Where I’ve Been and What I’ve Learned

Posted By on October 25, 2016

You may have noticed, I’ve been a little absent over here at The Clutter Princess blog.

The past year has been a whirlwind of struggle and mayhem. It began with the loss of my father and a series of mishaps including roof leaks, tree branches falling on the house and a car wreck. To top it all off, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and am taking immune suppressants. The medication causes a great deal of fatigue, and it has forced me to rest more than I’m used to. I run out of steam a little easy, and it’s frustrating. It has also been a learning opportunity:

  • It is okay to ask people to help and to let people help me. It’s hard for me since I consider myself an independent woman, and my stubbornness comes into play. People who love you want to help, and you should let them – just like you would do for them.
  • I am grateful for my amazing tribe. My circle of friends and family are amazing, awesome and fabulous. I’m not sure what I would do without them, and I love them more than chocolate.
  • It is okay to do what I can do when I can do it. I’ve divided my to-do list into things I can do when I have energy and things I can do when I have low energy. I call it “extreme prioritizing.” I’ve had to be super realistic, and I remind myself – like I’ve told my clients many times – that baby steps are steps forward. It’s all progress.

Much like Dory in Finding Nemo, I’ve decided to keep swimming and venture back out into the world. Kelley Dowell, a new professional organizer, has joined The Clutter Princess, and she will be writing blog posts and seeing clients as well. We are also working behind the scenes to redesign the website and coming up with all sorts of fun things for you.

Stay tuned.


Got Scandalous Clutter? Consider It Handled

Posted By on September 24, 2015

vintage scene


Your phone beeps and “Be there in an hour!” appears across the screen. In that moment, you look around your apartment and only then did you realize how messy your place has gotten. Your kitchen, dining room table, living room, desk, bathroom, every room is filled with scandalous clutter.

You would like to call Olivia Pope and her team in to fix everything. But let’s face it. Olivia is too busy eating popcorn, drinking wine, and hanging out on the balcony of the White House with Fitz (spoiler alert, oops) to worry about the four month old collection of mail sitting on your kitchen table.

The good news? You can do it without a fixer.

*Cue shutter sound*

Pick 5. Pick five locations and five items in each location to throw away, put in its rightful place, or straighten up. Got cords all over the entertainment center? Group them together, and try your best to hide them. Nobody wants a distraction from watching Jake running with his shirt off.

Give yourself 10 minutes. You don’t have time for a complete purging session. Do a walk through in each room you know your guests will be in at some point. What are the first signs of clutter that pop out to you? Giving yourself a time limit in each room allows you to pick out the most noticeable clutter items quickly, get rid of them and move on to the next item of business without overthinking and getting distracted with bigger projects.

Out with the old. Getting rid of old items can drastically help remove clutter from a number of locations. Think about old announcements and invitations on your refrigerator. Don’t need them? Throw them away. Want to keep them for memory-sake? Store them in a memory box. That mail collection you have building up? Quickly go through and separate the junk mail you know you don’t need from the bills and other necessary mail without even having to open the envelope.

Clear counter space. Whether it’s your kitchen or your bathroom, a clear counter with minimal items on the surface can make a huge difference at making the entire room appear clutter free. Put items away in drawers and find a new home. If you absolutely have to keep items out and about, do your best to straighten them up and make them look presentable. Group like-items together and make neat stacks.

Tidy up. Do quick tasks to get rid of unnecessary clutter in every room. Take out the trash. Make your bed. Fluff your pillows on the couch, and fold the blankets. Empty the dishwasher, and reload it with any dirty dishes. Put away your shoes that are lying around. Hang up your clothes. Do tasks that will get things off the floor, off the bed and make your space look and feel in order.

Now light some candles, pour yourself a nice beverage and revel in the fact that scandalous clutter has been handled. And you’re the real life Olivia Pope.


How to Get Away with Order

Posted By on September 21, 2015

Colorful paper clips isolated in white


Imagine having a boss like Annalise Keating from How to Get Away with Murder. You have to stay on your toes, get things done, and show off your mad skills.

In real life, bosses want results and how your desk looks matters. A 2011 Career Builder study revealed managers are less likely to promote someone who has a messy desk.

The goal is to make your office space look neater and more organized. When you look organized, people assume you are.

Clear the decks. Remove all papers and sticky notes that are taped to your computer, wall, desk and other surfaces.

Stay within the lines. If the stuff tacked to your bulletin board are spilling over the frame, it’s time to straighten up your papers, remove the stuff you don’t need, and make sure your papers are within the lines of the board.

