The Harsh Reality of Getting Rid of Stuff is that it is increasingly getting harder and harder to find someone to sell, give, or donate to. You may have to pay someone to take your stuff away. Yes, you read that correctly and it is difficult to digest. All of my clients struggle with letting go of items. Now the task is even more arduous because some non-profits have stopped accepting donations; they are completely full. Most people believe their possessions are very valuable. They may have been at one time but our items are only worth what the current market is willing to pay.
The October meeting of NAPO GA, National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, discussed the topic of how to get rid of stuff for our clients. I was really surprised to hear that many donation centers are completely full and not accepting donations in Atlanta. WOW, you can’t even give your stuff away! Luckily, I have not experienced this problem in Athens, Georgia. There are many more options available which can make this process confusing; I’ll share some with you.
Baby Boomers are donating items in droves. According to an article in the October AARP Bulletin entitled, I’ve Got The Old Piano Blues, “Pianos often have a substantial amount of emotional value to their owners, so it can be difficult to accept that many pianos do not have meaningful value on the open market.” “Used pianos have flooded the market.” This is true for most items not just pianos. It’s not just the amount of pianos in the secondhand market. People are purchasing less expensive digital pianos. The article describes what so many people go through when they attempt to find a good home to donate their items. They called churches, schools, friends, and charities with no luck. They eventually did find a friend to take the piano. Otherwise, they were going to have to pay $300 to have it disposed of. Everyone I work with wants their items to be used again; someone has to want it, right?
There are collections of items that are very valuable. Here are a few popular resale items according to “Got Stuff, See Resale Value of Used Items from Your Apt”: Comic Books, Toys, Vinyl, Vintage Books and Magazines and some Collections. Not sure if your items are valuable or not, do some research on sites like bonanza and/or ebay to find out. You can also hire a Professional Appraiser.
While listening to NPR, National Public Radio, Marketplace Show on October 17, 2017 there was a story entitled China’s Done Doing Our Recycling. Guess what? It’s likely to end up in storage until the United States can find something else to do with it. Imagine that our recycling going to storage….
Storage units are a growing business and I wish I had invested years ago. So many people have storage units. I always ask my clients, WHY are you considering a storage unit? If they answer with, “these items belonged to my Great Grandmother, I have to keep them,” I tell them “No, you do not have to keep them.” Do you really want to pay $150 a month for the rest of your life? If you do not have a solid plan to use the items going into storage within 6 months to a year then try to sell or giveaway the items.
Are you Downsizing anytime soon? Simple Solution Organizing LLC can help. Give us a call.
Chief Executive Organizer
September 11, 2017
We are in the midst of weather chaos; Hurricanes and Wildfires causing massive destruction. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by these tragedies. Disasters make us think about what is really important in life. If you lived in Houston would you have been prepared? I can definitely say that I am not fully prepared. Here is the short list: Do you have the proper insurance, do you have photos and other memorabilia saved in digital format, do you have vital records scanned and saved in a digital format, do you have a list of all of your insurance policies, credit cards, bank accounts, investment accounts and other important items saved digitally, is your hard drive backed up to the cloud, and do you have an inventory of your possessions; if you need to file an insurance claim? I can answer yes to some but not all of these questions. It's not just having them saved digitally but saving them in the cloud. If you have them saved on a Jump Drive and that is destroyed then it defeats the purpose.
I highly recommend saving photos and scanned copies of vital records to a cloud based account such as:
There are so many choices! How do you choose? Here is an article, The Best Cloud Storage and file-sharing services of 2017, by PC Digital Magazine that can help you decide. If you worry about your files being secure... well, there are no guarantees in life. Equifax was just hacked into; everything is a risk, doing nothing is a risk. Don't forget to back up your computer hard drive too. I use Carbonite and it backs up everything automatically.Here is an article about the best backup software to use. I may want to switch because Carbonite is not listed.
If you want to learn more about protecting your treasurers, Organize for Disaster, is available at Amazon. Disasters strike in many different forms. Don't keep telling yourself, "it won't happen to me," because it might.
