Enjoy millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more, with a free trial

Only $11.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

The Clutter Queen Spills!
The Clutter Queen Spills!
The Clutter Queen Spills!
Ebook238 pages3 hours

The Clutter Queen Spills!

Rating: 0 out of 5 stars


Read preview

About this ebook

Do you long to escape from clutter but have no clue how or where to start? The Clutter Queen waves her magic wand to reveal insider secrets from her 13 years as a Professional Organizer, sharing 100's of practical tricks as she guides you through 3 simple DIY steps to ensure clutter freedom. Written specifically for women, this eBook is guaranteed to make you giggle! Featured on radio and TV, “The Clutter Queen” provides solutions to unclutter and organize your life. With inspiring client stories, before-and-after photos and Fast Fixes easily accomplished in 5-10 minutes flat, you'll be amazed how easily you can learn how to reduce stress and save time, money and energy!

"I recommend this great book to everyone, whether packrat or neat-freak. The packrat will quickly learn how to unclutter, the neat-freak will learn new ploys - and both will have fun reading it." - Lea Tassie

“I loved your book! I had trouble putting it down to get things done. You have written it with wonderful humor.” – Margot Watson

Release dateAug 28, 2014
The Clutter Queen Spills!
Read preview

Barbara McDonell

About Barbara McDonell I live on the west coast of Canada in Victoria, British Columbia. That's located on beautiful Vancouver Island which is so large that it takes eight hours to drive the length of it. Wildlife is abundant - sometimes even in the city. Once upon a time, a cougar walked into the Empress Hotel for afternoon tea! I’m crazy-nuts about animals so it was destiny that my first job would be working in a pet hospital. Despite long hours and minimum pay, I loved it...but the veterinarian told me I got too emotionally attached to my patients. For several decades I was an administrative secretary, which is where I learned the importance of organizing chaos into calm. Later, I used that knowledge to reinvent myself by taking a leap of faith from a secure 9-5 job to operating my own business as a professional organizer. Because I adore organizing, I cannot stop myself from sorting groceries into categories (fruit, vegetables, tinned goods, etc.) while waiting in the check-out line. I totally reorganized a toy store display because it hid the cutest teddy bear in the world under a mess of games. To my delight, a young couple immediately nabbed that teddy. Then I spent a half-hour reorganizing the whole art section because it was so jumbled that I couldn't locate the size frame I wanted. I love variety so have a broad range of interests. Therefore, I’ve published magazine and newspaper articles on hugely diverse subjects such as cats, soppy Dobermans, hiking, hang gliding, travel fun, Victoria’s colorful history, housing issues, the making of artificial eyes...and even a short erotic piece for “Playgirl” magazine. I began writing novels on a manual typewriter. What was I thinking? Eventually, shaking in my boots, I bought a scary computer that sat on my desk in its unopened box for several weeks before I was brave enough to even unpack it. I'm always writing something. Sitting in front of my computer is where I am the happiest.

Read more from Barbara Mc Donell

Related to The Clutter Queen Spills!

Related ebooks

Reviews for The Clutter Queen Spills!

Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
0 ratings

0 ratings0 reviews

What did you think?

Tap to rate

Review must be at least 10 words

    Book preview

    The Clutter Queen Spills! - Barbara McDonell

    The Clutter Queen Spills!

    - DIY secrets from a professional organizing expert

    by Barbara McDonell

    Copyright 2013 Barbara McDonell

    Smashwords Edition

    License Notes

    This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


    While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. This publication is not intended for use as a source of legal or accounting advice and information contained herein may be subject to varying country, province/state and/or local laws or regulations.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 – Making Sense of It All

    I Will Survive: The key to survival

    Cryin': How did I get into this mess?

    Going Out of My Head: What is clutter?

    The Cost of Keeping Clutter

    The Benefits of Uncluttering: The trip from Hell to Heaven

    Giving It All Away: What motivates us to take action?

