3 Common Excuses for Clutter & How to Stop Making Them

Many of the individuals we work with struggle with maintaining a clutter-free home. They truly want to have an organized home and life, but when it comes to the execution we often hear the same excuses again and again. While we understand that things do come up and that no one is organized all of the time, there are ways to minimize the excuses and get on a consistent organizing plan.

1) “It’s Not Me, It’s My Partner”: Occasionally this excuse is true, but often times both people are contributing to the problem in some way. With this issue, we recommend several strategies. First, work together to devise an organizing and cleaning plan. Both partners must contribute to the design and it should include responsibilities for each person. If need be, create a physical chart with check marks for completion of tasks each week. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, schedule a meeting to discuss what obstacles are getting in the way and how you can work together to achieve the goal. The second part of this plan is to reinforce when effort has been made. If you see your partner picking up the house, thank and compliment them. Expressed appreciation encourages continued effort more than anything else.

2) “I don’t have the time”: Many people are very busy with work and life, but typically the average person has extra free time that they just aren’t utilizing to the fullest. For example, while watching tv at night you can also be folding laundry or putting items back where they belong. The other part of this issue, is the ability to clean as you go. If you are cooking dinner for the family, try to wash a few pots along the way. At the end of dinner, all you’ll have left are a few plates and silverware, making the clean up process quick and easy.

3) “I don’t have enough space to be organized”: This is one we see a lot! The underlying issue is that for people like this, no amount of space will ever be enough. They accumulate to their max capacity and if they had a bigger home, they would do it there too. To rectify these situations we recommend a few tips. First, doing a major purge two times per year will help keep the possessions to an acceptable and livable level. The one in one out strategy is also great for individuals like this. For every new item that comes into the home, one must leave. This will assist you in maintaining the smaller amount of items after your first purge.

Clutter happens to everyone, but recognizing when you’re making unnecessary excuses for it can help keep the problem from happening in the first place.

TWOW

Garage Sales: How to Organize & Run a Successful Sale

The Well-Organized Woman is a big fan of donating household excess to charity, but if you’re looking to make a bit of money off of the items you’ve culled, garage sales are excellent options. Although the process may seem straightforward, we’ve pulled together several strategies that can help ensure a successful sale.

Research & Plan: Many cities regulate the number, type, and location of signs that you may post around town to advertise your sale. They may also require a permit be pre-purchased in order to host, so make sure to investigate the rules and regulations in advance of your planned date.

While scheduling the sale, there are several things to keep in mind. First, do a bit on online research and see if there are any other neighborhood sales already scheduled that you can join in on. These tend to draw larger crowds and increase your opportunity for sales. Second, take into consideration that holidays, days in which there are large local events scheduled, and vacation season may not be the most ideal times to host your event.

Advertise: The most important thing you can do to drive traffic to your sale is to advertise. For physical signs, choose brightly colored paper and use arrows to indicate directions to your location. Include cross streets on signs that are posted farther out and utilize sales slogans such as, ‘everything must go’ to excite passersby. Additionally, you can make use of online resources, such as craigslist.com, garagesalestracker.com, yardsalesearch.com, garagesale.com, and various social media sites. For smaller communities, newspapers and bulletin boards can also be helpful tools. Generally, advertisements should be posted 1-2 weeks before the sale.

Organize: Prior to the big day, plan to spend some time preparing your goods. Every item should be clean (to a reasonable extent), priced, and bundled with coordinating accessories. It is also helpful to group like-items together, to make shopping easier for your patrons. For example, kitchen items can be placed on one table, while clothes are on another. When pricing items, be thoughtful about the expected deals shoppers intend to find. Unless the item is brand new, the price should be deeply discounted.

Hosts should also prepare for the sale by procuring change, including more one and five dollar bills than you think you will need. It is also smart to have a plan for the cash exchange process. Will one person handle all sales or will several? Will the change be stored in a box, a wallet, or somewhere else? Having answers to these questions ahead of time will save confusion and hassle during the sale.

Display: Just as stores merchandise their products in a fashion that is both pleasing to the eye and easily shoppable, so too should you. While setting up your sale, take time to display your goods in a way that is organized, but also interesting. For example, if you have china or decorative pieces, consider setting them up as a set table thus illustrating to your customers the way the set could look in their home.

With a bit of planning and a lot of organization you are sure to have a profitable sale.

Good Luck!
TWOW

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