Posted in Office, Success Stories

Clearing Office Clutter and a Kitty “at the Beach”

Anja and I worked in the office/library. We cleared the floor, tossing some items, recycling others, and adding others to shelves. The kitty was so pleased with the room’s transformation that the sun streaming in through the window made it feel like the beach. Aw…

 

Lots of clutter to clear here!
Before
The clutter cleared, the kitty just had to lie in the sun "at the beach!"
After

Next, we worked on a tall bookcase.  Again, we tossed some items, and consolidated others. The result – better organization, and even some empty space! That can be especially restful for the eyes.

A bookcase before we cleared its cluttered shelves
Before
Clutter-free bookshelves
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

Clearing Linen Closet Clutter!

Often seen – a linen closet, crammed full, so much so that it’s hard to see what it holds.

Everything was pulled out and refolded. A couple of college alumni association stadium blankets went up top, with other blankets. A number of pillow cases went together. Three big down comforters were put back in, with their folds facing out, to minimize “visual noise.”

Now, the family could see everything in the closet and pull out whatever might be needed for a comfortable and cozy night’s sleep!

"A cluttered linen closet before we cleared it
Before
Linen closet clutter cleared!
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

 

 

Posted in Closet, Office, Success Stories

Touching Everything in the Office Closet

Nancy wrote, asking for some help. Would I be available to clear clutter in her office closet? Of course!

As always, I suggested that we start in one corner, and work our way around, top-to-bottom. One goal of hers – to make office supply items like rubber bands and post-it notes easily accessible, so that it would be easy to replenish those supplies in her desk. She also wanted to “touch every item,” to be sure if it was a “keeper” or not.

We did exactly that, also discussing “what to put where.” Nancy is relatively short, and I wanted to avoid her having to use a step stool too much. (I’m also short, though taller than she is, and I don’t like having to “streeetch” to reach top shelves.)

Office closet shelves before we cleared them
Before

 

Shelves organized with items easier to reach
After
Before
After

 

When we finished, Nancy was relieved. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Bathroom, Closet, Success Stories

A Bathroom Closet That Could Use Some Attention

A bathroom closet in Ann’s house could use some attention. Crammed onto the two top shelves were sheets and towels used on a sailboat she no longer owned, plus a variety of beach towels. Lower shelves held smaller towels and wash cloths, a collection of hotel and other toiletries, a hair dryer, neck braces, a heating pad, and other supplies for a disabled daughter, plus rubber workout bands, facial tissues, and toilet paper.

As ever, working top to bottom, the first task was to re-fold all of the sheets and towels. They were returned to the top two shelves, with their folds showing. It’s a subtle, though powerful, thing to do. It eliminates (what another client called) “visual noise.” More simply put, it just looks neater.

Shelves with towels and sheets before better folding
Before
Towels and sheets folded better. Easier on the eyes!
After

Next, the smaller towels and wash cloths were straightened. Toiletries were organized and placed into two containers already there. The hair dryer, rubber workout bands and health supplies for her daughter went into plastic bags. The neck braces were stood up in the back, where they could be seen easily, with the heating pad nearby. The facial tissues and toilet paper remained on the floor, also easily seen and reached.

Towels, toiletries, and more before their clutter was cleared
Before
Towels, toiletries, and more - organized!
After

At the end, everything was organized and easily reached. Attention paid!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Office, Success Stories

Bearing Witness as His Lifeguard

John is transforming an upstairs room in his house. It’s full of papers from various work aspects of his life. The goal is to turn it into a bedroom for staging, as he prepares to sell the house.

We are going through many, many papers. Some of it is difficult, and emotionally tough, going for him. At one point, he said that I’m his lifeguard. That’s one of the greatest compliments I’ve gotten during my 7+ years of working as a professional organizer. I also love the water, so it resonates on that level, too.

John is also working hard at parting with some other objects that are emotionally draining. One is a painting, showing the large back yard behind his house. It was a gift from someone who no longer is in his life. He looked stressed as we discussed it. He wants the memory of the yard. My lifeguard’s suggestion – take some photos of it, and donate the painting. His frown softened into a smile.

