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Organizing in the New Year

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Side Notes:

***   Did you know that January is Get Organized Month? What will you organize this month? Please share with me.

*** February is the start of my spring  class schedule. You can obtain more details on my website. Hope to see you in class.
***  Question:  What is the toughest thing for you to get rid of? Books? Clothes? Shoes?  Please share  your answer.

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Hi  ,

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that it is the end of January already, but I hope 2017 has gotten off to a GREAT start for you. Someone shared this nice idea with me, and I want to share it with you. It suggests you write down good things that happen throughout the year, and put them in a jar. At the end of the year, read and remember all the awesome things that happened in 2017. I think this is a wonderful idea, but I’d like to recommend a twist. Write down organizing projects you tackle this year, and see how accomplished you are at the end of the year. A second twist is to write down all the items you donate and give away. At the end of the year you can reward yourself for giving to those in need. Whatever 2017 holds for you, , I hope your jar is stuffed with wonderful memories, meaningful accomplishments, and good deeds.

Do you make new year’s resolutions?

I do, and I’d like to share one of my 2017 resolutions with you. It is to clean up my Email files. Here is how I’m going to tackle this:

  1. Schedule 20 minutes a week to work on this project.
  2. Clean up one Email folder at a time, and leave my inbox folder for last. I have several Email folders based on the topic of the Email; for example, one for the National Association of Professional Organizers, one for classes I teach, one for bills I pay on line, and other categories like that.
  3. Be ruthless about purging Emails, and only save what I’ll refer to again.
  4. On my scheduled Email-clean-up-day, set a timer and work without interruption until my time is up.
  5. Keep track of what I’ve done; so I can make efficient progress.
  6. Reward myself with 10 minutes of computer-play-time at the end of each work session.
FYI: The above 6 step process can be used to tackle other organizing projects as well. Give it a try and see how it works for you.

Recycle Resource

Finding new ways to recycle, for myself and my clients, makes me happy. Everyone is more motivated to get rid of something when they know it is going to someone who will really use it.

This is why I was happy to find Bay State Textiles. They work with schools through their School Box Program. They share information on economic and environmental aspects of textile reuse, and then place a donation box outside the school. The box is serviced weekly, and a rebate check is given to the school, based on the weight of donations. They accept any type of textile, even stuffed animals and stained items, as long as they are clean and dry. How convenient is that? Please donate. You’ll be helping your local school and a worthwhile organization.

From,

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
(508)-699-6652
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If you’ve worked with me in any capacity, I’d be grateful for a review.  Simply click on this link and answer 3 questions.  Thank you and happy organizing!
Basement organizing project

Do you Reduce?

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Side Notes:

***   I have one more classe in my fall line up. You can obtain more details about this Clearing the Clutter Class on my website. I’ll be offering more classes in the spring. Hope to see you in class.

***  I’m happy to share that I’m the NAPO-New England Volunteer of the Month for my contributions as a Success Group leader, as a BCPO liaison, and for recommending SOWMA as the non-profit organization we helped through our LET’S GO campaign.logosqr.

***  Question:  Do you pay for off site storage? Please share  your answer.
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Hi  Janine,

 The splendor of autumn is upon us, and I’m enjoying nature’s colorful display, but we all know what comes next… gift-giving-season. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the holidays, and take great pleasure in giving, but I’m not enthusiastic about being pressured to buy more, and more, and more. Therefore, I give intangible gifts. I give experience, and I give consumable items. Here is a list of Organizer friendly gift ideas that I’d like to share. I hope you find it helpful.

 

Do you reduce?

Let’s face it. We live in a consumer based society. It’s fun to shop. It’s fun to give gifts. It’s fun to hunt and track down the best bargains. It is so easy to bring stuff into our homes, but it is much more difficult to get it out. So, what do you do with it all?A large part of organizing is getting rid of stuff we no longer need, want, or use. I call it reducing. When we reduce, we minimize what has to be organized, and we eliminate clutter. Therefore, getting rid of stuff (reducing) needs to happen often.

When I say often, I mean weekly. We take out the trash weekly. So, reduce at the same time. Set up a donation bin by the trash, and add to it weekly. Then once a month, or when the donation bin is full, donate the items. For a few suggestions on where to donate read the blog articles listed below and click here.

Related blog articles:

Share your thoughts on reducing

with me.

 

Recycle Resource

Finding new ways to recycle, for myself and my clients, makes me happy. Everyone is more motivated to get rid of something when they know it is going to someone who will really use it.

This is why I was happy to find that a Habitat for Humanities Re-Store was opening close to me in Attleboro, MA. They are a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public. They are located at 9 Washington Street, Attleboro, MA, and are open Tuesday through Saturday. Check them out.

