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!
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.
July 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.
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!!
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
March 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.
March 20, 2018–Wow, March is flying by! This Friday I’m going out of town for 3 consecutive trips (Cincinnati, OH; then Victoria, BC; finally Fort Worth, TX)!! And let’s say, that’s a stressful proposition as you can imagine. My lists are daunting. How am I managing? I just “put one foot in front of the other” and do the next step of the next task. That’s all I can do. And you can too! Prioritize and perform, no need to seek perfection. Be proud of yourself! Have a great week.
Feb 10, 2018 – Greetings, all! I am constantly amazed at the power that ONE PERSON can have to change something for the better, just by doing something small. What are some famous examples?The powerful movement of Pay it Forward is the first one that comes to mind. With the internet and social media, we are seeing trends and deeds spread like wildfire, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse! (Crocs) 🙂
Now, I want to introduce you to someone known mostly as “The Styrofoam Lady”, but her actual name is Lynnette and she lives in a sweet neighborhood in NW Austin called Milwood. I lived there for 16 years and raised all my babes there; it embodies so much of what I consider perfect in a neighborhood, but that’s probably another blog post!
If you ask around in Milwood about the Styrofoam lady, I bet you’ll get big smiles and reports of: “YES! I take mine to her, too!” Recently I called Lynnette and asked for an interview because people need to know that she is someone who is truly making a difference by allowing others to BRING THEIR STYROFOAM TO HER HOUSE AND LEAVE IT ON HER PORCH! She then takes regular trips to the City of Austin’s Resource Recovery drop off center. Why does she do this? And how?!
Obesssion! It leads us in various directions, often to chocolate, but also to helping Mother Earth. Lynette told me that once she started researching the statistics, about how long, long, long styrofoam takes to break down, she knew she needed to start repurposing and recycling her own styrofoam, which she then offered to her neighbors to take theirs, since the drop off site is fairly far south. She first got the idea out to her neighbors using Nextdoor.com and word of mouth. Also, she advertises at the neighborhood’s Fourth of July Picnic every year.
Here’s what her porch typically looks like!
While this scene looks neat and tidy, Lynnette has learned through experience to set serious parameters to those of us that bring offerings to her porch! She has received lots of soiled and wet items which stole her joy immediately as it would anyone’s. She was not to be deterred though. After trial and error, she has come up with this system:
Egg cartons, ice chests, cups… Lynnette likes to repurpose!!! Sometimes the larger pieces work well for kids’ science projects, or whatever creative outlet someone might need it for. Lots of folks receive medicine shipment regularly and wind up with multiple ice chests which could work well for someone else. Also, egg cartons get distributed among those neighbors with chickens!
Lynnette is after my own heart with this behavior and I bet yours has grown too after reading this post. Maybe you’re thinking that you might collect styrofoam or corks or Box Tops or old towels in your neighborhood, too. Tap into your own OBSESSIONS and see what difference you can make! Need ideas? Peruse our Give Where You Live tab.
In my recent post about Box Tops and Pop Tabs, I encouraged each of us to embrace that the little things matter. We are all so VERY BUSY, but when you figure out a way to make it easier to spread the love, then it becomes just part of “what you do” and “who you are”! I’d love to have you message me and tell me of more people doing these things near you, or what YOU are doing in your own way.