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Wednesday, October 31 2012

Two days ago, the eastern portion of the United States experienced Hurricane Sandy first hand.  The devastation is still mind boggling.  Some sustained no damage to their homes. (I am one of them.)  Some sustained minor damage and some sustained tremendous damage.  Many are dealing with flooding in their homes and more are dealing with the loss of power. 

When these natural disasters occur, I can't help but think about how being prepared can go a long way in making it easier to deal with the outcome.

I envision homes where clutter is everywhere, things are difficult to locate and when disaster strikes, there is chaos. Imagine having everything laying around in no particular place and having to find things quickly.  It's next to impossible.  Something as simple as your keys being misplaced can cause a lot of stress in this type of situation.

Things like food, clothing, medications, bedding, pet supplies, cell phone chargers, insurance policies and other important paperwork, etc. need to be easily located and gathered.  Simple things such as batteries, flashlights, battery operated radios, non-perishable food, water and blankets are all needed when the power goes out. Sometimes, an evacuation plan is needed. 

However, I also envision an organized home.  An emergency preparedness plan is in place, essential items are gathered or easily accessible.  There is no clutter to contend with and life is that much less stressful. 

Clutter and disorganization are very stressful in our normal day to day lives.  However, when we are suddenly dealing with a situation such as Hurricane Sandy, clutter is even more stressful.  

Are you prepared for when disaster hits?  Is your home clutter free and items are easy to locate?  If not, you might want to re-evaluate your situation and think about how getting organized can go a long way in dealing with these types of situations.

If you need assistance in eliminating the clutter in your home and in your life, remember that you can have A Better Space.  I am just a phone call away and I am here to help.

For those of you contending with the after effects of Hurricane Sandy, please know you are in my thoughts.  Be safe. 

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 12:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 15 2012

There comes a time when most people need to reach out and ask for help to get organized.  It can be prompted by life changes such as marriage, divorce, birth of baby, empty nest, death of a loved one, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, downsizing, etc.  

No matter what the reason may be, people reach out to me for organzing help mostly because of the following:  

1. I'd like to be organized, but I never learned how.

2.  I am overwhelmed and frozen.  I don't know where to start.

3.  I do not have enough space for my stuff.

4.  I do not have enough time to get things done.  My To-Do List goes on forever.

5.  When I go to purchase organizing products, I don't know what to buy or where to get the best products.

6.  My kids are out of the house and my parents have passed away.  I have too many things that I have held on to and need help letting go.

7.  I know what I want to accomplish but I can't figure out how to get there. 

8.  I know that the only way I will get organized is if I have an accountability partner who can guide me through the process.

9.  I'm organized but my spouse is not.  It's driving me crazy and I don't know what to do.

10. I have ADD and having difficulty staying focused and organized.  I need to figure out systems that work for me.

Do any of these sound familiar?  It could be one reason or a few.  No matter, a professional organizer like myself is skilled in these areas and can help you to get "unstuck" and moving forward towards a decluttered, organized and stress free home and life.

Comment below and let me know which of these are keeping you stuck.  I am here to help if you need further assistance.

In the meantime, have a great week!

 

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 04 2012

Clutter and children have a strong correlation.  It begins the day they come home from hospital.

How is it that you bring a tiny new human being into your home and with them comes all this stuff! 

Toys, clothes, bottles, pacifiers, bed linens, books, stuffed animals, you name it.  We have reached material saturation according to a recent study released by the UCLA Center on the everyday lives of families. 

The clutter might begin in the closet, basement, attic or drawers but then it spills out onto our table tops, counters and floors.  We currently have more visible clutter than ever before in the history of the world!  Our children's stuff is at the top of our clutter piles.

Each new child in a household leads to a 30 percent increase in a family's inventory of possessions during just the preschool years alone!  There are several reasons for this increase:  

1.  Parental guilt because of working outside the home;

2.  Generous grandparents.

The United States has 3.1 percent of the world's children.  However, US families purchase more than 40 percent of the total toys consumed globally on an annual basis.  The toys can spill out from their bedrooms and play rooms into living rooms, dining rooms, the kitchen and parents' bedroom. 

There is a sense among working parents that they have less time to spend with their children, causing them to shower their kids with toys to compensate for a perceived loss of quality time at home. 

Aside from that, other relatives contribute to children's collections of material items.  Grandparents alone spent about $500 or more, per child, per year, on toys, clothes, books and other gifts.  Due to the high divorce rate in this country, many children end up getting gifts from multiple sets of grandparents.  If children divide their time between two households, they tend to have double the amount of possessions, as well. 

The influx of objects is relentless.  The outflow, not so much.  We need to develop rituals and mechanisms for getting rid of stuff. 

Here are some solutions:

1.  Have grandparents purchase movie tickets, tickets for live events or a favorite restaurant instead of a toy.

2.  Review the inventory accumulated every 6 months.  Get rid of clothes that no longer fit, toys that no longer work, books that are no longer read, school papers that are no longer needed.  (End of the school term, Christmas time are two suggestions.)

3.  Have a conversation with other gift givers to come up with creative solutions that do not involve a lot of toys, clothes and other items that are in excess of what is reasonable.  Relatives and friends want to give "things" to show how much they love them.  They need to understand that their time is more precious than possessions.  They need to understand that, although it is appreciated, it is causing clutter in your home.  

4.  Be selective about the items you purchase for your child.  They don't need to have everything.  Remember, less is more.  Too much can be overwhelming for a child.  They tend to play with their favorites anyway.  

Take a look around your home and see where the clutter is accumulating and make some changes so you can be clutter free.  

If you need some assistance or more ideas for solutions, contact me.  I am glad to help. 

In the meantime, have a great day!   

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 12:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
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