pens, tape, rubber bands, hole punch reinforcements tangled in messy desk drawer

Organized Enough

There are no organizing police, but you'd be surprised how many of my clients worry there might be. Perhaps you too feel you aren't organized enough, that you're not doing it right. Often, that's because you grew up in a…

purple stuffed animal with a nervous expression

The Importance of Clutter

from the archives: Sometimes clutter is vital and that’s why you’re keeping it. It’s not important because your house papers are in those piles somewhere, although that may well be the case. It’s important because it’s serving you well, cocooning…

social media icons (facebook, twitter, instagramon a phone screen

What are you doing instead of decluttering?

Everyone wants to be organized but no one wants to declutter because it's overwhelming. You take one look at the guest room and you just want to close the door and make it all go away. You cede the space…

black screen

How to Organize Even When You’re Sad

When the world stops making sense, it's hard to concentrate on everyday tasks like decluttering. There's a giant feeling of 'why bother?' hanging over everything and a feeling of terrible impotence. Anger turns inward to depression. So, the closet is…

stack of pretty turquoise storage boxes

Organizing Without Decluttering

Being stuck at home shoves the state of your house in your face. If there's no rhyme or reason for where things go, the descent into chaos is swift and sure. "A place for everything and everything in its place!"…

a row of colored cups (line green, seafoam, kelly green, sky blue, royal blue) on a light blue background

Organizing Rules for Recovering Perfectionists

Which organizing rules are you trying very hard to follow? Do they help you or do they trip you up? Check out the new rules for coping with clutter without sending yourself over the edge. O.H.I.O. is Old School I…

yellow gray blue t-shirts on hangers in an orderly row

Getting Unstuck

Carol's closet was full.* Although she adored clothes, she knew some of her favorites had become more sentimental than usable. She was eager to thin the ranks so she could find what she wanted. She worked enthusiastically for our first…

yellow porcelain salt and pepper shakers with smiling faces bright red lipstick

Organizing With Pictures While We Wait

It's so easy to put off taking action when everything seems this uncertain but there's usually something you can do to keep the decluttering and organizing process going. This week, let's use our phones or cameras to organize. Something You're…

wooden dresser stored in unfinished basement

Thing Purgatory

Are you still punishing your things for not being quite right? Instead of releasing them to find new homes or go to their final resting place, have you opened up a branch of Purgatory in your basement where the things…

Joyful Surroundings logo colorful plumeria flowers with healthy green leaves

Be Kind

My father was reminiscing at the dinner table some forty years ago, searching for the perfect example to make his point. He leaned back in his chair and casually mentioned the epoch he was thinking of. "I think it was…

homemade quilt in red, yellow, green, black and white colors on a concrete basement

Sentimental Stuff

If you have trouble letting things go, you're not alone. Making decisions about our stuff is exhausting and difficult for many people. Each and every thing seems attached to us by a tiny invisible thread, and cutting those threads can…

white and gold gift bag with gold ribbon and gift tag saying celebrate

Get Your Guilt-Free Gift Pass

How much of your clutter was given to you? Drawers full of unworn clothing in colors and styles that someone else picked out - pink fuzzy sweaters for people who love wearing sweats and a t-shirt. Athletic gear for people…

pile of tangled Christmas tree lights

Too Good to Donate?

Do you believe that nice things can't just go to Goodwill or ARC but must go to a better home? That thrift stores should be humbly grateful for every item we graciously send their way? On the face of it,…

birthday card, letters with airmail stickers on envelopes

When Clutter’s Personal

A surprising amount of the clutter that fills our homes falls into the category of evidence that we're loved. Here are the notes and letters all my friends from school sent me.  I'm likable. I've kept every Valentine and birthday…

Joyful Surroundings logo colorful plumeria flowers with healthy green leaves

Hopes and Dreams or Clutter?

As you look around at the clutter that fills your space, do you feel confused and puzzled about why it's even there? Consider the idea that everything you have represents a dream. It's not just a bunch of grocery coupons,…

jumbled puzzle piece from three different puzzles on a brown table

Solving the Decluttering Puzzle

Living in a cluttered house is like sitting down to do a jigsaw puzzle. But you have three 1,500 piece puzzles mixed up in the box and only room on the table to do a 500 piece puzzle. Something's got…

cookie press box

Falling Out of Love With Your Stuff

When you first saw them, you simply had to have them - it was the perfect cookie press, and that was the best backpack possible. The sheer intensity of your longing blinded you to the fact that you invariably buy…

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