How photographing your clutter makes it easier to let go

According to consumer psychologists in CNN’s article The life-changing science of photographing your clutter

"In studies conducted online and in person, we found that participants reported that they would experience less identity loss from donating a cherished item if they had photographed it or preserved the memory of it some other way.”

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

The oldest bank statement I found this year

….was from 1986.  In my career, I’ve certainly found older! I thought you’d chuckle, cringe, or relate.  Hey, sometimes it takes 31 years to let go.  Better late than never.

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

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Free shredding event in October in Bethesda, MD

Free shredding events are golden opportunities to unload your paper.  You may already have your shredding separated, but didn’t know where to take it, or the shredding is still mixed in with the keep, the recycle, and everything else you can think of.  Either way, don’t let one pass you by.

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119 Circle

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

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Odd tossing rituals? You’re not alone.

I once had a client who, upon dropping each piece of paper into the recycling bin, tore the piece in half straight down the middle.  She told me she didn’t know why she had to do it that way, but it’s just the way it was.  I’m all for whatever works, so I followed suit and did the same.

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119 Circle

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

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What happened when I let go of my U2 collection

For as long as I can remember I’ve been U2 fan. However, the first cassette I ever bought was Milli Vanilli. My sister (8 years my senior) was so embarrassed by my musical taste, so she started feeding me what she was listening to. Two years previous in 1987, U2’s Joshua Tree album came out.

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119 Circle

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

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Mail your donations with Give Back Box

If you’ve watched my One Thing In, One Thing Out video and are committed to letting go of as much as you bring in, boy have I got a link for you.  Give Back Box is an organization that allows you to pack your empty cardboard boxes with donations to send in to your nearest participating Goodwill store - for FREE.

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119 Circle

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

Please share: What is the one thing you should throw out?

Love him or hate him, I’m a rabid devotee of author, entrepreneur, investor, seeker, Tim Ferriss. His is my desert island podcast, which is why it was fun to listen to Tim being interviewed by Stephen Dubner on his Freakonomics radio show.  To listen to a masterful interviewer is to ask oneself, “why haven’t I ever asked that question?”  He asked this of Tim, and I’d like you to answer it too:

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119 Circle

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

In

Could you fill only two trash bags in 1 year?

I don’t think I could either, but I’m incredibly humbled that any American can. Last week my client sent me home with the print edition of the Washington Post’s All My Trash For a Year Fit Into Two Plastic Bags: Here’s How I Did It. Author, and ultimate walker of the walk, Darshan Karwat, went to great social and consumer extremes to only fill two plastic bags of trash...

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How to get rid of 564 items in a month

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A lot of minimalism articles are just fluff, explaining its popularity without teaching the execution, which is why I liked Why Tidying Up Could Change Your Life in The Guardian. It offers 5 applicable steps for lightening your load and becoming a minimalist.  Step #2 challenges readers to play the 30 day minimalism game.Here's how it works: on day one, donate/toss/recycle/trash one item.  On day two, get rid of two items.  Repeat with three items on day three.  Repeat daily and by the end of the month you will have 564 less items!  This technique has you anticipating, planning and earmarking items for tomorrow.  It even has built-in accountability with #minsgame so you can share your wins with others and see pics of what your fellow challengers are chucking!

Read the article here.  Up for the challenge?  What would you donate/trash on day 1?  Day 15?  Day 30?? Please share in the comments!

119 Circle

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

[VIDEO] How Much to Toss When Organizing

I get asked this question all the time so I thought I'd answer it for you! "How much should I really be throwing away?" 

Grab a piece of paper and write down what percentage of things in your office you expect are trash. Do this right now! There's no right or wrong answer.

But whatever answer you wrote down, you will most likely exceed it.

So I don't actually have a set rule each client should stick to.

The number I want you to start with is the one that just came to mind, bumped up a little.

So please tell me in the comments - what number came to mind for you?

 

kacyRoundOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

Cheap shredding at Office Depot

shredderMy clients are always thrilled to hear that all Office Depot stores offer shredding for $.99 per pound of paper.

I've had a few report back to me that it is indeed as easy as it sounds.

Knowledge is power.  

As of today you have no excuse for harboring those bags and boxes of paper to shred on a rainy day.

Full details here.

Have you already used Office Depot's shredding service? Let me know in the comments if so.

 

Office Organizing ExKacy Paidepert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

How To Dismantle (And Love Again) A Beloved Collection

  Once upon a time in crawl space sat a treasure box.  Well, a treasure box disguised as a Tupperware bin.  Up until last weekend, it housed more than thirty batik fabric pieces I collected during my trips to Bali, Indonesia - last trip being in 2002.  I consider them to be some of the most beautiful things I own, attached to so many beautiful memories.  I bought them with intentions of cutting them up into so many projects, but there they sat, eternally folded, lonely, and probably missing Bali too.  Recently, I asked myself, “How special is an object if it never sees the light of day?”

A few years back I turned my most beloved antique one into two pillowcases that I now sleep on every night.  This is the one that I would have liked to preserve as if it were the Constitution in the Archives.  It was the softest piece of cotton I’ve ever touched and begged so many questions about who wore it.  It’s so much happier under my head though, and I’m so much happier being reminded of my trips every time I go to bed.  The rest remained boxed tight in the dark.

Many of you know I’ve been on my own personal decluttering bender lately.  First it was the Domino Magazine collection, then it was my only bookcase, and this recent attack was on this fabric collection.  No one is safe here at Planet Kacy.  You should see what I just did to my cook books….  So there the remaining thirty some batiks sat.

Even though I have enough storage space, my inner organizer is always nagging me to keep it as empty as possible.  Being your own professional organizer comes with a lot of chatter upstairs.  She constantly nags, “If it’s stored, why do you need it?  If you never see it, why is it there?  Yes you have beautiful things tucked away, but aren’t your favorite things already out?”  So a few weekends ago I gave in and brought out that box.

Like most organizing projects, parts were harder than I thought and parts were easier than I thought:

Batik sorting
Batik sorting

The hard parts:

-       The beginning.

-       All of the “But this one is so beautiful!” moments.

-       Remembering details about purchasing each and every one.

-       Deciding which first few pieces would go.

The easy parts:

Image
Image

- Deciding which ones would go (these on the right) after getting my sea legs with letting go of the first few.

- Pretty containerizing at the very end for the pieces I kept.  I repurposed a stray jumbo apothecary jar.

- Coming up with some rules.  Let it go if it’s:

- Machine made (as opposed to hand-dyed).

- Pre-fabricated for a piece of furniture I don’t own (ie: a square tablecloth)

- Was a gift and I’m only keeping it because it’s a gift.  I cherished that gift long enough, right?  Nobody said we have to keep gifts forever.

Image 1
Image 1

So in the end, I was left with a mostly empty box, a beautiful one-of-a-kind display, and ten batiks to sell.  I can enjoy these pieces instead of bemoan the space they take up.

What are you “hoarding” that is too special to use?  Is it note cards you picked up overseas?  Is it a pen that was gifted to you?  Is it a collection from your travels that you thought too beautiful to display in your office?  Do you have a collection in mind that you can dismantle, condense, and finally start enjoying?  Please share in the comments!