Hygiene and Hoarding: SELF CARE

Hey Collectors!

Valentine’s Day is here. There seems to me to be so much pressure to be in a couple and things like Hallmark can make us feel even worse. Sometimes when we feel lonely, we can forget to take care of ourselves.

First, I want to say don’t be sad if you are single. And if you are a shopper, now is NOT the time to go shopping. Many clients I know shop when they are depressed. Depression and/or hoarding can also lead to neglecting our self-care. For some people, getting out of bed in the morning can seem like having to climb a big mountain.

Today I want to talk about hoarding and hygiene; this can be a difficult subject. I wanted to begin by sharing a funny meme to lighten the mood before we get a little more serious:

When you are down and out and feeling depressed you tend to care less about hygiene. However, if you are a hoarder you may not be able to bathe. Many of my clients aren’t able to shower because they don’t have running water and/or electricity. Many times people who are hoarders or have extreme clutter are embarrassed to call a plumber or repair person. So, if there is a leak or something that needs to be fixed, it may not get fixed.

It’s important to acknowledge that hoarding doesn’t discriminate. Any nationality, social status, background, religion, sexual orientation can suffer from hoarding disorder. People in your neighborhood may be hoarders and from an outside glance you wouldn’t be able to tell. While you may not be a hoarder, if you do not deal with your clutter it could easily turn into a hoarding situation. An accident, stressful life event or even a huge home repair could put you in this situation. Many hoarders never dreamed they would find themselves hoarding.

I first urge you to seek professional help if you are in this situation. Know you are not alone and there are many compassionate professionals, including myself, who can help you!

I am a big believer in self-love. While I am offering some simple suggestions and solutions for hygiene, this can begin the guiding blocks for self-love and self-care.

I was inspired to talk about this because I had some clients that faced losing their job because their bosses told them they would be fired if they didn’t clean up. Sometimes we can’t notice when we smell. For example, many smokers don’t notice they smell like smoke.

Here are some tips if you are in a hoarding situation and need to find a solution for better hygiene.

1. Baby wipes can be used on all parts of your face and body. This is obviously a short-term solution, but when you need to take care of yourself, you need to take care of yourself.

2. Travel toothbrushes. These are disposable and easy to find. The toothpaste is built in and they are recyclable!

3. Dry shampoo. I love this stuff! I use it on days when I am running late or my hair really needs washing and it’s cold out (or I am feeling lazy!) Rock stars use it, so why shouldn’t you? Simply spray in your hair and comb out.

4. Febreeze. If you don’t have a washer, and especially if you have pets, this is a lifesaver. Use it on clothing before going to work. I also suggest using Febreeze on your couch, pathways and carpet. My fiancé believes Lysol is better to help freshen stuff. You can figure out which on your prefer and works best for you.

To hear my final tip on hygiene and hoarding watch here:

I wanted to end with another funny meme. If you are feeling down about being single on Valentine’s Day, here’s a way to look at the bright side!

How do you take care of yourself when you are decluttering? What has been the biggest challenge for you when it comes to self-care? Share your comments below.

You don’t have to tackle your clutter and organizing alone! We understand your challenges and are here to help! 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.

Meme Credits:

Love the one you are with!

Hey Collectors!

This month my blogs are going to focus on self-care. I love the song by Crosby, Stills and Nash, “Love the One You’re With.” Why do I love it? Because I believe we can apply it to the clutter, all the stuff and all the objects in our lives. (We can apply it to a lot more, but my blog focuses on hoarding, clutter and organizing!)

If you really think about, clutter is somewhat the opposite of love. We consider it clutter because we aren’t loving it, using it or needing it. Clutter doesn’t bring us love; it can’t be a substitute for love, and it doesn’t bring us love, yet we still have lots of clutter!

So, why do we hold onto things we don’t love? While there are different reasons for each individual and they can be a combination of motives, I am going to share three reasons why I see many people hold onto things they don’t love.

Collector Care Professional Organizers

1. We might need it someday. This is a big one for people. Especially if people have faced poverty in their lives they are reluctant to let go of things. I encourage people to focus on the present. If we are always living in the past or future, we might not have a realistic sense of what we need. How can you practice being more present?

If you are worried that you may need something, can you come up with a plan so you can let some stuff go? For example, if you are holding onto gardening items and don’t have a garden, can you research and see if a store in your area rents out gardening tools? How about a local gardening club or a renting network? If you see other options and know you won’t have to go without, that might help you be able to let some things go.

