Saturday, January 30, 2016

Thievery of the Interwebs Can Help Us All

I could not say it better myself. No, really, I couldn't . . . so I'm stealing it from Three articles covering everything I preach and believe about living with only the things you love and need, and living without clutter chaos so your brain can live without general chaos. I ask you to consider this theory, and really ask if you can argue it:  Live in a mess, feel like a mess. 

Your home is your sanctuary, and if it isn't, I really believe it should be. It's where we go to be safe, to rest, to refuel, to love family, to love pets, to store all the stuff we need to live and thrive. It's where we keep ourselves clean, groomed, presentable, healthy ~ outside and inside. A home often reflects how we feel about ourselves, but also a home can create a BETTER feeling about ourselves. As I have said before, the best compliment I ever get is: 

"I feel so much better after you've been here!"

And I do too! :-)   xo ruby

PS - This particular point is far down in the 2nd article and maybe my favorite, so I will post it here, as well, to give you a preview - this is something I say to almost every client with paper files:

"5. Your filing system is too complicated and so you never stick with it for long. That's really awesome that you spent that weekend alphabetizing and labeling and whatever else-ing until your home was the absolute pinnacle of organization — for like a day. But if something is too complicated — or too hard to get to — you won't stick with it.  And sometimes being too specific with labels can work against you — when you come across something that doesn't perfectly fit into a label you end up not putting it away and a pile gets started.  And piles multiply faster than tribbles."

1) The Biggest Reason You’re Still Drowning in Clutter 

(And What to Do About It)

Do you regularly put in real, genuine effort to declutter your home, but still find yourself being overwhelmed by all the stuff? Do you ever wonder where it all comes from? There could be one thing that you're doing that's keeping the clutter levels high; see if it's something you can eliminate from your life to help eliminate your clutter.

You're hoping you'll use something again

In other words, you're keeping things just in case.
Yes, it's hope getting in the way of you really digging into that minimalist lifestyle you dream of. Hope in many ways is a good thing — but when it comes attached to objects around your house you can't seem to shake, it can turn into a clutter crutch.
Maybe you'll be able to fit into your high school jeans again. Perhaps you'll finally find time to practice that flute you played in middle school. Maybe you will actually use that table that's been sitting ignored in a corner for months and months. And on and on and on.
Though it might seem scary to get rid of something you haven't used in ages because of the very real possibility of needing it (or wanting it) again some day, you getting rid of something you never use now doesn't mean the world is being annihilated of that type of object. If the need arises in the future, you can borrow or buy in the future if you do end up needing it. Isn't that a little better than stuff piling up around you? Stuff you hope you'll use, but that you aren't actually using now (nor the near future)?
So what can you do if it's hope that's keeping you surrounded by objects you don't currently need but you hope you'll find a use for? Well you want to apply the same sort of decluttering advice as we usually dispense around here: Declutter systematically and often. But if you're the kind of person who hinges on hope, listen to your answers when you ask yourself if you really need objects in your home. If "someday" "maybe" "could" "might" and other such future-sounding words tend to accompany the reason why you need to hold on to an object you haven't used in years, then it might be time to let go.
Does this idea apply to you...and is it perhaps what's behind clutter's hold on your home?

