the shrink ‘rap: issue 14

the shrink ‘rap: issue 14

In this issue:

The Costs of Disorganization

Did you know that disorganization drains your wallet?
Disorganization can be very costly. Here are some things to ponder as you examine your clutter:

  • For every bill that you misplace or do not pay on time, you incur a late charge. The same thing goes for overdue videos and library books.
  • Every time you miss an early registration deadline for a seminar or event, you end up paying full price.
  • Forget to cancel a membership before the automatic renewal? You’re stuck paying!
  • Whenever you are late for work, someone notices. It’s probably your boss. Perhaps your tardiness is costing you a raise.
  • Often late in social settings? It won’t be long before your lateness costs you a friendship.
  • Picking up your child late from day can cost a ridiculous amount of money for every minute you’re late.
  • Organizing your errands (mapping out a route so you go to locations in the same area without backtracking) will save you money on gas.
  • Keeping an organized closet will save you time and money – no more buying duplicate items and less laundry to do.
  • Organized finances mean you will not be paying overdraft charges.
  • If you need a storage unit because your belongings do not fit in your home, you are probably spending at least $500/year!
  • Meal planning will minimize the amount of spoiled or unused food in your house and cut down on take-out costs.
  • Ignoring standard spring cleaning and home maintenance tasks (i.e. gutter cleaning) can lead to big financial expenditures down the line.
  • Too much trouble finding something? Chances are you’ll just go out and buy another – a drain on time and money.
  • Finding damaged items amidst piles of clutter? Consider the replacement cost.

The average person spends $3000 and wastes over 180 hours each year due to clutter and disorganization. Wouldn’t you rather being doing something else with your time and money?

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Water Cooler Rap

Simple Tips for Daily Living

Books about Organizing

If you are at all disorganized, chances are that you may own one or several books on how to get organized. Unfortunately, you may not have the time to read the book or you may not even be able to find it! With such a variety of books on the market related to getting organized, it can be difficult to figure out which resource is going to be the best choice to assist you in your organizing endeavors.

Here are a few book suggestions for you:

  • Mission: Organization – Strategies and Solutions to Clear Your Clutter – Offers room by room solutions to common organizing challenges. Based on the HGTV series, Mission: Organization. Cluttershrink’s® work from 2 television episodes of Mission: Organization is featured in this book.
  • How to Conquer Clutter – by Stephanie Culp – Provides simple tips for conquering clutter in your home. Easy to read format, and once you read the first chapter, you can skip around in the book.
  • The Queen of Clean Conquers Clutter – by Linda Cobb – Outlines very basic clutter reducing tips for household clutter. A quick read for your bus or train commute.
  • Totally Organized – Easy-to-Use Techniques for Getting Control of Your Time and Your Home – by Bonnie McCullough – More detailed than some of the other book suggestions. In several chapters, this book provides you with a list of questions to ask yourself while you are going through the organizing process. A few chapters on time and paper management can be applied to your work life as well.
  • Organizing Plain & Simple – by Donna Smallin – The title says it all. Suggestions are given to help you make use of things you already have in your home. Book includes a chapter on organizing your finances.
  • Organizing from the Inside Out – by Julie Morgenstern – Some consider this to be THE book on organizing, as it addresses the psychology behind disorganization. Great book for organizing your professional and personal life.
  • How to Get Organized When You Don’t Have the Time – by Stephanie Culp – A simple read to help you conquer interruptions, manage your calendar and prevent procrastination.
  • Confessions of a Happily Organized Family – by Deniece Schofield – A great book if you want to learn how to get your entire family involved in the organizing process.

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Ask the Organizer

We’re excited to include another submission to The ‘Shrink Rap’s “Ask the Organizer” section. Please continue to submit your questions by e-mailing them to Every submitted question related to organizing will be included in a future issue of The ‘Shrink Rap.

Q: What can I do to improve my sweater drawer organization? I am constantly “fighting” with my drawers. I have a walk-in closet with two very deep drawers. I have two stacks of sweaters, and I have to pull out all that you see in order to see the stack behind. The ones on the bottom are also hard to access. On top, I have a hanging rod and then some shelving, which is quite high. I store out of season clothes and linens up there.
Thank you very much for your time.
– Ann

A: Dear Ann,
Deep drawers are both a blessing and a curse for the reasons you mentioned. They hold a lot, but it is difficult to see what they hold. Unfortunately, putting some sort of divider in your drawer isn’t really going to help you because you will still have to pull everything out to access whatever is on the bottom.

You mentioned having a shelf at the top of your closet that you use for linens and out of season clothes. This is a great place for those items, but I’m wondering if you have shelves elsewhere in your closet that you did not mention. If so, I would suggest taking some of those items (gym shorts, sweatpants, t-shirts, tank tops, jeans) and putting them in the drawers and using your shelf space for your sweaters. These other items are typically easier to move and refold if needed. If you do not have additional shelf space, you can write or type up a drawer inventory for each drawer listing what you have in each of the two piles from each drawer (i.e. top front: red cashmere, black v-neck, white cardigan – top back: yellow wool, tan turtleneck, beige cotton”and then do the same for the bottom drawer). Depending on the type of sweater and fabric, it may also be possible to hang some sweaters or roll them in the drawers (Note: rolling will not work for fine fabrics or bulky sweaters). If you roll sweaters, you can line them up from front to back and then would only have to pull off one or two rolled sweaters from the top to see what is underneath. Of course, this method may require more ironing, but I’m not sure which is a bigger nuisance, searching and refolding or ironing. Another alternative is to getting a hanging sweater organizer to hang from your rod. You can find these at Bed Bath & Beyond.

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Need more help getting organized? Call Cluttershrink® for more information on receiving hands-on assistance organizing your home, office or relocation. Phone consultations, customized seminars, mentoring for new organizers and gift certificates are also available. Call 215.431.0590 or e-mail Crystal Sabalaske at

Posted in Ask the Organizer, Clothing, Organizing, Resources for Organizing, Storage, Storage bins, Time Management, Words of Wisdom