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 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!

 

 

 

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!!