Monday, December 27, 2010

Professional Organizers - Have You Used One?

Happy New Year!

Miss Jan posed an interesting question in the comments section of a previous post and I thought it might be interesting to highlight.

Miss Jan said...
Hey, Lazy Girl,

Have you considered hiring outside help with your decluttering efforts? (i.e. professional organizers, etc.)

If so, I'd love to hear stories, or those of other readers.

As I responded to Miss Jan, I have not hired an organizer, but if you have, tell us your story.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How Did I Do It?

This year I accomplished something I really did think might be impossible. It had me paralyzed for a LONG time. I had a lot of shame associated with it, and that just exacerbated the problem.

I moved into my house in the spring and in addition to bringing the stuff from my apartment that filled my house, I had two storage bins that were each a house full as well. One was from a previous move and was just "temporary" storage until I decided where to land. The other was full of my mother's things I had inherited when she passed away the previous year.

Besides the fact that I just had too much stuff for one person, I had to make some serious decision about how to get rid of it.

One day I decided to take the plunge. I scheduled a day for the movers to deliver everything from my move the previous year. Not only had I been paying hundreds each month to have them store it, I had lived with the weight of it on my shoulders. That was worse than losing the money.

They brought it. It filled up every inch of my two-car garage but a tiny pathway to the door. It was piled to the ceiling.

I wasn't going to live like this. I hadn't bought my house with a garage to have my car parked on the street because I had collected too much crap.

I dove in. In 3 (LONG) days it was gone. I had gone through every box and every bag. Each item went to either the Goodwill, the house or in a box ready and labeled my Ebay pile.

The weight was gone. I pulled my car into the garage and to this day, each time I do I smile and say "well done" to myself.

Now just one storage bin to go!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Frugal Living is NOT Just For The Hard Times

Frugal living is fun! Making things last, saving the planet, saving your money - it's a win-win!

This one of my favorite books of all time: The Complete Tightwad Gazetteby Amy Dacyczyn(pronounced 'decision').

In March of 1991 I first read about Amy. She and her family were featured on the cover of Parade Magazine. At the time she had only a hard copy newsletter. I subscribed and was amazed at the quality of the articles. Amy is a serious tightwad, but she is also very fun and has a very lighthearted style of writing. She doesn't expect that everyone will be as "extreme" as she is, but she follows her mission very seriously and encourages folks to come along for the ride at whatever level of commitment they choose.

Eventually her popularity grew and the newsletter archives became her first book. There were two more books and then this compilation.

Amy met her financial goals and dropped out of the public arena. There has been nothing new from her for many years, but I assume she is still enjoying her large family and her home in the woods.

She has inspired many to look at frugality in a new way. Not as a restriction, but as freedom. You will not be sorry to have The Complete Tightwad Gazette in your library. It is a classic.

Let me know if you're an Amy fan and/or your success with frugal living.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Just Do It! Nike was right!

Why are some of us able to jump right in and start executing when we have an idea, and some of us are paralyzed until we sort out and understand every nuance (and potential nuance) of a project? If you are reading this, you are probably in the second category like me. But what is it about those people who don't have to research every possibility, examine every possible flaw in an idea or project, follow every possible chain reaction to its conclusion? I love and hate them at the same time! LOL!

I've spent thousands of dollars on therapy and one of the 2 or 3 ideas that really sticks with me is the importance of just doing it - whatever it is.

I believe that all types are important. I'm not diminishing the importance we "thinkers" play in the scheme of things, I just know that I have to balance my natural inclinations with actually getting something done. I've thought of writing a blog for a couple of years. I've also wanted to learn internet marketing and web site development. But how many possibilities are there for a blog subject, a blog name? A product to market? It's an infinite amount and I could infinitely think about it without doing one blasted thing.

But, this fall I decided I had to shake off the cobwebs and TRY some possibilities, not just think about them. I thought, heck, I'll just pick a topic I really know something about and start writing about it. So two years after first thinking about a blog, I picked "procrastination" and here I am!

I figured I can't be the only one that struggles and I have learned a few helpful ideas along the way. The thing I enjoy most in life is sharing solutions and information so it is turning out to be a good fit. Nothing is more fun to me than hearing someone ponder how to do or find out something I know about or know how to find out about and getting the information for them. Aaahhh, bliss.

So let's help each other JUST DO IT. Thinking is good, doing is better. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Finding the Movtivation to Clear Your Clutter

Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. This book changed my life. It got me to admit to myself the toxic effect that my clutter was having on my present and my future. The author has a spiritual world view that is different than mine and the second half of the book is a little hocus-pocusee to me. But the first half (which is well worth the price of the entire book) is 1) a clearing of the fog as to WHY we should de-clutter and 2) REALLY practical steps to take to begin and continue the journey.

And, I suppose I would have to say that it seems to me there is something between a solely practical view and a metaphysical view of an issue. Is there a spiritual link between having an object in a certain part of your house and generating wealth? I don't see it. Is there some kind of 'vibe' that is created when you feel better that gives you the energy to want to create wealth? I see it.

Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui is the first step in your journey to a clutter free life.

Before we start such a daunting process, we have to really own the belief that there is a better way and that it should be taken. I've just begun to read Karen's book again and I think that I will review it here, chapter by chapter to get myself (and hopefully you) kick started again. If you would like your own copy, you can order it here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Feed the Hungry

Your trash can is your friend - and it's hungry!

I love this phrase and word picture. It has been keeping me going lately. It too is from Peter Walsh's book "It's All Too Much".

My friend Jim and I say it to each other almost every day. He too is on a de-cluttering mission. Sometimes you have to make it funny or you'll go insane!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Art of Visualization

It's not what you think. By visualization I mean have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish BEFORE you even start doing any work. It's not my idea - I got it from Peter Walsh's book, It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff.Peter is so right on when he points out that before you even start to tackle the clutter/mess, you've got to have a vision for that particular space/room.

And Peter doesn't just mean is this a guest room or an office or living room. Peter means besides the basic "label" of the room - how do you want to function in that space? Is it important for you to be able to clean it easily? Will others be using this space? Do you need to access things quickly in this space without having to move other things to get to them?

Before you start - really think about these questions and develop a clear vision of how you want to move and function in the space. Then as you start to go through the clutter, the decisions about what to keep and what to toss become much, much easier. If it doesn't support your vision - it's gone.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Welcome to the Lazy Girl Cottage! Grab a cup of coffee and let's sit around and think about how we want to clear our clutter, simplify our lives, save some money and perhaps go a little greener.

I say "think about it" because that's way easier than actually doing something about it! Here at the Lazy Girl Cottage we'll share tips, inspire each other and try to get motivated to actually DO something about our clutter.

I love to read books about clearing clutter, getting organized, saving to become a millionaire, etc. Do I always act on the information? Heavens no! But my intentions are always very good.

I began the journey about 6 years ago. As we go along I will share my successes as well as my failures and hopefully give you encouragement and hope as you share yours as well.

Blessings to all my fellow procrastinators. Come to the cottage and feel right at home!