Quarterly Newsletter



"Less is More" could not be truer than when it comes to organizing your space.  


The less you have:

  • The more you can see - so you don't keep buying things you already own;
  • The more storage options you will have - so you can keep things where you want them;
  • The more time you can save - because you won't waste time looking for things;
  • The more calm you will feel - not having the stress of a cluttered space.

This quarter's newsletter focuses on "lightening up" and letting go of the excess so that you can enjoy what you truly want and need.  It is filled with tips for getting started, room-by-room ideas for what to let go of, interesting statistics, and suggestions for how to keep your space free of the things you don't need.


"It feels like my house just lost weight" is what clients sometimes say when we finish organizing their homes. When you let go of the things you don't use, like or need anymore, your house will be lighter and you'll feel lighter too!   


Best Regards,




  floor plan




Here are some prime candidates for things to say goodbye to:


Clothes Closet

-- Purchases that were a mistake and are too late to return

-- Clothes that don't fit well, are uncomfortable or aren't in good condition

-- Things you haven't worn in the last 2 years

-- Items that need repair or alterations but you are unlikely to have fixed

-- Shoes that are beat up or uncomfortable

-- Handbags you won't carry



-- Chipped dishes, glasses and coffee cups

-- Plastic dishes and cups your children have outgrown

-- Gadgets or appliances you never use

-- Over burnt pots, pans or bake ware

-- Excess utensils

-- Wedding presents you received and never use

-- Tupperware that's missing a lid or a bottom

-- Dish towels and pot holders in poor condition

-- Expired food and spices



-- Paid bills that are not tax deductible and that you aren't referencing

-- Pay stubs for past years

-- Receipts for items you aren't returning unless they are for big ticket or items under warranty

-- Bank statements older than the tax retention period your accountant advises

-- Catalogs for items you aren't ready to buy and can find online

-- Junk mail (of course!)

-- Solicitations that you aren't immediately giving to (You'll get more!)



-- Expired medications and ointments

-- Products you tried and didn't like

-- Old nail polish that's dried up or a color you don't like

--Curling irons, flat irons, curlers or blow dryers you don't use any more

-- Old make up or colors you don't look good in

-- Old razors

-- Old toothbrushes

-- Broken brushes or combs


Linen Closet

-- Towels that aren't in good condition or that you've replaced with new ones

-- Sheets for bed sizes you no longer own

-- Extra sheets you never use

-- Scratchy blankets

-- Table cloths you don't use


Living Room

-- VHS tapes if you don't have a VCR

-- DVD's/Tapes your kids have outgrown

-- Magazines over 3 months old

-- Cassette tapes

-- Puzzles missing pieces

-- Games and toys your kids have outgrown or don't play with

-- Books that you won't reread or reference or aren't your favorites

-- Newspapers more than a week old


Laundry Room

-- Excess rags

-- Duplicate cleaning supplies (consolidate and dispose of the empty containers)

-- Single socks that you haven't found the mate too


Storage Areas

-- Holiday decorations you don't put up anymore

-- Old electronics - find out where your community wants you to dispose of these - they cannot go in the trash

-- Obsolete baby equipment

-- Items you're saving for your kids but that they've told you they don't want

-- College notebooks and texts you won't refer to



-- Old chemicals (take these to your community's site for hazardous materials)

-- Old paint (if it's dried up it can go in the trash, otherwise dry it out with kitty litter or find out what the options are for disposal in your community)

-- Sporting equipment no one uses anymore

-- Bikes that are too small

-- Broken items you won't fix



x clutter




Often times we do a household purge when we get fed up with clutter or a lack of space. But the process of letting go of things we no longer need or want should be ongoing so that there isn't a big buildup of excess stuff.    


Here are some ways you can make sure things that have outlasted their usefulness are regularly leaving your house:

  • Always be on the lookout for things that don't make sense to keep anymore
  • Have a place in your home for donations so that when you spot something you want to give away you can immediately put it there. (Have a place for things you want to sell, too.)
  • Make a rule that if something new comes in, something old goes out.



