Getting Rid of Junk in Your Trunk

carclutterHey Collectors!

How many of you have things in your car that you don’t need? Are you using your car as a rolling storage bin or dumpster? Is your car starting to scrape the pavement because it is weighted down with junk? Extra weight in your car could be costing you money!

While we are thinking about fall cleaning and organizing, now is a great time to clean out our cars. Our cars can become just as cluttered as our homes! Since many of us spend way too much time in our cars commuting, let’s make sure we have a nice environment to enjoy.

You can also listen to my tips on organizing your car on my podcast Hoardganize:

I encourage you to start with your trunk, but if you are able, clean the entire car. You will be glad you did! Here are my tips to reduce the junk in your trunk.

  1. Take a large tarp and lay it next to your vehicle. Empty out EVERYTHING from the trunk. (If you are doing the entire car, take out everything from the car.) Once you have emptied the car, take the time to vacuum, scrub off any spills, and wipe down the car. You can always take your car to the car wash. With everything emptied, they should be able to get it super clean. I always like to add some scent to my car so it smells great. Check out my aromatherapy to add some natural scent to your car:

  2. Sift through all the items on the tarp. Remove all garbage and toss. If anything is recyclable, make sure to recycle.

  1. Only put back items that belong in the car or trunk. If something belongs in the home, put it there. If your home is packed, you might need to get help from a professional organizer to help clear clutter. Remember, only have what belongs in the trunk! It’s okay to have some music or snacks, just not all the music you have or the entire snack section of the convenience store.

  2. Carefully put all the remaining items back in your trunk and/or car. Now is the time to do some organizing if you want. Remember this easy tip: like with like. For example, you could keep all of your reusable bags together.

  3. Don’t forget to “pump and dump” every time you fill up your car with gas. Make it a habit every time you are a gas station to do this. Even if you are just getting snacks, get into the habit of clearing your car clutter: recycling bottles, throwing out wrappers, etc.

Check out this blog on items to keep in your car for disaster preparedness. You can read that blog here:

What’s your favorite organizing accessory for your car? What’s the oldest thing you have found when cleaning your car? Share your comments below.

Not a fan of cleaning your car, clearing your clutter or getting organized? Now is the time to get organized and have a stress free holiday! Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

Are you a shopaholic?

Hey Collectors!

Are you a shopaholic or worried that a friend or family member may be? Does your shopping lead to clutter for you? Do you over shop or overspend on a regular basis?

One of the ways clutter easily accumulates is that we continue to buy stuff, without getting rid of stuff we already own. With the holidays coming up, now is a great time to taking first steps on cutting down compulsive shopping.

What exactly is compulsive shopping? According to an article on WebMD:

“Compulsive shopping and spending are defined as inappropriate, excessive, and out of control,” says Donald Black, MDcluttergirl, professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. “Like other addictions, it basically has to do with impulsiveness and lack of control over one’s impulses. In America, shopping is embedded in our culture; so often, the impulsiveness comes out as excessive shopping.”1

What are some signs to know if you have crossed the line and are a compulsive shopper?

Going over budget. You set a budget, but go over it. May be you don’t have a budget. Perhaps you have credit card debt and know you can’t afford to buy something, but you just can’t stop.

More often than not. You just don’t go on a spring spree or Holiday spree. It’s more often: monthly or every other month. You find a reason to justify buying.

Hiding what you buy. Like an alcoholic, many compulsive shoppers will hide their purchases. They also might have secret accounts and family and friends have no idea how much debt has accumulated.

Can’t have just one. Like Lays potato chips, often compulsive shoppers can’t purchase just one item. Instead of buying one pair of jeans, they buy five.

Emotions related to compulsive shopping. Someone might use shopping as a way to soothe feelings such as anger, anxiety or depression. Some also may get a “high” from shopping.

There is no shame in asking for help and if you are a compulsive shopper, most professionals agree that you will need support as you treat your addiction. A therapist, counselor or professional organizer can help you get a handle on your situation. Many professional organizers, including myself, work with therapists and counselors to have the best possible outcome.

