DeCluttering

“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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(How does that indulgent purchase feel compared to experiences you’ve spent money on?)
Clutter is baggage and can underscore indulgent purchases. What is an indulgent purchase? I’m willing to bet you had an immediate answer, not a second wasted in thought, on the tip of your tongue, before you finished reading that sentence. Is it a three-quarter length chocolate brown leather coat that you charged and paid off in three installments plus interest, hanging in the closet that hasn’t seen the light of day for several years because it doesn’t fit the same as when you first bought it and it’s no longer in style? Perhaps the fountain pen you paid $500 for is sitting in your desk still waiting for the day when you will sit and write long letters to friends and family? For a moment, stop and think, “What is my most indulgent purchase?”
Often times indulgent purchases may require justification because they were an impulsive decision. Indulgent purchases can be the choice that feeds your vices. Retail therapy, lethargy and/or denial of a difficult situation or period of life are the perfect combination for spending on, and justifying, an indulgent purchase. Right behind the feeling of immediate gratification comes the feelings of regret and perhaps irresponsibility. And, thanks to clutter, a visual reminder of the physical baggage.
The good news is a study shows that buying “experiences” is good for you. (http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/to-buy-happiness-purchase-an-experience) The “happiness magic” is all in what, how and where you spend your money. Aside from the excitement of the initial purchase “high” of a material indulgence, the experience of the purchase can be short-lived and generally does not hold long interesting. When you spend less money on “stuff”, you spend less on maintenance of the “stuff”, rewarding you with more discretionary income.
More discretionary income means there’s more opportunity to buy experiences. Having fun, exciting experiences and making memories is something we look forward to and we get to re-live those experiences when sharing them with others over the course of a lifetime. The positive feelings we get from experiences is satisfying and lives longer in our hearts and emotions. The memories from the experience last a lifetime. And isn’t it more exciting and engaging to share about something you’ve done rather than something you own?
As you declutter your living space, you create space, the breathing room for clarity to uncover what you really want, what makes you truly happy and how you want to feel. The next time you find yourself about to make an impulsive, indulgent, or debt producing purchase, ask yourself these questions: 1) Am I buying for immediate gratification? 2) Am I buying because of the status it represents? 3) Am I buying to “fit in” because everyone else has it? or 4) Am I buying an experience?

Enjoy a20160520_225521 fun experience: Boy George and Cyndi Lauper singing Karma Chameleon

May your next purchase be a happy memory.

daffodilLiving Among the Paper Clutter and Dead Trees

It’s real!  The dining room table is buried beneath heaps of paper because the kitchen island has morphed from a rolling land of hills into a mountain ready to break an avalanche.  In the living room, there’s a mound of magazines and newspapers multiplying on the ottoman, with some spill over on the coffee table or chair awaiting for someone with spare time to read, sort through, clip and save, and maybe even restack.  The file cabinet is chock-full.  There could possibly be a box filled with paper in an attempt to deal with this issue at a more convenient time.  Better yet, there could even be a designated room housing the clutter of paper.  In any way, shape or form, there is acute knowledge of the accumulation of paper as it permeates throughout the house with ultimate plans for a takeover.

This may be a bit extreme, but the barrage of written and printed information we receive every day surrounds us.  Even though we live in an electronic age, the regular mail gets delivered just about everyday.  That’s almost 365 days of some form of paper delivered in one year.   And this doesn’t’ include the myriad of other avenues paper seeps into our space.  We reach for sticky notes to jot reminders, we send and receive printed-on-paper invites, receive subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and the insurmountable obstacle of brochures, flyers and promotion postcards, and more.  School artwork, your business and possibly parent’s personal business paperwork comes home, too.  Our spouse brings home paper from work.  We collect receipts for various reasons, some with very valid reason, and some…well, it’s a mystery as to why.

At the end of the day we walk in with the daily mail, just wanting to relax, and so we drop it on a counter, or a table thinking we’ll get to it “in a moment” or “later”.  Later doesn’t come.  That moment was long gone, perhaps several days ago.  But the paper…it’s still coming.  And it’s accumulating.  Whatever attempt we made or didn’t make is a conditioned response.  A habit.

Like tending to the garden or the yard cleanup every season removing weeds and debris, we need to tend to our “inner yard” – the landscape within our homes and with the same fervor and commitment.  We need cleaned up space, free from clutter and debris in order to grow, thrive, feel good, be our best and be profitable.  Surely, looking at the accumulation of paper reveals the high amount of usage that is occupying valuable real estate – the inside of your home.  As the mounds of paper continue to take up space, the daily process of recycling is halted.  And recycling is critical because about one third of new paper comes from recycled paper; therefore saving living and thriving trees.  Recycling the accumulated piles of paper is helping to conserve the trees in our natural landscape. Those stagnant mounds of paper are dead trees in your home, like the weeds and debris in a yard prior to clean-up.  In order for you to grow and thrive those piles of paper need to be cleared and brought to recycling.  Agree to designate a limited intake through change of habits, and possibly an intervention to end the accumulation of paper.

Ruthlessly, survey the interior of your home.  Where are the piles?  Look everywhere, the closets, the office file cabinet, the basket in the corner of the room, under the beds, the bottom shelf, that stuffed drawer, everywhere.  Tackle each section, one at a time, with the goals of organizing, sorting, shredding and recycling.  Spring clean-up starts today!