 Featured Project 


before fall 2013 nl

Getting rid of the games, art supplies and other items that no one used anymore allowed this client to use the space for photo boxes, memorabilia and travel items.

after fall nl


About Altogether Organized


We help our clients feel calm, in control and productive in their homes and offices.  

Here's how we help:   


Home Organizing
Make your house the haven it should be.


Organizing to Show and Sell Your Home
Help a buyer to envision living in your home.


Moving/ Relocation Organizing 

Reduce stress and save time by being organized before you move-and when you reach your new place.


Design Consulting
Build organization into your new home or office.


Office Organizing/Paper Organizing
Have what you need at your fingertips.


Estate Organizing
Make a large project doable and keep only what has the most meaning.


When you're ready, we help make change possible.

linda #2


In This Issue
Room-By-Room Primer
Keeping It Clutter-Free
Featured Project
Getting Started
Essential Questions
Startling Statistics
Upcoming Seminars

first step  



Even though we may recognize that letting go of the excess in our homes is freeing and can feel great -- many find it difficult to get started.  Here are some tips to help you begin:


Develop Criteria for What Stays or Goes Before you even start to organize, decide what is worthy of keeping and what isn't. For example, maybe you'll only keep the books that you will reread, reference or are your favorites. Then if a book doesn't fit into one of those categories, it doesn't make the cut.  


Schedule Donation Pick Ups/Sales Appointments In Advance  

By scheduling,  you'll know you have to come up with some things to let go of.      

Start with a Category You Don't Anticipate Having Any Trouble With  

Start with an easy area and know that it almost always gets easier to make these decisions once you start. 

As you go, you'll notice that it feels good to let go of things you no longer need and you'll be motivated to continue.  


Make Daily or Weekly Goals  

Nudge yourself into starting by deciding how many items you will commit to letting go of per day or per week.



question mark


As you look at your items here are the questions you want to ask yourself:

  • Do I like this?
  • Do I use this?
  • How many of this item do I really need?

Here's your chance to have a home or office that fits your current lifestyle, taste and needs.  





Sometimes people worry they'll get rid of something that they later need and then will have to buy again. Although that could happen, the chance of needing something you haven't used in years is probably small.  


While repurchasing something you got rid of will cost you, there's also a cost to keeping things you don't use -- being aggravated by the excess you see in your space and the space you are giving up to store the things you don't use.


percentage sign



Ever wonder why there is so much interest in getting organized? Check out these statistics and wonder no more!


  • According to the book Affluenza by John DeGraff, our homes now have twice as much stuff in them as in the 1950's".
  • According to the book Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century, managing the volume of possessions was such a crushing problem in many homes that it actually elevated levels of stress hormones for mothers. (Not a surprise to us moms!)
  • The U.S. Department of Energy reports that one-quarter of people with two-car garages have so much stuff in them that they can't park a car inside of them.
  • 1 in 11 American households' rents a self-storage space and they spend over $1,000 a year in rent.


Organizing Your Home 
September 21, 2013 
9:30 - 11:30 am
Buffalo Grove High School
1100 W. Dundee Rd.
Buffalo Grove, IL
847-718-7700 or www.ce214.org
The Truth About Your Treasures Panel Discussion with Several Experts
September 28, 2013
10:00 - 10:00 am
Mallinckrodt Community Center
1041 N. Ridge Ave, Wilmette

Organizing Your Paper
October 11, 2013
9:30 - 11:30 am

New Trier Extension

7 Happ Road, Northfield


October 12, 2013
9:30 - 11:30 am
Buffalo Grove High School
1100 W. Dundee Rd.
Buffalo Grove, IL
847-718-7700 or www.ce214.org

Organizing Your Home to Show & Sell
October 19, 2013
9:30 - 11:30 am
Buffalo Grove High School
1100 W. Dundee Rd.
Buffalo Grove, IL
847-718-7700 or www.ce214.org



Altogether Organized Has A Facebook Page!

We have been posting "before and after" pictures, organizing tips, advice and links on a weekly basis. Thanks for all the positive feedback from those of you who have been receiving them. 

Just click on this link www.facebook.com/altogetherorganized  to "LIKE" the Altogether Organized Facebook page.


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