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COVID-19 Bingo Fun!

We are all taking this COVID-19 health situation seriously with the world wide pandemic.  It’s a scary time for us all. Research shows that laughter is the best medicine when it comes to difficult times. Not only does laughter help, being busy and productive helps too.  When we are productive, we know we are making a difference in our home and work.  With that in mind, download these free Bingo cards.

 

Self Care Bingo

The Self Care Bingo helps us keep perspective on what is most important; that being putting our own oxygen mask on first.  Self care is what makes the difference for immunity too.  According to Good Housekeeping research, following self care strategies improves your overall well being.

 

self care bingo

 

Declutter Bingo

The most common challenge to decluttering and organizing is time. We never have enough time to declutter. Because we think it will take a lot of time, we don’t get started decluttering. Now is the time.  Use this Declutter Bingo card to help you get started on closet, computers and small spaces.

 

declutter bingo

 

 

Enjoy these bingo games to help you feel accomplished and well taken care of during this tough time. These can be printed to use at home and keep you moving forward.

Questions to ask yourself while decluttering

decluttering

 

Letting go of stuff is hard work.  Besides your every present thought that “I might need this,” there is a pull at your heartstrings of an emotional attachment and a pull at your purse strings for what you paid for that stuff.  As I meet with clients, we are sorting through their items and asking questions to help them make decisions to edit. Asking yourself questions to help you declutter makes this task easier.

 

Questions about use

Questions about use help you determine how often you use an item and if so, whether to keep it.

Do I love it or use it?

When was the last time I used it?

If it is less than $20 and it takes less than 20 minutes to get it again, can I let it go?

If you could fit in this right now, would you wear it?

 

Questions about quantity

Questions about quantity help you let go of excess.

How many of these do I need?

Would I buy this again today?

Where do I store it to find it again?

 

 

Questions for lifestyle

Questions about lifestyle help you acknowledge your feelings about an item.

Does this help me be my best self?

Will my future self use this?

Is this holding me back?

 

Questions about emotional attachment

Questions about emotional attachment define whether to keep an item or let it go.

Is this something that makes me sad or reminds me of a sad time?

Does this make me smile?

Do I honor it as a keepsake?

 

Questions about finances

Does this have value greater than $50?

Should I sell this or donate it?

Can it be a blessing to others who have great need?

 

As you are decluttering and editing, think about this question, will your life be better for editing your stuff?  At the end of the day, less stuff means less to take care of and more life to experience.

30 Things to Declutter in 30 Days Winter Edition

30 things to declutter in winter

 

Winter brings us time to be indoors and work on our home or office.  It’s a great time to declutter because we realize how much we have and how much we use.  There’s many items that are easy to declutter once we decide that they are well used and ready to move on.  Here’s the winter edition of 30 things to declutter in 30 days.

 

1. Single mittens or gloves

2. Kids’ winter coats that have been outgrown

3. The extra zip in lining of a coat you never zip in

4. Too tight long underwear

5. Turtle neck shirts that are too hot to wear

6. Itchy sweaters

7.  Single slippers or slippers that are beyond repair or use

8. Extra flannel sheets

9. Winter boots that are too small

10. Extra wire or plastic hangers

11. Extra cans of soup or other pantry items

12. Recycling that has built up

13. Extra linens that overload your closet

14. Smalll appliances that have been replaced with a newer model

15. Excessive grocery paper or plastic bags

16. Snowpants that are too small

17. Hoodie attachment you don’t attach

18. Summer clothes you did not wear last summer

19. Stained or torn hoodies or sweatshirts

20. Makeup over a year old

21. Cough or cold medicine that has expired

22. Pots or pans that are scratched, stained or ruined

23. Mugs you seldom or never use

24. Mismatched glasses

25. Too many plastic cups

26. Broken pairs of glasses and sunglasses

27. Freezer foods past their prime

28. Almost empty bottles of cleaning products

29. Extra boxes that are taking up space

30.  Electronics to recycle

 

That’s our round up for this month! Now you are in the decluttering habit! Make this last by taking one category a day to the next step, whether it’s to donate, sell, gift, or trash.  It’s keeping items leaving your home or office that makes for a better organized home or office.

 

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This is why following through on the Organizing Continuum helps you live the life you imagined!

organizing

 

Getting organized is a continuum, a work in progress,  a journey not a destination, and a learning experience. In my work with clients, I see that there is a definite starting place for my clients that begins with organizing skills and new perspectives. Clients learn basic skills to help them get organized and be productive.  I coach them to see new perspectives about themselves, their stuff and their time.  I am thrilled to acknowledge their gains as they progress through the organizing continuum.  If you are new to organizing, here’s how the continuum progresses. The time for the continuum depends on you.

