash on hand – make a trip to the bank before your sale so you’re prepared.  Only accept cash as payment, and have plenty of change and singles to make for smoother transactions.

© June 2013 Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer® All rights reserved.

NAPO

Proud member of NAPO

Donation Challenge – Part 4

donationsWe all tend to hold on to things for a variety of reasons, for example, it was a gift, it was passed on to me, it was expensive, etc.  In the end if we don’t use and value the items in our possession there is no valid reason to keep them.  I’ve summarized the items we donated to this worthy cause (H.O.P.E. Program of Boston Children’s Hospital) in the hope that it may motivate you to let go of things, or at the very least prompt you to look at the items in your space from a different perspective.

Summary of Items:

Origin:
Number of items donated that we originally received as a gift:  37
Number of items donated that were originally used by someone else:  18
Number of items donated that were originally purchased by us:  46

Usage:
Number of items donated that were never used by us:  41
Number of items donated that were used within the past five years:  28
Number of items donated that were not used within the past five years:  32

Reason:
Number of items donated that were given to us but we never used:  26
Number of items donated that were intended as gifts but never given:  7
Number of items donated that were purchased by us for our use, but never used:  13
Number of items donated that were used, but are no longer wanted or used:  55

© June 2013, Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer® All rights reserved

NAPO

Proud member of NAPO

Donation Challenge – Part 3

101#I was so energized and motivated from the removal of 50 unwanted, unneeded and unused items from our space, I wanted to challenge myself even more.  Could I reach the 100 item mark?  Yes, I decided to go for it.  Maybe, just maybe, I was getting carried away, but I will admit, I was having fun with it.  It was very liberating, allowing myself to donate items to a worthy cause (H.O.P.E. Program of Boston Children’s Hospital) while purging our space of items that were no longer important in our current lives.
Our list of donated items is printed below. It may prompt you to think of items that you have in your household that you could donate.  If that is the case, please share those items with me.

Items 51 & 52 =  two racket ball rackets, admitted we’d never use again
Item 53 =  new kids puzzle, decided not to wait to give as gift
Items 54 – 58 =  five new kids games, decided not to wait to give as gift
Item 59 =  travel size tweezer kit, never used
Item 60 =  small gravy boat, decided 2 is too many
Item 61 =  mini cookie cutters, gift, never used
Item 62 =  manual aerator tool, never used
Items 63 & 64 =  two large hooks, never used
Item 65 =  snowman table runner
Items 66 & 67 =  2 sets of cloth napkins & place-mats, gift, never used
Items 68 -71 =  four demitasse cups and saucers, already donated espresso maker
Items 72 =  soap dish, not being used
Item 73 =  container with pour spout, never used
Item 74 =  Holiday bowl, admitted we’d never use again
Item 75 & 76 =  Set of two holiday glasses, admitted we’d never use again
Item 77 =  LP albums, no player to listen to them
Item 78 =  set of 10 luau leis, admitted we’d never use again
Item 79 =  grass skirt, admitted I’d never use again
Item 80 =  set of 10 paper lanterns, admitted we’d never use again
Item 81 =  Aloha sign, admitted we’d never use again
Item 82 =  orange and black basket, not being used
Item 83 =  travel coffee mug, decided 5 is enough
Item 84 =  purple ice bucket,  decided 2 is enough
Item 85 =  bed dust ruffle, admitted we’d never use again
Item 86 7 87 =  small bowls, never used
Item 88 =  pewter milk pitcher, gift, never used
Item 89 =  pewter sugar bowl, gift, never used
Item 90 =  RedSox key chain bottle opener, decided 3 is enough
Item 92 & 93 =  two spreader knives, decided 4 is enough
Item 94 =  set of snowman stirrers, never used
Item 95 =  set of wine tags, gift, never used
Item 96 =  timer, decided 3 is enough
Item 97 =  rolling pin, admitted we’d never use again
Item 98 =  tiny whisk, too small
Item 99 =  bread knife, decided one is enough
Item 100 =  small sock coin purse, decided 3 is enough
Item 101 =  bag of Duplo toys

© June 2013, Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All rights reserved

NAPO

Proud member of NAPO

Yard Sale Details:  Saturday, June 22, 2013, 8:00AM to 2:00PM
North Attleboro, MA 02670
All Proceeds go to H.O.P.E Program at Boston Children’s Hospital