This is some of the most deeply satisfying work I’ve done since establishing
De-clutter Me! It’s not about me, though very much is about supporting clients as we work through whatever brought us together. In this case, it’s to help John as he leaves behind some difficult reminders. More accurately, some are going into the wood stove and providing heat! Benefits abound!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Pantry, Success Stories

More Birthday Present!

Mary’s birthday present was three sessions with De-clutter Me! What would be next? The pantry!

We spent our second session together on some of the shelves, tossing some foods past their “sell by dates,” and rearranged others, so that “like would be with like.” We consolidated Mary’s many candle supplies. A number of times, she asked how I would group items. The consistent answer – what would work for her, according to how her mind works, not mine.

In our third birthday present session, we finished the shelves, then turned our attention to the pantry counter. At the back, we removed the wok, which was hardly used. We decreased the water bottle stash, setting some aside to toss or donate. We placed in a bowl a small drill that Mary’s husband often uses.

Pantry counters and floor before we cleared their clutter
Before
Clutter-free pantry floor and counter
After

Moving along, we consolidated cookbooks, adding some from a lower shelf. We pulled some plastic bags from mostly-empty boxes, setting them aside to store with other bags and wraps. We put new plastic containers with others in an upper cupboard, and likewise found new homes for other items.

The crowded  and cluttered pantry counter
Before
The clutter-free pantry counter
After

Almost done, we focused on the last section of pantry counter. As with its other parts, we placed some items with similar others elsewhere. The “ginormous” box of cereal went to the side wall, with Mary vowing that she would never buy such a big box again. Revealed – a charming “Boulangerie” (Bakery) sign, a nice tribute to Mary’s former work as a school French teacher. I suggested that she might hang it on the opposite wall, where she would see and enjoy it more.

As we finished, we briefly discussed wall storage for the boxes of single serving coffee, “visual noise” currently taking up floor space. It might be possible to find a suitable rack or shelving that wouldn’t be too deep, while maintaining access to the cupboard next to the wall. Mary said that she would look online.

More counter clutter
Before
Counter clutter gone!
After

In the end, Mary was surprised that we accomplished all that she hoped. The pantry’s clutter cleared, it was more organized, its contents much easier to see and find. She happily smiled. A birthday present success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

A Birthday Present!

Kate emailed from Massachusetts. She had worked with a professional organizer there. She and her brother wanted to give their mother similar help for her birthday. Would I be available? We talked on the phone, she sent a check and, soon, I arrived at their parents’ lovely home.

Mary had admitted to being a bit nervous, but soon she was smiling and laughing as we worked on a hallway closet. She had emptied some of its contents onto the floor and the stairs.

The hallway floor, with items from the closet
Before

Explaining my professional organizer’s tried-and-true method of working top-to-bottom, we first cleared the closet’s shelf. There were some objects wrapped in paper. What were they? We soon discovered that they were candles. We set them aside for her local son and his family. We pulled other items to discard or donate. What was left? Empty space! How rare! With time, some items might “migrate” there but, for the moment, there was space for the eyes to rest.

Closet shelf clutter before we cleared it
Before
Closet shelf clutter cleared with empty space available!
After

Next, to the other side of the shelf. We emptied most of it, placing just a few things there, including a pretty hat box. More empty space! Below it, we hung many of Mary’s tote bags. (She has a lifetime supply.) We set some aside for donation and a few to leave in her car for grocery shopping. That cleared much of the floor space.

A cluttered shelf before we cleared it
Before
More clutter cleared, and more empty space!
After

We looked online for boot and shoe trays for the closet floor, which she would add later.

When we were done, the floor and stairs were cleared.

The hallway floor and stairs after we cleared their clutter
After

What might be next? Mary wasn’t sure yet, but she was pleased with the first part of her children’s birthday present.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Success Stories

A Shared Closet Cleared

Etienne and Paul share a closet, which could present some challenges. She and I decided to make the space work better for both of them.

We started with Paul’s folded clothes on a shelf. We pulled out some items, refolded, and put them back. I suggested placing everything with the fold facing out. It’s a subtle, though powerful, thing to do, reducing “visual noise.” It looked neater and there was more storage room, if needed.

