Category Archives: Living Room

The Hidden Costs of Clutter for Women

Decluttering is good for your health!

Decluttering is good for your health!

You’re probably familiar with the notion that clutter is expensive – costing you money in buying things you already have and costing you time from inefficiency. Turns out clutter can cost you your health as well.

A recent study by researchers at UCLA’s Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) shows a link between women’s stress hormone, cortisol, and the amount of clutter in their home. According to the study:

“Mothers who use key words in their self-narrated home tours indicating that the home is messy or cluttered actually experience a higher rate of depressed mood toward evening, based on cortisol measures over a number of days.” Life At Home In The Twenty-First Century, Arnold, et. al.

The groundbreaking 4-year study looked at the living habits of 32 families with school age children in the Los Angeles area. The objective was to get a real picture of how middle-class families live.

An article and video from KCET highlights a few interesting facts from the study:

  • The United States has 3.1% of the world’s children and purchases 40% of the world’s toys
  • Our society has the most material possessions per household in global history
  • 75 percent of Angelenos are parking their cars in the streets or in the driveways and they’re using their garages as storage units
  • Family photos on display: an average of 85. Home offices: typically, over 2,000 non-paper items. Garages: 50 to 700 objects. Refrigerator doors hold an average of 52 doodads.

So what’s our take away? REDUCE THE VOLUME! Any effort you make to reduce the volume of stuff in your home will boost your mood and lower your stress level.

Meet the challenge! Grab a donation bag, see if you can fill it and drop it off this week.

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Filed under Bedroom, Closets, Decluttering, Garage, General Organizing, Kids, Kitchen, Living Room, Memorabilia, Perspective, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Strategies

Using Pinterest for Organizing Ideas

Looking for inspiration? Come join this visual feast!

Looking for inspiration? Come join this visual feast!

Of all the social media tools out there now, Pinterest is one of the best for getting creative and imaginative organizing ideas. Pinterest is a visual discovery tool where people create “interest boards” and then “pin” pictures and videos on any topic.

It’s a great way to harness the power of the collective! Let’s say you’re struggling with how to manage those pesky charging cables …simply type, “cable organizing” into the search field and see hundreds of examples of how other folks have handled the problem.

Ever wonder how to wrangle your cable clutter?

A low-tech way to wrangle your cable clutter

Do you ever wonder how you’re going to manage your rings and necklaces, bracelets and earrings so that you can see what you have and easily put them away when you’re done with them?

There are all sorts of creative ideas for displaying your jewelry on Pinterest

Here’s a solution for displaying your necklaces. There are 1,000’s more on Pinterest!

People post photos of their favorite products and many times they post creative DIY solutions. Browsing the images is a great way to spark your own ideas and creativity, and come up with solutions you may never have even thought of.

You don’t have to create a “board” in order to partake of the images that abound on Pinterest.  You can just “window shop.” But be careful, it can be addicting! …especially since it’s also available as an app for your phone or tablet.

What great ideas have you found on Pinterest?  Share them here!

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Filed under Bedroom, Closets, Decluttering, Garage, General Organizing, Holidays, Kids, Kitchen, Laundry, Living Room, Memorabilia, Office, Paper, Perspective, School, Storage, Strategies

Too Many Books!

Rule: Keep only as many books as will fit on your shelves

Rule: Keep only as many books as will fit on your shelves

If you have more books than can fit on your shelves. It’s time to take a hard look at your attachments and figure out how to let some go.

Unless it’s a collectable or has deep sentimental value, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I feel like I paid a lot of money for this book and won’t be able to recoup my losses?
  • Does having these books make me feel like an expert?
  • Do I long for the days when I read with my children?
  • Will I ever really have the time to catch upon the amount of reading I have stored here?
  • Could I easily get this book at the library if I really needed it in the future?

As with many of the items in our home, we hang onto more than we need because of emotional attachments. Being aware of this pull can help you loosen your grip and reduce your clutter.

You have 3 basic options for books you don’t need:

1.) Give your books a new life. Donate to your local Friends of the Public Library, thrift stores, or recycling center. Sometimes, you can even get a library volunteer to come pick them up for you.

2.) Resell the books yourself. Shop them at your local used bookstore, on Craigslist, on eBay or even on Amazon. Though the ratio of books to cash can be quite low, it you have the time and energy, you can get something for them.

3.) Find someone to sell books for you. You can locate an eBay reseller or your local estate liquidator may have contacts for local book dealers.

While you are looking to make some money from your collection, don’t lose sight of the value of your own time when you take on a book-selling project.

Part of letting go of information is trusting that the resources will be available to you when you need them.  And, who knows? You might even make a new friend while searching the library bookshelves for Moby Dick.

What has helped you declutter your bookshelves?  Let us know!

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Filed under Bedroom, General Organizing, Living Room, Office, Perspective, Strategies