I would personally like to give the City of Fitchbug a standing ovation! I was working on some research today about the waste management options in Fitchburg, and this is what I discovered:
First, a nifty little option called the Bagster. (http://www.thebagster.com) This item can be purchased at (according to their sales rep) Home Depot or Menards ($30.) It is a portable dumpster that comes folded up. You can fill it with up to 3300 pounds, call to pay for and schedule a pickup ($169), and in 2-3 days it will disappear from your driveway. This service is through Waste Management.
Next, I talked to the City of Fitchburg and discovered the really exciting part: UNLIMITED RECYCLING! Yup, as long as it is in clear plastic bags, there is no additional charge for recycling! I think this is a great way to get residents to be more conscious about what they purchase and discard.
The city does offer a solution to pick up additional refuse bags curb side. You can buy tags at $17.50 for five tags. That will allow you to fill five additional 32 gallon bags of garbage.
You have decided to sell and your real estate agent has suggested that you declutter. You decide to start in the living room. When you walk in, you look around and notice that you have "things" out, but they are useful and used every day. You decide to start in another room...
Realtors and stagers do not have any emotional attachment to your things, and it is easier for them to point out the obvious "clutter." Be realistic about what it means to have your home on the market. You want others to picture living there, and their lifestyle may be very different than yours.
It is very important to make sure your home is ready for it's closeup!
Buyers will most likely have their first impression based on photos they will see online. This is where I suggest the staging start! Take a camera and stand at the curb, entrance to each room, and furthest corner from the door in each room. Snap a photo from each one of those locations. Then, upload them on your computer, and take a look, a real close look. Consider having someone such as a friend, family member, or neighbor help with this process and ask for their brutal honesty. What do you want potential buyers to notice about each room? What is the first thing you notice about each photograph? Is it what you want buyers to notice?
Many times, the answer to that question in…NO!
Make a list of things that need to be done BEFORE you have the pictures taken for your listing. Dedicate the time to get as many of those tasks done. All the time you put into making your house the bast it can possibly show, will help sell it faster. Buyers do not want to have to rehang doors, touchup paint, and clean before they move in. All of those things that you take care of for them, means a larger selling price.
Once listing pictures go online, and buyers see them, it is hard to undo the damage. Consider learning a little about living a minimalist lifestyle temporarily…who knows, you might even like it!
Making Peace with the Things in Your Life
Why Your Papers, Books, and Other Possessions Keep Overwhelming You-and What to Do About It
By Cindy Glovinsky M.S.W. A.C.S.W.
Platform: Paperback (Available through Madison Public Library)
This book really geared towards the casual reader in tone, but offers some really great insight into Thing management techniques for the professional organizer as well.
Cindy breaks the book down in to four sections
Part I: Rethinking Things
Part II: You and Your Things: Taking Inventory
Part III: Why Things Keep Overwhelming You
Part IV: What to do About Things
She really helps you try to determine why Things (capitalized on purpose!) are difficult for some. It feels a little like a history lesson. If you learn why you are holding on to things, or why you manage things a certain way, then you can avoid repeating that in the future. She makes some really great points about becoming aware of our surroundings and how it became to be the way it is. I often feel like I could write a book about organizing for my clients, but now I feel like I don't have to! This is a great book for the person trying to get organized, their families, and professionals.
"…time is time, however you chop it up. It's all about learning to make best use of whatever your brain does naturally, setting limits when you must and going with the flow whenever you can." (p139)
Claire Matejka has earned a Certificate of Study in Basic Physical Conditions Affecting the CD Client
I completed six hours of tele classes including;
Working through the ICD continues to be such a great experience. The classes are offered not only by Professional Organizers, but also professionals in other related fields, such as psychotherapists. Some of the most valuable classes are also taught by professionals with a passion in the topic because they also have the disability.
Whenever the class focuses on a client that may have challenges, the focus is always on the client. It is always a good reminder that we are working with people, and that sometimes situations may be unique or challenging, but it is always about the person.
Ok, ugly is a little harsh…maybe visually offensive or displeasing? Whatever term you decide to use, know that there are solutions besides major remodels requiring a home equity loan.
First of all, if it is not nailed down (and maybe even if it is!), load bearing, or downright necessary, consider removing it! Examples?
But, what if removal is not an option? You will have to get a little creative!
What a difference a coat of paint can make! Can you paint the undesirable? If so, use analogous colors to help the uglies blend in to the colors around it. Then with complementary colors add pillows, art, and fun accessories to add a twist and to draw the eye away. Consider using bold patterns, throws, lamp shades, and art to freshen up the room. Give buyers a distraction that will draw their eyes to a feature in the room such as tall ceilings or windows. (Remember a previous post however that less is more when it comes to accessories. We are not staging for a magazine photo shoot, you want buyers to be able to image themselves in your home, so make it easy for them. Identify the use of the space, make sure it is clean, and minimize clutter!)
Not sure about analogous or complementary colors?
