Swedish Death Cleaning – Gloomy or Liberating?

About six months ago, a lovely little book with a rather morbid title was published and immediately exploded in popularity. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is a short, simply written book that seems to have resonated with so many in our stuff-burdened society. Margareta Magnusson writes of her journey with de-cluttering, Swedish-style, as she ages. The twin desires to downsize and not wanting to leave her loved ones with the burden of dealing with all of her physical possessions after she died inspired her to begin the process of “döstädning,” or Swedish death cleaning. Read more

Multi-Tasking – Magic or Myth?

“When you bow, you should just bow; when you sit, you should just sit; when you eat, you should just eat.”
– Shunryu Suzuki

We are an overwhelmed, over-scheduled, and distracted society. Most of us try to do more than one thing at a time, thinking that we’re accomplishing twice as much in the same amount of time as just doing a single thing. Most of the time, we’re deluding ourselves. Instead of doing one thing well and then moving on to the next, we do two things poorly and take more time doing it. Read more

Paying Attention

“Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.” Buddha

This time of year is usually chock-full of significant events for many of us – graduations, weddings, championship games, concerts and other momentous occasions. We spend a lot of time trying to “capture the moment” with pictures and videos. Having a few shots to commemorate a significant occasion is a great thing. Read more

Where Do I Start?

One of the questions I hear on a regular basis is, “Where do I start? My office is just one big paper pile!” Or, “my home is such a disaster and every room is full of stuff – every time I look even at just one space, I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin!” My advice comes in three parts: start small, start easy, stay put! Read more

Downsizing, or Rightsizing? Consider the Cost

In a previous article, I discussed some stumbling blocks related to downsizing your space. But many folks are not interested, or looking ahead to moving out of their home any time soon. Yet, they are still struggling with an excess of stuff in their homes and their lives. This month, I explore further the concept of “rightsizing” your space, whether related to a move, or just a desire to lighten your load. Read more

Downsizing, or Rightsizing? Making Your Move

Lately I’ve noticed a proliferation of articles containing advice and tips for those who are downsizing. Spring seems to be the apex of this surge of information, as many are selling their long-time homes and moving into smaller, more manageable spaces. And many folks are not necessarily downsizing, but going through the process of moving to a new home at this time of year. Read more

What to Keep? How to Decide: 4 Key Questions

When it comes to getting and staying organized, by far the most difficult part of the process is making decisions about what to keep and what to let go. Whether it’s paper or stuff, having some basic criteria in place ahead of time on which to base your decisions will make them easier. While being organized does not always require getting rid of possessions, most of us have too much stuff – paper, clothing, books, knick-knacks, etc., for the spaces in which we live and work. Read more

Not Insane, Just Stuck (or How to Make a Change and Make It Stick!)

Here in New England, we have been inundated with snow. Storm after storm, we hardy New Englanders soldier on, trudging through snow banks as high as our heads in some cases. This has all contributed to a severe case of cabin fever! Many of us feel trapped in our homes and offices (think of the mad dash through the cold to your car, then the mad dash into your office. Rinse and repeat at the end of the day.) When that occurs, our surroundings become either claustrophobic and overwhelming, or peaceful and relaxing, depending upon our situation. If feeling overwhelmed and claustrophobic is your response to your living or working space, it’s time for a change! Read more

“Free” Comes at a Price

Last month I attended an informative and enjoyable business women’s conference, and when I checked in at the registration desk, I was immediately handed a big bag full of stuff. My initial reaction was, “ooooo – free stuff!” Upon second glace, I realized that I had received yet another pile of generally cheap, mostly useless junk that would only clutter up my home and office, fill my trash can, and linger in my local landfill. Read more

Taking (a little) Pain Out of Tax Time!

Are you dreading that most onerous of tasks – preparing your income taxes? While it may not take the pain out of this year’s chore, try a few of these tips going forward from today and next year’s tax prep will be significantly easier. As you accumulate paperwork throughout this year that you must save for your taxes, you need to have a system in place to retain all of it in an organized fashion. Read more