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Relationships are rarely easy. They require some give and take, compromise, and communication.  One point of contention between many couples revolves around organization within the home. If your partner has an aversion to clutter, being in a cluttered space can cause tension for him or her and add conflict to your relationship. It’s time to face the facts, if you’re prone to clutter, these are just a few ways it may be destroying your relationship.  

1. Generalized Stress

Never being able to relax is stressful. We all need a space where we can unwind and feel Zen. If your partner is constantly stressed by your clutter rather than finding the home relaxing, that ongoing stress is likely to overflow into every other part of your relationship. This might manifest itself through arguments about unrelated topics or lashing out at family members for no apparent reason. Let’s be real, if your partner is feeling stress you probably are too. That means that your clutter habits are not only affecting your spouse but are creating a stressful environment for you as well. With some changes in your organizational methods you could both feel a whole lot calmer.

2.  Arguments

If you relate closely with this topic then you know what we’re talking about here. Clutter is probably a frequent topic of conversation. In fact, in one form or another, it is probably the primary point of discussion. When those discussions move to arguments, frustration rises. At some point, the issue could become a breaking point for the relationship. But you can work towards solving this point of contention through conversation. Lower the defenses. Be willing to admit that maybe you have a clutter problem. Acknowledge you understand that it causes your partner stress. Work towards a plan together by making a list of what he or she would like you to change and discuss where you can each compromise on the issue. Maybe you’ll have to get into the habit of sorting your mail as you bring it in the door, but are not willing to hang your coat in the closet. In that case, maybe install a hook in a convenient location or see if the bedpost is an acceptable compromise.

 

3.  Feeling Disrespected

When your partner asks you to respect their wishes about clutter time and time again, they are letting you know that it is something important to them. For example, if they continuously remind you to put your shoes in the closet it means that every time they see your shoes it causes them discomfort, anxiety, or stress. When you fail to put your shoes in the closet, your mate may feel that you have no respect for them, their feelings, or their wishes. It’s important to acknowledge this stress in your partner, even though you may not completely understand why it effects him that way. After all, there are undoubtedly things that your partner does that drive you nuts and he can’t understand why, so put yourself in his shoes and hear him out on this one.  

4.  Fatigue

Clutter carries weight. For many people, it’s overwhelming to walk into a cluttered room. The outcome is that your clutter leaves your partner feeling angry, frustrated, and exhausted by the mess and the battle. Similarly, the clutter affects you too. Evaluate how you feel in your space. Are you relaxed? Can you stay focused? Do you feel energized and productive or drained and unmotivated?

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5.  Focus Shift

Take a moment to visualize how you want to spend your day. Maybe playing board games with the kids after work or tackling a craft project? Perhaps you’d rather cook dinner for friends or go for a bike ride. You may not know it, but your goals are likely being stifled by your clutter. Piles of clutter surrounding you creates an atmosphere of demotivation and avoidance. After all, who wants to invite friends over when you can’t get to the dining table? Similarly, the lack of motivation might keep you from going for a bike ride with your family.  In turn, your lack of participation leaves your family feeling disconnected and resentful. By implementing some new habits, you can keep your clutter from interfering with your goals!

6.  Financial Problems

Clutter can be financially destructive. Disorganization results in things getting lost or buried. This means an added expense from having to repurchase items you already own. You may also engage in retail therapy as a means to avoid the arguing and clutter at home. The problem is that your spontaneous purchases result in unnecessary things, which accumulates more clutter. All of this culminates to worsen your financial situation. This cycle of overspending as therapy to temporarily relieve the stress caused by your clutter ends up resulting in more problems without offering a solution. By acknowledging the problem, you will be ready to work towards solutions that save you money and lesson the strain your valuable relationships.

The fact is that people who share a commitment and a space are affected by the habits of their partner. There are many reasons that you may struggle with clutter. It could be that you’ve never learned how to organize your belongings. Perhaps you’re just too busy. Maybe there are mental health issues. Wherever you are on the journey, calling in a professional can help. Queen B Organizing is here to get your clutter under control so that you can focus on the important people and events in your life.  

How Much is Your Lack of Organization Costing You?

By: Dawn Hammon

Many people experience deep frustration from disorganization. Not being able to find the remote or having the car keys alude you can raise anxiety, not to mention start the day out on the wrong foot. If you haven’t noticed, it’s also exhausting spending your time looking for things instead of powering through your day like the boss you are. But, lack of organization costs you more than frustration, anxiety, and energy. It costs you money. Here a few ways you may be wasting money because of disorganization.

