Entries tagged with “de-clutter”.


There is no doubt that summer is the prime time for moving. Summer is also garage/yard sale season. It’s as American as apple pie – people love to go to garage sales in the summer, so it’s the perfect time to have one. Whether you are planning a move, or need to de-clutter to get ready to sell your home, why not make some money while getting rid of unwanted items?  No matter what the reason, garage sales are a great way get rid of things that you longer use.

If you need inspiration, we have tips for de-cluttering and organizing in previous blog posts such as Organizing Your Craft Room, Does Your Garage Need a Tune-Up? and Top 5 Clean Out Your Closet Tips.

Although you no longer want or need something, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t treasure it. Even if you only have one item left from a set, such as one glass, one plate or one candlestick, make sure you put it out for sale. People are always on the hunt for pieces that are unique or missing from their own collection. If you have some things that you think aren’t worth selling, try putting them out as “freebies.”

Popular sale items include: baby and children’s clothing and toys, cds, kitchenware and appliances, books/magazines, craft supplies, linens, tools and sporting equipment.

To learn more about pricing and advertising your yard sale go to About.com.

Of course, if you’d like some help with your de-clutter or purging project, Seamless Moves is here to help!

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Have you found that browsing food blogs has replaced flipping through colorful cookbooks? You may have several cookbooks and use only a handful of recipes out of each book. With the computer readily available, you may find yourself turning to your cookbooks less and less and ultimately deciding that you’d rather have the free space than storing the cookbooks.

When is it time to say goodbye to a cookbook?

Keep the cook book if:

  • You have actually used three or more of the recipes in the cookbook in the past year. Even if you use your cookbooks regularly, there are probably a couple you could de-clutter to make space for more!
  • It’s a classic
  • Specialty cookbook i.e pies, appetizers etc.

Sure, keep your favorite cookbooks that you refer to often, but if you’re only interested in one or two recipes, you don’t need to buy the entire book. Lots of online sites offer collections of free recipes. Try epicurious.com, AllRecipes.com and Cookstr.com to find and keep track of recipes that you’d like to try out.

Check out the library’s collection. You can check out the ones that interest you and put stick note tags on any recipe that you’d like to try. Photocopy the tagged pages at home or when you return the book to the library. If you REALLY fall in love with a library cookbook, you can buy it for yourself.

You can also create a notebook in Evernote or Pinterest with recipes you’d like to test. If you don’t like them, you can always delete them. And, if you decide to keep them, you can create an digital cookbook using Evernote Food.

Making the decision to de-clutter is never easy, but be sure to ask yourself the hard questions as you consider each cookbook so that you’re only keeping those that you truly value.

Do you have a cookbook you would NEVER part with? Which one and why not?

Photo image courtesy of Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

Gold and Silver JewelryA peek into our “jewelry boxes” might severely disappoint a sneak thief. They may be brimming, but often there’s a glittering array of junk mixed in with those jewels: gifts not to our liking, plastic rings and pins from the kids, a few snarls of nut and shell necklaces and maybe a rare coin or two. The jewelry box is a nice small place to start de-cluttering when you have a need but don’t have a lot of time.

Start by emptying the whole thing on top of the table or do it drawer by drawer.

1. Evict any stray nuts and bolts, Easter basket chicks, safety pins, etc.

2. Gather up all the non-working watches, mate-less earrings and cuff links, unstrung beads, chipped enamel earrings, pins with discolored or worn plating, etc., and either get them fixed or quietly retire them. Here’s a shop in Seattle that repairs jewelry: Rhinestone Rosie.

3. If you can’t bear to part with it, at least move the mere memorabilia out: the circle pin that was so in when you were in junior high, your first-ever steady’s school ring, the micro-dot diamond from your first engagement.

4. Pass unused valuables to family.

5. If you love the stone but hate the setting, reset it to your taste or style so you can use it.

6. Sell the stuff you never liked if it’s genuine. One of our employees recently had a positive experience at Bellevue Rare Coins.

7. Give all those one-time tie pins and novelty necklaces and earrings that will never grace your neck or ears to someone to whom they’re still a novelty. Perhaps your children or grandchildren would like to play “dress-up.”

8. If your jewelry box is still full here is a nifty little DIY project to hang some of your jewelry courtesy of Bzesty.com. It’s a great way to de-tangle and display all those treasures.

How about it gentle reader, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve found in your jewelry box?

A special thanks to Don Aslett, ‘For Packrats Only’ for the inspiration.

