I still have too much stuff! Decluttering Tips …

What Now? I Still Have Too Much Stuff!

Hey Collectors!

This month, we are continuing with my What Now? Series on decluttering. You can check out all Hoardganize episodes here:

What do we do when we have too much still? If you have been following the series, you have gone through your inventory and paired it down. You may still feel like you have too much stuff. If you are a hoarder, it may have felt like you only have half of your stuff and it still feels cluttered.

First, remember how you far you have come. Think about when you first read the blog and all the amazing tools and techniques you have learned. You are in a different place! It may be hard to feel satisfied because you are chasing a perfect outcome of a clutter free home and ignoring how far you have come. Don’t beat yourself up or feel like you’ve failed. You have not failed. You have learned you have a lot less tolerance for clutter than before.

shoe hoard

Keep going through your stuff each day. For example, some of the summer tops you kept at the beginning of the process. You may discover you don’t like some as much. As you try on clothes and use products, you will know what you like because you actually tried it on or used it.

A few months ago when you saw that unopened QVC skin care product, you were immediately thought “keep”, but now that you have actually used it, you may realize you don’t like it. Go ahead and donate unused portions of items you don’t like, don’t wear, or toss. If you aren’t going to use something, it has officially become clutter. Don’t hang onto it to give to the perfect person; let it go. You still have too much because you haven’t been letting go.

Try on, test out, and let go of what doesn’t make you feel attractive. Don’t hang onto because you might fit into it someday. Maybe keep one or two items for an incentive or sentimental reasons, but no more than that. Keep these items away from what you use daily. Keep it in the closet to avoid creating clutter. Clutter that every time you see it, you feel fat, older, gross, etc. You might not notice that you are beating yourself up, but your subconscious knows.

As you go through each item, let go of what doesn’t serve you or brings up negative thoughts and feelings. Surround yourself with items that make you feel attractive or evoke positive feelings.

Collectors, you have grown! You now know your threshold when it comes to clutter. That’s huge. You are learning to live life in a more organized manner. It doesn’t happen overnight; it could take weeks, months or years to declutter and that is ok. You are aware of your issues, you are working on them, and you are reading the blog to learn tools to change.

If you are still constantly acquiring things while doing this program, you are also bringing in added guilt and this is counterproductive. Slow down and even stop. If you are still over acquiring, knock it off. You are not helping yourself. My hope with this program is that you get so sick and tired of sorting that you don’t want to buy.

If you are still buying and acquiring, you might need additional help. Call a professional organizer. I offer a free phone consultation and work virtually with people. I cannot help with compulsive shopping, but here are two resources for compulsive shopping: and

Do you struggle with deciding what goes into each room? Are you discouraged after a round or two of decluttering? Collector Care can help! We can help you with decluttering or getting organized whether you are in an apartment, office or home.

Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you declutter and get organized whether you are an extreme clutterer or hoarder or just need a helping hand.

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5 Tips on Annihilating Dirty Dishes

Hey Collectors!

Are you living in a dish disaster? Have you gone to paper plates now that you have used all of your dishes? Are you even buying new dishes? Surrounded by fruit flies?

One of the main sources of clutter in the kitchen is dirty dishes. I know this personally and professionally. After cooking and eating, who wants to clean? Everyone has a different threshold. Some clean after every meal, at the end of the day, and some leave dirty dishes for weeks or even months. What is your threshold?

I have worked with people who clean while they cook, so there are only a few dishes and they do them immediately afterwards. I have worked with people who have had dishes sit in the sink for decades.

Here are five tips on annihilating dishes so you can clear dirty dish clutter.

