I’m having a “feel-good” garage sale…

August 2, 2018 — As you may or may not know, I’ve been on a mission this summer to lighten up the amount of STUFF in my house.  Less is more:  less time spent looking for things, less money spent re-buying those things you couldn’t find (see the picture!), and less frustration in general when you walk around your house and feel the SPACE.  I love it.  I love the process, too.34985426-fd7d-4d4b-af99-bfb17b620634-2606-0000022ac8c662ab_file-1

However, I have developed this “problem” of not wanting to take all these cast-offs to the nearest Goodwill en masse, because I know that it’s great stuff, useful to people near me and wouldn’t be well served in the Goodwill funnel.  I want the school/office supplies to go to a school:  the toys to go to a hospital, the clothes to go to a neighbor, see how this goes in my brain?  (P.S. I rarely sell things.  Remember this blog post?)

How do I scratch this itch?  By freecycling many items in my Buy Nothing Project Facebook group, and oh, the joys of setting things on my porch and someone excitedly comes to pick it up!  Inevitably, “theirs just broke” or “they are having an exchange student and it’s just perfect” are just some of the great tidbits that bring joy to the process.

But, right now, I have TOO MUCH to give away one item at a time.  Solution:  I’m having a “YARD SALE”.  A fundraising yard sale.  This will be my 3rd one.  I had 2 in my old house and let me tell you, it takes the “pricing stress” off and furthers the goal of “get the stuff gone to people that want it”.  BONUS:  money to donate to a worthy cause!

I’ve chosen Any Baby Can of Austin for this particular “sale” and I feel excited to see how much I can get for them to support their programming.

So, I’ll be celebrating National Garage Sale day on the 2nd Saturday in August (yes it’s a thing!) in a special way.  Maybe you find this idea interesting…maybe you think I’m insane, but that’s cool.  It’s all about where you get your energy, and this gives me LOTS!

Cheers, y’all!

on being “too” prepared…

July 23, 2018 — Are you automatically frustrated when you get home with items you just purchased and can’t even put them away without a major project of trying to make room??

Thanks to Costco, Amazon subscriptions, and stores everywhere, we have gotten into a habit of being PREPARED. Sure, it’s great to have things you use on hand all the time, but are you keeping too much around? Are you “too” prepared? Are your supplies becoming clutter? Do you accidentally re-buy things because you didn’t know you already had PLENTY of plastic cutlery for the party you’re having? Guilty!

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I’m spending more time looking at what I have on hand, and trying to be purposeful about it. I’m more likely to use it if I can FIND it easily. It’s having a calming effect on me.

Things are so easy to buy now, via Amazon, Instacart, and more online shopping than ever before, so just use what you have! And fill in the gaps only when they happen. And enjoy the space that you’ll recover, both in your cabinets and your mind:)

Peace, y’all!

Obvious question: Are your kids BORED?? (Help is on the way!)

 

img_0315July 10, 2018 — I know, Master of the Obvious here, but I want you to know that there’s HELP for this problem!  It’s July and summer is already half over (yikes!) and you pretty much want to murder your kids.  They are USELESS, RESTLESS, and way OVERSCREEN-TIMED, wouldn’t you agree?  Why won’t they get out and DO something?!?

Reason #4639 why I love Austin:  we have a plethora of funky, interesting places here.  And this one hits all the good points:   it’s cheap, it’s earth-friendly, it’s awesome.  And it’s getting a cult following!

Austin Creative Reuse stole my heart in early 2018 when someone told me there was a place to donate office supplies, games, art supplies and the like.  My clients always give away that kind of thing, so I took a load to donate and was blown away!  I immediately went on FB Live and well…watch here!

So, get out the door and go to ACR and let the creativity flow!

BUT WAIT!!!  First check on your art supplies, craft supplies, games, office supplies, wrapping supplies and see if you have some stuff you thought you’d use, but NEVER WILL.  The last thing I want is for you to bring a bunch of stuff into your house (even though it’s cheap and environmentally sound) and then come crying to me that your house got more cluttered.  Even one small shopping bag will make you happy. Click here to see a list of what they accept.  Trust me, after you go, you’ll want to come home and fill 10 bags to take with you on your second visit!  Take pics with your phone to help jog your memory when your get home.

