Make Every Day Earth Day!

When you hear the words “professional organizer” does your brain immediately bring up images of shelves with matching, labeled plastic bins?  Everything in it’s place.  Everything clean, clear and, umm… plastic?

And when you think of decluttering, do you imagine dumpsters & big black garbage bags full of all the junk that is no longer needed?

I can understand why these images might appear.

It makes sense to use plastic to organize- it is often cheap, accessible, versatile & easy to clean. And decluttering does leave you with a whole bunch of stuff that has to be taken care of – and some of it is definitely trash!

But I am working to create a broader image of what decluttering & organizing looks & feels like, and it has to do with being more eco-conscious.

Here are some of the things that I am doing at Kate: Declutter & Redesign that support my mission to offer a more eco-friendly way to declutter & organize spaces.

Finding alternatives to plastics – Whenever possible, we are reusing items that are already found in your home or seeking out storage solutions that have a lighter impact on the Earth’s resources.

Engaging with Multiple Resources to Donate & Recycle – I am continuing to add to my list of resources that will take the items that you no longer want.

Recycling with Terracycle – There are lots of items that I have a hard time throwing away but are not recycled locally, so I am using Terracycle to fill that need. I recycle tooth care supplies, eye wear, office supplies, & art supplies in this way.

Bringing Intention & Purpose to Stuff – Decluttering involves conversations, clarity, & shifts in how we think about & use our stuff. During the process we uncover how much you need & want, which often leads to thoughtful purchasing in the future.

Continuing to Learn & Evolve – This year, I joined a small group of NAPO colleagues who are committed to eco-friendly practices. The monthly calls are offering insight into best practices & a network to share ideas & questions.

Kate: Declutter & Redesign’s service reflects my passion to be a more conscious consumer & a friendly recycler (I don’t know if that really is a term, but it sounds good to me!) It is an evolving journey (there are some plastic containers that are so handy that it is hard to shift away from them)… but this initiative will continue to be at the forefront of service!

And there is no judgment if this isn’t a high priority for you at this time. You can leave the decisions to me & benefit from the relief that your items are being passed along with genuine thoughtfulness!

YOUR TURN…

Want to know more about my eco-organizing mission? Read this interview with Flourish.

If you feel stuck with too much clutter because you want to make sure it doesn’t end in the landfill, then consider my partnership & resources to get your project moving ahead?

Added bonus – for a small fee I lift the burden of donating & take your items with me after our session. Image how light you will feel when your extras are no longer clogging up your spaces!

Ahhh…

Contact me today!

Latest Book on My Resource List – Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

I have been a follower of Gretchen Rubin since her book “The Happiness Project” came out in 2009. Since then I have gleaned tons of useful ways to look at my own life from Gretchen’s study & writings on human nature & how we interact with our world. 

Gretchen continues to dig deeper into the very topics that get me excited in a style that is fun & non-threatening, yet informative & useful!  I have read her books, listened to her podcast, & taken her online Four Tendencies Quiz.

Her latest book Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make Room for Happiness was released last month.  It is a small book full of quotes, tips, & insights around the idea of creating outer order. She breaks them down into 5 stages: how to make choices, clear clutter, know yourself & others, cultivate helpful habits, & add beauty.

Gretchen’s study of happiness led her to the conclusion that for most of us, outer order creates inner calm.  She also notes that how we achieve that outer order varies from person to person. She believes there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  We each need to find the strategies to clear & maintain our spaces in a way that fits our personality, situation & desires.

“Gretchen Rubin has found that getting more control of our stuff makes us feel more in control of our lives. By getting rid of things we don’t use, don’t need, or don’t love, as well as things that don’t work, don’t fit, or don’t suit, we free our mind (and our shelves) for what we truly value.”

gretchenrubin.com

This book is a compilation of strategies & tips that you may have heard or read before, but that seems to be the point of the book.  She is offering lots of suggestions in hopes that you will pinpoint the ones that truly resonate with YOU. Read through, tag or highlight the ones that fit your situation & personality, and then give them a try!

Her work has always been easy to digest & implement because she offers great “real-life” examples that can lead to small or big shifts. I often reference her 4 Tendencies when working with clients because it offers great insight into personality & motivation.

This book is now on my resource list because anyone that picks it up is sure to find a new strategy that could shift the way they think about clutter & their spaces. And I am committed to supporting an author that understands that humans are unique & we need to be open to finding solutions that honor & embrace this fact!

Read on!

Want even more inspiration? Check out the rest of my resource list!

Spring Clearing Events

Spring is here and many communities are making it easier for us to let go of the unwanted, unneeded, unused items that have been taking up space.  You will find events that make it easier to get stuff out of your garage or basement, events that circulate our stuff and raise money for great causes, events that allow us to repair and reuse, and events that ensure our things are being passed on consciously.

Take advantage of the energy of spring clearing by checking into the things going on in your neighborhood that will make the process of letting go easier!  Check your local newspaper, or make a call to city hall, the library, or your local recycling center to find out what is scheduled in your area.

Here are some of the great events around the Northfield/Rice County area.

City Clean-Up Days

Maintenance Facility 1710 Riverview Drive Northfield, MN

Saturday, May 4 and Saturday, May 11, 2019  7 a.m. – 11 a.m.

