Category Archives: Downsizing and Organizing

How Discovering What Motivates You Can Help When it’s Time to Let Go of Your Unwanted Possessions

Once you have revisioned your home and made decisions about possessions that no longer support your vision, the logical next step is, of course, to let go. This can be a difficult part of the process for many of us, especially when the items have been in your possession for a long period of time, or they carry emotional weight.

How do you find motivation to take this final step? Below are some questions you can ask yourself to help uncover your motivator. Remember to focus on one object, or related group of objects at a time: 

  •  Does the thought of having everything just “disappear” bring relief?
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Edit Your Belongings to Support Your Updated Vision

There are many reasons why we hang on to belongings. We think we may, at some future time, rekindle a past interest and will need those particular items again. On a deeper level, some of our possessions may represent an especially joyful phase of our lives that we fear we may not experience again. Perhaps we made a significant investment for something that we don’t think we will purchase again if we, or a family member needs it. Some items have historical significance to our family, and we feel guilty at the thought of parting with them. Whatever the reason, the surplus of possessions often prevents us from moving forward in our lives and developing new interests.... Read the rest

Envision Your Next Home

Many years ago, when I began my career as a Professional Organizer and Move Manager, one of the most powerful tools in my “toolkit” was to help my clients envision how they wanted to live in their space, rather than focusing only on their belongings. Whether they were moving soon, or not at all, this was an extremely effective way to identify what was most important to them, which in turn, helped them to make decisions about what to keep.

Below are some tips to help you envision how you want to live in your next (or current) home. Remember to focus on the space, NOT on your belongings!.. Read the rest

Kitchen Chi – Feng Shui tips for Your Home’s Heart

Feng Shui, the ancient system of laws that practitioners follow to direct energy into a home, is often applied to areas like the living room and bedroom. While you can’t really move around the counters and appliances in your kitchen like you can a couch or chair, there are still several ways to bring in the peace and energy flow to your kitchen space.

In our blog “Energizing Your Home with Feng Shui”, we discussed the elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.  It’s easy to add these elements to the fixed nature of your kitchen through decor like lighting, paint, and decor. “The.. Read the rest

Is Your Home Ready for the Holidays?

If you’re gathering with extended family this holiday season, now is the time to take a good look at the entertaining spaces in your home, to organize and clear out the clutter to make way for a fresh start to the holiday season.  Let’s take a look at some of the clutter hotspots in the home.

Kitchen  

Pitch the scratched pots and pans –  throw out any scratched non-stick pots and pans, or donate any you’ve not used in a couple of years. Not only are scratched non-stick pans unsightly, they’re also unsafe to use.  Make sure your lids match the pots you’re keeping, and donate (or discard) the rest.  .. Read the rest

Thinking Outside The Recycling Box With SCRAP Creative Reuse

There are many choices besides the recycling bin or Goodwill for household items. One of the more offbeat places to take certain things to be recycled is SCRAP in Portland, a place where crafters, artisans, and teachers go for unique and perfectly usable items. 

SCRAP is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide materials that have been already manufactured to be used for another purpose, often for creative reuse.  An example cited on their website are CD jewel cases transformed into birdhouses, or T-Shirts turned into a rug. It’s a fabulous place for teachers to get inexpensive supplies, and keep these perfectly usable items from the landfill... Read the rest

Making Move Day A Little Less Maddening

The boxes are packed, the movers are scheduled, the new home is ready for you.  You’ve got the big moving day coming up, but will you be ready?  With a little preparation, move day can be a breeze.  Here are some ways to prepare that you may not have thought about: 

  1.  Pet care – while you’re excited about the move, your pet may be very confused and scared when the door is flung open wide and strangers are toting his favorite couch out to the truck.  Consider an offsite pet sitter or doggie day care for the day, so you won’t have to worry about your pup hiding somewhere or bolting out into the neighborhood. 
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Keep It or Toss It?

Here’s a quick checklist of items around the house to consider disposing of or donating before packing for a move.  You might find you get on a roll and clear out a lot more than you thought! 

Kitchen:

Plastic bowls and lids

Chipped or extra dishware

Promotional mugs

Unused appliances, like waffle irons

Excessive glassware

Duplicate kitchen tools

Bathroom:

Old prescription medication – don’t flush them down – the FDA has recommendations here

Expired over the counter medications

Old bath mats

Complimentary hotel shampoos/toiletries – consider a local shelter or charity for these

Stained or torn washcloths or towels – most animal shelters appreciate these

Living Room/Family Room: 

CD’s and DVD’s – there are many streaming services out there

Outmoded electronics and old cables 

Books – often a tough choice – here’s some help in deciding what to keep

Old magazines

Bedroom:  

Excessive clothing – now is the best time to glean what you want

Worn shoes, hats and purses

Old Linens

Broken or tired lampshades

Garage:

Unused camping, skiing and snowboard equipment – consider selling here 

Unused exercise machines or other sports equipment

Half-used potting soils or seeds – consider donating to a garden club

Old or cracked flower pots or planters

If you need assistance on organizing and sorting the things you have in your home before a move, get help from friends or family, or consider professional help with a company like The Move Makers... Read the rest

Why You Should Sort Before You Pack

You’ve found the house you love, and best of all, sold the one you’re in.  Now the real work begins – getting ready to move. Your first instinct may be to start packing up everything and organize it later. What you may not realize in your hurry to get the task accomplished is the longer-term negative effects of that decision, like the costliness of time, money and stress.

Here are four points to consider before you decide to pack up for moving day.

Saving Money:  Moving is costly, and whether you’re moving locally (where movers charge an hourly rate, or out of state, where the move cost is based on weight and distance), you should ask yourself if the investment in money up front and the time spent later, is going to be worth it to you... Read the rest

How do you want to live in your space?

If you’re thinking about moving this year, or considering a refresh of your current space, one of the first things to think about is: how do I want to live in this space?  We take for granted that at least some of our furniture will work in our new space, no matter where that may be.  But it might be a good idea to look around and really SEE your furniture, and whether it’s functioning well for you. Are you looking for less upkeep?  Is mobility a factor?  Scaling furniture to your room can take some practice and knowing what to keep and not keep depends on the life you want to lead in the space... Read the rest