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Every Step Counts

The task of decluttering often seems overwhelming.  (That’s often why people call me.) If this describes your situation, here’s a short Loren Eiseley story that may be encouraging.

“Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. 
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ […]

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By |June 9th, 2014|BLOG|0 Comments

Beach Clutter Art

Yesterday’s ice cream spoon is today’s beach trash and tomorrow’s art, thanks to Judith and Richard Lang beachplastic.com. They’ve been collecting plastic along Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore for 15 years. Over the years, walking along the same 1000 yards, they’ve picked up enough plastic pieces to create wonderful art displays. Check out their website to see their exhibits. If only we could transform ALL clutter into art. Save the whales (etc.), save the planet, save our sanity by way of having a creative outlet. I can’t say enough about how important it is to think out of the box.

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By |April 5th, 2014|BLOG|0 Comments

A Good “Control Freak”!

Most of us can either look in the mirror or point a finger at someone we call “controlling”. I started examining the icy phrase “control freak” and wondered where the freak part comes in. The more I thought about it, the more I believe it’s a totally overly used and mis-used description.

Here’s why. We humans have ultimate control of only one thing: our experience living this life. We can’t control other people, the weather, the results of events, luck, and on and on. You get my point. We tend to call people who DO try to control things or people outside of themselves “controlling.”

If we totally take responsibility for our own lives, that’s a LOT of consciousness and awareness: and a full time job. Being mindful. Paying attention. If we focus on our own business all the time, we won’t have time or interest in other people’s lives or events. We CAN control out own attitudes and how we respond to every moment in life. It’s the zen or buddha way to live. And that is what the real definition of “control freak” should be. Practicing that is the best way to live. If we all did that, the term would evolve into the highest compliment we could bestow on someone.

 

t-shirt information: http://www.lookhuman.com/design/14036-control-freak

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By |January 29th, 2014|BLOG|0 Comments

Wholistic View of Clutter

No doubt you’ve heard about the disastrous floating “island” consisting of hundreds, perhaps thousands of square miles of garbage that has collected in the Pacific Ocean. It is the result of extreme clutter that can’t be broken down by Nature. You’ve also probably heard of fracking which has by-products so toxic that poisons are released into the atmosphere too extreme to dissipate back into the atmosphere or groundwater.

It seems like every week we hear about something that is clogging, choking, or poisoning the planet because we, as stewards of this great rock, are not doing a good job of cleaning up after ourselves.

As individuals trying to cope with these kinds of global disasters, we might feel helpless and hopeless. But we can be effective in our own lives. We can raise our awareness of our own personal toxic messes by de-cluttering our own backyards, so to speak. Where is the toxic island in your house? Is it under the bed? Under the kitchen sink? In the garage or spare room?  Although we may not have the power to tackle an island of plastic and sludge in the Pacific, we do have the power to be more mindful of our own clutter heaps. Tackling our own natural disasters is ultimately empowering. And we can learn a lot. Like monitoring our inner dialog. Instead of groaning and re-iterating some negative message like “Why haven’t I done this before?” or “How could I be such a slob?” (or worse yet, blaming someone else for it), reinforce a positive message. “I’m doing a very good thing for myself,” or “I am doing a great job of organizing,” as examples.

We can also become more mindful of how we dispose […]

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By |July 25th, 2013|BLOG|0 Comments

Quotes

Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.

-Albert Einstein 

 

 Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.

-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 

 

 

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By |December 7th, 2012|BLOG|0 Comments

Map Hoarder

Check this out. A recently deceased L.A. man who “hoarded” maps in his small house  has left a legacy for the Los Angeles Public Library. Not that he planned it that way. . .Read the amazing story  below by Bob Poole.

The discovery that real estate agent Matthew Greenberg made when he stepped inside a Mount Washington cottage will put the Los Angeles Public Library on the map.

Stashed everywhere in the 948-square-foot teardown were maps. Tens of thousands of maps. Foldout street maps were stuffed in file cabinets, crammed into cardboard boxes, lined up on closet shelves and jammed into old dairy crates. Wall-size roll-up maps once familiar to schoolchildren were stacked in corners. Old globes were lined in rows atop bookshelves also filled with maps and atlases.

A giant plastic topographical map of the United States covered a bathroom wall and bookcases displaying Thomas Bros. map books and other street guides lined a small den.