    Chapter 2 – Create an Uncluttering Plan to Suit Your Lifestyle

    It's Now or Never: Preparation & goals to keep you on track

    Step It Up & Go: The 3 Simple (do-it-yourself) Steps

    Farewell, So Long, Goodbye: The finishing touches

    Chapter 3 – Common Clutter Problems

    No, You Can't Take That Away From Me: Collections & hobbies

    Paperback Writer: Books & magazines

    Puppy Love: The truth about cats & dogs & their baggage

    Chapter 4 – Start With a Small Project

    Help! Controlling junk drawers

    Comin' Home Baby: The Entrance

    Splish Splash: Bathroom

    Chapter 5 – Bedrooms & Closets

    C'mon Baby, Light My Fire: Master Bedroom

    Monster Mash: Kid Bedrooms

    Baby Love: Creating space for a new baby

    Hide Away: Closets

    Chapter 6 – Kid Toys & Kid Art

    Teddy Bear: The toy story

    All Things Bright & Beautiful: Kid art

    De Gospel Train (Get on Board, Little Children): Training your kids to help

    Chapter 7 – Family Centers: Kitchen, Dining & Living Room or Great Room

    Food, Glorious Food: Kitchen & Pantry

    On Top of Spaghetti: Dining area

    License to Chill: Living Room & Great Room

    Chapter 8 – Office & Central Communication Center

    I've Gotta Get a Message to You: Communication center

    Return to Sender: The world's easiest mail-handling system!

    Losing You: The home office

    Please Don't Say Mánana: Paper procrastination

    Too Much: How to cull paper

    She Works Hard for the Money: Taking control of finances

    Pennies from Heaven: Using coins to invest in your future

    Chapter 9 – Other Spaces

    The Spare Room Workspace: A jumble where no one dares to enter

    Dirty Laundry: Taking control of laundry

    Margaritaville: Deck, Patio or Balcony

    Accidents Will Happen: Garage, Carport, Attic or Basement

    Chapter 10 – More Uncluttering Situations

    She's Leaving Home (bye-bye): Moving a household

    Bargain: Yard Sales versus Estate Sales

    Stairway to Heaven: Preparing your estate before the kids inherit your mess

    In the Sanctuary: Creating an escape from the world

    Small Space Solutions: Making the most of the space you've got

    Chapter 11 – How to Avoid Self-Sabotage (helpful before-project information)

    Heal the Pain: Releasing pain & fear

    The Great Procrastinator: How to overcome obstacles

    Please Release Me: Reluctance-to-release issues

    SuperWoman: Release unrealistic expectations

    Help Me Make It Through the Night: How to delegate chores

    You Can't Always Get What You Want: Respecting other people & their clutter

    Time Is On My Side: How to maximize your time

    Chapter 12 – Uncluttering Secrets (helpful after-project information)

    Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret? Top Ten tricks to keep you clutter-free

    Confessin': The author's personal uncluttering story

    Client Demographics

    A Story Untold: Submit your own uncluttering story

    Chapter 13 - Resources

    With a Little Help From My Friends: Hiring professional assistance

    Just a Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Recycle responsibly

    Who Ya Gonna Call? Resources & international recycling sites

    Chapter 14 – Fun Stuff! Music Trivia Quiz

    Did you know that classic rock resonates to high vibes? Apparently there was considerable truth to The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations! Unfortunately, new rock music does not have the same positive impact as the golden oldies that lift your mood.

    As women reach mid-life they often develop an intense desire to simplify their lives by uncluttering. A large percentage of my clientele were children of the sixties and the rest of you likely remember older siblings, parents or grandparents playing sixties songs. Many of you probably still enjoy listening to that music.

    Because I'm totally into silliness, I've named chapter sub-headings with tune titles from that era (they're in quotation marks for quick identity). In Chapter 14, you can take my Music Trivia Quiz - much of it is surprising and quirky. You'll have a hoot impressing friends with your vast music knowledge at the next dinner party!

    This eBook is dedicated to all the clients who invited me into their homes,

    who shared their intimate secrets and ultimately taught me as much

    as I taught them. To protect their privacy, I have changed client names.


    Chapter 1 - Making Sense of It All

    This eBook will show you how to escape from clutter and simplify your life! Within its pages, I spill the beans about everything I learned during my 11-year career as a professional organizer. As I share insider knowledge and oodles of tips and ideas, you'll read dozens of genuine client stories and view their before-and-after project photos.

    Whereas those clients paid hundreds of dollars for my expertise, you can get it all for the price of one fancy coffee!

