The things that clutter your home could continue to serve a good purpose in your community if you donate. Donations can;
More and more Canadians are both downsizing on the one hand, while increasingly shopping in used stores on the other, making this a fast-growing industry. Almost every community has options to donate used goods, but if you want your goods to give additional value to your community, ensure that the organization you donate to is a legitimate non-profit by reading their website.
Many non-profits help people in crisis, perhaps leaving an abusive home, or having suffered a house fire, to get back on their feet by giving them furniture, household goods and clothing. The things you donate can also end up in one of the organizations’ stores, selling to the public. This is a booming business, and young people in particular embrace this kind of shopping.
In Victoria, BC, one long-standing and successful non-profit social enterprise is WIN (Women in Need). Through their four stores, WIN sells carefully selected donated goods to the public, and the money raised not only keeps WIN self-sufficient, but also supports its 5 programs that include;
In addition, WIN has created successful partnerships with other organizations and together they are diverting large quantities of non-salable donations from the landfill.
Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Young says WIN gets the most value from donated goods that are in saleable condition;
If you have any questions about donating, or want to learn more about specific programmes in your area, check the internet to learn where your valuable donations will make the most impact!
Women In Need (Victoria BC)
Professional Organizer tools of the trade
I’m a Professional Organizer, but sometimes I think I should be called The Decluttering Ninja!
Because before you can organize, you need to declutter so that you don’t waste your time organizing things that aren’t needed, used or wanted.
I spend a LOT of time helping people declutter…
So… what does a Decluttering Ninja do?
A Decluttering Ninja is someone who is REALLY good at moving unwanted and unneeded things out the door.
What does a Decluttering Ninja take to work?
My Decluttering Bag!
These are my visible Professional Organizer tools of the trade for decluttering:
Thanks to smart Professional Organizer Lois Kaplan for the idea of carrying it all in a 4-bottle wine bag.
Decluttering tools of the trade
Use these tools to peel away the excess, then organizing important possessions becomes easy and fun!
The freezer-grade bags and collapsible magazine boxes are super-flexible, temporary containers for use during the process.
Start by focusing on creating personalized organized systems that function well and feel comfortable, and you can take all the time you like to upgrade the aesthetics later.
I also share my Invisible Toolkit with my clients!
My years of organizing education and experience has filled my Invisible Toolkit for every possible situation. It could take a week to talk about all these things, but some examples are: strategies, games and powerful questions to help my clients prioritize, absolute respect for client choices and goals, and endless energy and encouragement!
Most people who contact me feel stuck because of the volume of possessions they have, and they don’t know how to wade through and make decisions.
I specialize in helping people get unstuck, teaching strategies to break through current blockages, but also to prevent it from happening again.
What are your favorite decluttering tools?
Being better prepared is the best way to make your move as stress-free as possible.
A move means uprooting your things, and therefore temporarily losing your points of reference.
Whether or not you’re hiring movers, the following points can help.
* If it is a smaller move, you may prefer to combine the kits together*
For more of my own moving tips, check out this TV appearance (with English subtitles) http://bit.ly/1TLcxGa
More self-care tips when moving here: http://www.wikihow.com/Cope-With-the-Stress-of-Moving
I’m so glad I read this blog!
I find that hoarding disorder is a powerful and mysterious phenomenon.
I work with many clients who are “keepers” (what a wonderful phrase!), and they generally are attached to their possessions with a very strong psychological superglue. Practically impossible to separate them.
Thank you for voicing the view that patience and understanding is called for, and that they deserve respect.
The last sentence is very powerful.
Looking very much forward to the film!
Thank you again.
Alison Lush, CPO-CD
6 years ago, our home was truly overcrowded. I did not yet have the skills to manage the ebb and flow of things we lived with. I am very happy to say that things are very different now!
The following are my favorite strategies that have gradually made this transformation possible.
I’m well aware that none of this is new, nor is it important when compared to big challenges in the world. But it does make a significant difference in the quality of life of the three people who live in our tiny home. Our home welcomes us and allows us to recharge our batteries. We are functional, and therefore more self-sufficient. We don’t waste time looking for things any more. We don’t waste lots of money buying stuff we don’t need. We don’t spend money buying things we already have but cannot find!
This is our new normal. Hooray!
Came home from work today feeling sluggish.
It’s only 4pm. Hours of potentially productive time ahead of me. What to do?
Scrolling down the mental list- “I could do that… or that… or maybe that. Even enough time to take on that.”
Looking around our little home: Clutter. Disorder. Piles. I feel myself sinking…more and more sluggish.
I remember a gold nugget of wisdom from one of my Organizing classes for when one is feeling overwhelmed and it’s difficult to get going.
“Do one thing.” I pick up my hat, gloves and scarves from the table and put them in the front closet where they belong.
I notice the action: That was easy. I notice the feeling: That feels good. I like the system I created last year for my accessories, and it gives me satisfaction to see them put away.
“Do one thing.” I empty my bag from work and put it away.
I notice the action: That was easy. I notice the feeling: That feels good. Dirty clothes are now closer to being washed. Empty bag ready for tomorrow. Feels like progress.
Sluggishness gone, starting to feel energized
We often feel stuck or overwhelmed in our physical spaces. Too many things we could be doing or think we should be doing. DO ONE THING is a powerful approach.
Choose ANYTHING to do! The point is to create forward movement.
One step, even if it is small or slow, is STILL ONE STEP, and that is a very different thing from doing nothing.
For the first time, I had no desire this year to decorate, think of gifts, or cook traditional fare. Rather than forcing myself out of a sense of obligation, I respected my instincts and did almost nothing. Putting up the tree was very important for my daughter, and she could have decorated it had she wanted to. I got the bins of decorations out, and yet the tree remained natural.
Looking at this photo, I see that my Christmas was authentic for me. No wasted energy. No financial regret. No new clutter in my home. I simply relaxed and enjoyed my time with family and friends.
Good organizing is meant to improve our quality of life. Sometimes just keeping it simple can do the same.
It’s a great theme to begin the new year.
What might you want to experiment with?
I remember that image from my childhood.
And today I’m working on configuring my WordPress blog so it will play nicely with MailChimp.
Makes the head spin.
I’ve got the invaluable help of Alexander Westcott in my corner.
Wish us luck!
Best friend to the rescue again.
Five years ago I told my best friend my criteria for a new career, and she suggested “Professional Organizer”. I replied “What’s that?”
With just a little internet research I learned that there are associations of professional organizers, and education available. I signed up on the spot and started taking classes.
I was eager to work with clients and help them with their organizing challenges at home. What I did not foresee was the personal journey it would take me on.
I became my first client. Everything I was learning about, I tried on myself (and my supportive family and friends).
I can honestly say that I view my space and my possessions quite differently now.
I used to think that if I did not pay money for something, it was free. I now know that everything sitting in my home is costing me space, daily.
I took many photos of “The stuff that walked out the door”, aka donations to charity.
I am amazed that I hardly remember what all that stuff was, and I miss none of it!
I love having space. I love having learned not to bring home stuff unless it is a better treasure than what I already have.
I’m really glad a Professional Organizer came into my life.