City of Northfield

Northfield Hospital Auxiliary Book Fair

Donations accepted at the Northfield Ice Arena

Donation dates:
• April 9-12 & April 15-19  weekdays 9 am – 5 pm
• April 13 Saturday 9 am – 1 pm & April 20 9 am -noon

https://www.facebook.com/Auxiliarybookfair/

Repair Fair

Carleton College

April 14th from 12 – 4 pm in the Weitz lobby

Community members, students, and staff can attend and receive assistance in fixing and mending household items and also learn more about low-impact, low-waste options.

Get your items fixed (for free!) by dropping by during the hours of 12 – 4 pm and you will get in line. Don’t worry about waiting at the Weitz- they will save your spot and call you when you are next!

Free and open to the community!

https://apps.carleton.edu/sustainability/events/?event_id=1689908&date=2018-03-31

Your Turn…

If you know of other great events, send me a message and I will add them to my list or pass on the info. to clients & through my social network!  Together we can make the decluttering process feel as light & easy as possible!

To learn more about the events that I am putting on this spring, click HERE!

The Courage to DIY

How many times have you started a project only to have it stall out because the next step required a little extra muscle, a handyperson, or a tool that you had never used before?  I see this all the time, which is why lately I have been boosting my DIY skills to be a partner that can help ensure that projects reach completion.

That doesn’t mean I am willing to get in over-my-head.  I know my limits.

And I understand that time, energy and money can be saved when we call in a partner with specific expertise (that’s why you call me, right!).  But what I am talking about is adding some tools to my tool belt (literally and figuratively) & then mixing in a dose of courage to be a better ally to myself and my clients.

Here are a couple of examples 

Earlier this winter, I was working with a client in her daughter’s bedroom & the goal was to hang all of the amazing artwork that had been created over the summer.

This is a project that can easily be put off or overlooked since there can be multiple steps to see it through to completion.  But this client was ready & excited to get this checked off of her list!

During our session we made sure we had the right tools for the job, framed the art, mapped out the placement, organized the arrangements,  & put it all on the walls.  It took a little pre-planning, a little extra measuring, & a little tweaking, but the end result = art hung & a happy mom & daughter!

Another session involved reorganizing the laundry room in a client’s new house.  The space had been set up for the previous owner, but now we were making it work for her small family. 

The ironing board hanger in the closet was taking up prime space that could be used by the brooms & mops that needed a home.  Once again, it was time to pull out a few tools, my courage, and then go for it.

With the right tools, it didn’t take long to take down the ironing board hanger & replace it with a broom hanger.  A project that needed a little dedicated time & a little extra muscle was checked off the list.  Mops & brooms were hung & the closet was ready for action.

The relief of getting these projects completed was conveyed by both clients and I left each session giving myself a little pat on the back for adding a little courage to my tool belt & putting to use some skills that can make a big difference in bringing a project to completion.

 

Your Turn…

Is there a project that you have been longing to tackle or finish but something is stopping you? 

How could your outlook about this project change if you added a dose of courage?

Do you need a partner to boost your courage & ease the overwhelm around this project?

Tell me about it!

 

Finding a Way to Lighten the Load

We are in the middle of one crazy winter here in Minnesota & I am finding that as the snow & snow days continue to pile on, my patience & energy are quickly melting.

But I know that this season will eventually pass & that my grumbling isn’t going to change Mother Nature’s plans. And it does nothing to help the mood around our house!

So today I am committed to making a shift & here’s how.

First, I’m going to acknowledge that IT’S OK to be CRABBY! This has been one loooong haul! At times it has sucked! Plans have had to be changed or put on hold. Calendars rearranged then rearranged again! My flexibility buttons have been pushed to their limits!

So yes! It’s ok to be crabby! I’m going to allow myself to feel it! Maybe even scream it!!!

Then it’s time to MOVE ON & look for some small moments of gratitude.

Here are a few that are coming to mind for me:

  • The treadmill has been dusted off & given some use.
  • We have been able to offer a helping hand around the neighborhood with our trusty snowblower.
  • A choir concert was cancelled which meant we had a night in to play a new card game with the kids.
  • We are making history (and lots of memories) with each snow fall!
  • We are fortunate to have a warm house to protect us from the cold.

After that I am going to offer myself a little SELF-CARE. All of this time indoors with my kids (and husband) around has depleted my energy reserve. This introvert is going to offer myself permission to retreat into a good book or take a couple hours off to do a hobby that I enjoy. I may even bundle up & brave the biting cold to enjoy a quiet walk.

And then I am going to continue to tell myself that this is temporary. Winter is only one season & it will have to move on eventually!

My expectations may have had to shift a little to adjust to the weather’s unpredictability but eventually routine will re-emerge. We will talk about braving the winter of 2019 & feel pride that we found ways to persevere.

This quote in Of Mess & Moxie by Jen Hatmaker, reminds me that even if another storm blows in this week & adds another couple inches to our snow banks, I am the one that gets to choose how I will respond.

YOUR TURN…

How are you handling the unpredictability of this winter weather?  What have you done that allows you to keep perspective, reserve energy, or make the best of this season? I’d love to hear it!

I believe that the more we offer each other permission to be ourselves in our struggles & in our joys, the easier this world becomes for us all.