organized home office/desk
Quarterly Newsletter
May 2008



At last Spring has arrived. And so, the subject of this quarter's newsletter is, what else, but spring cleaning!


In the world of organizing, "spring cleaning" refers to the process of looking at what we own and determining if these things still serve us well. In other words, are they items that we actually use, bring us joy or serve some other practical purpose?  Or rather, do these items just take up precious physical space and weigh us down mentally?


This issue will focus on three areas for spring cleaning--the closet, the garage and most importantly, your mind! We hope that you enjoy it.  


Best Regards,



organized home office/desk
   Spring Cleaning
   for your Closet


The weather is finally changing.  Now that spring is here it's time to banish those turtle necks and sweaters to the less accessible sections of your closet and drawers to make room for your spring and summer wardrobes!


As you put your fall and winter clothes away, determine if there are any items you didn't wear this past year and ask yourself why not.


Is it because---

You no longer like the item?

The piece is no longer in style?

You are tired of wearing it?

The item is no longer in good condition?

It doesn't fit?

You don't like how you look or feel in it?

The item needs to be fixed or altered but you are unlikely to do so?


If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, it sounds like a good time to say "goodbye"!


Don't forget to ask yourself these same questions for your spring and summer clothes and consider your shoes and handbags as well.  Remember, you only have a finite amount of space for your clothing and you don't want to waste it on clothes you are unlikely to wear. 


By going through this process, you'll more easily be able to see if there are items you'll need to shop for to complete your wardrobe.  As we always tell our clients, it is so much easier to get dressed everyday when you know that everything in your closet fits and is something you want to wear!


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Spring Cleaning for your Garage


The garage is another area that requires your attention in the spring! All winter long it's been too uncomfortable to work out there, but now is the ideal time to see what's collected that you no longer need, want or use.


Listed below are some garage items you may come across and tips for how you'll want to dispose of them.


Latex paint cans - While latex paint is not a hazardous material, it must be dried out before disposal with other garbage. To dry it out, put cat litter, shredded newspaper or sand in the paint can to absorb the excess paint. Be sure to then throw out the absorbent material in the trash and recycle the paint can.    


Tires - Bring old car tires to any Illinois automotive tire retailer for recycling. (They are required by Illinois law to accept them.) The retailer will probably charge you a small fee per tire.


Household Chemical Waste - Oil based paints, solvents, motor oil, antifreeze, garden and lawn chemicals, pool chemicals, old gasoline, fungicides, insecticides, pesticides, paint remover, driveway sealer, aerosol products, hobby chemicals and household batteries are all considered household chemical waste and should not be thrown in the trash.  These items should be dropped off at a special household waste collection event.  These events are sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and are periodically held in different communities. There are also some regular drop-off locations. Please visit the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County's website at or the Solid Waste Agency of Cook County's website at for more information and upcoming collection dates and locations.


Broken Garden Hoses - For tips on how to recycle a broken garden hose check out and search for "recycling garden hoses".  It's surprising how many different ways you can put these to use and keep them out of landfills.


Sports Equipment -Sports equipment that you no longer use or want can be donated.  You may also want to contact a sports resale store like Play it Again Sports at (847) 564-9180 to see if they have an interest.


Bikes - These are also a much appreciated donation and often times your town's park district will have a special event to donate your bike.  If you want to sell your bike you may want to list it on or another donation option is to list the bike on


After you've cleared your garage of all those unwanted items, you may be surprised by all the extra space cleared for the things you truly want to keep in it, like for example, your car!





organized home office/desk 

News from the

Altogether Organized


Let me introduce you to Beth Olderman


When you next call the Altogether Organized office, you may hear the friendly voice of Beth Olderman on the other end of the line. Beth joined Altogether Organized last fall as our office manager and has been a tremendous help ever since.  Beth's background is in public relations where she worked for 10 years before having her 3 children.  Since that time she has held numerous volunteer positions including serving as PTO President for her children's elementary school. Beth is always looking for ways to help us work smarter and is freeing me up to do what I like best, work with our clients!





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Spring Cleaning for Your Peace of Mind

"I feel like I just cleaned my brain" was one of the most interesting comments I've ever received from a client.  


We had just finished organizing her office which included going through all of her files.  After purging what she didn't need, we labeled the new files with headings she could remember and reorganized them into categories to help her retrieve them and put them away easily. We also uncovered tasks and projects she needed to accomplish that were buried in her papers.  We then calendared these items so that she knew when she would work on them.


I remember laughing when she made this comment!  I'd never heard anyone use that expression before to describe the relief they felt once they'd become organized.  After thinking about it, I realized how perfectly it described the calming effect feeling in control of one's environment has on our mind.


So when you think "spring cleaning" this year, I encourage you to think about "cleaning your brain". Determine what is keeping you from focusing on the things you truly want to be doing and thinking about--and remember, we are here to help.




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