Recent posts

Are you storing obsolete technology equipment in your attic or basement?  If yes, you could be holding onto treasure or space grabbing junk!

It’s so funny to hear that saying that everything comes into vogue again in relationship to technology and it’s hard to believe in our fast-paced world of technology that it would apply but it sometimes does.  There are some people who like and miss the sound of the keyboards from the 80’s and they will pay for those keyboards, not many, but they are there if you wait.

There are also people who would like to own the colorful Macintosh’s so if you have that type of technology, pull it out and try to sell it or donate to a theater or local group who put on plays.  Let them store it and you will have the knowledge you helped someone out.

My guess is most of the technology you have stored are stored for a reason because it’s obsolete and you cannot use it so, recycle it.

Have your older storage drives, discs, tapes moved onto new technology if professionals can accomplish that for you.

The original faxes seemed to have disappearing ink so if you have very old faxed documents that you will need in the future have them saved onto a different technology before the ink fades.   Recycle the used fax paper that you no longer need but check about the shiny coated paper.

Continuously update all the data you have stored on technology as you replace it with new technology that way when you purchase new equipment, you’ll be prepared to recycle it instead of store it, saving you from a later headache.

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See that yellow bowl?  It means a lot to me!

The yellow coating is gone from the rim, it’s got some chips, and silver scrapes on the inside left behind from utensils.  Every time I reach for it to use for vegetables, salad, popcorn, fruit, I smile a BIG smile and feel a sense of joy.  The reason I smile so big is that it reminds me of family, friends and good times at the lake.   I think it was used at almost every supper at the lake!

Not long ago my brother was visiting and when I took it out, he asked if that was the bowl from the lake and my immediate thought was “Oh no, he’s not going to ask me for it is he?”.  I said “Yes”, and he said “Great”!  PHEW!  It was triggering happy memories for him as well.

“The lake” represents our family’s childhood in summer. It was a place our family, extended family and friends gathered every weekend. We would power boat, sunfish sail, swim, jet-ski, suntan, fish, flirt, nap, develop long-lasting friendships, understand each other more and what made us tick through conversations, sneak out to our friends’ houses, play ping pong in the clubhouse and create truly lifelong memories of joy.

I don’t remember ever using a key to open the door during the summer because it was always unlocked and open to whoever wanted to stop by. And, everyone knew they just had to walk in, no knocking, no ringing of the doorbell, that’s the kind of place it was and that long-ago happiness is what I re-experience every time I use that yellow bowl.

Of course, I talk a lot about DeCluttering but I don’t want you to get rid of everything in your home: whether you are aging in place or moving to a new home.  Do you have a treasure in your possession that brings you an overabundance of happiness and joy, but most others wouldn’t appreciate it because it’s not tied to anything emotionally triggering in their minds? I want you to keep 1 or 2 treasures that bring you deep happiness and joy to look at and use.

Write down the memories and feelings those one or two items create for you then use them, love them, relive the feeling of happiness they give you. This might also help you pass along other treasures of yours that might not have the same importance and make your DeCluttering a little bit easier.

Tell me, did you pick out an item?  What does it represent to you?

If you are lucky enough to be present while your loved one is in the process of dying, have the conversation you always wanted to have.  This is your chance, do it, there will never be another time.

Now, I’m not necessarily saying choose this moment to confess all your sins and how horrible they treated you but turn that around and have a conversation about the positive impact they have had on your life.  Talk about the positive effects they have had on their community, their workplace, where they volunteer, with their family and friends.

It’s hard to know what you can do to support your loved one who is dying however, one gift you can give is to share how loved they made you feel.  Share how much you appreciated them coaching you, defending you, paying for your dinner, letters of encouragement, etc.  Showing up for you, even if just once in your life, is a gift to be cherished.  Showing up for someone else, in whatever capacity you are able, is a gift to them and frankly, to you as well.

Write down some ways you can show up for those you love and those who are actively dying, this will be extremely helpful when you’re in an emotional state before, during or after your conversations.

Give them a quick call, even if they are unable to hold the phone because of lack of strength or where they are in the process or someone who is with them can hold it up to their ear.  It doesn’t need to be a long conversation just, “I’m thinking about you and wanted to call”.

