Life management insights, strategies, hints, ideas, and tips from Dr. DClutter™.

Friday, December 30, 2011

End of the Year Clearance

Doesn't it seem that the year just started and it's almost the end of 2011? I hope you were able to accomplish many of the things you wanted, but if not, prayerfully, there's always next year (well, technically, that's tomorrow, but let's stay in the moment). Take inventory of those things that made your life worth living and made you joyous and fulfilled-keep those close. For things that made your life feel disorganized and difficult, throw those out!! Take this time to let go of the old things that cluttered your life and usher them out with the old year. Rid yourself of negativity, disorganization, poor time-management and habits that just aren't working for you. Have your own end-of-the-year-clearance!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recycled Christmas Cards

Oh the joy of receiving Christmas cards with their inspirational sayings and beautiful pictures. You rush to put them on the coffee table or mantel for all to see, but then what to do with them when Christmas is over?? So as not to add to the after Christmas clutter, you can just throw them away. "Oh no, did she just say throw away my Christmas cards??" Okay, take a breath. Here's a quick, cheap and easy idea. You can create an ornament for next year by using the picture and attaching it to a pretty piece of ribbon or string. Embellish as you wish using pinecones or candy canes as dividers and then hang it from a door or in a window.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Keep Giving

Take this time to declutter and bless someone else by donating an item or two (or more). Make sure it's an item that's still in good condition and is usable. If not, trash or recycle it instead. Not only will you continue in the Christmas spirit, but you'll also free up valuable space in your home.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Contain Your Joy

You're aware of the popular plastic multi-gallon storage containers, right? You know the ones that have the tops and hold tons of "stuff"? Here's a concept that usually brings looks of disbelief and confusion when I say it in my seminars. They are not necessarily for organization. "What??!!" They’re for storage, thus the name "Storage Container". "Huh??" Yeah, that's usually what I hear from people. What I mean is that a storage container is not designed to hold things that will be used on a regular basis but is intended for those items that will be cycled in and out of use within the year. They should not be used to hold things that you don’t want to discard and that allow you to justify your clutter. Christmas decorations and seasonal clothing-yes; broken toys and mildewed books-no. Especially forbidden are "these" if you already have a problem with clutter:
You can't see what's inside, so you'll be less likely to use the contents. Yes, I know, they're on sale every year and you just can’t pass up a bargain, but try. One exception? Clear. Yes, if you can see it, you're more likely to use it. If you must indulge, promise me you'll do this simple exercise. Create a list that you will attach to the visible side of the container that lists EVERYTHING on the inside. I know, I know, that will take time, but just think how you'll impress your family and friends when you can actually find your stuff!!

Monday, December 26, 2011


When do you "undecorate" for Christmas? The day after, in the new year or another time?


Okay, it's the day after Christmas and you're faced with the task of undecorating (is that even a word ??!!). If you're like me, you'll leave your decorations up at least until the end of the first week of January, but I know there are some die-hards who tackle the task the day after. Did you enjoy the task of decorating this year? Probably not if you had to buy new decorations because you couldn't find yours or you became so frustrated with trying to untangle or find your decorations. If you did not feel so jolly, here are a few ideas that will make life easier after the holiday season and for next year.

a. To protect your Christmas wreaths, wrap them in clear garbage bags and hang them (if you have the space in your storage area). If not, remember the idea of using those large gallon trashcans to layer them. For an added layer of protection and to prevent crushing, cut cardboard inserts a little smaller than the actual wreath and lay those between each one.

b. Use the paper towel tubes to wrap lights, garland and if you must, old ribbon. Cut a slit in the top and nestle the beginning of the string for easy unwrapping next year.

c. For delicate items, such as small ornaments or figurines, try using an old egg carton or a box with compartments. If you can't find one, you can make your own with a box and cardboard dividers.

Of course, I prefer the clear containers, but if you promise to make a list of the contents, boxes are acceptable.

d. If you decorate more than one room, make your life easier and label each box to the corresponding room. That way, next year it'll be easier to know which decorations are for your living room, dining room or outdoors.

e. Of course if you've kept the original packaging, you won't need these handy, dandy ideas, but if not…happy "undecorating".

