You know you need to let go of excess stuff. You even read my 3 Sticking Points blog and now you want to let it go. But actually getting rid of it seems overwhelming and you just can’t bring yourself to do it. I know that feeling!
Before I was a professional organizer, I was a milliner (a hat maker). Immersing myself in the world of millinery design, I had amassed quite a collection of wooden hat blocks, the molds on which I formed hats by hand. I scoured thrift shops, scrolled eBay, and searched for block makers around the world to build my collection.
This fall — after not working as a professional milliner for over a decade — I made up my mind to reduce my collection, keeping only as many as I need to fuel my hobby.
In my last blog, I outlined the 3 Sticking Points — Emotional, Practical, and Financial — that hold us back from detaching from our excess stuff. These hat blocks hit all three sticking points for me! But after confronting the reasons for holding on, I faced another hurdle: How do I actually get rid of them?
Once you find your sticking points, you need a KEY to unlock the clutter!
The Keys to Unlock Your Clutter
= The actions you take to address your Sticking Points
(emotional, practical, and financial)
and let the clutter go.
This September, I realized it was time. Past time, really.
I eyed the three long shelves stretching across the back wall of my craft room, piled with over 60 hat blocks I had collected in my previous profession as a milliner.
These blocks had been the tools of my trade. Hand-stretching a felt or straw over each wooden form makes a unique hat. Some blocks were antiques I’d scored on eBay or thrift shops and others I’d watched being hand-carved by an artisan in Florence.
“I’m a professional organizer now,” I told myself. I make myself a hat every now and then, but I have no desire to be a professional milliner again.
So why was I having such a hard time letting go of these hat blocks?
As we wind down 2023 and look ahead to a new year unfolding, I looked back to see which of my blogs resonated the most with readers.
Turns out, the 3 most popular blogs had a similar theme: helping you develop the mindset and give you the steps YOU need to tackle ANY organizing project.
Each of these blogs will help you finish 2023 STRONG!
“What’s the hot toy the kids want this Christmas?”
“What size clothes do they fit into now?”
“What do you want for your birthday?”
My family is blessed with generous, far-flung relatives who thoughtfully want to give my kids (and my husband and me) wonderful gifts. But fielding all of these questions for every holiday and event was more than I could manage. Then I had to remember which gift idea I’d given to which relative. Not to mention the added dread of new toys and stuff flooding into a home that I’d tried so hard to keep organized.
THE SOLUTION? WISH LISTS!
People register for weddings, kids send their lists to Santa, Amazon even has a list option. So why not keep an ongoing wish list that relatives could consult for any gift-giving occasion?
I started keeping a Wish List for each of my family members and soon my whole extended family jumped on board.
But I know what you’re thinking...
Barbara* and I were sitting at her kitchen table considering how to tackle several stacks, baskets, and folders full of old papers. “Do you know what my therapist said to me?” she asked. “She said, ‘What’s the worst that could happen if you just shredded the whole pile?’”
“But I just can’t do that,” she said with a wide-eyed look of horror. “I just CAN’T!”
Barbara likes to be on top of things in her life, but in the past few years, she had lost a loved one, moved into a smaller place, and weathered the pandemic. Understandably, the paperwork (bills, receipts, tasks, notes, etc.) had just gotten away from her.
“Well, technically, you can, right?” I gently asked Barbara. “I mean, you’re physically capable of throwing them away. It’s really that you don’t want to."
"You’re a very conscientious person and that pile represents things you feel you should do, know about, or save. You want to be a person who takes care of your incoming papers, but life got stressful and the papers piled up. Now you have a backlog to deal with and you’re anxious about handling it the right way.”
Barbara nodded. “That’s right,” she said. “I like to take care of things in a certain way. I like to be aware of what’s coming in and make sure I’m doing things the right way.”
“So,” I asked, “If you don’t want to throw all the papers away without looking through them, what do you want to do instead?”
✔️ #2 pencils
If you're just checking off the school supply list, you're missing the most important back-to-school prep that you can do for your student.
I interviewed expert Student Coach Leslie Josel of Order Out of Chaos who says the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do to get ready for school is to help your student learn the organizational skill of Time Management. Students need to SEE their time so they can manage their time.
If you struggle with time management and distractibility, you'll find lots of ideas in our discussion that will help you get a handle on your time.
Watch the video for all the great tips and information. Send your students back to school with the supplies they really need!
Use my affiliate link, https://bit.ly/KateOrderOOChaos, to access all of the great FREE resources and products (20% off through 9/30 with code PLANNER20) at Order Out of Chaos.
While you're there, be sure to sign up for Leslie's free Back-to-School Webinar on August 22. If you can't watch it live, register and get the recording to watch later that week.
Check out the recent Redfin article I was featured in: Organizing Mistakes: 27 Slip-Ups to Avoid During Your Next Project | Redfin
Organizing is difficult and can be a stressful, time-consuming project. It’s also an essential skill that can increase your physical and emotional health. Chances are, though, that during an organizing project, you made a few
mistakes. While it's natural to feel disappointed or frustrated when mistakes occur, it's important to recognize them as valuable learning opportunities rather than failures.
So, whether you live in a house in Brentwood, CA, or a Greenville, SC, apartment, these expert-backed tips are sure to make your life easier. Read on for 27 organizing mistakes to avoid during your next decluttering project. Read the full article here: Organizing Mistakes: 27 Slip-Ups to Avoid During Your Next Project | Redfin
As we wrap up the school year and head into summer, have I got some blogs for you! Because organizing kids’ artwork and papers is a ubiquitous dilemma, I’ve written about it a few times. These three blogs tackle different aspects of the problem and will help you sort through what you have and set up a system to deal with it all so you can start with a clean slate in the fall.
Congratulations to those of you with graduates heading off to college in the fall! Get Organized for College is a not-to-be missed blog that’ll clue you in to everything you need to know about organizing the dorm room.
And for those of you who just can’t wait to set out for summer fun, my
Say YES to Summer Adventures! blog will make it easy for you to enjoy the season, whether you’re by the pool. the lake, or the beach.
There are plenty of companies that preserve your kids' art in printed digital albums, but most parents (me included!) can't bear to throw out the original artwork. 4everbound has a unique solution: they bind your ACTUAL PAPERS into a book. Amazing!