Tag Archives: clutter

Is it Just Clutter?

31 Mar

 This is in response to the many, many e-mails I have received from readers who I’ve encouraged to jump-start their Spring cleaning.  THANK YOU so much for writing in and letting me know, how it’s going.  Many of you stated that you are doing good and have dumped a lot of “stuff”.  Going from room to room, but taking your time!  While a few of you wanted me to accept your excuses on why now was not  just the right time!  After a little persuasion, I’m glad the cleaning was a GO! 🙂

 I am so glad to hear, that I’ve gotten you all so motivated!   You’ll be glad to know, I had donated four boxes of clothing to Good Will and still going through my closet, I am now doing shoes!  Yep! SHOES! 😉

I also wanted to share with you an e-mail from Susan from Wichita, Kansas (name has been changed)  in which she wrote me to tell me that she didn’t know where to start.   Susan had indicated that she had so much stuff in her home, she was so frustrated! You see, we have e-mailed each other for the last two weeks back and forth, until she finally sent me a few photo attachments.

To my surprise in reviewing the photos, her home was not considered cluttered or just having things around, or even having things for years that accumulated.  Susan is what is known as a hoarder.  The Internet is such a wonderful tool (what would we do without it?)  for I read up a little about hoarding before I’d continued communicating with Susan.  I’d explained to her that the status of her home is based on a common psychological disorder; where a person has a personal attachment to everything around them and when departing with the items, it’s more emotional than to the average person.

Hoarders can’t seem to throw anything out (anything) and considers it a personal attack, if someone other than themselves decides to clean/dismantle their things without their permission.  To you and I, it may be very simple to throw out a Post It® with some writing into the garbage, however to Susan…. her state of thinking is to save it for whatever purpose that seems warranted and it does n’t have to make sense to anyone, but her!

I’d reassured her that there is definitely help available, however she cannot tackle cleaning her home without having a support group around her.  According to what I read, the support group should consist of family members, friends, a psychiatrist and a professional organizer which understands/has dealt with hoarding disorders.   I also commended Susan for realizing that she has a problem, my post definitely compelled her to finally to do something about it, for she says she has had this problem since she was a young woman.  

Just now (Wednesday), Susan had written back and it so happens that there is a task force for hoarding disorders in Wichita, KS (Sedgwick County) and she has contacted them for help.  In my response, I wished her the best and asked her if she would mind, if I shared with you (my readers) how to recognize the difference from mere clutter and a mental disorder of a hoarder; it’s more than just cleaning up.  She agreed!

So, I’d remembered A&E had a series on hoarding and to be honest, I saw it once and was not that much interested in continuing to watch the program.    However, since communicating with Susan, this evening I did search for and reviewed some of the episodes on youtube.com.   I have attached an A&E  trailer to give you an idea of a hoarding disorder; maybe this information can help someone you know too! 

You know, I was a little concerned on whether anyone was reading my blogs and guess what…… people are!!!!   Lesson learned, it does not take much to help someone, not much at all!   🙂 

Be well – Letia


You Can Get With This or You Can Get With That!

13 Mar
Dust Lady

It's Time!

Spring time is approaching!  How do we know? Because we have to turn our clocks ahead and lose an hour of sleep!  So it’s time! We can either think about getting organized OR we can’t just ignore the stuff around us! 

You can get with this or you can get with that!  If you want to get with this, LET’S GET ORGANIZED.  If not!  Well think it over and come back later… if you have changed your mind! 

Now the stuff around you, of course it has meaning.  It would n’t be in your home, if it didn’t.    Remember when you first saw it, you decided that you had to have it and it would have a specific place in your home?  

Well, after that!  Something else had a special meaning, then after that… here’s some more stuff.  Before you knew it, you have a lot stuff, with a WHOLE lot of dog gone meanings!

We just figured out your personal style and before you even begin thinking about changing a room or your wardrobe, before you go out and buy anything new, we need to start thinking about getting organized and start putting things in their rightful place.  Anything else, you are either are going to trash it or give it!  This is going to be your goal.   This is your commitment before you start!  Agreed?  Good!

The following tasks outlined should be performed room by room.  Please do not attempt to have that great idea, that one weekend you are going to do the whole entire house! De-cluttering,  organizing  is and will be very overwhelming.  You should take your time, looking at your things carefully, which is much easier done room by room.   

There will some indecisiveness where you and even your family want to keep things.  Believe me, there are going to be some disagreements on the items you choose to part with.  To them it’s very special, however to you, it’s simply JUNK or vice-a-versa!  If you keep this in mind and offer some compromising techniques,  this organization process should go rather well!  For children, every toy is special, so it may be rough at times for them as well.

Select the first room you are going to organize.  The room should be broken up into 4 work areas and you are going to begin looking at your things and placing them in either area:

  1. Keep  –  You are going to keep and have a special place or store.
  2. Donate – You are going to donate to the charity of your choice.
  3. Not Sure – You are on the fence whether to keep or trash.
  4. Trash –  Definitely do not need, dump quickly.

Once you have defined all you piles, periodically take the TRASH items outside, so you don’t go back and pull items to keep.   The KEEP items should be placed, however if you are doing other rooms, use some storage bins (WalMart® and Target®); until you are ready to either place or store. 

For the DONATE items, call your charity organization of your choice,  to find out if they have a pickup service or drop-off locations.  And Oh! Don’t forget, for tax purposes, ask for documentation especially if you are donating an item of high value.

The NOT SURE items, are items where there may be a difference in opinion on the value of the item.  Not in dollars or cents, but sentimental value.   It should be discussed – if you are gong to keep the item, where is it going to be placed?  If not kept, the item could be donated or ultimately placed in the trash pile.  Each room should be done in this fashion; until the entire house is completed.

I practice de-cluttering every 3 months or so.  My two worse areas,  1st  is the kitchen drawer, it has everything “under the sun” and I usually have to decide why did I keep this, I never could remember.  This drawer has nothing but change (last time I had a total of $10.05 according to Coin-matic), buttons, gum never opened, pens which have no ink, Post It® papers, coupons, tape, batteries, paper clips, those McDonald ketchup packs and false eyelash boxes (don’t ask)!  

 2nd, is my closet.  I did the labeling, the color coordination, lavender satchels and even the clear see thru boxes.   It gets messier every time I am trying to get ready for a party, looking for a particular shoe that I have in mind and especially when I have to change an outfit, due to the weather forecast was absolutely wrong!  And the winter and summer reorganization, drives me crazy! 

So, I am  also going to GET WITH THIS and de-clutter my closet!  While you are getting it together, I’ll be doing the same.  It’s time for me to donate some items, because if I have not worn it in 2 – 3 yrs, it should be donated.   It will make things easier and I’ll feel good about doing it.

I am listing some organizing sites for great storage buys; for your KEEP items that you have in mind!   First check out the Sale and Clearance sections, to see if you can find some useful items for your home: www.containerstore.com, www.target.com, www.rubbermaid.com and www.spacesavers.com.

Before Closet

Before Look

After Look

So let’s get started!  Let me know did you keep a lot or donate much?   Write a comment or e-mail at lee@lmlifestyleanddesign.com.  Any questions, I will be happy to answer!

Spring is coming!!!  Good Luck!

Be well  – Letia  : )

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