‘I always ask, What hurts most?’

Filled Up and Overflowing - what to do when life events, chronic disorganization, or hoarding go overboard, is a compassionate, practical read that I wish had been available when I was starting out as an organizer. I'm thrilled we have…

photo of woman standing on sunflower field

Accountability That Works

If your Facebook or Twitter feed is anything like mine, you're currently being deluged with offers for productivity coaches, apps and courses. Many of them might be helpful but is this really the first time you've tried to get organized…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Q & As

Last week's paperwork challenge gave me the opportunity to hear what troubles you most about paperwork - here are my answers to the top three most popular questions I've received. Shouldn't I Be Scanning All This Paperwork? Only if you…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 9

You made it! I'm so grateful for your time and energy during this paperwork challenge. As promised, I'm wrapping this challenge up with a list of five file folder categories that'll make organizing your paperwork in 2021 and beyond so…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 8

So good to see you! I'm posting these daily so you have the sequence of steps but please know that I'm not expecting, or even encouraging you to take just one day for each step. Take it steady, go at…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 7

Thanks for coming back, I'm excited to show you how to move your paperwork from broad categories (see posts 1 - 6) into the next level of organization without having you break out into a sweat! To review, you've taken…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 6

Keep sorting papers, twenty minutes at a time, until you have all the papers distributed into bankers boxes. Could take a while or it could take twenty minutes, depending on how much paperwork you're sorting. This could be the end…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 5

Alright, you're ready - let's start sorting! Set your timer for 20 minutes and let's do this. Take a handful of papers and look at the first one. What is it? Without spending ten minutes reading it through and worrying…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 4

Nearly there! Today's step is to gather a large recycling can and a large garbage can, empty them both and then set them in the room with the piles of paper, the flat surface to work on and the assembled,…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 3

Today's the day to open the bankers box pack and assemble a few of them. If you've done this before, it'll take you less than 30 seconds per box but if you've never put together a bankers box before, you…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 2

Welcome back! I hope Day 1 wasn't too arduous and you were able to gather all your piles of paper together and find a flat surface to sort them on. Day 2's step is to head for Walmart, Target or…

two tall stacks of paperwork and files

Paperwork Challenge Day 1

Even if you usually run a pretty tight ship, paperwork probably makes you groan. Sorting through it seems so daunting, so time consuming, so incredibly boring. To celebrate the end of 2020, I've got you covered with a New Year's…

cans of pureed pumpkin

Holiday Clutter Challenge part 2

How did you get on with last week's Send it away Saturday challenge? I enjoyed seeing your pictures and hearing about your Holiday discards! This week, the challenge gets a little more specific but it's still within the general umbrella…

tinsel on a christmas tree

Holiday Clutter Challenge

Mid-November through Mid-January is tough and expensive. It's cold, often overcast and there are all those Holidays. There's desire and pressure to buy gifts for anyone you can think of whether or not they want or need what you get…

Joyful Surroundings logo colorful plumeria flowers with healthy green leaves

Showing Up Even When You’re Not Feeling It

I could try to put this in my own words for you...or you could just enjoy this beautiful post from the creator of Zen Habits while I work through the sleep restriction phase of CBTI. Back to regularly scheduled programming…

character standing in front of three doors

The Simplest Clutter Challenge You’ll Find

As this pandemic drags on, I'm sure your inbox is as full as mine is with all sorts of improving suggestions about how to make the best use of our COVID time. If organization doesn't come naturally to you, these…

two small organized floating display shelves against a red painted wall

How Will I Know When I’m Organized?

If clutter has been a long-standing problem for you, it can be tough to figure out when you're done. How will you know when you're Organized with a capital O? Organized You're Organized when you can use each room for…

brown moving boxes stacked haphazardly in an poorly lit unfinished basement

How Long Will It Take to Get Organized?

When you hire an organizer after decades of accumulating clutter, it's reasonable to ask how long it'll take to sort it all out. You want to put a budget together, you want to set aside enough time to work with…

two small organized floating display shelves against a red painted wall

Keep Going!

It's mid January and those resolutions are starting to falter. Fear not, here's fresh inspiration to keep you going. Show Someone They're Wrong Don't underestimate the value of spite. We'll call it competitive spirit. They say you can't do it?…

jigsaw puzzle of the Rosetta Stone

New Decade, New You

Tired of making the same old New Year's Resolutions about decluttering and getting organized? Let's make 2020 the year you start making your entertainment clutter earn its keep. What's entertainment clutter? The books we're going to read, the movies we're…

baby sleeping peacefully in a crib

Decluttering With A Goal in Mind

If decluttering your whole house seems way too overwhelming, consider trying to declutter your way towards something you want to access. It would take days to deal with everything that's in the room right now, but you really want to…

moving boxes neatly stacked in the garage

How to Get Motivated to Declutter

Everyone knows they should declutter, but it can be so hard to find the motivation to get started. Take heart, I've boiled it down to two highly effective strategies. Strategy #1: Scare Yourself The crucial piece of this strategy is…

office desk and surrounding floor covered in clutter and two large houseplants

Clutter Speaks Out

Hello? It's me, your clutter. Listen, we need to talk. It's not like we really do much together anymore. I've been hanging out in the guest bedroom, and you haven't been in there for ages. To be honest, I've been…

7 rolls of paper towels stacked on a table

Clutter Math

Clutter isn't always sentimental stuff you're holding onto from the past. Sometimes it's perfectly useful everyday items you unwittingly have way too many of. Like eager Eagle Scouts, many of us are trying to win the world badge for preparedness.…

Joyful Surroundings logo colorful plumeria flowers with healthy green leaves

Decluttering is Not a Competitive Sport

Forget all the breathless posts on Facebook and Instagram. "Just dropped off 144 bags at my favorite charity on the way to volunteer at the soup kitchen. #blessed!!! [15 emojis]" Throwing yourself in a mad frenzy of decluttering feels productive…

pair of boxing gloves resting on a row of books in an unfinished garage

You vs. Stuff: Who Wins?

You are as important as your stuff. It sounds obvious, but few of us live that way. When you look around, does it look like you live there or does it look like you happen to share space with a…

stuffed toys arranged in a diorama

Who Gets to Decide What Clutter Is?

What's your organizing goal this? Is it to stand ready to be photographed for the cover of a magazine? Perhaps it's to have all 965 pieces of lego sorted by shape, color and size at the end of each day.…

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