Analogous colors are next to (think neighbor), and complementary are across the color wheel.
For example an analogous color to yellow would be yellow orange or yellow green. A complementary color for yellow is violet.
Maybe you have really outdated yellow counters. You might consider choosing a very pale green or yellow to put on the walls (think almost white), that will make the counters less obvious. You are trying to make them blend in. Using these examples with the example color wheel may be difficult for you to swallow. If you are really uncomfortable choosing a color, take a sample into the paint store and they can help you choose just the right color. You will learn a thing or two about shade and tints as well!
To include an analogous color, identify the one thing (or two) in the room that you want buyers to notice. Maybe it is a large window. Make sure window treatments are minimal (curtains usually removed), and the window is sparkling clean. You may want to place a bud vase with one flower on the window sill to bring attention to the space, but not block the view or the light. Then use the complementary color of violet to add some flair around the room…more fresh flowers, towels, placemats?
OK, people, let's get down to it! Spring is sneaking up fast (although I am not sure where it snuck off to…let me know if you find it!!!) Time to start thinking about opening up the windows to let in some fresh air, cleaning house, and making plans for warm weather activities.
What is the history of Spring Cleaning?
Your guess is as good as mine. I did an internet search only to get very conflicting information ranging from preparations for Persian New Year, to two weeks after the Jewish New Year, to near the Chinese New Year… I really was not expecting to find a debate!
So onward to the real topic at hand: Spring Cleaning.
As with any home project, I suggest you schedule the time for it. If it is a priority, you make the time. How much time should you plan on? That is not a simple question to answer, so get out your notepad and lets make some quick figures. Make a list of all the rooms in your house, the cleaning activities that need to happen, and the time you think it will take to complete the tasks. Do this quickly, there will not be a test at the end.
Everyone always thinks it will take less time, and if it does then consider it a bonus, but there is nothing worse than giving yourself time to do a task and then leaving it half done because you did not have time to finish it. Err on the side of caution, and over estimate. When you have your estimate add 30-50% more time. Below is an example of one room:
It might seem silly to plan how you will clean, but if you do this in advance, it will give you a chance to add to the list rather than be surprised the day of. Keep these estimates and make notes for next year. Maybe you had trouble removing a screen and want to remember a little trick. Also note the actual amount of time you spend in the room and add anything you forgot to the list.
So how about managing the whole home project?
Will you dedicate a day or weekend and blitz the whole house at once? Will you break it up into a few Saturday mornings so you do not have to miss out on invites for fun activities? You have to decide what option is best for you, and there are benefits to each. I suggest that if you decide to break up the project over several weekends that you break the house into zones. If you have a multi story, I would do one floor at a time. If it is a ranch style, then maybe split it into sleeping quarters, living quarters and kitchen/baths.
3.20.14 edit: I know that managing any process, even spring cleaning, with making a list might seem awkward to some. On the other hand, many people are challenged with how to manage such tasks due to ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, or other physical or mental conditions. The reality is that each of us has a brain that processes information and things differently. Making lists and estimations for time are just some of the tools to help folks manage.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! In my past life I studies the relationships among police, courts, and corrections. I really wanted to work with at risk youth and restorative justice programs. Like so many others, my path has changed, but the topic still remains a passion of mine. It is safe to say that the United States has a big problem with incarceration: it is now a business with little hope for rehabilitation. I could talk all day about it, but that is not the topic of this post ;-)
I came across this organization in Madison that will take book donations and distribute them to inmates. I think this is a wonderful program and wished to share it with you in the hopes that you would consider this as the next recipient of your book donations. When I called to be sure the program was still in operation, they also mentioned a LGBT Books to Prisoners program as well.
They accept donations at the following locations and you can read more about the program on the web: http://rainbowbookstore.coop/b2p
Lakeside Press, 1334 Williamson St., Madison, WI 53703, 608-255-1800
Madison Infoshop, 1019 Williamson St., Madison, WI 53703, 608-262-9036
People's Bookstore, 2122 E. Locust, Milwaukee WI 53211, 414-962-0575
I am very excited to announce an event that will be taking place on the North Side. It is a seminar series on April 9 & 16, 2014, called Transitions. They are Living and Planning Seminars for Active Seniors. Each of the dates will feature three sessions designed to get seniors actively involved in planning their futures. Maybe it would be helpful to listen to see if you are on the right track. Are you ready? Or maybe you have no idea where to start and need some ideas or help finding resources? No matter where you are in the process of planning, these sessions have something to offer everyone.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com
I hope to see you there!
[Education] Certificate of Study in Basic Mental Health Conditions and Challenges Affecting the CD Client
Claire Matejka has earned a Certificate of Study in
Basic Mental Health Conditions & Challenges Affecting the CD Client (February 2014)
I completed six hours of tele classes including:
Taking classes through the ICD has been a great experience. It allows me choose classes that relate to the clients that I am working with and tailor my knowledge to better assist them. I am looking forward to sharing more exciting news about my education in the next few months!
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