I don’t know about you, but I have accumulated a lot of stuff. Some of which I value, and some which just takes up space. It can feel overwhelming to look at all of it and make decisions as to its next home (or final resting place). I don’t like to send anything to the landfill if it may have some value for someone else but there are some things that need to exit permanently.

Getting organized is good for both mind and body, making it easier to find the items we really need. If we have really large piles, lightening our load can reduce the risk of falling. On the psychological level, decluttering puts us back in control: we own the items instead of having things own us.

According to “Happiness at Home” author Gretchen Rubin, the goal of getting organized is to free ourselves from the weight of meaningless clutter while surrounding ourselves with useful, beloved things. For example, a child’s work of art or your grandmother’s tea cup collection.

If you are like me and don’t know where to start, we have two free programs coming up at Community Thread that can help you start to tackle your organizing project.

Honoring the Stories behind the Stuff will teach you a process for sorting through photos and memorabilia efficiently, while still honoring the memories they represent. The program will offer creative and space-saving tips to preserve photos for future generations.

Instructor Holly Corbid, owner of Capture Your Photos, is passionate about helping families celebrate life, tell stories and touch hearts by teaching them to organize, preserve and share their lifetime of memories.  She shares “there is nothing that gives me more joy than taking a big messy photo collection and helping clients turn it into their story.” Co-instructor Amanda Lathrop is the owner of Lead Sheep Productions. She is a storyteller who has combined her video production background with her love of history to offer legacy services for her clients. Using research, interviews, photos, and archive materials she creates custom videos and books that become treasured heirlooms. Honoring the Stories behind the Stuff takes place Thursday, January 24 at 1:30 pm and there is no cost to attend. Register by calling 651-439-7434.

Let’s Get Organized – Clear the Clutter, Keep the Joy will address how to overcome the organizing hurdles that stop us in our tracks. Valerie Cady of Winnow & Spruce Organizing will share the psychological benefits of getting organized, how to decide what to keep and clever creative ways to enjoy what we love. According to Valerie, “whether you own too many things, are surrounded by an abundance of items you’ve inherited from loved ones or wanting to downsize and not sure where to start, you’ll learn strategies for whole house success that will take you from feeling overwhelmed to overjoyed”. The program takes place Friday, February 8 at 1:00 pm and there is no cost to attend. Register by calling 651-439-7434.

This is a great time of year to get organized. Come get the support you need to get started on lightening your load.

By: Sally Anderson