Tag: DeClutter

Every home is a dream of its owner

If you’re a Baby Boomer, or older, your dream was to own your home.  Owning a home meant so much! 

It meant you were mature, and you could take care of yourself, 

It was a symbol of coming into your own,

That you were serious about a long-term relationship,

That you were ready to settle down and have children,

That you were committed to your job and wouldn’t be looking elsewhere for work.

You lovingly filled it with items you were given by friends and family, mostly big, brown furniture.  You cleaned it at least weekly and took pride in that.  It was “sparse”, but it was yours. 

Now, after the trials and tribulations life has thrown it’s looking a little not-so-clean.  The rooms are bursting with items collected but never passed on to those in need.  Most of your children or grandchildren are not so interested in the brown furniture and all the other treasures you hold.  It’s hard to maneuver around all the furniture and collections with a walker or wheelchair. Your eyesight isn’t what it used to be, and the unseen dust bunnies are gathered in the corner.  Suddenly, your dream is a nightmare and a burden. 

You can change that!  Get someone to help you whether you hire a team of people like we have at DeClutter By Deirdre or family and friends. In an afternoon your dream home will be changed for the better! You will feel lighter and that pride of home ownership will creep back in.

Imagine having friends and family over for dinner (that they bring, of course),

Imagine having more lighting in your home so you can see in dark corners,

Imagine furniture being weeded out so you can walk safely,

Imagine regaining pride in your dream home!

Contact me at DeClutterByDeirdre@gmail.com, we will resurrect that dream.

I want you to understand the gravity of how quickly your situation can change. This is such an important concept that I am writing about it again, 2 years after my first post on the subject of personal control over your items and the importance of DeCluttering while you are still in charge of your faculties and your life.

Mary and Bill were living in their colonial home in a remote section of their town. Living with them were their Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) and their wheelchair accessible van that they needed to get around town.  Their daughter lived 2 hours away and was bedridden, pregnant with her first child.

Colonials traditionally have a small half bath on the first floor and a steep staircase to get to the bedrooms and larger, full-size bathrooms. Mary was in a wheelchair because of some difficulty walking and it had been determined that she should go to a rehabilitation facility to gain back some physical strength.  At the same time, her husband Bill was moved to a different facility in a different town in order for him to regain strength lost after an illness.  They were both headed towards release from their perspective rehabilitation facilities and they decided it was time to move to a permanent home in an assisted living center which would entail moving to a third location.  Mary called me to see if we could facilitate that move to that third facility and coordinate with their CNA’s.

We set up a meeting so I could I meet with the 2 CNA’s to understand what Mary and Bill would need.  Mary had told me over the phone items she would need in their now very small one-bedroom apartment at their new home, but all other decisions were up to the CNA’s and they went back and forth as to which items should be taken to the new place.  They tried their best and I waited patiently for them to decide.

An issue came up while we were trying to get their possessions moved: I couldn’t get in contact with their head CNA, phone calls were made by me but never returned to me until a family member let me know that the CNA had been admitted to the hospital themselves!!  When we went to move the items that had been chosen we were told some of them were staying at the house and some new items were being taken to the new place.  We got the new items loaded up, unloaded at the new home and I set up their apartment in anticipation of Mary and Bill’s arrival the next day which was Thursday.  Friday, I got a call that Bill had died.

Months later I was giving a DeCluttering presentation at Mary’s new home and Mary attended. She wanted others to know what she had been through on her journey to her new one-bedroom home and recounted her story to all in attendance.  She wanted everyone to know she had zero say in what was taken to her new home, her nurse companion made those decisions for her and Bill and neither of them ever returned to their former home.  Mary said to listen to Deirdre, get rid of items while you are in charge.

I hope you will heed what Mary said and contact me if you need help onsite or from a distance.  www.DeClutterByDeirdre.com

I was thinking the other day how lucky I am to have reconnected with former teachers who had a huge impact on my life.  I thought about the difference teachers can make on a person’s trajectory during their early years and how that impact is felt forever.

One of my favorites, Ms. Hagerty, introduced our class to her love of reading through acting out the voices for us as she read The Hobbit every day after lunch.  This practice decluttered our minds and got us ready to absorb the afternoon’s lessons.  It showed us the importance of reading every day, even for only a half hour and how that can transport you to another world. Many classmates have passed the love of reading on to their children through that book.