Put together soothing music or some fun songs to take their mind to another place, dying is scary on all sides.

Read a book to them, conscious or not, they can hear you.

Take a puzzle to do together, you don’t even have to talk, concentrating on something besides the inevitable provides some relief.  Here are some great puzzles: https://maddcappgames.com/collections/puzzles

Give them a hand or foot massage, except if they are in pain. You know how great it is to get your hair washed by someone else when you go to the salon, they might love a gentle scalp massage.

Comedy shows are great, watch a couple of those, laughter is the best medicine.

Put headsets on them, turn on YouTube to favorite bands from their era.  The headsets help them focus on the music and what’s in front of them, not what’s going on with them providing a little break from the stress.

Hold their hand, whether they are able to hold yours back or not. The warmth of connection is powerful.

Let me know if you have other suggestions.

Sending you courage to connect and have the conversation

Self-care is the latest buzzword but it is oh, so much more than a buzzword! It is really important to focus on yourself first, this is not selfish, it is lifesaving. Apply the longtime airline preparation phrase to your own life “Put your oxygen mask on before helping anyone else.”.  “You can’t help anyone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself.” If you have heard these phrases a lot lately it’s time to act.

How can you focus on self-care in your own life, especially if you are new to self-care?

Self-care starts with taking care of you, becoming ultra-aware of situations that upset you, understanding you have choices and then choosing the less stressful path for you.  Conduct your life in a way that will provide you with the most peace; good “time-choices” and planning ahead will help you.   Let’s say you want to start DeCluttering your home for a move. Imagine if you started DeCluttering today and that today was 3 months before your scheduled move.  Your stress level should be much lower than if you chose to, instead, wait until the week of your move.  That’s taking care of yourself.  You reduce your stress in an already high-stress-level event by utilizing the extra time you have given yourself to prepare for your move.  An hour here and 4 hours there, months in advance, will impact your move in a positive manner.

Self-care includes having awareness of your stressors. Become aware and look out for your stressors and minimize them as much as you can.  Your stressors might be very different from someone else’s stressors.  Events that don’t bother you at all could be huge triggers for someone else and vice versa, the secret here is being able to identify your own triggers and limit your exposure to them.

My best piece of stress reducing advice is to look at your time-choices, plan out as much of your calendar as you are able, to include hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly planning.  Make time-choices your friend. Create awareness of your stressors and triggers and avoid or deal with them without delay.

Let me know how these work for you.

Winter storm season is in full swing!  Oftentimes, when a damaging storm hits we are not fully prepared but what we’re really not prepared for is the emotional aftermath: feelings of loss, of fear, where do we go, where do we turn, do we have enough cash on hand because the banks are closed, do we have the basics such as water and shelter or can we easily get those?

Think about how you would cope with no electricity: how do you charge your phone, do you keep the appointment you had in the next city over that wasn’t affected by the storm, what do you do if you need to get in touch with someone, do you need electricity for medical devices? No television is very disruptive for many who can’t sleep at night because perhaps that’s the only way they can fall asleep and now that’s not available.  No coffee in the morning because there’s no electricity and there’s no water to make that coffee. What would you do in that case if you didn’t have a generator?  You could get trapped in your home by the weather because trees have fallen, and you can’t get out of your driveway.

And, if you can get out of your driveway you might not have the cash to go to the grocery store. Let’s say you can buy the groceries but then you need to carry them into your home, perhaps up your stairs? What if the stairs have an electric glider that’s your only way upstairs and the battery has drained? This would be stressful for any of us but it’s especially stressful for people who are physically challenged.

It all just becomes too much stress on stress on stress.

The same can happen if you don’t prepare and plan for a move to a new home.  Planning for the physical and emotional changes you will experience needs to happen earlier rather than later.  Move dates sneak up on people and take them by surprise because there was not enough planning and preparation at the very earliest stages.  I know there can be emergency situations where you have no control but, if you have control take advantage of it.  Plan for your next move in life, let your family and friends know what your next move will be and what is the criteria that will signal it’s time to happen.

