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Would you rather?

Would You Rather

Would you rather…

…wear a banana costume for a complete day (not on Halloween) or strategically remove all your clothes that don’t fit and flatter you?

…let go of 5 sentimental thing or let a tarantula crawl up your arm?

…thoroughly organize your junk drawer or jump off a high dive?

… have oral surgery or organize your kitchen cupboards?

…get rid of all your current tchotchkes or buy absolutely nothing for two whole weeks?

… wear a blindfold for a day or reduce your book collection by 50%?

…mow the lawn in your bathing suit or get rid of 10 items you’ve been holding onto for someday?

…donate 6 gifts you’ve received but don’t like, or shave your head?

…clear out and organize your file cabinet or tell your neighbors that you love them?

…spend $100.00 per month for a year on a storage unit or work with a Professional Organizer for 10 hours at a rate of $70.00 per hour?

 

So, what did you find out about yourself and your willingness to organize you spaces, places and stuff? I bet you realized that some decisions are easier than others. Please share your insights with me.

©September 2021   Janine Cavanaugh, CPO   All rights reserved

Most important question when deciding to keep

Organizing tipEditing our possessions annually is a healthy organizing practice. This helps us prevent clutter build up. When editing our belongings there is one question we can ask ourselves to help us decide weather to keep or not keep something. That question is, “Would I buy it again if I didn’t already own it?”. If the answer is ‘no’ then let the item go.

3 Reasons Why Containers are Important

Containers are very helpful organizing tools. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes.  A container can be a bin, basket, box, binder, shelf, drawer, tub, tray, rack, jar or bag. When organizing containers serve three basic purposes.

Containers help us hold like things.

File cabinet drawerHow many junk drawers do you have, and what’s inside them? Junk drawers are usually stuffed with a jumbled mess of random things, hence the name. Therefore, my recommendation is two small junk drawers per household, but that’s it. The rest of our drawers, and all the other containers in our home, need to be filled with items that belong together. For example, store all your tools in a tool box. Hold all your mending things in a sewing basket. Corral all your books on a bookcase. Put all your files in a file cabinet.  It’s easier to find things that way and easier to remember where they are. Items that belong together need to be stored together. Other examples of ready-made containers are tie rack, jewelry box, magazine rack, hamper, fishing tackle box, golf bag, shoe rack, toy box, knitting bag, and pot rack. I can list a bunch more, but I think you get the idea.

Containers help us create storage boundaries.

cosmetics organizedContainers create boundaries where there are none. They help us corral small items such as makeup, jewelry, crafts, snacks, and toiletries. Containers help divide drawers into sections. Which is great for organizing our junk drawers, by the way. Some examples are expandable cutlery trays, utensil trays,  jewelry organizers, craft bead bins, and sock organizers. Another way to create storage boundaries where we don’t have any is to use tape, paint or permanent marker. Create pie sections on our lazy Susan’s and label them as granola bars, cereal, oatmeal, etc. Create parking spaces for bikes in the garage by taping off sections and putting names on them. Tape off labeled sections on the floor of a coat closet for shoes and boots. Use the container to help create and maintain storage boundaries.

Containers provide storage guidelines.

photo albums on shelfThe container helps us see when we have enough. They give us a visual indication of when we have reached the container’s maximum capacity. Therefore reducing our chances of over-stuffing. However it’s important to stay within the limits of the container. If we allow items to spill out and create piles of stuff outside the container, we’re not following the storage guidelines. Once this happens we’re tempted to purchase another container and not use our existing container as a guide, but it’s much easier to maintain order when we don’t over-stuff. Practice the one-in-one-out rule when faced with the need to stay within the container limits.

©April 2021  Janine Cavanaugh, CPO  All Rights Reserved

Monthly de-cluttering challenge

Organizing tipAs we start the new year, (Happy 2021!) I’d like to invite you to participate in my monthly de-cluttering challenge. For the month of January, remove 10 things that you have in your home as a result of an impulsive purchase. Some examples of impulse buys are gifts that we never gave, cute items that have no purpose, and sale items we don’t use.

Please share your items with me, and I’ll add you to the Monthly de-cluttering challenge email list. You’ll get an email on the fist of every month prompting you to get rid of something from your home. At the end of 2021 your home will be more organized and less cluttered.

 

scary pumpkin

Organizing Tricks and Treats

In the spirit of October and Halloween I thought it would be fun to share some organizing tricks and treats. Are you wondering what I mean by that? It means I’ll be sharing some organizing tricks I personally use to help me stay organized on a daily basis, and I’ll be sharing the treats (benefits) I receive from staying organized. Here goes.

Tricks:

  • Have a “do it now” attitude. I don’t let things pile up and get out of control. I keep on top of clutter and mess. I do this by reclaiming order often. When I feel the need to reduce and de-clutter I tackle it quickly and thoroughly. It’s also crucial to have a place for things. If there is no designated spot to put things there is no way to establish and maintain order.
  • Look for simple solutions. I create as much order as I’m willing to maintain. For example I don’t color code* my clothes. To me that’s too much fuss. However, I group my clothing into categories and store them together. For example I hang all my tops together in this order, sleeveless, short sleeved,  3/4 length sleeves, and long sleeved tops.
  • Reduce down to manageable amounts. I constantly evaluate the usefulness of my belongings. We all have a tendency to keep things and come up with excuses for doing so, but I challenge myself to weed out the unused, unwanted, unneeded as often as I can.
  • Take time to plan. Have you heard the phrase, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Planning takes practice and discipline, but I work at it everyday. I plan daily tasks, my work week, my outfits, meals, shopping lists, exercise, and most importantly time for myself. This helps me get things done and prevents me from over-scheduling myself.

Treats:

  • Life without clutter. Don’t get me wrong, I have my piles and messes just like everyone else. However, I keep them to a manageable amount.
  • Less stress in my life because I’m organized. I can find what I want when I need it. Isn’t this what organizing is all about?
  • Ready for guests with just 15 minutes notice. When you have a home for things and don’t let the clutter get our of control it’s easy to pick up quickly.
  • An environment that is calm and peaceful.

*Color coding works great for some people, especially kids, but it’s one more additional step that I’m not willing to do.

©October 2020  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®   All rights reserved.