Monday, July 30, 2012

De-Clutter your Mailbox

Incoming mail, email and phone calls that are unwanted create physical and mental clutter that most of us would rather skip.  With a little bit of time and effort you can drastically reduce the influx by opting out of many mailing and calling lists.  The government has helped us by creating laws that prevent these invasions but we have to do our part to add our names to the opt-out lists.  Below you will find physical and web addresses to remove your name from these lists.  These will keep you from being added to new lists.  If you have ordered something or done business with a company, you will have to contact them directly to remove your name from their list.


Main Opt-Out lists                     Direct Mail Association and other national opt-out lists.      

          Internet option is quick and free.


You can mail your request directly to Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512 along with a check for $1.                      Do Not Mail Registry



National Do Not Call Registry

   or 1-888-382-1222


When you do receive a telemarketing call, remember to let them know you would like to be removed from their calling list.          Opt-out of prescreened credit offers with all three credit bureaus.

    or call (888) 5OPTOUT or (888-567-8688)


Catalog Choice                      This website helps to stop unwanted catalogs.




Web Resources for more Information


            There are many resources for finding ways to reduce junk mail and tele-marketing calls.  Here are a few that are very complete with links and directions for removing your name from various lists.


Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

            Fact Sheet 4: Junk Mail: How Did They All Get My Address?


            Stop the Junk Mail Monster!

            How do I remove my name from junk mail and telemarketer lists?

Cox Target Media
            Removes your address from the Valpak mailing list

41 Pounds
            41 Pounds is a paid service that removes your name from 20-30 direct mail companies for everyone in your household for 5 years for $41.

            Costs $9.95 a year but they handle credit card offers, magazines, catalogs, coupons and they actually contact and then follow up with all these companies. 

Additional Hints

·         Opt-out of as many list as you can.
·         Keep the mailing labels from mail that you do not want to receive as mail arrives.
·         Follow up with the items you do not want by calling or writing to request your name removed from their list.
·         Make sure that when you sign-up for something or make a purchase that you state your wishes regarding mailings.  Often the default is to include you on the mailing list.  You have the right to Opt-out.
·         It will take a few months for your name to begin to be removed but you will begin to see less and less mail over time.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Are you stressed out by clutter?

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like it screamed at you?  Did it feel like every item was trying to get your attention, telling you that something needed to be done with it?

Clutter often is an accumulation of decisions that have not been made so each item is a reminder of work to do or a decision yet to be done.  Clutter is also a visual reminder of all the things we have yet to do, want to do, should so, can do, lost interest in and forgot to do.  With all these reminders it is no wonder a cluttered room is so stressful.

People often feel very relieved after de-cluttering.  This happens in part because they have finally made decisions on all their things, even if the decision is to get rid of everything.  Most people don’t need to toss it all out but rather be selective about what they keep and bring into their space.

I like to teach my clients how to pre-decide what they want to do with classes of items so that they are less overwhelmed.  It is likely that you will want to do the same thing each time with dirty laundry, junk mail, dirty dishes and your daily gear.  Make one decision based on your natural habits and turn it into a routine that frees up your brain for bigger decisions.

I love helping people dig out of overwhelm.  Give me a call for a FREE organizing assessment today.  (740) 334-1928

Monday, July 16, 2012

Save money - Be organized to buy less

We are all looking to save money these days.  Most of the time there are plenty of ways to save money by using what we already have instead of purchasing something new.  How many times have you made a special trip out to buy supplies to only find them later?  If you knew where they were you could have saved the time it took to make the trip, the gas money and wear on the car to get there, not to mention the cost of the supplies themselves.  In addition to time and money saved, you could have saved your own energy and been relaxing or spending time with family instead.

Many of the people I work with find that they save much more than the investment in organizing by being organized.  Some clients find that cleaning their kitchen not only makes them feel calmer but they also use the kitchen more because now it is easier and more enjoyable to cook at home instead of running out for takeout.  Imagine how much a family of 4 could save even in 1 month if they ate at home more often.

