August 2009 Newsletter

Tip of the Month: Organizing for the real you


How many of us keep things we think we “should” want or need — when the reality is we don’t want those things and will never use them?

Here’s Erin Doland of Unclutterer, writing in Real Simple in March 2009: “I liked to think of myself as someone who exercised every day by running on a giant motorized treadmill, read all the literary classics, and baked cookies for every special occasion. The reality? I am not a runner, I like to read pop fiction, and cookies aren’t really my thing.” So Erin got rid of a lot of stuff.

And here’s Melissa Stanton, writing in the no-longer-published Organize magazine, about her Lenox dishes and crystal stemware: “When properly set, my dining room table could be dressed to impress. … Problem was, in more than a decade of owning such finery, which I acquired as wedding gifts and by inheritance, I never set my dining room table as described. … For most families, dining on fine china is a relic from a way of life we don’t live.”

Another aspect of organizing for reality is recognizing what activities we’re never going to have time for. Fellow organizer Marcie Lovett just wrote about her own experience in this regard: “I finally realized that I will never have the time to do every craft that looks interesting, so I am going to concentrate on the few that I really enjoy: crochet, card making and sewing. That meant paring back the supplies that I am keeping and getting rid of everything else.”

Then there’s me. A while ago I realized that I simply don’t iron anything and I gave away my ironing board. I’ve joined Erin in giving away highly-acclaimed books that I honestly don’t want to read. And I got rid of the cups and saucers, since all I ever use for coffee and tea are my favorite mugs.

So if you’re keeping items that don’t fit your real life – or the life you are truly aspiring to and moving toward – then give yourself permission to let them go.

Recycling/Reuse Information of the Month

I often help my clients dispose of items they no longer want, and so I recently went to give away a child’s toy on Freecycle – only to discover the item had been recalled. So here’s a reminder to check for recalls through the Consumer Product Safety Commission web site, or through Simply searching for the product on Google (or another search engine) may also show that a product has been recalled; that’s how I found out about the toy I had.