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Is your clutter keeping you stuck?

Clutter: any obsolete object, space, commitment, or behavior that weighs you down, distracts you, or depletes your energy.

This brilliant, eye-opening definition in Julie Morgenstern’s SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, moves the perception of “clutter” beyond the conventional notion of mess, disorganization, and too many belongings.  I began reading this book with the intention of gathering some great techniques to transfer to my organizing clients.  I walked away with a completely new perspective on my life and how I choose to use my time.

She breaks down clutter into 3 distinct categories:

  • Physical Clutter – This one is the obvious clutter, excess in your physical space.
  • Time Clutter – This clutter can be found on your calendar and your to-do list.
  • Habit Clutter – This can be anything from habitual checking email and your phone to persistent negative self-talk.

Julie first asks the reader to tap into a theme, a mantra, or a goal.  Something that inspires them and what they want for their future.  With a vision of the destination in mind, you then embark on the journey of evaluating each of the clutter categories using her SHED philosophy.

shed_bookStep 1: S – Separate the Treasures — What is truly worth hanging on to?

Step 2: H – Heave the Trash — What is weighing you down?

Step 3: E– Embrace your Identity — Who are you without all your stuff?

Step 4: D – Drive yourself Forward — Which direction connects to your genuine self?

This brilliant books walks you through each step in the process and provides tools and worksheets along the way.  You work through the book as slowly as you need to until you have become unstuck and ready to move forward to the life you desire, unhindered by your clutter.

— Julie Morgenstern, dubbed the “queen of putting people’s lives in order” by USA Today is a professional organizer, productivity consultant, speaker, author, and media personality.

Click here to get your SHED profile.

Beth Deig is a Professional Organizer and owner of San Diego based Sorted Nest.  She fully embraces Julie Morgenstern’s philosophy that clutter is much more than just the stuff in your home.  She encourages her clients to visualize the “big picture” goal and works with them to create space for their best selves to shine.

Contact Beth for your in-home assessment today!

Is your clutter keeping you stuck?

Clutter: any obsolete object, space, commitment, or behavior that weighs you down, distracts you, or depletes your energy.

This brilliant, eye-opening definition in Julie Morgenstern’s SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, moves the perception of “clutter” beyond the conventional notion of mess, disorganization, and too many belongings.  I began reading this book with the intention of gathering some great techniques to transfer to my organizing clients.  I walked away with a completely new perspective on my life and how I choose to use my time.

She breaks down clutter into 3 distinct categories:

  • Physical Clutter – This one is the obvious clutter, excess in your physical space.
  • Time Clutter – This clutter can be found on your calendar and your to-do list.
  • Habit Clutter – This can be anything from habitual checking email and your phone to persistent negative self-talk.

Julie first asks the reader to tap into a theme, a mantra, or a goal.  Something that inspires them and what they want for their future.  With a vision of the destination in mind, you then embark on the journey of evaluating each of the clutter categories using her SHED philosophy.

shed_bookStep 1: S – Separate the Treasures — What is truly worth hanging on to?

Step 2: H – Heave the Trash — What is weighing you down?

Step 3: E– Embrace your Identity — Who are you without all your stuff?

Step 4: D – Drive yourself Forward — Which direction connects to your genuine self?

This brilliant books walks you through each step in the process and provides tools and worksheets along the way.  You work through the book as slowly as you need to until you have become unstuck and ready to move forward to the life you desire, unhindered by your clutter.

— Julie Morgenstern, dubbed the “queen of putting people’s lives in order” by USA Today is a professional organizer, productivity consultant, speaker, author, and media personality.

Click here to get your SHED profile.

Beth Deig is a Professional Organizer and owner of San Diego based Sorted Nest.  She fully embraces Julie Morgenstern’s philosophy that clutter is much more than just the stuff in your home.  She encourages her clients to visualize the “big picture” goal and works with them to create space for their best selves to shine.

Contact Beth for your in-home assessment today!

5 Reasons Home Organizing is “Green”

With the coming of Spring and St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I have had green on my mind today.  In the spirit of all of this green I thought I would share with you some reasons why I think getting your home organized is one of the most “green” things you can do for yourself and your family.  Below are five environmentally friendly things that I think can easily be incorporated into the organizing process.

