Get Rid Of Clutter AND Make Cash

The kids are out of school and what better time to clear out the clutter and make some money.  You have the kids to help and what better enticement for them then the chance to earn some money, right?  The trick is getting it done right.

I know you are already stressing about the amount of work, right?  I have several piles going in the garage with stuff I would like to sell BUT the reality is, it never happens.  Then it gets donated to church rummage sale or to the local thrift store.  The thing is, I didn’t get rid of the clutter, I simply moved it to another part of the house.  Not making any money and creating more of a mess in the garage.   I have finally faced the facts – I don’t have the time nor the energy to do a yard sale, sell on ebay (been there done it and it was a pain!) so I just donate to a good local cause.  If this is you, it is okay for admit it – it is the first step to getting rid of the clutter.

If you are going to have  sale –  pick a date (several months from now) how about just before the kids go back to school.  This way they will  have some of their own money to shop with, sound good?  This gives you a goal.

Now, set up several boxes to collect items for the sale.  Plastic tubs are the best because they keep the bugs out while you are decluttering.  I prefer boxes so whatever doesn’t sell can just go to a local cause.  BUT if you are going to save things to sell at the next one……..plastic is the way to go.

Okay, you have decided to have a sale, gathered your items and now comes the tough party – PRICING!  We have heard the tales of those who make thousands while most of us scrape by with a hundred or so (more if we are lucky), the key is finding way to price which works for you.

I like the color dot idea because you can grab them at the dollar store and it takes the stress of out individually pricing things.  Create a poster with a key showing what each dot means, price wise, such as a green dots equal one quarter, yellow dots are fifty cents, blue dots are a dollar, etc. The advantage of this method is, it is easy to slash prices at the end of the day, since you can just change the key for what the dots mean.  If you want, you can add these sticker to the item as you go through your home decluttering, so you don’t have to have a marathon session for pricing right before the sale.

The key to a successful sale or event is advertising.  I can’t tell you how many “garage sale” signs I pass and the information is so small you can hardly read it.  Either make bigger signs OR use arrows.  I actually found an amazing sale with just arrows pointing at every corner on the “garage sale” sign.  It was tucked away but people were finding it because of the signs.  Okay, enough of my soap box.  LOL

Try to coordinate with other families in your neighborhood, if possible, to all have your sales on the same day. The more sales, the more people will come to all of them. This will also help you commit to a deadline for your sale, since others are also participating, which can be a good motivation factor.

Now, spread the word far and wide. Some of my favorite inexpensive methods include ads on Craigslist, large colorful signs on major roadways, and notices on community noticeboards, such as in your local grocery store.  If you do a community yard sale, maybe invest in a classified ad in the newspaper.  Social media is huge so they will get you some customers too BUT don’t rely on just it for your foot traffic.  .

The key to keeping your sanity during all of this is be organized about the process. I know it sounds crazy because if you were organized – you wouldn’t need to de-clutter and have a sale, right?

During the whole process keep your two goals in mind as you prepare: #1 – make some money, and #2 – get rid of clutter.

You won’t be able to do a sale on your own and it is more fun, if you enlist helpers for the day. Give each helper a specific task, including directing crowds, answering questions, making sales, and taking payments. You may also want someone to help with entertainment, such as keeping nice music going, passing out (or selling) refreshments, etc.  Having some cold water or cookies are always a good way to make some quick sales AND get the kids involved.Make sure you  have lots of small bills and change.

Part of the fun of garage sales for those buying is scoring a deal and bargaining. Be ready to haggle and cut deals, since your goal is to get this stuff out of your home. Throw in freebies, or buy one get one half of deals, anything to get the stuff out of your home.  Don’t wait till the end of the day to haggle – be willing to do it all day long.

The truth is, you won’t sell everything.  Make arrangements for a charity to come pick up the rest, or drop it off yourself directly from your lawn at the end of the sale to the charity of your choice.  Remember we are clearing clutter!

A long post but hopefully a helpful one!  Share your best garage/yard sale tips with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

How To Make it a GREAT Day

No…. it isn’t Monday but I do love this picture!!!!!

Mornings are not my best time.  I used to LOVE them.  Yup, I was one of those crazy people who was on the go from early in the morning till I crashed at night.  Then I got OLD!  LOL.  No actually MS hit. Now,  I wake up in an MS fog which takes like an hour to fade away.  I used to say, “Don’t talk to me until I had my coffee”, now it is “Don’t talk to me until I can clear the fog”.