Photo image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

 

Want to jump-start your laundry-room de-cluttering? Try these fast tips from Ellen Phillips’ book, “Kick the Clutter.”

Ditch dried-up detergent. If you have boxes of powdered detergent, borax and bleach that have hardened to concrete-like consistency, stop deluding yourself that they’re still usable and throw them out.

Let go of lost socks. If you have a collection of partner-less socks and gloves, now’s the time to bid them adieu. You can bag them up to donate to Seamless Moves’ Lost Sock Day Clothing Drive (watch for details in a couple of weeks).

If you can’t get it out, throw it out. If you have a pile of stained clothing waiting to be cleaned- but you have cleaned it, tried spot-remover, bleach and everything else you can think of and the stains are still there–those stains are there to stay. Bundle them up and give them to Northwest Center, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, or a shelter. Don’t worry, these won’t be sold as usable clothing. Non-profits often sell these beat-up clothes as rags to companies who recycle them.  Then, pick a good spot-removal guide likeTalking Dirty Laundry with the Queen of Clean.

Circular-file the fabric softener sheets. No matter how many times you’ve heard there are 150 ingenious uses for them, if you’re hoarding used fabric softener sheets, throw them out! If you’re using them regularly, you’ll have one on hand when you need to soften the burnt-on food in that casserole dish.

Please share your favorite laundry room de-cluttering tip in the comment section below.

There are at least a hundred categories of clutter and today we are looking at the “junk” you’ve got right on you — in your purse, wallet or handbag. The worst thing about this particular form of clutter is that you don’t merely own it, but almost always carry it with you. And sitting on a too-heavy wallet or carrying a heavy purse can actually cause back problems.

As you are removing the non-essentials (old receipts, grocery lists, expired credit cards, etc.) from your wallet and purse consider this:  1,000 wallets and purses are stolen every two minutes in America. Police who receive reports of stolen wallets lament the same thing: people carry way too much stuff with them, handing their entire lives over to identity thieves. So before you leave the house, read this list of what not to keep in your wallet, so you can pare down to just the essentials—and protect your finances and identity.

  • Social Security Card- the number one thing NOT to carry in your wallet – memorize the number
  • Passport
  • Checkbook – if you know you need to write a check, just take one with you; or if you need the checkbook, take it out at the end of the day
  • Too many credit cards- carry only one or two of your main cards
  • A non-password protected phone – smart phones may provide instant access to bank accounts, PayPal accounts, medical records and more
  • Gift Cards/Certificates – these are just like cash

For more on what to leave at home see Realsimple.com.

What’s the most random thing you’ve found in your bag or wallet? Tell us in the comment section:

As you no doubt already know, getting organized isn’t a one-time deal and as much as we’d love to offer you a one-size-fits-all, guaranteed solution to get you completely organized, that’s not realistic. What we can offer are a few tips to make the task a little easier.

First of all “Don’t be overwhelmed!”  Remember to break your project down into little bits and pieces.

Here’s a Challenge to get you started: 30 Bags in 30 Days (they don’t have to all be big black garbage bags, small bags work, too).

Start by making a list of the places to clean out: closets, drawers, shelves, pantry, car, fridge, etc. If it’s cluttered or needs some cleaning out, it’s on the list. When we say toss we don’t necessarily mean in the trash; many things can be donated to charity.

Your goal is to touch everything in the room or area that you are working on. Start in one place (maybe a corner; maybe the door to that room), and methodically look at the thing next to that, then the thing next to that, etc.

Work really fast.  Set a timer for the amount of time you have to dedicate to this area right now. Obviously, the bigger and the more complicated the room the longer it takes, but don’t puzzle over decisions or get distracted by other things…don’t answer the phone…get the job done as quickly as possible.

There is no right way to purge your home–some work better in bursts, some work better in tiny chunks–do whatever is not stressful and works for you at this time of your life.

Remember: “You only have to organize what you want to be able to find.”

 

 

As readers, we typically have problems with overflowing bookshelves. We can’t stop at just one book and we HATE to part with any of our books. However, having more books than shelf space means CLUTTER.

Cutting down on the amount of physical books that you own doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of the great information inside your books. Consider accessing literature as audiobooks and/or e-books. Digital files take up significantly less space than actual paper books and it’s easy to take them with you. If you have a book in both paper and digital formats, it’s time to RELEASE the paper version out into the world.

