August 2008
From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and The Clutter-Busting Handbook


Quotes for August

EMMETT'S OBSERVATION: God created company so that the house gets cleaned
--- Rita Emmett, The Procrastinator's Handbook

A plan is WHAT you're going to do.
A schedule is WHEN you're going to do it.
If you don't SCHEDULE your PLAN
it may NEVER get DONE.
--- Rita Emmett, The Procrastinator's Handbook

Getting organized when you're surrounded by clutter is so difficult, it's almost impossible. But getting organized once your clutter is gone is so simple, it's almost effortless.
--- Rita Emmett, The Clutter-Busting Handbook

Simplify your life. Clutter busting doesn't mean just getting rid of stuff. Realize you can't DO everything, so whenever possible, streamline and simplify all that you think you have to do.--- Rita Emmett, Manage Your Time To Reduce Your Stress (to be released in December, 2008)


Message from Rita

Don't be shocked ... BUT here is the August Tip Sheet and it's still early Aug. That's because we are preparing for an "August Irish Invasion". Every year Bruce and I go to the Milwaukee Irish Fest and enjoy friends, music, stories, plays, and typical Fest "Irish food" such as pizza, gyros, egg rolls and bratwurst.

The week before the Fest, my good friend, Mary Clancy, who lives in County Tipperary, Ireland, will be staying with us. Mary is the widow of Paddy Clancy, who was leader of a singing group called the Clancy Brothers. She's fun, high-energy, a delight to be with and wants to see ALL of Chicago ... in a week.

Then the week after the Fest, our good friends Tom and Frances Sweeney, who live in Northern Ireland, will be with us. Tom is a wonderful singer & songwriter who will be performing at Irish Fest. We usually stay up long into the night discussing politics, history, poetry (especially W.B. Yeats) and solving the problems of the world..

Bruce And I find that any time spent with Mary, Tom and Frances is very nurturing and nourishing to our souls. Time with them is re-creation for our spirits. So we are closing up the office and taking off work for two weeks to enjoy friends and fun, music and laughter.

As a "Recovering procrastinator" I'm doing a lot to get ready ahead of time, such as sending out this Tip Sheet. AND yes, I'm trying to get the house clean. Luckily, we don't have clutter, so it's not that hard.

Yes, I'm married to the World Clutter Champion. Want some tips for when you have conquered YOUR clutter habit but some people that you love still wallow in clutter? Here's an excerpt from The Clutter-Busting Handbook

See what a good role model I am? When you are trying to get a LOT done in a short time, simplify everything you can --- such as using an excerpt from the book instead of writing a whole new article. Here goes:

When Others Are The Clutter Culprits

When you live or work with someone who has clutter oozing and slithering all over the place, your stress level can go through the roof. One of the most basic lessons to learn in life is that you can't change someone who doesn't want to change.

So, if you can't put boundaries on the amount of stuff they cherish, what can you do? You can set a boundary on its location; draw a line between where their clutter can go and where it cannot.

Becca emailed that she is a neat freak married to the King of Klutter. (Doesn't it seem as if in God's infinite wisdom, these two types always seem to marry each other?)

She explained to her Klutter King spouse that there are parts of the house that are "public areas" and parts that are her areas and parts that are his. She asked him - and he agreed - if it is reasonable that his clutter should stay in HIS areas and not in the other sections of the house.

So it was declared that the King could make as much of a mess as he wanted in his office, in this model railroad room, and in their bedroom on his night stand and his half of the bookcase headboard.

Any of his stuff that slithered and oozed into other areas, Becca could do with it whatever she wants. After about a week of this new system, her husband lobbied for the garage and the basement.

Becca showed him that if he took over the whole basement, she wouldn't be able to get to the washer and dryer (his clutter tended to become very-hard-to-navigate-around stacks and piles) and that maybe he would have to take over doing the laundry. So he agreed that he got most of the garage but only one section of the basement.

At first he tested the system, letting his stuff prowl & meander past the boundaries. Becca scooped up all his clutter and kept it for a week, then returned it to him.

But the next time she did the scooping, she didn't give him back his stuff, and he couldn't find it. Then she reminded him that he had agreed to this new set-up. Now, they have settled into a system that seems to work for them. Becca is able to have the fairly neat house she wants, he has his beloved clutter, but unfortunately, now the car doesn't fit in the garage.

Becca is satisfied with this and is no longer having anxiety attacks over clutter.

Life is good.


Rita Emmett Moves Into The 21st Century!!

Want to see & hear Rita speak? She is now on YouTube.
Here is a clip of Rita talking about:

How much stuff do you keep because they are your memories? What can you do with all that stuff you inherited or was passed on to you or gifts given to you ..... but you really aren't crazy about it? "Recovered Pack Rat" Rita Emmett is a Professional Speaker who explains that memories are in your mind and in your heart, not on that sequined velvet Elvis pillow from Las Vegas. Here she helps you figure out what to do with that sentimental stuff cluttering up your home and your life.


Fabulous FREE AUGUST Teleseminar on AGING PARENTS

"Navigating the Aging Parent Journey without Driving off a Cliff!"

Rita will interview gerontologist and Author Cheryl Kuba to help us find "Eldercare without Despair."
By using many of the skills and tools that Cheryl will share with us, you'll be able to:
* heed the warning signs about lifestyle changes as loved ones grow older
* navigate the twists and turns of the "double-tiered" sandwich generation
* avoid road rage and accept feelings of guilt, role reversal, and loss
* enjoy the ride and keep a sense of humor during this inevitable passage
* STOP taking full responsibility for your parents' troubles.
* take the driver's seat as enriched and empowered care managers
Pull over. Help is on the way!

This Free Teleseminar will be presented on
Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 at
8:00 PM Central (Chicago) Time
Mark your calendars now.
For more information about what a Teleseminar is, see our FAQ page

Go here to register:


A tip from a reader

You and my husband astound me with your email purging methods. He tells me of hours he spends at work deleting old emails, and finally it dawned on me and I said, "You mean you OPEN and READ every single e-mail?!??" I suggest my purging method: anything still in the inbox after 2 years gets highlighted and unconditionally deleted. Do you know, I've never missed a single one of those deleted, un-re-read emails? And it takes less than a minute to do! I've got better things to do with my hours than re-read old emails, and I'm sure you do, too. Like coming up with more of your great workshops!
Thanks for always making me smile.
Jean Wentz
Archives Librarian
University of Wisconsin Green Bay

P.S. After reading this, immediately delete it -- really, I won't be offended. Or, if you have such a folder in your email, move it to your "Really Good Advice" folder.
P.P.S. Do husbands count as clutter?


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: