What is PaperPalooza? And why do you need to attend? read on…

March 12, 2019 — Yes!!  Your paper sucks.  Admit it.  When you need an important document, you have to carve out half a day (and therefore letting your other stuff pile up…) to SEARCH.  What if you need to get out of your house because there’s a gas leak or something worse?  Will you have the insurance info with you?  How easily do you get those taxes papers together as the big date of April 15th approaches…FYI it happens every single year.

Getting your papers organized on your own is about as much fun and clean out the storage shed or the garage, on a hot day.   But there is HOPE and it’s called PaperPalooza!PaperPalooza 1

Yes!!  It’s fun!  Distractions from family minimized.  Food and beverages provided.  Shredding bins to feed all your old papers into.  And a BIG LONG TABLE to work at.  Of course, personal guidance from me, your own on-site professional organizer and cheerleader!  Look at these busy bees in the pictures:  they arrived with hot messes and left with LESS PAPER, a clear vision, and relief from chaos.

You want to sign up NOW.  Space is limited.  Time is of the essence.  Click here:

You need this.  You’ll be so happy.  You’ll breathe easier in the CRAAAAZY world.

 

 

 

 

Tidying up plus EDUCATED donating: a combo that SPARKS JOY for this eco-organizer

March 11, 2019 — “Tastes great!! Less filling!!”  Remember the ferocity of that chant?  Well, it has nothing on the polarizing effects of “Marie Kondo talk” in a room full of professional organizers.  LOOK OUT!  However,  this blog post is not about the pros or cons of the KonMari method, nor of the merits of decluttering. (there are already plenty of those out there)

After reading how thrift stores are overrun lately with worthless, unusable donations, I’m here to passionately addresses a this newly pressing issue:  Americans do not get HOW TO DONATE in such a way that their cast-offs MAKE A DIFFERENCE to someone else.  Here’s an opportunity to LIFT OTHERS UP with items they need and you no longer want!!

Way before I even became an organizer in people’s homes, I recall pulling together items in my own object-overrun house, being very excited to “get rid of it”, but then noticing a few things:  “the school really needs those school supplies and good shorts” and “the lady down the street loves books for her grandkids” and “my friend needs these maternity clothes” etc etc.  So, even though it took more effort, I ALWAYS distributed items instead of one-stop donating.  I literally couldn’t force myself to take it all to a big-box donation spot. (and imagine if I’d known about Austin Creative ReUse back then!?!! Or the H4H Restore?)

Am I advocating that everyone do this?  No, of course not!  (I’m realistic) but get online and find FB groups like the Buy Nothing Project, Craigslist free and Offer Up free who are making it so very easy and satisfying to get your castoffs into someone’s else hands.  Once you start participating in this FREECYCLING life, you’ll be addicted in 0.0 seconds.

But just honor some basic donating etiquette, citizens!  Do NOT donate your dirty, ripped, USELESS trash to donation sites.  They are almost exclusively run by volunteers and do not have time, money, or resources to then toss YOUR trash!  Nor will they likely want to return to that place to spend their precious volunteer time and deal with YOUR GARBAGE.  Please, either throw away your stuff, or even better, take them to places that recycle textiles, electronics, batteries, lightbulbs, or basically anything that shouldn’t go in the landfill.  A quick Google search will fill you with hope and options. Or simply find a local church to drop off your GOOD stuff and benefit others.

Go forth and donate, properly!  And check out my tab Give Where You Live🙂img_0828

 

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!