Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life
December 2012 – Vol. 11 No. 12

“All we have is all we need. All we need is the awareness of how blessed we really are.”
~Sarah Ban Breathnach
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The bright side of clutter

I don’t have to tell you about the downside of clutter. Disorganization can really take a toll on your life – physically, emotionally, socially, financially, and spiritually.

But there is a bright side to clutter. And once you see it, you won’t ever look at clutter the same way again.

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

Now here’s the bright side of clutter. 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’re richer than you think!

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.

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 wealth and that makes me feel good. It also makes it easier to find and put away the things I love and use regularly.

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.

But the best part about donating your stuff is what you get in return – the joy that comes from giving.

QUICK TIP: Free pick-up of donations

Visit DonationTown.org to find a charity that will pick up your donations for free. All you have to do is put out the items on your scheduled pick-up date. You don’t even need to be home. They will leave a tax-deductible receipt.

Excerpted from my book, How to Declutter and Make Money Now: http://ow.ly/ga1e0

Favorite organizing products and resources

As a professional organizer for the last 12 years, I’ve used and recommended a lot of organizing products, services and resources. Every month, in this column, I share my favorites.

Last month, I introduced you to DotMine Day Planners – fashionable, functional and affordable day planners to help individuals and families organize busy lives. If you see something you like, enter coupon code UNCLUTTER30 at checkout for a whopping 30% discount. Shop at www.timemine.com.

This month, since we’re on the subject of donations, I want to share my favorite source for figuring out what to claim for fair market value of your donations if you plan to take a tax deduction for them. I use the deductions calculator on ItsDeductibleOnline.com. This is a free service provided by TurboTax.

The program adds up all of your charitable donations for the year as well as providing a place for you to keep track of mileage for driving to and drop off donations, among other things. All of this information is saved for you and can be easily uploaded at year end to TurboTax.

For a look at more of my organizing favorites, Visit www.unclutter.com/favorites.

Shameless promotion: An apology, plus helpful links

Last month, I received a lot of emails about the formatting of my November newsletter being all messed up. I’m so sorry! I think I know now what went wrong.

I have to say that it was deeply rewarding to me to know that so many people cared enough to write and tell me how much they enjoy this newsletter. I really appreciated that.

I recently updated my web site which has been pretty much the same for the last 10 years. The new site is a bit more hip and is also optimized for mobile viewing on smartphones and tablets. I’d love to know what you think. Check it out: www.unclutter.com.

You’ll notice on my new site that there is a menu tab for “Blog.” I plan to start posting a few times a week as ideas occur to me and/or I am inspired by things I see. But don’t you worry. I’ll continue to write this monthly newsletter and you’ll continue to get it.

I’d like to invite you again to join my organizing support group on Facebook which you can find here: http://ow.ly/ga2u7.

In addition to getting help from me as well as other members, you will also learn about special events and promotions throughout the month. For example, earlier this month, members had the opportunity to download my newest Kindle book, How to Declutter and Make Money Now, at no cost.

Lastly, I’d like to share a couple of articles that include some of my organizing and cleaning tips:

November 27, 2012 Entrepreneur.com
How to make money from your business clutter

December 12, 2014 FoxNews.com
7 Habits of People with Extremely Clean Homes
That’s all for this month. Until next month, keep it simple.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I, Donna Smallin Kuper, am an affiliate of many products that I recommend and endorse, so any given issue of this newsletter may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase something, I may receive a referral commission. All proceeds from affiliate programs go toward the continuation of this complimentary newsletter. Thanks in advance for your support! Please note that I only recommend products that I would recommend whether I got paid or not.

Excerpted with permission from Donna Smallin’s free organizing tips newsletter at http://www.unclutter.com. If you do use an excerpt from my newsletter, I would love to see it! Please send to donna@unclutter.com.