 

Shoe Drive
I’ll be collecting shoe donations for Boston’s Dress for Success Shoe Drive. I’ll be collecting donations until November 13th.  Donated shoes need to be appropriate for women to wear to job interviews. Solid colored shoes are best. No open-toe shoes, slingbacks, mules, stilettos, or platforms. Call me to arrange for pick up, 508-699-6652. Thanks in advance for your support.
From,

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
(508)-699-6652
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If you’ve worked with me in any capacity, I’d be grateful for a review.  Simply click on this link and answer 3 questions.  Thank you and happy organizing!
one chair

Minimalism

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Side Notes:

***    Organizing class are starting in September. You can obtain more details on my website. If you’d like to attend a class please contact the class location directly. Hope to see you in class.
***   Want to know more about Minimalism? Learn from two experts, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus.
***  I’m looking forward to bringing the New England chapter of the National
Association of Professional Organizers to School on Wheels in August to volunteer.
***  Question:  What does minimalism mean to you? Please share  your answer.
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Hi  ,

The heat of summer is here. Guess who else is heating up? My inner minimalist is on fire. During the month of June I played the 30-Day Minimalist Game with my husband, and we were both winners.

What Does Minimalism Mean?

To me minimalism is the act of buying less, having less stuff, and getting rid of excess. After bringing the Minimalist Documentary to North Attleboro in May, my husband and I decided to see what it would be like to embrace minimalism. We decided to play the 30-Day Minimalism Game to see if we could get rid of as many things as the game encouraged us to. We also wanted to see how little we could spend in those same 30 days. We learned several things while we embraced minimalism.

First of all, we learned to look closely at all of the things in our space. Knowing that we were going to be getting rid of a lot of stuff, we looked at everything. We made decisions on things we hadn’t touched or used in years. There were several things we would not have thought about getting rid of if it wasn’t for the game. It’s so easy to get comfortable in our surroundings that we don’t realize how much we don’t use. Getting rid of this excess stuff made me happy.

Secondly, the game created some urgency to take action. We needed to fix things or get rid of them. So, things that had been waiting to be fixed for a while were fixed or gotten rid of. We needed to read or recycle. Papers that were waiting to be read needed to be read or recycled. Books that were piling up needed to be read or donated. We needed to mend or donate. Clothing that required some mending, needed to be fixed or donated. Getting rid of this stagnate stuff made me happy.

Finally, not making purchases for a month helped us realize we are lazy cooks. We would succumb to the temptation to eat out or get take out way too much. We’re too tired and there is nothing good in the house were common excuses. We decided to change this. We looked through our recipes and picked a bunch to try. We bought new food and ingredients in the grocery store. We’re still working on this, but I’m happy with our progress so far.

The 30 Day Minimalism Game was very interesting. I’d recommend that everyone give it a try. I’d be happy to talk with you more about our experiences. Here are a few more blog articles I’ve written on the topic.

A Paper Minimalist – Not
Stuff Be Gone

Share your thoughts on minimalism with me.

Recycle Resource

Finding new ways to recycle, for myself and my clients, makes me happy. Everyone is more motivated to get rid of something when they know it is going to someone who will really use it.

This is why I was especially happy to find a place to donate my unwanted craft items. The Craft Room recycles craft items. They use them in their classroom, sell them in their thrift store, and offer them for use in their workshop space. They accept paper, fabric, yarn, floral supplies, needlework, artist’s medium, and more. What an ingenious idea. Check out their website.

From,

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
(508)-699-6652
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If you’ve worked with me in any capacity, I’d be grateful for a review.  Simply click on this link and answer 3 questions.  Thank you and happy organizing!
clutter in basement

How to Tackle Clean Out Projects

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Side Notes:

***    Clearing the Clutter, and Closet and Wardrobe Organizing are the two classes that I have left in my spring line up. You can obtain more details on my website. If you’d like to attend a class please contact the class location directly. Hope to see you in class.
***   Are you curious about the Minimalist Movement? Join me at the movies for the Minimalist film on Tuesday, May 31st at 7:30PM. Details here.
***  The National
Association of Professional Organizers annual conference is in May in Atlanta, GA, and I’m going. Can’t wait!
***  Question:  What is your favorite room in your home, and why? Please share  your answer.
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Hi  ,

I look forward to spring every year. It makes me smile to see tiny new buds on the trees, pretty spring flowers in bloom, and hear the songbirds chirping. It also makes me smile when spring motivates people to tackle organizing and clean out projects.

How to Tackle a Clean Out Project

 

Do you have a clean out project that you want to tackle? To me, clean out projects are different than organizing projects, because the goal is to get rid of all the stuff that has been collecting in a storage area. It can be an attic that is overstuffed, a basement that you want to make into a usable space, or a shed that you can’t fit one more thing into?

