Autumn Equinox - Home Organization

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The Autumn Equinox is about the poignant seasonal turning toward winter and inward time. It also a time for personal assessment and getting our homes in the right condition so that we are able to thrive and start fresh. 

Sharon Schweitzer's article gives some wonderful tips and advice on organizing for the fall. 

10 Tips for Organizing Your Home for Fall Equinox

1. Safety Check: Schedule your fall and winter heating maintenance and service. Be sure smoke detectors have fully charged batteries and carbon monoxide (CO2) detectors are in place and working.

2. Chimney Sweep: Hire a chimney sweep service to clean the soot out of your chimney. Even with gas and electric fires, clearing the chimney of bird nests and soot is essential to the safety of your home.

3. Camera & photos: Upload spring and summer vacation photos to the cloud. Be prepared with clear or new memory cards to shoot festive holiday pictures. Design and order holiday cards now.

4. Start early: Review your holiday checklists now. Ease the stress and enjoy.

5. Unpack & donate: Donate excess holiday décor and festive decorationsDo thisearly so another family can benefit and enjoy your beautiful décor. You will also save valuable storage space.

6. Create space: Organize your bedroom and hall closets for the busy social season. Clear space for guests’ coats by clearing and donating unneeded items. Add an artistic storage piece at the front door for gloves, scarves and umbrellas.

7. Don’t wait until the first freeze to discover coats are too small: Check coat, glove and mitten sizes now to be sure you and your family have the right size when they are needed. Donate clothing they have outgrown.

8. Fall cleaning. Family and holiday guests will be arriving, and you want your home to sparkle! Organize hall & guest room closets, and garage. Clean the carpets and windows. Deep clean the kitchen, refrigerator, and freezer in preparation for holiday cooking.

9. Extra warmth: Before the cold settles in, we have warm nights and chilly nights. Be prepared by placing a throw or comforter at the end of all of your beds for extra warmth. Place soft slippers bedside.

10. Gift list: Prepare a gift wish-list and ask your loved ones to share their thoughts on gift ideas. Start shopping online and at stores if you haven’t already.

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural consultant, an international protocol expert and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. 

Complete Book Home Organization

A great book with a lot of helpful hints! The beginning of the year is the best time to think about organizing now that the holidays have come and gone. By starting to organize your home you are able to control mental well-being and in turn have some peace of mind. 

"Have you ever wished you had the time and tools to organize your house in a clutter-free, design-conscious, Pinterest-worthy way? From storage solutions and cleaning tips to secret space-saving methods and expert strategies, The Complete Book of Home Organization is packed with the tips and shortcuts you need to effectively organize your home."

Nourishing Minimalism Challenge 2017!

Join the challenge put on by nourishingminimalism.com and receive a free Decluttering Chart!

"Each year, this blog hosts a decluttering challenge to get rid of the same number of items as the year. In 2017 everyone who joins the challenge will get rid of 2017 items from their homes. 24,440 people have signed up to do the challenge in years past..."

 

Get the Closet of Your Dreams - 6 Tips

"We reached out to Kendra Stanley, founder of Healthy Oganizing—an organization aimed to help people achieve their personal goals by decluttering their spaces—and she gave us six essential tips for creating the perfect closet space."

Read the entire article here on Sweet High.

https://www.sweetyhigh.com/read/closet-organization-tips-081716

The Secret Life of an Organiser - Anonymous

I clear my clients’ physical and emotional clutter.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/15/secret-life-of-an-organiser-clearing-clutter

"My day is busy from dawn until dawn, installing pretty containers, colour-blocking books within designer spaces and folding socks, Marie Kondo style. I wish. Professional organising is in actual fact dirty, physical – and disappointingly almost never involves styling."

Clutter Control

Clutter Control: Is Too Much 'Stuff' Draining You?

Get your clutter under control, and your attitude and health just may improve, too.

