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Look at the photo, what do you see?  The front door is on the other side of the cabinet.   The FRONT door, where Emergency Medical Service personnel will come in to help.  There are items spread all out, no huge piles, it doesn’t seem too bad…but it is!!

When I enter a home to do my initial assessment I am mainly looking at the safety of the environment: the physical safety of the people living in the home, the safety of people entering the home and working in the home, the brain health of the occupants meaning is there an outside influence? I will make suggestions right off the bat.  Safety first, always.

First thing to take a look at is creating a clear path to an exit.  It may seem obvious or you think: I can get around that pile, well don’t count on it.  In the heat of an emergency you can forget your own name let alone how to get out of a dangerous situation.  Ensure that all exits have a clear, unencumbered path leading out.  Do not leave items in an exit path thinking you can step on them if you had to.  In the case of an emergency, they can become the biggest obstacle between you living and dying.  You can slip on an area rug, clothing, drapes, any kind of plastic, containers that can hold things like buckets or food containers, newspapers, magazines, cans, bottles and fall making all the difference in getting out the door or being trapped.

People have good intentions and create piles of things that must be dealt with so they place them in the hallway.  Ask yourself, could an EMS stretcher get down that hallway?  If someone came to assist you could they get the two of you out and past furniture and accumulation of items with plenty of elbow room and nothing to slip on?

Plan with “what if” scenarios in mind.  You will feel so relieved you did and that you were prepared if the time ever comes.

Re-Connect Movement
My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and asked our family not to tell anyone. That was a really challenging request because when I speak to family and friends they always ask how I am and I couldn’t tell them the truth that my heart was breaking, I didn’t know what to do and I needed their comforting words. I got the blues, I turned inward and became isolated because it was too hard to tell people I’m fine, my family is fine, everything is fine.

In my work as a Move Manager, DeClutterer, Organizer I see people who also are disconnected from family/friends/life, have the blues, who cling to items out of a sense of loss, people who assign the soul of those who have died or left to things and I get it. I see them unable to make a decision for themselves because they have decided to protect themselves and this is the only way they know how.


Our clients have a lot of fear of the unknown, they have experienced loss: divorce, death, illness, loss of a career, loss of home, loss of friends, trauma, full-time care of a child or family member, loss of money all of which can translate into fear and many times there is no one with them taking the journey. I always ask my clients “Who is your support”? Many times, it’s me and the lovely, trustworthy, caring people who work with me. 


My thought was, I see the disconnect in my life and those I work with, how can I change that? How can I help myself and others to be more connected? I came up with the Re-Connect Movement.


I thought about how speaking live, either on the phone or in person, to someone could change my hour, my day, my week and my life. I thought about how just the act of reaching out could show me courage and open paths to uplifting emotions and clearer emotions then I thought about how this could impact my clients and others to help them declutter those areas in their lives they were hanging on to.
Please, join me.

Oh my it’s dark early these days!  Here are a couple of fall DeClutter tips:

If you haven’t done so already, plan a date to put outdoor summer items away early – earlier than you think. It’s much easier putting them away while the sun is shining and it’s relatively warm than waiting until it’s dark at 4pm.

If you’re storing items for others, set a date in the very near future for them to pick them up. It might be emotional for them and they might push the date out, so start early and set a date you will get rid of the items if they are not picked up.

Decide if you will really use each item next spring/summer. Now’s your chance to pass it along. Clutter is created by postponing decisions.

DeClutter currently stored items and clothing before putting away the items you are planning on storing for the winter. Keep in mind, some donation locations only accept the current seasonal items.

Do not accept items out of guilt that you don’t want from family members who are doing their own fall organizing. Thank them for thinking of you and ask them to pass that item on to someone else.

Ensure your personal paperwork is in order: wills, living wills, health care directives, etc. Discuss so all family members are clear on your choices.

Donate summer/fall clothes that no longer serve your station in life, no longer fit, or are dated. Check with your favorite charity to see if they take out-of-season clothing.

Look at donations from your DeCluttering efforts as helping someone who could use your extra items to improve their life.

If you are overwhelmed by your DeCluttering task ASK FOR HELP, it’s hard work physically and emotionally. Teamwork is best.

DeClutter By Deirdre is committed to assisting people & their families who struggle with where to start and complete De-Cluttering and organizing their homes so they can de-stress and enjoy a full life without extra burdens they could not previously tackle on their own.

It’s important to keep current with expiration dates on food. Do some of your spice containers look like the containers of your youth? Do you have fond memories of your grandparents or parents using those same spice containers? If yes, throw them away! Branding experts change packaging about every 10 years, even a slight change so if your cabinet contains 3 package iterations of the same item, toss the older versions. Without expiration dates on jars and cans it’s difficult to decide if the product inside is still safe, if your jars or cans have NO expiration date, take a good look and if you feel at all uneasy do not take a chance eating from them. Best practice is to make sure canned and jarred goods in your cabinets are not beyond their expiration date stamped on them. Try to take a look at expiration dates once a year, especially canned goods.

Here is what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says about expiration dates on food: “With the exception of infant formula, the laws that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administers do not preclude the sale of food that is past the expiration date indicated on the label. FDA does not require food firms to place “expired by”, “use by” or “best before” dates on food products. This information is entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer.

