Declutter Tips

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Storage Sheds – The Un-Clutter Solution

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A storage shed is a light structure (generally made of wood) in a back garden used for storage of tools, vehicles, or useful items and is very often used to pursue hobbies like gardening and light engineering. Storage sheds are available in a variety of designs and materials in the market.

Types of Storage Sheds Based on Material. The materials used for storage sheds are wood, plywood, vinyl, metal, steel and Rubbermaid. The materials have various advantages and disadvantages. Wood is the preferred material as it gives an aesthetic appeal. However wood needs to be treated for ultraviolet protection every year and sometimes treatment is also given for protection against pests and borers. Cedar wood is preferred material. Particle wood and plywood are very popular for storage shed sidings. However they are least resistant to water as they get out of shape after repeated wetting and drying. Hence plywood should be avoided in places where it rains frequently.

Vinyl has the advantage of being maintenance free. However vinyl is lower on the visual attractiveness scale. Metal sidings include aluminum, which is light and when anodized gives a good look and lasts a long time. Steel sidings, though cheap, should be avoided as they rust easily. Metal sidings have the least appealing look. Vinyl coated steel has a long life and gives good strength. Rubbermaid and poly vinyl chloride sidings are maintenance free ,requiring no painting, no rust treatment and no rot or pest treatment. One thing that should be looked into while selecting siding material is that the siding material should match with the main building siding material. A different siding material may give a contrasting look to the storage shed.

Do It Yourself Kits Vs Professional Installation. Storage sheds can be professionally installed as well as self assembled. Usually for easy assembly, the parts are numbered in self-assembly type storage shed kits. Also assembly instructions are provided with storage-shed kits. Self-assembly may save money and can be a satisfying though difficult experience.

Sizes & Accessories. The usual sizes of storage sheds are, 12’ X 24’, 12’ X 30’, 12’ X 10’, 10’ X 14’, 10’ X 8’, 8’ X 6’ etc. It is better to opt for a double door. For those who want to keep light engineering machines, a good foundation is necessary. Other accessories that come with storage sheds are windows, shutters, weathervanes etc. Hooks and shelves increase the capacity of the storage shed by utilizing vertical space. The windows should be so designed that they match with the main building.

Building Codes and Laws. In various states there are laws on sheds like zoning ordinance, building codes, deed restrictions, building permits, siding materials etc. It is prudent to go through these before installing a storage shed.

Storage sheds are available in various shapes, colors, patterns and sizes. They can be customized to suit an individual’s taste. Smaller sheds are called tool sheds. Larger sheds called barns are used to house vehicles, boats and other large items. The prices range from $300 to $4000 depending upon size, material and accessories in the storage shed.

Tyson J Stevenson writes on a wide variety of "every day" subjects, always with valuable news & reviews. Expect to see his name often.

A related resource is Sturdy Storage Sheds

Further information can be found at HubbuH

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Unclutter Your Life For Good Feng Shui

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So many things in Feng Shui come from ancient ways and rules that might not seem obvious at first. Ironically enough, some of the earliest writings about Feng Shui, almost 2000 years ago, spoke of Feng Shui as being derivable and stemming from things that were almost common sense. Perhaps to the ancient Chinese, for whom Feng Shui had been a tradition for 1000 years already, it was common sense. For us in the west, however, we need a little help.

One thing nearly all of us need is a way to “unclutter” our environment. Clutter interrupts the flow of Chi, or energy, and symbolizes the way our lives will be on edge just as our home is. While Feng Shui does not have many hard and fast rules for “uncluttering” your life, there are some common sense steps to take before good Feng Shui can happen.

We all have stuff that we don’t really use or need. For some reason, we just can’t seem to part with it. Often times, we get rid of the easy stuff in a matter of minutes, but then we just can’t seem to make up our minds on what of the other stuff stays or goes.

We all have our excuses, “..but it’s so nice,” or “..that was really expensive,” “..I barely got any use out of that,” “..hopefully I’ll wear that again someday,” or my favorite, “..I’ll feel so guilty if I throw this out.”

For every item that you can’t decide what to do with, make a note of what excuse you are using to hang on to it. Listen to the voice in your head that tells you to keep it, and make a note of why.

As you start to do this, you should start to get a clear picture of just exactly what it is that is keeping you tied to certain things. You may find that, for example, you have no trouble throwing away greeting cards from last Christmas, but it would take a crow bar to pry that pair of pants out of your hand that you haven’t been able to wear in three or more years.

It doesn’t mean that you are heartless when it comes to the greeting cards, it means that you are comfortable and secure in the knowledge that your friends and family love you. It also means that you are probably not so comfortable with your body image and are having trouble accepting the fact that you simply can’t fit into those pants anymore.

Plenty of other people, on the other hand, might have no trouble throwing out those clothes, but cringe at the thought of throwing away postcards that are 20 years old. I can feel the guilt and inner struggle now as the mind says “it’s only paper, there is no reason to keep this,” while the heart weighs a ton at the prospect of “throwing away” all those friends and family members. The problem is not the postcards, it’s where our own personal insecurities lie.

So many of the reasons we hold on to clutter have to do with memories of past events, or the hope of usefulness in the future. Holding on to things gives us a sense of hope, or a sense of reminiscing. Both of these make it harder to live in the now. If you fill your closet with clothes that are too small, you remind yourself every day that you are not the size you want to be, and that you are not happy with where you are now. You remind yourself that you still have hope for losing that weight and being skinnier some day. Every day, as you reach for an article of clothing that is not one of the “goal” items, you get a small sense of failure.

Imagine the toll these little message put on you day after day. You wouldn’t look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are a failure every day, would you? I certainly hope not. The message here, though, is closely related if not the same. When you hold on to things that represent what you wish for, and are unhappy about presently, it brings bad energy to your self every day. When your closet contains clothes that fit your body, your life, and your personality, every wardrobe choice becomes a positive step towards a good outlook on the day, and on your life.

It is difficult sometimes to make the decision to be clutter free, and sometimes even more difficult to make that decision a reality. At every item you can’t seem to let go of, listen to the voice in your head and learn to discover the real reasons why you hold on to things that seem to have no use or purpose. Learn to let go of these things and enjoy the here and now. The good energy will begin to flow better, and the path to good Feng Shui will have begun.

