Blog

Author: Kelly GalfandClutter Donating Feng Shui General Organizing Spiritual and Holistic

When You Give, You Get…

conversation hearts: "goodbye" & "Adieu"

Letting go isn’t easy — but when you allow yourself to say goodbye to books you haven’t read, children’s toys that have been outgrown, and clothing that no longer suits your style — you get more than a tax receipt. When you give, you get…

SATISFACTION: Allowing someone else the pleasure of enjoying your stuff feels good (so does recycling).

SPACE: You will literally regain space…

• Whole drawers can be emptied

• Shelves will no longer bow under the weight of your old textbooks

• Closets will sigh with relief that they’re not overstuffed and cramped

Being able to see your belongings enables you to enjoy and appreciate what you have.

FREEDOM: We are privileged to live in a free society, but some of us are slaves to stuff and the need to acquire more. When you let something go, a wonderful emotional freedom grows.

As a professional organizer, I am privileged to witness people stand straighter, smile more freely, and breathe easier by letting go of things that were holding them back. Releasing physical items from our spaces gives us the freedom to decide what will take its place. Let it be positive memories and new opportunities.

Author: Kelly GalfandGeneral Holidays Seasonal Shopping

Gift Giving the Green Way

Celebrate life’s blessings.

Still life with hands

Opening presents sure can be fun — but dealing with the hassle of wrapping paper, tissue wrap, ribbons, and recycling trash can sometimes be the bummer at the end of the party. That task sometimes falls to me…even on my own birthday. As I turn one year older this month, I treated my family to the gift of captured moments with a professional family photo sitting. We got all of the shots we wanted PLUS which I’m sharing at the end of this post.

What kinds of gifts can YOU give this year that don’t involve packaging or plastic — and don’t take up room on shelves? Theater events, spa treatments, and special meals out are just a few ways to celebrate the good times in life with the people you love. Keep this in mind while you shop for the holidays. Ask nieces and grandparents what events (sporting or cultural) they’d like to attend in lieu of cappuccino makers and electronic gadgets. Cousins could organize a bowling party instead of racking their brains for what “Suzy” wants this year for Christmas.

Now is the time to get your family on board with the idea of green gifts — like time spent together — rather than purchased goods. If the idea of intangible gifts is too big a leap (this year) then at least make sure to share your want-list. Don’t be shy telling people (friends, family, co-workers) what you’d really like. In this economy, no one wants to throw good money after bad. Happy Holidays.

Kelly with Husband

NOT your typical siblings shot

Family Portrait in FEET!

Author: Kelly GalfandChallenging Disorganization General Project Management Spiritual and Holistic

Improve your vision with a Professional Organizer

Vision ChartProfessional organizers help you bridge your old lifestyle with your new lifestyle — working with you to change habits and forge successful ones. Sometimes you need just a gentle nudge to shift from the same old ways of doing things (or not doing them at all!) to new ways.  This includes seeing through refreshed eyes — seeing your space, seeing yourself, and seeing the way you use your time.

Do you feel mired? As if you can’t quite get any traction? Organizers help break the patterns and free you to start moving again. We help you handle papers differently, approach your closet from a new perspective , and work through your projects — to completion!

Professional organizers’ eyes are judgment free. We don’t look at spaces and draw down a curtain of shame; we look to help clients understand: how did things get piled on the floor? Or why are there duplicates taking up prime real estate in your home or office? Our goal is to teach new ways of handling your stuff to clear your spaces, work surfaces, and floors from clutter. And ultimately, this will help free your mind to be even more productive.

ORGANIZERS HELP CLIENTS CREATE:

• a new vision of themselves (you really can become an on-time person)

• a different script for their future life (you will finish this project)

• new habits to maintain order and calm (the pile on the kitchen counter isn’t a permanent fixture)

Break the hold old patterns have on your life by hiring an organizer. Organizers help you update your old operating system. We listen to what’s getting in your way and help you problem-solve HOW to do things  — step by step — so you don’t get overwhelmed. We are cheerleaders for your successes no matter how incremental. We are confidants to your pitfalls as you learn to surmount them. 

Clutter is more than a physical burden; it has an emotional claim. If you can admit that you are overwhelmed and you are open to receiving help, you have taken the first step to inviting an organizer into your life. Any space that overwhelms you probably has an organizer suited to improving the function of that area.