What are in your home or office could help you save?  Would you save time, money, energy or all three?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Buy in Bulk without Waste

Everybody loves to save money; it is human nature to want the best deal.  We like to know that we have what we need without always running to the store so it makes sense that Sam’s and Costco would be popular.  I love them too.  I buy business supplies and items for home.  The key to using this kind of shopping effectively is the system you use at home to store the items.  You have to store it, know what you have, use it in a timely manner and not waste it.

Store it.  I always encourage my clients to keep unopened items together in a pantry or garage for non food items.  The garage is a great place for bulk paper products, cat litter, garbage bags and much more.  It makes it easy to unload the car and find what you need when you need it.  Try a shelving unit with 4 or 5 shelves to hold items.

Know what you have.  This is probably one of the most important parts to this system.  If you don’t know what you have you aren’t likely to use it or you will buy more than you need.  It is not unusual to de-clutter a pantry, bathroom or other space and find many multiples of items that are used daily, many get thrown out because they have expired or are too damaged to use.

Use it.  I love to challenge myself to use all of something before I buy new.  My personal rule is “one open - one in reserve.”  I don’t buy new until I open the reserve.  This is a great way to save money at the store and reduce impulse buying.  It also ensures that nothing is going to waste because there aren’t old items going bad while newer items are used.   The pantry is a great place for this challenge.  Periodically challenge yourself to only make things with items that are already in the house and buy only what you need to use up ingredients on hand.

Don’t waste it.  It can take a bit of self discipline to resist the temptation to buy when you already have what you need.  It also takes conscious decisions to really evaluate what you need and when you need it.  Knowing what you have, how much and how quickly you use an item to decide if you really need to buy more.   A family of 5 most certainly needs more bars of soap on hand than someone who lives alone.  I also always remind clients that buying in bulk only works if you can use all of something before it goes bad.  I almost never buy food in bulk because I can't use it fast enough.  

Happy bulk shopping, just don't over buy and waste.  If you need help creating a system for buying and using bulk items, give me a call.  (740) 334-1928

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Were you prepared?

48 hours ago as I write this a huge summer storm ripped across the mid-Atlantic and knocked out power for millions of people including me.  Current reports state that it may be days or even more than a week before power is fully restored to everyone.  I am pretty well prepared for things like this.  I have been through many storms and outages over the years since my family lives in a remote part of the county.  We expect to be without power regularly and always stay prepared.  But each time there is something that I wish I had or had prepared better.  Here are a few things to think about to be better prepared next time.

What did you need from the store?  Was it bread, milk and other perishables?  If not, what items were non perishable supplies that could have been kept on hand?   If you needed it for the current emergency, there is a very good chance you will need it for a future crisis.  Make a list of supplies to keep on hand and use and replace them regularly.

Did you know where to find everything that you already have?  If you had to really search for supplies that are already on hand consider keeping everything together for the next emergency in a location that you will be able to access without electricity. Don’t store emergency supplies in a dark basement or really full closet.

Were any of your supplies too old or not functioning?  Supplies don’t last forever and many need to be used and serviced regularly.  I would have a running refrigerator right now but my generator hasn’t been used or started in 4 years.  This is definitely on my list of things to fix and service regularly. Don’t forget to remove batteries before storing items so that the batteries do not corrode and ruin anything.

Was there anything that you needed to do that you did not know how to do?  Do you know where to shut off water and power to your home?  Do you know how to hook up and start a gas generator?  Consider having someone show you these skills for the next emergency.

Her are just a few items that I like to keep on hand:

  • Batteries in a variety of sizes for a radio, flashlight or lantern
  • Gas grill and spare propane tank with cook ware for the grill.  You can cook just about anything on a gas grill with a few cast iron pans.  Coffee is simple with a percolator or French press
  • Coolers that can become your refrigerator with a bit of ice. 
  • First aid supplies for minor injuries.
  • Spare blankets and cold weather gear for winter emergencies
  • Candles and matches
  • Non perishable foods like soup and tuna
  • Gas cans with gas.  Use and replace regularly.

A little bit of preparedness goes along way during any emergency or natural disaster, the more that you have on hand the less frustrated you will be waiting in long lines.