  1. Begin by clearing space on your kitchen counter so dishes can sit and dry. Grab a box or bin or bag and put all the dirty dishes in and move them out of way. This could be six or seven small boxes or less. Don’t worry about the number. Next, put the boxes in another room.
  2. The goal is to have a clear space to work and have dishes dry. No deep cleaning or obsessing; get the counter de junked and have a clear surface. Put a clean towel on top if the surface is dirty. Pick a towel–don’t get stuck in figuring out which one. Use a sheet if you have to. No one is perfect. If you are able to quickly clean the surface do so.
  3. Soaking. This is a huge part of process. Get water out of your tub or backyard if you need to and put it in a bin (or plastic storage container—whatever can hold water) and let the dishes soak. Soaking is important if you haven’t washed the dishes in a long time. This step will give you time and energy when you need to wash. Soaking overnight makes cleaning easier. If the dishes aren’t too dirty, a few hours might be all the time you need. Put a stopper in the sink and fill with warm water (cold is okay), and add Dawn liquid.
  4. Using a clean sponge, scrub brush wash your dishes. You can wash in the sink or in the container. Take the scrub brush and wash. If you are disabled, sit on a stool or chair. Wash each dish one by one. Wash the front, the back, the rim and around the ridge. Be very through. Rinse your dishes immediately after you wash. Dump out the bucket and get clean water. Once the dishes are rinsed, put them on a clean towel or sheet in the space you created on your kitchen counter. You can spend time drying or let them air dry.
  5. Put your dishes away. If you don’t have space, which is quite common, put them in an organized fashion on your cleared counter space. Keep plates with plates, and work in small increments. Consider decluttering your cabinets once you have wash your dishes. When your dishes are clean, your house won’t smell and fruit flies will go away. Clean dishes are better for your healthy. Congratulate yourself! You have conquered huge source of clutter.
  6. Fruit flies are small and eat your food. Eliminating dirty dishes is a priority! Once your dishes are clean, all the rotten food thrown out, and all recycling and trash is outside, they will leave. Start thinking what is best for you. You may need to take baby steps and take your time, especially if you are older, injured or disabled. Doing dishes in small increments will help you. Remember, the goal is to create a nice, safe place, not a perfect place.

Overwhelmed with dirty dishes? Looking to clear clutter or get organized but have no idea where to start? Would you like to walk into a decluttered and organized home? Collector Care can help you with extreme clutter, regular decluttering work with you if you are a hoarder.

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

Dusted and Disgusted – Facts About Dust and Clutter

Hey Collectors!

Dust. Almost every cluttered home that I work in has a lot of dust. You name it; I have seen dust caked on its surface. My team once vacuumed 10 pounds of dust from one home. Many of my clients have some sort of breathing problem or challenge and must use a breathing machine. I believe that many of these breathing problems are because of the dust in the home.

I speak regularly about dust and clutter during presentations for the Better Breathers Club California American Lung Association. With the hotter months coming up, I wanted to share some important facts about dust. (Read further to see what is significant this month). We also perform detailed vacuuming using a HEPA filter high-grade vacuum when working with clients because of the impact of dust.

Clutter attracts dust. When our dust rag hits a surface it goes POOF like a bag of flour exploding. Without a mask I feel dust seep into my mouth, tongue, teeth and yes, lungs. The best I can describe this is as chalk like. When clearing and cleaning a lot of dust, it is very important to open up windows before we begin. We encourage everyone on our team, and this includes the client who is part of our team, to wear a N95 dust mask or a respirator.


Here are three interesting facts about dust I was surprised to learn:

Dust consists of particles in the atmosphere that come from various sources such as soil, dust lifted by weather, volcanic eruptions, and pollution. Dust in homes, offices, and other human environments contains small amounts of plant pollen, human and animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals

from outdoor soil, human skin cells, burnt meteorite particles, and many other materials which may be found in the local environment.1

Dust pneumonia is a medical condition that develops due to the excessive exposure to dust. This form of respiratory disorder affected a great number of people during 1930s in America when the Dust Bowl took place. The Dust Bowl was a period of dust storms that affected American and Canadian prairies during a severe drought in the 1930s. The Dust Bowl caused ecological damage, agricultural depression and consequently economic and social disaster. Enormous amount of dust in the air caused dust pneumonia in large portion of the population and many died.2

Dust mites grow best at 75-80% relative humidity, and they cannot survive when the humidity is below 50%. Dust mite populations’ peak during the hot, humid months of July and August. Depending on its age, your mattress may house between one million and ten million dust mites. Dust mites flourish in warm, humid environments.

Now that you have learned some facts about dust, I invite you to consider purchasing a mask or two. Not multiple masks as you still probably need to declutter and don’t want to create more dust. Use when you are cleaning or sorting and kicking up dust. Please make sure it has a particulate filter. Here are two examples of ones Collector Care recommends:

Has clutter caused your breathing problem because of dust? Are you ready to clear your clutter and kick your dust to the curb? Collector Care can help you declutter, whether you have extreme clutter, are a hoarder or need some minor help clearing your clutter. We also can get you organized.

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

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