  1. Replacing Items you Already Own

We’ve all done it. You go to look for your favorite kitchen bowl, but it’s not where it’s supposed to be. Weeks go by and you finally end up buying another one while you’re at the store, only to find the original one sitting on the fence post next to the composter a few days later. Or you misplace one shoe. Well, the one that you do have doesn’t do you much good so you buy another pair and find the stowaway next time you rearrange your bedroom. Tools are notorious for running away precisely when you need them as well. When everything has a home and you find a system that works for you, staying organized will become second nature, with no more missing shoes.

  1. Missing Out on Deals

Saving money is great, and it’s fairly easy to do with a little bit of organization. But if you don’t get around to reading your email (or flipping through your stacks of physical mail) you might miss money-saving coupons, online deals, or other special offers until it is too late. Creating a workable routine can help alleviate this frustration.

  1. Late Fees

Late fees suck. It would be nice if companies realized that we’re busy and we all make mistakes sometimes. The hard truth is that their business makes substantial money from people who are too disorganized to pay their bills on time. This is not just the credit card finance charge, but also the utility bill and medical invoice that are in that heaping pile of unopened mail.

  1. Gift Cards

Gift cards are a boon for businesses. They make easy money by selling them to well-intended gift givers. But often the recipient never comes in to redeem the card. Fortunately, most gift cards today do not expire. However, if you misplace it, you’ve lost money. If you keep it in your wallet and never remember to use it, you’ve lost money. If you save it forever intending to use it and the company goes out of business, you’ve lost money.

  1. Returns

Here’s the scenario. You receive a gorgeous sweater from your mother for Christmas. After a week of festivities you go to try it on and realize it is the wrong size. No problem, there was a gift receipt in the box and the store is just across town. So you put the sweater and the receipt in a bag. Maybe you even get it all the way to your car. A month later you find it in your car. A week later you actually stop at the store. Of course, the sweaters are long sold out. Because it has been longer than a month, you can only get an in-store credit. You don’t have time to shop that day so you take the credit. See #4. Another scenario sees you buying a pair of shorts for your husband. He doesn’t like them, but by the time you return them, you’ve misplaced the receipt. The store policy is no returns without receipts. Ouch.

  1. Eating Out

How is eating out related to disorganization? It’s not necessarily. But, if you find yourself eating out more than you would like because you don’t have any groceries in the house, have no meal plan, or forget your lunch, that’s money out of your pocket on a huge scale.

  1. Hiring Out

You are not an expert at all things and often it makes sense to hire someone to complete tasks that need done around the house or office. But, if you hire someone to complete a task that you could easily do yourself, you’re wasting your hard-earned cash. Create a plan, find your tools, clear a space, and get to work!

  1. Tax Deductions

Are you missing out on deductions because you can’t find the medical bill, restaurant receipt, or donation documentation? Missing out on deductions is the same as handing the government cash.

  1. Storage Unit Fees

This is a harsh truth, if you own a home there is rarely a valid need for a storage unit. You may have needed one at some point, but what often happens is that the autopay keeps you from really thinking about all of the money you are putting towards storing your stuff–stuff that you probably don’t need or that isn’t worth the cost of storing. Think about this example: You have an $800 set of couches in storage. You leave them there for two years at a monthly rate of $60 (lower than the $83 national average). You’ve now paid $1440 to store those couches.

  1. Rebates

We know, paperwork. Yuck! But a few minutes of filling out a rebate form could net you $10 or $20. Say it takes you even 15 minutes for a $15 rebate then you’re looking at an hourly rate of $60. That rational makes it seem like a bit of effort. That is, if you tackle it right away. Otherwise, it goes into the growing paper pile where it either passes the submission date or the receipts and UPC code run off together never to be seen again–along with your rebate money.

  1. Productivity

Time is money. This is an obvious truth for anyone who works. If you are late to an hourly job because you couldn’t find your parking pass, or keys, or purse, or umbrella, or shoe, you’re losing money. If you own the company, every hour even one employee spends searching for papers is an hour you paid for wasted time. Multiply that by the number of employees you have and you’ll be bleeding inefficiency across the balance sheet. With structure and processes in place, however, productivity can skyrocket right alongside your profits.