Charles Chang is a Feng Shui enthusiast and author. He enjoys helping others with feng shui through his articles and website.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Give Yourself A Spring Clean - Unclutter Your Mind

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Do you know that the clutter in your home says something about the clutter in your heart and mind? Are you collecting dust or dreams? Does your living room mirror the mess you hide from yourself? Let's see what needs to be aired and re-arranged in your life in this article.

Your daily life is a reflection of your inner world. Knowing this, it’s very interesting to investigate the state of your home. Take a closer look at your house and try to link your rooms and objects in them with the state of your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. Time for a Spring clean?

Let me offer you a hand with some cleaning tips:

1. What area is a mess?
You can go to each room in your house to check what screams “I need cleaning now!” or if you know your home well, you just close your eyes and you can picture the bedroom where you always stumble over piles of clothes or your kitchen full of dirty plates and cups. If several rooms are a mess, just pick one untidy place that frustrates you the most. If you do not care that this room or area in your house is a mess, choose a particular spot that frustrates you. Mess isn’t good or bad, it’s only a place for focus if you feel it should not be a mess.

2. What does this area resemble?
Once you picked the area that obviously needs a big sweep, take a moment and ask yourself: “What meaning does this spot or area in my house have?“. For example: your kitchen can be a place for nourishment, socialising or perhaps feeling safe. Your bathroom can resemble a place to relax, to refresh yourself or to be creative. Each area will have a different label for every individual, even if they live in the same house. Your bedroom might feel like a place to rest to you, for another it might be the place to watch television in order to educate themselves on a topic. Your garden might be a sanctuary for you to meditate while planting new flowers or perhaps it is a place to get some exercise by mowing the grass. Or maybe it is both depending on the activity and mood you are in. If a place has more than one value or meaning to you, just focus on the association that is the strongest for instance: I use my garden more to find peace of mind than to exercise.

Write down what you discovered for example: my kitchen resembles a place where I relax my mind by cooking.

3. Why is this area a mess?
Now we take a closer look at the clutter in this place. Ask yourself: if my kitchen resembles relaxation of my mind but it looks a mess, what do I feel is not tidy, in balance, sorted out in my mind as well? Perhaps you discover that you are not taking enough time to relax in your life, or that you feel stressed. Or when you feel irritated by rusty knives or the broken juicer you will see that your tools to relax need some polishing. Suppose you spend less time in the kitchen than normal and eat more take-out meals: does it link with the amount of spare time that you reserve for yourself to relax?

4. Clean up tips
Once you discover what area in your life needs a tidy, you have a place to start sweeping out the dirt. You can clean the messy area in your home and also feel that your mind is reacting to this action. To stick with the kitchen example: by cleaning out the kitchen you might feel that you alleviate your stress. You can also start by focusing on the stress and work on those issues and then you feel your kitchen needs some attention too.

Be prepared that once you start cleaning, sometimes the mess gets worse: we have to take out stuff to air; we need to re-arrange furniture, just keep going. It’s like rinsing a pan: the water gets dirtier but after the scrubbing you will find a shiny, new surface.

5. Plan
Make arrangements so you can finish your task well: plan your Spring clean, buy tools, tell others that you want them out of that room or let them join you, take a break and then reward yourself for finishing the job.

Working on your home is working on your soul. The state of your heart and mind will become evident by checking your house. What room do you visit most? Perhaps you spend little time in your study room. If this resembles a place to nourish your mind, perhaps it is time to follow a course?

If you like this exercise you can go deeper and check the items in your home:
What items do you keep? Objects that reflect the past or future? Are you focused on the people and moments that have gone or on creating new contacts and experiences? What colours do you use and what do they reflect in you?

Focusing on the mess in your home can teach you about your emotional, physical, spiritual or mental state. At the same time you can focus on the area in your home that makes you very happy, relaxed or energised. Spent more time there to find balance.

Good news
Who knows what you will find under layers of dust or in the piles of paper? A sparkling new you! Wouldn’t you be willing to spend time to discover that?

Let me know what treasures you found during your Spring clean. Please feel free to send me an e-mail if you need support to clear your heart and mind!

Marianne Korten runs a personal and professional development company Soul at Work in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Corporate clients and individuals improve their conscious communication and creation skills with her expertise and support. Through coaching and training services clients gain greater self-confidence, balance, trust and skills to create the (business) life they want. Popular topics by demand are: public speaking skills, networking skills, career changes, mind-body-soul balance and finding your personal mission and vision. International companies and expatriates benefit from her background in the international meetings industry, of working with a variety of cultures and her personal skills as a certified coach, trainer, speaker and columnist. Sign up for her free E-Newsletter on:

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How To Unclutter The Content Of Your Website

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To the search engines, content is king. However if your whole site is cluttered with content, it can look really boring and might scare your visitors away.

identify Your Audience

Do you really need to unclutter the content of your site? The answer to this question will depends on what type of web audience you are targeting. There are usually 2 types of internet users. The first type of user knows what they are looking for and they arrive at your site with a purpose. They can be easily satisfied if you make information searching in your site as simple and quickly as possible. The second type of user arrives at your site without wanting to achieve anything, ie they just happened to stumble upon your site while surfing the internet. Majority of the internet users belong to the second category. If you want to sell something to them, you need to make them stay and listen to you which will require more effort.

Empower the Cursor

The mouse cursor has the ability to change its appearance as it passes over important areas of the screen. Changing the mouse arrowhead into a pointing finger or something else helps the visitor to identify a clickable link (the default style in all web documents). Rollover effects such as changing the font effects, background image or color when mouseover also help to differentiate between texts and links.

Do Not Abuse The Header

Most websites are designed to have a standard header(banner) and footer. Using a standard header on all your webpages gives your site a consistent look which is considered as a positive thing in Web Design. However, because the header catches the most attention, many webmasters love to throw in tonnes of graphics and information in it, making it look really bulky. A typical example is the use of Google Adwords in the header. We want our visitors to stay in our site longer, so the emphasis should be on the content not the header.

Furthermore, many people now have Google and Alexa Toolbars installed. Some even have other types of toolbars. This means that if the header takes up too much space, your visitors cannot read your content without scrolling.

Organize Your Content

It is a good practice to group all related infomation into their respective categories. When the user enters the category page, provide summaries of different ideas in just a few sentences with links to the extended versions (an example is In that way, the user can choose to browse and read what they want by clicking on the appropriate links. In fact, many portals such as MSN, BBC, CNN are designed in that way.

