JERI DANSKY professionalorganizer

August 2009 Newsletter

Tip of the Month: Organizing for the Real You


How many of us keep things we think we "should" want or need - when the reality is we don't want those things and will never use them?


Here's Erin Doland of Unclutterer, writing in Real Simple in March 2009: "I liked to think of myself as someone who exercised every day by running on a giant motorized treadmill, read all the literary classics, and baked cookies for every special occasion. The reality? I am not a runner, I like to read pop fiction, and cookies aren't really my thing." So Erin got rid of a lot of stuff.


And here's Melissa Stanton, writing in the no-longer-published Organize magazine, about her Lenox dishes and crystal stemware: "When properly set, my dining room table could be dressed to impress. ... Problem was, in more than a decade of owning such finery, which I acquired as wedding gifts and by inheritance, I never set my dining room table as described. ... For most families, dining on fine china is a relic from a way of life we don't live."


Another aspect of organizing for reality is recognizing what activities we're never going to have time for. Fellow organizer Marcie Lovett just wrote about her own experience in this regard: "I finally realized that I will never have the time to do every craft that looks interesting, so I am going to concentrate on the few that I really enjoy: crochet, card making and sewing. That meant paring back the supplies that I am keeping and getting rid of everything else."


Then there's me. A while ago I realized that I simply don't iron anything and I gave away my ironing board. I've joined Erin in giving away highly-acclaimed books that I honestly don't want to read. And I got rid of the cups and saucers, since all I ever use for coffee and tea are my favorite mugs.


So if you're keeping items that don't fit your real life - or the life you are truly aspiring to and moving toward - then give yourself permission to let them go.



Organizing Product of the Month


to do list on green paper; includes call cat psychic



The PJ Pocket Pillow, which has always seemed gorgeous but quite expensive, is now on sale for half off.



Organizing Event for Next Month


In the USA, September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps. It's a good time for all of us to look at how we might be better prepared for emergencies, and then take steps to improve our readiness. Organizer Margaret Lukens has a blog entitled Preparation Nation, which gives little tidbits of wisdom to help move us along the preparedness path; it's well worth reading (and acting upon).


Organizing Statistics of the Month


Want to take some preparedness steps? Help improve either of the following statistics!


Preparation for natural disasters:

Per AT&T, a national survey reports that "54 percent of households with a landline phone do not have a corded phone set which does not require a/c power for dial tone for use in the event of a power outage." (And if you do have such a phone, can you find it - or is it buried away somewhere?)


Another type of preparedness, not covered by National Preparedness Month:

Per a survey from, 58 percent of adult Americans lack a basic will. (And if you do have a will, do you know where it it? Is it up to date?)



Recycling/Reuse Information of the Month


I often help my clients dispose of items they no longer want, and so I recently went to give away a child's toy on Freecycle - only to discover the item had been recalled. So here's a reminder to check for recalls through the Consumer Product Safety Commission web site, or through Simply searching for the product on Google (or another search engine) may also show that a product has been recalled; that's how I found out about the toy I had.



Highlights From My Blog in July


There were 18 entries in my organizing and de-cluttering blog in July. Some of the most popular entries were:


You can sign up for free daily e-mail updates from my blog; each time I make an update, you'll get a message. Look in the upper right-hand corner of the blog for subscription information.



Reminder: I'm on Twitter


I'm using Twitter mostly for those tidbits of organizing-related stuff I find - little things that will never make their way into a newsletter or a blog post. I also use Twitter to announce new blog posts. Follow me, @JeriDansky, if you'd like.



Newsletter Subscriptions


If you would like to get this newsletter e-mailed to you each month and have not yet subscribed, you can do so here.