    I wrote this book with casual language so you will feel like I'm sitting right beside you, holding your hand to support you through any sticking points. By incorporating amusing trivia and humorous text I hope you put aside any guilt or embarrassment you may feel about your situation. Giggles overpower self-reproach, right? I promise that together we will morph your home from caterpillar into butterfly!

    Because the majority of my clients were female, I focused the book on women and their particular clutter issues. However, a couple of men eagerly read it: One won the book in a draw and confessed that he very much enjoyed it and the other called the book brilliant - both accolades that I gratefully accepted.

    There is a TON of information packed inside these pages so I recommend that you do a quick read through the whole book before you actually begin an uncluttering project. For instance, Chapter 11, titled How to Avoid Self-Sabotage, provides a wealth of tricks to make the process easier and to help you avoid getting stuck. It addresses issues like procrastination and tells you ways you can overcome them. By the time you reach the end of the book, you will have experienced other people's unclutter-and-organize successes and be excited about what is possible for you and your home. You will then be motivated to take action to fix your own problem areas.

    I Will Survive - The key to survival

    The average person wastes 1 hour a day looking for stuff.

    - The Wall Street Journal

    Because we're all too busy these days, organization is key for survival. We need to be able to find and access things quickly and easily. But we can't be organized if we're drowning in clutter. The house can't even be cleaned properly...and that presents health and safety hazards.

    Forming attachments to things is natural. But when those attachments start to weigh us down and perhaps even paralyze us, then it's become a Big Problem.

    Most clients emailed me the day after our appointment to report that our work together inspired them to continue the job on their own. This book gives you virtual manifestation of The Clutter Queen so you will be able to do that too. Diane said, We were so motivated by your visit that we did a major clear-out of the entire house after you left! I was awake at 3:30 a.m. ripping up papers. Clients were often surprised to discover that the physical release of their unwanted stuff left them feeling lighter, freer, more energetic and liberated. That's exactly what you want too, right?

    You don't have to stay stuck! All you have to do is start. I promise that it all gets easier from that point on. Remember, you aren't doing this all alone because I'm right here holding your hand for encouragement.

    This next short part deals with the serious side of clutter, because it's important to understand the how and why of the subject before we can fix the problems. The giggles come later. I'm here to support you to the end, when we can raise our glasses of bubbly champagne (nothing too good for my readers) to toast your success!

    Are you buried under so much stuff that it's painful to look around your living space? Is it all so overwhelming that you just want to climb back into bed with your teddy bear and pull the pillow over your head?

    There are two possible choices in dealing with your clutter:

    1) You can take action.

    2) You can do nothing.

    By choosing #2 of doing nothing, you seal an agreement with yourself to remain in clutter chaos. That's not an option in The Clutter Queen world.

    Do you dream of restoring order and harmony to your life? Would you like to be able to relax and enjoy your home to its full potential? Then take action by buying this eBook! The Clutter Queen will wave her magic wand to guide you through the room-by-room unclutter-and-organize process, allowing you to bid the excess goodbye with a See ya later, alligator!

    Think you're too busy to face an uncluttering project? My Fast Fixes for Busy Women take only 5-10 minutes to accomplish - so nope, I'm sorry but too busy is not a legitimate excuse. I will help you understand how your environment became cluttered and what you can do to change your thinking and habits to ensure that won't ever happen again!

    By the end of this book you will know how to simplify your life in order to reduce stress and save time, money and energy. Your home will be organized in a practical way that ensures you no longer experience the frustration of being unable to find things when you need them. Because you'll be able to keep things in order, you'll find it easy to relax and enjoy your home and family or single life.

    Cryin' - How did I get into this mess?

    Are you feeling…

    Stuck? Overwhelmed? Frustrated?

    Have you…

    Got a lifetime's accumulation of stuff you no longer need or even like?

    Got too little space?

    Moved several times without unpacking all your boxes?

    Are you…

    Moving to smaller living quarters and need to downsize in order to fit everything in?

    Paying for storage to keep extra stuff?

    Working on the kitchen table because your office is buried under paper?

    Parking on the street because the garage is stuffed to the gills?

    If you answered Yes to any of the above questions, know you're not alone. Every magazine cover for at least the past eight years has featured an uncluttering or organizing article, which makes it absolutely clear that stuff has become a major issue for the majority of people.