Implement Pagination

A direct way to prevent content clutter is to keep the length of the body to a minimum. Letting the readers see the whole page without scrolling motivates them to read the text. If you have alot of things to tell, separate them into different pages. If you look at the articles in devshed website, you will see that all the long articles are split up into different sections.

Use Images

Images break up monotonous text. Numerous studies show that most people are more likely to read a story if there is an image accompanying the story. An image also leaves a more lasting impression on us because our eye is more easily drawn to familiar pictures rather than words. However, if your site is full of images, then text can break up the monotonous images. One caution when using images is that you have to keep the file size as small as possible without losing the image quality so that it will not affect the browsing speed.

Empty Spaces Are Useful

Negative space are areas that are intentionally left sparse. An empty space might not seem interesting but it provides a good boundary for different blocks of ideas. A typical example is the use of new paragraphs. People will be confused if you join all your ideas into one big chunk of text. Negative space also creates a good contrast for the text. Contrast helps to show the connection between design elements, establishes the flow of story or directs the eye to important areas of the web page. Like images, negative space provide breathing space for the eye. Intelligent use of negative space is the key to uncluttered a website in a cluttered environment. If you noticed, you will see that most blogs today are designed with alot of negative space because they have alot of text. One has to becareful though, that too much space makes your site looks really empty which is not good.

Hid Unwanted Information

Tailoring a website presentation based on individual preferences is another way to reduce clutter. Unimportant or inappropriate information can be filtered off by setting up a preferences area whereby the user is questioned about specific needs or interests. Once the information is recorded, there can be a script setup to display only the areas or topics that are important to that viewer.

Many softwares nowsadays offer wizard utilities whereby the user arrive at what they want by answering some simple questions. The same concept could be applied to web design. If you are running an ecommerce site for example, instead of showing all your products to your viewer at once, you could ask them a few simple questions, narrowing down and displaying only the product information that the viewer might be interested. This technique can been seen implemented in many web hosting sites.


With the emphasis of content in Search Engine Optimization, it is important to display your content so that it does not bore your readers. Keeping your readers happy is important to make them stay and use your services. is formed by a group of web addicts, mainly volunteers from all over the world. Our goal is to create a community of web designers and developers who share the common interest in bringing out the best in creatiing effective web sites. More website reviews can be viewed at Website Reviews

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Wardrobe Closets Help De-Clutter Your Life

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Is your bedroom a magnet for clutter of piles and piles of clothes? Many people think they clean up their clutter by moving it around from room to room. On the other hand, just burying it in a closet does not really help either. All this does is just make the clutter grow. Investing in a wardrobe closet will help to alleviate some of the clothes clutter in your bedroom.

Before you can invest in a wardrobe closet, you must take charge of your clutter. Take all your clothes out of the closet and wherever else they are kept and sort them into three piles. Start with your favorite clothes, these go into the first pile. The second pile should contain the items that you do not wear. The last pile will contain the clothes that you do not love but still wear.

The most important pile is the first pile. Match everything up, such as bottoms go with what particular tops and so on. You could have a pair of pants that goes with several different tops, that is a good thing. The idea of this exercise is to make sure that everything has something to match with it. If something doe not have a match, is there anything in one of the other two piles that is a match. If not, then you will have to set it aside and maybe find a spot for it in your closet. Once you have put together several outfits, these can be set aside for inclusion in your new wardrobe closet.

How many outfits or combos have you now? Do you have enough to last a week? This will be your core wardrobe and should be kept grouped together for easiest access in your wardrobe closet. Next, group together the items that do not have perfect matches or items that you will just not wear that often but still like.

You may find that you have quite a few items left over. Take these items to consignment store, donate them to a local charity or hold a yard sale. The idea is to downsize so that your home is not cluttered with clothes that no one wears. Also, you are trying to get organized so that a wardrobe closet will fit nicely in your bedroom and that it will contain your most wearable clothes.

If you just cannot part with some clothes and there is not any room in the wardrobe closet then pack them up in storage bins and store them out of the way in the basement, garage or storage rental space. This principle of downsizing can be applied to other items besides clothing. This can be also be done for large shoe collections as well. In addition, you can perform this function in any closet or room in your house to complete your entire home de-cluttering project.

Remember, you can do all this. You do not need to hire a professional to de-clutter your home. Take your time and complete one room at a time. You may find that you need more than one wardrobe closet; however, you will be glad you took the time to de-clutter your life.

Our site provides information on wardrobe closets, PODs storage, bedroom closet organization and various other types of closet designs and storage systems. Let us provide all your storage information

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Home Organization Tips - 5 Fast And Easy De Clutter Ideas

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Are you embarrassed to have family or friends over because of your cluttered and disorganized house? You are not alone! Many people struggle with basic household organization and continue to do so everyday. In fact more than one out of four Americans remarked that they would like to be better organized in a study done by the National Association of Professional Organizers. You can carry on living this way and feel down on yourself each time you look around or panic each time someone knocks on the door, OR, you can take some simple steps to having a clutter free living environment. The objective of organizing isn't to make your home spotless but rather to make your everyday life more calm and functional for your whole family. Here are a few simple home organization tips and ideas to get you started right now!

1. Put things Back Where You Found Them-

Have a "home" for every item, and make sure it is put back if it is removed. Always put things back in their place when you are done with them and especially before you move onto something else. This will not allow things to pile up and look overwhelming to sort through.

2. Snail Mail-

Deal with mail as soon as you walk in the door with it. Immediately toss or shred anything you don't need such as credit card offers and other junk mail! Take care of any bills you receive right away so you eliminate the risk of losing it or forgetting it and ending up with late charges. (23% of adults say they pay bills late (& thus incur fees) because they lose them! National Association of Professional Organizers)

3. Don't Let Dishes Pile Up-

After dinner take the time to clean up the table and do the dishes, make sure everyone helps out so it will go a lot faster. This should be especially easy if you have a dishwasher, but don't forget to run it before you go to bed!

4. Dirty Clothes-

Have a place for everybody to put their dirty laundry (not on the floor!), and space permitting have them put it in designated pile (whites, colors, etc.) to save time later on. Also, do the laundry in smaller segments when one pile gets big enough for a load to avoid Laundry Overload later on!

