Friday, May 19, 2017

Aging in Place

Aging happens - to all of us - ready of not. Don't wait until you have to make hard decisions to make those decisions. Be realistic - think ahead - make the decisions on your own terms.

It's not always about "being old".  Sometimes it's about the "empty nest" - and having too much space - that you don't want to or have time to clean.

Sometimes it's about wanting to be near family and friends or having more social contact.

Sometimes it's about the physical limitations of aging - not being able to reach or bend like you used to when you were younger.

Don't stick your head in the sand. Think about the future - and age as you want to - on your own terms.

Read some of the older articles on aging, downsizing and organizing your life.

Looking Ahead - Aging - Disabilities and Home Design

Professional Organizers Called Upon As Seniors  Downsize

Seniors and Downsizing - Moving to a Smaller Home

Rightsizing - Downsizing for Your Current Life Style

Information Organizing - Medical and Life

Organizing for Different Types of People

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Chronic Disorganization & Hoarding - defined

Hoarding is a complex issue. The word is used quite loosely these days. But there is a difference between people with chronic disorganization and hoarding issues.

People that are chronically disorganized are not necessarily hoarders. 

Professional Organizers that work with people with hoarding issues use a variety of tools to help them determine the severity of the situation and to make sure that all of the people involved with working with these individuals are on the same page. 

Chronic Disorganization:
  • Chronic disorganization is having a past history of disorganization in which self-help efforts to change have failed
  • an undermining of current quality of life due to disorganization
  • the expectation of future disorganization 

DSM-5 definition of clinical hoarding:
  • Persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. 
  •  This difficulty is due to a perceived need to save the items and distress associated with discarding them. 
  •  The difficulty discarding possessions results in the accumulation of possessions that congest and clutter active living areas and substantially compromises their intended use. If living areas are uncluttered, it is only because of the interventions of third parties (e.g., family members, cleaners, authorities). 
  •  The hoarding causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (including maintaining a safe environment for self and others). 
  •  The hoarding is not attributable to another medical condition (e.g., brain injury, cerebrovascular disease, Prader-Willi Syndrome). 

  • The hoarding symptoms is not better accounted for by the symptoms of another DSM-5 disorder (e.g., obsessions in obsessive-compulsive disorder, decreased energy in major depressive disorder, delusions in schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, cognitive deficits in major neurocognitive disorder, restricted interests in autism spectrum disorder).      
        Specify if: 

  • With Excessive Acquisition: If difficulty discarding possessions is accompanied by excessive acquisition of items that are not needed or for which there is no available space.  
        Specify if: 
  • With good or fair insight: The individual recognizes that hoarding-related beliefs and behaviors (pertaining to difficulty discarding items, clutter, or excessive acquisition) are problematic. 
  • With poor insight: The individual is mostly convinced that hoarding-related beliefs and behaviors (pertaining to difficulty discarding items, clutter, or excessive acquisition) are not problematic despite evidence to the contrary. 
  • With absent Insight (i.e. delusional beliefs about hoarding): The individual is completely convinced that hoarding-related beliefs and behaviors (pertaining to difficulty discarding items, clutter, or excessive acquisition) are not problematic despite evidence to the contrary.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Getting Ready to Sell Your Home - DeClutter For a Better Sale

When you are getting ready to put your house on the market to sell and move - there are a few things that you can do that can really help to increase the sale price and reduce your moving cost.

First - declutter your home! A decluttered home looks better, shows better and sells better!

Start by getting rid of the clutter in each room. As you do this - think about what you actually want to take to your new home. This is the time to make the important decisions on whether you really want or need the item. If you haven't used it, don't want it, or it's broken - now is the time to donate it or put it in the trash. If you do want it - but it's cluttering up the room - pack it!

By making these decisions now - instead of when you are unpacking in your new home - you will have saved money by not paying to move it.

Take down all of the nick-nacks or decorations that are too personalized.  Take down all of your family pictures. Pack them away. Buyers want to imagine themselves in your home - not your family. Everyone has different tastes - so keep it simple!

Declutter all of your flat surfaces. Declutter your kitchen counters, bathroom counters, dressers, nightstands, coffee table, dining room table, desk - and any other flat surface in your home.

Pick everything up from the floor! Put things into their appropriate place - closet or drawer.

Make your closets look as neat as possible (you know people will look in them). If you can - pack up some of your clothes so that the closet doesn't look as crowded. Now is also a good time to go through your clothes and make decisions on donating or getting rid of things that you don't ever wear - or that don't fit anymore. Why waste money packing things that you will never wear?

