Your home. Organized.™ Your move. Easier.™
Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area | Gayle Grace, 510-654-7983

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A spare room spared

My clients had always envisioned turning their now grown son's room into a guest/crafts area. But, as so often happens, the room never quite got there. Instead, it became the "catch all" room where everything landed in a heap. Month after month went by and the room just got more and more cluttered. Finally, they just closed the door and left it.

This spring, they decided they had to take action and called me for help. I met with them and devised a plan for getting the room cleared out. We started by sorting items into groups of what would be kept, what would be donated and what would be discarded.

Several years earlier they had an architect make a drawing for creating a wall to wall bookcase/craft area and their goal was to finally build it in the room. After our sorting sessions, the keep boxes were moved to the garage and the construction on the space went forward. The new desk/bookcase/craft table was built, the carpet replaced and the room painted. Then we brought back the boxes of items that would remain in the room and assigned them their new places.

The end result is a lovely space that can now be used for sewing projects, reading and keeping a guest comfortable during short stays.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Refrigerator magnets

I know how much you all love your refrigerator magnets! I wish I had stock in the companies that dream up these things. I can't remember the last time I walked into a house and didn't find the refrig covered in plastic sushi, animals of all kinds, postcards, photos, outdated menus, plumber ads for plumbers who are no longer in business - even a refrigerator magnet of a refrigerator!

But if you're wondering why your kitchen always feels cluttered, then look at your refrigerator. If it's covered in a multitude of magnets then it just adds to the kitchen clutter.

So after I cleared off the magnets and misc stuff, we just picked ONE that represented her favorite subject - cats. Completely changed the feeling of this kitchen and inspired a general decluttering of the entire space.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Life in a garbage truck

This comes from Katie Brody....she found it on Apartment Therapy. Just a brilliant use of a very small space!

" Big thanks to AT reader Maren who sent us these awesome photos of a guy who lives out of...garbage truck? Correction: A highly modified garbage truck. This small space is nicer than some apartments we've seen! Hardwood floors...custom kitchen (with perfect storage!)...and a comfortable built-in sectional."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The art of great things

Found this blog and enjoy it very much...

A Guide to Self-Reliance Minimalism

I never considered myself a minimalist. I’ve always been a fan of efficiency, of not wasting time or resources, but I always resisted labeling myself as a card-carrying member of the minimalist club.

Looking back, I think my resistance boiled down to this: I hadn’t taken the time to own minimalism. To change the lighting, move the camera, and find a minimalism that was uniquely mine.

Today I found it. And it wasn’t even on purpose.

It just so happened that today two wonderful articles on minimalism appeared in my RSS reader:

Unautomate: Why doing things by hand forces minimalism – from
Go Small Or Go Home: In Praise of Minimalism – from The Art of Manliness
If you have some time, please check these posts out. Even if you’re not a minimalist. Or a man.

It’s strange and amazing how things can come together at just the right time. I read these two articles in quick succession, and suddenly things clicked. I had one of those moments of crystal-clear, heart-pounding insight. But before I explain what I realized, I need to tell you something about myself.

I am a huge – HUGE – believer in the potential of individual people. Individual people do great things every single day, beating the odds and the critics all at once. You and me and the human spirit – we’re amazing. I could go on all day about this. I could even write an entire blog about it … oh wait.

Anyway, as I was saying, I had an incredible, mind-blowing, everything’s connected insight, boiling down to this:

Minimalism is the greatest possible tribute to the power of you.

Here’s what I mean.

As with any idea, there are different types of minimalism. It can be focused on reducing clutter. On streamlining finances. On being a real man – or woman, for that matter. And these are all great ways to think about minimalism. But they’re not for me. They’re not my way. They don’t make me get up on a soapbox and annoy my friends about them.

For me, minimalism comes from a rock-solid, unshakable, 100% belief that you are enough. That’s what “self-reliance minimalism” is to me.

“Thinking about men I admired, it dawned on me that most had a quiet contempt towards any excess of material possessions. Their expertise and confidence were displayed by the fact that they did not require much to live successfully.” – from “Go Small Or Go Home”

It means:

Having a conviction that you don’t need stuff to survive or succeed.
Knowing that you don’t need to hide behind convolutions and equivocations.
Knowing that your own mind and body are your two greatest, unlimited, inexhaustible, and infinitely renewable resources.
Having the courage to say, “I don’t need this to get me where I’m going.”
Never, ever allowing your potential to go to waste.
Getting rid of anything that gets in the way of YOU doing great things.
Now all this may lead to things like clearing clutter, reducing friction, and buying less, but for me, what’s most important is where all these actions come from. That’s what motivates me.

Becoming a Self-Reliance Minimalist

“Making things harder isn’t a bad thing. When we must do things ourselves, and it costs us in time and effort, it forces us to consider whether it’s worth doing at all.” – from “Unautomate”

If you’ve read this far, you know that this is something that clicked for me today. It’s new territory for me. I haven’t had time to test it or refine it – which is great, because instead of preaching about it, I’ll need to actually live it.

Will you help me put this into action? Here’s what I’m trying to do:

Focus on acquiring abilities, not tools. Instead of buying a bunch of gadgets to help me get a job done, let’s spend more time learning the skills behind the job. Tools are just things, but skills become part of us.
Get out of the “just in case” trap. Let’s stop hoarding stuff (money, books, guarantees, etc.) in the name of “What if?” and have the courage to rely on our ability to deal with crises.
Save with a purpose. Instead of saving money (or energy) just because someone said it was a good idea, let’s save with a clear goal in mind. Let’s spend less money now, with the express intent of using it on something specific later. Let’s save energy here, so we can make better use of it there.
Get rid of the redundant. Minimalism is usually about getting rid of the unnecessary. I say get rid of the redundant. Remember, your primary resource is yourself. Toss anything that simply repeats your own abilities.
Learn to trust yourself. To me, getting rid of stuff is an act of extreme self-confidence. It’s a declaration that, whatever happens, you can face it – and conquer it – without a bunch of stuff to hide behind.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shred it

I've been organizing a busy office in San Francisco and one of the chores no one wants to do is the shredding. Let's face it, it's a drag to stand at a shredding machine for hours at a time, not to mention the noise the darn machines make.

Part of the problem is having the wrong shredder for the job. Most shredders sold at your local office supply store do not hold up to the mountains of papers that need to be shred. Just about any shredder under $200 is useless in an office setting. Besides paper it has to be able to handle staples and the occasional paperclip that slips through the sorting process. Many companies need plastic and discs shredded as well. So, when shopping for a shredder, buy the best you can afford for heavy duty shredding. Don't forget to buy the oiled sheets that are needed to keep the blades lubed.

If you have a box or more of papers to be shred, you've got some other options to standing over the shredder. You can take your boxes to a shredding company and in a matter of minutes they shred them right in front of you. My favorite is Automatic Response Systems in Berkeley. ARS also offers a "bin service", they bring the shredder and pick up your shredding for about .37/pound.

You can also call a shredding company to come to your home or office and shred your papers right in their truck. Just search for "mobile shredding companies in ...." and you'll get an idea of who to call in your city.

What ever you do, don't forget to recycle all that glorious shredded paper.
Related Posts with Thumbnails