Tag Archives: declutter

Never Clean Inside Your Refrigerator Again, Almost

July 20, 2011

This is especially helpful for elderly folks or people with physical limitations that prevents them from getting up and down from their knees, bending over for long periods of time, or have difficulty reaching.

Purchase plastic bins at the dollar store to line your frig shelves for holding food. I even have them in my freezer and vegetable drawers.  When a bin becomes dirty, pull it out and clean it when you do your dishes.  (I don’t suggest putting them in a dishwasher.)  If you really feel the need to pull everything out, the most you will probably need to do is DUST inside.
Seriously, I spent a whopping $5 total for the bins in the picture below.

Containers for the Refrigerator

I use reusable sandwich meat containers to line my door shelves for ketchup, mustard, pickle jars, salad dressings, etc.

Line the Doors

Not only does using bins and containers keep my refrigerator clean, the defined space they create prevents overflow, therefore my frig stays de-cluttered too!

All Content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011


De-clutter, When?

Always de-clutter BEFORE attempting to organize.  That is unless you enjoy running around in circles, wasting your precious time, repeating the de-cluttering process over and over again, and frustrating yourself to no end.

De-clutter when you are ready to dedicate yourself to the task, you have cleared your calendar, and have set aside an appropriate amount of time to begin and end the task.  It is impossible (and frankly I think masochistic) to attempt to de-clutter an entire home, or an entire garage all in one fell swoop without the assistance of a professional organizer at your side.  Since I love empowering people, following my time-tested plan you not only will learn how to de-clutter, but also how to prevent re-cluttering.

To reduce the risk of becoming overwhelmed or discouraged, digest small bits to work with. Choose only one (1) space to de-clutter at a time.  This could mean you have decided to de-clutter the tool box in your garage or the space you want to designate as the sports equipment area of the garage.  Or it could mean the linen closet in your home or the cupboard underneath your kitchen sink.

As I mentioned in a previous article, getting organized is a process.  Check out my article called, De-clutter, How?” for the next stage to think about.

All content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011

Take Stock of Your Space

June 28, 2011

As I mentioned in my “Measure First, Then Shop for the Tool” post, defined space is an important issue that needs addressing when you want to get, and stay, organized.

If you truly want to get decluttered and organized you need to think realistically.  Unfortunately many people have the mind-set of, “I need a bigger place” because they have so much stuff.  In today’s economy, it might not be feasible to buy a larger house.  And let’s face it…if you don’t have enough room in your current house (because you didn’t identify the importance of the stuff you currently have, and get rid of what you don’t really need) what is to say that if you purchased a larger house that you wouldn’t just fill it up, too?  Without establishing parameters about what is necessary to keep, people tend to keep far too much stuff.

Now, I’m not trying to tell you what you should keep.  I’m simply discussing the issues that need addressing if you truly want to get organized.

Getting organized means taking stock of your current situation and making it work for you and your life.

Stay tuned, there will be more about Defining Spaces soon.  In the meantime, have yourself one great day.

All content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011

Measure First, Then Shop for the Tool

June 27, 2011

Everyone has a defined amount of space, even the Queen of England.  To use your space, time, and money wisely, put a tape measure to good use before you shop.

Before heading out to the store to purchase a tool to help you organize your things, (which I HIGHLY recommend) such as dividers for a silverware drawer, storage tote for children’s toys, a computer desk, storage drawers for nuts and bolts, a work bench for the garage etc., measure the space that will occupy the tool.

Here’s why.  Incorrect guessing the size you need when at the store could easily waste your time because you might need to return the tool if you guessed incorrectly. If you purchase too small a tool, you could be wasting usable space and if you purchase too large a tool, obviously it won’t fit into your defined space (more about defined spaces later).  AND, if you choose to NOT return the incorrectly sized tool, you’ve just added clutter to your existence and you paid good money to do it. WOW!

Don’t fall into a clutter trap…measure first, THEN shop.

All content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011

Do I Keep Too Much Stuff?

June 27, 2011

Some self-discovery is necesssary to determine if you keep too much stuff. Be honest with yourself and answer this question:

Do I keep too much “stuff”?

Only you can answer this question.  If you said, ‘yes” or you aren’t sure if you keep too much stuff, read on.

I want to stop here and say that none of the content on this blog addresses hoarding.  Hoarding is a much different ball game, if you will, and should be discussed with professionals who specifically deal with hoarding.   If you suspect you are a hoarder, you might want to consider visiting the site below:


Now then, how will you know if you keep too much stuff ?  Give some sincere thought to the following questions. If you can answer yes to two or more, you might have too much stuff.

Do you:

  • put items  in the corner of a closet, the attic, or some other place (because you plan to deal with it later) and then 6-12 months later you run upon it and think to yourself, “I should use this” or you think to yourself, “I should get rid of this”, but you keep it anyway, or you lay it aside for a decision about its fate at a later date?
  • routinely move lots of items to get to the one you want, and you need to do this throughout each space you occupy; garage, tool box, house, closets, etc.?  (This could be due to lack of organization, or the fact that you have too much stuff.)
  • know you have difficulty letting go of things?
  • believe you can’t let go of it because you equate throwing it away with throwing money away (even though you never use it).  I’ll talk about how to prevent this money waster in a future article?
  • tell other people you should get rid of some things, but_________ (fill in your favorite justification or excuse)?
  • KNOW that you keep too much stuff but don’t know what or how to eliminate stuff?
  • run upon an item and say to yourself or even out loud,  “I forgot I had this.” or  “I can’t get rid of this; I paid good money for this.”?
  • believe the more stuff you have the more worth you have?
  • fear losing the memory of an item so you keep it even though you don’t use it and it is taking up valuable space?

Below are some additional thoughts that might indicate you keep too much stuff.

  • You learned how to keep stuff from your parents who grew up during the great depression and, out of necessity, kept everything?
  • You notice people routinely move items off of the couch or chair so they can sit down.
  • People casually mentioned how much stuff you have?  (Yes, there are some people who do this, sometimes family members who do not live with you.)
  • You notice your frustration level escalates quickly when looking for an item because you need to dig through so many things to find it.

Stay tuned, there’s more good things to come.  Have a terrific day!

All content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011


Under construction.

Easy Organizing & Backup for Data Files

May 15, 2011

Stress Free Data Files Backup

Lost application software can always be replaced.  Data files cannot.   I am a photographer and a writer and all of the data files I create, regardless of the file type; text documents, music files, photos, etc., are saved in their applicable folders within the one folder containing my name.

If you create your own data file folders, create a new folder somewhere on your C: drive,  and name the folder using your first or last  name.  As you begin creating new files and folders save them only in the folder with your name.  When it is time for your routine data files backup, (which you should do regularly just like changing the oil in your car, only more frequently) you have only one folder to back up.

This technique saves me time because  I can quickly zero in to the location of my data files versus having to search through my entire computer.

Regarding stress free data files backup, I have no worries that I have missed any data files to be backed up because they are all in one location. I am confident all of my irreplaceable data files will be backed up because I have only one location to designate when I run the back up.

Should you need to have any maintenance done on your computer by an expert, they (should) ask you where your data files are located so they don’t accidentally tamper them.  (If they don’t ask, be sure to tell them.)   You’ll feel confident they are protected because they are all in one location. And guess what, you will remember that location!

All content Copyright Barbara Nichols 2011

  • Ouch! (storagezilla.typepad.com)