Tag Archive for: organizing tips

Best way to decided about clothes

Organizing tipThe cool weather of fall is upon us. It’s time to reintroduce sweaters and corduroy pants into our wardrobe. A great way to decided if you’d like to keep the summer clothes you’re packing away is to describe them. Limit your description to one or two adjectives per item. For example, hold up a summer dress and say, ” You’re colorful and fun. I’ll keep you.” or “You’re drab and dated. You must go.”

Try it and let me know if it works for you.

Could you find me a spoon?

Organizing tipIf you invited me into your home could you find me a spoon? Of course, but what about a postage stamp, last year’s W2 form or tweezers? Are those things stored in a place that is easy to locate? Having a designated spot for things is the guiding principle of organization. So, treat every item as if it were a spoon and give it a designated storage spot.

 

 

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.

Experiment Living with Less

We are all consumers. We live in a society that values possessions. Our world economy relies on us spending our money on stuff. But does that stuff accumulate too fast and take on a life of its own? Do we end up with too much? Does the volume of things make organizing them stressful and difficult? Are you looking for way to get off the hamster wheel?

Experiment living with less. There are several ways we can accomplish this. Here are a few experiments to try.

  • Pack up half of your pots and pans. Date the box and put it in the basement for 3 months. Document how many times you retrieve something from it. Consider donating what doesn’t get retrieved. If you like this experiment do it with linens, toiletries, and kitchen gadgets.
  • Pack up all your CDs and DVDs and seal the box. Only take one out of the box when you really want to listen to it or watch it. After 6 months see how many are still in the box and decide whether you’d like to keep them. If you like this experiment do it with clothes, books, and serving dishes.
  • Establish a maximum number for certain possessions and reduce down to that number. You can find examples of a few numbers I suggest at Organizing with a Maximum Number. If you like this experiment do it with shoes, food storage containers, and coffee mugs.
  • Set up a temporary shopping ban for one month, or longer. Only purchase the absolute essentials, food, toilet paper, medications and the like. Keep a list of all the things you wanted to buy and the items that tempted you. At the end of the month share with me your insights.
  • Play the Minimalist Game. It’s interesting and challenging. When I played with my husband, we learned a lot about our relationship to stuff.stuff to donate

The less we have the less we have to organize and maintain. Try one or more of the experiments listed above and see what results you get. You may be pleasantly surprised and more organized.

©July 2021  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer,  All Rights Reserved

Borrow Stuff

Organizing tipBorrow instead of buy. The concept of borrowing doesn’t only apply to library books. I often borrow my sister’s sewing machine and my friend’s garden tools. This allows me use of these items without having to store, organize, or maintain them. This tip works best if it’s for something you use occasionally. If you use a small item more than four times a year it’s worth owning.  A larger item requires more usage before being worthy of purchase.