Chief Executive Organizer
Simple Solution Organizing
It’s hot outside, 90 degrees in Athens today. If you are spending more time indoors then why not spend it organizing? When is the last time you organized your address book (paper or digital), business cards, files (digital and paper), junk drawer, sock drawer, kitchen, craft area, photos, wrapping paper, book shelves, basement, attic, garage and much more?
A few years ago I challenged my Newsletter readers to organize 1 particular area of their home or office each month and I want to bring that back. Are you up for the challenge?
I challenge you to organize your address book(s) this month. All of your address books: paper and digital. You may have multiple books for different areas of your life:
Contacts in your address books need to be organized in a way where you can find the information you are looking for. As you can see in the list above it can get complicated quickly. I certainly can’t remember the names of every person I associate with or have done business with. It is imperative that I organize my address book in a logical manner for me. I no longer use a paper address book and I’m sure many of you do not either.
How to Organize an Address Book (paper and digital):
If you decide to play along and actually organize your address book this month….or in the next few months I would love to hear from you.
The Life Organizers Top 5 Organizing Tips
2. Passcodes in 1 Place
Do you use the same password for every account? Do you struggle to create passwords and struggle more to find them when you need them? Stop the insanity and come up with a system. Experts advise not to use the same password for every account. When you use a password manager program you only have to remember 1 password and the program creates very strong passwords and stores all of your passwords in a secure online vault. Here is an article with additional tips on passwords by Connect Safely.org.
If you hate digital use a notebook or the back of an address book or Rolodex to keep track of them.
3.. Inventory Digital Files
Do you store file folders in multiple places? Most people do. If you are searching for a file folder in Google Drive but it is saved in Dropbox you won’t be able to find it. Work on a plan to organize your digital file folders. I need to do this too. What program is working best for you? Use as few places as possible for storing files. Take the time to inventory what files or where. An Excel worksheet works great for this. Digital Clutter is a huge problem. This is a good article on how to protect and organize digital files.
4. Plan Ahead & Set Goals
Spend your time wisely, creating personal and business goals. Spending time evaluating what is going well, what can be improved upon, and what you should do in the future is vital. Some people spend their entire lives allowing life to dictate and navigate their future instead of personal intention and goals.
5. Just Do It! – Daily, Weekly, Quarterly and Annual Maintenance
Maintenance is not fun but it is necessary. What do I mean by maintenance? Putting things away in a designated place and creating places for things when they don’t exist. This procedure applies to file folders and practically everything else you use including tools, clothing…stuff! Just imagine if your digital files went to a To Be Filed box every time you used them. That is a very scary thought. Paper files often end up in a To Be Filed box, or even worse, they end up somewhere else entirely….the black hole. They need to be filed as soon as possible to keep clutter at bay.
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December 29 2016
Do you feel like you are always in a Hurry?
It's in our nature to always be in a hurry however, it can lead to big mistakes. I am definitely guilty of this. I want to squeeze every minute I can into my day. I want to be super productive but I make mistakes when I'm rushing, as do most people. My stress and anxiety levels rise. I also feel guilty when I rush because I know if I had planned better I probably would not be rushing around.
Here are a few things we can all do to slow down, feel better, be more productive, and make less overall mistakes.
Organize your life so you can live to the fullest.
Chief Executive Organizer
There are so many Apps! In June of 2014 Apple iTunes and Google both had 1.2 Million Apps according to Tech Crunch.com. That number is just a little overwhelming….. If you are the least bit intimidated by the vast majority of Apps…like me, you will appreciate this list.
This is a list of Professional Organizer Approved Apps. Apps can help us organize and keep track of so many things, such as, mileage, recipes, documents, maps, other people’s business cards, projects, schedules and so much more. Some of my favorites are Evernote, Drop Box, and Card Star.
If you are curious about Apps; I recommend going to iTunes or Google, type in a category in the search bar, and see what is available. Apps are easy to install and uninstall, so no harm done if you don't like it.
