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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time to...

This is my favorite 2 weeks of the entire year, the week before Christmas and the week before New Years.  A good time to hope that humans come to their senses, lay down their weapons and try to get a long... A good time to look back, and to plan for the future.  That's what I intend to do.  Along with some dear friends, and the best food I can find.

I wish you all much joy and happiness.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A beautiful kitchen unpacked...

Last week we unpacked and organized this beautifully remodeled kitchen...

Mom and baby enjoying the activity of moving...

Within hours, everything is in it's place...

And the kitchen is ready to go...

Shouldn't all moves go this smoothly?  Here are some tips from a professional organizer on unpacking a kitchen...

1.  Decide in advance where in the kitchen your items should go... keep dishes and glassware near the dishwasher.

2.  Unpack the items that are easiest to put away first.  Generally, that dishes and glassware.

3.  Try not to have "too many cooks" in the kitchen at the same time madly unpacking boxes and shoving things into drawers and cabinets.

4.  Keep items you use most often closer at hand.  

5.  Remove packing paper and boxes from the area as soon as you unpack each box.  Keeping the area tidy will make it feel more in control.  

6.  Be sure and smooth out all packing paper so you are sure you didn't accidentally miss something from a box.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Donating your stuff...

Which of these items would you donate to charity?

The second hand and the alarm on the clock are broken.
The blue vase is fine.
The amber vase is chipped in two places.
Some of the candles are wrapped and some are not, some are faded.
The white tablecloth is stained in several places.
The bird nest has broken pieces missing.
The cat's collar is faded.
The cat game is unopened.
The knit pouch is fine.
The greeting cards are a variety of left over cards, most without envelopes.  

These items were all in a donation box... remember, if you donate items that the charity has to pay to discard, you are not doing them any favors.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The life in our heads...

I'm working with woman I've known for 30 plus years. We packed her up in September so that her house could be remodeled, and now we are putting the house back together. She promised that she would prune her mountains of "stuff", but it seems impossible for her to give up much.  She is not a hoarder, but a child of the depression (the OTHER depression) and she was taught to hang on to everything.

Her closets are stuffed with projects...the hat knitting project, the doll sewing project, the beaded snowflake project, the six mini houses projects, the lamp repair project, the jewelry making project, the quilt project, etc. Each project has heaps of supplies that need to be organized and contained.  The storage unit upstairs is stuffed with these things, and so is the off-site storage unit.

She tells me, "I'm going to work on this one as soon as...."
I say "that's what you told me last week, and the month before that, and the year before that, decades have gone by, but you never seem to get to it. And you just keep adding more projects to the list."

As a professional organizer, I see a lot of people living a life in their heads that is
completely different from the life they actually lead.  It may be collecting tools for woodworking, recipes and cooking gadgets, clothes, cars that "just need a little work"... many of us envision a life that includes doing these things, when in fact, we have a mountain of
excuses for why we are NOT working on our hobbies and projects.

 I've organized her projects and gotten the closet under least until the next project shows up.

How do you handle your list of projects?
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