Thank you all for coming out to The Mountain View Public Library last week to attend my talk on decluttering and living what you LOVE! I covered client success stories and my top tips for living with less in your closet, bedroom, home office, bathroom, spaces for children, and everything you take with you on-the-go. If you missed it don’t worry, they have already asked me to come back for a holiday talk later this year! There was such a large turnout and so many great questions which I promised I would recap them on the blog this week and here they are…
Q. What do you do about books and paperwork that you struggle to get rid of because you may need someday?
Q. How do you resist buying duplicates of items when they are at a great price?
Q. How do you handle purging clothes when your weight fluctuates?
A. Always live in the moment with your sizing. If you are trying to loose weight invest in a few great outfits that fit you now. Wearing clothing that fits properly will help you look thinner giving you the confidence to move forward with your weight loss goals. If you know you are going to be gaining weight because of the seasons, a new medication that you are taking, or you are expecting a baby, do the same. For clothing that doesn’t fit you right now, let it go. Whether you gain or loose, you will want to buy something new when you reach your goals.
Q. When you travel is there a specific way you like to pack clothes for space saving? Rolling, etc.
A. Rolling your clothing when you pack for travel does help save space but my favorite tip for saving space when traveling is to pack less. Make a simple calendar for your trip and pencil in activities for each day. From there plan what you’ll need and pack from the shoes up. What I mean by that is if you are going to be doing a lot of walking and your black Dansko clogs are your favorite pack what goes with them. Try to stick with a color family, blacks, blues, or browns, and consider if you can do laundry at your destination so you don’t have to stockpile pjs or workout gear.
Q. I clean the garage and create aisles but then more creeps back in. How can I maintain my systems?
A. I feel ya! It’s as if little elves come and make a mess in my garage every night too. My advice for keeping up with the garage clutter creep is to spend 10-15 minutes per week putting things where they belong. For example, if you used your crock pot over the weekend and it’s time to put it back in the garage cabinet on Tuesday, don’t just dump it on the garage floor and say you’ll take care of it later. Follow through on where it goes. Also, spend time processing your trash and recycling each week. All of those online packages really add up and by adding 2-3 boxes per week to your recycling bin you’ll avoid having to deal with 2-3 dozen down the road.
Q. If you have antiques where do you take to sell or donate?
Q. What are your thoughts on storage units?
A. My honest opinion is that storage units are the biggest waste of money UNLESS you give yourself a strict time limit. Once items are out of sight they are out of mind. If you don’t love something enough to put it in your home you need to let it go! By paying for storage you are just investing more value into an item that doesn’t have value. I worked with a family to downsize their storage units last year and wrote a blog post with my dos and don’ts, check it out here.
Q. How do you stop junk mail? Process the amount received?
A. Take the time to call or write to the contact information in the fine print. On most coupon mailers there is a small box on the bottom. For credit offers and other junk mail it’s difficult to have it disappear but registering for the national do not mail list will help.
Q. What do you do with old family pictures or archives of family ephemera? Data on old computers. How to store?
Q. Where to donate children’s and hobby craft supplies?
If you’d like me to give a more in-depth answer to one of these questions please leave me a comment. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about your specific organizing struggles and I’ll respond with a blog post with tips tailored to you!