You’ve Got Mail

July 23, 2009

Now what?

Don’t let that mail pile up! Attacking your mail each day only takes a few minutes.  Really…follow me!

#1 Pick up mail

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#2 Open mail, separate by category (55 seconds)

Here are my categories:

  • recycle (all envelopes, marketing stuffers, junk mail)
  • shred (credit card offers)
  • publications to read
  • bills to pay

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#3  Place piles in their “homes”  (1 minute, 5 seconds)

I traveled to:

  • paper recycling bin in laundry room
  • magazine basket in living room
  • “to shred” box in office
  • “action, bill ” center in office

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See, literally minutes.

Having “homes” and a process set up will help you do this in minutes as well.  Clutter is delayed decisions.  When people don’t have a system, they will tend to leave items, like the mail, where they land.  Entry tables, stairs or kitchen counter tops become overwhelmed by mail piles.  Take a few minutes to set up a system.  It will be worth it!

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Stay-cation this Year?

July 17, 2009

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Have you heard the new vacation term this year?  Stay-cation?

Stay-cation is taking time off, being on vacation but staying local.  When I grew up it was no big deal and it was just called “day trips.”

Many people are staying home this year because of the lacking economy.  But just because you are not going some place by plane, train or automobile you can still have a great time.  I am sure. there are so many places in your own area that you never venture to.  I live in Boston and we had never done many of the “history” tourist tours such as The Battle of Lexington & Concord and the Mayflower until we had a cousin from Texas come visit.  So glad we did!

Think of the places you have always said “Oh, we should do that some time” or “that is an interesting place.”  It can be a museum, a beach or simply an area of the city that you have never explored.  Visit some relatives you never have time to see.  It is up to you.

Some may be taking time off and will work on their “to do list.”  Sometimes getting things done around the house can take a weight off your shoulders.

To make the most out of your “stay-cation” have a plan.  You don’t want Sunday to come and you feel like you just wasted time and didn’t either do anything fun or get anything done.

  • Make a list of what you would like to do.
  • Plug it into a calendar.
  • Hop on line to check out any hours of operation that may be applicable to your activity.
  • Go on line and research the many “free” fun things to do.  Your local library may also have passes to various museums and attractions.
  • Make a list of what you may need and shop.  This can be extra sunscreen for the beach or a laundry list of materials you will need from Home Depot for home repairs.

Most of all, enjoy the time off.  Try and unplug yourself as much as possible from the various technologies that suck up your time and stress you out on a regular day.

Have fun!

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Travel Clutter

July 15, 2009

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Are you getting ready to venture off for your summer vacation?

Remember, a vacation is time to relax, spend time with friends or family and explore.  You don’t have to spend this precious time buying souvenirs for yourself and those at home.

I grew up doing that.  Even a vacation going to Cape Cod (a little over an hour away) I would spend time finding the right t-shirt for this one, the right mug, nick knack or piece of jewelry for the other.

I have to admit last year when I was in Hawaii I realized I spent to much time shopping for the gang at home.  I like popping around the various stores, but I did not like the feeling of “have to” while on vacation.  This was totally self inflicted.  My parents would have preferred I save the money or  spend it on an activity there.  And it is not like I have never brought them back anything from Hawaii…I’ve been there 6 or so times!

While organizing kitchens I find shelves and shelves full of mugs and glasses from various vacations.  Sitting there, collecting dust and taking up valuable “prime real estate” in the cabinet.  Lots of  T and sweat shirts from various places can be found in closets and dresser drawers.  Again, many not worn but kept as a “memory” from a trip or a trip that someone else took.

You don’t have to keep a mug to remember your trip.  You don’t have to keep it just because someone else gave it to you.  If you love mugs and use them great, but if they are kept as a memory you can let them go.  Do you remember the fun time?  Do you remember the island or country you visited?  Do you have photos or video from the trip?  If you really want to buy something as a  remembrance, buy 1 nice thing that you will cherish and use or wear.  Every time you do, it will remind you of that special place.  Trying to jam items into your kitchen cabinet or dresser drawer because there is too much travel clutter WILL NOT remind you of that fun time!  Don’t inflict this on family and friends if you are the traveler.

If there is something that you cannot let go,  decide if you use or where it.  If you do, keep it in your main space.  If you do not and you are keeping it as a memento, then it should be out of the prime area, and put in your keepsake box.

Happy travels!

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Don’t Waste Time!

July 6, 2009

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Bad news:  My cat has gotten into everything today.  He thinks everything should go in his mouth or be a toy.

Good news:  I took a piece of paper out of his mouth, and it was from my desk.  A quote I love but have not looked at in a while.

“Regret for wasted time is more wasted time”

by Mason Cooley

Thanks Sam the Cat for reminding me of this important lesson!

Freedom from Clutter

July 3, 2009

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Happy 4th of July!

4th of July weekend is perfect to spend quality time with friends and family and celebrate our country.  Celebrate the people who  have sacrificed for us and our democracy.  The “land of the free”…free is such a powerful word.

If clutter or disorganization is a cause of distress for you, you can start now, in the spirit of freedom, to declare your independence from clutter.  Taking the time to tackle these challenges will help free you not only from physical clutter, but emotional clutter as well.

  • Commit the time
  • Create goals
  • Make decluttering a priority
  • Enlist the help you need
  • Refer to this blog for tips on specific areas

Remember…

Organizing is a Process not an Event

You can start small with  1 drawer, the kitchen counter or the bathroom vanity.  Edit out what no longer benefits you and create a home for what does.  Free yourself from the clutter.

But first, have a great weekend…I am wishing you and yours a very happy and safe holiday weekend.

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