I suggest you plan a year ahead of your move and make choices and changes as you go.  For example: if you live up north and this will be your last winter in the snow, donate your winter coats, skis, hats, gloves, etc. once you’re at the end of the season.  Do that with each season but keep the items that coincide with your new climate.

I’ve created a 7 Tip Sheet to help you decide where to move in a year.  Take a look.

7 Basic, Initial Tips to Help Decide Where to Move in a Year

Contact me if you need help.

OMGosh!  Are you over all the paper that gets sent to your home?  I am!

I really don’t need offers of maintenance contracts on vehicles I’ve sold.  I don’t need to see all the types of cars I can purchase.  I don’t need catalogs filled with clothing that does not suit my lifestyle or where I am in this stage of my life.  But I still get these mailed to me and that’s an indication to me that it’s time to renew my no more unsolicited mail request online.

I really don’t mind getting bills: electric usage bills, homeowner’s association bills, cable tv bills.  These types of paper mail are reminders that I have a roof over my head, I enjoy all the comforts electricity provides and I have time to watch television instead of having to work 3 jobs during every waking moment. I don’t mind these mailings!

Recycling the unwanted bills reduces items going to the landfill, yes, but what about not cutting down that tree to begin with? Here’s the way to reduce unwanted mail:  go to this website https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email and follow the directions for each of the items you no longer want.  It’s easy, fairly inexpensive and it will take but minutes today to reduce a lot of stress.  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email

Let me know how you feel about your reduced mail in about a month.  And, sign up for my newsletter, no paper involved!

Daily At A Glance

I was a guest on Mia Moran’s Plan Simple Meals Podcast https://plansimplemeals.podbean.com/ and introduced to her audience the value of a handwritten, permanent daily schedule to manage time-choices.   I first created this when I started a new job within my family’s company and have taken it forward to all other career paths.  I was the Accounts Payable Manager and paying things before their due date sometimes came with the reward of a discount and boy those discounts would add up quickly so I wanted to take advantage of every single one.  In addition, I did not want money walking out the door in the form of unnecessary late fees or finance charges or both!!  So, I made up an index card listing “permanently recurring” items I needed to get done each day before the end of the day and before I tackled any emergencies or focused on any other dynamic work.

The concept is simple:  in your own handwriting record the daily, recurring weekly items you must accomplish. These are “permanent” items, they don’t change from week to week, month to month. For example areas you need to DeClutter, monthly bills-car payment, electric bill, mortgage, calls you need to make-fuel delivery, mom, things you need to do-send out birthday cards, order groceries for delivery, schedule appointments.  I find when I put these items in my phone’s calendar, I tend to ignore them and the alarm reminders I have set.  Somehow, I get it done when it’s written down, perhaps because it’s attached to my desk, so I have to deal with the permanently recurring items immediately before I walk out the door.

These are small items that weigh on your mind even though they are reoccurring.  They tug at your memory demanding you remember them.  Well, what if you took that tugging away from your brain because it’s written in front of you?  The one thing you need to get used to is looking at that sheet of paper every day.  It starts your day, you do those things first and then move on to your priority for the day.

This practice will change the way you look at your time-choices while giving you a sense of support and accomplishment.  I’ll attach my Daily at A Glance form to get you started: download it, fill it out and start tomorrow.  OR, create one that works best for you.  Let me know the positive changes that occur.

Download the form here:   DAILY AT A GLANCE

Throwing GUILT, oh my!  We can all probably say we’ve thrown a little guilt at one time or another!  Here’s the thing about guilt, it makes the guilt-delivering-person and the guilt-receiving-person feel bad. Not wanting to Move-Family-Treasures-Guilt is the pain of not wanting to let go and hoping that others feel the same way about your treasures as you do OR you will try to make them feel the same way and that does NOT work!

Mostly, it’s elder parents who downsize before their adult children downsize and want the adult children to take all the “stuff” they have collected from ancestors before them.  Many years earlier the elder parents accepted their own parent’s treasures because, during that particular period of time, things generally were A. well made, B. cost a fortune and C. it was understood those treasures were intended to be passed down.  So, we have Baby Boomers holding on to their grandparent’s possessions and now they are the ones looking to downsize and give the items they no longer want or need to their children.  Guess what?  The grandchildren, in general, don’t want those family treasures.  They have purchased or rented furniture that is contemporary, sleek and light in many cases: heavy, brown furniture does not fit into their lifestyle.

