Kindness: Pay It Forward

Hey Collectors!

I wanted to talk about kindness and paying it forward. I especially benefited from the kindness of others when I was growing up. While it may not exactly have to do with clutter, hoarding and organizing, I believe, especially now, we need kindness more than ever. Be kind to hoarders!

Because I work with hoarders and those who have extreme clutter, I can see how unkind and cruel people can be. I talked about hoarding and hygiene last month because many hoarders struggle in this area. Too often we are quick to judge and make fun of someone with out knowing the whole picture. If you knew someone became a hoarder because they lost a child, would you have more empathy? Have you ever judged someone and then went through an experience that opened your eyes to having more understanding? I believe what we put out we get back, so I would like to suggest being kind.

Being kind doesn’t have to cost anything. We can make the choice to be kind. I have a friend and colleague who is doing a random act of kindness each day this year. She chose to do this because she wanted to make a difference in some small way each day.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.


What is the kindest thing someone did for you? Have you ever done a random act of kindness for someone? Share your comments below.

Ways to be Kind

Here are some ways you can easily practice being kind:

1. Random acts. Have fun with this. Maybe you leave a note on someone’s car windshield to remind him or her they are loved. Or buy coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbuck’s. I have found many times when we spread these random acts of kindness it is exactly what someone needed in that moment.

2. Smiling. Talk about a freebie! How many times do we fail to look someone in the eye and offer a kind smile? When someone smiles at us, it makes us feel good. I try and do this when I see someone who is homeless because I feel acknowledging them is very important because most people ignore them. Many homeless are Veterans who served our country, are mentally ill or may have had a crisis that has forced them onto the street.

Smiling is contagious and I bet you find yourself doing it more once you start.

3. Lending an ear. We all want to be heard and valued. Sometimes people just need to vent or to be reminded that someone cares. Allowing someone to lighten his or her load can go a long way.

4. Taking action. When I was single, I appreciated a neighbor that would sometimes bring my garbage and recycling cans in for me. It was a small act, but it made me feel less alone. I have a friend that always goes out of her way to help seniors. She was very close to her grandmother but lived far away from her in her later years. A woman about her age lived next door and would always spend time taking with her grandmother. She remembered how

happy that made her grandmother and vowed to pay the kindness forward.

5. Volunteering. There are so many wonderful organizations and non-profits that could always use a hand. Check out my blog post about tips to be a good volunteer and some of my favorite charities in the Bay area:

Looking for some kind hearted help with your hoarding, extreme clutter, organizing or decluttering? Our compassionate crew 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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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.

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