Friday, August 26, 2011

Give It Away Now

So often my clients struggle with the decision of what to keep and what to give away. It's one of the biggest obstacles people face when getting organized. Especially in New York City where space is limited.

While I’m definitely not the type of organizer that forces clients to part with everything they hold near and dear, my job is to help clients make tough decisions. I’ve found seven questions that can generally get them there.

If you find yourself holding on to things a bit too tightly (i.e. your loved ones have to pry them from your hands), keep reading. This just might help.

1. Why am I holding on to this? Always start here. Understanding what an item means to you, whether it was a gift or represents your childhood or whatever, helps you understand the function, if any, it serves in your life at this point.

2. When was the last time you used or wore the item? As a standard rule, if you haven’t used or worn an item in over a year, get rid of it. Quick tip for clothing: Put the item back into your closet with the hanger facing the opposite direction. You’ll easily see which items you don’t wear.

3. Is the item beyond repair? If you’ve done all you can to try to repair an item or if it’s completely falling apart, it’s time to let it go.

4. Is the item even worth repairing? Consider if it’s truly worth your valuable time and money to repair an item. If you don’t think you’ll get around to figuring out how to repair something, that’s okay. Just be honest with yourself and move on.

5. Does the item no longer fit your style or home decor? Times change and so does your taste. What you liked a several years ago, however attached you are to the item, might not fit into your life anymore.

6. Is there some other way to capture the memory associated with the item? As silly as it sounds, would a photo of the item be as satisfying to you as holding onto the item?

7. Would someone else use it and absolutely love it? I guarantee the answer is YES. Imagine the happiness someone would feel at your local thrift store if they were able to use the item you donated. Giving back feels good, so give it a try.

Do you have a hard time parting with things? Or is that easy for you? Let me know, I'd love to hear from you. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Changing the World, One Pair at a Time

As you may recall from my previous blog post, I have a bit of an obsession with shoes. When I started my business and began researching creative ways to donate my clients’ things, Soles4Souls immediately caught my attention. In brief, Soles4Souls is a charity that collects gently worn shoes to provide shoes to those in need in the United States and around the world.  

Back in April at the National Association of Professional Organizers’ conference, I was thrilled that NAPO presented Soles4Souls with its' Organizing Excellence Award and announced a partnership with Soles4Souls on the NAPO Challenge, a program with NAPO members to encourage our communities and clients to clean out their closets and donate their shoes. The challenge runs through January 31, 2012 for a chance to win a trip for two on one of Soles4Souls Haiti distribution trips. How amazing is that!

If you are interested in learning more or donating shoes from your closet, please reach out to me. I am happy to help you support this amazing organization and clear some clutter along the way.

And please check out this video. Just make sure you have some Kleenex handy…


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Before and After: Storage Space for a Busy Family

On the heels of last week's tips to organize your storage space, I had the opportunity to work with a fabulous family with lots going on.  Between a full time job, a toddler, and a new baby, this busy mom wanted to completely organize the storage space within their apartment complex before heading back to work.

In just a couple sessions, we were able to purge unwanted items and design an Elfa shelving system from The Container Store to hold everything from holiday decorations, family keepsakes, and seasonal clothes.

Check out the before photos.

And now the after photos... 

Check out the empty shelves - room to grow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guest Blog Post: Manhattan Mini Storage

This week I’m so excited to be featured on Manhattan Mini Storage's blog with my six tips to organize your storage space. Check it out here.

I was so excited when they reached out to me because Manhattan Mini Storage is a fantastic option for my clients with limited space. Plus they have 17 storage locations in Manhattan. Can’t beat that!

The other thing I love about Manhattan Mini Storage is their appreciation for all things "Manhattan." They were incredibly supportive of marriage equality and were part of the festivities on July 24 to celebrate the first gay marriage ceremonies in New York City. Check out their fun video here.

I’ve been a fan of their ads for years. Hilarious.

Sorry Mets' fans... 

So, thanks, Manhattan Mini Storage, for featuring my tips and for keeping me smiling!