2) 6 Ways You're Making Staying Organized 

Harder Than It Has to Be

You may have discovered (thanks to this post) that you've been making keeping your house clean harder than it has to be. Might you also be making it harder to keep your house organized, cleaning's important and annoying cousin? A stress-free house is not just a dust-free one, it's one where you can find stuff when you need it and don't have stacks of unnecessary stuff adding to your home's clutter. Check out this list of six ways you might be making it harder to stay organized and see what you can eliminate this weekend!
1. You don't immediately toss unimportant stuffPut a recycling bin next to your mail box and a shredder next to your door. The moment you get your mail, toss what you don't need, shred personal info-marked things you don't need and then immediately file what you need to file. Don't put things in a basket to look at later. If you want to look at it later — just put it where it's supposed to be anyway, and go look at it later there.
2. You emotionally hold on to stuff you know you don't need
This is always a tough one, since objects can have memories attached to them. But we're not talking about that stuff. We're talking about the hiking boots you've never worn once that you keep hanging on to because you might climb Everest one day. We're talking about the "perfectly good" things you bought for a good reason but have never used once.When it comes to keeping organized, having more stuff than you need to organize is just silly. Less stuff, less things that will need organizing.
3. You've convinced yourself you don't have enough room, and so have given up hope. Hey we get it. Having a tiny home is tough on staying organized, especially when you lack obvious storage. But don't give up and give in. Kick that defeatist attitude to the curb! Pay attention to the first two tips in this post for sure. But then also make sure you're maximizing the storage you do have. Got three inches under your bed? Use them! Have only one hanging rod in your closet? Come on — fit more in there! Don't have any shelves above your doors or up high? You've got to be kidding me. If you don't have room for the things you legitimately need, make room. But don't make extra storage for future stuff, as you'll definitely find something to fill it up with.
4. You haven't given yourself the right tools.
The trick here is really giving yourself the right organizing tools that work for you. Spend a week or more really looking at your home and where the clutter collects. Are you someone who tosses clothes around your room when trying on outfits and never re-hangs them up? Either switch to drawers or plan your outfits ahead of time and place an over-the-door hanger in the room just for that purpose. Are you a chronic junk drawer creator? Fill it with dividers so you're forced to stick to a system. You don't have to get fancy and drop a ton of money at the Container Store, but do invest in the tools you'll need if they'll help you.
5. Your filing system is too complicated and so you never stick with it for long. That's really awesome that you spent that weekend alphabetizing and labeling and whatever else-ing until your home was the absolute pinnacle of organization — for like a day. But if something is too complicated — or too hard to get to — you won't stick with it. And sometimes being too specific with labels can work against you — when you come across something that doesn't perfectly fit into a label you end up not putting it away and a pile gets started. And piles multiply faster than tribbles.
6. You're not asking for help when you need it or setting boundaries.
There's no shame in asking for organizing help from a friend if you need it. But you also need to learn to ask for help with the people you live with — work with them on showing them the organizational methods you've put into place and tell them it's important they follow them, too.
What ways do you think you're making it harder to stay organized around your house? 

3) Breaking Up With Your Belongings:

Decluttering Tips for the Sentimentalist

Are you sentimentally attached to your stuff? Do you still have the Benetton sweater you wore in junior high or an absurd collection of oven mitts because you got them on sale at Anthropologie and the fabric is so cute you can't bear to part with one? Me too. Here is some advice on how to let go of some of your goods.
It all started when I was a little girl. I would save every birthday card, note passed in class and scrap of paper that felt even slightly reverent. Living in a small home, my sentimental nature has become a problem. After scouring the web for professional advice aimed out decluttering sentimental items, here are some tips that I learned.
  • The fire clause. Ask yourself what you would want to take with you in case of a fire. This is a great way to determine what you truly value. I now store all my priceless momentos together in a vintage trunk and sleep peacefully.
  • The function clause. Decide what in your home has a purpose — and what doesn't. Ask yourself why you are holding on to the items that don't have a specific use and decide if the space they are taking up is worth it.
  • The someday clause. In most cases get rid of the things your are hoping to use or wear "someday". Chances are someday will come and you won't like the thing anymore anyway.
  • The happiness clause. Last but not least, keep the things that make you truly happy. I have a little wooden boat that is weathered and ancient that I found while backpacking in Europe that just makes me smile. It has no tangible purpose, but I'd save it before my functional toaster any old day.
all articles reposted from

It's All Gonna Be OK!

I just gave some much needed TLC to a closet in NoHo, and my sweet client kindly allowed me to take some pics. 

How's your closet looking? 

This only took 4 hours, including the chest of drawers (in which ALL drawers were almost empty when I began) and a couple loads of laundry - Yes, I'll do some laundry if it means getting your closet and clothes in order! One thing I really wish we'd had were all matching, flocked hangers ~ but I can do that next time, she's a good repeat customer :-) 

Flocked hangers not only look nice, they keep your clothes ON the hanger AND they give you up to 40% more space on the rod -- it's really amazing! Try it, with or without me! 



Thanks again to my NoHo Mamasita, and thanks to you for reading!