On a side note, sort through your clothes and get rid of or donate anything you don't wear anymore to a local charity. This includes clothes that are no longer in fashion, no longer fit, or clothes you haven't worn in at least a year. (We wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest hangs there, just in case. National Association of Professional Organizers)

5. Enjoy Your Clutter Free Home-

Light some candles and sit down to watch a movie or read a book. Enjoy your new functional and calming environment. Not only is your home now more immaculate, it is far more calming and even healthier. You can do this, and once you see how much more relaxing your home is you will never want to go back to how you were living before. Who knows, maybe you'll invite your friends and family over for a get together now and be proud not ashamed!

The National Association of Professional Organizers reports that about 80% of the clutter in your home is a result of disorganization not lack of space and approximately 80% of what we keep we never use. If you are ready to take action regarding your clutter problem visit this great site for more information and tips. If not now, then when?

Link- More Home Organization Tips

I use all of the above mentioned tips to improve my home organization at home. I love to come home to an organized environment after a long day at work, it helps me to keep my sanity and enables me to relax without feeling I need to get so much done. I hope that soon you can feel the same when you walk in your door

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Do Yourself A Favor And De-Clutter Your House!

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Do you remember the last time your house got a thorough cleaning and de-cluttering? Do you remember how beautiful it was and wonderful your felt when you would walk from room to room, knowing you had accomplished so much. This remembering is the key to getting and keeping the motivation necessary to get the job done. It's also the motivation to keep it that way.

If you can just get the clutter cleaned out (which can be very big job) you can very easily maintain that level of de-clutter. At the de-cluttered point it takes a very minimal effort to get it to the original de-clutter state.

Set aside a time every day and visualize your house de-cluttered and then take all the actions necessary to get it into that de-cluttered condition. Each time you get your house in that pristine condition, take the time to admire how it looks, enjoy every minute of it, memorize how it looks. Always keep that memory in your mind, daily. This is the fuel that keeps your de-cluttering drive alive. Always keep that drive alive. You will be very glad you did. Do you remember how your house looked when you first moved in and everything was in its place? Work daily to keep it that way. Do all of the necessary small things that don't take long now, but grow to monstrous proportions when they build up and build up. You owe it to yourself to keep your surroundings free of clutter. You owe it to yourself to keep everything clean and neat. It is so much easier to do it little by little, than to have it pile up and then try to tackle it. Think of some things you could do right now to start the de-cluttering process. Now, go do them.

For more tips and tools on de-cluttering your life go to - from Diane McLain

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Change Your Life - De-Clutter Your House

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Have you ever had this dark cloud hanging over your head? You can't quite put your finger on what it is. You look around but you don't really see the problem? You just feel "blah". Each day it seems to get worse. Your mind seems cloudy and foggy. Have you ever thought that the problem with your motivation is the clutter in your house? Clutter weighs you down and clutters your mind.

Have you ever had this experience? Your children are happily playing in a room while you are cleaning a different room. By the time you are done cleaning and de-cluttering that room, all of your children are now playing in the "clean" room. Have you ever wondered why? Don't you think it is in our nature to want things clean and de--cluttered? We all have a desire deep inside for our lives and surroundings to be neat, clean and de-cluttered. Don't you agree?

When our lives and surroundings are not neat and de-cluttered it costs a shadow over our minds and actions. That's why our children gravitate to the clean and de-cluttered rooms. Clutter can definitely take its toll in our everyday behavior. Clutter changes your mindset. It can even make you have the feelings of depression. Well, have you had enough? Do you want to make a change in your life? You can and you should. Start right now. What action could you take this minute to start de-cluttering your house? What five things could you do before your head hits the pillow tonight, to clear your house and your mind of clutter? Do it. Do it right now!!

For more tips and tools on de-cluttering your life go to - from Diane McLain

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

De-clutter into Self Storage and Make 1000's of Pounds More When You Sell Your Home - Free Guide

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You choose, would you rather have lots of buyers competing and bidding for your house or no real interest and the occasional low, derisory offer? Your home is your biggest financial asset and yet many people throw money away by not planning for the sale of their homes. That can add up to £1000's of pounds. Take any street and you'll find huge differences in the sale prices of seemingly identical houses. What's the secret? Preparation, Preparation, Preparation and Self Storage. Renting a self storage room is the easiest way to quickly and cheaply de-clutter your home. The golden rule is to help people buy into a lifestyle, to imagine themselves moving effortlessly into your house and creating their own home. Creating a sense of space is the key to your success.

Thinking Ahead

People are moving home more often than ever before and are planning for a lifetime of regular relocation. If you are likely to move quite frequently it's worth keeping this in mind when you make your house your home. Try and strike a balance between creating the perfect home for you and the most appealing house for future buyers. This is not always easy, but by using our tips, you won't go far wrong.

Anticipating Your Sale

So many sellers appear to have rushed into the sale of their house. They have not planned for their sale, nor taken the simple steps to get the best price for their house. Everything seems to come at once and panic can quickly set in - no wonder it's one of the most stressful events in our lives.

Keep your house well maintained - you'll get more pleasure while you live there and it'll be in its best condition when you come to sell.

Give yourself the time to complete the actions in this report. They could add £1000's to the value of your house.

Take some fabulous photos of your home, on a sunny day when your gardens at its best and set against a clear blue sky.

Spring and Autumn tend to be the best times to sell.

Presenting Your Home

Kerb Appeal

First impressions count, so the approach to your front door should be clear and welcoming. Your front garden should be neat and tidy. Cut your lawn, trim any hedges, turn the soil and weed your flower beds.

Give your front door a fresh lick of paint and polish/replace your door furniture.

Some pots with flowers add a splash of colour and brighten up the welcome to your home.

Check your windows, do they need re-painting? Are they sparkling clean?

Hide your dustbins

Keep toys and tools out of sight.

The First 30 Seconds

It's true, houses sell in the first 30 seconds of viewing. A buyer will make a judgement immediately and if it's negative, they're unlikely to change their view.

Clutter will always put buyers off. It's worth repeating - clutter will always put buyers off.

A buyer only has a short time to get excited about your house and imagine themselves living there. Clutter makes this much harder - most people cannot see beyond your clutter. It's what they remember about a house. Try it yourselves when you visit a house for the first time - what attracts your attention, what do you remember?