Perpetual, or even minor disorganization can cost you big! That’s why it is worth the investment to have a professional help you streamline that paperwork, reign in the shoes, organize the garage, and create time-efficient habits to get you out the door quicker and into the fun parts of your life sans frustration!

 

By Dawn Hammon

For many people, the art of organization comes naturally. The calendar is color-coded, the kids have outfits picked out days in advance, the flow of paperwork moves seamlessly from one basket to the next as tasks are completed. Well, maybe not. But many people do have the skills to get organized. That leaves them wondering why they can’t seem to get it done! If this is you or someone you know you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, one in four Americans wish they were more organized. The reasons for this are many including wanting to spend more time with family or doing hobbies, frustration in looking for items, and the cost of replacing items when you can’t find the one you already own. Here are the top five obstacles that are keeping you from getting organized.


1. You’re Overwhelmed

You walk into a room full of energy and motivation. After a few minutes of scanning the room you become overwhelmed and quickly formulate a huge list of other ways you could spend your afternoon instead. We get it. It’s not easy to tackle a seemingly huge project and even more challenging when you don’t know where to start. The key is to recognize and accept that the task is daunting. Own that feeling. It’s fine to feel overwhelmed. That’s when you know that you need to create a plan. You see, often the problem is that you underestimate how long the task will take. You should be able to clean out the garage in an afternoon, right? Or just get the kids to help and that bedroom will be ready for the cover of a magazine by dinnertime, yes? Not so much. In order to do the job properly accept that it will take four times as long as you think it should to complete. You will also need to break it into manageable chunks so that you can experience the small wins when you finish one area and keep your motivation dial cranked up!

2. Lack of Time

You’re running from the office to the gym to the grocery store and then to pick up the kids before you even get to think about a meal. Then the weekend comes and you’re greeted with a lawn brushing up against the side of your car as you pull in, the myriad sporting events the kids have year round and the fact that no one can seem to plan far enough ahead to start a load of laundry until Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. when they have school pictures in the morning. Of course we all consciously understand that being organized saves us time in the long run, but when your schedule has you running through long days and short nights when do you find time to organize anything? It’s a good question and there are several ways to tackle it. Break it into chunks completing little tasks at a time. Use each small win as motivation to put another task on your list. Designate one family organizing day each month. Take that Sunday and put everyone on the same page. After all, from hockey sticks to scuba gear, you all share the same garage. Or ask for help from a Professional Organizer who can come in, quickly assess the required tasks, bring organizational supplies, and create your dream space in no time!

3. Mental Health

Everyone knows someone dealing with a mental health issue. Whether it’s you or someone you know, it’s important to find ways to address depression, anxiety, hoarding tendencies, addiction, OCD, or a plethora of other conditions that keep a person from functioning as their best self. Any of these conditions can be self-perpetuating, meaning that the more it interferes with your ability to keep up with organization around the house, the more your home adds to your stress. Break the cycle and find help so that you can create a plan.

4. Physical Health

We work with many people who live independently but struggle with health issues. This can be an enormous barrier to staying organized. But it’s also one of the most important reasons to have organizational strategies in place. If you are wheelchair bound, items need to be easily accessible from the seated position. For patients attached to an oxygen machine or who use a walker, aisles need to remain clear. If you suffer from the debilitating pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve conditions, back injury, or other related ailments it’s important to have automated tools (think electric can opener vs. manual one) as well as items throughout the house strategically located to avoid lifting, climbing, bending, or other activities that may increase injury. This is a great time to seek help from a caregiver, neighbor, friend, family member, or Professional Organizer!

5. No Concept of Organization

Our brains are all wired differently. Some people see chaos and easily formulate a clear map to destination organization. Others may not have a clear vision of the end result but can get there with a little help from Pinterest. The third type of person has free-flowing, artistic thoughts that struggle to connect in any productive way to the end goal of organization. It’s similar to a person who are directionally challenged (which way is east?) or someone who can remember every movie they’ve ever seen, but struggle with remember their phone number. You’re the artists of the world and that’s great! It just means that organization might not be your thing. If that’s you, hire out. Get those organizational systems in place so you can spend more time doing the art that you love.

Lack of organization can leave you feeling like you’re drowning in your own home. It drags frustration through the door and down the hall. It costs you time, money, and energy. But you can defeat the organization struggle. Acknowledge the problem, create a workable plan broken into smaller chunks, and ask for help from a professional if you need it. Reclaim your space with help from Queen B Organizing! 541-231-6964 or GetOrganized@QueenBOrganizing.com.