I hope you have a blast there and set your kids up for some crafting fun to get you through the rest of the summer!  Check on their hours; since they are a non-profit, they have limited hours.  I know you will LOVE IT!!  They offer workshops and volunteer slots, too.  Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram, too!

Challenge:  in August, talk to your favorite teachers about ACR!!  They can outfit their classroom 1000 times cheaper and donate their extra clutter.  Offer to help them, since they are strapped for time, but ALL TEACHERS need this place!!

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I love surprises…

June 28, 2018 — There’s nothing that makes you feel more “legit” as a business owner than when you check your email and find a message from your online scheduler that says: “(name of complete stranger) has scheduled a consultation with you”.

A mind-blowing moment, I assure you.

Recover. Click over to the scheduler, and yep, there it is. A real live person found MY website and scheduled with ME. Too exciting!

Now what?

Ok. Email her and ask if she’s good with Facetime-ing the consultation so I can see her organizational struggles in real life while we talk. Check, that works for her.

At last, the appointed time comes and I “call” her via FT and there she is…

A MILLENNIAL??!!  

Back up. All of my clients up to this point have been Gen-Xers or older; or younger, like teens, so imagine my surprise and delight! I was immediately impressed with her proactive stance towards getting herself on the path to “adulting” as a grownup who purchased her very own condo. However, the pace of her life and work had taken a serious toll on her living situation and left her condo in such a state that she was reticent to invite anyone over.

I encounter this all the time. We are living by fast furious schedules which don’t lend kindly towards having a home where we want to have guests.  Frustrating!

But, impressively, she knew about the existence of people like me, professional organizers who know what to do and how to teach skills and strategies to change things for the better. Therefore opening up the possibility, even the probability, of inviting some peeps over for Millennial-type activities, probably involving juicing and/or quinoa.

KIDDING!!! (Disclosure: I love quinoa.)

Seriously though, after several wildly productive purging and organizing sessions, she’s most looking forward to having her family over for their next visit.  Just because we have become adults, we still want to make our parents proud of us!  And they are in for a welcome surprise.

I’m not her parent, but I am quite proud of her, too! Here are a few pics:

Living area, right when you walk in…

Entertainment and storage/display center:

Closet:

and her treasured and varied crafts for babysitting jobs and personal use:

After hours of targeted work, looking way better!  Her ability to FUNCTION has dramatically increased as the VOLUME of her possessions has greatly decreased. (it’s a marathon not a sprint, don’t forget.)

Let go of material things, and you will be rewarded with sanity and time to spare!  Cheers!

 

 

 

Thred Up Goody Boxes can make any ol’ day feel like it’s your BIRTHDAY while still keeping it Earth-friendly (& a link to my new YouTube video)

June 22, 2018 — Whew.  I write that date and wonder “where did June go??”  I’m here to tell you fabulous news:  ANY DAY CAN FEEL LIKE YOUR BIRTHDAY!

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I, along with many smart and clever people, have discovered this AWESOME thing called the ThredUP Goody Box, which is like Stich Fix but “thrift-style”.  Meaning: MORE AFFORDABLE and environmentally RESPONSIBLE.

I recorded an “unboxing” video that you can watch here. (It’s about 7 min long…but hey, there’s a laugh a minute!)

I hope you enjoyed the video, (and you’re still here reading this post, woot!)  Without further ado…

 Here’s a little fashion show for you.

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This was so fun!  I HIGHLY recommend it.  Let someone shop for you, with very low commitment and very HIGH excitement factor.

Ok, you KNOW you have to try it.  Here’s a link:  (if you use this link we both get a $10 break)

Well, here’s what I kept!  6 things:  1 short, 2 pants, 2 tops and a dress!  I dropped the rest back in the same box and sent back with the pre-paid shipping label.  Win-win.

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You know you can’t wait to try the ThredUp Goody Box.  Happy Birthday every day!!

Why organizers need to get organized too…

June 5, 2018 – It’s been a little while since I have posted here so I’ll blame May: end of school, graduations, etc. Congratulations to the class of 2018 of which my firstborn was a part!!!

So, I often get told: “you don’t even need to exercise!” (referring to the fact that I am naturally slim). To which I always reply: “everyone needs to exercise!”