Buyers want to see your house, not your stuff.


Your buyer has entered your house having been won over by the outside appearance. Make sure their first impression is one of space.

Remove all your coats, hats, shoes, wellies, prams, toys.

Clean your doormat.

Are your walls and doors clean? If not give them a wash or a fresh coat of paint.

Open all the doors from your hallway - it'll give an impression of space and light.

Mirrors can be good in halls to increase this feeling of light and space.

Check your light bulbs are working and consider a higher wattage if your hall is dark.

Are there any house odours? It's one of the first things a buyer will notice. A fresh clean smelling home sells, but avoid overuse of air fresheners. Open your windows every day to let fresh air into your house.

Smoking is another no-no, as its smell lingers in furnishings and fabrics. Smokers should redecorate and not smoke in the house while they're trying to sell. This may be difficult, but it can make all the difference in ensuring a quick sale.


So many living rooms are a magnet for clutter, this starts with too many chairs, sofas and tables. If you can barely move, your buyer will feel it's a small cramped room. Remove excess furniture, particularly from near the door, creating a sense of space and ease of movement.

Make sure the buyer can get to the window - for some reason most will make a bee-line to your window

Open the curtains fully, letting in as much light as possible.

Remove net curtains.

Ruthlessly remove clutter, family photos - you may love them, but they're a distraction to a buyer. It's much better to see clean, clear surfaces.

Books, CDs and papers scattered around don't work for buyers and too many ornaments are a put-off.

Don't hide stuff behind doors, open them fully, so that this important room looks at its best.

Dining Room

This room tends not to be used so much and becomes a dumping ground for piles of stuff. You know what to do - remove it and show a spacious room.


The crucial room, many buyers will conduct a forensic examination! Help their imagination, an olive oil bottle, fruit bowl and plant on the windowsill help people buy into a lifestyle. Look at how kitchen manufacturers advertise in magazines, try and recreate that look and feel in your kitchen.

De-clutter your kitchen completely. Buyers should see plenty of gleaming surfaces.

Make sure your walls, doors, cupboards, floor and all surfaces are spotless, re-paint if necessary. Banish all dirty dishes.

It may be a bit of a cliché but coffee, fresh bread and cake smells, all work with buyers. Be subtle.

Don't have a pungent curry the night before, the cooking smells will still linger.

Spending a little money on the kitchen will usually always pay itself back.

If the walls are dark, consider painting them white or an off-white colour.

Old, bashed cupboard fronts should be painted or replaced.

If the units are in fairly good condition and only look dated, just replace the doorknobs, handles and taps. Another economical trick is to fit good solid worktops on to existing units.

Dark flooring can be transformed with a light-coloured vinyl or laminate flooring.

Similarly dark or patterned tiled splash-backs can be painted or tiled over with cheap white tiles.

You'll be surprised with the results; you might not want to move!


You might not notice your limescale encrusted taps any more but your buyer will. All they're thinking is, would I want to bath, shower or sit on that? Ever been into a hotel bathroom that's not sparkling - feels grubby, doesn't it?

Rejuvenate your taps, they must be gleaming.

Replace washers on dripping taps.

Baths, sinks, shower trays, shower screens and any tiling must sparkle.

Buy a new shower curtain.

Towels folded and not dumped on the floor (it happens). Fluffy new ones look good.

Remove any kids' toys - they're clutter to a buyer.

Make sure the room is dry and well aired.

Remove your excess shampoos, shower gels, body scrubs, razor blades etc.

Toilet seats down please!

Green leafy plants work wonders and are a cheap quick fix.

Spending a little money can transform a bathroom.

A light airy gleaming room is what we're after.

White bathroom suites are what everyone looks for. If yours is coloured, oops, but I'm not suggesting you change it. Do try and lighten the room though.

Freshen up the walls if necessary, white is good.

Dark tiles can be covered with cheap white ones. If they're already white re-grout any cracks or where the grouts gone brown.

Re-seal around the bath.

Carpets can quickly deteriorate in bathrooms, is yours fresh or should it be replaced, preferably with a light coloured vinyl?

Use bright light bulbs.

Get a huge, frameless mirror to give the impression of more space.


How many bedrooms has your house got?

How many are actually bedrooms? You aren't alone if at least one is full of boxes, your old exercise bike, suitcases etc etc. It's all got to go. Make it easy for people to see spacious rooms and to imagine themselves living there.

Clear the clutter, make each room feel as spacious as possible.

What are your duvets and bedding like? Not everyone likes patterned and frilly, keep them simple. Ditto curtains.

Beds made and no clothes on the floor please.

Buyers may want to see inside your wardrobes, so a clothes clearout will make them look more spacious.

Kids' bedrooms - do the best you can!

Storage Cupboards

As you know by now we all accumulate so much stuff and your buyers are no different. They want to feel they can fit all their things into your house. Crammed full cupboards make this really difficult to imagine. Empty or barely used cupboards give the sense that a house has a huge amount of storage space, a massive attraction to any buyer.


We've all been in dark houses - there's something depressing about them, they just don't feel welcoming.

Houses bathed in light immediately feel more spacious, warmer, more welcoming and lift our spirits. They lift a buyer's spirits too!

Make the most of any natural light - ensure your windows are sparkling. Open your curtains fully, use tie backs and even consider removing them if that gives you more light.

Get rid of those net curtains and blinds.

Move any large furniture or lamps that block natural light.

Make sure all your lights and light bulbs work.

Put higher wattage bulbs in your light fittings.

Use uplighters and lamps to lighten any dark corners.

Spotlights in the kitchen and bathroom always work.

Do use dimmer switches to get the lighting just right.

Leave lights on during a viewing, to help brighten any darker rooms.

Dark walls, curtains and carpets all absorb precious light - consider changing them. It will help to really brighten your home.

Buyers prefer natural colours to bright, bold shades. Magnolia is still the best selling paint and can transform a dark room quickly and cheaply.

A large mirror on the wall opposite the window will lighten a dark room.

A cheap light coloured rug can hide a dark carpet.

Back Garden

Think of this as another room, a haven, and present it accordingly.

A neglected garden is an enormous turn-off - it will seem like a massive undertaking to a buyer to put right. Similarly if you have a garden strewn with toys, with worn out grass and evidence of your pets, you mustn't leave it that way. A little investment and effort can literally add £1000's to the value of your house.