Ms. Hagerty also took us on field trips where experiential learning took place and made learning fun.  Everyone wanted to sit next to her, just to be in her presence and absorb whatever concept she was relating to us at the time. And, we tried out a new concept, an “Open Classroom” where we had classes on the school’s lawn, under a tree.  Exposure to new ways of teaching allowed us to understand how we best learn as individuals.

One of my classmates, Dina, remembers the Prisoner of War bracelets Ms. Hegarty introduced us to.  Prisoner of War bracelets http://thewall-usa.com/bracelet.asp  were created during the Viet Nam war as a reminder that soldiers were not forgotten.  On each POW/MIA bracelet was the name, rank and loss date of an American soldier. We purchased and wore them keeping an eye out for each soldier’s return to the United States so we could return the bracelet to the POW/MIA soldier so they understood they were never forgotten.  “POW bracelets taught us to be socially conscious, she didn’t treat us like 5th graders, she treated us like people who could make a difference in the world.”

Understanding that we all learn differently, she spoke about her vulnerability when she learns new things and passed on her tips and tricks to help us as unique individuals best learn in our own way.  She was so organized and had such well-planned lessons and outings we never felt confused by what we were going to be doing that day or what we were learning, she showed us how to organize and declutter our minds.

It was a very safe learning environment. What a gift our grammar school gave us by hiring her!  Imagine, a teacher being able to reach 40 unique students in a variety of ways, ways that worked while creating socially conscious people.   I cannot thank her enough!  Why not reach out to your positive former teachers?

 

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.

(Got Clutter?)

It’s fact:  Clutter is bad for your mind, and bad for your wallet.  It’s also bad for your health!  If your living space is messy and cluttered you are living with other housemates!  YES!  Other housemates, besides your family and pets.  A cluttered house is a haven for allergens that flourish indoors.  And if you have indoor allergies, chances are that house dust and it’s components may be a contributory culprit.  By decluttering and cleaning up your living space you will eliminate, if not minimize the presence of indoor allergens.  Decluttering helps you and your loved ones breathe easier.  And that’s GOOD NEWS!

Indoor allergens can be dust allergens, mold allergens and indoor pollen.  Dust mites, cockroaches, and pet dander tend to be the biggest offenders of house dust.  Mold allergens can be visible and invisible, and is a fungus that produces spores that float in the air like pollen.  Ornamental plants and fresh cut flower can be harboring indoor pollen, but most it’s blowing in from the outdoors through open doors and windows, or brought in on clothing or pets.

Silk plants and flowers are often overlooked, too.  These types of plants do not require regular watering care and can be often be unseen for the accumulation of dust.  If you decide to keep this type of decoration in your home, it will require cleaning and dusting.  To remove the dust you will need to wipe down the leaves.  If there are too many leaves you will need to take it outside using an industrial blower or purchase an air spray can and apply.  If there is an extreme amount of dust accumulated you may want to use a hose to rinse down the objects before bringing back into your home.

Dust in the house is a big issue for those with allergies.  The less trinkets around the house makes the dusting easier, and you will be more efficient and organized.  Everyone can breathe easier too!

The benefits of decluttering are far reaching past the aesthetic improvement and the mental health benefits.  A physically healthy self will emerge, like a rebirth, as you continue to live in your newly DeCluttered environment.  2014-07-21 11.28.38

20160801_111942    When is the last time you were asked that question?  How often have you really thought about “support” and the meaning, let alone who is your support.  By definition, support is a network of people who provide an individual with practical and/or medical support.  A good support system helps you achieve a better experience especially if you are going through a transition or a tough time.  A good support system lets you know you are not alone, and helps you to cope in a time of change.

“Getting your ducks in a row” is funny, but can lead the way for effective planning.  There are people all around who can help.  You may have answered this question easily, but the second part of the question is who is qualified to help.  It is important to consider the people in your life and the role they play, and what specific types of support they can offer, including practical planning and preparation.

Changes are part of life and can be challenging and require a lot of “knowing what to do” and the next steps for well-informed and right actions.  When things get difficult toughing it alone can be an uphill battle full of stress and quick decisions that result in answers you may have to live with vs. the time to make wiser and more informed decisions through the help, wisdom, experience and insight of others.  There are a lot of things to consider when dealing with the changes of life that need to be considered.  The guidance for these considerations will help with making the process easier and more pleasurable for you and your family.  This is where your support team can help.

With the right help and support your next life change can be done thoughtfully and easily.  Identifying and establishing a list of reliable people is the first step to building a support system that helps make informed decisions, guides, keeps you safe with ease.

So, who can you turn to?