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Thinking Out of the Box

The TRUE meaning of thinking “out of the box”–for me– is to stop thinking. Start breathing. If you have a clutter, organizing, or hoarding issue, give your brain a vacation. Chances are you’ve been OVER thinking the problem, fretting perhaps. (By the way, people who call themselves hoarders usually aren’t.)

Worrying and obsessing how to work out a clutter problem by banging your head on (in this case) the inside wall of your box, doesn’t  work. There is no opportunity to get a real perspective on the issue. Our beautiful computer-like brains are most effective at problem-solving if there isn’t a lot of emotional attachment involved. One way I’ve learned to trick myself is to imagine an organized and compassionate friend is looking at the problem. How would he or she handle it? What would your friend say about hanging onto that ugly cracked coffee mug just because your long-departed relative drank out of it?

That’s where we often get into trouble–sentimentality. A little goes a long way. You don’t need to hang onto your grandmother’s muu-muus if you have no plan to wear them. (Yes, you could cut them up and make a patchwork quilt, but WILL you? What would that same friend say?)

If you’re really courageous, don’t imagine your friend, really ask him or her. You may be surprised. Even if you only imagine a conversation with the other person, you might hear something you never expected.Welcome to the world outside of the box!

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By |December 1st, 2012|JUST FOR FUN|0 Comments

Halo Humor

By |November 25th, 2012|JUST FOR FUN|1 Comment

Upcycling Clutter

MapleXO The Haight Ring, $58.00, upcycled from skateboards. (MapleXO / May 31, 2012)

 

Items once headed to the landfill are being turned into must-have purses,

bags and jewelry. Call it ‘upcycling.’

L.A. Times Sunday 11/18/12

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By |November 25th, 2012|JUST FOR FUN|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

Not All Clutter Is Bad

A roomful of “stuff” doesn’t have to be a bad thing…..

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By |May 2nd, 2012|JUST FOR FUN|0 Comments

Moving / Downsizing

One of the more trying episodes in life is moving. Under the best of circumstances it can still be overwhelming and exhausting, particularly if you are moving to a smaller space and need to downsize.

Why not think of it as a great opportunity to reassess what you value and find new perspectives. It’s part of your growth and evolution in your life adventure.

Here’s where I come in. I can help you declutter, organize to pack, box up the more fragile items you don’t trust the movers to handle, arrange the furniture at the new place, unpack and organize all of your items and basically get you moved in. I can also help to organize offsite storage, if that’s the way you want to go. For you it’s drudgery, for me it’s fun. Really!

 

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By |April 28th, 2012|BLOG|0 Comments