Ready, set, declutter!

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Grab a garbage bag, walk through your home, and quickly remove 15 things you no longer use or love. Also, recycle newspapers older than one week and magazines older than 12 months, plus expired coupons and junk mail. Dispose of the bags immediately.

When shopping for end tables, coffee tables, or benches, be sure to look for those that have storage inside. That way, you utilize not only the space on top, but also the space inside or underneath.

Containerizing your stuff is great, but buying all those bins and boxes can get expensive! Wicker laundry baskets can be an affordable option.

Quick Tip: Place one on each level of your home to toss items that should to be delivered to a different level. Once daily, grab the basket and move items to the correct room.

Reduce Unwanted Mail With 5 Simple Steps

Peek inside your mailbox and you’ll discover junk mail overload. Over 40% of the mail we receive is junk mail! Follow these quick tips to drastically reduce the amount of stuff in your mailbox, making paper management a breeze!

1. Limit unwanted mailbox advertising: Greatly reduce advertising mail (and save some trees) by registering with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service. Call 212-768-7277 or visit www.dmachoice.org.

2. Opt out of unsolicited credit card offers: The nation’s four major credit bureaus will help you get off lists for pre-approved credit card offers by simply calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT. You’ll need to provide your social security number, full name, address, and telephone number.

3. Use caution when giving out your contact information: Nearly every time you send in a product warranty card or enter a contest, your data will be used to send you more paper! These companies may in turn sell or share your information with other companies. Use caution. And if you provide your contact information, request that the company not share or sell it.

4. Cancel subscriptions: Take the pressure off yourself by canceling any magazine subscriptions that you never seem to get around to reading anyway. Same with the newspaper.

5. Keep junk mail at bay in your home and office: Immediately after daily retrieval, sort mail while standing over your recycling bin. Toss with reckless abandon (be sure to shred things like credit card offers) so junk mail doesn’t create piles of, well, junk in your home or office.



© 2018 Articles on Demand™

Sort It Out

With the huge variety of organizing products out there, it’s easy to become overwhelmed — and cash-strapped — when shopping for containers. A professional organizer can help you demystify the myriad of bins, boxes, and baskets so you purchase products within your budget that will be beneficial for you and your spaces. You can also try some of these creative storage solutions.

The first thing — before you ever step foot in a store with the intention of buying organizing paraphernalia — is to sort, pare down, and evaluate your stuff. Whether it’s a closet crammed with clothes or a tiny junk drawer full of oddball items, you can’t contain it until you follow these steps:

SORT

1) Sort: Pick a space to tackle, and gather similar things together into piles. For example, if you’re organizing your bathroom, separate out hair-care products, first-aid supplies, towels/linens, make-up, paper products, etc. Once you can clearly see everything you have...

PARE DOWN

2) Pare down: You probably own much more than you originally thought, so start tossing! Get rid of anything broken, stained, or past its prime. Then, for remaining items, ask yourself if each item is truly beautiful, useful, or loved. If not, it’s time to go! Recycle, donate, or share those things with someone who really needs them, and then..

EVALUATE WHAT'S LEFT

3) Evaluate what’s left: You probably don’t have nearly as much stuff as when you started! That’s a good thing. Now that you’re down to the essentials, you can...

FIND THE RIGHT SPOT

4) Find the right spot: Decide where you’ll store each category of items, take note of the size of the spaces you have, and figure out what type of storage containers will work best. (Use a tape measure!) Now, you can begin either shopping for new containers or creatively reusing ones that you already own, saving environmental resources and money.

© 2018 Articles on Demand™

Shopping Addictions and Hoarding: Extreme Spending and Saving

Shopping is embedded in our culture. But sometimes it turns into addiction. It becomes a compulsive disorder which brings a temporary high. This excessive, chronic, and impulsive behavior can destroy a person’s finances and relationships. (It goes way beyond a weak-moment shopping spree.) Help may come to overspenders in the form of Debtors Anonymous meetings, credit or debt counseling, and professional assistance from a therapist.

Then there are those who save. Some people save things, and some people save everything. When it gets to the point that a home is nearly uninhabitable, compulsive hoarding may be the culprit. People who suffer from this psychological condition see the value in every object, leading to the inability to get rid of things (even items of no value, such as old newspapers and food containers).

Hoarding is more extreme than simply accumulating clutter. Hoarders may not be able to move around the home. Floor space may shrink to a single pathway. Hoarding restricts everyday activities like cooking, cleaning, or sleeping and severely reduces the quality of life. Hoarders may not even recognize the extremity of their surroundings. Or, if they do, they may refuse to let family and friends visit their homes for fear of being criticized.

If you or someone you know has symptoms of hoarding or shopping addiction, consider contacting a therapist. Good resources for basic information about hoarding are the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (www.challengingdisorganization.org) and the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (www.ocfoundation.org).

© 2018 Articles on Demand™

Super-Quick, Feel-Good, Get-Organized-Now Tips

Take these small and easy steps to make your home look good. You’ll love how it feels! Then, let the momentum carry you to try larger organizing projects.

Make your bed — first thing — every day. Start your day on the right foot, and you’re sure to continue putting things in their proper spots all day.

Clean your kitchen sink. Sprinkle baking soda and lemon juice, and scrub with a damp sponge or cloth. Rinse and dry. Polish the faucet to a shine. Now, throughout the day, immediately put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or wash them by hand so you can continue to admire your sparkly sink!

Assess your cups and bowls. How many mugs and cups do you really need? Pull them all out of the cupboard, pick your top 20, and donate the rest. You’ll never miss them. Do the same with your  Tupperware. Match the lids with bottoms and toss anything missing its mate.

Create an errand box. Put a crate or basket by the front door. Deposit into it anything needing to go out.  You can add items that need to be returned to stores, library books and movies ready for return, and borrowed items that need to find their rightful owners. Take the box with you each morning and see what you can get rid of that day.

Give your purse or bag a makeover. Dump everything out, and toss expired coupons, old receipts, scraps of paper, and used tissues. Then, use a small see-through pouch or zip-top bag to hold personal items (lip balm, comb, bandages, dental floss, etc.) Keep an envelope for current coupons and receipts. And keep your wallet, check- book, and keys in a handy, easy-to-reach spot.

© 2016 Articles on Demand™