Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Helpful Hint From A Client

One of my clients passed this onto me. I think many of you will find it helpful whether or not you suffer from ADD. Going through everything is a torturous process for many of us, but what we are actually doing is creating a foundation so all the items we decide to keep have a home. Once every item has a designated space, it makes it easier to discontinue the cycle of letting things pile up. Let me know if I can help you dig out from your clutter.



Uh-oh, It's Spring Cleaning Time!

Happy Spring! This is a great time of year—the days are longer, the colors are brighter, and we tend to have a lot more energy!
It's also the time of year that many of us look around and actually want to get our physical environments in shape...and that means getting rid of clutter!
So many adults with ADD are plagued with clutter. Our desks are covered with papers. Our sinks are full of dishes. Our floors and counters are covered with "stuff."
Where Does Clutter Come From?
Clutter builds up easily for many ADDers. Sometimes, we get distracted and just place a paper or an object wherever it's convenient. Other times we find that, despite our best efforts, we just don't know where to put something, so we put it anywhere. And then there are times when we just don't care what goes where and why, and we shun the idea of "organization."
How Clutter Affects the Mind
No matter why your clutter builds up, one things is clear: clutter affects the mind in a bad way.
Sometimes just looking at your clutter can zap your energy and motivation. You get angry with yourself for letting it get to this point...and then you feel bad.
You want to clean up, you want to be organized, but you just don't know where to start...and that makes you feel bad, too.
Because you don't know where to start—and because cleaning and organizing is not your favorite activity—you procrastinate...and that makes you feel even worse.
The result is that your clutter sticks around, and continues to build. And if you do manage to make some headway, chances are you'll be feeling bad again when the clutter quickly comes back. What an awful cycle!
What to Do
There is a proven, ADD-friendly method for dealing with clutter, and it's a 3-step process:
1. Sort your stuff.
This means going through all that clutter and figuring out what you have, what you need, and what you can get rid of.
2. Create the systems.
After you've successfully sorted all your stuff and you know what you need to keep, you'll need to figure out where to put it all!
This is the point where you start thinking about how to work with your ADD to keep your stuff organized. It means developing systems based on what will work for you, and NOT based on that organizing show you saw on TV.
3. Plan the follow-through.
No matter how great your organization systems are, your clutter will come right back if you don't put a plan in place to use your systems consistently!
And there's one more missing piece to this puzzle that trips up many ADDers: To make this process work, you must step back from the problem in order to create the solutions.
It's nearly impossible to find a lasting solution to your clutter challenge when you're standing in the middle of it. You've got to detach—both physically and mentally—to keep from getting overwhelmed by it.
Don't Judge Yourself
Lastly, don't judge yourself because you tend to accumulate clutter. It's a common problem and it does NOT indicate a character flaw! Just know that when you are ready to deal with it, you can successfully get rid of your clutter!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trash or Treasure

Very often clients ask me where they can recycle or donate items as they are going through clutter in their homes and offices. Last month's "O Magazine" had a very helpful list. Please go to their link below and check it out next time you have items that are too good to just toss.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

From Top To Bottom

A few weeks ago I began the first of four sessions with a client at her Gramercy Park townhouse. This client is extremely organized so when she called and asked me to help her with her closet because it's more fun doing it with someone else, I jumped at the chance. Not many people find de-cluttering fun, as I do, so I couldn't wait to transform her walk-in closet. Day one began with a house tour from top-to-bottom with my client pointing out the areas that bothered her the most. We decided to work our way down by starting with her main clothing closet in the master bedroom. For me the first order of business was to clear a path on the floor.

Once that was done we tackled the infinite number of shoes all marked clearly in their boxes. Then it was onto the clothes. Eight hours later (including a lunch break and two trips to the thrift store) we were done. Exhausted but exhilarated!

During our second session, we started at the bottom in the basement laundry room. It has very low ceilings so having items crowded into one space made it feel very encroaching for my very tall clients and not a welcoming place to do laundry. Again, we started with clearing the floor and the laundry folding table so they did not become dumping grounds for orphan items. While we were unable to go through all the boxes on the shelves (that's a task that has to wait for my client's husband to tackle), we did eliminate a box or two and created some space to get items previously on the floor, off.

Hard-to-reach corner shelves were cleared out and items were grouped together for easier access. I love that the folding table is clear except for a basket of hangers. I left a reminder on the surface to keep it for folding only!

We made three thrift shop runs (we are in thrift shop central which makes donating so easy) and put out at least four trash bags for pick-up. While this area is still a work in progress, I am thrilled my client would sneak downstairs periodically just to admire her newly-clear surfaces and floor. I am counting the days until next week to continue our organizing journey. I am already salivating at the thought of tackling the pantry and utility closet! The goal of this project as always, is to create a foundation so everything in a space has a home and areas no longer become dumping grounds because they have no place to go.

If you are struggling with a problem area in your home or office or have overcome your clutter issues, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on the blog, become a fan on Facebook or follow me on twitter.