About Melissa Schmalenberger

Posts by Melissa Schmalenberger:

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Don’t Guilt People Into People Keeping Your Clutter

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on November 18, 2014 in Family, life |

 

I pride myself as being a fairly organized person. I take my advice most of the time. But once in awhile, I slip up and hear myself going down the road of clutter. When I work with my clients, I will challenge them when they want to keep something for someone to actually take a picture of the object and text it to the person and see if they want it. I had a “very nice” [insert guilt word here] travel bag that I thought my son’s girlfriend would want. I texted her the picture and I got the reply that she didn’t like the pattern on the bag. But then I caught myself in mid text with a reply of…but “it is perfect” [insert guilt word here] for what she needs! If I would have guilted her into keeping it, she would have taken it and never used it. The bag would add to her clutter.

 

So to avoid having the problem of going down the guilt trip road here are some tips:

 

  • Ask if this is something they would buy. If the answer is no, then you know that this will just be clutter in their lives. We do not want to enable clutter.
  • Is this something that you know that they like. If you know the person well, you will probably know their style. Perhaps they have a collection and you are adding to their collection.
  • Don’t start with guilt words. Words like “this was your grandmas” or “I loved this as a child” are meant to start the trip down guilt road. I think twice if something was my grandmas. I feel that maybe I should hold onto it for sentimental reasons.
  • Don’t be attached to the outcome. Be okay with whatever answer you receive. The person may not want to hurt your feelings, but be prepared if they do. Remember, it isn’t you they are rejecting, it is the object that they don’t have a connection to.
  • Start with open words in your dialogue. Letting them know from the start that you are fine with whatever their answer is, starts the conversation in a way so that you know that they are not keeping the object out of guilt.
  • Have a back up plan. Know that whatever the possession is, there is someone out there that it will bring joy to. For me it was knowing that I could take this bag to a women’s shelter and they would find a home for it gave me a sense of peace.
  • Have someone donate the items for you. I sometimes feel guilty with knowing that I am discarding sentimental items. My husband however is not sentimental, so he does the donating.
  • Don’t guilt yourself into keeping the clutter. Have the item leave your house as soon as possible. If you have the item pulled aside and you keep on looking at it, you may decide to keep it after you guilt yourself!

Remember that this is a journey to live a simpler life. We are fighting the voices in our head telling us to keep things. You can start to live a clutter free life by discarding possessions, but just because the saying of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” isn’t necessarily true. Sometimes trash {clutter} is just trash {clutter}. And sometimes our friends and family don’t want to deal with it either.

 

 

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

 

MS. Simplicity

 

 

Serving the Fargo-Moorhead area as well as North Dakota and South Dakota. Also seeking new representatives for Clever Container in all areas of the country.

 

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Steps of Service To Implement in Your Life

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on November 11, 2014 in Family, life |

I have been on a traveling whirlwind of late and although it has been fun, what I really appreciate is looking at the exchange and treatment of others. I am in a service providing industry and I always take note of when I get good service and when I get bad. I am happy to [...]

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What is Your Story

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on November 4, 2014 in life, Moms |

I often find that people get stuck with a story in their head that they find difficult to erase or rewrite. We are raised by our family of origin and influences of our cultural to believe certain things. That story is so loud that it often quiets any other voice. In my case my husband [...]

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Good Night To-Do List

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on October 28, 2014 in life |

I have been struggling with remembering what I need to do the next day as I am falling asleep, then I lie there awake thinking I can’t forget to do this. Meanwhile I lie awake. Sleep is elusive and instead of grabbing a pen and writing it down I toss and turn all night while [...]

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Decluttering After A Divorce

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized |

I recently had a friend over for dinner who has gone through a divorce and I peppered her with questions. I am always fascinated by divorces, not because I am planning one, but simply because being a family law lawyer was a part of my life for so long. I like seeing how people can get [...]

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Four Things That You Can Do Today To Help You Sleep

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on October 13, 2014 in Family, life, Moms, Uncategorized |

I don’t know about you but I seem to have that nagging voice in my head that is on a never ending loop. I also know that I am not the only one with this nagging voice in their head. When I work with my clients, I find that they too have the same voice [...]

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Empty That Bucket List

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on October 7, 2014 in Uncategorized |

I am a firm believer in the bucket list. This is the list I have in my mind of things I want to do or accomplish. These are my dreams. These are things that are often so out of reach, I don’t think I am ever going to accomplish them. I have a friend who [...]

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A Life of Missed Opportunity

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized |

I was reminded last week about the company Kodak. Remember them? They had cornered the market on photo paper and photo processing. And then the digital camera came along and to add fuel to the fire of their company collapse, the cell phone with great cameras. People simply stopped processing their pictures. Kodak missed the turn [...]

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Life After Another Bird Flys Away

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on September 23, 2014 in Family, life, Moms |

I am now one month out from dropping our middle son off at college 250 miles away. When we did this with our oldest son two years ago, it was an exciting adventure. I can now admit that with the middle son it was the apprehension that just about killed me. I was so anxious [...]

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Having Control of Your Calendar

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on September 16, 2014 in Family, life, Moms |

Too often I see people out of control with their lives. Some people have no choice as they are going through things like illness, divorce, death, working several jobs or even job loss. But for many it is the fact that they are just too busy. But there is hope out there, we can take control of our [...]

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