Keys to Being an Organized Person

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

Once we’ve acknowledged that change needs to occur, we must have the courage to implement. I help my clients address their daily routines and work towards creating healthier habits that lead to more fulfilled lives. Removing the excess is step one, but developing the proper skill set needed to maintain a space is critical. I want my clients to benefit from a space that empowers and energizes them, not adds to their anxiety.

! SPOILER ALERT ! Organization is not only about pretty bins and labeling everything.

Editing the excess is by far the most important step and it will be repeated constantly. 

Even if your items are “organized,” if you’re not using them – they’re considered clutter. 

Take inventory before you make any new purchases. It’s easier to get clear on what’s needed once you’ve familiarized yourself with your belongings. Most people get in the habit of storing things with good intentions only to forget about them down the road.

Pay particular attention to pantries, refrigerators and freezers. Food is a necessity, but it can be a source of clutter as well. Make sure you’re eating through food stock every 4-6 months and don’t forget to look at expiration dates! 

Closets are another area to constantly address. It’s tempting to buy a new outfit for every occasion, but get creative! Shop your closet first and work towards quality staples you feel good in that can be restyled over and over to achieve new looks.

Start a routine *quick* full home walk-through every month. Trust me, clutter accumulates faster than you think! This does not mean you’re re-organizing every month. The goal is to simply address anything new that has entered your home. 

As you gain more confidence in the process, organize with what you have first. It’s unnecessary and expensive to purchase matching containers when you’re still getting used to a new, simplified way of life. We’re going for lasting change – not just overnight “before + afters”. You’d be surprised at how many things you already own that could do the trick initially. Once you continue the edit and determine what’s truly essential, you can work on the overall aesthetic and organization needed in each space. 

Quick Tips

  1. It’s our sustained, daily efforts that lead to continued success and lasting change. 
  2. Take inventory of what you currently own to avoid more clutter to manage.
  3. As you adjust to the process, start by organizing with what you have first. 

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Photo Via https://unsplash.com/photos/1WFXk3WJXZU
2021-07-01T08:50:43+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

How Many Toys Do Kids Really Need?

Playing with ToysParenting in a world full of excess often contradicts our best intentions to provide and connect with our kids.

Why? Because it’s big business and they know how to hit one of our deepest trigger points — inadequacy. They plant the seed of doubt that we’re not doing enough and the roots grow instantly. They know the pressures we face and the comparison games we play. There’s a bigger conversation to be had about aligning our values with our consumer habits, but here are some starting points to restore order. 

Create organizational habits as early as possible.

Studies show that children as young as 12 months old can grasp the concept! They may not be able to sort objects, but they can begin to place toys into a single bin. Over time they will work to fine tune these skills. If we expect them to take care of their toys, put them away and part with unused items. We must model the behavior ourselves. In doing so, we teach them how to accurately assign value to their material possessions and develop gratitude.

Less is more. We’ve all seen beautiful, organized playrooms that are stocked full. However, many clients report that even though they’ve purchased the storage and categorized everything, their kid(s) still pour everything out — leaving us deflated and frustrated. Kids need to play, but play doesn’t always require toys. If we open up space and limit options, their imagination can run wild and we can keep our sanity. 

Rotate toys in/out to reduce visual clutter, clean up time and over-stimulation.

Set kids up for success by providing organizational systems that are simple and flexible so they can be easily maintained. Try categorizing items into basic categories, colors, or per child and resist the urge to fill every bin. By intentionally allowing room to grow, you establish order while giving kids the opportunity to personalize their space. Include your child in the process and ask for their opinion to show you value their input. 

Communicate your mission to simplify to friends and family.

Tell them they can help by limiting their gifts to experiences. Understand the initial request may be met with confusion, resistance or dismissed completely. Keep in mind, we’re all subconsciously being told that gifts convey love. This desire is magnified the further away they live. Emotion is the primary factor behind purchasing behaviors and like us, they only want the best for our children. Set your boundaries, give it time and reiterate the importance of their presence whenever possible. 

Quick Tips

  1. Establish healthy habits as early as possible
  2. Keep organizational systems simple and allow room to grow
  3. Promote the importance of presence over possessions to loved ones

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Photo Via: https://unsplash.com/photos/p0hDztR46cw
2021-06-01T15:13:41+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Less is More. What does that mean?

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

My clients often contact me because they have a desire to restore simplicity within their lives. The actions to achieve this are not complicated, but they have been disguised by design. The system benefits from promoting a comparison-driven society that idolizes consumerism and busyness.

Intuitively, we wish we had more time, but are our actions aligned with this mission or leaving us broke, disconnected and unfulfilled?

The phrase “less is more,” is about changing thought patterns and habits that challenge the status quo.

It’s less about the pursuit of possessions and more about the pursuit of passions. Instead of spending our time, energy & money towards lifeless things, imagine spending it on experiences that reconnect us and feed our souls. Time never stops, but that doesn’t mean we can’t slow down and enjoy it.

So how do we restore freedom in our lives?

We simply subtract. To consume means to spend, but that isn’t confined solely to what we buy. It’s what we eat, read, watch and spend our most precious asset on — our time. When you’re constantly adding to your life, you distract yourself from all the beauty in it. Simple living doesn’t mean boring. It means clearing space to breathe and put your priorities in proper perspective. 

Start with the basics — purchase less! You can take your time editing existing possessions, working through emotional attachments and freeing up more time in your day, but bringing in more than you’re letting go only perpetuates the problem. Take inventory to avoid duplicates, make clear lists before shopping to avoid aimless wandering and ask yourself if the items you’re purchasing truly add value to your life.

Beyond your personal space, I challenge you to think bigger.

Educate yourself on the environmental and social impacts of your purchases and the packaging they come in. Knowledge is power. Mindful shoppers can sway the market in favor of a more desirable world. Once we become intentional, socially responsible consumers we can simultaneously simplify our lives and feel good about the products we invest in.

I’m committed to helping you clear out all of life’s clutter and that includes helping you get clear on what matters most in your life. Don’t hesitant to reach out! 

Quick Tips

  1. If you want more time, get clear on your intentions and align your actions to do so. 
  2. Start with the basics and slowly begin to subtract the distractions. 
  3. Take steps towards becoming an intentional, socially responsible consumer.

