October 28, 2010

Fall Cleaning and Green Storage Solutions

Fall is a great time for cleaning out and organizing that closet, garage or storage shed that is really bugging you. It's a great time because the weather is cooler, the nesting instinct is settling in and you will be cooped up inside the house more due to the weather, so why not make your space more organized and habitable?

I will be tackling the yearly job of cleaning the garage this fall. It's fairly organized already, but over the summer it gets neglected as we go about doing our fun summer activities. Sports gear, house maintenance and yard supplies are starting to get jumbled together...so the cleaning and storing begins.

Sustainablog recently had a great post on green storage solutions that I am determined to use this season. One solution is creating a community sharing option. We have great relationships with our neighbors and I want to create a section of the garage where we can store items that we share with the neighbors and vice versa.

Photo by [Productive Porcupine]

October 6, 2010

Sentimental Clutter

I recently saw these two questions from Naomi Seldin, the writer of the Simpler Living column for the Times Union:

If you’ve tackled sentimental clutter:

1. How did you get yourself to purge what you didn’t need?

2. How did you decide to keep those really important things without letting them take over your house?

There are several great comments from Naomi's readers on how to get rid of those meaningful items.  I love the idea of taking a photo of the beloved item or donating the item to a charity that you or your family really cares about.

I think that when purging those beloved stuffed toys or your mother's silverware, you have to be in the right mood. Don't purge these items when you are feeling loss, self-doubt or sadness. Hold onto them for another day when you are feeling empowered and the need for organization and cathartic cleansing is top of mind. However, don't beat yourself up if you find it's too painful to get rid of an item. If you really want to keep it, it won't hurt you or anyone else to find a special place for it.

No matter what, I will never get rid of my 40-year-old Teddy Bear. You can't make me!

Photo by scazon/Flickr