1. Unused Items Donated or Sold for Reuse

As you go through all of the items in your home, you will very likely find at least some, if not a ton, of stuff that no one in your family has a use for any longer.  Whether they are books never to be re-read, clothes that no longer fit anyone, toys that have passed their glory days, random household items that no longer fit your home or your taste, or that horrible gift that you received for your birthday 2 years ago from your Great Aunt Marge who will NEVER know if you kept it or not.  The list of potential items goes on and on.  You may decide to pass these goods on to a friend with younger kids, or to sell them in a garage sale, or to simply donate them to a charitable organization.  The environmentally friendly choice you are making here is to NOT put them in the trash, and ultimately a landfill.  Unknown to a lot of people, when you donate textile items to Goodwill Industries International, Inc. you are especially ensuring they stay out of landfills.  Those clothes and textiles that are not in decent enough shape to sell, or otherwise do not sell, ultimately get sent to aftermarket textile recyclers.  Some items are ultimately sent abroad to countries where the demand for second-hand textiles is high, some become polishing and wiping cloths, and some get recycled into fiber to be used in upholstery, insulation, and furniture stuffing.  Click here to read more about how Goodwill handles this process.  So when you are cleaning out your clothing and linens remember that the items do not need to be re-wearable necessarily.  Ratty old towels, ripped sheets, your child’s stained and worn clothing, all can be reused.

2. Recycling of Electronics, Batteries, Lightbulbs, etc.

So many of our homes are drowning in electronics.  Some are still in working order, some have made their way to 2nd generation in our children’s hands, but many are dead and useless.  Whether they are broken or simply outdated and you have moved on to the next big thing, there are some great local resources for properly disposing of your e-waste.  One of my favorite places to take my own e-waste as well as that of my clients is a place called Recycle San Diego.  For a complete list of items they accept, either for free or for a fee, click here.  Anything that has a plug or takes a battery qualifies.  They also take toner cartridges, batteries, and light bulbs.  I personally keep a small bin in a cabinet where I collect old batteries (though we have made the switch to rechargeable for all AA and AAA).  I also throw dead light bulbs and toner cartridges in the bin.  They will even accept old appliances for a fee.  Some old computers, laptops, and monitors are disassembled and parts are sold off.  Generally, most items are disassembled, separating out the different materials, including plastics, and are recycled and disposed of properly.   You will receive a Certificate of Recycling from them showing that they have followed all appropriate means for recycling. Considering how much e-waste accounts for the clutter in our homes and the toxic waste in our landfills, it is extremely important to educate yourself on the proper disposal of these items.

3. Recycling of Unneeded Boxes, Paper, and Plastics

As you clear the clutter from your home you will come across a lot of trash that can be recycled.  You will need to check your local curbside recycling program to find out what is acceptable, but for the City of San Diego, click here.  You may be surprised by the additions they have made in the last year with regard to what is accepted.  Among the recyclable items I most often see are empty cardboard boxes and PAPER.  So much for a paper-less society.  We are all drowning in it.  Magazines, phone books and paper can be recycled curbside, but I do recommended you shred anything that contains: account numbers, birth dates, passwords and pins, signatures, and social security numbers.  You may also want to consider shredding anything with your name, address, phone number, or email address.  I take shredding to a couple of places: Recycle San Diego and the Goodwill Document Destruction Center.  The current price for shredding is $6/box.  Another thing I come across a lot when organizing my own home and other homes with children are broken plastic toys.  If they take a battery or plug in, they are e-waste, but if not, they can very likely be recycled curbside.  Check your local list of acceptable items.

4. Reduced Shopping Trips

Once you have achieved organization in your home, you will find that you actually can take inventory and know what you have.  So many times I have heard clients say in frustration upon finding an item, “Oh no!  I just bought another one of those because I forgot I already had one.”  This is especially important in your kitchen with regard to food and the bathroom with regard to toiletries, but it applies all over the house.  Not only does knowing exactly what you have in your home help you to save money on shopping, but you reduce waste by buying less.  Not to mention that you will save gas  when you don’t have to drive to a store or have something shipped to you.

5. Increased Ability to Get Home Clean

With an organized and simplified space, it is far easier to get into all the nooks and crannies (with your environmentally friendly cleaning products) and clean out all of the dust, mold, and other icky stuff living under your clutter.  This greatly affects the quality of your environment.  You can take a nice, deep, clean breath of fresh air and be thankful that you have cleared your home and your life of the burden of clutter.