Are you procrastinating? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the project? Are you not sure where or how to begin? I’d like to help you by sharing some tips on how to tackle a clean out project.

Clean Out Tips:
1. Make plans to set time aside to tackle your project. Recruit helpers. Think about how you want the space to look at the end of the project.
2. Schedule 3 hours of your time and treat it like a doctor’s appointment that can’t be rescheduled without a large fee. Stay focused and avoid distractions during your scheduled work time. If you need several, 3 hour time slots, plan ahead so you don’t get stuck with an unfinished project.
3. Start by sorting items into six different piles; keep, donate, recycle, sell, give/return, and trash. Use bins, bags, or sections of the space to sort items into. Label each pile clearly.
 4. Once everything is sorted tackle the keep pile. Organized what you are keeping by designating a specific home for all the items going back into the space.
5. Address all the other piles and schedule time to donate, recycle, sell, give/return, and trash the remaining items.
6. Compliment yourself on a job well done. Thank your helpers.
7. Schedule a follow up in this same space; 6 months is a good time frame.
8. Schedule your next clean out project.Share your clean out project results with me.

Recycle Resource

Finding new ways to recycle, for myself and my clients, makes me happy. Everyone is more motivated to get rid of something when they know it is going to someone who is truly in need.

Another incentive is when you know that you are helping local organizations in your own community. I visited
The Hometown Saver Store in North Attleboro for the first time this week. They are a new thrift store with an interesting twist. They give back a portion of their sales to 5 local organizations, North Attleboro Animal Shelter, Veterans of North Attleboro, Lenore’s Food Pantry, Council on Aging, and North Attleboro Schools. What an interesting concept.
They accept clothing, house hold items, books, electronics, toys, jewelry, furniture, and more. For more details visit their website. It’s a great time to do some spring cleaning, and support local organizations.
From,

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
(508)-699-6652
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If you’ve worked with me in any capacity, I’d be grateful for a review.  Simply click on this link and answer 3 questions.  Thank you and happy organizing!
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Remove Clutter

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Helpful Organizer Newsletter – January 2016
 

***    My spring class schedule is available on my website.  I’ll be teaching classes on the following topics,  Downsizing, Closet Organizing, Steps to Organizing, Controlling Clutter,  and Organizing Paper.  If you’d like to attend a class please contact the class location directly.
***   Two fun facts are that the New England chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, and the national association is celebrating its 31st.
 
***  Question:  Why is organizing important to you?
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Hi  Janine,

Thank you for helping me build, grow, and sustain my business. As I celebrate my 8th year as a Professional Organizer (January 2016), I am truly grateful for your support.  I feel very fortunate to be entering another year in a profession that allows me to use my expertise to help others.

Winter Organizing Projects

 

Now that the snow and cold temperatures have arrived it’s a good  time to tackle some indoor organizing projects, after all, January is Get Organized (GO) Month.  An organizing project that I like to do during the winter is remove clutter.  When I remove clutter from my filing system, it’s easier to use.  When I remove clutter from my closet, it’s easier to see my clothing options.  When I remove clutter from my desk area it’s a happier space in which to work.

One helpful way to remove clutter is to set a size or numerical goal before you begin.  For example, a size goal could be to fill a paper bag with files that need to be shredded, or to fill a trash bag with clothes that need to be donated.  A numerical goal could be to remove 20 items from your desk area.  Setting a goal helps give you focus during your project, and helps you know when you’ve succeeded.
One wonderful benefit of removing clutter is that you’ll spend less time on housework.  In fact, it’s been documented that getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40% of housework in the average home.

If you’d like a personal helper call me for a complimentary consultation at (508) 699-6652 or email me.  I’d be happy to help you.

Recycle Resource

Finding new ways to recycle, for myself and my clients, makes me happy.  Everyone is more motivated to get rid of something when they know it is going to someone who is truly in need.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?  What about boots?  Are you ready to pare down (pun intended)?  If you are, you can assist two local organizations at once.  Keep North Attleboro Beautiful and Attleboro Enterprises, Inc. have teamed up to recycle used shoes and boots.  The donated footwear will benefit those in need, raise money, and provide  job training skills.  You can read more about the endeavor in this newspaper article.

If you’d like to donate you can drop off your bundle of footwear at North Attleboro public schools, the North Attleboro Town Hall,  Northeast Roofing on Route 1, and with me.  I’m collecting donations for this worthy cause for the next 3 months.  You can call me at 508-699-6652 to schedule a drop off time.
From,

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
(508)-699-6652
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If you’ve worked with me in any capacity, I’d be grateful for a review.  Simply click on this link and answer 3 questions.  Thank you and happy organizing!