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Photo Via https://unsplash.com/photos/etkmWcqtZzg
2021-05-07T14:15:26+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Edit. Organize. Repeat

Edit.Organize.Repeat

Ever wonder where to start? Feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to tackle the clutter?

Let me share a little secret, step one is not going to The Container Store.

Step one is not making a plan of where everything needs to go. Step one is not creating a design for your space. Step one is taking time to edit.edit.edit.

Oh and take a before photo because if you don’t you will wish you had!

Use the word edit instead of purge. I find it’s a more positive word and truly captures what I want you to experience during this time. To purge seems compulsive and a forced action. When you edit something, you are being mindful of the end result, you are being specific to ensure you accomplish the end goal. 

Step 1:

Ok, as your start the editing process, start with the easy stuff. Clothes that you no longer like, expired goods in the pantry, products that didn’t work for you (even though you spent money on them). Let go of the items that take little thought, items that you know you don’t need or use. Now that the obvious is gone, take a deep look at what you have left over. Do these items support your best life? Do they look good on you? Do you enjoying eating this?  Will you truly use, and enjoy using this? Once you have gone through and made these decisions it’s finally time to make a plan. 

Step 2:

Sort everything by category (tops/bottoms, Hair/Skin, Dry goods/ can goods, etc.) Once you have sorted everything place them in the area that makes the most sense. For a pantry I suggest organize it like a grocery store so it’s easy to build a meal. Closets all depend on your needs, if you have work clothes and casual clothes, keep them separate to ensure Monday – Friday you don’t have to be reminded it’s still not the weekend! 

Step 3:

Yes, the step you all have been waiting for… if needed you can go out and buy matching containers and really prefect your space. The key here is to keep the containers consistent to avoid visual clutter. Also think about the function of the bin, you want a smooth or lined bin for clothes and plastic or easy to clean bins for a pantry in case of a spill. Once everything is in it’s place label as needed. Keep labels simple.

Step 4:

Enjoy your newly organized space. Maintenance will be needed, so every 3-6 months come in and assess the damage and reset the space to match your after photo! Best of Luck and I’ll be here if you need me.

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T20:07:12+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Decluttering Your Space in 15 Minutes

“Owning less is far more beneficial than organizing more.” -Joshua Becker

Decluttering is all about the edit. The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) found that 80% of items we keep are never used. This may sound like a daunting statistic, but use it as confirmation that it’s ok to let go!

It’s important to set realistic expectations when it comes to the editing process. If peace is what we want, we must remove the excess. If we’re seeking connection, balance and more free time, we must get clear on what serves us and what doesn’t.

While social media can be a source for inspiration, it’s important to keep proper perspective. A single image of perfection is not real life. I strive for ‘progress over perfection’ with my clients. Proper storage is important, but what really matters is what we’re storing and why we’re holding onto it.

Start the decluttering process with these 3 basic steps:

Set the intention by selecting an area. It can be as small or as large as you feel comfortable with. I find that starting small sets you up for more success down the road. You can tackle larger areas as you gain more confidence.

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Allotting a specific time helps you stay focused and boosts productivity. The goal is to continue repeating this process in small increments until the area is completed. A single step in the right direction has the power to transform.

Grab a box for items that belong in other areas. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy for things to get shuffled around, but by having a designated bin you stay contained and focused on the task at hand. This will save you time and limit distractions.

By implementing these practical processes, you’ll start to form healthier habits that will help you reduce and maintain a decluttered lifestyle.

Quick Tips
1. Set the intention within a designated area.
2. Start a timer to stay focused.
3. Progress over perfection.

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T18:39:52+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Reflect, and Maybe Forget 2020

New Year Resolution

At the end of every year I enjoy reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned. This year provided many, but here are the top five biggest takeaways I’ve encountered in 2020. 

  1. Redefine home

Our homes became everything this year — shelter, work, school, gym, play etc. It was intense, but it put a spotlight on our priorities and the importance of our homes. Understanding how influential this space can be to our mental and physical state is the first step to simplifying our lives. We can’t control everything, but we can make authentic changes to control clutter and open up space for what really matters. 

  1. Create boundaries

Regardless of the size of your home, we realized how versatile these spaces need to be & how difficult it is to create order when we’re suffocated by our possessions. The energy is stagnant and confines us in more ways than one. Living with less allows you to implement a key principle in life — adaptability. It helps minimize frustration when you have to maximize space to serve multiple functions. 

  1. Be vigilant

Accumulation can feel like it happens overnight. Stay intentional to keep material possessions within manageable levels. Consistently maintaining organization requires a personalized system that works with you. My role is to bring objectivity, insight and awareness to the “why” you hold onto things, give you a jump start on the process and equip you with the right tools that will bring you continued success.

  1. Begin anywhere

It doesn’t have to be picture perfect to create an impact. Decluttering is an ongoing process. Where you start is not important. Make realistic goals, set a timer, start small — but start somewhere, anywhere! Each small step you take will provide you with more energy to continue the process and remove the excess.

  1. Remove fear 

The fear that surrounds a pandemic is undeniable. It will forever leave a lasting impression on us all. Preparing for future emergencies is wise, but be realistic. Resist the urge to hoard. Life is too short to live in fear and be weighed down by “what if” purchases. Focus on creating safe, clear spaces that will aid in building resilience.

In these unprecedented times, it was beautiful to witness all the innovative ways that people stayed connected. I want to express my gratitude to each and every one of you for supporting my purpose and giving yourself (or gifting others) with the gift of less. I truly believe it’s one of the highest forms of self-care and achievable for all. Thank you. 

 

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T18:38:07+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Giving Thanks Not Gifts

 

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, you know this is traditionally a holiday intended to give thanks.

Seemingly, it presents an amazing opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude amongst our closest family and friends. Sounds great, right? 

Unfortunately, the holidays tend to spark up all kinds of emotional and physical clutter for many.

We are programmed to believe that in order to show our appreciation for one another, we must have something to show for it. However, this cultural conditioning and commercialism can lead to unnecessary stress, pressure and debt.

Giving a gift out of obligation will never carry the same heartfelt sentiment as a gift given freely. With that in mind, try to focus on expressing your love in more meaningful ways that don’t compromise your mental wellbeing or bank account. The most precious gift you could ever give someone is your undivided attention and time.

The things that bring us true joy simply aren’t for sale.

