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Serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area | Gayle Grace, 510-654-7983

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Four eyes...

I got new glasses this week.  The older I get, the more difficult and expensive new glasses get.  I now wear progressive lenses - distance, mid and reading all blended together into one big blur.   Here's Pumpkin checking out the new glasses, and smearing up the lenses.

So, as I toss my old pair into the back of the drawer, I am thinking about what to do with the pair that's even older than those.  Here's my list:

1.  Keep the ones I just replaced, in a drawer, as my emergency glasses.

2.  Take the pair before those and put them in the glove box of the car, just in case of an emergency.

3.  Take the pair before those and put them in the earthquake kit.

4.  Take any other pair off to the local Lion's club to be given to someone who might be able to use them.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Organizing magazines

Most of us have our share of magazine clutter.  Many of my clients have a great deal of trouble housing and letting go of magazines, especially if they are for one particular hobby or craft.

If magazines are a problem in your house, I suggest limiting the number of subscriptions.  Generally 1 to 3 magazines a month are as many as can be reasonably read on a regular basis.

Choose a place for magazines to live, then choose a reasonably sized container in which to house them. When the pile hits the top of the container it's time to recycle the from bottom.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paper shredding made easy...

My friends at Compax, in Berkeley, sure know how to make shredding large quantities of paper easy.  You just drive in, hand them your bags or boxes and they take it from there.  For $7/box, it just couldn't be easier.

They also take computers and related equipment.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Downsizing, not just for seniors anymore...

Sorry to say, but it doesn't appear that this recession will be over as quickly as we had all hoped.  As I check in with past clients, I find that a number of them have lost their jobs, most of them are women and they are no where near retirement age.

Those of us who are self-employed have probably taken a hit in our businesses as well.  I know I have, and I know that many of my networking partners have as well.  Nothing is like it use to be and we are all just trying to figure out how we will manage our futures.

"Downsizing" maybe one of the most popular words of this decade.  I hear it everywhere - companies downsize and so do people.  Even one of my favorite restaurants has downsized their menu.   We are all looking for ways to cut our costs and drop anything that is not absolutely needed.

In my business, downsizing used to be confined to seniors and elders who would be trading in their larger homes and moving to smaller senior quarters, as the kids were grown and moved away.  However, now my much younger clients are leaving their larger homes - still with kids in tow - in hopes of cutting their expenses.

But here's the good news - discovering that we can live happily with less stuff, and with less space - that a lot of the stuff we had been buying, and carting around with us - really doesn't serve us and we perhaps we are even better off without it.

"We are spending less money and enjoying each other more."  As I checked in with a family I helped move last year, I was very pleased to hear my client say, "I sure didn't think I would be happy when we we decided to move and give up the house we had built, one car, and all that stuff we had accumulated.  The boys share a room now, and guess what, the fighting has almost stopped!  They get along so much better and actually help each other with homework.  That alone has been worth all the headache of moving."

If you are thinking that "downsizing" maybe a good strategy for you and your family, there's help in many forms.  My friend, author, Ciji Ware, has written the handbook "Rightsizing Your Life".  As Ciji went through this process several years ago, she took notes, which turned into a great "how to" book for all of us.

And, you don't have to do it alone - I work with people every day who are making changes in the way they want to live.  So don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call me.  I can help you put together a downsizing/rightsizing plan and relieve the stress and return control to your life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Unpacking a home office/library...

This spring we had the privilege of unpacking and organizing a beautiful home office and library - for the second time.  We had done this job 2 years ago, but a fire in the garage, at the end of last year, forced the home owner to move completely out for repairs, and then move back in again.

Photos of the bookcases had been taken before the books were packed up and sent for cleaning.  That really made the job of putting them back in order go quickly.

Here's the space before the movers bring in the furniture and boxes...

Here come the boxes...

And when we are done...

Taking photos of your home (and storing them off site) will help you in filing insurance claims, as well as in putting your house back together again should the need arise.
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