Adventures in Hoardganize:
What People Hold Onto

Rachel Seavey, Blogger Owner of Collector Care

Rachel Seavey, Blogger
Owner of Collector Care

Hey Collectors!

Sometimes we can get so serious when it comes to getting organized and clearing clutter. It can sometimes be a big and overwhelming job. I wanted to share with you some of the fun things we have found on some of our jobs. There is no judgment! Let me repeat, no judgment! I have found that lightening the mood with my clients always helps and energizes them to keep going.

Here are some of our finds:

Why do you think people have held onto this stuff? Why have you held onto stuff? If someone is a hoarder, there is usually trauma associated with holding onto things. For people who aren’t hoarders, they may be afraid they might need it some day or are bothered that they might have spent a lot of money and feel if they are “losing” if they let it go.

I have also found that people are sometimes afraid to return items. What’s holding you back from clearing that clutter that may turn into a photo above? The worst that can happen is that they say no and take no returns. The best that can happen is you shed clutter and get some money back! Any items that the department store will not take – immediately donate! Do not come home; go straight to the donation center.

In my professional experience, I have found that once my clients do about five separate returns they are much more cautious during their initial shopping excursions and end up bringing home less stuff that turns into clutter.

What is the craziest thing you have found when you have decluttered? What is the oldest thing you have found? Share your comments below.

If you need some help clearing your clutter (including extreme clutter and hoarding), we can help you! You don’t have to tackle your clutter by yourself. Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation to discuss how we can help you get organized and/or declutter.

Photo Credits:

Get Organized Month – Easy Organizing Tips

Hey Collectors!

The National Association of Professional Organizers sponsors January as GET ORGANIZED Or GO Month. January is a great time to get organized because you can get prepared for the year. If you spend time now on clearing clutter and getting organized, then you can focus on creating, being and having fun! Who wouldn’t want more time for that? I would personally love more time at the spa getting pampered….

Have you ever thought about what being disorganized is costing you? I wanted to share some statistics with you. Do you see yourself in any of these statistics? Here are some stats on office disorganization I found on Brother USA:

  • The estimated annual dollars spent on looking for misplaced items in the office is $89,840,657,069 among full-time office professionals.

  • Estimated 38 working hours (or close to one work week) per person each year are lost as a result of looking for misplaced items in the office.

  • 66% of office workers having spent up to 30 minutes of time during a typical work week looking for things they have misplaced around their office, a major contributing factor for lost time in the office.

  • 46% of office workers have lost one of the following items in the past year (a file folder, mobile phone, calculator, flash or memory drive, a briefcase, suitcase, or luggage, lap top computer, or a PDA)

  • Close to four in 10 (37%) of office workers have gone into a work meeting feeling unprepared

  • Office supplies are on the top of office workers’ list of items lost in the last year with close to three in 10 (28%) have lost a file folder in the past year.

  • 87% of office workers say when their workspace is disorganized they feel they are less productive than when their workspace is organized

  • 86% agree that having a disorganized workspace is unprofessional

  • 30% of office workers have lost out on getting reimbursed for a business or travel expense because they misplaced or lost a receipt

To search more statistics on office disorganization and home disorganization, check out NAPO’s database:

My 10 Quick Organizing Tips for The New Year

  1. Begin by SCHEDULING time to get organized. If we don’t write it down, we probably won’t do it!

  1. Create a vision of what you would like your home to look like. Write this down and/or create a vision board. Make sure to always keep your vision handy where you can reference it to keep you going.

  1. Return anything unopened, new, or with tags on it, that you haven’t used and is collecting dust. If you don’t have it, you don’t have to organize it.

  1. Jewelry can usually be organized fairly quickly. Necklaces should be stored individually or hung vertically so they don’t become tangled with themselves or other jewelry. Bracelets can be kept in a compartmentalized drawer or tray. Organize earrings by type. Studs and hoops can be stored in small compartments. Dangly earrings should hang vertically to avoid entanglements and damage.

  1. Organize with Ziploc bags. They are great for containing small items and are easy to label and use. Tame unruly toys, hardware, cosmetics, collections and snacks with ease!

  1. The brown paper bag is one of my favorite tools to use for sorting. Bags are simple to label, lightweight and a great way to sort documents. I like to have two in front of me: one for shredding and one for recycling. The brown paper bag is great for carrying out recycling, garbage, compost, and small donations. Really, anything that you need to carry out of your home and take elsewhere.

