Rita Emmett's September Tip Sheet

From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook


Quotes for September

We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly
disguised as insoluble problems.
--- Lee Iococca

The heights by great men reached and kept
were not attained by sudden flight,
but they, while their companions slept,
were toiling upward in the night.
---Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never
--- Grace Hansen


September Message from Rita

Nothing I could write would be as inspiring as these clips of emails received from our fantastic readers referring to the last 2 Tip Sheets about “Leaving A Legacy of Clutterhttp://www.ritaemmett.com/tips_archive.htm

Dear Rita, Just read your newsletter. It struck a chord as I'm sure it did with a lot of people!
We are clutter busting -- Papers and magazine clippings dumped - almost everything can be found on the internet. I took photos of the articles in papers and magazines in which my family had featured eg school plays, company magazines. Thus they too joined the digital age. I've stored on a web-based programme so no house or even hard drive space taken up.
Thus, I could put all the books, etc. back in their own places. Not only that, the books I'd bought on holiday had a place to go too. No more, leaving-everything-in-bags-to-sit-around-for-weeks-till-we-can-push-them-in-somewhere.
Moira, Scotland

Rita, The results of my clutter busting? More floor space, no commercial-looking file cabinet in my house, and I have yet to regret any piece of paper that left the house during that clean-out. It is amazing what can get cleared up if you just get started!

Rita, Five years ago, my best friend Pat lost her mom, who was a "neat packrat". Everything had a place but there was not a spare MILLIMETER in any drawer, closet or cabinet. Pat is still sorting through stuff but she knows enough to periodically bring me and/or our friend Gail over to box, unbox, pack and repack the stuff she was keeping, so that she could part with things when she was ready. In her need to "hang on" to her mom, Pat would sometimes have the most illogical rationales for keeping mom’s things. Having us around meant that someone had the chance to say, "Really, Pat? Your girls won't want to buy their OWN athletic shoes in fifteen years? Are we really sure that the girls will LIKE these nine red, white and blue Tommy Hilfiger sweaters when they grow up?"

Bereavement is hard enough without the work of sorting through the stuff left behind. As hard as it is to think of our own eventual demise, going through this with Pat was a valuable life lesson. "If I were hit by a truck next week, what would happen to all this STUFF?" Thanks for inspiring me. I think I need to look through some closets again.
CJ (Carolyn)

Rita, We had a drain back-up in our finished basement. Talk about STUFF to move so we could replace the carpet. Good time to weed out, eh? Did I really need etc.? So it was time to pick up the camera and take pics of “things” that have sentimental value. Much easier to have a shoebox of photos than stuff.

Rita, This last Tip Sheet did it for me, as today I was just about to tackle clutter. It’s always the paper. I have now got to the stage where I just rip out the pages from magazines and newspapers. It’s so hard not to do, But guess what? yep…..these simple tear-outs have now accumulated too, and my files have grown bigger and spread to different rooms in the house. UGH. Time for me to do serious purging, and no, I don’t want to leave this as my legacy to my family. I am ready to live my life of abundance! Goes for the closet full of stuff I haven’t worn in years.

Rita, this really struck a chord with me because of a friend I have who is packing for an international move (Canada to US). He has held on to all his parent's stuff as well as his mother-in-law's stuff. It has been five years since the last one passed away.
He is packing everything. This move is going to cost him & his wife a fortune. When he gets there, he plans to rent a warehouse to keep everything in. NONE of his parents or in-laws would have wanted him to have this burden, but their past inability to get rid of stuff is causing a huge problem now.
The one good thing that has come out of this is that I do not wish to burden my children, so I am slowly going through our "stuff". Even my husband is managing to let go of some things. Regrettably the disco boots have not made it to the discard pile yet.

Dear Rita,
After reading this Tip Sheet, I have decided to hire someone acquainted with genealogy to help me finish it so I can give the kids a complete book soon. I don't want to die and have someone just throw it out as I have spent years working on it. So with some organizational skills of another person maybe we can get it done.

Hi Rita!
Keep up the good work! My sister & I live in separate cities & each have some boxes from our late parents' accumulated memories. I have their yearbooks, audio tapes & movies that I don't have the need or equipment to listen to or watch.
I don't anticipate needing to "savor" these items, and while I'll certainly talk it over with my sister, I doubt she needs them. We have pictures we've culled and that just might be plenty. Thanks.

Your last tip on using 15 minutes a day to clean out hidden piles, files and clutter struck a note with me. I have implemented your suggestion and what a great feeling it is! As a result, I am more creative, productive and focused. It confirms that a little focused effort in the right place can produce significant results. Thanks.


Want to hear a 30 minute computer/radio program where Dr. Carolyn Miller interviews Rita on her Christian show “Getting Good at Life”? Click (or copy & paste) here:



Want to break your procrastination or clutter habit, but don't have time to read a book? Now you can watch Rita in your very own home. Check out her DVDs.

Please share this Tip Sheet with 2 or 3 friends who would be interested. And feel free to use this message in your blog or newsletter, as long as you include my bio and contact info:

Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed
2331 Eastview
Des Plaines, IL 60018


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