Many adult grandchildren move frequently and change jobs just as frequently, they are not “Company Lifers” and I don’t mean that “Lifers” is a bad term, it just doesn’t seem to apply lately.  They tend to rent more than own and the dwellings they rent are smaller and cannot fit the large profile furniture of their grandparents.  Their color schemes are different than the muted greens, browns, oranges of their grandparents and frankly, you can buy a new piece of furniture in the color you want cheaper than if you take something to be re-upholstered in a new color/pattern.  AND, the fabrics are different now, a big one being they can be sun and stain resistant, something their grandparents didn’t have incorporated into their furniture.

Trinkets, novelties, figurine collectibles are not so desirable to the adult grandchildren.  They have no space and many former family treasures have no meaning to them.  They, smartly, prefer to have less to dust and keep clean!!  Good for them, let’s join them and get rid of that Not-Moving-Family-Treasure-Guilt!  Contact me for help moving and sign up on this home page for my newsletter.

I came across this snakeskin during a DeClutter session the other day and I wondered where he is now, is he behind the next box, has he already left the garage?  It made me think of the reason he was there in the first place, he probably was looking for his next meal and followed the scent of a mouse.  We find so many mice in basements and attics!

Then I started thinking about how we should all protect ourselves while DeCluttering from sharp objects, rodents, snakes, toxins, allergens, heavy items…and possessions we never want our friends and family to see.  These items can take the form of hidden bottles of alcohol (empty or full) or stashes of drugs or their paraphernalia.  Items such as these might not represent who we are NOW or who we are attempting to be in the future but there they are, still present in our home, like a weight around our necks.

Now is the time to DeClutter items that no longer have meaning to you but might be hurtful if your children or loved ones found them.  We have had children uncover their mother’s engagement announcement to a man besides their dad that was posted in the paper, they had no idea their mother was engaged before being married to their father.  Their parents were a long time, loving couple, they had never thought of the possibility that their mom had been in love with someone before their father.  It was shocking and I’m sure their mother had no idea of the pain that clipping would cause 60 years later.  Seemingly, it was saved in the moment and forgotten in the pile of memorabilia and hurt of the breakup.  But, here it was, being uncovered by those she would have protected from this knowledge at all costs.

Look at your possessions, especially the hidden ones, ask for help clearing emotional-producing items out of your life if you cannot do it alone or leave the premise and let someone else clear them out for you if they still hold a lot of power and emotion over you.  Contact DeClutter By Deirdre for help with these emotionally charged DeCluttering Sessions. You can do tough things! I believe in you!

The key to DeCluttering is to create a Habit of DeCluttering. And one of the keys to adopting the Habit of DeCluttering is to understand where your cluttering or DeCluttering Habits first started so you can adjust the bad habits into new, positive DeCluttering Habits.

What is your earliest memory of a DeCluttering Habit or lack of a DeCluttering Habit?  Was your earliest memory of cluttering and DeCluttering before you were a teenager?  Take a minute to return to your 15 year old self, what were your DeCluttering Habits?  Did you have any that you had observed and adopted or were told to do?  Were they related to just your space or to your home and if you had a yard to your yard? Now think about your 25-year-old self, what did those DeCluttering Habits look like during that period of your life?  Were they different from your 10-year-old, 15-year-old or 25-year-old habits? When did the Habit of DeCluttering change? What are the DeCluttering habits you would like to keep?  Which habits do you want to release?

I have found a person’s DeCluttering Habits are established early and are only changed by a shift in perspective or a dramatic incident.  Many times it’s a tragic, life-altering event, it can also be as simple as someone showing you that another way to present yourself to the world works better than the current way.

To start your DeCluttering journey examine when those Habits of cluttering and DeCluttering first appeared and what caused them.  Then observe how they have changed, or not, over the years. Thirdly, decide which habits would best serve you going forward in your life and make those changes. Believe that you can make a small change right this minute, you can.  I believe in you.