Sunday, April 24, 2011


Wishing you and your family a very happy Easter !

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Difference Between Chronic Disorganization and Hoarding

Hoarding is a hot topic. But a lot of people confuse clutter and disorganization with hoarding. I‘ve had some clients think they were hoarders when in reality they just had a cluttered and disorganized house.

So what is the difference? 

According to the dictionary, clutter is a “confused or disorganized state or collection”. 

A confused state? Yes, you can have clutter of the mind. But most people think of clutter as just “stuff”. A collection of random objects scattered all over the place. That’s a nice and simple definition. It could just be that you hadn’t bothered to pick up after yourself and have stuff everywhere. 

Then we get to a more serious and a more cluttered situation and we could end up with chronic disorganization.

Chronic Disorganization also has a definition:
  • 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.
This means that you have been disorganized for many years. And it has started to affect your quality of life. You can’t find things. You are constantly late because you can’t find things. You are embarrassed by your mess. It’s a little more than just basic clutter.

A person can be organized in one area of his life but not in another. They can be organized at work but be disorganized at home. They can be organized by how they manage their time but not with how they manage their stuff.

Then we go up another level and get to “hoarding”.

What exactly is “hoarding”? According to “Frost & Hartl’s (’96) definition of clinical hoarding:
1) the acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value
2) living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were designated
3) significant distress of impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding

Some people have an obsessive need to acquire things. They tend to develop an emotional attachment to things that many of us would consider trash.

Family and friends of hoarders don’t always understand that “hoarding” is an “illness” and that the hoarder needs professional help. They sometimes feel that by just going in and cleaning out the house (sometimes even when the hoarder doesn’t know that they are going to do it) that everything will be “o.k.”. Once the mess is gone. Problem solved. But that can actually make it worse.

Hoarding is a complex issue. An issue that not even the mental health community can agree on. An issue that there might not be a cure for.

It’s a problem that many people won’t admit they have and one that might cost them their family or even their life.

A problem that is more common than you think.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 11, 2011


When you walk into a business that is organized and clutter free you have confidence that the person that runs the business knows what they are doing and are successful.

When you walk into a home that is organized and clutter free you feel a sense of calm and are happy to be there.

De-cluttering your home and your business is important because it allows you to function better, be more efficient and saves you time and money, but it also makes other people feel better and makes them want to associate with you.

If your business is cluttered or disorganized people will not want to do business with you. If your home is cluttered and disorganized you might be too embarrassed to have people over to your house, thus creating social isolation.

But there is also something called life clutter”. You have too many things that take up time in your life. Too many activities. Either in your job or in your personal life. You are pulled in too many directions. But you can’t seem to let anything go.

Life clutter can be things such as being involved in too many business groups or too many extracurricular activities (yours and your kids). Yes, there are some business functions that you have to go to, but how many is too many? Are they taking away from your family? Will missing an after hours business function really hurt you? It can feel like that when you are young and just starting out, but as you get older you realize that family is more important and kids grow up too quickly.

What about kid’s activities? How many sports and other activities (piano lessons, swimming lessons, karate lessons….) does one child actually need? Or want? Do they want them or are you pushing them on your children because you didn’t get to do them as a child? Be honest.

If you never have time for your family and friends then your life is too cluttered. Friends are like the plants in your yard. They need to be nurtured. Take the time to nurture your relationships.

Decide what’s really important and let the rest go. Get rid of the life clutter and start living your life.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 4, 2011


Cleaning your home is not everyone’s idea of fun. But it is something that all of us have to do. In the spring we have a yearly ritual called “spring cleaning” that I am sure everyone is really looking forward to.

We drive ourselves crazy and clean the entire house from top to bottom in one or two days. We clean things that we have ignored all year long.

So…. let’s get started.

In the Kitchen:

Wash all of the appliances. Both outside and inside.

  • Refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, stove
  • Wash the stove drip bowls in the dishwasher (or buy new ones)


  • Take down all of the magnets – throw out old ones that you really don’t need
  • Remove all of the shelves in refrigerator and wash them
  • Remove all of the bins in the refrigerator and wash them
  • Defrost the freezer
  • Put fresh baking soda in the freezer
  • Clean under the refrigerator


  • Clean your oven (self cleaning or with oven cleaner)
  • Rinse the oven thoroughly after it has been cleaned

Shelves / Counters

  • Take everything off of your shelves and counters and wash them thoroughly


  • Wipe down your backsplash all around the kitchen


  • Wash your kitchen floor with a good de-greaser

Living Room

  • Clean drapes and curtains
  • Wash your blinds (this can be done in the bathtub)
  • Shampoo your carpets
  • Wash throw rugs or air them out …outside
  • Vacuum the entire house….pull out everything from the wall….
  • Vacuum your couches (pull out the cushions and clean underneath them)
  • Use furniture polish for an extra shine on your furniture
  • Dust ceiling fans, fixtures and lampshades
  • Wax your floors

Dining Room

  • Take all of your books & knick-knacks off of your hutch or bookshelf and dust each piece
  • Dust the bookshelf / hutch
  • Wash the chandelier (if the pieces come off they can be run through the dishwasher)


  • Wash your mattress pad, blankets, quilts, pillows
  • Turn over your mattress
  • Dust ceiling fans & fixtures & lampshades
  • Vacuum under the bed


  • Wash the windows throughout your entire house
  • Clean attic & basement
  • Scrub deck & patio
  • Wash outdoor furniture
  • Bring out your spring / summer clothes
  • Clean out your car (move winter stuff to storage)
  • Dryer – check lint filter… it doesn’t cause a fire - vacuum behind the dryer

If you don’t want to do all of this in one weekend….that’s O.K. Break it down into smaller projects over a couple of weeks. Once you have accomplished everything on the list your home will be clean and ready for spring.

Organizational Consulting Services