Excess in life

“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ~Gandhi

One of the easiest and fastest ways to simplify your life is to tackle clutter — the excess in your life. Don Aslett’s thoughts on clutter control were expressed in his book Clutter’s Last Stand where he wrote, “One day I had the sudden realization that if I stopped buying things right this moment, there is no way I could ever use all I have right now.”

Henry David Thoreau defined clutter when he said he would rather toss an object that was in his way than continually move it around just to dust. He knew what he wanted to do with his time — wander the woods, write books and ponder life.

What do you want to do with your time– shuffle clutter or enjoy the day?

Simple grasses


NAPO-CT Garage Makeover Revealed

TOMORROW -July 25 @ 3:00 p.m.

Stay tuned to Channel 3 WFSB Better Connecticut as Scot and Kara reveal the winner of the Garage Makeover Contest. After 6 hours (approximately 120 man-hours) the winner’s garage was transformed into a well organized layout with space-saving Monkey Bars to hold the multitude of plastic and cardboard boxes all neatly labeled. You won’t want to miss the cameraman’s impression as he documented the team of Professional Organizers throughout the day’s activities.


Collect Memories

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~ Hans Hofmann, abstract painter

Before you can begin to simplifying your home, you must believe, truly believe that a simple lifestyle is worth the effort. Set down on paper what the benefits will be for you and your family.

What might those benefits be?

  1. Financial freedom ~ It costs less to own less. With less stuff, you will spend less money on maintenance, insurance, storage, etc. Increase your rainy day fund or augment your pension plan with the money saved from not acquiring more possessions.
  2. Eliminate time wasters ~ Spend less time shopping, less time consuming, less time caring for things… Reap more time for those things that are truly important in your life.
  3. Stress less ~ Clutter is a physical, emotional and mental distraction. The less stuff you have the less anxiety you will experience.
  4. Conserve energy ~ The less stuff in your space, the less accumulation of dust and grime and less time it takes to keep your surroundings clean.
  5. Enhance stewardship ~ Honor the environment by caring for your possessions. The less we consume, the less we damage Mother Earth.
  6. Pursue happiness ~ The pursuit of happiness is not found in the pursuit of possessions. Personal belongings detract from awesome experiences just waiting for your discovery. Collect the stuff that occupy your heart, not your shelves. Collect memories!

“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”  ~  Steve Wright, Comedian

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements and Madison Avenue messages that stuff will bring happiness and joy to our lives. Yet, eventually we discover that ownership is a trap that consumes time, money and energy.

Buying, collecting, saving and hoarding (if you don’t use it, then you are hoarding) is a lifestyle of stressful living. At some point, you or someone else (possibly a loved one) will have to go through your possessions room by room, box by box. A few things will be kept (mighty few). Some things will be sold. Most things will be tossed.

Lessen the burden of too much stuff by choosing to collect memories rather than things. Choose wisely to live a simpler lifestyle.




Garages need organizing, too!

Today, Professional Organizers of NAPO-CT (National Association of Professional Organizers, Connecticut Chapter – www.napoct.com) will be providing the lucky winner of “The Garage Makeover” contest.

Garages tend to be dumping spots for our extra stuff. While the weather is warm, spend some time clearing out the garage to make room for cars, athletic stuff and garden tools.

  • Paint boundary lines on the floor to keep cars, bikes, lawn mowers and other vehicles in their assigned spots.
  • Make a permanent hanger for an extension cord by tying rawhide or heavy twine near the plug end of the cord. After rolling up the cord, wrap the rawhide or twine around it, tie a bow and use the bow loops to hang up the cord on a nail.
  • Kitty litter does a great job sopping up oil and other auto fluids. An old cookie sheet filled with litter or sand can be placed at the stained site to collect the grease or oil that may have a tendency to drip.
  • To remove oil from a concrete floor, pour paint thinner over the affected area and cover with kitty litter. Leaving the garage door open, give the litter time to absorb the oil, then sweep up.
  • Old inner tubes cut in pieces or carpet scraps can be used to pad anything you might hit when you open the car door.
  • Use storage shelves or peg boards on the sides and back wall to neatly store car and garden tools.
  • Save floor space by hanging garden tools, sports gear, bikes and anything else you have.

You may wonder why you should bother to organize the garage? And, the answer is because the garage may be the last spot you see when leaving in the morning and the first thing that greets you upon return. Daily trips through a congested, disorganized garage can be hazardous to your health and well-being, both physically and psychologically. Trooping around piles of junk has a strong impact on your mood as well as a possible risk for bumps and bruises.

The garage can quickly become a black hole for the broken, useless, unloved and excess. A little organization in the garage can go a long way in providing safe and effective storage as well as shelter for the family car. After all, it is probably a considerable investment you have made in the past few years. Protect that investment!



July Challenge: Independence

One of the biggest summer holidays for US citizens is Independence Day. It commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, drafted by Thomas Jefferson to become the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty — 240 years ago.  (We are a young nation.)

Today, everyone joins in on the patriotic celebration with barbecues, baseball games, fireworks, parades and political speeches. (Do we even listen to them anymore?)

But, what does “Independence” mean to you?

  • Is it that you live on your own, hold down a job, live a clutter-free life, or free from the controlling effects of other people or things?
  • Is it an expression of happiness, loving what you have and having what you love?
  • Is it freedom of financial worries or health issues?
  • Maybe it is freedom from bad influences, unproductive habits, or downtrodden individuals?

Independence is defined as the ability to care for one’s self. In other words, independence is taking the time to weed the garden — some people and possessions bloom in our life and make us shine; others are stifling and stunt the growth. Choose wisely!

Having strong connections with family, friends and colleagues is important, yet it is good to feel confident doing things on your own. Independence is the ability to be self-sufficient and take control of your destiny.

  • Accept yourself as you are and accept others as they are.
  • Believe in yourself and seek your own level of happiness.
  • Discover your own brand of motivation as you climb to success, however you define success.
  • Be the best ‘you’ – your own personal uniqueness and stop worrying about other people’s judgment.

There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.  ~  Calvin Coolidge

How are you planning on celebrating your independence this month?