Closet Switch-a-Roo Time

If you saw my tiny closets, you would understand why I have to keep a whole season's worth of my clothes in the attic. Each fall when the temperature drops, I haul down three or four plastic bins of sassy sweaters and warm wools. I love pulling out what feels like a whole new wardrobe after not seeing it for six months.

Part of this ritual also involves me trying on most of the "new" fall/winter clothes to make sure they still fit and to see which pieces continue to earn the right to live in the prime real estate of my closet. To make the grade, the piece has to fit well, be comfy, and make me feel pretty. Along the way, if I realize that I need a something to complete an outfit, I write it on a list that stays in my purse. Yes, it's a time consuming process, but worth the effort and I only have to do it twice a year.

Those clothes that don't make the grade end up either being thrown away, donated, or resold at Finders Keepers consignment shop. The way I look at it, if a piece isn't working for me, I may as well put it back into circulation and make more room in my closet.

If you are an organizing client of mine and I've set up your Finders Keepers account for you, this is your reminder that Finders Keepers is now accepting fall clothing consignments. Drop offs are limited to 30 items and must be on hangers unless you are a donate. Donates may drop off 50 items. Here are the guidelines for what not to bring:

  • Knock off purses
  • Double breasted or big boxy blazers
  • Pleated, tapered, or stirrup pants
  • Too-light wash denim
  • Big oversize sweaters
  • Too worn or pilly sweaters
  • Denim or corduroy jumpers
  • Turtlenecks with embroidered necks
  • Outdated or colored leather
  • Altered clothing
  • Anything with big shoulder pads
Now that I've taken all of my consignments in, I know that everything in my closet fits. Now if only this freakishly warm Atlanta weather would cool off, I could start wearing some of these clothes.

If you or someone you know needs help organizing closets this season, give me a call!

Ozzy Reluctantly Unloads

The Telegraph recently reported that former Black Sabbath singer, Ozzy Osbourne, and his wife Sharon are ready to downsize. Now that their children have left the nest, the couple is ready to offload art, furniture, and collectibles from their three homes in Malibu, Beverly Hills, and Buckinghamshire.

"It's time to unload," said Mrs. Osbourne. "We just have an overabundance of possessions that we do not need."

That's music to my ears, Sharon!

The Osbournes' auction has taken two years to organize and will be shown at the O2 arena in London on November 5th. It is expected to bring in as much as a million dollars with proceeds benefiting the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation.

The couple is downsizing and moving to a new home, she said, adding that whittling down their possessions has been "one of the most refreshing things I've done."

Ozzy, however, was less enthusiastic about the sale. "I don't know why we are selling everything as I want it all. Sharon tells me that we have to, otherwise our house will...explode."

"Ozzy gets very attached to things," his wife explained. "He doesn't like change at all."

This scenario may sound familiar to some of you on two fronts:

1. Though you probably don't own multiple homes spread out across the globe, you may have accumulated so much stuff in your home that it feels as though the dwelling may burst.

2. If you don't live alone, you may have a very different level of attachment to your "stuff" than other people you share your house with.

This differing level of attachment coupled with a resistance to change can create some real challenges with the organizing process. Notice that, while Sharon is feeling the wonderful, cathartic freedom that most people get from purging, Ozzy is having a tougher time letting go.

I've had clients tell me that it's a good thing I take the recycling away after I leave because, otherwise, their partner would go "dumpster diving" to retrieve items out of the trash or recycling bags.

If you are a natural purger, recognize that others in the house may need some gentle coaxing to help them to let go. You can assist with the process by asking your sentimental collectors these questions:

  • When did you last use or wear this?
  • Is it broken?
  • Do you "love" it or just "like" it?
  • Can we get another one later if we need it again?
  • What is the worst thing that will happen if we part with this?
  • Would this item be better off in the hands of someone who needs it and will use it more than we do?
  • Is it worth the space it takes up and the trouble it takes to maintain or clean it?
These types of questions help the "accumulators" see that it's okay to let go and helps them to qualify what has earned the right to stay. Be warned, if you force accumulators to get rid of everything just for the sake of purging, they will probably rebel by accumulating even more over time. By taking the time to get their buy-in, you can reduce pack rat tendencies and increase their urge to purge.

Win a Real Simple Organizing Makeover

How would you like to win a visit from an organizer who will declutter three of the messiest rooms in your home PLUS give you $3,000 worth of organizing products from The Container Store?!!!

Alas, it is not I who will be your clutter buster, but Real Simple magazine will be sending one of their organizers to the home of the winner of their newest Organized Home Sweepstakes. You can enter here today and everyday through October 21st.

Their contest rules prohibit me from entering or I just might consider it just for the Container Store loot. Funny thing is, I probably ALREADY have at least $3,000 worth of The Container Store's products in my house right now. You see, a few years ago I worked part-time for them, and I'm sure I bought more than I earned while working there. Being an organizer working at The Container Store is like being an alcoholic working in a liquor store. I think my husband was afraid to see what new plastic container, backpack, or shelving unit I'd come home with next. Thank goodness the TCS employee discount is so AWESOME!

Now go enter that contest and start deciding which three rooms you'll start decluttering first!