Saturday, March 27, 2010

Surprise! I'm back

Sorry that I haven't posted anything in such a long time...too bad I can't use the fact that I was busy de-cluttering as an excuse because that would be a lie!

Do you remember that one of the tips I came across was that there is never any reason to save magazine articles about a particular subject because magazines always repeat the same subjects year after year? Well, someone brought me a February 2003 issue of Woman's Day that included a feature "68 Real-Life Organizing Tips." The article is titled "Order in the House" written by Pamela Kramer. Not only are the subjects repeated, but the same tips that you know...and that you read in every book on decluttering...are given. Step 1 - Set aside a block of time. Step 2 - Pull out the stuff that you want to organize and determine what you want to keep, donate or toss. Put items that belong in another part of your house back where they should be. Step 3 - Assign a place for each item. Group similar items together by function, and put the ones that are used most often within easy reach. Step 4 - Don't hesitate to rearrange or make changes if your having trouble finding what you need or keeping the area neat. Sound familiar? This particular article suggests pulling everything out but we have discussed how that might not be the best idea - you could get overwhelmed; you may not be able to finish such a monumental task; and then you may not be able to get back to it right away and you'll end up shoving it all back in without having made any progress. We have found many "experts" that suggest to break the task down into smaller bites and do only what you can handle in a 15 to 20 minute time slot that can be repeated as long as your interest and stamina hold out. That may mean doing only one drawer at a time or just the shelf in your closet. Now, doesn't that already sound more doable?

I have purchased Jamie Novak's new book Stop Throwing Money Away. She has departed from the question and answer format of her last two books and has written a complete guide to the "Clutter-Cash" connection with lots of insight into how to get out from below the piles of clutter and perhaps the mounds of debt! She has also included some great information about doing all of this in a "green" way to protect the planet while you are at it. I have been talking with Jamie about giving an encore presentation of the program she gave a year ago. I just need to find some money in my programming budget to see if we can afford to have her back soon!

I would like to put a plug here for your support of New Jersey public libraries. In the governor's latest budget proposal, funding for the state library services might be cut as much as 74% - more than any other state department. This will mean a lot of lost services at every public library in the state including interlibrary loan services, online database access and many other services supported by the state library. If the library is important to you, please visit and become a library champion and let the governor and your elected officials know how much you use the library. There is also a Save NJ Libraries page on Facebook. Thank you for your support. Don't forget to come to the next De-Clutter Club meeting on April 1, 2010 - no April Fool's!