I also often hear: (after telling someone I am a professional organizer), “oh your house must be perfect!”.

Ha! Bien au contraire!!

Case in point: this photo shows that I have 3+ bags EACH of walnuts and pecans. Where did I hide them such that I keep buying more?

Also, I double buy my spices! How do I lose track of spices??!?!

Anyway, I’m sharing with you that this summer I am going to focus on having “less less less”. At 9 AM every day my Google Calendar asks me: “what is leaving the house today?”. I am really looking forward to having less stuff and more time to do fun things with my family and nature, which is especially important since my oldest will be leaving the nest this August! (sniff sniff)

I’m calling it my House Detox.

With my new best friends Instacart and Amazon, I don’t really need to keep so many things on hand and in my way. So watch my journey by following me on Instagram at @organizing4good

Hoping to inspire you as well! Let it go!!

“Thred Up” for Dummies…clean out your closet and do a good turn. (win-win-win)

May 22, 2018 – Wouldn’t you like to combine having cute clothes in your closet (chosen for you by a personal stylist), saving time & money, while bettering the planet all at the same time?!?  Thankfully, there IS an option that hits all the high points.

Watch my YouTube video here:

I spent a good portion of my Mother’s Day organizing my WHOLE closet, and I loved it. (I’m an organizer, not weird!!!)  While it can be daunting and time-consuming, it can also be exhilarating when you’re paring down your collection to the items that you really love and feel great in. Also, it never fails to reunite you with a few items you’d lost track of over the past months (or years??) since you last did a deep dive into your closet.

Closets are such an integral part of our overall self; they get us prepared to tackle life EVERY SINGLE DAY. The opposite is also true: a wildly disorganized closet holds us back and adds stress to our already stressful lives.  I know you can relate!

So you’re ready to tackle it: you start taking things out and making decisions about what to keep and what to let go. You stop for a second while considering an item: a really cute dress you thought would work brilliantly but just turned out to be…meh.

You launch into the typical struggle we all have when deciding whether to keep it or let it go: but I paid MONEY for that/it’s a good brand/ I’ll probably wear it again…someday.

Hate to tell you: NO, you won’t. It will still be there waiting for you to clean out your closet again, and you will participate in the same conversation in your head!

What helps us let go of those things? Knowing they can go to a better place and be used, appreciated and respected by someone else!

Today’s current trends are: online shopping, eco-fashion, online personal styling (Stitch Fix), boho/retro dressing styles, saving money, and finding kinder avenues towards our Earth.  What’s NOT to love about those?  So guess what??

Thred Up is an online thrift store that lets you send in sellable clothes!  Unload those duds and get a few dollars.  Or, donate what you make to a worthy cause.  Win-win-win!

It’s so incredibly easy!  Go HERE request a bag. Then just bag up your items and drop it at the post office or leave it for your letter carrier.

I sent mine off yesterday.  But I am ordering another one today since I had more to send in than would fit into the bag.  Did I mention the bags are POSTAGE PAID???  Meaning: no charge to send in the clothes!!!  So every excuse you might come up with is gone.  So get your unwanted items GONE!  Let me know at Love Your Space Organizing on FaceBook!

Why I can’t drive past this and not create a blog post…

May 4, 2018 — Wow, it’s really May!  While we’ve been enjoying a cooler than normal Spring, people are still in that “get it out” mode that is brought on by Spring Cleaning energy.  It happens every year and we should capitalize on those urges that lead us to open up windows, change out heavier blankets for lighter ones, and fill boxes to cart off to donate.

With education though, we know now that there are items that we don’t have to toss in the landfill, like this copier!  I called the City of Austin Resource Recovery and asked about one of my favorite things: “large item trash pickup” which happens every 6 months.  It is FASCINATING!  It’s freecycling in it’s purest form:  put it out, and someone picks it up, no questions asked.  And then, whatever remains, gets picked up by a truck and carted off to the landfill.  Yes, from your curb directly to the landfill.

