I think of Mother’s Day as a time to honor my mother and all those who have nurtured me. What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?
If you want to give a gift to a nurturing woman in your life, ask them what makes them feel special.
If you are a mom, let your family know what you want. How do you want to remember this special relationship? If you dread getting gifts you don’t really want or can’t use, take charge (and help them out) by suggesting a gift of some kind of service. Does getting a massage or a pedicure or a ticket to a concert help you feel loved and appreciated? Does receiving chocolate just make you groan with regret because you know you’ll just eat the whole box – at one sitting? Let your people know!
Sometimes a personal note, written on nice stationery or a card can mean the world to someone who has cared for you. This is a low-clutter way to honor your special woman. Write your own true thoughts. A simple thing to do is make your own haiku. (3 lines; 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.)
The one who loves you — though you not deserve it — and the love lives on
– Willy King
Just spending time with Mom can make the day special. Focus on her solely. Don’t let her deflect the attention away from herself. Ask her questions; What makes you happy? What’s your best memory of your mom? What have you liked best about being a mother? What do you dream about?
If you feel like your family never acknowledges you or doesn’t give you what you want, give to yourself. Part of being a nurturer requires you to know how to care for yourself. Chances are you won’t buy yourself a gift that you can’t use or don’t love.
Plan a party to honor your mother. Even if your mother is no longer with you, it’s heartwarming to raise a glass in her honor and toast what she did right.
What’s your favorite Mother’s Day memory?
Here are 5 of the most common hurdles we see folks face when trying to shed off things they no longer use and need:
It’s Too Precious for Goodwill
- Find a charity you like and believe in and one you feel really appreciates your donations – it will help ease your attachments and satisfy that need for things to go to a “good” home.
It’s Worth Too Much To Give Away
- Are you sure? What you paid for it and what it’s worth now are rarely the same. Get confirmation from an auction house (usually can text pictures or bring things in on a free appraisal day). If you find out it’s not worth what you thought, you may be willing to just donate. And if it really is valuable you can sell it through a buyer or auction house.
I Don’t Want It To End Up In Landfill
- Try Freecycle, Craigslist, NextDoor for items that are not donatable (particle board furniture).
- Take advantage of the Bay Area’s unique donation options such as Urban Ore, East Bay Depot for Creative Re-Use, and SCRAP
- Some things really are trash and we have to accept that. The only way to stop that kind of outflow is not to buy it in the first place!
I Could Use This Someday
- Beware of prioritizing the future over the present. Having a space crowded with “maybe, someday” can keep you from living fully in the present. You need to weigh that cost against the cost of possibly having to replace something if you do actually need it later.
I Feel Guilty Giving It Up
- Ah, good old guilt. So impractical, yet so tenacious! Sometimes it helps to put the shoe on the other foot…would you want someone else to hang onto a gift you gave them solely out of obligation if they really didn’t need or want it?
- Try a little ritual of appreciation to help relieve guilt before releasing an object. For gifts, take a moment and recognize the good intention someone had when they gave it. For other items, acknowledge the pleasure or service the item gave you. For example, to let greeting cards go, our friend Maggie thinks of the person who gave it to her and gives the card/letter/Christmas picture a kiss before she puts it in recycling
There are no rights and wrongs in your own process; as usual, you get to decide how much to keep and what to let go. Beware how much of a project you’re creating for yourself and how much are you willing to do. Keep in mind your larger goal of how you want your home to function and feel and let that be your constant guide!
Did you know organizers don’t just organize? Professional organizing comes in all sorts of flavors. Some organizers are more generalists and cover lots of areas; others pick one specialty and stick to that. Have a look at the variety of challenges where professional organizers can help:
- Business development
- Children and teen organizing
- Chronic disorganization
- Closet design and organizing
- Corporate operations
- Digital organizing
- Estate management
- Estate sales
- Event planning
- Feng Shui
- Financial management/Bookkeeping/Bill-paying
- Garage sales
- Hands-on organizing
- Hoarding behavior
- Home inventories
- Home offices
- Home staging
- Household management
- KonMari organizing
- Notary Public
- Online sales
- Paper management
- Personal assistance
- People with disabilities
- Project management
- Psychology involved in organizing/productivity
- Records management
- Relocation and move management
- Social media
- Space planning and design
- Speaking and training
- Storage units
- Task and time management
- Team productivity
- Travel prep
- Virtual organizing
No matter the size or scope of your project, we can help you find an organizer with the specialty you need! Ask us for recommendations or go directly to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals — NAPO.net.
Filed under ADD/ADHD, artwork, Bathroom, Bay Area Services, Bedroom, Business Organizing, children, Closets, clothing, couples, Decluttering, disorganization, downsizing, Empty Nest, Garage, General Organizing, Holidays, home organizing, Kids, Kitchen, Laundry, Living Room, Memorabilia, Moving, Office, Paper, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, School, Seniors, Storage, Technology, Time Management, Travel, Wedding
Usually when we talk about shedding we mean purging – today we’re talking about storage!