Get rid of your kids toys that they have outgrown or that have missing parts.

By making decisions now - and getting rid of things that you don't use or need - you will save money.

If you can start this process as soon as you decide to sell and move - it will not be as stressful as it would be if you waited until the day before your first open house or house showing.

Having a house that is decluttered will allow the potential buyers to imagine the house as their own - and it will make a huge difference.

Showing your home is the best possible light and having it staged correctly will help in getting you the sale you want.

Happy Decluttering!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, May 1, 2017

Simplifying Your Life

I don't do complicated! And I do things on my own schedule! I like things to be easy and stress free. 

That means that organization is a crucial part of my life. It's all the little things that make your life easier - or not.

After grocery shopping (not my choir) - I put everything into it's proper place and then I might divide the meat into correctly portioned sizes for later in the week. I might peel and cut up a bag of carrots for lunches during the week - and I put them into individual small bags so that I can easily just grab a bag and go. By doing things ahead of time you will save time later in the week.

I usually make lunches for the next day the night before or even the afternoon before if I happen to be doing something else in the kitchen or have a free moment. I don't wait for mornings because things get too hectic. I do things on my own schedule.

When having a dinner party or barbecue I plan things in advance and keep things simple so that I can enjoy our guests instead of fussing in the kitchen. I try to make food in advance whenever possible and gather all of my platters ahead of time.

Choirs are divided in the family and everyone helps. This is not only fair but also makes less work for everyone. Of course, I don't load the dishwasher (since I supposedly don't do it correctly) - but I do fold the bath towels (because only I fold them the way I like them!). By dividing choirs by each persons' ability there will be less complaining - an added bonus!

When I need to buy a birthday card for someone I will usually buy all of the cards I need for the month at once. One shopping trip instead of 2 or 4 (or however many birthdays fall in that month). I will also write them all out at once and stamp them and then set them aside to mail a few days before the persons' birthday.

In November, I usually buy my calendar for the next year and then spend an hour writing down all of the birthdays and important dates on my calendar for the following year. Done and over with!

I plan my days ahead of time to make the best use of my time and avoid multiple trips to the store.

I use checklists for vacations and camping trips to be sure that I never forget anything. Why reinvent the wheel? When you are out in the wilderness being prepared is crucial!

On trips - keeping your wardrobe as simple as possible (mix and match!) - makes packing much easier. Don't take things that you will probably never use.

Doing only what is really important to you - and not wasting your valuable time on things that you no longer care about - will help simplify your life and reduce your stress (and probably save you money!).

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Clutter Quotes ...


Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 24, 2017

How Being Disorganized Affects Your Family

Organization isn’t only about closets! Yes, it’s about space management – but it’s also about time management, paper management and life management.

If everyone in the family is not on the same page when it comes to how organized their home should be – there could be arguments and resentment from one of the partners or the children. If one person likes the home to be organized and neat and the other person doesn’t seem to care – it can lead to a lot of tension and stress. 

Even children can be affected when they are too embarrassed to bring their friends over because the house is a mess. 

Being on the same page when it comes to how a home is run and what level of disorganization is acceptable – is something that is crucial. Don’t wait until you boil over from anger before you sit down with the other person and discuss why things are bothering you. At least try to come up with a compromise or a plan that everyone can live with. Even if that plan is that one person does the work of getting your home into the organized space that makes you feel comfortable – and the other person agrees to go along with the plan. Set up some systems and explain the new plan to your family. Discuss your reasons for the new system – such as “it will make our lives easier….” or “by following a new routine we will all be able to get to work or school on time”.

Disorganization also comes into play when your bills are not being paid or are late. This can also lead to a lot of stress and a lot of arguments. By setting up a routine on where to keep your bills and paperwork, when to pay your bills, and who is going to take the lead in handling the paperwork – you can avoid a lot of stress.

When you are overwhelmed because of work or family and other commitments the problem could be time management. Taking a look at how you manage all of your time and commitments, including appointments and kids’ activities – and being realistic about how much time you actually have and what you are spending it on – is a great exercise. For the next week - write down everything that you do all day long (break it into 30 minute pieces). Then sit down and look at how much time you are actually wasting – and also decide what you could give up to make your life easier and less stressed. If you cannot give something up you could look at sharing carpooling the kids to their activities with another parent – that would give you extra time to get other things done. There are a lot of ways to manage your time more efficiently.

Being organized decreases your stress on many levels. Take a look at what is bothering you and try to figure out how a more organized approach might help decrease your stress.

Less Clutter = Less Stress
SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services