The occupant of the 90-year-old cottage had died in February. Greenberg’s job was to empty the home so it could be demolished and its 18,000-square-foot lot, near the top of Canyon VistaDrive, divided into two parcels. His clients had told him to rent a Dumpster and throw away whatever he found inside.

But Greenberg couldn’t bring himself to do that, especially after he read a recent Los Angeles Times article about the Central Library’s map collection. Instead, he invited its map librarian, Glen Creason, to Mount Washington to look at the trove.

Creason called the find unbelievable. “I think there are at least a million maps here,” he said. “This dwarfs our collection — and we’ve been collecting for 100 years.”

Creason returned to the home Thursday with 10 library employees and volunteers to box up […]

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By |October 21st, 2012|BLOG|0 Comments

Never Enough?

This morning, as I reached for my favorite pair of vintage jeans, a disturbingly familiar question raced through my mind: “What if they wear out? I can’t replace them.”

Along with that question (because I decided to listen carefully) was an almost imperceptible nanosecond  of panic. I became aware that I was so accustomed to this question with it’s panic chaser that I usually dismissed it and let it fall back into the ego stream of thoughts.

This time I started to probe a bit, and tested out thinking about various “favorite” items. Not only clothing, but household goods and FOOD, for example. I asked myself about each item. Then imagined that I no longer had the item, or had run out of it, or had no immediate way to replace it. I just kept answering each question with “so if that happens, what would that mean?” With each answer, I could feel subtle heart-racing and a gnawing in my gut.

What I uncovered is a pervasive (and common)  fear  that there might not be enough (of ANYTHING), and I would ultimately be left bereft, hopeless and abandoned, miserable and alone. Allowing myself to observe the genesis of this fear and panic, feel it, and draw it out by asking myself hard questions about it, leads to dissolving it.

Why change it, you ask. What’s the big deal about an obscure, irrational little fear? This may seem like a lot of drama over such a “simple” thing. But uncovering a pattern of thinking or knee-jerk beliefs is the first step to changing it.

A fear brings up a defensive reaction, quite often unconsciously. It’s the unconscious reactions that can lead to trouble. In this case, it could lead to a […]

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By |September 4th, 2012|BLOG|1 Comment

Decluttering Tips

TIP #1:

Here’s a great question to help you decide what to keep and what to toss:

Ask yourself as you pick up an item: DOES THIS REPRESENT MY PAST, OR DOES THIS REPRESENT MY FUTURE?

The answer will guide your decision!

TIP #2:

SCANNING is my new passion. No, I don’t mean the old-style place-one-page-face-down-on-the-glass scanner, I mean the compact, desktop machines (NEAT is one, but there are others) that are actually fun to use. Just like jamming several pages into your shredder, you can stick them into the scanner and within seconds, both sides are copied and sent to a file you’ve preset on your desktop. THEN you can put them in the shredder. There’s something really fun about it, really! Kind of magical.

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By |June 27th, 2012|BLOG|0 Comments

What Does “Organized” Mean?

Initially, I laughed when asked this question. DUH! I thought. But after talking to others, I realized it evokes different responses.

Take this man, for example. Some homeless guy who wandered into an absent-minded professor’s office? No. He’s a theoretical physicist reading through scientific publications carefully ORGANIZED on and around his desk. He’s totally organized, just not in a traditional way.

“Organized” doesn’t have to look a certain way. How does “organized” look to you? My job is to find your vision and make it work for YOU.

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By |May 30th, 2012|BLOG|1 Comment

Befriending the Dust Bunny

I can help you find your dust!

Who does old-fashioned “spring cleaning” anymore? (I know I don’t. When I see the dust, I clean it…) But how can you clean it if it’s covered by clutter? That’s one way to keep your tabletop dust-free—cover it with a thousand other things.

Okay, I’m joking a little because so many of you take your clutter and unorganized piles to heart and feel guilt and embarrassment. I’m here to tell you that’s a total waste of time. (Save your guilt for never apologizing to your friend for dropping his Ken doll in the toilet.) And embarrassment? Pullleeeze! Don’t even go there, especially around me. I’ve seen (and lived) it all

I can help. Either leave it to me, or trust me to talk you through the process. It works. You’ll be freed up and ready for summer

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By |May 22nd, 2012|BLOG|0 Comments