Despite the fog, I do everything I can to make it a GREAT day!  Some days are easier than others but I am determined to make the most of it.

How do you start your days?  Do you set the alarm to get up early (maybe an hour before everyone else)?  Are you full of motivation and anticipation for the day ahead or are you dragging and dreaded what might be.  Despite the struggles which come with MS, I usually have my days planned out in some detail – where I’m going, who I will meet, what work I will get done and even some white space on the calendar for those unexpected curve balls called life.that-wonderful-monday-morning-feeling-L-56cqQ9

Yup, it is all about the Law of Attraction.  The reality is your negative (dreading) thoughts are killing your productivity before you even start your day.  I know some days are tough.  Some times it feels like every day is a Monday.   I try to keep a positive attitude.  Do you let one bad day, set the tone for the rest of the week or even the next few days?  So, are you looking to make a change?

To be honest, when I decided to make the most of every day, I actually took control of my life’s direction.  Now, before you start the negatives of why you CAN’T do these things, give them a chance.  Remember baby steps are what help change the chaotic into the manageable.  I don’t always do them all perfectly BUT I give them my best shot.

#1 REST

Allow yourself to really slow down and unwind.  Maybe it is a glass of wine or reading a book or a bubble bath or a massage or watching endless episodes on Netflix?  Why not, right?  I know, you have a MILLION reasons but a little self indulgence lets you take some well earned rest.  Your weekends (days off) should be different then your work week.  It allows you time to forget the stresses and strains of being a busy woman on the go.  You get to recharge so you are ready to start all over again.

#2 LIVE POSITIVELY

You need to practice this one daily.  I know those inner gremlins are screaming at you.  I know you have bad days.  I have them too.  The first thing I do is remind myself my life is not this one day.  STOP and be grateful for the things in your life.  It will help you  to appreciate how good life really is. Your thoughts, your words, your status’, your tweets, your Facebook posts should ALL be positive. You wont be perfect but if you do your best; it will have a huge impact on the way you live your life.sunshine1

#3 RISE EARLY

I have talked about this before…Getting up early is the most motivating and self satisfying thing you can do.  When I used to wake up before 6am; I knew it was going to be a really great day. Devotions done by 6:30AM. Coffee and a shower and I am at my desk by 7:30am.   Why so early? So I can be done in my office by 10 to enjoy time with hubby.  Days like these, I am unstoppable. My mood is upbeat and I feel energized because I have been productive.  Okay, so things have changed slightly with the onset of MS BUT on those days when I am up early and am ready to go – my outlook is so much brighter.

#4 MAKE LISTS

This is more a part of my life since the MS but I have to admit, I LOVE seeing things checked off.  I make lists to ensure I don’t miss any thing and everything gets done.  It is also a great way to set-up my planner so I don’t over schedule or over commit myself.

#5 TAKE REGULAR BREAKS

Yes, this actually is the key to being productive on any day.  By taking a regular break, I get fresh eyes and enthusiasm.  Planning all my tasks out in small increments helps too.  It ensures I am not working non stop (or running around) for long hours.  This is how I avoid the afternoon sugar and feeling lethargic so my productivity suffers.   Take a tea break.  Go for a short walk.  Take a power nap.  Read a little in your favorite book.  You will see a huge difference in the rest of your day.

So, what are you going to do to make a difference in your day which will ripple into making a difference in your week?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

 

Getting Organized: Bedroom

I don’t know about you but our bedroom (and even the spare room) becomes a haven for collecting “stuff”.  I mean it is usually a secluded part of the house and is unseen by guests unless of course they are overnight guests.  LOL.
I have found when our bedroom is organized it makes a HUGE impact on my life – I don’t have as much brain fog and I see to be more focused.  The bedroom is the foundation of where you begin every day, an organized bedroom helps you wake up with the mindset to conquer the day’s challenges and enable you to get each day started on the right foot.

Here are a few ways to organize (easy and cost-free):

  • Give away or toss what you don’t use.
  • Sort out off-season clothes for separate storage.
  • Move non-bedroom items out and store them in other parts of the house.
  • Make your bed daily – it’s a quick and easy way to declutter the look of your room.

Once you’ve cleaned out some of the clutter,  you will have a better idea of what you need to store what’s left.  To save money, you want to find ways to use your current storage as efficiently as possible and invest in items which will help round out your bedroom set and expand your storage space.

Next step….

