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Monday, December 30 2013

With New Year's Eve right around the corner, today might be a good time to organize your liquor cabinet if you are preparing to have a celebration at your home.

Just like a food pantry or coat closet, most liquor cabinets grow clutter with more items going in them and less coming out.  Without noticing, you can have three bottles of Vodka, five bottles of Gin, various liquors you purchased but never use, not to mention the various shakers, glassware and other accessories.

In order to get started, simply empty out the entire cabinet and set the items on your dining room table.  Group like-items together.  Vodka with vodka, gin with gin, flavored liquors with flavored liquors, shakers and other accessories together, etc.

Now, evaluate what you have.  You just might not need five bottles of rum or four wine bottle openers.  Look for expired or excessive items.  Yes, some items can expire.

For example, vermouth is made with wine so after a few months of it being open in your cabinet, it will start to taste "off".  It's not necessarily bad for you but the flavor won't be so good.

Bailey's Irish Creme can actually curdle and some sweet liquors will fade.

Pour the old liquor that is past it's prime down the drain.  You can list extra accessories on Freecycle or Craig's List.  If you simply have more than you want to keep, contact your friends to see if they will take some of it off your hands.  I have done this in the past with friends and they appreciate the gesture.

You can always throw that New Year's Eve party to get rid of the extra!

When putting bottles back in your liquor cabinet, keep these tips in mind:  Keep open bottles sealed tightly, avoid exposure to extreme heat or cold, keep your liquor cabinet away from exterior walls and avoid bright or direct light.

Once the items you are keeping have been sorted on your dining room table, return them to the cabinet the same way.  Put shorter bottles in front and taller bottles in the back so you can always see what you are storing.

As the year wind downs, and a new year begins, I raise my virtual wine glass and wish you happiness, health and prosperity in 2014!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 02:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 20 2013


You might have seen this if you have been on Facebook lately.

The holiday season can be very stressful and fill our heads with clutter. 

How can we reduce the clutter in our heads?

Allow others to be responsible for themselves.  You do not have to control everyone and everything.  This is very common for women to nurture and feel responsible for all of their family members.  I hear it over and over again from my female clients.  They are overwhelmed with trying to do everything for everyone.  Relax!  Let others do things for themselves.  This brings me to the second point...

Being a perfectionist is very stressful.  It doesn't have to be perfect in order to get done.  Getting the job done is more important than how we get the job done!  Doing your best is good enough.  Being the best does not mean being perfect.  Next...

There is no crime in asking for help when you need it.  We are not expected to be good at everything.  You are good at what you do and others are good at what they do.  If you have an electrical problem, you might need an electrician.  If you need to paint your house, you might need a painter.  If you need to eliminate your clutter and are feeling overwhelmed, you might need the help of a professional organizer.  You get the idea.  We are all here to help each other.

Most importantly, and especially during this holiday season, focus on what's important and let the rest take care of itself.  It's time to get done what we can, delegate to others and let the rest go so that we can enjoy this wonderful holiday season with friends and family.

If, by any chance, you are feeling overwhelmed with your clutter and need some help, don't hesitate to contact me.  I am here to help.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 10 2013

As a professional organizer, I hear this a lot - "Just In Case".  It relates to the fear of letting go of something.  Many people hold on to items for that reason.  "What if I need it someday?  I don't want to have to purchase another.  There's nothing wrong with it!"  Do you ever find yourself saying any of these?  Let's be reasonable.  We cannot hold onto everything we have "just in case".  Letting go can be so freeing, especially when it comes to socks.  What do I mean by that?

The curious thing about socks is that they often lose their mates and become a source of clutter. They can end up under your bed and in between the sofa cushions. They are also often relegated to the dark recesses of shopping bags, trash bags or baskets in the closet or laundry room.  “I’ll keep this sock, just in case its mate turns up.” 

Does that sound familiar? When we misplace an item from a matching set, we tend to hang on to them for a while, especially when the items cannot be used without each other (such as a gadget and its power cord). We probably keep lonely socks because we still see some value in them, even though they are now orphaned and we may not want them anymore.

Fortunately, there are uncluttered alternatives to keeping mateless socks:

  1. Wear them! This may not seem as obvious (or maybe it’s so obvious that it’s often overlooked), but you can still wear them. You can make a pair using another lonely sock and wear them around the house.  I won't tell!  I promise!
  2. Use them as padding in your packages. Clean socks can be used inside packages to protect the items that you’re mailing. This is a good way to keep the contents of your package safe, but you should let the recipient know that the socks can be discarded!
  3. Use them to protect holiday decorations. You can store some of your holiday decorations (like ornaments) inside the socks before packing them away.
  4. Dust with them. You can add mateless socks to your cleaning supplies. Just be sure to keep a specific number of sock dusters so that you don’t end up cramming more and more of them in with your supplies.
  5. Use them in craft projects. This is perhaps the most fun way to repurpose socks (especially for children). From sock puppets to doll accessories, get creative and make something new. Looking for inspiration? Check out the book The Lonely Sock Club: One Sock, Tons of Cool Projects!.
  6. Make a pet toy. If you have pets, you can make a cool tug-of-war toy for them.  If you have a cat, you can stuff a little cat nip inside it, close it up, and watch your cat go nuts. You may also want to check with your local animal shelter to find out if they have a need for them.

The next time you end up with orphaned socks, be sure that they don’t overstay their welcome and turn into another source of clutter. You can use one of the suggestions above to bring new life into them, but remember that it is okay to let them go if you have no use for them and do yourself a favor, limit the amount you keep.

For more information on this topic, check out a previous blog I wrote called i_have_formed_a_new_support_group .

If you are overwhelmed with your clutter and need some assistance, don't hesitate to contact me.  I am here to help.  Know someone who can use my services, consider purchasing a Gift Certificate for A Better Space.  Simply call my office or send me email me for more details.

Happy sock sorting!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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