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Become a SpaceMaker, not a ClutterBug! In this issue we identify the top 15 ClutterMakers and how to clear them out of your space. Plus, a simple and safe way to hard-boil eggs, and a tasty dinner your family and friends will love!

EasyPeasy Living Newsletter

Offering simple solutions for everyday life

Spring 2019

Clearing the ClutterMakers

Space really is the final frontier, but maybe not in quite the same way Star Trek meant it.  It is a universal need...a commodity everyone seeks. We're in a constant quest for more space. Space to move in, to live in, and - unfortunately - to put all of our stuff in!

Clients call on me to help them address a wide variety of organizational needs. Some are packing up the home they raised their families in, some are frustrated by an inability to keep up with the never-ending flow of paperwork, some just need advice on managing their busy schedules, but all of them inevitably need help creating more space in their lives. I'm a spacemaker. It's what I do. Now you can do it too, starting with clearing away what I call the ClutterMakers.

ClutterMakers are all the things we accumulate by default because we fail to put a limit on them. Most of us have far more of these items than we really need. They clog up our closets and cabinets, eating up that valuable space we all crave. You can find a list of the 15 most common ClutterMakers here, along with some guidance on how many you really need to keep and some things to keep in mind about that. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed by your clutter and don't know where to start, start by reducing these ClutterMakers. Here are a few tips to keep them in check moving forward:

  1. Set limits - The ClutterMakers Table gives you some guidance on how many of each of these items you really need to keep on hand, but the key to keeping these suckers under control is setting a limit you can live with. Pick a number, assign physical boundaries to the space in which you store them (e.g. a bin, basket, or specific shelf), or establish a "one in, one out" rule. The point is to make a rule and then stick to it.
  2. Determine a plan for the excess - Decide in advance how you are going to rid yourself of the excess. Establish a "donate" box in your garage and put your extras there as they accumulate. (Make sure you have a plan for emptying that box periodically.) Visit our Donating/Recycling page for some ideas on what to do with some of these excess items.
  3. Schedule regular maintenance purges - Plan a time to go through your cabinets and closets on a regular basis and purge your excess ClutterMakers. If you've already done steps 1 and 2, decluttering every 6-12 months will not be a time-consuming or difficult task. You should be able to tackle one cabinet or closet at a time in well under 30 minutes if you're keeping up with it.
  4. Stop worrying about running out! - You can almost always acquire more of these items or free up others currently in use for little to no cost if you start to run low. Do a load of laundry; eat leftovers for dinner; collect more boxes, packaging supplies and bags from local stores for free; or borrow needed items from your neighbors, if necessary...these measures will be necessary far less often than your desire for more space in your life, believe me!
What are the biggest ClutterMakers in your home? Ask the Organizer for suggestions on how to keep them at bay.

With a little discipline and a good plan, even clearing the ClutterMakers can be easy peasy!

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If you're wondering why paper isn't on the ClutterMakers list, it's because it's really hard to create a blanket rule about how much you should keep. However, if paper is a problem for you (like it is for almost everyone else), go back and read the Winter 2019 Newsletter for some advice on keeping your paper piles under control. 

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Need some one-on-one organizing help? Contact us to set up a session! We service Montgomery County, MD. Visit our Rates & Services page for more information on how we can help.

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Easy ReciPeasy

Baked Chicken Chimichangas
 
Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. 

You'll need:
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
3 cups shredded cheese (I like to use a combination of chedder and pepper jack)
6 large flour tortillas
2 tablespoons melted butter
toppings of your choice (sour cream, salsa, guacamole, etc.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1/2 cup of chicken and 1/2 cup of cheese in the center of one tortilla, fold in the ends and roll up like a burrito. Place seam side down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Continue with remaining tortillas. Brush each well with the melted butter and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crispy. Serve immediately with toppings. Pairs well with sides of cooked rice and black or pinto beans. 


Serves 4-6.

 

Easy Hard-Boiled Eggs
 
First, a quick shout out to my friend Catherine for sharing this little trick with me that I use all the time now. If you don't have an electric kettle, this trick alone is enough reason to get one (there are many others)! And if you follow me regularly, you know I don't advocate such things lightly.
 
Disclaimer: I have never attempted to cook more than 4 eggs this way.
1) Simply place the desired number of eggs gently in the bottom of your electric kettle and add enough water to cover them by at least an inch.
2) Switch on your kettle.
3) When kettle switches off, allow eggs to sit for at least 12 minutes.
4) Remove from kettle with a slotted spoon; cool, peel and serve!

I love that you can walk away and leave these, but I've also noticed that they never seem to crack the way they sometimes do when I boil them on the stove. I think this is because there's less room for them to move around and bump into each other inside the kettle.


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