 

Author: Kelly GalfandGoal Setting Productivity

Chart Your Own Map to Discovery

October twelfth marks Christopher Columbus’ birthday. He set out to discover new Trade Routes to Asia, but ended up in the Caribbean. Roadblocks and mistakes diverted his initial path and his journey took longer than expected. He kept going – always moving forward – closer to his target (even when his target changed). This concept of forward momentum is very important in life – so is setting goals. Goals provide motivation. Motivation keeps us taking steps.

If we use Columbus’ journey as our Goal Setting Road Map we learn to:

  • allow ourselves to chart new territory
  • be okay with changing directions
  • have an end goal in mind
  • re-evaluate and adapt along our journey
  • surround ourselves with supporters and tune-out naysayers
  • recognize when we’ve reached a successful stopping point
  • celebrate our discoveries

Take organizational goals: Sometimes your goal is to reclaim space in a spare bedroom. You think the only way to achieve that is to empty the whole room and start from scratch. But, as you work, you realize it’s actually the corner where the bills get paid that mucks up the process. You notice that entering the room facing the ironing board is depressing; small shifts in orienting stuff can make a huge difference. Or let’s say you are overwhelmed with family photos and you want to ‘organize them.’ Your first goal might be to store them in photo safe boxes. Along the way you decide to scan a portion and preserve them electronically as a screen-saver montage. While sorting sentimental batches you get caught up reconnecting with family. That’s okay if you stick with the goal of getting the photos organized and continue to weed out the unnecessary shots. As long as you do something with the photos you want to save, you are still moving forward.

In setting goals, you will have to plan a route to achieve success.

You will want to find like-minded travelers along the road.

When you get stuck, don’t get discouraged… stay focused and keep your eyes on the horizon.

Amaze yourself with what you discover!

Author: Kelly GalfandClutter General

“March Madness” and Your Next Best Play for Decluttering

You don’t have to be a sports fan to learn a new move or two from the NCAA basketball tournament.  This single-elimination collegiate competition held every spring is informally known as March Madness. Various rounds of the tournament have distinctive names: Sweet 16, Elite 8 and Final 4.

Accept this March Madness Challenge: mimic the tournament’s elimination process to decide what deserves a place in your life.  Think, as you cull your collection, “What’s worthy of living on my trophy shelf?”  Over the course of the next three weeks, cut any bench warmers – objects that hog space, collect dust and detract from the rest of the team.

Just as athletes work toward goals and milestones like personal bests, make your decluttering goals concrete.  For example, trim 16 items of clothing so that your clothes don’t spill over into a second closet.  Or, contain your collection of figurines to 8 that fit neatly in a cabinet.  And maybe, find the 4 essential cookbooks for your kitchen shelf.

The hardest lesson March Madness teaches is “one and done.”  The Final 4 teams play two games over three days to determine the one national champion.  Culling collections down to a single winner is unrealistic, but selecting winners based on proven criteria is a good play.  Choose from a laundry list of categories: books, clothes, vases, kids’ artwork, pantry items, electronics, just to name a few, and let these Elite 8 questions be the driving force behind refining your best team.

1. Do you use it?

2. Do you love it?

A yes to either, “Do you use it?” or “Do you love it?” garners objects a guaranteed spot on the team!

3. Has it expired?

Yes to this and it’s a definite cut from the team: food, medicine, fashion or electronics.

4. Does it fit?

5. Is it flattering?

The questions, “Does it fit?” and “Is it flattering?” though suited to clothing, are not exclusive to wardrobes.  These questions ask if things fit your lifestyle.  Sometimes entire collections represent an old hobby that is irrelevant to our current interests.  Consider how much of what you own is an honest reflection of you and the life you want to live.  If something doesn’t fit for any reason… let it go.

6. Could you easily replace it?

7. Is it still valuable to you?

8. Is it easy to maintain?

Surplus supplies can rob us of space, energy and disposable income.

Don’t stockpile if you are maxing out on space.

Sentimental items are not easily replaced and are harder to part with. When paring down nostalgic items ask yourself which piece best represents that time in your life, or best reflects that personal accomplishment.

Don’t forget to simplify.  Fewer working parts, lower maintenance costs, and a smaller footprint can be a savings on several levels.

Take your time.  Give yourself an entire month to accomplish your goal. Each week, make your ‘team cuts.’  Try out the feeling of having less on your shelf, less in your collection and less on your mind.

In the end YOU will be the winner.  The March Madness basketball tournament ends on Monday April 2.  Plan ahead for your personal victory and set a date for the end of your March Madness Challenge.  Don’t throw in the towel if the tournament ends while you’re still deciding what to keep.  Decisions take time, but if you don’t declutter on a regular basis, your organizing muscles won’t be at peak performance.  Practice will perfect your skills.