Electronics should NOT go in the landfill.  It’s so easy these days to donate electronics for recycling:   google “electronics recycling austin” (or follow my link) and you’ll be overwhelmed by the choices!  And that is precisely why we have trouble: it is too overwhelming.   This is why I am here for you.   My calling as an eco-organizer is to make it simpler and very do-able for you to “get stuff out” without not wrecking the environment in the process:)

ACTION ITEM:  Set up a bag, box or bin in which to toss your electronic cords, devices and the like and then take it to a proper electronics recycler.  I personally use Z TechGlobal Solutions these days, but if you’re walking into Best Buy, look at the bins they have to collect all sorts of things.  There are pick up services for large items like the copier above.  Yes, sometimes you have to pay a little, but hey, aren’t you glad there are companies out there dedicated to recycling ELECTRONICS?!  I sure am.

Cheers, y’all!

Why 3 hours in a garage can be the most fun and valuable time you’ll spend all week!

April 8, 2018 – Do you know the saying, the days are long but the years are short?  Lately, though, it seems that the days are short and the years are going by at warp speed!  Such is the truth surrounding the piles, boxes, and bags of random stuff that we drop in places during these days and weeks that zip by, and before know it, your kids are teenagers and you still have legos, coloring books, and the like collecting dust in your garage, occupying space you need for serious baseball and golf equipment!

You know that your messy garage/playroom/bedroom is costing you time and money and leading to frustration over feeling perpetually behind and ill-prepared.  So you say to yourself:  TODAY I will clean out the garage/playroom/bedroom!  You set out with every good intention of progress, you really do!  But then, you check an email that needs attention. You answer a phone call that takes close to 30 minutes…

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Gone now is that time you were “going to finally make progress”!!!

Recently I spent a gloriously productive 3 hours with a client in her garage that shaved 10 years off that space.  For starters, we donated a crib, threw out multiple dead bouncy balls, and boxed up many toys that will benefit a school carnival soon.  As well as finding things to donate or toss, we also found some important items that she needed to pass on to someone for an upcoming event; things that if she’d been actually looking for, she’d likely not have found!  Think of all that time and stress she saved!

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Why were we able to shave 10 years off this garage in 3 hours?  WE SCHEDULED THE SESSION.  She set aside the time to dedicate to the task.  We talked about the goal for the space, and we worked hard without getting distracted.  Yes, we drank water and took short breaks, but truthfully, we FOCUSED.  And wow.  Check it out.

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You deserve to have similar victories in your space.  Don’t you want to LOVE YOUR SPACE?  Call me.

Note:  all photos and anecdotal material used with permission from client.

 

Musings on my most recent experience of selling our old bed frame (instead of giving it away)

img_0594March 22, 2019 — To sell or not to sell? While donating something doesn’t actually give you that money-in-your-pocket benefit, my recent experience of selling a bed reiterated to me how selling something always costs more in time and mental energy than I really want to spend. I have become an avid and frequent freecycler (most of it done through my local Buy Nothing Project Facebook group); and second only to the joy of giving something to someone is the ease in which you can release the object. (and third is receiving something from someone else that you didn’t have to go buy!!)

Here’s how it went down:

Recently I decided our old bed was destined to leave the attic, and “good enough to sell” (I knew my husband would appreciate the effort). So I took time to wipe it down & shine it up (to make it look desirable), took pictures, did a little research as to how I should price it, then posted it on some social media selling sites. Then immediately came the multiple requests wanting to purchase it…most of them started with “will you take X dollars less?” (I don’t mind a good barter so I priced it higher knowing I would be willing to take less)

But the exhaustion came from fielding all the different requests and finally getting one person commit to buying it and holding off the ocean of continued requests until I had confidence that I had a solid buyer. Then the arranging to pick it up and get paid took another round of energy and time I did not want to spend. I had to rearrange my schedule to be home. Then came the doubt as to whether I’d overcharged for the bed after I started to evaluate how dinged up it looked on every surface! Energy drained! No joy acquired.

Now let’s turn back the clock and say I instead decided to Freecycle this bed.

Here’s how it would go down:

Time to release that bed taking up space and being useful to no one but dust bunnies! I took a quick picture, posted it on my local Buy Nothing site, checked back for comments, then p.m.-ed someone my address. Last step was to put it out in front of my house. No need to try to spit shine or even worry the slightest little bit. Bed now will be loved and not camping out useless in my home.

Easy. Release. Joy. Done.

I know you can’t argue with the joys of some cash in the pocket, but consider that your time and energy are better served by giving things away and spreading the joy.

Peace out!