DeCluttering

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!

“Deirdre’s presentation on de-cluttering and “stuff” management was professional, interactive and fun!  It was filled with many helpful, practical methods of going through your personal possessions and preparing for a move or life’s changes.  With such great ideas, I heartily recommend Deidre and her company DeClutter By Deirdre.”

M.A.

Why haven’t you DeCluttered (even though you want to)?

You want to DeClutter but it seems like an overwhelming prospect to you. Websites are filled with images of rows and rows of matchy-matchy clear plastic containers with the perfect script or block lettering labels on them or, there are rows of color-coordinated cloth bins to separate like items. You think I want that! I want my closets and pantries to look like that. Excitedly you start dreaming of how your closet and/or pantry will look once it’s completely organized.

First, there are some decisions to make. Matching clear plastic bins and clear labels with black lettering or white labels with your favorite color lettering. Maybe you want the cloth, colorful bins. Do the containers you choose have lids, do you need lids or do containers without lids work better for your life? First, you must buy the matching clear plastic containers, where do you go for the “best” ones? Oh boy, now you must purchase a label maker. Hhhhmmm, do you choose the clear labels or the white labels?

This type of organizing, unless you’re a professional, is exhausting even before you begin! Decide for yourself which type of organizing will work best with your life. If decision making around bins and label makers and labels stop you in your DeCluttering tracks maybe you don’t need that level of organization right now. Maybe that’s something to be done in the future after you’ve DeCluttered.

Right now, reduce your stress. Look at what you want to accomplish utilizing baby steps. Don’t go buy hundreds of dollars of supplies, that adds pressure as well. Do what you can with what you have and in the future put together a fabulous labeled space.  If you need help, contact me. We can DeClutter your space utilizing Distance DeClutter By Deirdre where I will walk you through the process. I know how to support you and take away the overwhelm, contact me. DeClutterByDeirdre@gmail.com.

A few years back Hurricane Charley hit our then home and we had to get rid of most the contents, somehow our photographs, my parent’s former dining room set, and our important papers were spared because of where they were located in our home.  They were in the dining room of the home behind a little wall that had, thanks to the storm, one of my neighbor’s roof tiles embedded into it at head height.

Luckily, because this was a new-to-us home and we were planning on a remodel we had taken lots of photos of the current contents and we had photos of the contents already in boxes that were to be used once the home was remodeled.   However, this is not the way I would have chosen to DeClutter.

Recently, we had a trailer stolen out of a storage facility.  The thief cut the lock on the gate to the facility then cut the lock on our new trailer.  We had sold a home and placed everything we still wanted in the trailer awaiting the purchase of a new home.  Included in that trailer were family heirlooms that I was holding until family members could all gather together, and we could distribute the heirlooms to their new owners.  It also included items I had been given through inheritance that would be perfect for our new home, tools, painted family portraits, an entire kitchen set up, all my winter clothing and all sorts of treasures I hoped would grace our new home.   Again, not a good way to DeClutter!

Both times I felt an incredible sense of loss for different reasons.  The first time I was overwhelmed by the devastation and amount of work involved in repairing and replacing all that was lost and damaged. The good news is I had lots of photos of the contents of the home for insurance reimbursement.

The second time was more emotional because of the loss of family heirlooms and I hadn’t recorded everything in the trailer because some of it had just come into my possession.  And, I thought they would very soon be dispersed.  Every couple of days I recall another item I had in the stolen trailer.

My suggestion is to take lots of photos of items and if you can, keep receipts with the photos.  The insurance company wants to know you paid for an item to record it as a loss, of course.

My message is twofold: 1. Don’t wait to take care of something you need to do in the future, I thought I was being considerate and hoping to have a celebration to distribute the inherited items. I should have immediately taken photos and distributed them to all parties involved. 2. Keep good records including pictures of items separate from the items themselves, even if you expect something to be a quick turnaround. I suggest keeping photos in 2 separate locations.

It’s not the way I would have liked to DeClutter those items but it’s what happened.  On the bright side, it will be fun finding updated replacements for items that were lost and I’ll always have my memories.

A photo is worth a thousand words….

Wasting Away

Growing up most of us are taught not to waste anything because there are people starving, that people would love to have what we have so be sure you don’t waste it.  I remember the nuns saying don’t waste your food there are people starving and some classmate would say under his/her breath “then why don’t we send it to them”, GREAT idea and this concept of sending things we don’t use to someone who could use it is most easily translated to our “stuff”.

I work with people who possess an overabundance of “stuff” and when I ask them why they keep so many pieces of a certain item, many times, I’m met with a shrug and “I don’t know”.  I encounter tens and tens of collared knit shirts, tens of multiples of tens of T-shirts (I might go so far as to say hundreds of T-shirts) and lots and lots of black pants.  People don’t know what to do with these item s and they don’t want to be wasteful, so they don’t deal with the overabundance of items they possess.

What if we looked at being wasteful in a different context?  What would you say if I said to you these items are being wasted because they are shoved into the back of your drawer or closet and NO ONE is using them, and they are wasting away when they could be put to good use by someone else.

I know that if I find T-shirts stuffed into the bottom of your hall closet you are wasting them.  I know that if I find collared knit shirts hanging in your laundry room covered in dust you are wasting them.  I know that if I find boxes of socks in the basement covered in mouse poop you are wasting them.  I know that if I find a total of 270 shirts in your home in various rooms that 240 of them are being wasted.  I know that if I find cans of tomato paste, vegetables, tuna fish, or any food item, past their expiration date they are being wasted.

Your money is being wasted.  If you stopped buying excess what could you do with that wasted money?  Would your bank account have a positive number?  Would you be able to go out for a beautiful meal once a month? Would you feel better because you contributed to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter?  Would you be able to volunteer somewhere with the hours not wasted buying items you don’t need?

Be conscious of your spending, donate what you can, enjoy experiences.

Stop Waste NOW.  You can do it!

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.

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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