A closet shelf before we cleared its clutter and reorganized it
Before
Shelf cluttered cleared, with more space available
After

Next, we worked on Etienne’s shelf, with relatively little already on it. Even so, folding and clearing clutter made more space available.

A closet shelf, before we cleared its clutter
Before
Shelf clutter cleared, with more space available
After

Below the shelf, the rod holding Etienne’s other clothes could use some attention. We consolidated dresses and slacks and, as much as possible, hung long items together.

Etienne's hanging clothes before we rearranged them
Before
Hanging clothes much easier to see and choose!
After

Below, we pulled everything out, off the closet floor, hanging some items and placing shoes in the cubbie holes to the left.

A cluttered closet floor
Before
A cleared closet floor, with "visual noise" gone
After

With a bit of time left over, we cleared the top of Etienne’s dresser. It would be much nicer to look at from across the room, in bed. Relaxing and restful, too!

The dresser before we cleared its clutter
Before
Clutter cleared from the dresser top
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Planning Ahead, Timely Tips

Be Prepared, Vol. I

At this writing, wild fires are ravaging parts of the American West, and Tropical Storm Laura, now a hurricane, threatens the South. Rather than be scared, it can be much healthier emotionally, and maybe even save your life, to be ready.

What to do? Firstly, know what kinds of natural disasters are likely. Does that creek nearby ever flood? Check into it. Sign up for alerts. Gather information, like core family members’ phone numbers, birth dates, social security numbers, and medical needs. Note your household members’ frequent locations (like work, daycare, school), their addresses, phone numbers and evacuation routes. You might write down this information, in case your mobile device fails.

Talk with your neighbors. Develop a plan to check on anyone who may be vulnerable, like the elderly, the disabled, or those with small children.

Establish safe meeting places – a windowless room, if your home area gets tornadoes or high-wind storms; a neighborhood spot, like a big tree, in case of fire; a community center, if you can’t get home; an out-of-town place, if you must evacuate.

Again, write all of this down! Store a copy in a kitchen drawer or on the fridge. Be sure that everyone has a copy in the purse, back pack, or other bag used daily. Digitize your plan, plus insurance and medical records, and store them on a cloud service. Email the plan to a few close neighbors and friends, to an out-of-state family member or friend.

Practice! Do a “dry run” yearly, and update any information no longer current. Be sure that little ones know how to call 911, and that everyone can text vital information quickly, and with as few words as possible.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Mud Room, Success Stories

Funny, It Doesn’t Look Like a Mud Room

Etienne and I decided to tackle the mud room, which doesn’t really look like one. It IS the room by the front door, but is much bigger than most of that description, even with room for a rowing machine, which wasn’t being used for exercise.

The room has a couple of closets and some shelves between them. First, her husband’s closet. Paul enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including golf, gardening, and skiing. We put related items in bins on the top shelf, “neatened” the shirts, vests and jackets, and arranged the shoes at the bottom.

A cluttered closet before we cleared it
Before
Closet clutter gone!
After

Next, we moved to the right. Several shelves held bins, including one that was overflowing, back packs, and a ski bag. Working top-to-bottom, we sorted through the two bins, setting aside some items for the trash, or to go elsewhere in the house. We left the top shelf mostly empty – a rarity! On the second shelf, the ski bag and, below it, an open bin, so the family can easily pull out items often used. Below it, another bin with less-often-used items, with some shoes on top. At the bottom, more shoes.

Shelves before we cleared their clutter
Before
Much more useful shelves with clutter cleared
After

Moving to the right again, we worked on the other closet. We pulled beach towels from the top shelf and set them aside, as they would be used soon. We placed a sports duffel bag there instead. We “neatened” the jackets hanging there and the shoes below. Easy-peasy!

A full closet
Before
Closet clutter cleared, with more room to use
After

We discussed the rowing machine across the room. It had become a storage dumping ground. Would anyone use it if it were available? While Etienne wasn’t sure, we made it more inviting. We emptied it, turned it around to face a TV on a butcher block table, and placed a fan nearby.

A rowing machine used as storage space
Before
A rowing machine now ready to be used!
After

When we were done, Etienne smiled so brightly! Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.