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.

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Space Clearing Methods

Hey Collectors!

Have you ever walked into an office or home and something didn’t feel right? Is there a room you avoid because it doesn’t have good vibrations? Does any of the energy of your home or office feel stuck? I am a huge fan of space clearing. It always makes my space feel good and I feel good as well.

Here are some tips for clearing your space.

Clear you clutter. You aren’t surprised I said that are you? If you read any books on Feng Shui, one of the first things they tell you is to clear your clutter. Clutter is stagnant energy and you will want to get rid of as much as possible. (If you need help, we are here!)

Pick a method. There are lots of ways you can clear energy. You can use gongs, sound bowls and sage. Many people opt to bring in nature such as using a seashell or flowers. There is no right or wrong; let your interest and what feels good guide you. Check out my aromatherapy

Bottle of essential oil lemon thyme thyme oreganorosemary and sage leaf on wooden background.

and sage products to help you with space clearing:

Preparation. Once you have decided what space clearing method you are going to use, begin. Block out time to do the ceremony so you don’t feel rushed. If you have others living with you, involve them as well. Get any supplies you may need. Turn off all fans and appliances and set the stage for your ceremony.

Set the intention. As you are clearing the space, don’t forget to set an intention of what you would like to bring into your space. Are you looking for a new relationship? Would you like more abundance? What would you like to feel in your space—peace, happiness, creativity?

Have gratitude. I always like to end my ceremony with gratitude. Take time to say some thanks. Notice how your space feels. Did you like the method you used or would you like to try something new? This is about having fun, so be open to explore different ways to clear your space.

Maintenance. I am a fan of clearing my space on a regular basis. Become aware of your space and how it feels. You don’t have to wait until the next “scheduled” time. If something doesn’t feel good or you had someone in your home that didn’t have good energy, clear your space!

Do you clear your space? When space clearing methods do you use and like? Share your comments below.

If you are ready to have a space clearing, we can help you get there by clearing clutter and organizing your stuff. Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation to discuss how we can help you clear clutter or get organized.

Tips for Holidays with a Hoarder

Hey Collectors!

While the Holidays are a time of joy, fun and family, they can also be a time of stress. If you have a member of your family, or a friend, that is a Hoarder, holidays may be anything but merry. I want to share some ways you can navigate the Holidays with a Hoarder.

The reality is that a hoarder needs professional help. I have trained and become certified to work with hoarders. Most family members and friends don’t have any type of training and rarely are they able to improve the situation. However, it is important for you to stay sane during the holidays, so here are some tips if you’ll be spending the holidays with a hoarder.

  1. Let go of expectations. If you are looking for a Christmas miracle, it’s probably not going to happen. Don’t view the holidays as a time to make progress or change the habits of a hoarder. Now is usually not the time to practice any tips you saw on Hoarders or read in any books.

  2. Be less judgmental. Even if you don’t say anything, people can feel when they are being judged. Hoarding is caused by deep pain and being judgmental only adds to the pain and doesn’t do anyone any good. If you feel yourself starting to think or say something, consider going outside for a breath of fresh air.

  3. Practice empathetic listening. What may seem like an easy decision for you may be a difficult process for someone who struggles with hoarding. Be patient and stay positive. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a walk around the block.

  4. Have boundaries. If your family or friend begins to behave badly or revisits the same subject over and over after you have expressed your opinion or concerns, you don’t have to engage. If you don’t have a mindfulness practice, now would be a good time to start. Simply doing deep breaths can make a huge difference.

  5. Take care of yourself. Practice good self-care. It can be heart breaking to see someone you love struggle. If you are visiting, find places you can go to if you need to get out of the house. Have a friend on stand by that you can text or call if you get really stressed. Consider hiring a professional organizer to coach you before, during or after your visit. Make sure they are certified to work with hoarders.

  6. At the end of the Holidays if you have become more concerned or believe that they might be open to receiving help, contact professional organizers in your area for help. If you don’t know where to look, city and county officials can point you in the right direction. To learn more about how Collector Care can help:

Do you have any tips for dealing with a loved one that is a hoarder? Have you found different challenges because of the holidays? Share in the comments below.

Is your friend or family member ready to take the first step to deal with their hoarding? Are you looking for compassionate help that will also create progress? Collector Care offers extreme cleaning and services for hoarders.

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.

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