“Getting organized is one of the top New Year’s resolutions,” said Laura Leist, President of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Whether it is clearing the garage to park the car, de-cluttering the dining room to invite guests for dinner, or filing a backlog of papers to get ready for the next tax season, many people make a firm resolve to become more organized.
Throughout the month of January Professional Organizers around the country are very busy. To get the word out about “Get Organized” (GO) month, Organizers teach workshops and volunteer in community projects.
Los Angeles has more than its share of clutter. Homes built from the 1920s through the 1960s in Santa Monica, Culver City, and East Los Angeles weren’t designed for our clutter generation. Closets, garages and storage units are filled with “stuff.”
De-cluttering may help people live more comfortably in their office or home. It takes time to de-clutter and it also takes one’s commitment to change habits. Once new habits are established, clutter and chaos may become simplicity and calm.
One way for Los Angelenos to simplify life is to downsize, though it’s not always easy. Here are 4 common responses to downsizing hesitation.
1. An item cost a lot when it was bought. Assuming the item was “worth” the price when purchased, and unless it’s an antique, chances are good that the item is no longer valued at its original cost. Consider “re-valuing” your stuff.
2. My child made the item (20 years ago). Take pictures of the craft-like projects made by your (now adult) children. Turn the pictures into wallpaper on your desktop and give the items to its maker.
3. I’ve been meaning to sell it on craigslist or E-bay. Calendar when you intend to sell or at least post the item online. If you still have the item by that deadline, donate it somewhere.
4. I don’t like it, or, I use it but it is a gift from someone who will notice if it’s gone. Explain to those close to you know about your need to downsize. Life is simpler when you are not holding onto things because of other people.
This list may take many forms, and getting organized may happen in a variety of ways. In the spirit of Get Organized month, the LA Organizing Examiner will do its part to help you rethink, recycle, and release what you no longer need.
Each week a different Professional Organizer will share tips and strategies for making life better through organizing, de-cluttering, and downsizing.
For more info:.National Association of Professional Organizers, Los Angeles Chapterwww.napola.org