It is the value of our experiences, not our possessions, that increase over time. Even a holiday story gone wrong can stir up laughter for years to come. I guarantee you won’t remember all of the gifts. But you will remember the time ‘Uncle John’ dropped the entire turkey right before dinner! These are the moments that stay with us and enrich our lives. Innately, we know these statements to be true, but it’s easy to lose sight of. 

I realize challenging the gifting tradition may not receive a warm welcome by most. So, it’s important to note that you can accept the love and effort that went into a gift and still release it from your life if it does not serve you. Every item you allow into your life carries an energy with it. If the gift feels like a burden, it will carry that same negative energy. The intent of a gift is not to weigh you down. As the recipient, you have the power to say if it stays in your life or if it goes.

My core mission is to help you open up space for the things that truly feed your soul.

The things that money can’t buy — a hug from a loved one, laughing so hard you cry or receiving a handwritten note from a distant friend. When our material possessions carry guilt, fear or obligations they drain us of our time and energy to experience all the beauty and joy that life has to offer. Make the choice to live with less and I promise that you’ll have so much more in the long run. 

Quick Tips

  1. Remember that our most precious gift will always be our time.
  2. Our experiences hold more value than any material possession.
  3. Give thanks, but don’t be afraid to let go of a gift if it does not serve you.

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T18:40:53+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

When Clutter Goes Too Far

Clutter is often the physical manifestation of an underlying problem within ourselves. 

Despite our best efforts, it’s unrealistic to assume that we’ll never buy anything new after we make the decision to declutter. This is why it’s so critical to establish healthy consumer habits. It’s easy to maintain order when we become intentional about purchases and create a concrete organizational system that works for our lifestyle.

Great changes take place when we prioritize self-care and self-reflection. It’s normal to have some attachment to the things we surround ourselves with, but it’s important to know the role they play in our lives. Our belongings are intended to serve us in positive ways. They may be a reflection of who we are, but they do not define our worth.

However, clutter may be more serious if you:

  1. Compulsively buy and keep an excessive amount of belongings in your home
  2. Incorrectly assign value to material possessions without properly caring for them
  3. Have extreme difficulty removing items due to sentimental reasons

The American Psychiatric Association classifies hoarding as an actual mental disorder. These people are typically paralyzed by perfectionism; consumed by their possessions where chaos reigns. Hoarding prohibits them from using their home in a functional manner. Unfortunately, this disorder can lead to unsafe living conditions and detrimental consequences that extend far beyond their physical space.

My consultancy tends to double as mini-therapy sessions. I carefully listen to the “how” and the “why” to determine the level of emotional attachment you have towards your belongings — only going as deep as you feel comfortable with. In doing so, I’m able to cultivate solutions that will transform your space, and ultimately, your life. 

The good news is, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Acceptance of the problem is the first step to freedom, but you don’t have to take this step alone. If you have hoarding tendencies or are ready for a change, I’m here to help. No judgement. Together, we can co-create order and lasting change. Let’s take back your power.

Quick Tips

  1. Get honest with yourself and remove the excess.
  2. Appropriately assign value to possessions.
  3. Seek professional assistance if needed. It’s not a weakness to ask for help. 

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T18:41:57+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Back to School isn’t Just for Kids

Back to School

 

 

I strongly suggest the entire family takes this time to reset and revaluate how they want to end 2019. That’s right folks it’s September and there are 3 months left to check off those resolutions you set back in January. 

New School Year. New Routine. New You.

Start with making a plan on what you want this year to look like. Note the things that worked during last year’s school year, what didn’t work and what items you are ready to offload and delegate to others (the nanny, your kids, your spouse). Your time is money too and sometimes bringing someone else in is well worth the investment. 

I know your Pinterest page and instagram stories are saturated with home command centers, and interesting cubby ideas that will surely get you organized this year. (Cough cough) Did any of these things stick last year? Or does your white board still read “September 2018”. The key is to find something that will work for you and your family. Something that you will actually use and find helpful. 

As always, start simple.

Use the freebie calendar that you’ve had since January and fill out the next 30 days worth of activities. Color code the activities: Green for Kids events, Blue to Parents Events and Pink for family events.  Stick it somewhere you look everyday and see if you actually look and find it helpful.

If you find yourself using this for the next month or so, continue through November. Congratulations you have hit the three month milestone, go out and buy a perfect whiteboard and make that space a Pinterest worthy command center. The important step here is trying it out before investing in the space. I know the thought of if I buy all the “things” and make the space “perfect” then I will surely use it and finally be organized. But I find more times than not it has the opposite effect, we put all the energy into creating the space without creating the habit first. 

You have to build a foundation before you can build the home. 

Quick Tips

  1. Start Small.
  2. Use existing items.
  3. Reward once you establish the habit. 

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Image Via Element5 Digital on Unsplash

2021-03-19T18:42:57+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Is Life’s Noise Cluttering Your Brain?

Stressed WomanWhile living in New York City I was accustom to noise clutter each and everyday.

Walking to work, in the office, on the train, and just sitting in my apartment. I was surrounded by noise. But my favorite time would be a Sunday morning as I walked my two little dogs along 22nd street in Chelsea. It was quite, calm and free of distractions. I would be able to breath and take in the beautiful city that I loved. The silence allowed me to appreciate all that I had; and take in the architecture of the buildings.

Noise clutter is underestimated in how much it negatively impacts our mental health.

Do you ever notice when you eat in a loud and busy restaurant its hard to enjoy your food. You may notice you eat faster than normal or have a hard time tasting each flavor. Personally noise clutter has a huge impact on my mood and how I interact with others.

Take a moment this week to be present and listen to the noise around you.

Sit at your desk, close your eyes and take it all in, be aware of your surroundings maybe for the first time. Actively looking for silence throughout your days gives you a moment to reconnect with yourself and your environment. It allows you to take back control of your environment and remove the clutter to refocus you on the task at hand.

This is a hard one for me, but sitting in your home without the tv on and just be. Some may see this as a meditation but I want you to take in each sound and process whats going on. I want you to remove digital noise so you can reconnect with your breath and space. Our homes have such an impact on our wellbeing. It’s where we start and end each day.  Ask yourself – when is the last time you really just connected with your space to ensure it supports with your goals.

Quick Tips:

1. Take 5 minutes each day to take in your surroundings

2. Breath, become aware of the noise around you and how it is affecting your mood.

3. Find ways to mute the sound to create calmness throughout your day.

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Imagine via Pinterest

2021-03-19T18:53:17+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Cluttered Sex Life?

