"Down-sizing", or going from a big space to a smaller one and the overwhelming decisions that are part of the process, is the topic of many organizing articles.
"I could NEVER do that!"
"What do they do with all their stuff?"
"What do they DO?"
"Where are their things?"
"What if they need something they got rid of?"
I hear questions like these every time the subject of down-sizing comes up in conversation or a workshop, and I see the panicked looks on the faces of those who doubt the comfort of the answers.
Right-Size For You
I'm a proponent of "right-sizing" - about making our homes fit our lives at the stages we are in while still anticipating what we will need in the future. This is a hot topic for those recently retired, as well as baby boomers cruising into their golden years.
Right-sizing can be less overwhelming than downsizing, even when anticipating a potential move to a smaller space. It's about asking purposeful questions about the things in our lives right now:
Do we need them?
Do we use them?
Do we love them?
Where, if at all, will these items fit into our lives in the future?
I shared some right sizing tips with Debbie Drinkard Grovum, a Retirement Coach, in her post, "Too Much Stuff" on the RetireUSA Blog. Check back here next week for tips on deciding what to keep, and who gets our treasures after we are gone.
How about you? Are you retiring soon and wondering how to pare down accumulations from a lifetime career? Have you already retired and let go of things? Please share a comment below!
Some of us remember the Button Game from when we were kids....but what I'm really thinking about are the extra buttons (sometimes colored thread, too) that come with our clothing. You know the ones - twisted on to the last button in the row or tucked into the pocket.
Do you save them? Or throw them?
I can hear some of you literally gasping out loud at the thought of throwing away something WE MIGHT NEED someday. Which leads me to ask, if it comes right down to it, two questions:
1. IF a button falls off will we be able to find the replacement without searching the house or thru all the buttons we've saved?
2. If we do, by some miracle, easily locate the button, do we have the time to sew it on the garment (provided we have needle and thread easily accessible), or does the clothing sit in a pile waiting for a free moment in our hectic, busy lives?
I'm not a proponent of throwing things away. I also see a lot of clutter on dressers and night stands that some find distressing. Among the clutter we inevitably find extra buttons in little envelopes or plastic bags.
To each, their own, I always say, with the caveat that clutter IS the accumulation of delayed decisions. Before saving extra buttons, ask yourself the questions above. If the answer is no, toss them! Trust me, no one is judging!
TIP: To make buttons more stable - a dab of clear nail polish where the threads cross, or on the knot in the back will prevent them from falling off so quickly.
Do you save buttons? Why, or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
With a few spare minutes on your hands you decide to tackle the dreaded junk drawer. But then you open it and are confronted with... the dreaded cord tangle. That's right. Every. Single. Extra. Cord in your house has migrated to this drawer and inexplicably intertwined themselves in a way no human ever could. You quickly shut the drawer and walk away - "another day" you think, "when I have more time/energy/nothing to do/maybe never".
I'm ever optimistic - there is good news! If the cords are already gathered in the drawer the first step of organizing is complete! The challenge isn't to sort the cords - they're already there because they don't work or they don't have a use. It's WHAT TO DO with the cords themselves that can be a challenge.
Best Buy recycles cords, CD/DVDs and cases, gift cards, plastic bags, remotes/controllers, ink cartridges, rechargeable batteries and other larger consumer electronics, even if they aren't purchased at Best Buy. I live 90 miles from the nearest Best Buy, but they are my only option for recycling those items. I keep a box in my garage, put the items in there, and when I'm headed to that area I grab the box.
Will recycling my few items this way save the world? NO. Is it one small step I can take towards reducing landfill waste? YES! (And if we all recycle our items from the dreaded junk drawer, maybe we can save the world.)
Do you have an alternative idea for recycling these items, or a local solution? Please post below - together we can make a difference!
I'm sure this isn't the first time you've heard Every Woman is a Mother. Women, by nature, have a nurturing side that shines through their interests, passions, and in all they do. These women are mothers to van loads of kids, and they are friends who promote social causes (inspired by their four-legged fur kids). They are the aunts who dote, grandmothers who spoil, neighbors who help, and teachers who inspire. They are the employees, the service providers, the CEOs. These are the women who surround us - and who help make the corners of our world a little bit better.
Every Woman IS a Mother - and with Mother's Day coming up (it's this Sunday, May 10 in case you didn't know!) what better way to honor any woman in your life than by helping her reclaim a space in her home - a spare bedroom that has become storage, a garage that can't fit a car, an office overwhelmed by papers, or a room that needs a few tweaks to function better. A gift certificate from We Love Messes can get her on her way to achieving just what she needs.
Is this a self-serving request? Perhaps a little, I admit! But please also trust me when I tell you that I see first hand the benefits of time women claim for themselves and their passions when their homes run efficiently. And isn't more time a gift every woman (and man) wants?
In case you're a numbers person, here are some stats from a Real Simple survey of 3200 American women:
Contact me today if you'd like to honor the women in your life with a gift certificate from We Love Messes for Mother's Day - we have a special just for them!
I'd love to know how you honor the women in your life - on Mother's Day and every day! Please comment below so we can all get a little more inspired to remember that every woman is a mother.
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who