Back To School Organizing, Z to A

Over the weekend I made the mistake of going into Staples for some boxes I needed. As I should have anticipated, the store was overrun with back-to-school shoppers. As I waited in a very long line, I couldn’t help but notice how similar the stacks of new spiral notebooks I saw awaiting purchase resembled the stacks of used spiral notebooks I see in my clients’ basements and attics.


Is Your Organizing Funnel Upside-Down?

When you want to get organized, do you run out and buy organizing supplies? If so, odds are good, your organizing process is like an upside down funnel.
The best way to get organized, is to work from general to specific, in stages, as if you were filtering all your excess stuff through an imaginary funnel. When you’ve bought your organizing supplies first, however, it’s a bit like a doctor giving you a prescription without a diagnosis. You’re going from specific to general, down an upside-down funnel.


5 Places to Learn the Lesson of Less

Overwhelmed with too much stuff to do? Get rid of some stuff you own! Why? It comes down to this very simple rule:
The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to do. Here are five examples:


Don’t Bring a Trash Bag to a Clutter Fight

In the movie, The Untouchables, there is a scene where an assassin comes to kill the Sean Connery character, who (after a derogatory remark) notes that he has brought “a knife to a gun fight.” He then shoots the assassin. I am reminded of this scene, every time a client tells me “You wouldn’t believe how much I have already thrown out.” In the war on clutter, the trash bag is not the right weapon.


How to exercise your simplicity muscle

What, you didn’t know you had a simplicity muscle? It’s true! Don’t ask me to locate it, but it’s probably in the noggin. It’s the muscle that allows us to break down the most complicated projects into the simplest, manageable tasks. Professional organizers and minimalists have this muscle toned like a professional athlete’s leg muscles. Athletes may be naturally athletic, but most of their results come from exercising. You may not be naturally organized, but you can certainly exercise your simplicity muscle. Here’s how.


A New Theory on Tossing Old Clutter

There are a lot of reasons for why it is hard to toss our excess stuff, that I have discussed in this blog. For example, there’s clutter from the past that holds sentimental value and there’s clutter for the future that we might need “someday.” Today, however, I want to share a new theory on why we keep clutter, that I don’t believe has ever been addressed before. I call it the check register theory. Here it is.


Organizing Fairy Dust

In my last blog post, I gave some examples of the science of organizing. I explained that what we do is not magic, it’s science. This time, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the magical ideas I have encountered over the years about organizing and professional organizers. I call these ideas organizing fairy dust.


The Science of Organizing

Because my organizing team is able to consistently deliver such excellent results, many of our clients credit us with working magic. But it’s not magic, it’s not luck, and it’s not talent. It’s science.


Thinking Inside the Box

Thinking outside the box, of course, means thinking creatively outside of conventional constraints. I’d like to make a case for thinking inside the box. I’m not referring to a conceptual box, but an actual physical box. To be creative, you definitely want to think outside the conceptual box, but, to get organized, let’s get back to the box.


“I’m Too Creative To Be Organized!”

There are a lot of legitimate mental barriers to being organized, but being creative is not one of them. Sorry, I’m not buying it. Why do I say this? I say this because I’m creative. In fact, I am more naturally creative than I am organized. I’m not bragging. Put a spreadsheet in front of me and I’m an idiot. Back to creativity.

Knowing When You Have Too Much Stuff

Knowing When You Have Too Much Stuff A guest post from Jenny Young Jenny works at Uncle Bob’s Storage. Despite my efforts to avoid storage, I acknowledge that there are some times when it is unavoidable. Here is her perspective on “stuff.” How do you know when you have too much stuff? It’s usually after you actually have too much …


“You Wouldn’t Believe How Much I Have Already Thrown Out!”

I’m in my tenth year as a professional organizer and clients have told me this statement more than any other. You wouldn’t believe how many times people have told me, “You wouldn’t believe how much I have already thrown out!” First, I would. Second, it’s roughly the equivalent of a smoker telling me, “you wouldn’t believe how many times I quit smoking.” It’s irrelevant. Unless you analyze the reasons for the bad habit and develop a realistic plan for maintaining a good one, the bad habit will most likely return. Here are 7 tips to make your next decluttering efforts really count.


Travel the World or Pay Storage Company?

Self_storage_unitsI have always contended that outside storage can be a huge waste of money. I received this letter from a fellow blogger, who serves up a hefty helping of further evidence. Enjoy.


Do You Need a Clutter Broker?

I’ve just come to the realization that the job my team of organizers and I do is that of a clutter broker. What do I mean by this? Just as there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mortgage, there’s no thing as a one-size-fits-all clutter solution. A mortgage broker has the job of brokering the right mortgage to suit your needs and a professional organizer has the job of brokering the right balance of keep, toss, donate, and sell. Here’s how.


Getting Organized for 2014

Getting organized is a very popular New Year’s resolution, but like so many resolutions, it can be a very difficult one to keep, without some simple guidelines. Here are some simple guidelines.


What’s the Point of Crystal?

Can someone please explain the value of crystal to me? I just don’t get it. I see crystal in a lot in clients’ homes and it never represents anything good.