Straighten the stacks. The goal would be to limit the amount of stacks living permanently on your desk, but if you still have some, straighten them up to make them look neater. I did this with one of my work clients during our initial visit (we did toss a bunch of things too), and her office mates kept complimenting her on her organized space.

Aligned colorful paperclips isolated in white


Have a to-do list and use your calendar. Use one notepad or an app to

keep your to-do list in one space. As tasks come in, add them to your list. Put deadlines and appointments on your calendar and set reminders so you can get there on time.

With these tips, you can dazzle your boss and co-workers and get a few things done.


Make Decluttering A {Delightfully-Scented} Breeze By Using Essential Oils

Posted By on April 27, 2015

From The Clutter Princess: I’ve been curious about essential oils myself, and because of that, I asked Lora who sells them to write this guest post.

Ahh that pile, that closet, that room, that house! We’ve all been there dealing with the clutter monster. But, what if I told you that clearing that space could be a much more joyful, productive, and effective experience if we call on essential oils to help us.

In this post, I am going to share with you the two most common ways to use essential oils, why purity it so important, and then share my top ten essential oils for support when decluttering and organizing.

home diffuserThe two most common ways to use essential oils is via aromatically and topically. (Please always defer to the label on the bottle you are using for directions and safety precautions.) Aromatic use can be done by simply smelling the essential oil right from the bottle, but my favorite way of inhalation is to diffuse an essential oil using a cool mist diffuser. This allows the scent of the essential oil to envelope the room or space you are working in. Topical application means applying to skin. (Again, read the bottle label for directions safety precautions.)

Purity is important when it comes to essential oils. Many essential oils found on the market today — even the ones from health food stores — can be diluted, adulterated, and may contain “fragrance” oils, which are synthetic wannabes of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. When we are looking to use essential oils for a specific purpose, as described below, we want to ensure that they contain the true plant constituents that will provide the results and benefits we are looking for.

The essential oils recommended below come from a company called Young Living Essential Oils, which is committed to providing the highest quality essential oils in the world.

Here are my top ten recommendations to rock out your decluttering using essential oils:

Peppermint + Lemon

Peppermint essential oil has been clinically proven to improve focus and concentration. It is also an energizing scent. All of the citrus essential oils, like lemon, are uplifting and energizing. These essential oils will help keep you upbeat and positive as you tackle the clutter beast!

Lavender + Stress Away

For some, anxiety and stress can arise while decluttering. Uncomfortable feelings and conflicts may arise around letting go of things. These two essential oils can help calm us, body, mind, and spirit. Stress Away is a relaxing blend from Young Living Essential Oils that I’ve heard referred to as a “vacation in a bottle!”


This essential oil has a long history of providing spiritual support and creating sanctuary. It comes from the resin of the frankincense tree. All essential oils that are made from trees contain grounding properties. This essential oil will help you not only feel grounded and centered as you are decluttering and organizing, it will also help create sacred space.

Thieves + Purification + Tea Tree

These three essential oils help with cleansing and purification. They are all wonderful to diffuse as you are clearing out and decluttering. If cleaning is part of your decluttering process, you can even make your own completely nontoxic household cleaner with them. Recipes for homemade cleaning products can be found in abundance on Pinterest.


young living joyYes, there is actually an essential oil blend with this name! And for good reason! It is a blend from Young Living Essential Oils intended to calm and balance the nervous system. And let’s get real here, who couldn’t use some joy when decluttering?!?!


This Young Living Essential Oils blend helps with the common everyday aches and soreness. The body can take a beating when it comes to decluttering and organizing! This blend, applied topically, can soothe that physical discomfort.

I have yet to find a task that is not easier and more fun when things smell good! And decluttering is no different.

The beauty of essential oils is that they can support us in so many ways, and what you have just learned about them is truly the tip of the iceberg. The essential oils described above come in Young Living’s Everyday Oils Collection. It is aptly named because all of these essential oils can support us in myriad ways, on a daily basis.

If you’d like to learn more or get some of these essential oils for yourself, head on over to EssentialOilsRock.com.

 Lora Sasiela Headshot-EssentialOilsRockLora Sasiela, founder of EssentialOilsRock.com, is a blogger, essential oils educator and network marketing professional. She is passionate about helping people adopt a nontoxic lifestyle. As leader of Team Sassy, she has helped women around the country to create successful home-based businesses sharing essential oils. Learn more about Lora here


5 Ways to Leave Your Clutter

Posted By on April 19, 2015

Does it stay or does it go? Photo provided by HubSpot because they're cool like that.

Does it stay or does it go? Photo provided by HubSpot because they’re cool like that.

Leaving your clutter can be a difficult break up, but it can be rewarding both emotionally and financially.