 

Everything needs a place

It’s the basis of all organizing. It’s the age old adage, a place for everything and everything in it’s place.  All the items in your home or office need a specific spot.  That’s where they are located, put back and retrieved when used.  The first step in getting organized is having a place for everything. Yes, EVERYTHING. You can start by assigning a function to each room, what you need to do that action, the items needed, and then the storage of the items.  Overall, each item will have a home and a place as a result.

 

Everything needs a time to attend to it

Not only does everything need a place, everything needs a time for it to be worked on, worked with or returned to it’s spot.  You make breakfast, retrieve dishes and cookware, wash it and return it to where it was placed.  If you are doing your taxes, you need to gather documents, work on them, then store these whether paper or digital.  When you work, you go to your digital documents, work, and save it to a digital spot.  All things, papers, or digital documents need time to work the work and store appropriately.

 

There’s a place for your stuff, however it’s not worth the time to attend to it.

This is when your discerning decluttering really kicks into gear.  It’s not that you don’t have space for an item, how important is it to spend time getting it to where the place is? How many do you have already or do you need? Our time is the most valuable commodity we have and we can let go of items just so it’s not as time consuming to put them away.

It’s not valuable enough to find the space for it.

Here’s where you begin to assess a “just in case” perspective. Is the possibility of use a good enough reason to keep an item? The Minimalists have this perspective.  If it costs less than $20, and you can get it in 20 minutes, do you need it in your home or office?  Finding the value of keeping an item helps you move forward in this continuum.  It’s about prioritizing your time and space.

 

There are many easier ways to find the stuff you need.

You have wrangled your stuff to get it stored and put away. Now you realize that there are many easier ways to find what you need, whether it is stuff, information or paper. You are entering the continuum where you start releasing more and bringing in less to your home and office.

 

Living with less is rewarding.

Life is feels less overwhelming, more about experiences, and you are living the life you imagined.

 

Organized and stay organized.

Your life is about living, not about stuff. You stay organized because you know what is important to have and what to release.  Congratulations on accomplishing the real goal of being organized!

 

Sharing this continuum helps you start on your organizing and productivity journey!

Here’s more posts to help you too!

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Feeling stuck? Here’s how to get started organizing!

Feelng stuck? Here's how to get started organizing

Feeling stuck?   Have personal paralysis? Are you procrastinating?  It’s common when it comes to organizing.  It can be overwhelming and difficult to get started organizing, especially if you have a brain based condition such as ADHD. Making decisions, creating a plan, and initiating are all challenges that interfere with getting started.  There are ways to get unstuck and get started organizing.

 

Set a date and a time to organize

Setting a date, that is an appointment with yourself, gets you started organizing.  It’s just like all other appointments. It is on the calendar, your time is reserved, and you are committed.  Choose a time that is good with respect to low distractions and high energy level. Plan on 1 -2 hours to work on this project. If you still feel overwhelmed, start with the smallest amount of time.  When you work for 15 minutes, you know you have accomplished a baby step.  Like any appointment, even if it’s easy to procrastinate, follow through with your date.

Get support for your efforts

Support is critical to getting started with an organizing project.  According to a recent NAPO survey, the a major reason for not getting organized is not asking for help.  Both support and help making it easier whenever you start any project, whether it’s exercise, nutrition, or any lifestyle change. When you know that you are not getting started, look around for support.  Support can look like a friend who cheers  you on and shares how hard it can be to make decisions.  That person can have the role of a clutter buddy.  It can be a team to work with so there are many hands to do the work.  You can find support in a professional organizer, coach, or therapist who help you define new perspectives, create a plan and support you in your work.

 

Have a compelling reason

A personal, specific reason to get organized gets you started.  It’s the WHY of getting started.  Why will being organized make a BIG difference in your life?  The word compelling is critical because the more important this reason is, the easier it is to get started.  Your compelling reason could be emotional well being and less stress, but why that makes a difference every day will help you get moving. It’s powerful emotional and mental starting point for you.  I invite you to share your compelling reason here, to share it with the universe, and get started organizing today!

 

 

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The ONE Question to Ask Yourself When You Declutter

 

Only question needed to declutter

 

Decision making can be paralyzing when you declutter.  It’s all the questions, decisions and options that weigh you down and bring organizing and productivity to a halt.  How long have we had it? When did we use it?  Do we love it?  How many do we need? When we are faced with decision making back to back, we shut down before we start.  How can we pare down the questions to just one question?  Here’s the ONE question to ask to declutter.