Drawer organizers – socks and underwear drawers are usually the messiest, right?  I toss mine in baskets to make it easy.  How about organizing your drawers with drawer dividers or honeycomb-style organizers to keep things moving on busy mornings.  You can pick some of these up in the dollar store.

Closet systems – We have two SMALL bedroom closets.  So for mine, we added an extra rack which helps to keep my clothes organized with long items on one side of the closet shirts and tops are on also on the top rack with pants on the bottom row.

I put the things don’t use often on the top shelf in a Thirty One Your Way Cube. The clear window lets me see what is in there in case I forget!  I store off-season clothing and extra linens in Thirty One’s large utility totes with lids.

Shoe rack, shoe tree or shoe ladder – keep your shoes in their best shape and easy to find with a shoe organizer. Double the space at the bottom of your closet with a couple of shoe shelves.

Another Option is to Add Storage………

Look at your bedroom pieces and add missing items which offer extra storage including a dresser stack, nightstands, chest of drawer, storage bed, storage bench and media stand. Storage beds and headboards – bed frames can boast the bed to product under-bed storage making the most of unused space.  It is also a great place to store extra linens and off-season clothing. Headboards with built in bookshelves and compartments offer valuable space to keep books, clocks and bedside necessities handy and organized.

Swap out your night table for something biggernight tables keep a few things handy, but they don’t help you stay organized. Choose a two drawer nightstand instead or if you need more storage space, upgrade to a small dresser.

Dresser stack – add a couple of extra storage drawers with a dresser stack, attaching to the top of a matching dresser many offer a contemporary asymmetric look.

Bedroom chest – a chest, chest of drawers, bureau or gentleman’s chest typically have a profile that is taller and more narrow than a dresser. This is great if you are tight on floor space because it increases storage space with a vertical stance.

Accessories and Extra Pieces

Look for extra pieces that might not be part typical bedroom sets to add extra storage and utility to your room. When shopping for these pieces you can choose to match similar wood tones to the furnishings you have already or choose contrasting finishes to create an accent in your room.

Bookshelves – are not just for living rooms and home offices, bookcases can help you keep things organized, utilize baskets and boxes on lower shelves to conceal clutter.  I have one in our bedroom.

Storage bench – placed at the foot of your bed (ours is off to the side), offers the perfect place to keep throw pillows and extra blankets handy while doubling as a handy spot sit when you lace up your shoes.

Hall tree – the one in our bedroom was made by my grandfather MANY years ago.  It is  place to hang tomorrow’s outfit or keep last minute wardrobe changes off of the floor.

Today’s tips are courtesy of Furniture.com.. be sure to check out their bedroom sets and other home furnishings at a store near you.  I did not receive any compensation for sharing their information in this blog post.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How To Do Fall Cleaning….

I will be honest, despite years of growing up and helping with “fall”‘ and “spring” cleaning.. it is not one of my strong points.  When I first had my own apartment, yes I cleaned bi-weekly.  Fast forward to being a crazy busy single mom, and cleaning was not on the top of my list.  The house was always neat but there have been the occasional dust bunny.  Now, when I struggle with days of not being able to move, I can see the dust bunnies and want to clean. YES!  I said I want to clean.  Then when I feel better, I am playing catch up and still don’t get everything done I wanted to do.

So, you are wondering how someone like me, can teach you about “fall cleaning”, right?  Well this is more about “decluttering” which may or may not lead to cleaning.  BUT it will help you get organized which could make cleaning much easier..

Step #1 – Determine if your clutter is, well, clutter.  

I know this may sound like a no-brainer but sometimes clutter is hard to recognize. Yes, it is true!   Seriously, hear me out.  We live in our house day-in and day-out, so clutter really becomes part of the landscape. Maybe you don’t recognize the piles and groupings of stuff because it’s become the norm. You know the pile of mail you are going to get to.  Or the stack of papers to be filed in the office.  Maybe it is the shoes piled by the door and never making their way to the closet.  Whatever your pile looks like, we are pretty good at ignoring clutter, or just plain not realizing when it’s moved in.

So, when do you realize it is clutter?  When you can’t find something you’re looking for, or realize you have bought something you already had – costing time and money. Admit it, you have run to the store to get something only to find it about a week later (after the tags were off and you can’t return it).

Are you wondering if you have clutter?  Try this:  Take a photo of the space in question.  Start small with a drawer, a closet shelf, or a bookcase. Zoom in on the photo. How does the stuff make you feel? Are you horrified what others would think if they saw it?  Does it make your head spin wondering how this happened?  Do you use all of the stuff? If so, how often? How would your life feel if the space was tidy, leaving room to grow?