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

I pray you're having the best Christmas ever. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Pics

A Gingerbread man in a golden basket; a colorful "heart" of bows and goodies; and winter pinecones and flowers with a warm candle glow.

These little QT's swing ther hips as they belt out a jolly rendition of "Frosty the Snowman"!!

The Mr. and Mrs. welcome you home with the warm, inviting glow of their candles. They open and close their arms, as if to say, "Welcome"!!Just a few pics. Hope you enjoy them!!

Photos property of Dr. DClutter™ Life Management and should not be used without permission.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Picture Perfect

You've decorated your house just the way you want it. B. Smith and Martha Stewart would be proud. Why not make it easier for next year? Take pictures of your rooms and use them as a road map for decorating next year. You don't have to follow the same plan each year, but wouldn't it be less stressful to have a guideline for next season? You can also make great Christmas cards by adding the pictures and a personalized note.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I know people who decorate the day after Thanksgiving (my sister Sharon), but even I don't have the energy to tackle that task so close after the holiday. I'm still recovering from my turkey coma. How many of you are with me? You too have wreaths and bows to hang, Christmas lights to string and trees to decorate. On the other hand, how many of you does this describe? You can't find your decorations, so you have to trek to the store and pay full price for more decorations that you already have, but can't find. Or you become so frustrated with untangling last year's lights that buying new ones seems reasonable? Make the pledge right now that next year will be different. This year, you'll take the time to carefully store your lovingly labeled and masterfully organized decorations so that you can find them next year. You'll save the boxes for those delicate glass blown bulbs and carefully place each one gently back in it's proper space. You'll take the time to wrap your lights around a simple piece of cardboard to ensure they won't become a tangled mess. You'll take the time to store each wreath in a simple container or if you have multiple wreaths, you'll layer them in a plastic trashcan with a lid (cheap, but effective). Yes, you'll give yourself one of the greatest gifts you'll ever receive…ORGANIZATION. You'll thank me later.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First to Last

It's the last month of 2011!! What things have you procrastinated about only to wake up and realize that the year is almost over? Go ahead, I'll wait because if you're like most, that list could get pretty long. No need to fret, however, because you can still accomplish some of those tasks. Prioritize and get that long "To Do" list down to a manageable size. Tackle the larger projects first and make sure you have a plan of attack. Write it down. More importantly, don't become discouraged and locked into a mind battle against time-you'll lose. Instead, take the position that there are only so many hours (and days) left that you have to work with and get started. Enjoy the journey.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Joyous 22

Twenty-two ways to say joyous: blessed, happy, blithe, cheerful, delighted, ecstatic, exuberant, festive, glad, gleeful, heartwarming, jocular, jolly, joyful, jubilant, merry, mirthful, pleased, spirited, upbeat, vigorous, wonderful. Feel free to add your own!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Problem Personality Type?

Are you a problem-solver or a problem-procrastinator? How do you determine which one most closely resembles your personality? Glad you asked!! Let's use a broken appliance as an example. Suppose something suddenly broke-what would you do? As a problem-solver, you'd likely play detective by twisting knobs and pushing buttons, plugging and unplugging the appliance to make certain it's truly broken. Hope does spring eternal for both personality types. Once you've determined that it's truly broken, you'd start researching to find a qualified technician to do the repair (unless you already have one on speed dial), comparing a few to get the best deal or a free estimate. Then you'd actually follow-up by setting an appointment. Problem solved (you hope). On the other hand, a problem-procrastinator would likely lament about the broken appliance, but that would probably be the end of the effort.. Of course, the worry, aggravation and inconvenience would linger, but wouldn't be enough to compel you to action. So for months, you'd stick to your avoiding behaviors until the pressure became too overwhelming for you to stay in that place of inaction (or not). So, how to overcome the problem-procrastinator personality? Force yourself to push pass the desire to remain complacent and then follow-through. Don't allow inaction to even be a part of the equation. As soon a problem arises, jump on it-no breaks allowed. Set a concrete plan of action and time frame for completion. Enlist others to help you stay on target. It's harder to procrastinate when you have others aware of your behaviors. Ask them to help you remain accountable. If all else fails, envision how proud you'll feel that you're no longer a problem procrastinator. Self-motivation works!! I never said it was easy, but it is feasible to change.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Walk Away?