Re-turf/re-seed the lawn. Feed your lawn a couple of weeks before viewings start, the grass will look fantastic. Weed the borders, add some shrubs, have a few pots. Clear any evidence of the kids and pets.

In the summer have the doors open, so it feels like an integral part of your home.

Patio furniture helps buyers think of al fresco eating, or sipping a cold beer or cool glass of wine on a balmy summers evening.


We're a nation of animal lovers, but buyers may not warm to your pets. You may be immune to their presence, but is there any pet smell in your home? Ask a friend for an honest opinion. A fresh clean smelling home sells; a whiff of pets won't or will drag the price down.

Say goodbye to the cat litter tray when a buyer is viewing. Remove the pet food bowls. Keep Tiddles and Rex outside. Make sure you've removed pet hairs from every surface.


You've got them; your buyer may have some too. Just don't let them dominate the house with their stuff while you're selling. They're little clutter bombs.

Get a friend to look after them when your buyer is viewing or all of you get out of the way and leave it to your agent to show buyers around.


Keep these ready for inspection. Long-term warranties covering timber, damp-proofing and your roof. Shorter-term guarantees covering on-going repairs and any servicing invoices, for your boiler for example.

Why Bother?

How many weeks or months would you have to work to earn £1,000, £2000, £3,000, £5,000 or £10,000+ Tax Free? You could earn that with a few days spent preparing your house for sale.

Remember the golden rule is to help people buy into a lifestyle, to imagine themselves moving effortlessly into your house and creating their own home.

Creating a sense of space is the key to your success.

Good luck with your sale.

Steven bounces into work at Kangaroo Self Storage located in Dundee and Glasgow in Scotland. Many a customer has hopped into Kangaroo with the de-cluttered contents of their house and been amazed at the difference it has made. A lot have then jumped for joy at the sale price they've got for their home.

Visit Kangaroo Self Storage or hop in and see us yourselves.

Kangaroo Self Storage solves their customers storage problems offering trusted, caring and secure storage for businesses, householders and students.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

De-Clutter As Foreplay

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What if less clutter would make your partner more interested in sex? Would that be enough motivation to get you to de-clutter your space? You have to find reasons that motivate you enough to catapult you into action. Sex is usually a pretty good motivator. We all have different stuff that drives us, maybe sex is the driver you need to dig in and clean up that mess!

Think about it, how can you have sex on that table with all those piles..? Okay, maybe you could brush the stuff onto the floor but that might not be too enticing to someone when they think that they are going to have to deal with it after. It's not too relaxing to have messes all around when you are trying to relax and enjoy some intimacy with your partner. Many enjoyable otherwise relaxing activities are compromised if you have to deal with a cluttered, disorganized living space. Clean it up and get organized.

Look around and think about parts of your house that might affect your sex life. Maybe you could use that as a starting point to figure out where you want to start your de-cluttering project. Look at your bedroom, maybe there are parts that could use some serious clean-up or maybe it just needs some general organization to make sex more desirable. Perhaps there is a way you could organize it so that you can add some romantic amenities, like candles, incense or essential oils. You might have a nightstand that has so much junk on it that there is no room for any of those nice romantic things or sex enhancement toys that might spice things up between you and your partner. Be creative in cleaning up the clutter in relation to spicing up your sex life. Think about spaces that might be interesting to have sex if there was the space to do so.

Remember although you tolerate the piles, the junk and the disorganization, it might drain you mentally to where you aren't in the mood for intimacy. Maybe your partner is really turned off by it and would really be sexually motivated and encouraged if the environment were nice, clean and organized. You might not know until you give it a try, so what have you got to lose? I can almost guarantee that the de-cluttering certainly won't make for less sex so go get 'em and see what you can get out of it!

For more tips and tools for de-cluttering your life, check out and for more relationship communication visit

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Clean and De-Clutter Room By Room

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There is a certain aspect of home selling that has become ever more important as buyers become more and more choosy about the homes that they view and purchase. Home staging, the process of cleaning and improving the visual impact of a home has become a bit of a rage across the country. Now, more than ever we are seeing home staging services cropping up and doing wonders for the home selling industry. However, home stagers can come at a hefty price. That being said, the service they provide is impressive and does help the home to show better, the question is; can you do it yourself?

Well, there are certain aspects that can easily be done by any home owner. However, there are a few that cannot. What you can do is take care of the initial steps yourself as they are not difficult and only take a bit of time and effort. The first step of this process is always the cleaning and de-cluttering of your home. Cleaning is self-explanatory. Clean your home from top to bottom, every room, every corner, every closet. Surfaces should shine like they never have before. Try to think about your home being featured in a home magazine, how would you want it to look? That is essentially what is going to happen, the only difference being is that your home will be appearing online where it is available to seen by far more than the average readership of any magazine.

Clutter is the number one enemy of good home shows. Buyers do not want to see piles of your stuff lying around. This kind of thing gets in the way of buyers getting a feel for the home. It does help them get a feel for who you are, but that is not what you want them to buy! Your home should be an entity unto itself without the encumbrance of your property getting in the way of a buyers viewing experience. Each room in your home likely has a few things that could get in the way of a proper showing. When preparing your home for viewing it is good to pursue a minimalist concept but not to the point of making the rooms look sparse or cold. It is a delicate balance that can be difficult to achieve but don't let that get in the way of taking the project on yourself!

Sanjog Gopal is a CPA & REALTOR specializing in the Arizona real estate market. My background as a CPA ensures that I am ideally suited to provide elite service in all aspects of home purchases and sales. For more information contact me anytime or visit me on the web at

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Junk The Junk - 10 Tips To De-Clutter

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After the dust has settled from a separation or divorce, and the belongings have been split, it's a good idea to sort through the belongings which remain in your living space and de-clutter. In other words, you should junk the junk.

De-cluttering is important for a variety of reasons. It can help improve your attitude generally (who wants to live in a messy environment where you can’t find your socks if your life depended upon it!). It can help you to live more efficiently (you’ll save time in the morning if you can find clean work clothes which means you can get to work earlier, and in a sane state of mind). Further, after a separation or divorce, it’s particularly important to rid yourself of unnecessary belongings which can evoke painful memories.

Try following the 10 tips below to help you in your Quest to De-clutter:

  • If conquering an entire closet is intimidating, de-clutter in baby-steps. Select 1 shelf in your closet, and Just Do It.