By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

WebMD Feature Archive

Clutter, Defined

What one person calls clutter another calls collections or treasures, so the first step is to figure out what qualifies as clutter. "Other people can't decide what is clutter for you," says Cynthia Townley Ewer of Richland, Wash., the editor of the web site Organized Home.

Peter Walsh, an organizational expert and former host of The Learning Channel's Clean Sweep show, divides clutter into two general types. "Memory" clutter is stuff that reminds us of important events, like old school programs or newspaper clippings. "Someday" clutter refers to items you won't toss because you feel you might need them someday.

"It's about balance," Walsh says of clutter control. "If you have so much stuff it drags you into the past or pulls you into the future, you can't live in the present."

Entire Article: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/clutter-control

A Book About Junk

Junk: Digging Through America's Love Affair with Stuff Hardcover – April 1, 2016

by Alison Stewart (Author)

"Junk has become ubiquitous in America today. Who doesn’t have a basement, attic, closet, or storage unit filled with stuff too good to throw away? Or, more accurately, stuff you think is too good to throw away.

When journalist and author Alison Stewart was confronted with emptying her late parents’ overloaded basement, a job that dragged on for months, it got her thinking: How did it come to this? Why do smart, successful people hold on to old Christmas bows, chipped knick-knacks, VHS tapes, and books they would likely never reread? She discovered she was not alone."

Deep Clutter

A Clutter Too Deep for Mere Bins and Shelves

by Tara Parker-Pope

Read the article here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/01/health/01well.html?_r=0

"Excessive clutter and disorganization are often symptoms of a bigger health problem. People who have suffered an emotional trauma or a brain injuryoften find housecleaning an insurmountable task. Attention deficit disorder, depression, chronic pain and grief can prevent people from getting organized or lead to a buildup of clutter. At its most extreme, chronic disorganization is called hoarding, a condition many experts believe is a mental illness in its own right, although psychiatrists have yet to formally recognize it.

Compulsive hoarding is defined, in part, by clutter that so overtakes living, dining and sleeping spaces that it harms the person’s quality of life. A compulsive hoarder finds it impossible, even painful, to part with possessions. It’s not clear how many people suffer from compulsive hoarding, but estimates start at about 1.5 million Americans."

The Simplicity Collective

"The central insight of voluntary simplicity is that by lowering our ‘standard of living’ (measured by income/consumption) we can actually increase our ‘quality of life’ (measured by subjective wellbeing). Paradoxical though it may sound, voluntary simplicity is about living more with less."

http://simplicitycollective.com/

"Voluntary simplicity, it could be said, is more about questions than answers, in the sense that practising simplicity calls for creative interpretation and personalized application. It is not for ‘experts,’ therefore, or for anyone, to prescribe universal rules on how to live simply. We each live unique lives and we each find ourselves in different situations, with different capabilities, and different responsibilities. Accordingly, the practice of simplicity by one person, in one situation, may very well involve different things to a different person, in a different situation. Furthermore, simple living is not so much a destination as it is an ongoing creative process. But, as I have implied, I do not think that this practical indeterminacy is an objection to the idea."

2016 Decluttering Challenge

"Setting up daily habits is the turning point in keeping a clean home: it will take you from messy and overwhelmed to capable and confident. It will be a pleasure to invite people over and make contentment with your surroundings possible. That, dear friends, is freedom. Jumpstart Your Decluttering Now"

http://nourishingminimalism.com/2015/12/2016-in-2016-decluttering-challenge.html

Spend less on stuff, more on experiences

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 By James Wallman

"Surely we’ve had enough of materialism? There has to be more to life, so let’s try experientialism instead."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/27/spend-less-on-stuff-experiences-materialism-experientialism

"First, I read some research by two psychologists at UCLA, Rena Repetti and Darby Saxbe, which shows that too much stuff, and the stress that comes with all that stuff, is really bad for your health. Second, I came across another study, by another pair of psychologists, Leaf van Boven and Tom Gilovich, that proves experiences are more likely than material goods to lead to happiness."

Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness

http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness?language=en

"Did you know that we Americans have about three times the amount of space we did 50 years ago? Three times. So you'd think, with all this extra space, we'd have plenty of room for all our stuff. Nope. There's a new industry in town, a 22 billion-dollar, 2.2 billion sq. ft. industry: that of personal storage. So we've got triple the space, but we've become such good shoppers that we need even more space. So where does this lead? Lots of credit card debt, huge environmental footprints, and perhaps not coincidentally, our happiness levels flat-lined over the same 50 years."

 

13 Essential Items To Donate

Mashable

13 essential items you never thought to donate to those in need

By Katie Dupere

"Giving back is important, but all those canned pineapples and piles of forgotten T-shirts aren't really doing the trick.

Take Hurricane Sandy as an example: When the superstorm hit the northeastern United States in October 2012, clothing donations flooded into relief areas across the region. Only, clothing wasn't what people needed in the storm's aftermath. Sandy survivors needed flashlights, batteries, supplies to stay warm — not old high school T-shirts donors found in the backs of their closets. Much of the donated clothing was tossed aside to give more attention to the donations people could actually use.

The lesson: We have to fill a need we actually see."

http://mashable.com/2015/06/09/items-to-donate-unexpected/

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The Story of Stuff

"We have a problem with Stuff. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, we’re consuming 30 percent of the world’s resources and creating 30 percent of the world’s waste. If everyone consumed at U.S. rates, we would need three to five planets. This alarming fact drove Annie Leonard to create the Internet film sensation The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed more than 30 million times by people around the world."

For A More Organized Life, Organize Like A Chef

NPR Food For Thought - Dan Charnas

"Perhaps the principles of culinary organization can be extended to help even those of us who aren't top chefs.

The system that makes kitchens go is called mise-en-place, or, literally, "put in place." It's a French phrase that means to gather and arrange the ingredients and tools needed for cooking."

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/08/11/338850091/for-a-more-ordered-life-organize-like-a-chef

 

The Way We Live: Drowning in Stuff

Anthony P. Graesch was part of a team researching family life. Photos from a book he co-authored illustrate typical household abundance. CreditC.M. Glover for The New York Times

By:  Penelope Green

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/garden/an-anthropologist-on-hyper-abundance-and-the-american-home.html

Life at Home in the 21st Century

Here’s the premise. The team recruited 32 families, all home owners in the Los Angeles area. Each family had two parents working full-time, and at least one child between the ages of 7 and 12. Their goal was to see how the families interacted with their possessions: how many things they owned, and how their belongings affected their behaviour. The study took place from 2001-2005, just before the advent of smart phones, tablets, and flat screen TVs.

Book Review: http://anexactinglife.com/2013/04/21/book-review-life-at-home-in-the-21st-century/

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Clear the Clutter: Organization Boosts Health and Vitality

Maria Modale - CEO & Chairman of Rodale, Inc. 

"We are all products of our environments, and vice versa, since the environments we create reflect and affect our physical, mental, and emotional health. When life becomes messy or disorderly, our physical as well as mental/emotional health can also get muddled and we become less energetic and less efficient."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/clear-the-clutter-organiz_b_1341301.html

Solheimar Ecovillage - Healthy Living For All

On a recent trip to Iceland I discovered the village of Solheimar founded in 1930 by Sesselja, she was fortunate to be able to go to the European mainland and study.  She travelled for six years in Denmark, Switzerland and Germany.  She studied pedagogy, child nursing and kindergarten management, organic farming and anthroposophy.  She was the first Icelander to study how best to care for people with mental challenges.

When visiting their educational center and talking to the program manager I learned that in addition to all that Sesselja did initially the organization has built out programs around wind power, consumption, waste, recycling, composting and donating along with many other facets of living a healthy productive life with the least impact.

Various rooms were setup around Solheimar to demonstrate, from a visual and tactile perspective, their educational programs. The rooms were organized in this way to represent how living this way is beneficial to every aspect of your life. 

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It is an incredibly diverse, impressive and inspiring organization on every level. 

Healthy Living!

http://www.solheimar.is/en/