Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life December 2009 – Vol. 8 No. 11
“Each mess is a lock on the gate that keeps abundance out.”
–Raymond Aaron, the nation’s number #1 success and investment coach
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The upside of clutter I don’t have to tell you about the downside of clutter. At the very least, clutter wastes time that you can never get back. And disorganization can really take a toll on your life – physically, emotionally, socially, financially, and spiritually.

By clutter, I mean all that stuff – your stuff – that serves no purpose other than to take up valuable space and create unnecessary stress in your life. It’s the stuff you no longer use – or maybe even never used. It’s what you get when you have more than meets your needs.

But there is an upside to clutter. And once you see it, you won’t ever look at clutter the same way again. Here’s why: Having more stuff than you can consume or use can also be described as abundance. Clutter, then, is physical proof of our abundance.

Take a look around. If you’ve got clutter, you are richer than you think.

I look at clutter as an opportunity to recognize and give thanks for the abundance in my life. By periodically cleaning out my closets and drawers and giving away what I no longer need, I am able to share my abundance and that makes me feel good. It also makes it easier for me to find and put away the things that I love and use regularly.

Often, we hold on to things we no longer use because we paid “good money” for those things. But what is the value of a designer suit that just hangs in your closet, getting older and dustier every year? It’s worth absolutely nothing because it is not being used or enjoyed.

Now, if you donate that suit to a charity such as Dress for Success (www.dressforsuccess.org), a non-profit organization that provides low-income women with business outfits, it could be worth $20,000 a year to the woman who wears it to a job interview.

My point is this: That stuff you’re hanging on to in case you might need it someday could do immediate good in the hands of someone who really needs it right now.

If you are reluctant to let go of clothes that no longer fit, shoes you haven’t worn in years, or whatever, try this: pack it all up in a box, label it “Donate” in big, bold letters and then date it for six months from today. If you haven’t opened the box before that date, you haven’t missed anything inside – and you probably never will.

Be brave! What’s the worst possible thing that could happen? Could you get the item again pretty easily and inexpensively IF you needed it again? Then let it go.

Sharing your abundance (I’m talking about your clutter – not the stuff you love and use) will go a long way toward uncluttering your home. Donate to your favorite charity, get a receipt, and enjoy the tax savings too!

A creative way to unclutter dresser drawers

Ever wondered what to do with all those concert and sporting event T-shirts you’ve been saving? Or those baby blankets and clothes or other clothing with wonderful memories?

Here’s an idea: have them made into a keepsake quilt.
That’s what I did recently. Well, okay. I didn’t do it myself. I sent my t-shirts to Campus Quilt Company (www.campusquilt.com) and they made a beautiful quilt for my nephew.

I have to say that I was extremely pleased with the whole process. They send you easy-to-follow directions. You send them your material. The result is a unique keepsake quilt you can enjoy for years to come – and more dresser drawer space!

Survey Results: Organizing seminars by phone

Last month I asked if you would be interested in learning more about getting organized by taking a phone seminar.

As promised, here are the results of that survey:

31% said: Very likely – where do I sign up? 50% said: Maybe – tell me more 19% said: Not at all interested

Thank you for your feedback!

I have decided to offer my first phone seminar on January 27 at 4pm ET. The topic is Organized for Life: 90 Minutes to a New Year, New You.
You know what the hardest part of getting organized is? Getting started. I guarantee you that if you take this seminar, you’ll get at least one simple idea that you can implement right away and enjoy immediate results.

* Find out how getting your brain in gear is the first step to getting organized.

* Quickly decide what to keep and what to toss by asking yourself one simple question.

* Get tips on how to turn clutter into cash – fast.

* And much more

We’ll have a total of 90 minutes together – 60 minutes of content and 30 minutes for questions and answers.

This is a phone seminar, which means you don’t even have to leave your home to learn the simple strategies I’ll be sharing to help you get organized for life. Just dial into the call at the appointed hour. If you miss the call, no problem! I will record the seminar for you so you can listen later – or listen again.

Register now at www.unclutter.com/speaking. The regular price for this 90-minute seminar is $27. But for my readers, it’s only $19 when you enter the discount code SAVE8 when you register. I’ll look forward to meeting you on January 27.

New Survey: Why I want to organize my home

What is the #1 reason why you want to organize your home?

a. To create a less stressful living environment b. To set a good example for my children c. To create space for things I love to do (ex. cooking, hobbies, exercise, or reading) d. To feel better about myself e. So that we can invite friends and family over f. To make it easier to find things when I need them g. Other (please describe)

TO RESPOND TO THE SURVEY, send email to editor@unclutter.com with the word “Survey” in the subject line and the letter that corresponds to your answer. Feel free to add comments in the body of your email. I love reading them! As always, I will share the results of this survey in the next issue.

Shameless promotion: Updates & upcoming events

As you may know, I moved recently from Arizona to Michigan.
In January, I will be giving a presentation in both states.

I’ll be speaking and signing books at the Rochester Hills Public Library in Rochester Hills, MI on January 12 and at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ on January 21. You’ll find complete details at www.uncluter.com/speaking

In the January 2010 issue of Better Homes & Gardens, check out the article on 25 Easy Ways to Conquer Clutter (page 34). This was my contribution: The next time you sit down to watch TV, pull out a drawer – any drawer. During commercials, sort the contents into four piles: keep, toss, donate or sell, and items to relocate. Then put back only the keepers, using expandable organizers to keep it tidy.

I also had a couple of recent online mentions in these articles that may be of interest: Your Lifestyle Blog :D: 26 Organizing Tips That Actually Work By Banana Lover As for old photos that never made it into an album, Donna Smallin, author of A to Z Storage Solutions, suggests organizing them in photo boxes, categorizing by vacation or time period so they’re easily searchable.
Your Lifestyle Blog 😀 – http://lifestylehut.blogspot.com/ Clutter-Free House – Prevention.com “Commit to spending at least 20 to 30 minutes on uncluttering each day, but no more than an hour,” says organizing pro Donna Smallin, author of Unclutter

That’s all for this month. Until next month, keep it simple.