  • Don’t rush yourself. If you feel you are not emotionally prepared to empty your ex-husband’s used golf clubs, re-schedule the de-cluttering session for a period of time in which you feel ready to tackle the task. It took me a year to clean out my garage.


  • Before you begin, help yourself to stay motivated by putting on your favorite music, and a 30-minute timer


  • Schedule the de-cluttering session for a convenient time. For example, if you have 2 young children, you should probably schedule the de-cluttering session for a time in which the children are in pre-school or at a friend’s house.


  • If you are de-cluttering a drawer, you may want to begin by simply emptying the drawer, so that you can see everything that you have to go through. Then, work through the clutter in a systematic fashion. Make executive decisions about each and every item.


  • Have the de-cluttering tools ready. For example, if you are de-cluttering your closet, you should have at least 1 bin marked “Donation” and 1 bin marked “Junk”.


  • Gather your resolution and be strong. You may like that jacket that you haven’t worn in 5 years, but the fact is, if you haven’t worn it in 5 years, chances are high that you will never wear it.


  • Consider your options. If a clothing or sports item is in excellent condition, consider selling it at a consignment shop.


  • Brace yourself for some tears. You may dig up painful memories along with the clutter. Accept that you may experience some emotion, and understand that the de-cluttering is an important process in your healing and journey forward.


  • Plan a celebratory event when you finish the de-cluttering session. For example, celebrate the re-organization of your family room with a specialty coffee (don’t forget to put your feet up on the pillow and give yourself a mental pat on the back).

    Terri Mann is a divorce lawyer and is the founder of where divorced or separated women can find free divorce articles about dating after divorce and more

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    Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    De - Clutter And Make Money - Host A Garage Sale

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    Summer is the time to take off the layers of clothing under which you've been hiding and show your sexy self. If you window-shop, you'll find lots of colorful sandals and swinging skirts beckoning your way. If a cash shortfall and a cluttered closet are stopping you from buying cute summer-wear, it's time to host a garage sale. You can de-clutter and make money by organizing a successful garage sale.

    If you are going to host a successful garage sale, you need to remember 10 tricks of the trade:

    o Talk to your neighbors!
    Ask your neighbors whether they would be interested in organizing a garage sale on the same date as your garage sale. Ideally, organize a community-wide garage sale. More garage sales in your area means that you will have more visitors, which will result in you selling more of your inventory faster, and for more money.

    o Determine whether there are any legal requirements.
    For example, in many municipalities, you need a license to host a garage sale. This can cost money, but you can split the cost with any friends who want to sell their items, at your garage sale. Alternatively, if you host a community-wide garage sale, the community association may itself pay this cost.

    o Gather together the merchandise that you wish to sell.
    Ask family, friends co-workers and basically any person you can think of, whether they wish to sell any items at your garage sale. Shoppers want a variety of merchandise, so try and stock up! One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. (Personally, I thought nobody would want my scratched, burnt frying pans, but I succeeded in selling them at my recent garage sale- the delighted buyer informed me that the cast iron frying pans would be perfect for camping). Notwithstanding the foregoing, as a general rule, you should be choosy. Don’t take broken toys from your friends or toys that are missing the “essential parts”, likewise, don’t accept torn or stained clothing, defective house ware and so on.

    o Advertise your garage sale.
    Place an ad in your local community newspaper. Make sure your ad falls into the property advertising section. In addition, on the day before your garage sale, place signs along the closest roadway, and draw an arrow to point traffic in the proper direction to your home.

    o Give yourself time to organize.
    Garage sale shoppers start early: if you advertise that your garage sale starts at 9:30 a.m., you better plan on opening your garage, ready-to-go by 9 a.m. because you will have shoppers dropping by your house to peruse your goodies by 8:45 a.m. Therefore, start organizing for your garage sale at least 3 days previous and have your garage completely organized the evening preceding the sale. In the morning, pull your tables out onto the driveway, and you can begin.

    o Display your prices.
    Select prices for different groups of merchandise and display the prices on easy-to-see price stickers. You can have fun with bartering the final price, but you do need a starting point for the negotiations. Make sure that your starting price is realistic: not ridiculously high, but not too low, either, because you want to make allowance for reduction in price due to the bartering process. Also, make “buying in bulk” more attractive by offering a volume discount (for example, 1 book is $1.00 but 3 books is $2.50).

    o Presentation is key.
    Make sure that your merchandise is organized in an attractive and logical fashion. It can make a big difference. (I was trying to sell pants in a garage sale: nobody looked at them. I then moved the pants out of my dusty garage and placed the pants on an attractive table on my driveway. Within ½ hour, the pants were sold.)

    o Create a busy appearance.
    Invite family and friends to visit you during the course of the day. It will make your day run faster, and more importantly, it will make your garage sale more attractive to prospective shoppers.

    o Involve your children.
    You might think that you have to ship off your children to spend the day with a friend, because they will be bored. You might be surprised… assuming the children are of an age where they do not require constant supervision, gain their interest by involving them in appropriate aspects of the garage sale. For example, have your children place the stickers on the merchandise, or have them place the change into the change-purchase at the back of the garage.

    o Lastly, keep refreshments handy.
    In particular, keep fresh, cool water nearby and appropriate snacks to keep your energy and spirits high.

    Terri Mann is a divorce lawyer and is the founder of

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    Monday, March 3, 2008

    Are You Scared of 'De-clutter'?

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    If you’ve lost sight of your carpet, can’t find your clean clothes in the pile on the floor, and don’t remember if that basket holds trash or important paperwork, it’s time to de-clutter. If you need a hammer and nails but have to wade through old toys, paint cans, and things that have gathered dust in your garage to find them, it’s time to de-clutter. Have you given up having family dinners because you’ve lost the dining room table under the accumulated mess?

    Do you shudder when you open your refrigerator because it’s a constant reminder that you’ve neglected it? Are you afraid when you need something the kids borrowed and you are forced to search through the endless clutter in their rooms to find your belongings? Do you have to clean out your seat into an already overloaded trunk just to give a co-worker a ride home?