If you are ready to clear some of your clutter and still have receipts and tags, you might enjoy this blog I wrote on how to return merchandise:

Is there one item you can’t seem to say no to when you shop? How have you learned to slow down or stop your shopping? Share your comments below.

Has your shopping created clutter? Do you need to support to get a handle on your purchases? Have you stopped shopping but need help organizing what’s left? Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.


Fall Organizing Tips

Hey Collectors!

Fall Organizing Tips

Fall Organizing Tips

Can you believe we are in the last quarter of 2016?!? Fall is a great time for not only cleaning, but also getting organized. The holidays will be here before you know it. Being organized and clearing clutter goes a long way in reducing your stress!

Here are some of my favorite fall organizing tips. What are your favorite organizing tips for fall? Share in the comments below.

Decorations. Halloween is upon us and Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza and Winter Solstice will be here shortly. Now is a great time to organize your decorations. Because we only take these out once a year, sometimes we can forget to declutter and organize them. Take the time now. If you do a good overhaul now, you will have minimal work next year!

First, sort and separate all of your decorations into categories that make sense to you (Halloween, Tree, Outside, Displays, etc.). Once you have sorted, go through all of your piles and take the time to purge. Consider swapping out items with friends if you want a new look this year instead of going out and buying more decorations.

Next, assign a home for where the decorations will go. I like to keep all my decorations together, but you may like to keep them in different areas. For example, housing outside decorations in the garage and storing Christmas tree stockings and decorations in a closet.

After you have decided where the items will live, choose a container that will fit each category. Some categories may need more than one bin. I like clear bins so you can easily see what is inside, but I suggest putting a label or even an index card on top or the side so you will know all the contents. You will never have to go searching for decorations again!

Games Books Toys! With the holidays coming up, you will most likely be getting more stuff. Especially with kids, take the time to clear out what you already have before you organize. You might also find out gifts the kids want and can get started on your holiday shopping AFTER you have gotten organized.

Remember to concentrate on one area at a time. I encourage you to have your children go through their items with you. Teaching kids early on to clear clutter and get organized will help them later in life. If your kids are older, help them out by sorting games/books that are for younger kids. They may be able to simply look at the pile and have you donate it all.

After sorting by item (games, book, toys) see if any additional purging can be done. You could also pre sort games that have missing pieces or are beat up and let them go. I also suggest setting a limit for children (i.e. we will keep only books that fit in your bookcase).

Decide on a home for all your items and ask your child for input. Maybe they would prefer books in their room instead of in the playroom. Look for containers to store what’s left. Invest in sturdy containers. If they are flimsy and fall apart you may not use and clutter will accumulate again. Remember to measure twice! For example, if you will be using containers for a bookshelf, don’t forget the measurements of the shelf as well as the number and size of items you have to store on the shelf.

Garage. This can be a huge undertaking so I suggest blocking off an entire weekend. Garages can easily become overwhelmed with clutter because many people stick in here what they cannot make a decision on.

You are going to want to take everything out of the garage. EVERYTHING. Give it a good cleaning, sweeping. If you are feeling adventurous, consider a fresh coat of pain.

Go though everything and purge duplicates and anything you haven’t used in a while. If it’s rusty and not working, consider putting it on If you don’t have the time or desire to repair something out there, there is usually someone who does. A win win for everyone.

After you have purged, start organizing your items by category. You might have sports, holidays, lawn and garden, tool, etc. Come up with categories that make sense to you. After you have created organized piles, assign an area in the garage for each of the items. You will want to make sure you have enough space for all your items. Measure the space it will be stored as well as the items if you need to buy containers.

Don’t forget going vertical –I love pegboards for tools as well as above. There are a variety of racks and containers to utilize top space.

It’s a good idea to label and create a cheat sheet near the entrance to the garage of what you have and where it is.

Make it easier. If you are clearing clutter why you get organized, consider having friends and family come by and see if they would like anything. Or call a charity that comes and picks up. Here’s one that supports Veterans:

If you haven’t started your fall cleaning yet, check out my blog with tips for fall cleaning and a few fall organizing tips:

Don’t have time to get organized? Would you like to be organized to reduce holiday stress? Collector Care not only helps clients get organized and clear extreme clutter, but also works with hoarders.

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

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