Don’t overlook your side yard and back yard as places to expand functional storage. It doesn’t take a huge footprint to add in a decent capacity storage shed.
There are many vendors of pre-made sheds in all sizes, shapes, and materials. Some can sit directly on the ground and some need a foundational base of concrete or pilings. Often a handyman can help with the preparation and assembly or the company you buy the shed from may offer that service as well. As an example, it took our handyman 10 hours to fully assemble 3’ x 6’ shed that did not need a foundation. So, don’t forget to factor in the cost of labor in the price of your shed.
Things to consider storing in a shed:
- Sports equipment
- Camping supplies
- Yard/gardening tools & supplies
- Car supplies
- Emergency supplies
- Holiday decorations
- Extra paint and building materials
- Out of season or size clothes
- Archive documents
If you’re storing things like clothes, papers, or memorabilia, make sure they are in tightly lidded tubs.
Sheds go beyond pure storage and can be working areas as well. Some can be wired with electricity, have flooring, and function as small studio or office spaces.
As with organizing any space, be very conscious about how you populate it. Use the vertical space as much as possible by adding in utility shelving or appropriate hangers for things like ladders and bikes. Use larger, stackable tubs to group small items where appropriate and don’t forget to label them. Painter’s tape makes a quick, large label you can write on (use a thick marker) and change easily if needed.
Having extra storage is grand but beware – sheds can be a tempting dumping ground and quickly get out of hand!
Remember those days of luxury when you lived by yourself and had total control over every inch of your space? It may or may not have worked for you, but you were the only person it affected. But now you find yourself sharing space with your honey…and crap is everywhere*? &#! If you find yourself doing battle around the clutter in your shared home, remember these three tips:
#1 Neither of You is “Right”
When we choose to share space with others we give up some of those rights of autonomy in exchange for having to compromise and make the home livable for all who use it. Negotiate change from a perspective of how spaces need to function, not who is right.
#2 Allow for Personal Spaces
Whether it’s a single drawer or cabinet or an entire room, it’s helpful for each of you to have some space that only you oversee and get to keep however you want. Have clear boundaries about who is responsible for which spaces. And decide which spaces are managed jointly. Good fences make good neighbors.
#3 Manage Your Own Mess First
It’s so much easier to see where the other person has a problem. But step back and take stock of your own clutter collections first. Managing your own messes will help disarm your partner and show them you’re committed to making the home better for both of you.
Easier said than done, of course, and sometimes these conversations get waylaid by emotional charge. Tackle one small area at a time to build up the communication skills and get help if you get stuck! An objective party – a trusted friend, therapist, or professional organizer – can help you separate out and solve the practical issues of decluttering. Remember your goal: creating a home that nurtures your relationship and life together. Co-managing a home is one way to show love and respect for your sweetie.
Sale runs into February…
It’s that time of year again. Your closets are bursting, drawers are overflowing, and this is the year you are finally getting organized. You’re in luck, the elfa® shelving sale at the Container Store® is underway!
Why do we love elfa® closet systems?
- Esthetically pleasing
- Completely changeable
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to install
CLEAN LINES, VARIETY OF LOOKS
There are several different finish options for your closet system – a ventilated wire shelf in white or platinum with optional wood edging, solid shelves in many different veneers…the variety means their systems fit lots of different tastes. See examples of the different styles on their best-selling solutions page.
PRICED TO FIT ANY BUDGET
Closet pricing can vary from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand depending on the size and complexity of the design.
- A standard 6’ closet outfitted with one clothes rod and two 6’ shelves prices out at around $200 (during the sale!) — mind you, that doesn’t include their fantastic drawers or gliding shoe shelves
- “Décor” edging and shelving, drawers, shoe shelves, tie racks, hooks, bins, and other accessories will add to the cost
- The ventilated and solid melamine shelving are the most economical
Master closet right after move-in
This plan uses solid front drawers
NOT JUST FOR CLOSETS
The variety and adaptability of this shelving makes it perfect for many spaces – they also have free-standing elfa® units if you don’t have available wall space:
- Garage, basement & attic are great places for shelving
- Create a wall-mounted desk with shelves above
- Kitchen pantry
COULD IT BE ANY EASIER TO INSTALL?
The design of the system makes installation super simple.
- The whole system hangs from a single bar they call a top track. Once you get that installed securely, there is no further need for tools or the help of your handyman
- It usually takes about an hour to install a basic 6’ closet
- We must say that the Container Store’s® installers are friendly and quick. They can handle demolition of the existing closet and can handle any adjustments needed for unexpected glitches in the planning process
- If one is only installing a single closet system, the installers are a little pricey (they have a $180 minimum) so take advantage of this sale – installation is also discounted
BUT WAIT! Closet design isn’t the starting point.
How each closet functions is an integral part of how a whole house stays organized. Before you invest in a makeover of any one closet be sure that you’re storing what you really need and that you’re storing it in the appropriate location…should your boxes of photos and memorabilia really live in the master bedroom closet?
We offer closet and storage assessments to advise on how to maximize space. If you want help figuring out the best closet solutions for your needs, contact us!