Archive for October, 2010

Step Into Our Infomercial

No, we don’t have an Edit My Closet infomercial (yet!) but we thought we’d follow up on our strategic shopping post by bringing to light just how dangerous infomercials and shopping channels can be.

We’ve had a few customers who’ve admitted to getting sucked into purchasing items (never to be used) through these mediums.

Their reasons vary but here are a few common themes:

  • Fear of missing a great, once in a life-time deal. Long format television commercials rope us in with their “limited time offer” spiel. Home shopping networks are notorious for having a “SOLD” number count on the bottom of the screen while the infomercial is playing. This reels viewers into purchasing items based on fear they’ll sell-out.  Trust us, they won’t.
  • Falling for sales pitches around weight loss, life/self-improvement, and time saving devices (who doesn’t want to be thin, clear skinned, efficiently on time, neatly pressed, with chopped pepperoni?!)
  • Believing they really NEED whatever useless crap they’ve been suckered into
  • Complete unawareness of the As Seen On TV Store

Infomercials claim purchases are “risk free” and often offer a money back guarantee (this somehow quells our concern that we’re being duped). They also provide enticing offers that include free gifts, bonus items, reduced prices, deferred payments and free shipping and handling.

We’re a result oriented culture and the infomercial satiates our need to see something improve instantly. And testimonials are the ultimate sales strategy. We all want to see someone just like us, or on the other side of the scale (a celebrity), endorsing the product. This comforts us in believing the product has actual merit.


Uh-oh

Always remind yourself that those who host infomercial and home shopping network segments are paid to $ell the product! Many “takes” are required to show the product working perfectly. Glitches are easily EDITED!

The age old adage, “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is” applies to infomercials. The product may “work”, but will it be as effective as the infomercial shows? And do you really need it? And where are you going to store it? And are you just looking for a quick fix?

Avoid Infomercial Pitfalls!

1) Do not watch infomercials when tired, drunk, or after ingesting antihistamines. Their repetitive nature can be hypnotic, especially if you’re already feeling worn out!

2) Research! Product reviews are easily accessible online. Google the item or check out Youtube for video reviews.

3) Ask around – does anyone you know currently own (or has at least tried) the product you’re thinking of purchasing?

4) Don’t believe everything you hear.  The exact same products are often found in local stores, As Seen On TV stores, and on the Shopping Channel websites (in case you really can’t live without a TV Hat). Yikes.

October 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm 3 comments

Step Into Our Container

We can hardly contain ourselves!

Cheryl recently moved into a tiny space sans storage.  It made us realize just how important storage solutions and containers are! There are thousands of options to streamline any space.  Here’s a few of our favorites:

  

Shelves and shelving units, including hanging desks and tables, are a must for small spaces.

 

As are baskets. Don’t be afraid to be a basket case! They’re always in style, blend with most décor, and can be vacuumed easily!  Store them on top of cupboards,under sinks, by couches (for magazines or miscellanea), in bathrooms, and on top of the fridge.    

 

 

See through/clear containers are great for storing food (choose glass containers for food – if possible), gift wrapping paraphernalia,crafts, shoes, bags, winter/summer clothing, and seasonal items. Visibility leads to use and diminishes the need to shop frequently). If transparent storage isn’t an option, label containers instead.  We like using photographs as labels (especially for shoes and hats).  

Snap!

 

They’re especially helpful when storing items in a separate locker, attic, or basement. Cut back unnecessary and wasted time sifting through piles of stuff!!

Stackable storage boxes (of any material) work well for holding pictures, papers, books, and CDs (for those who still own them!)

 

Cubby storage is perfect for children and adults alike. It’s a great way to conserve space and stay organized by keeping things easily accessible.

 

Armoires, dressers, and other furniture style storage units work well for lack of closet/cupboard space.

Look at all those baskets!

Where to get ’em:

Large retail hardware/home/furniture stores

Ikea (of course)

Solutions

Umbra  

IQ Living

Binz

Even Dollar Stores sell useful containers!

Contain yourself until next week…

C&B

 
  

October 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm 1 comment

Step Into Our Inbox

We often think of clutter as the stuff around us – lingering items that fill our cupboards, closets, garages, basements and junk drawers.  But what about the stuff we store on our computers, hard-drives, internet and mobile phones? Virtual clutter can impact us the same way physical clutter can.  It can overwhelm, take up space, and keep us holding on when it’s time to let go.

We recently attended a start-up networking event and got into a discussion around editing work, virtually held documents, and email. We discussed the merits of editing ones “inbox” and were asked to help someone with this work. It can be overwhelming to tackle virtual clutter but we’ve broken things down into a few categories:

EMAIL

It provides us with a source to communicate personally and professionally

1. Get familiar with your email provider – what features do Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc… provide? For example, Gmail provides Google docs which allow you to store word documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other pertinent information.