 

Would I use it today?

 

Would I wear this today?

It’s a combination of do I fit in it? Is it my style? Is this a color the complements my hair and eyes? With all these questions, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and make no decision.  If you put on an item, and decide you can’t or won’t wear it today, it’s time for that item to go.  It’s just that easy.

 

Would I use it today?

Would I baste a turkey with it? Cut up veggies with it? Can I use it today to cut down a tree or hammer in a nail?  If I can’t use it today because it requires repair or it’s not useful, it’s time to let it go and make room for another that can be used right away.

 

Would I refer back to it?

You’re about to start a landscaping or repair project, but would you refer to the article you cut out a while back to do that work?  Often when we collect service people or clip articles from a magazine, we are thinking that we would use this information later.   We have to admit sometimes it’s hard to find that information again and it’s easier to find it online.  If you can admit that the information will not be used or easy to find when you need it, you can let go of that paper.

 

Would I start this project today?

So many project, so little time! You may have started a project and it became complicated, unwieldy, or boring.  If you have moved beyond the project, you can let it go.  It can be donated if there are unused resources.   It’s completely okay to let it go as pieces.

 

 

Reflect on this question, “Would you use it today?”  It’s going to simplify decluttering, help you eliminate more, and get you started on organizing.

 

I look forward to hearing you and learning more about your organizing and decluttering.

 

More ideas on how to simplify and declutter here on my newsletter!  Join here!

 

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Organizing: Streamlining or Unearthing Treasures

 

organizing streamlining or unearthing treasures

 

What’s organizing REALLY about?  Working together with my clients I see two different ways we work.  I also see the goals of our work in two different ways as well.  Organizing while both strategies accomplish what my clients want, each process differs slightly.  Here is my concept of organizing as letting go and organizing as unearthing treasures.

 

Organizing is streamlining and letting go.

You are overwhelmed with stuff.   Your goal is to have less, organize it and then keep your space maintained.  The first step  in your organizing project is to review what you have.  Then you assess it’s value. Do you use it or love it?  If neither applies, it’s time to eliminate this item.  As Marie Kondo says, “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” Working on having less is often the most motivating reason to get organized.

 

Organizing is unearthing treasures.

Your stuff is overwhelming you, but just culling out is not enough.  Your goal is to keep what’s most valuable to you.  Organizing can also be about finding and unearthing treasures. You can take the “treasure hunt” perspective where you sift through items to find what is most valuable to keep.  In choosing what’s most valuable, only you can be the judge.  It may be a long lost trinket or a check.  Organizing can be unearthing items that have been buried in what’s not important.

 

 

unearthing treasures

We found this treasure while working together! What treasures have you found while organizing?

 

When you unearth treasures, whether it’s financial or sentimental, you find real value in organizing.

 

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Insider’s Guide to Selling Clutter Online

insider guide to selling clutter online

There’s a value for everything.  When we decide that it’s time to eliminate and declutter, we want to find a monetary value as an incentive to let go.  We see that others are selling stuff and want to cash in on our clutter.  However, although it looks like everyone is making bank for their old items, not everything will sell for what we think is its value. There’s lots of sites to use too. Here’s the insider guide to selling clutter.

Do your research

What does your item sell for when it’s purchased new? What have others sold it for?  Do your research online to find out what’s the real value. Researching on Ebay, you can find out the price others have sold the item for or if it has sold.  Once you know the amount, you are ready to set your own price.  Quick sales occur by creating a great deal.  Set the price at 25% of the original cost.

 

Setting up your sale

Make the most of your sale by using many photos and many sites.  Your area has many different sites that sell. Taking multiple photos helps purchasers learn more about your item.  It’s a visual way to enhance your sale.  Write a lengthy description of your item including all the bonus aspects of your item. Include the size of your item as well as many other descriptions about it.  More is better here.

Use many sites to sell your item

Take the time to list it on 2 sites to maximize your sales possibilities.  People have their favorite sites they look at regularly.  Take advantage of this option.  These would include Craigslist as well as other sites.

 

Check for sales regularly

Being responsive to inquiries is important. Check the sites or enable the email function to have questions sent to you. You may need to answer questions about your item by email and text to hone in on a sale.

 

Safety first

When you are selling online, be aware of the many different possible scams. Do not send any money to a prospective purchaser.  You can create a selling gmail account, such as ellensells@gmail.com, to keep your email clean.  Use your intuition about where to meet, who is with you when the purchaser arrives and take cash only.  Provide your address only once you are ready to make the sale and all your questions have been answered.

 

Good luck with your sales !

 

 

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