Times-Call column

L T-C column August 2018

It’s August and school is almost back in session.  After a summer spent ignoring it all, you’re ready to tackle the house, the garage, the storage units, and the basement. If just reading that makes you realize you’re overwhelmed, maybe it’s time to ease into the organizing mindset by grabbing a sharpie and some blank labels. And start making honest labels.

Take a look in the boxes and report what you see. “Wedding china I’ve never used but feel guilty getting rid of.” “Books I’ll never read.” “Silverware that won’t be used unless I move into Buckingham Palace.” “Dresses I haven’t worn in twenty years.” “Baby clothes nobody wants.” “Snowshoes we’ll never use.” “DVDs and videos we’ll never watch.” “Pretty notecards I’ll never send to anyone.” “Beautiful journals I’ll never write in.” “Financial statements I’ll never reconcile.” “Receipts I’ll never look at again.” “Old school papers I’ll ignore for another twenty years.” “Random trash I kept when I cleaned out my last car.” “Fabric I have never and never will make into anything.” “Toys my children loved thirty years ago.” “Unlabeled photos, duplicates included.” “Spice jars from my old apartment.”

I could go on. So much of what we store is left over from a previous life or being saved for an unspecified time in the future. Imagine if we just kept the things that matter to us right now. If we didn’t feel we had to hold onto proof of the hobbies and relationships we once had or save things in case we might possibly need them one day. Our houses would be joyfully fit for who we are right here and now. It’d be easy to find places for everything because there wouldn’t be so much stuff in the way.

Can you start today? Grab a box from the garage or under the bed. Open it up and think about what label you’d give it. If it turns out to be “Sweaters I adore but can’t fit in the dresser,” that gives you your next move. Head for the dresser and assess the sweater situation. If you can fit ten sweaters in there, select from all the sweaters you have, not just the ones that were already in there. And send the rest away. And if it’s “Ugly itchy sweaters from high school,” that makes it easy. You didn’t like them then, haven’t worn them since. It’s time to say goodbye.

Lucy Kelly is a professional organizer who shares decluttering tips on her blog, www.joyfulsurroundingsllc.com. Reach her at lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com.

http://www.timescall.com/ci_32062529/send-it-away-saturday-letting-go-stuff-thats

© 2013 – 2018 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC

lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

Everything feels better with an organized home!

This month’s Longmont Times-Call column, plus scroll down for this week’s decluttering challenge.L T-C column June 2018

http://www.timescall.com/lifestyles/ci_31932330/send-it-away-saturday-whats-beautiful-you

Send it away Saturday sees double

duplicate books

The trouble with having a lot of books is you lose track of every single title. Maybe not when you’re younger, but by my fifties, my brain has too much stuffed away in long-term memory to be sure of every single title on my shelves. I love this book, but I don’t need two copies of it.

Have you combed your bookshelves for duplicates lately? If that makes you laugh, you might enjoy my article on How to Organize Books.

© 2013 – 2018 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC

lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

Everything feels better with an organized home!

This month’s Longmont Times-Call column heads down into the basement.

L T-C column Feb 2018

http://www.timescall.com/columnists/ci_31653529/send-it-away-saturday-time-tackle-tote-city

This column should be easy to read on a desktop computer, but it might be tricky on your phone. To save your eyesight, here’s a transcript of the Longmont Times-Call column:

Yes, it’s organized. Look at this tidy basement, with its uniform stacks of totes, oh so orderly in their dull gray precision.

Those totes are all full of clutter. How do I know? Because no one needs that many things just in case. Anything you love, need or use is out on display or to hand. You don’t have to go searching in totes for what’s part of your life right now.

Is it time to have a look-see at those organized not-so-little totes and see if you can’t free up some space in the basement for the things that are part of your life right now? Is there some camping equipment stuffed into the garage that needs a home? If you clear out Tote City, the basement can hold all the stuff that’s stopping you from parking your cars in the garage.

The good news is, it’s less overwhelming to declutter when things are already in totes. If you take it a tote at a time, the city will start to shrink. Twenty minutes a day with a tote sounds ridiculous when you look at how much there is, but you’d be surprised what it can achieve. Tote cities don’t surrender in a day, but when attacked steadily and consistently, they fall.

Some would argue that as long as you have the space, what does it matter if the basement’s full? My clients often tell me they thought that too, until the day when they had to move came sooner than planned and they were faced with the daunting prospect of storming the city walls in a month.

Hidden clutter still has to be dealt with sooner or later. If you want to have control over where it goes, or would like to spare your children the huge burden of dealing with it, it’s time to head into Tote City and start sorting.

After all, if a tote is full of photographs, you can’t look at them and enjoy the memories. Let’s find the photographs you love and create ways to display them so you can adore them whenever you want to.

If a tote is crammed with your kids’ old toys, they can’t make you smile. Let’s pick a select few favorites, find a shelf and set them out for you to enjoy. Let’s go treasure hunting in Tote City and find the things you love, want and need.

Lucy Kelly is a professional organizer who shares decluttering tips on her blog, joyfulsurroundingsllc.com. Reach her at lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com.

© 2013 – 2018 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.


Joyful Surroundings LLC

lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com

Everything feels better with an organized home!