The answers to these questions are a great indicator there is work to be done.

Step #2 – Accept you probably do need to declutter

Have you recovered from the shock of seeing the pictures of your clutter?  Have you now started to stress over whether or not you can part with ANY of this stuff?

Even with you think you have pruned your closets, drawers and home, you will likely still pick items up and think, “Why did I keep this?”  Life tends to bring new items into our space each day, and we frequently fail to recognize the pace at which we are accumulating things.

I used to clean out closets twice a year.  Donating them to the church rummage sale or Goodwill.  The biggest one was always before the holidays especially when Belinda was younger.  I knew the gift giving season would bring a whole lot more “stuff” while there were many things sitting in the bottom of the toy box which hadn’t see the light of day in years.  Now, as I notice things are no longer used or needed, they go in the box in the garage to be donated.  Slowly, I am decluttering…

Step #3 –  Let yourself let go

How many items do you have which you have only used once a year or maybe once in five years?  It is sitting there taking up space, right?  You wonder how you could live without it.  I have a wok which I have had for years and it hasn’t been used in years…. why?  you never know.

Ownership is overrated. We often feel we need to own something to enjoy it.  How many things do you have which you could have rented or borrowed instead?  The truth is we may get more pleasure out of borrowing or renting something than actually owning it.  Sounds crazy, right?   Well, when we own something, it requires we clean it, move it, store it, maintain it, and maybe even insure it.  It all takes energy. Be open to alternative ways to access and enjoy physical objects.

Step #4 Baby steps when setting organizing goals

Yup, I hit you with a lot in just a short period of time, right?  I know it is overwhelming.  What happens when you get overwhelmed?  If you are like me, you run and hide.  NO, seriously.  Do you avoid the situation?  Most likely, when you are overwhelmed, you lose interest and momentum.  So what if you just took baby steps.  Do a little bit every day.  Continuity is key.  Do small spaces first, as you do small spaces, you will begin to see the difference around you and you will feel energized to do more.

Organizing is not an end destination, it’s a process of acquiring skills, applying them, and being committed to being organized every day.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Throwback Thursday: Spring Cleaning the Closest!

When it doubt what to post, I always go back to the first year I started blogging – 2013.  I can’t believe how long it has been.  The timing for this post is perfect given the crazy weather we have been having in Jersey….. well everywhere.  

Over the last few days, I have begun to do some spring cleaning – my first stop is always my closet.  (Honestly, mine isn’t this bad but it is getting there.)  A chance to put away the heavy sweaters, pull out my capri pants, flip flops and short sleeve shirts.  Okay, so the weather may still be a little cool, down right cold,  but to me – spring is here!  

While doing this, I came upon some things I bought and still had the price tag on them.
(5 years later and this is still the case!)  You know – the perfect sale, something which seemed right at the time or the never ending impulse buying.  So, I have a Closet Filled with  (some) Regrets.  I saw an article the other day which made me stop and think about what is in my closet, the opener said – 

Only about 20% of clothes in the average person’s closet are worn on a regular basis, says Ginny Snook Scott, chief design officer of California Closets, the designer of customized closets and storage spaces. That’s especially the case for women since “men tend to wear more of their wardrobe, as they stereotypically have less,” she says. “They tend to have less than 10 pairs of shoes that they rotate fairly well, whereas women have four to five times that amount, on average.”

WOW!  This made me take a look at my closet again.  What were the things I wore on a regular basis?  I am a jeans girl all the way in the winter so why do I insist on buying skirts/dresses which never seem to make it out of the closet?  Since I am still on my weight loss journey, (at doctor’s goal but still looking to go lower) I have not been buying as many clothes – holding out for milestones in my journey to treat myself to something new. The St. Paul’s Church Rummage Sale is coming up in May so as I clean out my closet, I add to the pile of things to be donated.  My impulse shopping may be just the right thing for someone else.  What will you do with the “regrets” in your closet?  Do you have a favorite charity to donate to or is there something else you do with them?

I saw a tip somewhere on a blog or Facebook, I can’t remember which which someone shared which I think is going to be my new rule of thumb:


My grandmother always says you should wear something once for every dollar you spend on it. I thought it was silly the first time I heard it, but now I find myself holding up items and thinking “Will I really wear this 25 times?” It definitely helps my impulse buys! G-E-N-I-U-S! 

What tactics do you use to avoid purchase regrets?  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!