Set it free. When it comes to things you don’t love, set it free, and in doing so, you free yourself. If something does not serve your life or make you feel good, let it go.

Now if you love everything, you have to be realistic without much you can keep. It’s simply physics. Your home can only hold so much before the situation becomes dangerous.

Start anew. If you’re starting a new chapter in your life, it’s a good time to move ahead with the future and separate yourself from the past weighing you down. It’s like an anchor, particularly if you’ve gone through something painful.

Once you make the decision to let an object go, you have choices. Having a “higher purpose” in getting rid of unwanted items makes it easier to let them go as well.

Plant a seed. If you have kids or nieces and nephews who are starting out, seed their new apartments and homes with items you no longer want.

Give without strings and expectations. Once they no longer need the items, they are free to pass them on and help someone else.

Help others. Have business suits you don’t wear? Donate them to Dress for Success to help women who need suits for job interviews. For men’s suits, check out CareerGear. Have old towels, bathmats, and bedding? Take them to your local dog shelter. Want to help the planet? Recycle old magazines, catalogues, jars and other recyclable items.

For the rest of the stuff you want to shed, donate it to charities if it’s in good condition, clean and unstained. For example, if you would give to a friend without being embarrassed, it can be donated. Charity shops spend lots of money and time to separate out items that are not in good condition.

Make some cash. Neighborhood trading and selling groups are popping up on Facebook, and it’s an easy way to sell things you don’t want for a little cash. Garage sales, Ebay and other online sources are still great ways to make some money and clear out the closet.

To paraphrase Paul Simon’s hit song (no relation), time to make a declutter plan, Stan.


The Bucket List for the Year of “Lasts”

Posted By on January 19, 2015

Guest Post by Lisa Boesen

Encore Performance. Second Act. Life 2.0. I am not sure if there is a perfect term to replace the quite worn out word for leaving your primary job in mid or late life, but regardless, if this next stage of your life involves moving, the process can be quite interesting, if not overwhelming.

My husband I and are now downsizing to prep for the Boesen Migration to Colorado. We do have fears about up and leaving our physical home of 12 years and our place of residence for 35 years, but we are most ready for an adventure before it gets too late. I would hate to look back at 90 and feel we have been in the same place, neighborhood and town for all of those years and not had a re-launch, rewire, re-whatever.

Over the past several years I have written several blogs on downsizing parents “stuff” and now, we are doing the same thing. Many times over the last six months there have been pain points when selling, donating, and gifting began to strangely feel like when we were managing my parents’ estate, except we are still alive and can replace things. In addition to a pretty extensive Excel workbook of task lists and timelines, there is also a “bucket list” of things to do and people to see before we leave.

One year out, we started the “bucket list” because, well, if you are leaving in a year, it will probably be one last time for many things. There are the obvious: The Last Oktoberfest Party, The Last Thanksgiving, and the last time to see the Jack Melick Orchestra perform at Lodge 88. Then there were and are more poignant activities such as taking time to go see a holiday performance of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Employee Choir. I enjoyed directing the choir from 2002-2004 and it was one of those career memories that had absolutely nothing to do with my actual job but overall, made my job more fun. I was and am still very grateful MDACC allowed me the opportunity to share a skill that I was not able to make as a career but could eventually share in my career environment. How cool is that?

Our bucket list includes people, places, and things. Some list items connect to when my husband and I were dating such as a last visit to the Starbucks where we first met, some routine activities like going to The Hobbit Café for a brew, some new activities such as Pondicheri’s Fried Chicken Tuesday with a good friend, or revisiting the past by visiting some of my parents’ friends who are still alive but homebound. Now that we are six months out, our list includes scheduling out confirmations of lunch, dinner and cocktail appointments with friends, because you know the adage, if it isn’t on the schedule, it doesn’t get done.

I am glad we started early on the list. I hope to have no what ifs, shoulda, coulda, or wouldas when we migrate to Colorado. I have enough awareness to know when I am looking out over the Front Range west towards the Rocky Mountains, my past may very quickly seem unimportant. But, my biggest fear is getting to CO and realizing I left someone off the list.

So, if you building your own list, some thoughts. Take pause. Consider all five facets of your Personal Community – spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and social. Breathe deep. Exhale slowly through pursed lips. List.

About Lisa Boesen: Wife, stepmom, speaker and certified master coach mastering the art of household management with an apron, spreadsheets and a smile!

Lisa is a Houston based lifestyle management coach and creator of The Domestic Administrator. The title fits all those tasks and small projects she performs to manage her business and household, save money, improve efficiencies, reduce waste, navigate the healthcare system, garden, maintain a social calendar to improve longevity, nurture friends and family relationships and of course, make her home pretty.