For the books that remain on your shelves, here are some SLIMMING rules to apply:

  • Give away any books that you don’t plan on reading or referencing again, are in the public domain or can be found in their entirety online.
  • KEEP the leather bound copy of  Pride and Prejudice that your dear Granny gave you.
  • Give away or recycle out of date reference books. They’re often full of inaccurate information.
  • KEEP books that you love.
  • Give away books you’ve been saving for future generations to them now, rather than later.
  • Give away books that you’ve been storing for the sake of impressing your house guests. :-)

Once you have released all of the books that don’t meet these guidelines, consider organizing your books in a way that makes the greatest sense to you: Invent your own cataloging system, alphabetize by author last name or loosely cluster them by subject.

How about it, do you have any books that need to be released out into the world?

Today, let’s talk about organizing your living room. For most of us, living rooms serve multiple purposes. In many homes, the it’s called a family room and it serves as the guest bedroom (a pullout couch in the middle of the room), a reading room with bookcases or a music room with a piano. Of course, it’s also the television and game rooms. One commonality among all these purposes is that they are where your family does a lot of living. And living, inevitably, stirs up clutter.

Begin this de-cluttering project by defining the purpose(s) of the room and then clearing the clutter. Ask yourself, “How do we use this room? What objects need to live in this space and what things in here don’t belong?”

Erin Doland of “Unclutter Your Life in One Week” has these suggestions: Grab a laundry basket and walk through the room gathering everything that doesn’t belong – shoes, jackets, old newspapers, an abandoned coffee mug. When the basket is full, sort through its contents and get rid of the clutter. Any items that belong in other rooms should be returned, then set on the couch anything that needs to remain in the living room but doesn’t yet have a permanent home.

Now that you are left with only the things that should be in this room, you will need to find storage space for the things you left on the couch.

  • Closets in or near the living room can be outfitted with shelving to store games and craft projects.
  • Use boxes, baskets, and bins for loose items so that it is obvious where things should live.
  • Use end tables with drawers to store magazines and remote controls.

Don’t forget to use your wall space–get creative in displaying collections. Look at this great idea one of Seamless Moves’ clients used for remembering baby’s first shoes!

Any ideas or suggestions from our readers for ways to de-clutter your most lived-in spaces?

We found a few more cool ideas for recycling and reusing items when you are getting ready to downsize,  getting rid of things in the garage, or just de-cluttering.

Thanks to Instructables, here’s an idea for that broken bicycle in the garage. The rim is a great base for a clock.



Do you have any old VHS cases? You can use one as a picture frame with hidden storage. Now that is really clever!





Now that our TVs are wall-mounted, how about this cute Tiny Kitchen made from an old TV stand/cabinet. Dinner anyone?

Next time you are looking at an outdated or broken item, put your creative juices to work and tell us what you have come up with; we love to hear new ideas.

Of course, if you are swamped with things to do and need help de-cluttering or organizing, Seamless Moves is here to help.

You’ve heard this tip before: When in the clutter-banishing mode, pack things you want to let go of into boxes. Label the box with the date and put the box in the basement or garage. One year later, if haven’t unpacked it, let it go immediately-WITHOUT OPENING IT! If you open it you will have to start all over. If you haven’t missed whatever is in the box for a year, you don’t need it.

Unfortunately, many people refuse to believe that they won’t need their “put aside” things later. We blame the evil Clutter Fairy*. What can you do if you get a case of the “might need it laters”? Here are a few tips:

1.  “I’m saving it for a special occasion” (candles, “good” china, perfume, etc.). We can’t tell you how many senior move clients we’ve worked with who have had to give away these lovely items because they are not ABLE to use them any more. LIFE IS NOW! Enjoy your things while you can.

2. “It just needs a small repair.” Call an upholster, handyman or glass repair shop and see if the fix you had in mind will cost more than you are willing to pay. If so, let the item go. If you intend to repair it yourself, put an appointment on your calendar for this weekend to do the project.

3. “It might be worth something someday.” Call an appraiser or estate sale professional today and find out! We regularly check on items our downsizing clients have been saving for many years, only to find the amount the items are worth may not have been worth the space (and sometimes cost) to store them.

4. “My dear departed aunt gave it to me.” That’s so sweet. If you love it, keep it and use it! If it is hidden away in a box or closet, how well is it reminding you of her? We recommend taking a photo of the item as a keepsake, then offering it to a family member who can use and enjoy it.

Let’s defeat the evil Clutter Fairy at her own game!

* Cartoon used with permission of www.clangnuts.com.