Archive for the ‘Piles’ Category

Culling Collections

February 13, 2013

Do you have lots of collections of things? Maybe there are lots and lots of clothes, toys, bric-a-brac around your home. Do you have so many of these items that none are really put away? Maybe they are out in view in piles around your home? Is this a collection?

In my mind a collection is something you put on display – in a cabinet, on a shelf or two, hanging on a wall. These are things you have sought out and purchased, or have been given, because you really like looking at them.

An over-abundance of items is not a collection in the true sense of the word. Yes, it is like items that are collected together but the over-abundance is not something you want to display. Generally, people are embarassed when they have such an over-abundance. These piles of collected items are not usually lovely to look at. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to tell what the collection is because there’s just so much of it! The homeowner generally becomes over-whelmed at the mere thought of reducing the volume because he/she doesn’t know where to begin. Another thing holding some people back is that they think about the amount of money spent on each individual item. Sometimes, they don’t want to reduce the volume of things by donating some out when they know the cost of each item – it’s all good stuff! Planning a garage sale to recoup some of the money takes organization, time and lots of effort and can be another over-whelming task.

My advice is to start with baby steps.

Begin by tackling one small area at a time. Set up 4 boxes or bags. Label the containers as follows: Keep, donate, toss, sell. When you have finished sorting the items in that one small area take the donate bag and make the donation to a church thrift store, Goodwill, or another organization of your choosing. Toss the items in the toss container. Put aside the items in the sell container and put away the items in the keep box or bag. The tackle the next area in your home. Before you know it you will have sorted and organized the piles and culled your collection of things. Then it’s time to give yourself a reward and admire all you have accomplished! Finally, gather up all the items you have set aside to sell. Take a look at your calendar and schedule a tag sale. Maybe you will ask some of your neighbors if they have things to sell also? The group can help each other set up, price items, and support each other’s efforts. A word of caution: remember you are selling things – not buying! The idea is to reduce the amount of things in your home, not to bring more things in!

Whatever Works

July 31, 2012

The other day I had a wonderful conversation with my younger son, Andy. He said,  ‘Mom, you’re going to be so proud of me! Wait ’til I tell you what I’ve done.” I was trying to imagine as he said that what was coming next. Never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted what he told me. Andy went on to say “I just bought an accordion file. I’m filing all my receipts and important papers. It’s really working well for me.” He was right! I am proud of him. As the conversation progressed I learned that he was tired of having to hunt through stacks of paper to find what he was looking for. He was also tired of looking at the stacks of paper. Awhile ago, I had suggested that he find a filing system that works for him. I wanted him to be able to find important documents without wasting time hunting through piles of paper. In fact, I believe I had sent him some pictures of different methods to control paper chaos. As a mom of a young adult living on his own I can only make so many suggestions before they become an annoyance rather than a help. I was very pleasantly surprised that Andy had taken the initiative and found a system that works for him and that he was willing to use.

That is a key component to being organized. Figure out what will work for you and then commit to using the system. It does no good to sit back and figure out what works unless you are willing to put in the time to implement the system. Clearly, Andy was motivated. I asked why he was using an accordion file instead of a two drawer filing cabinet. He responded that the accordion worked for him because he doesn’t have a dedicated work space yet. He told me he puts the accordion file on a shelf in his coat closet. He loves that he knows where the papers are currently and where to put more as they come into his house. I pointed out that this system will accomodate only so much paper. He told me he was aware of that and that he plans to cull the individual sections a couple of times a year. I think he has it all figured out and that this system will work for him!

September 7, 2011

Do you talk to yourself? I do. I talk to myself – inside my head – as I walk my dog, Miles, in the morning. I review my schedule for the day. I also review what I am hoping to accomplish in addition to the schedule events. I hope that those of you reading this are nodding your heads in agreement. You might have a different conversation with yourself but I think we all have conversations inside our minds from time to time. When you talk to yourself do you ever bend the truth? Sometimes I think people don’t tell themselves the truth. When you look inside your closet have you ever said ‘I have NOTHING to wear’? I have definately done that! What I really mean is that there is nothing in my closet that I want to wear to …(you can fill in the blank) Maybe you rationalize keeping – let’s say 10 black skirts – because they are of different materials or different lengths or different sizes or maybe because you may need that particular style skirt ‘someday’? Tell me, does ‘someday’ ever come?

Maybe you tell yourself that you HAVE to keep that stack of papers because there might be an article somewhere in that stack that you haven’t read that might have useful information. You don’t have time to sort through the paper so you just keep adding to the stack telling yourself that you should do this ‘someday’. It will take time because there could be an address to enter in the address book. There could even be a refund check lurking somewhere in that pile. No joke! I have found checks sorting papers for some of my clients. While it’s true that money can sometimes be hding in a stack of paper very often the information in the pile of paper is not important. Sometimes, it is filing waiting to be done or it is a stack needing to be recycled. As for the ten black skirts – one in the correct size is generally sufficient.

Is there somthing you are telling yourself which is perhaps giving yourself permission to do something or keep something that you may want to rethink? I’d be interested to know!