2. We don’t want to offend someone. Have you ever been given a gift you didn’t like but were afraid you would hurt someone’s feelings if you let it go? While it is wonderful to be so concerned about someone’s feelings, if it is creating clutter then it isn’t good for you. Many times people won’t even remember if they gave you something. If the gift is from someone who is no longer in your life, could you take that first step to release it?

If the gift is from someone close to you, could you have a conversation with him or her? Tell them how you love them and are trying to release what isn’t a priority for you? You may discover that you help someone else who is on the journey of clearing his or her clutter.

3. Guilt over the amount of money spent. Do you have something that is hanging in your closet with the tags still on it but you haven’t donated it because of all the money you spent? Do you begin to get angry with yourself and then have a bunch of guilt? First of all, be easy on yourself. Getting upset with yourself will only add to your stress. It’s okay if you aren’t using something you spent a lot of money buying. The important step is to take action now.

This even happens to me! I think, “Gosh, I spent all that money, am I really ready to let it go?” What has helped me is having a charity that I love so that I know what I didn’t use will go to good use and help someone else.

If you are passionate about animals, check out my blog about items that animal shelters need. You might have a lot of these items and could easily bring a nice chunk in one trip! The animals would be really grateful!

Are you holding onto something that you don’t love? What would you be willing to let go of right now? Share in the comments below.

Of course, if you are a hoarder or have extreme clutter, there may be deeper issues going on with why you are unable to release things you don’t love. Please don’t beat yourself up about this! The first step is recognizing that you are struggling and could use some support. Collector Care is here to help you if you are a hoarder or who has a loved one who is.

Are you tired of being overwhelmed with things you don’t love? Ready to finally have only what’s important in your home? Collector Care can help you get organized and clear clutter so you can be surrounded by what you love and what brings you joy!

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you release items that you don’t love, need or use.

Image credit:

Cleaning and Organizing for the New Year: Preparing to Sort

collector care professional organizers

collector care professional organizers

Hey Collectors!

2017 is here! What are you most excited about creating, doing or enjoying? I am excited about getting married this year, watching my son Shane continue to grow and learn, and growing my business and podcast, Hoardganize.

Last month, I posted about where to begin. This is my most asked question as a professional organizer. I created a unique step-by-step plan and basic steps for my clients. You can read that blog post here:

In today’s post, I am going to continue how to set up and get organized. I see many people get overwhelmed and try to tackle too much stuff. By doing easy to manage basic steps, you are more likely to clear your clutter!

Preparing to Sort

After you have created your sorting station, next begin to prepare to sort! You are at your sorting station, now what?

You should have space to put containers when you created your sorting station. The first step is to grab the following items: 4 EMPTY containers for sorting. It doesn’t matter what they are—it can be the brown paper bags from the grocery store, bins, plastic containers, or amazon boxes. You will also need:

  • Trash bag

  • Recycling bag

  • Sharpie

Don’t get caught up in having matching containers and making everything perfect! Remember, our goal here is to clear clutter and get started sorting. Focus on being able to sort, not on how the containers look! Perfection can be a big obstacle for anyone looking to clear clutter.

If you are more visual, check out this episode on YouTube:

Begin by LABELING all four of your empty containers:

  • TO GO TRHOUGH — these are all the items you will be going to sort. Just load it on up to begin. When it is empty, reload.

  • KEEP — the items you want to keep. I know many of you might be thinking, “I want to keep it all, I need that.” Right now, we are just labeling and preparing to sort. I will go into more detail in next month’s blog. (If you are ready to move forward, check out the next episode on Hoardganize:

  • DONATE — contains “I am okay and feel good about donating.” I personally only donate to ONE organization until the clutter is under control. Instead of creating separate bags like hair care to a women’s shelter, keep your focus labeling your bags.

  • IMPORTANT — this bag is for “I cannot live without.” Some of the items might include: money, medication, keys, paper for work, urgent current and immediate items such as your mortgage bill.

Photos and collector coins could also be important. You might be confused because a lot is important to you. Focus on what is most important that needs to be addressed RIGHT NOW or today.

If you are nervous because the categories are too broad, that’s okay. It’s very normal for you to feel you this way.

Look at all you have accomplished! You created your sorting station, labeled containers and are ready to get started. Next month, I will talk about choosing what to start!

Remember, happiness is a place between too little and too much.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to sorting? What is the first room or area you are going to begin decluttering? Share your comments below.

Still stuck with sorting? Feeling overwhelmed and need some guidance? No worries, we can help! Collector Care helps people clear clutter and get organized, including working with hoarders and hording situations as well as extreme clutter.

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

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