A principle of U.S. food law is that foods in U.S. commerce must be wholesome and fit for consumption. A “best by”, “use by” or expiration date does not relieve a firm from this obligation. A product that is dangerous to consumers would be subject to potential action by FDA to remove it from commerce regardless of any date printed on a label.”

People tend to place spices in the cabinet above the stove but as we age it gets harder to lift our arms that high and they get forgotten. Place herbs and spices lower so they are easily reached.

Be aware and stay healthy!

The Art of Living Lost: Deirdre De-Clutters
JUNE 1, 2017 BY THE ART OF LIVING LOST

I have a friend who “declutters” for a living; it doesn’t matter if you are a downsizing senior or an inefficient professional, she’s the master of re-organization.

I on the other hand am a recycler; I see the beauty in almost everything. I’m not just a saver of stuff per se but more of a sentimental connoisseur. So this week, while strung out on DayQuil, I decided to declutter my home and, in doing so, I unwittingly decluttered my mind and spirit. Let me explain.

Some say we have 50, 60 or 70+ THOUSAND thoughts a day, looking at my chaos, I wondered how many brain cells I’d burned subconsciously thinking about the crap that physically surrounded me? Items evoking the powers of fear, anger, disdain and embarrassment were all resting in my kitchen cabinets. I found stupidity, failure and gas pains lurking in my pantry. My bathroom was awash with the scents of first dates, success and bitchiness. I wondered, where did sexy go?

Rummaging and discarding; physically crushing and crashing my past, I simply felt lighter.

And with the lightness came clarity and joy.

Week after week I share stories about my every day, and sometimes, not so everyday, life.

I’ve asked you to look up and out; this week I am challenging you to take a look inside.

Inside your cabinets, your home, your office and your life. What’s lurking in plain sight that can be crushed, crashed and discarded? Think about it…

Until next week,

XXOO

http://www.theartoflivinglost.com/the-art-of-living-lost-deirdre-de-clutters/#more-2458

Non Judgment Zone
DeClutter By Deirdre operates in a non-judgment work zone which means, we don’t judge you or your environs and you don’t judge you. We are very familiar with life’s ups and downs and how they affect the way we live in our homes. Sometimes, it becomes impossible to live in a beautifully decluttered home: illness, death, despair, loneliness, or divorce sadness takes over, shows up and manifests as clutter in our lives. We can’t see beyond today and lack energy to put items away or clean or discard items that no longer serve us. It’s not the person you were and it’s not the person you are, it’s temporary.

I like to call this temporary state “Putting on Our Armor”. Visualize putting on a knight’s coat of armor, protecting us from evil and sad sources. I relate the clutter that piles up to this coat of armor, when the sadness goes away so does the coat of armor. Sometimes, we need help getting rid of that protective “armor” and subsequent clutter. You only need to ask and we will work beside you every step of the way, supporting and encouraging and never judging.
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  1. Start early, earlier than you think, especially if you have a deadline. This should help relieve some stress. Clutter is created by postponing decisions.If you are storing items for others, set a date in the very near future for them to pick them up.  It might be emotional for them and they might push the date out so start early then set a date you will get rid of the items.
  2. Try to understand why, how and when the clutter started piling up. Try to be very honest and easy on yourself.
  3. When you get a postcard in the mail that a donation truck will be in the area schedule a pickup and promise yourself to leave them at least 3 large garbage bags worth of donations
  4. Do not accept items that you do not want from family members out of guilt.  Thank them for thinking of you and ask them to pass that item on to someone else
  5. Write down the stories associated with your family’s possessions and attach to the item if you are planning on passing them onto the next generation.  Sometimes just writing the story helps you release the item for someone else to enjoy.
  6. Ensure that all of your personal paperwork is in order, do not wait to do this: Wills, Living Wills, Health Care Directive, etc.
  7. Donate clothes that no longer serve your station in life or clothes that no longer fit or are dated.
  8. Look at donations from DeCluttering as helping someone who could use your extra items to improve their life.
  9. If you are overwhelmed by your DeCluttering task ASK FOR HELP, it’s hard work physically and emotionally.

Please sign up for my newsletter and to receive additional tips at www.DeClutterByDeirdre.com

DeClutter By Deirdre, A Senior Move Management Company

Connecticut Post Article: http://www.ctpost.com/news/slideshow/10-things-you-can-do-to-declutter-your-life-146527.php

DeClutter By Deirdre is committed to assisting people & their families who struggle with where to start and complete de-cluttering their homes so they can de-stress and enjoy a full life without extra burdens they could not previously tackle on their own. People who are ready to take control of all they can in their lives and develop solid systems that allow them to step away from items and stresses that no longer serve them and to enjoy the company of others and have the leisure time to pursue family time, interests and hobbies. Remodeled/organized spaces reduce the mental burden of clutter, allow easier movement about the house when physical challenges present themselves or changes to the home have to be made to allow those individuals who will be aging in place to stay in their own home. Donation to local charities is a major focus, help those in our communities so they can grow and change the world in a positive manner!

Deirdre is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, Coalition of Agencies Relating to Elderly Services, Connecticut Geriatric Society, Senior Care Resources of Western Connecticut and Treasurer for Friends of Newtown Seniors.