HandsIs your sex life cluttered?

I find clutter in ALL aspects of life. Clutter comes in so many different forms and once you identify it as clutter it’s easier to phase it out of your life.

Clutter could be a lack of communication, too much communication, overcommitting and not allowing space in your schedule for sex. Letting old stories tell you that you are not sexy (sex and mental clutter, a bad combo!), too many partners?, too many distractions?, Kids, physical clutter in your bedroom, cluttered body language between you and your partner?

I love working with couples to de-clutter their homes. Now I only bring up communication clutter when it’s appropriate. As I know this can affect a couples sex life, and when I know they are open to my suggestions.

Let’s just say most sessions don’t head in this direction, but I truly believe it’s an important topic that is generally swept under the rug.

When I have the opportunity I take it and run. It’s so rewarding to open up my clients eyes to the nonphysical clutter in their home and watch their relationship transform. My dream clients not only have a beautiful home after the process but have learned to de-clutter their life. Opening up space for experiences and a lot of good beautiful sex!

During a girls weekend I dared each woman to send a sexy photo or message to their partner.

You could see the fear and stress set in. One had never sent a picture to her husband so she snapped a quick selfie of her at the bar. She laughed thinking he would think it was strange. Within moments, he’s text poured in, asking how the night was going and raved about how beautiful she looked. It’s not about sending something over the top or ultra-sexual, sometimes it’s just about doing something outside of your personal comfort zone to remind the other person you care.

One of the other girls was even picked up as a surprise at the airport by her partner. He had a huge bushel of flowers for her, which was something that was not typical for her. All of these stories make me so happy!

Small acts of love go a long way in a relationship and in the end will energize your sex life!

Seemingly simple tips towards a less-cluttered sex life.

  1. Take a moment to hold your partner. Try a 60 second hug, make out – bring it back to middle school days and don’t feel like you have to have sex after.
  2. Understanding your love language and your partners is another great way to evolve your sex life. If he likes touch and you like words of affirmation you want to make sure you are giving your partner what they need and desire.
  3. Don’t let cluttered thoughts discourage you from trying something new. It may be uncomfortable at first but you are in this relationship to grow and find the depths of what feeling worthy and loved is…right?

It’s Wednesday better known as hump day…which means that you have the rest of the week to de-clutter your sex life and maybe find a new level of passion.

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Image via Pinterest, artist unknown

2021-03-19T18:51:13+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Clutter-Free Shopping

Shopping BagsShopping is what makes the world go round, sparks simple happiness and fills the many voids in our lives.

Fashion has transformed over the past 25 years going from two and four seasons to 52 seasons. Yes, you read that correctly fashion companies are putting new items out every week to aid our toxic habits. Fashion is no longer something you use for life, it’s something that if it’s lucky gets used once. Our world is made up of excess and disposable products. If it’s cheap we wear it once and forget about it. If it’s too expensive we hoard it and never let it see the light of day.

I discuss many ways to adjust your habits to reduce the amount of consumerism waste while increasing your bank accounts. These small changes create space and funds for real life experiences.  As we shop we are looking for that high; the power to say “Yes, I’ve earned this” or “Yes, this is the key to making me happy.”  I find when the package arrives the joy is lost, and the items pile up with all the other “power purchases”, so in the end what’s the purpose? We are on a hamster wheel going nowhere, adding zero value to our days.

I encourage you to take a look at the items you purchased in the last week, month or year and ask.

“Would I buy this again?”

And continue with “what was I avoiding when I purchased this?” When we take a moment to dig a bit deeper, we get to know ourselves and better understand our habits. It’s an eye opening experience and will cultivate the clutter-free lifestyle that you so desire.

Clutter-free is a lifestyle not a crash diet, each day we have the opportunity to choose what’s best and what is worthy of our time and energy.

Quick Tips:

1. Recognize when you are emotional shopping. Take a breath and discuss how this piece will add value to your life before heading to the cashier.

2. Shop with a plan, understand what you have and only buy items that add to your wardrobe.

3. Challenge yourself to a 30 days retail detox, get to know your habits around shopping and find ways to make adjustments to better serve you.

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Photo via bagstowear.co.uk

2021-03-19T18:55:04+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

De-Cluttering Your Calendar

Yes, overbooking yourself is creating life clutter.

I look at clutter in a holistic way ensuring my days are light and clutter-free. When planning out me week I make time for self-care, family and time to connect with clients to reach their goals.

What’s your week look like? Does it reflect your ideal life? Somewhere along the line our schedule no longer is in our control.

We have bosses, friends and over commitments that take precedence, leaving us without space to breath or just be. I find it a bit funny because it’s our time yet we allow others to take control.  We are all guilty of it.

Take a moment and visualize your best work day.

Write out what this day looks like.  Ask yourself what time do you start?   And then what would you accomplish? Did you take a walk at your lunch break? Did you make time to connect with a co-worker outside of the daily minutia?

Now — how can you build in small habits to cultivate this ideal day? I find the key is saying “no” and having boundaries. Just because your co-worker needs you right now doesn’t mean it’s your problem. You were hired to do X,Y,Z and don’t let someone steal your time to better suit their day. This one is hard, so understand that not every day will look the same.

Quick Tips:
1. Dream up your ideal day
2. Find ways to build in boundaries to maintain your “dream day”
3. Make small daily goals to cultivate change and balance

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Photo via Fox Hollow Studios Calendar

2021-03-19T19:00:24+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Email De-Cluttering & Organizing

Ok… let’s be serious here.  How many emails do you get a day outside of your work email??

It’s crazy, right?! Let’s talk about where to start, questions to ask before unsubscribing vs. deleting, and how much time are you really spending deleting emails. 

When I left my cushy sales job in New York I was on a mission to simplify my life. I started by selling and donating all my furniture and home goods. I took a real look at my wardrobe and shoe inventory and paired it down substantially.
Now the months before leaving New York to save as much as possible I lived with my dear friend Michelle Baker, in a great junior studio… yup that’s right two ladies, two wardrobes and one studio apartment. We made it work, kept is simple and forced us both to downsize. Even as my bank account was growing I didn’t spend a penny on new items. My eyes were on the prize of traveling for the next 10 months and carrying all I owned in a backpack (and a large suitcase). 