If you are ready to “Green” your home and clear the excess clutter, but all of this recycling seems a bit much, call in for help.  Beth Deig of Sorted Nest will help you organize your home, and will haul off your donations, shredding, and e-waste to the proper places at no added charge.  Spring is Here!  Get Organized Today!

 

 

 

 

Kid Art Part 2: Archiving your Child’s Art

In my last post I wrote about my own trial and error and the solutions I have created for making a manageable, functional art creation space for my kids.  I am proud to say that the space still proves to be a great solution, though maintenance is definitely required on an almost daily basis.  One thing I have learned about organizing with kids (and adults) is that no organizing solution is ever a means to never having a mess ever again.  Kids are erratic and spontaneous, and unless your kids are from another planet or have received impeccable training from their parents, they will likely walk away from a mess now and then without cleaning it up.  Below I will explain the steps I have employed in maintaining my children’s art space and creating a system for archiving their work, as well.

1. Corral the Paper

If your kids are like mine, their art and creative writing projects don’t live in a neat pile in one area of your home, instead they can be found just about anywhere you look.  From their home-made creations to their school papers, I find paper on every surface. Therefore, on a daily basis I (and ideally my children as well) scour the house, collect returned school work, drawings, random art supplies, notebooks, and everything else that ideally lives in the art area, and bring it home.  We put all the supplies away, place the notebooks in their bin, and a stack of paper begins to form.  As an organizer I am also realistic about time.  The pile is a necessary part of a mother’s life because finding time to address every piece of paper every day is perhaps a little much to expect.

2. Sort, Purge, and Store

ArtStorageBox

19.5″x13.5″ Art Storage Box by Container Store

Next, I would say once ever week or 2 or 3, I take about 20minutes and I tackle that pile that has grown quite large over time.  I stand at the art table with a recycling bin, and I sort.  There are the obvious scraps that I place in the recycling and the random pieces of clean paper that can go back in the paper bin. I also create 2 piles, one for each kid.  The gems, like their most current example of their drawing style or their attempts at writing (my 5 yo) and their beautifully written and illustrated stories (my 7yo) get set aside in each child’s respective SAVE pile. I can safely say that in this process, the majority will end up in the recycling.  The few  or many keepers, and I am generous with the keepers, I place in each of their 19.5×13.5 Art Storage Boxes.  One for each child.  This collection grows and grows throughout the year.  At the end of the 20 minutes I have a cleared art table, a few stand-outs tucked away for safe keeping, and a full recycling bin.

itoyaartportfolio

9″x12″ Art Portfolio by Itoya

3. Create Art Portfolios from Stored Art

At the end of the school year (or sometime before the new school year starts) I pull out those boxes.  This part of the project is the most time consuming, but so rewarding.  And the end product is very exciting for you and for your kids.  I purchase one 9×12 Itoya Art Portfolio for each year for each child.  They seem to be the perfect size for pretty much everything your child creates. There are 24 pages in each.  This means that using both sides of each plastic sleeved page, placing the pieces back to back, you will have room for 48 keepers over a year’s time.  I find this is plenty of space.  Next, begin sorting out the stored artwork from the art boxes.  I recommend doing one child at a time, creating piles for each year.  Then begin loading the pages with all their creations.  I found that there will be (especially in the earlier years) many repeats of the same drawing.  I recommend saving the best 2 or 3 representatives of that period.  I like to save drawing samples, writing samples, reports, awards, certificates, report cards, notes from friends and teachers, and a few photos, especially if they are photos from school that wouldn’t make it to your family albums .  This portfolio is for you and your child both so maybe even let them throw in a couple things they want to save.  There will likely be more things to throw away after this step.  In the end, you and your child will have a year by year collection of their best work and so many memories.  To be honest, if you are a person that has been saving everything since the first time your child picked up a crayon and they are now in 3rd grade, this is going to be a cumbersome project to begin with.  But you will find it so rewarding when you are caught up.  And with this new system in place, subsequent years will be tackled in no time.

artportfolio1 artportfolio2

If the result of this project sounds appealing to you, but the prospect of tackling it alone seems daunting, call a Professional Organizer for help!  I would love to help you document your child’s development and create a way to honor and cherish all the years gone by as well as to come.

Remove overwhelm.  Insert joy.

To schedule your organizing consultation with Sorted Nest, fill out the contact form, and Beth will get back to you ASAP.

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