Are you willing to "walk" if the current companies with whom you have services charge "too much"??  I am. Recently, my telephone company raised their rates and lost me as a customer. It took about an hour from research for a new company to order completion. I expended a little effort and some time, but saving money is worth it and I will be able to save HUNDREDS of dollars. Customer loyalty is a great thing, but I like saving money more.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Adjust Your Focus

It's easy to sit, worry and focus on what you don't have, but it takes less energy to focus on all that you DO have. Another benefit? You might just see how wonderfully blessed and rich your life really is. Try it!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Unintended Perception

Do you know what it "says" to someone who is depending on you to follow through, but you choose not to do so? It indicates that your time and needs are more important than theirs. Certainly, most of us would NEVER verbalize this thought and that's generally not the message you wish to convey. But that's the unintended perception when you are lax in completing a favor or task. Most people don't want to have to constantly remind you to follow through-makes them seem like a "nag". However, if that's the only recourse available to them, what would you suggest they do??It's easier to just follow through, don't you think??

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pick One™ System Explained

Most of you seemed to grasp the concept really well. Congratulations!! Didn't I say it was simple?? Each day challenged you to focus on one aspect of your life in four areas and START-start changing, start discussing, or start thinking about your life in a different way. What you did with the challenged area was up to you, but hopefully you decided that if change was necessary to START that day. Day one was about choosing a behavior to focus on and change (or think about or discuss). Day two saw you considering your language. No not learning a foreign one (although that could be a great exercise), but more about the negativity that may have been a hindrance to you and changing your internal and external speech. Day three focused on changing, identifying or discussing your thoughts. Again, negativity to be replaced by more positive and actionable thoughts. Finally, day four was about your physical space. If clutter and disorganization reign in your life, day four's challenge was about starting the process of removing that issue from your life. By picking one "spot" you reduced the likelihood of becoming overwhelmed by a large project and reverting to the old habit of doing nothing because it all seemed too much. Day four made it manageable. See, that wasn't so complicated, was it? While it may have been challenging, as change often is, I hope that the ability to make small changes on a daily basis was helpful and that you will continue to institute the Pick One™ system in your daily life!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pick One-Day Four

Today's acronym and its meaning: P.A.S.S.™. Pick a Spot and Start.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dr DClutter™ and the Ten-Minute Tidy™!!

Who's willing to give me 10? Check out for an ingenious product (and a nice article to inspire you in just ten minutes to boot!!)

Pick One-Day Three

Today's acronym and its meaning: P.A.T.S.™. Pick a Thought and Start.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pick One-Day Two

Today's acronym and its meaning: P.A.L.S.™. Pick a Language and Start.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pick One-Day One

Today's acronym and its meaning: P.A.B.S.™. Pick a Behavior and Start. Day two on Monday!!

About Me

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Washington, DC, United States
I am Dr. Darnita L. Payden, Executive Director/Owner of Dr. DClutter™ Life Management, a division of PreciousOnes™ LLC. I have a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and over 20 years of experience working to help clients discover their strengths and talents. Having worked as a therapist, college professor, grief specialist and trainer, I have encountered in my journey many of the issues my clients may face. I have a sincere desire to help you find clarity, organization and independence in your life and environments. I know that life can be hectic, but I desire to help my clients bring as much order, peace and enjoyment back into their lives as is possible. What separates me from the norm? I focus on the client from a holistic perspective. I realize that most people desire a functional and an organized life, but may simply need support, understanding and information about why they have the habits or tendencies that have led to disorganization. I do not perform “quick fixes” or provide “one-size-fits-all” guidance, but I strive to provide strategies to my clients that will be life changing and useful for a lifetime. Dr. DClutter™ is a name well earned!!

Dr. DClutter's™ Publications

  • Dr. DClutter's™ Wiseisms and Thruthisms™ Daily Inspirations, Observations and Humorous Musings
  • Dr. DClutter's™ One-Day-a-Week-Guide to a Year of Random Acts of Kindness (plus 20 extra days just in case)
  • Dr. DClutter's™ 21-Day Journey to a New You
  • Declutter-Four Benefits of an Organized Life
  • Clutter Makes You S.I.G.H.™
  • Simplify. Simplify. How to Declutter Your Life

Four Benefits of Organization

Four Benefits of Organization

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