Now the final step in this process was looking at my digital clutter because at this point I owned next to nothing.. which was LIBERATING. I looked at the constant stream of emails coming in about the next best sale, the product “I can’t live without”, or the best thing to simplify your life… funny because this digital clutter is doing quite the opposite. 

So how did I do it?  Well, I did it…I removed all the digital clutter in my life. I’ll be honest it’s going to take some real effort on your part. 
Step 1:
Unsubscribing to any and all spam and daily emails. We have so many sources to learn about new products. My Instagram and Facebook already know me well and are always pushing marketing of products. Removing them from your email is the one area you can control. So go ahead and take control! I promise if you are supposed to have this product it will find its way to your news feed some way somehow.
Also, as you unsubscribe make sure you read the fine print. 
A lot of sites will prompt you to click a button which actually puts you back on the list, tricky tricky. Note, this can take up to 30 days to be removed from the subscription so don’t get discouraged along the way.  

Step 2:
Sorting what’s left over. I have a number of different folders within my mailbox (Travel, personal, Coaching Clients, Organizing Client, Expenses.. ) This way I can eliminate any clutter in my inbox that doesn’t have a task associated with it. I treat my inbox as a to-do list and look to have zero on a daily basis. 
Step 3:
The one that typically gets forgotten, changing your habits. Going forward when signing up for a new membership or when you buy a new product make sure you aren’t subscribing to their promotional emails (unless these are something you feel are worthy of your time). Creating new habits will make maintaining a zero inbox possible and dare I say it easy. 
I hope this is helpful and I’ll be praying for you all to have a zero inbox like myself. It’s a great way to start each day fresh, clutter-free and focused!
Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Photo via Wikipedia

2021-03-19T19:04:36+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Creating Calmness in the Bedroom

Master BedroomThere are so many layers to the bedroom organization process because this space is so multifunctional.

It’s a place to sleep, rejuvenate, and a place for passion.  It’s the space that determines how you start every morning and a home for ALL your clothes. Without digging too deep, I’m going to focus on the visual clutter today. Typically I see too many furniture pieces, Tv, artwork, mirrors, clothes hanging on the back of the door, and surfaces covered with paperwork, jewelry, perfume and odds and ends.

When you pull all these items into a single space it doesn’t really read tranquil or a space you to want to cuddle up in. My goal with organizing is to find a way to minimize the visual clutter. Removing 90% of what is on the surfaces.  By reducing bulky furniture – it typically means you need to reevaluate your current wardrobe to open up some space and curate the items that are needed to have out.

For me a TV is a no-no in the bedroom.

We are already glued to our phones, tvs and laptops. I look at the bedroom as my little get away from anything that involves wifi or a plug. When I finally cuddle up after a long day I want to focus on clearing my head and reconnecting with myself and my hubby. Taking it back old school style and talking instead of texting. I understand for others a TV is a necessary part of the bedroom set, in these cases I look to position it so it’s not the main focal point.

I want the best for my clients and myself. Take a moment to visualize your dream bedroom. What color is it? What does your bedding look like…I bet your bed is made – is it dark and cozy or bright and fluffy?  Pull one word that describes your space. Now open your eyes and find simple ways to cultivate this feeling and look in your space. Here’s a hint, when you simplify you will create a space you love.

Quick Tips:

1. Pull any items that do not belong (old bills, workout equipment, leftover snacks…)
2. Downsize furniture, edit your wardrobe and any visual clutter
3. Find ways to cultivate calmness; scents, simplifing your bedside table, or refresh your bedding

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Photo Credit: Home Adore Magazine

2021-03-19T19:07:09+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Office Supplies Overload

This is marketing at its best – making items like sticky notes, paper clips, and pens “sexy”. 

And it’s just everywhere I look in stores.  I see well thought out notebooks, color plates created from pins, clips and staples and productivity planners.  Even someone that has gone 100% paperless will find purpose for these tiny tools.

You even see the trends of gifting stationary and office supplies as a great gift for any age. 

If in doubt, just grab a journal and a pen, wrap it all up with an old map and you have the perfect gift for a wanderlust; wrap it in the comic section from last Sunday’s paper and you have a great gift for kids.  The options are endless but so is the clutter trail when it comes to excess in this category.

I did rant a bit, so let’s get back to the point.  Somewhere along the line this all becomes clutter.  Typically, when your drawers and bookcases start to resemble an office stock room.  It’s these moments you realize all the beautiful organizational tools hold no purpose in your life.  If you don’t journal be ok with that.  Allow this an opportunity to find new purpose for all the journals you’ve now collected or have been gifted.

The best way to address any problem is starting off by acknowledging you have an office supplies addiction. Next detoxify and lastly create structure around what is and is not acceptable going forward. Take a moment and learn a little about yourself and your habits in this area.

Ask yourself questions like – why do you keep buying these items and what is this really “feeding”? stress? boredom? or has marketing taken over each time you step into Target?

Once you have a better idea of the “why” look to reduce your stock.  

During the detoxifying step, looks to donate these tools to local schools and/or after school programs. There are plenty of places that will love and get real use out of your office supply treasures.  When you have less, you are more likely to use the items you have, this is my goal for all my clients. Simplifying to allow them to use the items the own and love.

Quick Tips:

1. Take Inventory, find all your journals, pens and organizing tools
2. Understand why you keep acquiring these tools
3. Detox, find ways to donate the items that don’t have a purpose … which allows you to use the items that do!

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T19:11:44+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|2 Comments

Pantry Organizing 101

Pantries of sorts have evolved over the past 100+ years. However, the thing we actually call a “pantry” only dates back to the 1900’s with a little company called Hoosier out of Indiana.  They created an all in one cabinet that was designed to hold your household staples like spices, flour and sugar.

The pantry has since evolved with many improvements like decorative bins, customized pullout drawers, and the infamous trend of labeling everything (which I have my own opinion on – for another blog post).

What I see the majority of the time is excess which quickly turns to waste.

Half eaten bags of chips, old crackers, and pasta (enough to feed a football team).  Many of these old snack packages are sitting in the pantry just waiting for someone to finally notice them and throw them out; in the meantime they take up valuable space.

We tend to follow in our parents footsteps – and having a stocked pantry means we are an adult right?  Well let’s deliberate a little, shall we?  Having can goods that you will never eat and pre-made mixes that are full of additives doesn’t sound like the most adult thing you could do.

Now understand if you have a stock of the foods you eat all the time and LOVE, don’t toss or change your process. I’m only talking about about individuals that continually find random items and say “Uh, where did that come from?”

I have a challenge for you – ready, set, go…

I challenge you to eat through your pantry once a year. Dare I say your freezer while you are at it. It’s a great way to start fresh and to reconnect with what foods you like and which ones you can phase out.  Easy as it sounds, many will find this task difficult. So please let me know how you are coming along.  I’d love to hear from you.

Quick Tips:
1. Take a full inventory of your pantry
2. Make a master list – Items you use and want on hand at all times
3. Once a year eat through your pantry and freezer!

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T19:15:15+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|1 Comment

De-Cluttering Your Purse and Work Bag

Organized PurseThis organization tidbit applies to my ladies and gents!

We all tend to lug around a purse, backpack, messenger bag, or for my family clients, a purse, backpack, child and diaper bag! This is physical weight we carry day in and day out.

Wouldn’t it be nice to lessen the load?

My suggestion is to unpack your bag(s) completely and take a little inventory. When I’m back in New York City visiting my friends they know I’m going to go through their bags, wallets and refrigerators…it’s just what I do! Laughs aside, I find it’s the few areas I can make a big impact on in less than five minutes.

Ok, once your bag has been emptied and everything has been taken out of your wallet or small bags. Take a little inventory of the items you have been carrying around. How many items are you managing? how many items are you using? (Be Honest With Yourself) and how many items have been lost in the depth of your bag that are no longer identifiable?

Just imagine opening your bag and seeing only the items you love and use. Wouldn’t that feel better than constantly digging around for lost objects?

Next step, organize a master list of the items you feel you always need on hand. I have a small bag I purchased in Cambodia made of recycled rubber, it’s the perfect size and I really enjoy using it. In my little bag are floss, tweezers, a nail file, mints, and a band aid. Over time I found these are the items that when I don’t have them it adds stress to my life, knowing I have these on hand at all times gives me peace of mind. Now don’t go making an Apocalypse Kit but think about the items you tend to need and use.

I work with a lot of business owners, consultants, and real estate agents. They have loads of receipts from client dinners, office supplies, and business trips. The key to staying on top of these is emptying and organizing your bag and wallet each day, and placing all the receipts in ONE place and then logging them consistently.

Now each person is different. Some might need to do this weekly while others can hold off and do it monthly, so figure out what works for you. My rule of thumb is doing this audit as frequently as needed to allow it to only take 30 minutes tops. This is a task, and one most don’t enjoy, make is manageable and consistent and you will find peace in doing it, because you see the benefits first hand.

Here is where the habits create a simple life, don’t laugh or judge but I empty my bags entirely every single day. Yup, that’s right every single day. This allows my bag to breathe; it gives it a break and allows my items to last longer and look like new. Try it for a week and let me know how it goes.

Quick Tips:
1. Empty your bag and wallet every day
2. Organize a master list of items you always need on hand
3. Look for ways to lessen the load! One notebook instead of five, or better yet – go digital!

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T19:19:02+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Clutter Free Eating

Clutter Free EatingThis is something very personal to me and I have been making changes over the last 10 years, learning more and more each day.

I understand this is a life-long process and will be filled with trial and error along the way. You need to respect the process and move slowly to make lasting changes. Remember the last time you read an article then went to the store and bought all “super foods” or stocked up on ingredients to make some great recipe? How many of those items are still sitting in your cupboards unopened. Take small steps to make big changes, over time this will get easier and easier, I promise.

With the TONS of digital clutter out there even the most amazing information is disorder when in surplus. On top of that, we tend to forget that we are completely unique, so something that works for hundreds of others might not work with our particular body and lifestyle. When reading the newest trend or best meditation practice, really ask yourself if this is something you would actually do or if it’s just something the person you keep trying to be would do? Be honest with yourself and be ok if something does feel right for you…spoiler alert…it’s great to be different, own it!

I’m currently attending a year-long program at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition to further my knowledge for personal gain and for my clients. The program looks at all our primary foods and ways to create balance. I see chaos in a holistic way and want to be the best “clutter coach” I can be. Yes, some days I’m just making spaces look beautiful but others I’m having deep conversation with clients to get to the root of why they are over spending their time and money in all aspects of their life. My goal for each and every client is to have a calm and supportive space, I want them to flourish and I know it’s possible once we are organized.

We all need to fuel ourselves, yet we tend to grab the quickest thing. We are always in a rush and not making conscious decisions. Have you ever started eating and then looked down to see it’s all gone, without any recollection of chewing it… I have plenty of times. A bag of chips or Oreos can be scarfed down without even enjoying a bite. Now Oreos aren’t part of my diet anymore but they will always have a special place in my heart (just like an addict still loves the drug that ruined their life.. Note; studies show sugar is more addictive than cocaine.. scary right?!?)

A good example of this is when a woman gets pregnant. All of sudden she starts eating better, drinking more water and makes a conscious effort to be healthier for her baby. Why don’t we do that each and every day for ourselves, aren’t we good enough and deserving of that? We also give babies the best quality organic foods and 100% organic cotton clothing yet as we age we care less and less about what going into or onto our bodies. It’s all concerning to say the least.

The key to success is making small changes each and every day toward a lifestyle that supports our goals. Every time you make a purchase or eat something, you are placing a vote, you are supporting that thing. Take a look at what you are currently supporting…and omit the items that do not serve you. We all know there are plenty of opportunities for poor choices on the weekends or when we are out and about during the week, so let’s make our homes a safe space to reaching our goals.

Ok, here’s the stuff you have been waiting for…how to:

Step 1:

Toss/donate anything in your pantry that isn’t serving your goals. Any food that is expired let it go, anything that is highly processed (do you really want that in your body?), any items that you know you are never going to eat (don’t hold on to it just to let it expire!)

Step 2:

Make a master grocery list. I have a list of the items I always like to have stocked (Coffee, Greens, Tomatoes, Onions, Bananas, Seven Sons Farm Eggs & Meats, Frozen veggies for quick meals, Rice, Oats and Nuts) Anything I grab outside this list has to be used within 2 weeks… If I find a new product and want to try it out, I actually try it out. How many of you grab all these great ingredients for a recipe and months later the ingredients are all still sitting in your pantry. If you buy it USE IT. Remember this is inventory that you have to manage, less stuff means less work for you!

Step 3:

The hardest part… Sticking to the Plan. Each day is an opportunity to support your new lifestyle. Work towards making more and more conscious decisions and removing the ‘food clutter” from your life. Shop like a European, grabbing the freshest foods every few days and using them up before buying more. There is no need for a full pantry/fridge it just leads to waste!

Quick Tips:
1. Buy greens and fruit in bulk: you can freeze 1/2 for smoothies and enjoy the rest.
2. Leftovers- Eat them… and eat them within 2-3 days otherwise you most likely aren’t going to enjoy them and you guessed it – more waste!

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T20:07:51+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Clutter-Free Morning Routine

Organizing Your Beauty RoutineThis week I started to look at the products I use every day and decided it was time to remove the excess and organize!

Seeing that I make conscious decisions at the grocery store to buy all organic, sustainable sourced and local foods, why am I not doing the same with the product I put directly on my skin?

I made a quick list of the products I use everyday: shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, make-up, body lotions, toothpaste and mouth wash. Once I started reading the labels I realized even with my minimalist approach to having less, each product had a mile long list of ingredients, many I couldn’t read.

If my goal is to only own items I love and respect, then I needed to start with my morning routine.

FYI I did not start by toss everything I owned and buy the first sustainable product I found. I did a lot of research and looked at reviews so I could make the best decision possible.

Note: there will be trial and error in this process.

The reason mass produced chemical based products do so well is because the chemicals in them make the product last longer, less clumping and have a silky smooth texture. Know you can find this with natural & organic products.  This will be a process as you need to find what works best with your skin type and your personal preference. There are plenty of great sources online that have already done the research for you, take a look at Aillea and Credo.com which seems to be a great place to buy conscious products. I’m sure there are many others as well.

When I’m looking for a new product this is my process:

Step 1:

Check if its a sustainable sourced product (where is it made & where did the ingredients come from)

Step 2:

Is it tested on animals – This is a no brainer for me. Are you aware that animal testing is required by law in China for all foreign cosmetics companies. This means that all the major American and European cosmetics brands that are currently sold in China, must undergo animal testing. Do a quick search you’ll be shocked at how many are on that list!

Step 3:

Chemical free, & organic when possible.

Step 4:

Read the reviews, and take these with a grain of salt. I find most people only review for things they either HATED or LOVED, many people truly enjoy a product but never feel the need to leave a review.

Step 5:

Lastly, I decide if the cost for the product makes sense for my budget. My products last me a long time even though I use them everyday. So if a foundation cost $60-$80 over 9 months that is well worth investing in. (Hint: you should think this way for all your purchases.. cost per use)

Step 6: Test each product as you get them and if they don’t work, return them. Don’t loose money in this process and/ create more waste. Most companies have a reasonable return policy.

I suggest making changes one at a time. The clutter in your life didn’t happen over night so respect the process and take it slow. Allowing you to create new and healthy habits in all aspect of your life!

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T19:28:25+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Play rooms that cultivate creativity

An organized child's play roomParents with kids can all relate, even if you are a functional minimalist like me, that it’s nearly impossible to stop family and friends from over buying all those small adorable toys and clothing pieces for your kids.

Many studies show children with fewer distractions, or toys in this case, play longer and have more focused play. Compared to children with a plethora of toys to choose from.

We are learning that multitasking isn’t as efficient as we once thought. So giving children too many options only leads them to less concentrated focus. The long term effects of excess toys and distractions could stunt their potential for future success. Without being able to focus on one task at a time, these areas could be lacking later in their life. As an example look at time management, studying for an exam, and meeting deadlines depend mainly on how organized a person is and how focused they can been when needed.

If habits are created over time don’t you want to start your kids off on the right foot?

My suggestion to parents with growing stock piles of toys is to go through them every two to three months. Donate the gently used items so that others may enjoy them. More importantly, let your friends and family know that you are working towards a minimalist lifestyle to ensure a successful future for your children and family. Hopefully they will respect those wishes and purchase less. Because when you have less, you are opening up space for your kids to learn a couple of very important skills. Those skills are focusing on specific tasks until complete and giving them a space to cultivate their creativity not their anxiety! Oh, and did I mention, less means clean up time is going to be that much easier too!

I work with so many clients that say these exact words “my parents didn’t teach me how to be organized.” Isn’t it funny that if we on teach our children to put their toys away regularly it can help them 20 years down the road in all aspects of their life. The simple task of putting their toys in a bin can rocket them towards success years later.

Quick Tips
1. Let people know you are working towards a minimalist lifestyle
2. Sort through the toys every 2-3 months and purge
3. Teach your children the importance of a tidy space… knowing this will help in their future success

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T19:08:30+00:00By |Categories: Organized, Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Small Appliances & Kitchen Gadgets

An organized pantry with kitchen gadgetsIt seems we have a desire to own every gadget out there to make cooking and baking at home “Fun & Easy”.

Well, that’s what marketing tells us at least. There is a huge push to cook at home, know what you are eating, and shopping for the best produce. All these are great goals and we all have the best intentions to follow this new lifestyle. Unfortunately, our kitchens become filled with gadgets and tools that are never actually used.

Some of my personal favorites that I use almost daily are my Vitamix, Bodum Electric Kettle and Bodum French Press. Since I use these items daily the cost of “storing” them is well worth the expense.

Appliances I see more often then not, stored and not used, are the following: KitchenAid Mixers, some how these big guys have found their way on every registry.

Part of the perfect brides starter kit. It’s a home staple yet I find most people never plug them in.

Other items include rice cookers, dehydrators, food processors, popcorn makers, bags of cookie cutters, garlic peelers, choppers, spiral tool for veggies, and the list goes on. These items as a whole take up a sufficient amount of real estate in your home. I like to look at each appliance or tool and ask a few questions to ensure the space it holds in my home is warranted. To be clear I’m not saying to ditch all these great tools, just ask a few questions first.

1. How often do you use this?

2. Do you enjoy using this?

3. Looking at how much space this tool takes up, could I use something else in it place that is more multi-functional. For example a food processor and a Vitamix. A Vitamix can serve both purpose for the average cook and baker. Look to get the most value out of one household item.

Once you have taken a moment to review the pros and cons; decide what to keep, sell, or donate. Then take a look at what is in your keep pile.

Finding a location to store these items is key. If they are in a space that is easy to access the chances of you using them are much higher.

Lastly, small appliances tend to come with guides and cookbooks. Look over these and toss the material that you know you won’t use. I pull all my recipes off the internet so these are an easy toss for me. YouTube has everything you need anymore.

Look to purge even the smallest items.. they add up, I promise.

Quick Tips:
1. Take a full inventory of your appliances
2. Ask yourself a few questions
3. Organize your appliances and tools in a way that you will enjoy using and accessing them

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T19:52:53+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Memory Box… more like a Memory Trunk!

I would say 90% of my clients own boxes of memories.

What are boxes of memories? Well, anything from photos, cards, mementos, jewelry (that they will never wear since it’s in this box and not with their other jewelry) along with other odds and ends.

Are you one of those people? Don’t be shy – It’s ok if you are, as I mentioned above, most of us fall into that category at one time or another.

Firstly, let’s talk about those hundreds upon thousands of printed photos we have under our bed. It’s bad enough that we have endless storage on our phones and computers filled with photos you will never look at. Having photos that take up physical space in your home can be remedied.

Let’s take a moment to sort and purge the excess. Take all the photos out of the frames, purge the frames that are no longer your style and save the others for future use. See I don’t want you to just throw everything away.

Take all the photos and start sorting by “Life Chapters” for example High School, College, 20’s, 30’s, you get the point. Once you have sorted these, go back through the images by pile. Stay focused on each pile individually otherwise you can become overwhelmed. I’ll talk about the pitfalls of multi-tasking another time.

Really look at the photos, do the people in them still mean something to you, does the image make you laugh, cry or feel any emotion? These feelings will be your cue to keep or discard. Take a hard look and do some real editing here. The goal is that after this process you will have a place to reminisce rather than feeling overwhelmed. Which only lead you to grabbing the photo box and putting it back on the shelf where you found it.

Secondly, old notes and mementos; if there isn’t anything terribly memorable or if it doesn’t trigger a good memory let it go. If you are holding onto an item that you just love but aren’t sure why, maybe just take a photo and then discard the item, still allowing for a memory, but opening up more organized room in your home.

I’m a huge supporter of people creating photo books using Shutterfly, Snapfish or a similar company. This allows you to make a beautiful book displaying your favorite photos and memories. This is also a great place to insert the photo of your memento along with other memories. When you take the time to make a photo book you will actually enjoy walking down memory lane and it will reduce the physically clutter in your home.

Lastly, greeting cards we all have the urge to send them and people do love getting things in the mail outside of bills! Display your cards for 7-30 days and then toss them in the recycle bin. I’m a bit of an extremist so I understand seven days might be too short for most! Unless someone has really taken the time to write something special inside the card let it go with ease. Again, look for that spark of real feeling or emotion, let that guide you. Another option for more personal notes, snap a photo and save it on your computer under a file called “special cards” this makes it easy to find when you want to re-read it and keeps your space clutter free!

Quick Tips:
1. Sort Photos by “Life Chapters”
2. Make a Photo book using Shutterfly, Snapfish or a similar company
3. Cards, Only keep them if there is a special personal note

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T19:47:57+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments

Bar Cart De-cluttering

Organizing Your Cocktail Cart

For everyone 21 and older, let’s chat about your bar cart or cabinet.

Everyone seems to have a handful of half empty bottles of unknown brands and tastes from a variety of events; your house warming party five years ago, your 4th of July barbecue, oh, and last New Year’s Eve party are just a couple of examples. Do you know anyone like this?

Whether those bottles are pricey items that you hope to enjoy years down the road or others are just taking up space with the hopes someone will finish it off at your next gathering. The fact of the matter is nowadays people always bring their own bottle or twice as much as they need to when attending a party out of common courtesy.

You know these famous bottles that friends and family bring over like “because it looked interesting”

or “I just wanted to try this” bottles – but they just become FILLERS on our carts and in our lives don’t they? We have so many “fillers” in our lives already and my goal is to chip away at these “fillers” with each of my clients. It takes time to learn new habits and be a more conscious consumer.

I’m not one to waste anything ask my husband. I would like to think life as we know it wouldn’t even shift if you purged your random bar bottles. You know, those we all know no one is going to ever drink. Everyone surfs the web looking at perfectly curating spaces ”liking” all of them and day dreaming of have it for ourselves, but then we are on to something else.

Here is the dirty little secret, own less and your space will start to reflect the beautiful spaces you see on Pinterest and Instagram.

Quick Tips:
1. Decide what you will actually drinks…trash the rest (OR make a homemade cleaner with Vodka)
2. Remove any bartending tools or drink decor…only display the items that aesthetically work within the space
3. Remember… LESS is always MORE!

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

2021-03-19T19:39:51+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|2 Comments

Living with less & loving it

We all want it, but don’t want to put the energy into actually doing it.

It’s like wanting a six pack, you can read all the articles and print out all the workouts but until you overhaul your refrigerator and actually make it to the gym nothing is going to change.

For the past two years I have been conscious of my spending and have been trying to live as a functional minimalist. Only bringing in what is needed and really thinking about each and every purchase. This allows me to never have the feeling of “ugh, it’s that time of year again I need to purge and FREE myself of all my clutter”. It’s empowering to finally let go of that story and make daily decisions towards owning less.

I remember in the past I’ve told people I’m a minimalist and by some peoples standards maybe I could have been seen that way. The reality was I was constantly buying and then constantly purging. Hangers would open up and then within no time be filled again. I was always surprised as if I hadn’t done the shopping to fill them back up.

While working with my clients I continue to remind them of their habits. Not in a mom nagging way (sorry moms, I know you get a bad rep even though you are just trying to help!) but in a way to make them aware. My favorite part of each session is when the light bulb goes off and they learn a bit more about themselves. It’s amazing how little we know about who we are and what habits we have.

Once you simplify what you own, other areas of your life start coming together. You will stop avoiding tasks and just get them done. I’ve seen it happen with a number of clients, and it always makes me smile at how surprised they are with the internal transformation throughout the process of decluttering!

If you take one thing from this stop reading articles, stop thinking about what you need to do, stop making excuses. START doing. Pick one task, turn on a timer for 30 minutes and START. Or call me and I’ll put you though a little decluttering bootcamp. Looking at the mound of stuff you own isn’t going to make it disappear, just get in there and start letting go.. its liberating, I promise!

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Image Via Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
2021-03-19T19:34:31+00:00By |Categories: Organizing Chicago|0 Comments
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