  1. Tackle donation junk mail. Put all of your solicitations in a box. Go through this box with ruthlessness. Open up each solicitation that you are interested in donating to.

Next, create a spreadsheet or list of whom you just donated to, how much and the date. Write “return to sender” on ones you aren’t interested in and put them in your outgoing mail. If that’s too much, recycle or shred them immediately.

  1. Don’t hang onto items “just in case”. If you don’t love it move it along to someone in need.

  1. Organize and start your filing for the year. Commit to being judicious when it comes to holding onto school mementos. I suggest no more than one box per year and even less if you are able. Consider going through items with your child. Something might be important to them that you aren’t aware of and they might not need to keep what you considered special. Get ahead of the game and start keeping track of your receipts for taxes so you aren’t in a panic come tax time next year.

  1. Be mindful of your buying and spending. Constantly ask yourself if what you are thinking about acquiring matches your ultimate vision.

What are your favorite organizing tips? How has organizing saved you time, money or reduced your stress? Share in the comments below.

Are you tired of losing money because you purchased something you already owned? Do you spend hours looking for your keys, bills or other important documents? Collector Care can help you get organized to start your New Year off on the right foot!

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help your loved one.

Cleaning and Organizing for the New Year

Where Do I Begin?

Hey Collectors!

Can you believe 2017 is just around the corner? Another year with a clean slate and endless opportunities for you! What are you looking forward to in 2017? Is there something you would like to create? Clearing out the old to make way for the new is a good way to start!

In today’s post, I am going to tackle where to begin. This is my most asked question and how I begin with my clients. By getting down the basics steps to declutter, it makes it easy for you to organize.


Close up on a untidy cluttered wardrobe with colorful clothes and accessories many clothes and nothing to wear.

I want to first recommend that YOU be your biggest support. YOU have to desire to change and move forward. Let go of the guilt, shame, and stigma as it isn’t helping you and is in the past. YOU have taken the first step to get going. YOU must believe you deserve a happy life. Even if you hire a professional organizer or hoarding specialist, YOU still need to be your biggest advocate.

The first thing I do with my clients is designate a sorting station. Many people do not start here. I have found when working with clients that many are overwhelmed. The more you break down what you need to do in manageable steps, the more likely you are to complete the work.

When creating your sorting station, think about your age, any disability, and overall health; you want to make sure you are comfortable and not overextending yourself.

Find a comfortable chair, loveseat, or stool where you can sit to sort. It can be very exhausting to do sorting. Make sure you have good lumbar support, especially if you experience back pain. Improvise if you need to. For example, if sitting down hurts your back, consider using an ironing board as your sorting station so you can stand.

You might need to clear an area when you choose your sorting station. Try and have at least two feet around you. You don’t want to accidentally bury yourself while you are sorting or have things fall on you.

If you don’t have a place to sit comfortably, find a chair and unbury it. Put all the items that are on the chair and immediately surrounding it, into bag or box and move them out. Clear a spot and you can be comfortable.

I recommend using a small TV or folding table (cleared of clutter) for a surface space to hold your items you are going to sort and declutter. You can also use a box or bin flipped over. Don’t get caught up in it needing to be perfect. You just need a small, flat structure so you aren’t bending and hurting your back as you sort.

Don’t get distracted when going through items. If you have ADD or ADHD, you can easily get lost in the process of clearing space. If this is you, be mindful and stay on the task at hand to create your sorting station.

Get water and a snack to keep your energy up and to stay hydrated. Turn the ringer on your phone off and go to the bathroom so you won’t be distracted for 30 minutes. Listen to some upbeat and uplifting music while you sort to keep you motivated. I also use essential oils while decluttering. I love to have scents and put on my wrists. I rub my wrists and inhale deeply to help revitalize and energize me. Check out my blends here:

You may have heard the term OHIO: Only Handle It Once, but if you have extreme clutter this won’t work for you. Concentrate for 30 minutes on creating your sorting station and don’t stress out if you have to handle something more than once.

Once you have your sorting station, you are in control of clutter and it doesn’t control you. You can now begin to sort!

What is your favorite organizing or decluttering tip for the New Year? Are you more motivated with 2017 around the corner? Share your comments below.

Check out additional clearing and organizing tips on my blog:

Are you ready for a fresh start for 2017? Could your home, office, garage, kitchen, attic, bedroom, bathroom use some decluttering? Collector Care not only helps client’s clear clutter and get organized, but also offers extreme cleaning and services for hoarders.

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

Photo credit:

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