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Three Reasons I LOVE Working with Hoarders

Hey Collectors!

Happy Spring!

Did you know that I LOVE working with hoarders?

I am often asked why I love working with this amazing group of people. I understand why people want to know because the work conditions can be dangerous and sometimes hazardous. Many of my clients are depressed and overwhelmed. Many have suffered severe trauma. For many, that may be a challenging group of people to work with.

I love working with hoarders because no matter what, I see the bright side. Even the most extreme cases bring stories of joy. Despite all the current struggles, there is still a fighter within all of our clients. They have a fire that burns deep inside.

When my team helps someone save his or her home or repair a strain on a marriage due to extreme clutter, we help fuel that flame. We help remind them of a time when they were happy, and we help them get their lives back on track. I am honored to share such a sacred time in their lives.

Here are three reasons why I love working with Hoarding Disorder clients:rachel seavey

1. They see a use for everything. A broken piece of ceramic can be created into mosaic, hair can be composted, or a milk carton can double as a flowerpot. Their ideas are endless. I am so grateful to my Collectors for debating, arguing and literally showing me your points. I never would have known the many ways to reuse a bread twist tie. Your creativity is boundless. THANK YOU for being so resourceful.

2. They make it work. It doesn’t matter if my clients are teetering across five feet of garbage, or stacking boxes in a corner with magazines and important mail, they know how to make it work. They are skilled survivalists climbing over and under to get a drink of water or sleeping on their beds with everything but the kitchen sink. I am in awe of their ability to adapt.

3. They make me laugh. Laughing is good for the mind, body and soul. Even in the most severe cases, we are able to find humor. Even with the pressure of eviction, divorce or family members launching attacks, we find ourselves laughing throughout the day. After going through the 50th large home depot box of mystery items, and the 3,000 garments in the closet, you really get to know someone well. Everyone is exhausted, emotions have run high, and laughter and joking are much needed. The majority of my clients can find humor in their collections and situations.

rachel seavey

As a side note, I LOVE going through your mystery boxes. Thank you for your time capsules and random acts of organizing.

If you are a Hoarder, what do you love about yourself? If you have a friend, family member or loved one who is a hoarder, what do you love about them? Share in the comments below.

If you are a hoarder, can you see the beauty in where you are right now? Can you acknowledge the good of your hoarding disorder?

Are you a hoarder ready to make some changes? Have a loved one who is a hoarder and needs help? Collector Care works with hoarders, extreme clutter and getting people organized.

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you compassionately work with your hoarder or clear your extreme clutter.

Eco Organizing – Rachel’s Five Fun Tips

Hey Collectors!

Can you believe it is spring? I love spring—the smell of flowers, the rich scent of the earth, fresh cut grass…. Spring always makes me feel hopeful and that anything is possible. It is also a great time for bringing ways to be green into your organization. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you can have some fun! Let’s celebrate Earth Day a little early with some easy eco organizing tips.

First, I wanted to share some statics with you from TreeHugger.com. I would recommend reading the whole article. It is an interesting read with lots of good additional information:

1.4 Pounds: The amount of trash generated daily, on average, by every American. Packed in cubed feet it would be the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

254 million tons: The amount of trash that Americans generate in a year.eco green organizing

22 billion: Plastic bottles thrown out yearly.

12 feet: The height of a wall from Los Angeles to New York City that could be made from tossed office paper every year.

300: Laps around the equator that could be made in paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons disposed of annually.

2,000+: The number of active landfills in the country.

1000s: The number of inactive landfills in the country.

38.4 tons: the amount of garbage per person in Las Vegas landfills.

10 tons, or less: The amount of landfill waste per person in Idaho, North Dakota, and Connecticut

http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/trash-numbers-startling-statistics-about-americans-and-their-garbage.html

Hopefully, these statistics will motivate you to consider being green not only in your organizing but also your every day life.

Rachel’s Five Fun Eco Friendly Organizing Tips

1. Banker’s boxes. I love the size of banker’s boxes because they are easy to carry around the house and easy to label for sorting. My favorite part about banker’s boxes is that most of them have handles. They also stack nicely and are sturdy enough to reuse for years.

2. Creative repurposing for jewelry. Bangle bracelets are tricky to store. They don’t quite fit into most jewelry boxes and they don’t hang well on a hook.

Rather than stash them in the dark corners of your dresser drawers, create a bangle holder from items you already own.

Most bottles fit bangle bracelets quite well. Simply grab a bottle — any beer or soda bottle will do — and stack your bracelets vertically around the bottle.

If you want to make your bracelet collection part of your décor, opt for a decorative bottle that’s slightly larger than the bracelets. They’ll stack nicely and rest around the bottle without falling to the bottom.

3. T-shirts. If you have a lot of t-shirts, especially ones from Jr. High, High School, College or perhaps races where you have competed, teams you support, etc. consider having them made into a quilt.

You will release all that clutter and have something useful that is fun and lets you enjoy good memories every time you use it.

4. Go green with your cleaning products. Most of the time we already have these items in our kitchen or pantry such as vinegar, olive oil, baking soda, etc. Here are 8 eco friendly cleaning recipes you can try: http://www.womensvoices.org/take-action-with-womens-voices/green-cleaning-parties/green-cleaning-recipes/

5. I love to repurpose clear plastic containers that I get from the store when I purchase shower curtains, pillowcases or bedding. I use the smaller clear pillowcase containers to keep my cords together. I love that these containers are sturdy, see through and you can easily label with a sharpie. With the different sizes you can use them for to store a variety of things. No more trips to the store to spend money on containers you already have at home!

Here’s another site I love that is full of good information: http://earth911.com

How are you green? What are your favorite eco-friendly tips for organizing or for life? Share in the comments below.

Do you need to get organized and want to be as green as possible? Are you looking for creative organizers who can help you declutter and repurpose? Collector Care can help you get organized and be environmentally friendly while doing it!

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help your be more organized and eco-friendly.

Photo credit: http://lemerg.com/696549.html

Sorting Your Clutter

Choosing What to Sort #3

Hey Collectors!

If you have been following my blog, we have been doing a series on where to begin. Don’t forget to check out the other blogs on where to begin. You can view the previous step Preparing to Sort here: http://www.collectorcare.com/cleaning-organizing-new-year-preparing-sort/

simple sorting

Today we are going to talk about deciding WHAT to sort. I get this question a lot. What do I chose to start? What should I sort first? I am going to suggest that you read this blog once before you make some decisions and then read again as you determine what to sort.

If your house is completely chaotic with stuff everywhere, it may be a challenge to figure out where to start.

I personally love filing paperwork, but this is not a good place to start. Don’t begin with paperwork because this involves lots of follow up, work, making decisions such as whether to file or shred, you may need additional information, etc. This requires a lot of effort and I believe it is better to start out with something a little easier.

Don’t start with photos either because there is usually a large amount and not much reward because of the volume. Photos tend to trigger memories, both good and bad, and can take us down the road of the past and future. You could easily become distracted.

I suggest you start with recycling. Many people are concerned that their garbage may contain some recycling materials. If you feel like your garbage has some recyclables this might be a good place to start. You can make a big dent in this area AND it sets you up for success that you can build upon.

Choose a small area you feel ok to declutter, that doesn’t give you anxiety and where you can easily fill your “to go through” box.

The garage or attic is another good place to begin. If you haven’t been in these areas in five, ten, twenty years or more, that will actually help you. It is a good place to start because you tend to have a lot less attachment to things you haven’t seen in a long time then items that are on the dining room table that you see everyday.

Another easy area is the kitchen. You might not have been in the kitchen in a while. It tends to be easy to release expired, moldy and contaminated items. Don’t worry about putting everything perfectly in your containers. Stuff may not fit and that is okay; place those items neatly next to your box to go through.

Start small and make good decisions. Find a space in your home where you are ok with decluttering. Maybe an area where you have old, crusty art supplies that are you know you could release. Or the bathroom with makeup that is past its shelf life. Find things that are easy to let go of. You will gain a great sense of accomplishment going through these items. Don’t make it hard in beginning or you may stop sorting.

Once you have found an area, start placing items in your “go through” box and go to your sorting station. Stay focused and just put stuff in your box. Maybe put a piece of bright colored poster board where you’re decluttering so you know where your station is and can easily find it each time. If you need to, throw a blanket over other stuff so it doesn’t distract you.

Remember, take your time putting your items in your box and not being a perfectionist about the process. This will provide a solid foundation of items to go through.

Have your Keep, Donate, Important, Recycling and Garbage bags by your sorting station.

Next month we are going to talk about Keeping vs. Donating. If you can’t wait check out the podcast! http://hoardganize.libsyn.com/where-do-i-begin-keep-vs-donate-4

How do you like to sort when you are decluttering? By color, size, item? What has been the biggest challenge for you when it comes to sorting? Share your comments below.

Sorting is only the beginning of getting organized and reducing your clutter. Collector Care can help! Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation to discuss how we can help you with decluttering, hoarding, extreme clutter and getting organized.

Meme Credits: http://www.icanteachmychild.com/simple-sorting-for-young-toddlers/