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Archive for Cleaning

Secretly wondering if you should be on “Hoarders” ?

Hoarding shows on television have  become quite popular and have helped raise public awareness of Organizing as a profession. These programs show the worst case scenario of what can happen when you lose control of your possessions. Sadly, in real life, many people who have a problem with hoarding have experienced a trauma or life-changing event. Perhaps being organized wasn’t second nature to them, but they managed to get along in life okay. After a trauma or life-changing event this becomes much harder and/or impossible. When children are involved it becomes even more serious.

Please get professional help if you find yourself in this situation.

If you think you might be a hoarder there are quizzes you can try and a clutter scale to help you recognize where you are. Once a room or item can no longer be used for its intended purpose you know you’re getting into trouble. For example, you can no longer find a place to sit in the living room, so you sit on your bed. Or, the dining room table is piled so high with papers you eat standing over the sink. Or, you have duplicated your possessions because you can not find the originals.


Digging out (in some cases literally) from clutter can take hours, weeks and sometimes months before the desired outcome is reached. Besides, it didn’t get that way overnight. Burnout is high, decision making can be emotional and progress slow. If you have someone helping you it will be much easier and quicker. There are multiple health risks when one lives in a hoarding situation, safety being  just one of them.  Hire a Professional Organizer who has had experience with hoarding.  Don’t worry, they have seen this before and that is why they are in business.

Please don’t get discouraged.

It is darkest before the dawn, and coldest too. If you and your Organizer are working well together, you are going to get results and you will feel better. You’ll find things you forgot you had, often money and gift cards! Your sleep will be more refreshing, you will have more time in the day and performance will increase at work when you are organized and clutter free at home.

Progress not Perfection

No, you are never going to be as organized as your Professional Organizer. And he or she know that! What you are both striving  for is improvement and progress in the right direction – not perfection. Your Organizer will do what is right for you in your situation. Every individual is unique and solutions are custom.

Happy Organizing!





Lifetime Warranties

Price Pfister Kitchen Faucet

I googled Lifetime Warranties as I began this blog.  There are a number of companies who provide lifetime warranties for their products, some of the more famous being Tupperware and Tilley. As it turns out, lifetime generally means the lifetime of the product, not the human being’s lifetime who bought the product. Shucks! I’m not sure how long a bathroom tap is supposed to live, or a bath tub tap & shower assembly or a kitchen spray faucet but clearly 7 and 14 years old is not too long! Here’s my story …

My recent  move has left me challenged for hot water in both kitchen and bathroom. Three visits from various plumbers and heating technicians have produced hot water to the sources – but the taps and shower head were failing to deliver it properly. Result: scalding or freezing in the shower, and low flow of cold water only in the kitchen.

Frustrated and not wanting to spend more money on the problem –  I turned to the huge folder I keep of product information and warranties. I found the warranties & parts lists for the taps and shower assembly and the manufacturer’s customer service phone number easily. Or you can take a picture of your fixture with your cell phone and match it to ones online. Google Images also has countless photos of practically everything and I found my bathroom taps and their name easily. (My son showed me these things – cool!)

A couple of quick toll free calls to the Price Pfister Customer Service representatives have resulted in shipments of brand new replacement parts for 3 various taps in the house. The parts that were sent are of higher quality than the original parts and consequently I now have plenty of hot water in the kitchen and a sprayer that is free from mineral deposits. Yay! The bathroom shower assembly is also producing plenty of nice, hot water (but NOT scalding).

Last  night UPS delivered (for free) the last pieces I need to fix a leaking bathroom faucet. We’ve even managed to replace these parts ourselves, without the need for a plumber. Pfice Pfister, I’m impressed! Thank you for standing by your Lifetime Warranty. In an age when so many things are disposable, thank you for allowing me to repair my fixtures, rather than replace them.

Everything is working as good as new! I’ve now moved on to the dishwasher although after fourteen years of service to a family of four I’m not expecting too much! And the stove is a Viking original from Eaton’s … Stay tuned!




Celebrities, spring cleaning and the area under the sink

Katie Couric – Hoarder? Courtesy People Magazine March 4, 2013


Believe it or not, organizers don’t have some crazy organizing gene that makes and keeps us organized. We struggle to keep our possessions in check just like you do and celebrities are no different! The March 4 issue of People magazine featured a half page article and photos on talk show/celebrity Katie Couric. Katie recently devoted an episode of her show to decluttering her library which had become a dumping ground for many items. She found it hard to let go of many things because she is sentimental, especially condolence cards.

Although some may question my overall excessive tidyness ( i.e., is she OCD or anal-retentive? Chris Farias, you know who you are!), there are plenty of areas where I find myself challenged. My particular nemesis has been the area under the kitchen sink! It is an assorted catchall for garbage, recycling,  shoe polish, cleaning products, liquor, empties, plastic bags, leather cleaner, rubber gloves, and so on … Having been reminded by a family member several times that “there are people we could hire who could organize this kind of stuff”,  I finally tackled it.

After purchasing some clear shoe boxes at The Home Depot for $1 a piece, I discovered that one of those perfectly fit all the shoe laces, polish and rags. I got a stand up caddy that holds cleaning bottles and a dispenser on the cupboard door for plastic bags. I no longer shudder when I see the area under the sink. Family photos and old negatives – brace yourselves! And desk, watch out, you’re next!

So, if like Katie, you are sentimental and have boxes of cards to sort through -  keep the special ones, the hand written ones, the milestone birthdays, etc. but let most go. If you’ve been hanging on to wardrobes in many different sizes (fat clothes and skinny clothes), keep what fits now. If your weight changes, you’ll want clothes more reflective of the new you. And if you’re like me – they may be neatly stored, but recognize that you can’t keep every cool fashion magazine article you rip out …

Since Spring is no longer around the corner, and has officially arrived, could there be a better time to go through your worst area and see what the best outcome will be? Send me your thoughts! And your photos!