Edit, touchup, design and collage for photos.
Free Photo Editing, Drawing and Sharing with a Global Community.
Measure objects with your phone camera
They supply local people to help you move heavy furniture around your home or move into a new home.
Turn your phone into a portable document scanner. Scan docs, receipts, and notes into PDF.
Mileage and Expense Tracker
World’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app
This App tells you how much longer the rain is expected to last. Great for outdoor activities
Organize all of your store reward cards. Take photos of them and store in your phone then you can throw away all those little annoying cards.
The 5 Best Personal Assistant Apps to Help Organize Your Life:
Simple Solution Organizing
Simple Solution Organizing had a contest in August on our Facebook page. Would you like to connect with us on Facebook? Click here. We gave away 2 free hours of office organizing. Our lucky winner, Valerie, is LOVING her new office. Here are the photos -- they say it all.
Valerie, is ready to use her office as an office again. She will use it for her work as an Artist.
Transformed into a beautiful office
Does your office resemble this photo or maybe the before photo? Your office does not need a complete overhaul for Simple Solution Organizing to help you. We work with individuals and small businesses to increase efficiency and productivity. We begin this process through our comprehensive evaluation. Our consultation consists of reviewing your evaluation and current systems. Client's tell us, this exercise is extremely beneficial.
The evaluation takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and an hour to review. The client fills out the evaluation on their own and we review it during our first appointment. Our session consists of brainstorming, goal setting and developing an individualized plan, including recommendations and solutions, to help you and your business streamline processes.
Here is a list of a few clients we have worked with: Heyward Allen Motor Company, Stanfield Air, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Keegan (now Raymond James), EO Studios, Connected Technologies, Athens Atlas Chiropractic Center, The Retreat Day Spa.
Siri can read your texts to you. Siri can send you an email or text (to remind you to do something). Siri can schedule appointments in your calendar, make phone calls for you. Help you find your way home or other places, and locate restaurants.
It's a good idea to learn more about the tools we use everyday....and paying a lot of money for. Here are a couple of articles to read Siri tricks and 10 Siri Tricks to make you more Productive.
I have definitely had problems with Siri but the more you use it the better it gets. When Siri pronounces a name wrong you can correct it. There is trial and error and best to practice using it in your home, not while your driving. That could be a prescription for Road Rage.
Technology the more we research our tools the better.
Below are tips from Mike Song the author of The Hamster Revolution.
This is a great book about managing email. Read my article and implement some of the book's suggestions today.
We love our email and we hate our email. I definitely fall into this category. Sometimes, I feel anxiety flowing in as my in box fills up. Here are some tips that can help us all get a handle on our email. Let me know if you would like assistance implementing these tips.
I help clients find homes for all of their stuff. For some people, creating or finding homes for items is innate; but for others it’s a daunting overwhelming task. The more stuff you own, the more places you have to create.
I recently met with a client that wanted her basement decluttered. However, she and her husband enjoy collecting things. It’s fine to collect things when you have room for them and it does not take over your space. It’s easy for me to say this and live this principle because I hate clutter. When you are a person that loves finding deals, frequenting Garage and Estate Sales, and collecting items it is extremely difficult to stop the hunt.
Do you love collectibles more than your space? There comes a point when 'collectors' have to decide what is more important. A life they envision: a decluttered beautiful home where they entertain friends and family, or a home filled with collections that prohibit them from enjoying their lives to the fullest.
When it comes to living a clutter-free life; you are in charge. However, your decisions have a profound impact on your family. I have many clients that hire me with children who tell me “I do not want my kids to grow up and live the way I do.” I often see children’s rooms emulating the rest of their house.
I am writing about 2 very different things: 1 finding a home for all of your stuff (reasonable amount that fits in your home) and/or 2 determining and accepting the hard truth that you have too much stuff and it has taken over your home or is in process. In the next few months I will share several options for 'homes' for all of your stuff in my future blogs.
I would like to help you find a home for all of your stuff. Call or email me today.
Would you like a little inspiration? Check out the photos of my basement below.