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Blog: Organizing Small Spaces
Decluttering your small space for Others

Aid to Women, Cedar Rapids Iowa

"If you have clutter you are richer than you think. Look at uncluttering as an opportunity to share your abundance the stuff you don't need with people who could really use it."

--Donna Smallin, The one minute organizer.

I was helping a woman sort  some 300 pair of shoes the other day. She lives in a small space and it is very cluttered. But the shoes are all "good" and she "loves them" and "paid good money for them" and so the reasons go why the shoes cannot go.  Meanwhile, I come home and read an email from my friend, Helen, in Cedar Rapids Iowa, about how many people in her small city have lost EVERYTHING in the record-breaking floodwaters.  Goodwill and the Salvation Army are offering certificates for the things most needed at the moment -- clothes and SHOES. 

Of course you can imagine the way my organizing mind is going -- 300 pair of shoes and no space to move and there's folks with no space to live and no shoes.  What are we thinking?  It's not just Iowa, the needs are everywhere and meantime we keep tripping over the excess stuff we have on our way out to shop for more.
You want to improve your small space and improve the world at the same time?  Find all the "good" stuff you "love" that you just really don't need so much of and share it with someone who does.
I'm getting a package ready for Aid to Women to help them help others in need in their community. What do you have to share and who will you share it with?
Declutter to help others -- you'll make a difference in your own life and in the life of the recipient of your generosity. 

posted on: 6/19/2008 7:04:59 AM by Joan Kosmachuk
category: Clutter

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Organizing Small Spaces

by Joan Kosmachuk

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About Joan:

Joan Kosmachuk is a professional organizer and personal life coach. Born in Toronto, Canada, Joan moved to Boston in 2005 and lives in a less than 800 square foot apartment in an old brownstone with her husband, Jerry, and their papillon dog, Duke. In addition to organizing, Joan loves to read, write, garden, travel and spend quality time with her family and friends. Check out her website for additional articles and tips on making room in your home, head and heart for the things you value most.

Joan's Website:


TV Shows I enjoy

  • Small Space, Big Style on HGTV
    This show makes me dream of living in an even smaller apartment just to see how creative I could be.
  • Mission Organization, HGTV
    We all know it doesn't happen in a half-hour, but this show does do a great job of showing just what can happen when a professional organizer works with a willing client. Magic!!
    Sadly you can only catch repeats of this one, but Helen was my first on-camera organizing coach and as I told her when I met her at the POC in Toronto last year, she was an inspiration!!

Books and Authors I recommend

  • Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    timeless inspiration
  • Freedom of Simplicity by Richard J. Foster
    one of the best books I've read on finding harmony in our complex world
  • Getting Things Done by David Allen
    Finally a time/task management system for those of us without "regularly scheduled" lives
  • Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
    a beautiful novel on every level
  • Leaven of Malice by Robertson Davies
    because it makes me laugh everytime I read it (and he was a fellow Canadian)
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
    if you love books and you love reading other people's correspondence, you'll love this book
  • Lewis, Tolkien and MacDonald
    three fantasy writers who make life magical for me
  • John Piper, Oswald Chambers, Richard Foster
    for spiritual exhortation


  • Home Goods OpenHouse
    Such personable interior designers with affordable ideas!
  • Small Space Style
    wonderful ideas for decorating small spaces
  • organizing LA
    nothing like seeing the world of organization through the eyes of Hollywood -- John does a great job of keeping us East-coasters up-to-date on the West Coasters.

Poets who speak to me

  • Jane Kenyon
  • Anne Lindbergh
  • Jeanne Murray Walker

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