    The Negative Impacts of Clutter

    The fact that you're checking out this eBook indicates that you know your clutter is getting the best of you. Maybe other family members have started complaining, adding to your feelings of guilt. But there are many more downsides to an accumulation of too much stuff.

    You feel stressed and frustrated. You can't find what you need. You can't enjoy your home because the clutter is distracting. You avoid having guests because of embarrassment. You may feel depressed, which can lead to other health problems.

    As stuff accumulates, people become increasingly overwhelmed. If you're in clutter chaos, chances are high that a life crisis hit you unexpectedly, zapped your energy and confidence and left you unable to cope with even simple things.

    It might have been:

    - a bereavement

    - the end of a relationship

    - a health issue such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) or depression

    - a health crisis (i.e., serious disease diagnosis, hip/knee replacement or a major accident)

    Or perhaps your life took an exciting new direction when you:

    - got married

    - moved in with your partner

    - blended two families

    - had a baby

    - got a job promotion

    - moved residence within your current town

    - relocated to a new town

    - renovated (recognized as a top stressor, right up there with divorce)

    Any life transition demands emotion, expends energy and makes you even busier than normal. Life happens, so don't beat yourself up about it. Move on or you will remain stuck in negativity which will gobble up positive energy and might affect your health and leave you feeling exhausted and depressed.

    Maybe you've accumulated a lifetime of stuff that no longer means anything to you. Have you got a storage room full of boxes, many that aren't even yours? Do they belong to your kids, your grandkids, your was-band (to avoid the ex word) or even a few friends? Take charge and reclaim that space for you!

    If none of the above scenarios reflect your situation, you may be someone not blessed with the organizing gene (75% of us aren't!). You might have been raised by a messy or disorganized person so never had the opportunity to learn organizing skills. On the other hand, you could be rebelling against upbringing by a neatnik parent.

    Did you live through the Great Depression of 1939 and remain stuck in I may need it some day mode? Or perhaps you had some other life experience that taught you a way to cope (or even survive) that no longer applies. For instance, if food was scarce at some point in your life, you might have started stockpiling it...and continued stockpiling even after the shortage ended.

    Going Out of My Head - What is clutter?

    A year from now you'll wish you had started today. Karen Lamb

    Action is the antidote to despair. Joan Baez

    The word clutter originates from clotter, which means to clot or coagulate. If you are weighed down in stale energy it's not much wonder you feel so overwhelmed and tired!

    Far too many people live in clutter. Some are buried beneath it. All of us have some clutter and some of us are comfortable with the clutter we have - but if you're reading this, you aren't one of them.

    How much is too much? If you wake up feeling overwhelmed by the stuff in your home, if you feel stressed as soon as you open the front door at the end of your day, then you've got too much clutter.

    Regardless of your age, whether you live alone or with children and/or a partner, you probably have lots of possessions you no longer need or use. Maybe because you don't know where to dispose of the excess and feel reluctant to send it to a landfill, you let it gather dust and drive you crazy day after day. How long has that been going on? One year? Two years? Five years? Do you really want it to continue and get even worse? Of course not!

    Client Story

    After her 3-hour uncluttering session to clear one room, Kristine Rodriguez was motivated to not only unclutter all the remaining rooms in her home by herself, but also to spruce them up with new paint and reconfigure the furniture for a beautiful decorator look. I realized I didn't need all that stuff - it got in the way of being happy. If felt good to walk into my home, have space and not want to run screaming from the clutter.

    Kristine did it alone after learning my 3 Simple Steps process. So can you!

    The Cost of Keeping Clutter (the trip from Hell)

    If you're drowning in clutter it's impossible to be organized. If there are piles of stuff everywhere, you can't clean properly, which becomes a health hazard for people who suffer from asthma or dust and mold allergies.

    * Clutter can threaten mobility and become a safety hazard, especially for those who are physically disabled or temporarily using mobility aids due to accidents or surgery. Statistics tell us that most accidents happen in the home, so why increase the chance of a calamity?

    * Clutter negatively impacts your social and emotional life by causing shame and lowering self-esteem. It can leave you feeling exhausted, tearful or angry, if not all three at the same darn time. It can damage

    Enjoying the preview?
    Page 1 of 1