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Yesterday I was was working with a client organizing memories, keepsakes.  I was happy to see that she had already edited it down to what really mattered to her and there was not that much.

There was a box of magazines and newspapers from historical events.  I have to admit I have Princess Diana’s wedding and death People magazine issues and of course John John Kennedy from when he tragically died.  I know I really don’t need them, but I have the space and they are “organized.”

If you have similar “paper” items,  keep only what is related to the event.   You don’t have to keep the entire newspaper.  If you do look back at these or someday your relatives do, they don’t care that Herman’s was a store back in the 70’s or what was in the classified ads that day.  You/they care about reading  the story of the Middle East Peace Treaty, September 11th, The Red Sox winning the world series, and of course about Diane and John John 🙂  So, keep the important articles and photos and recycle the rest.

You will save lots of room for meaningful memories.  I just read a book by organizer Eileen Roth and loved this quote that can relate to this:

“Everything is the sum of parts, but some parts count more than others.”

When storing photos and and “paper” you want to choose a container that is acid free, like the box above from The Container Store.  Crafting stores like Michael’s and AC Moore also carry archival boxes as well.

Once you do have your “memory box,” go through it every once in a while.  Maybe as a child gets over or if there is a milestone in your life.  If items are worth keeping, don’t let them just live in the box and never see the light of day again.  If that is the case, then maybe they don’t need to stay at all…

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Some may say all clutter is negative, but there is clutter that is without a doubt, 100%, truly negative.  It can be physical clutter or emotional clutter.  Either way, it is time to clear it out!

Especially if you have a hard time letting go of things, start with anything that has a negative feeling, memory or experience attached to it.  For some reason we hang on to these items just like we do the positive ones.  Why?  Would we continue to eat something if it tasted bad or made us sick?  Would we continue to do activity if it hurt or harmed us? Start by removing anything that has negativity to it.  Make room for the important and positive things in your life and your space.

I’ve worked with clients who have kept medical letters of former dire circumstances.  They remember the pain all too well without the need of this piece of paper as a reminder.  Let those go.  Photos of relationships that was negative, say bu-bye.  I myself found a legal letter this week that was from a very painful experience.  I actually thought I had thrown it out years ago.  Nope, it was still there.  Was, key word.  I have released that negative energy and it is gone.

Toxic, negative people in your life?  Remove them too.  I call that “people clutter.”

Grab that trash can and start having more room for positive memories, people and energy!

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Oprah Organizes – Again

February 18, 2009

O is for Oprah

O is for Organizing

Set your DVR for Oprah for tomorrow (Thursday.)  Her guest will be organizing expert Peter Walsh.  It is part of their road show series.  You can get some excellent tips from Peter and if you feel that you are disorganized you will also see that you are not alone!

The Container Store is a sponsor.  You can check out their site for air time and also, check back after the show or on the Oprah site.  Last time they offered 20% coupons for the store.  Not sure if they will this time  Now remember, only buy what you NEED.

The Container Store – Clean Up Your Messy House Tour

Have fun watching and saving…and look for a fellow New England organizer Elizabeth Selders in the audience.  She was there an spoke on camera, hopefully she makes the final cut!

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Pop Goes the Balloon

February 13, 2009

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A friend of mine just moved and has been going through things still at the old house.  Doing some good ol’ purging.  He came upon the balloons from his 30th birthday party…he is  now 48 years old.  Finally he was able to throw them away.

He is not the only one of late to do so.  I had a similar experience with a client.  Balloons and decor from a party 15 years or so ago. After a lot of hard work and learning what is really important to keep in her life, she was able to  throw them away.  Believe it or not, it is not uncommon and for some very hard to do.

Items from memorable occasions can be tough to let go.  Prom dresses, flowers from a loved one, mother of the bride dress.  At first we think the memory of the person or occasion is directly tied to these items.  But they are not.  When you come across an item like this think:

  • Do I have the memories for the event in my mind?
  • Do I have photos?
  • Do I really need this item to be reminded of the event or the person?

I bet you will answer no!  It is time to let them go…

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