Posted by: Dawn Hammon

You’ve sorted every sock, found a home for the ever-invasive mail, and wrangled the kids’ artwork into a system that works. It’s such a great feeling to reclaim your space! A week later, you find today’s art masterpiece stacked with the laundry and the socks choosing new partners before your eyes. Once you’ve achieved some level of organization, how do you maintain it? Sometimes maintaining organization is as difficult, or more difficult, than getting organized in the first place. We believe that with a plan, you can keep your maintenance on track and still have time for the next organizational task on your list. Here are our top 5 places to focus your energy so that you can continue to love those newly-organized spaces.

1) “M” is for Maintenance. Start by outlaying a bit of energy to those areas that you’ve already invested in. After all, you’ve worked to sort, donate, and create a system, so be sure that you keep up with the method you’ve put in place. Think about the tasks you’ve recently accomplished. Did you find homes for every item on your kitchen countertops? If so, then vow to end each day with items in their place. If other family members or care givers don’t know where things go, label the shelves for the blender, toaster, and slow cooker. The easier it is for everyone to understand the expectations, the better the system works and the less time and energy it will take to maintain it.

Another example: perhaps you’ve implemented a new shoe storage system. Great! Hang a sign or place another type of reminder nearby so that everyone in the house puts their shoes on the shelves as they remove them. If the kids just inherited some neatly-labeled Lego totes, make sure they clean up before bed or after a play session. Make it fun. Set a timer, race each other, or challenge them to get it picked up before you can get the laundry changed (a win-win!).

Along the way, ask yourself if the system is still working. As you add new items, discard or donate others. If you must keep everything (be honest here), then make sure to up-size the basket or tote accordingly. When things start to overflow, we tend to give up.

Keeping things in order requires the same kind of maintenance as your cars or major appliances. We understand that this maintenance is easier in some areas than others. Offices, kitchens, kids’ rooms, and garages commonly require more energy than other spaces. Don’t worry, you’ve got this! Add an additional 15 minutes into your weekly plan and recruit help when needed—before the area tumbles all the way back to square one. Remind yourself how far you’ve come. It’s worth it to maintain it!

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2) Tackle the nagging tasks. Often this is a simple thing, like putting shoes back on the rack or taking the newspaper to the recycling. What is it that consistently nags at you when you see it out of place? Is it losing your keys? The mail piling up? The cat food spilling onto the ground? Each of these “small” things can add up to big stress. So before you let it overwhelm you, take a few minutes to complete the tasks and flush them from your “to do” list. Perhaps keep a running list on the counter or the refrigerator and then attack those chores while you wait for your toddler to put on his shoes or while dinner simmers.

When you keep incurring the same piles, think about how you can put a system in place that works better for you. If the mail pile haunts you, try placing a recycling bin near the spot where you tend to drop it. Hang a rack near the front door or use a cute basket to catch errant keys. Perhaps you need to add a rug beneath the cat bowl or get a larger bowl to avoid overflow. Vow to stop repeatedly fighting the same battle, and confront it with a solution instead.

Most importantly, think about your habits and choose a system that works for you. Installing a hanging rack in the laundry room isn’t going to help if you generally fold clothes while watching T.V. in the living room. Bottles and cans will continue to stack up in the kitchen if your receptacle is outside or in the garage. In other words, place the system where the action happens rather than trying to break the habit.

3) Put away items in the “Hold” basket. It’s always best to put items in their proper place after use. But let’s be real. Life doesn’t always work that way. For items that don’t quite make it all the way home, have an area designated to catch them. This hold area is temporary. Make sure it is emptied regularly. The reason that it is useful is that it keeps you from getting items almost home and creating a mess for later. For example, if you’ve recently revamped the system for your gift wrap, then make sure you separate items and place them in the correct spots. This only takes a few minutes longer than just throwing the pile into the gift wrap area. Those few minutes, however, will save you an hour later if you have to re-sort and organize the area again. It also saves you time when you’re looking for a bow or a piece of tissue paper. But, if you’re running out the door and don’t have a few minutes to put gift bags away properly, place the items in the hold basket until you have a time to sort and store them. Then set yourself a goal of emptying the basket each day or a few times each week.