    People continually add to their daily stress because of the clutter in many, if not all, areas of their lives. Then they finally get a day off work only to once more ignore de-cluttering in favor of going shopping, running errands, or taking the kids somewhere to have fun. So, the clutter continues to build. They may feel they sacrifice enough of their time already and work too hard to spend their precious off-time decluttering. Yet this may be the one area that could simplify their busy lives. Gaining control over clutter can relieve stress. Sometimes a person will attempt to de-clutter their homes by cleaning and clearing only what can be readily seen by any visitors. This is similar to the child who shoves everything under the bed or into the closet in an attempt to fool mom and dad, or at least to get them off their backs temporarily.

    People become frustrated every day because they have lost something because of lack of organization. They have shoved so much junk into lockers, closets, and into their drawers that they feel the situation is hopeless. Busy families will literally stuff a dresser so full it finally breaks the runners on the drawers, handles are pulled off from tugging open an overstuffed drawer, and the bottom will give way.

    Kids lose athletic clothing, tennis shoes, and socks for lack of organization. Parents lose their ties or are late to work because their suit was wadded into a pile and wrinkled. They forget to clean their uniforms. They misplace important papers. Clutter can affect grades at school, relationships, self-esteem, and careers. Have people stopped visiting because your home has become so cluttered that it’s unsafe, a germ haven, and smelly---all because you need to de-clutter? You can learn to de-clutter. You must reprogram your thinking process and reassess your priorities. It will help you regain your sense of overall well-being. It’s never too late to learn better habits.

    Kurien Abraham is the owner of where you'll find easy solutions, ideas, and tools to help you get organized and simplify your life. Visit for more information and sign up for a free Home Organizing Mini Course.

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    De-Clutter Your Life And Improve Your Confidence

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    A lot of people carry around with them a lot of “baggage” or “clutter” in their minds.

    When I say this I mean that they are still holding onto things that they say they should do but don’t, the person who they had a row with but both are not speaking to each other – but both want to, the coulds and shoulds in your life that hold you back – you need to let go, but you don’t.

    These people carry around with them a lot of emotional attention that you could be doing without and focussing on something more productive instead!

    Are you like this?

    If you are, I bet it had a negative influence on your confidence and self esteem.

    The approach

    Take a look at your life and get rid of this baggage by asking yourself a series of questions and by completing the following exercise.

    In effect, what we are doing is making certain tasks “complete”, drawing a line under them and moving on.

    Another term for this is “psychological completion” or just “completion”

    The following set of questions can be taken at one sitting or over a number of hours/days.

    By writing the answers down they become more formal.

    Get to it and watch your confidence soar!

    1. Putting up with!

    • Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with at home
    • Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with at work
    • Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with in any other area of your life
    • Make an action plan to get rid of/communicate these things that you have been putting up with

    2. Unfinished matters!

    • Make a list of things that are unresolved/unfinished in your life
    • Make an action plan of how to reduce this number!
    • Do you need to clear the air with anyone? If so, just do it! Life is too short!
    • Did you ever say that you were going to call someone or keep in touch with someone yet have done nothing about it? If yes, call them or send an email to them today
    • Let go of as many coulds, woulds, shoulds, maybe, oughts as you can. Write these down.

    3. Your standards!

    • Write down the standards that you have been saying to yourself that you should have; let go of these and write down a list of the standards that you are going to have in your life from this day forward.
    • List 5 people who you admire the most. Identify their greatest qualities, behaviour and how they lead their life. What standards so they have? What standards could you raise starting today to be more like them?
    • Respect that other’s standards will be different from your own. Think of 5 close colleagues or friends – what are their standards and how are they different to yours?

    By completing these exercises you will be able to focus more on the here the now and the future.

    You will now be able to let go of some of the things that have been taking up your valuable attention units – those things that knock your self esteem.

    You can contact Ron at

    Edinburgh Life Coach Ron Mills holds an Advanced Diploma in Professional Coaching (Distinction) awarded by The Coaching Academy Europe's largest coach training organisation and is also a Certified NLP Practitioner (Neuro Linguistic Programming)and Timeline Therapy Practitioner.

    In addition he has undertaken further intensive training in Corporate and Executive Coaching.

    You can contact Ron at

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    Saturday, March 1, 2008

    Spring Into Action: Now Is The Time To De-Clutter

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    First the snow drops poked their delicate white heads above the ground, silently signaling the crocuses to follow suit. Then came the daffodils and now, the majestic tulip. As a wave of vibrant colour and budding green spreads across the landscape, windows get pulled open and people welcome a fresh breeze through what might have become a stale, stuffy environment.

    Is it any wonder, with the anticipation of warmer weather, that we feel drawn toward certain seasonal chores? Just the other weekend, for example, I pulled open our sliding patio doors and dragged out the six kitchen chairs, a stool, some plants and a couple of small rugs.

    With the kitchen and dining room floors cleared of most items, I was finally able to do a thorough sweep of the area. Hello dust bunnies! Inspired by my actions, my partner spontaneously decided to squeegee not only the outside but also the inside of the four, large basement windows. What a difference! Like wiping both the inside and the outside of the windshield of your car, you don’t realize how dirty something is until you clean it.

    So it is with clutter. We grow accustomed to the piles and boxes left unpacked, and they become part of the landscape. We tolerate them, walk around them, and move them to clean, until finally we don’t even notice them.

    If, like me, you don’t have enough closet space to house all of your clothes, you might store your summer gear in large totes during the winter months. Well, yesterday I decided that I had had enough of winter, and I dragged out my tote and did the seasonal switch. Pulling the large, bulky sweaters down from my closet, I exchanged the blacks and dark browns for beige, light blue and, gasp, short sleeves!

    Now is the time to be honest with your wardrobe: donate items that you didn’t wear this past season, ones that might be a bit too tight or itchy. If you look at it, and it doesn’t make you feel good, you’re not going to wear it. Whether it was a gift or a great buy, if you aren’t wearing it, release it so that someone else has the chance to wear it and appreciate it.

    Contrary to what many people might think, we are not physical beings here on earth to have a spiritual experience. Rather, we are spiritual beings temporarily on the planet experiencing a physical dimension. Like the myriad of flowers and bushes that are appearing in our yards and along the sides of the road, now is the time to let go and grow.

    Alison Roberts is a Professional Organizer with limited storage space in her basement apartment. She is inspired by the natural cycles of the seasons to take stock of her possessions and to re-evaluate what still has value in her life. Feel free to check out for more articles and free de-clutter worksheets

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