2. Create necessary folders, such as “pending”, “important”, “passwords”, or anything that’s applicable.  Remember to manage the folders by updating and deleting often.

3. Filter junk by checking the filter specifications on your email. REMEMBER – when you provide your email address to sites on the internet or in person they will most likely send you multiple emails advertising their product or service. Online you often have to “opt-in” (check the box that says you want to receive information about products/services). So opt out!

4. Sift through emails from the past and ask “why am I hanging onto messages from past lovers or friends”? What feelings do they evoke? What value is there in keeping digital records of them? When you’re ready, double delete.  Or create a “sentiments” folder until it’s time to let go.

5. Don’t drink and type (otherwise known as merlot and email don’t mix).  There’s a reason Gmail has a safety feature that ask skill testing questions when you attempt to send messages at 3am.

6. Action email as soon as possible to file/delete, and move on with your existence. We all have emails sitting in our inbox we don’t know what to do with (we actually know exactly what to do with them – reply not a chance to that family re-union in Sudbury or respond to the “how are you” message from the loser you’ve been avoiding for three months – we just don’t want to). These messages glare at us every time we open our inboxes and, really, outside of common email courtesy (responding promptly) action-ing (it’s a verb now) annoying emails reduces stress by allowing us to move on.

DOCUMENTS

These files can include academic work, recipes, random pieces of information, receipts, excel files, presentations etc …

1. Look through all documents to first determine if you need to hold on to them. Will you need to access these files again in the future? Are you keeping them for a sentimental reason?

2. Name files appropriately – proper naming conventions save time and energy (especially when attempting to locate at a later date).

3. Create folders in your documents folder or on your desktop – wherever they’ll be managed/accessed most.

SMART PHONES

The line is getting blurry between computers and phones. Many phones provide access to email and the web and require editing as well.

1. Create folders on blackberrys and iphones.

2. Sync your phone to email, computer calendar, etc… (this will reduce the need to do double the work).

3. Get rid of unused applications (we know the Harmonica app seemed like a good idea at the time, but it wasn’t).

WORLD WIDE WEB

1. Customize your favourites folder and tool bar for easy access to your favourite sites.

2. Utilize Google Chrome web browser to visually have access to you most visited or favourite sites (Macs have this built into the Safari browser).

For further storage outside of your computer use USB keys, burn information onto CDs, or use external storage devices.

For more Info check-out: http://unclutterer.com/2008/03/13/managing-computer-file-clutter/

And, despite what Avenue Q says,

the internet is not for porn. It’s obviously for organizing tips.

October 14, 2010 at 8:11 pm 2 comments

Step Into Our Proverbial Closet

Why closets?

Good question.

Ask most people and they’ll admit their closet/cabinet/armoire/wardrobe usage goes well beyond storage. Closed closet doors hide things. Sometimes skeletons. Most times things we never use but don’t know what the bleep to do with.

According to Wikipedia (we really dig far eh?):

“A closet, through French from Latin clausum, “closed” began life in the 17th century as a small private room, often behind a bedroom, to which a man or woman could retire, for privacy, reading, or enjoyment of personal works of art…”

Their history is thus rooted in an inherent need for privacy and desire to “hide”, “contain”, or even “escape”.  Closets were born of the intention to house things we want to keep but not necessarily access every minute, day, or year.

Which is fine if you’re living in the 17th century.  But we’re not. Throughout the ages closets have become secret dumping grounds for the many, many, many things we accumulate.

Time to de-clutter. When one begins the process of editing one’s life, one must begin with their closet.

For many of our customers closets and cabinets act as quick and easy organizing solutions – out of sight, out of mind reasoning. We think this probably reigns true for most people. And although this “solution” may work in the short term, it’s not sustainable. Clutter causes stress. There is no way around it. Life is easier and smoother when things have been minimized, simplified, organized, and have a proper home.

For smooth sailing use our 8 Step Process!  And listen to Christopher Cross.

Need more reasons to attack your closets with throwaway bags? Here are some good ones:

*Obtain immediate knowledge of your stuff (i.e.that crocheted poncho that you wore once. We mean “really?!?” –  let it go!). This leads to an instant sense of control and ability to manage one’s belongings.  

*Gain easy access to possessions without having to dig through miscellanea.

*Eliminate the fear and worry of being buried once you open the closet door (along with the dreadful anxiety of having to organize the stuff one day). Just do it! And then have a party and hang up someone’s coat!

*Save money and time by not buying duplicate items because the first one “magically” disappeared!

Closet Alternatives

Yours In Editing,

Beth & Cheryl

October 7, 2010 at 10:43 am 3 comments


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