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4) Attack the most-used spaces in your life. Where do you spend most of your time? Is it in the kitchen? The car? Your office? Whatever space eats up the majority of time should be tended to like a garden. Remove garbage and travel mugs from your car. Make a stop at a donation drop-site to void the bag from your back seat. Respond to the memos on your desk. Take out the compost. Whatever tasks you accomplish as you close up shop for the day will feed your attitude, energy, and productivity when the new day dawns. With practice, these actions will become habits. Until then, leave reminders. Place a post-it note in the car reminding you to take trash with you, or put a colorful message on your bathroom mirror that encourages you to place cosmetics back in their spot.

5) Remember the areas where you relax. Now that you’ve put items back in their place and checked the others clogging your mental to do list, spend a few minutes focusing on the place where you relax. This might be a reading nook, a living room, a bedroom, or a home gym. Whatever that space is to you, give it a bit of your energy and it will repay you ten times over. Remove the clothes stacked on the treadmill. Move the to-be-folded laundry off your bed. Light a candle in the living room. Remember that being organized gives you a chance to relax in the spaces you create.

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Organization is an ongoing process. Many people think that once everything has a spot, it will be smooth sailing ahead. In reality it doesn’t quite work that way. More items continuously come into the space, the size and shape of things in your space change, and if you have kids and/or pets you may have a constant stream of tiny wrecking balls working against you.
Don’t let this idea cause you to throw your hands into the air in defeat! We believe in you. To keep your space organized and relaxed, stay focused on the most productive and important tasks. And remember to give yourself a pat on the back each time you can still park your car in the garage, or fit all those glasses into their designated space.

The trend today for green living seems like a hip, new idea to some, but it goes back to a time when green living was just the sensible thing to do.

Restore, Recycle, Repurpose - Randy Florke’s new bookRandy Florke in his book, Restore. Recycle. Repurpose. brings us back to thinking frugally like our grandparents and great-grandparents.  In their day “the biggest sin was waste and hand-me-downs were a way of life.  We reused everything, from jars to fabric to the wood from demolished outbuildings.  Glass jars became storage containers in the larder, and the plaid flannel from a favorite shirt lived on in the patches of a crazy quilt on my bed.  Nowadays they call that repurposing; then we called it another day on the farm.”

Today we have more sustainable goods available to us than ever before.  Creating a green, healthy home is something a lot of us would like to strive towards, but the majority of us don’t have the money to invest in creating a green home from scratch.

In his book, Randy gives three basic tenets for green redecorating that will help you to balance budgetary and environmental needs. [click to continue…]

DCA-sponsored Shredding Day with iSecure   |  Oct. 27, 12 noon-2 pm

The “chomper truck” will be in Downtown Citizens Bank’s parking lot and you can watch as it makes “mincemeat” out of your paper clutter.
So, clean out all that paper “stuff” that annoys you and bring it to the Shredding event.

Special thanks to iSecure’s Scott Krause generously offering this free service so that DCA can make it available to our Corvallis friends.

Controlling Workplace Clutter

September 6, 2012

Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals:
Controlling Workplace Clutter

Did you know that the average person spends more than two hours a week looking for stuff because his or her work area is disorganized? It can be a real problem. If you’re overwhelmed by your stuff and struggle to be clutter-free, then join Professional Organizer Kristin Bertilson in this fun session to learn how to get from where you are to where you want to be.

 

Guest Speaker:  Kristin Bertilson, Queen B Organizing

Date:  Wednesday, October 10th

Lunch:  11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Location:  Phoenix Inn, 3410 Spicer Dr. SE

Chamber Members: $15, Guests: $20
Registration Deadline: Friday, October 5th

Register Online Now

Please send your resume to getorganized@queenborganizing.com
if you are interested in any of the following positions: Office System Specialist, Residential Spaces Specialist, 
Relocation and Downsizing Specialist. Closing Date is 7/25/12

 

[click to continue…]

February 18th, 2012  |  10:00-12:00
Samantha Alley and the Home Team of RE/MAX Integrity is helping you to declutter!  Bring up to three boxes between you and your guest for shredding.  Samantha is paying for Shred It to take your document worries away.  You Must RSVP (Please let me know as spots are limited) by February 1st, 2012.
October 29, 2011 is the next take back day for your prescription drugs.  The following website will give you the contact information for this great program!

Processed medications await pick up at the pharmacy on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Oct. 25, 2011. Pharmacists in the 28th Medical Support Squadron carefully screen all medications to ensure quality product is supplied to their patients.

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Serving the Willamette Valley and providing service at no additional charge within 40 mile distance from Corvallis. see map