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Newtown, CT  06470

karenjpierce@earthlink.net

Tel: (203) 470-6969

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I do not and will not sell your personal information or place your information on a spam list.  If you sign up for my newsletter, you'll receive one monthly plus occasional additional emails to keep you posted on offerings and events.

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The benefit of hiring any type of "coach" is that they can bring a new  perspective

that is personalized to your specific needs.

I am not affiliated with any of the people, resources/services I recommend.  I just like them!

 

Table of Contents

What to look for in a Yoga Teacher

What to look for in a Professional Organizer

Too Much Solicitation

What to Keep

Identity Theft

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Send Your Clutter to

Organizing Tools

Go Green

Sites for Savings

Other Sites of Interest

Acts of Kindness

Inspiration

 

What to look for in a Yoga Teacher

No matter what the subject, a good teacher can bring out the best in you. This is especially so when it comes to yoga, where the guru-shishya (teacher-student) relationship plays a vital role.  For many thousands of years, yoga was transmitted from teacher to student on a one-to-one basis.

 

First, choose a style that suits you.  Although there are many styles of yoga, the differences are usually about emphasis, such as focusing on strict alignment of the body, coordination of breath and movement, holding the postures, or the flow from one posture to another. More important than any style is the student-teacher relationship.  

 

Assessing the abilities of a prospective yoga teacher isn’t always easy since yoga instructors are not required to be certified, though many now are.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!  Look for someone who has been practicing regularly for at least 3 years and who they trained with.  Yoga training takes a lot of time and effort.

 

The continued growth and popularity of yoga in the United States has increased the need for well-trained and qualified yoga teachers assuring a safe learning environment for the practicing public. The Yoga Alliance is a group of senior yoga teachers who have answered this need by creating standards that set forth minimum, voluntary training parameters for teachers and teacher training schools. Teachers who meet these standards have a well-rounded background in the breadth and depth of yoga. 

 

The Yoga Alliance maintains an international Yoga Teachers' Registry as well as registers yoga schools whose teacher training programs (200 hours and 500 hours training courses) meet their standards.  To find a registered yoga teacher near you, try www.yogaalliance.org.

 

 

"A photographer gets people to pose for him.

A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves."

–  Terri Guillemets

 

 

What to look for in a Professional Organizer

Choosing to work with an organizing consultant is a deep commitment to yourself, to simplifying your life, and to getting organized.  It's a significant investment in yourself and your ability to get the most out of life.   Professional organizers don’t just provide a set of hands to assist you in rearranging stuff. We provide expertise, recommendations, and ideas on new ways of doing things. In the end, it must be your decision on which new systems and tools to put in place, but your commitment to listen to new ideas and try out new ways of doing things is what will allow you to achieve your goals and experience the rewards! To get long lasting results, you want to choose an organizer who listens to your needs and gives you options to choose from that are designed to work with your style. There is never just one right way to do things.

 

When looking for a professional organizer in your area, look for someone who has demonstrated commitment to their own learning and professional development by joining a professional association. Professional associations provide training and guidance to help organizers give you the best possible service. Check out www.onlineorganizer.com , www.napo.net  or www.nsgcd.org to find a dedicated professional organizer near you.   For more Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

 

If you are not ready to work with a professional organizer, you can get started yourself with some of the resources below: 

 

 

"Sometimes you've got to let everything go - purge yourself.  If you are unhappy with anything - whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it.  Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out."

–  Tina Turner

 

 

Resources

TOO MUCH SOLICITATION?

One of the most effective ways to get rid of paper clutter is to stop it before it gets in the front door.  www.PrivacyRights.org has a ton of fact sheets available with reliable information for reducing junk mail, understanding how you got on the mailing lists in the first place, and more importantly how to get your name off and stay off!  How To Tips Sheet:  www.PrivacyRights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm

 

  • Junk Mail - Junk mail wastes an incredible amount of natural resources as well as your valuable time.  Stop unwanted catalogs and    junk mail with www.41pounds.orgwww.stopthejunkmail.comwww.myjunktree.com, or http://privacycouncil.org/about/www.greendimes.com will PAY you to stop junk mail!

  •  Catalogs - Call and cancel all unwanted catalogs (you will need the customer number and source code on the back of the catalog.)  When canceling, request that they not sell your name!  This will decrease the number of catalogs you will receive in the future.  Or go to www.catalogchoice.org, a free service that helps you unsubscribe from hundreds of catalogs.

  • Phone Books - 540 million unsolicited phone books are delivered across the U.S. every year using 19 million tress, 1.6 billion pounds of paper and 7.2 million barrels of oil.  To eliminate unwanted phone books, consider signing up at www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org or www.yellowpagesoptout.com.  You can opt out of all the directories available in your zip code.

  • Credit Card Offers - By registering with www.optoutprescreen.com/opt_form.cgi, your name will be removed from unsolicited credit card and insurance offers, cutting down on unwanted mail and clutter.

  • Marketing Mailing Lists - By registering with Direct Mail Association's Mail Preference Service, your name will be removed from  the majority of direct mail lists.  www.dmachoice.org/register.php.

  • Phone Solicitation - Get your name removed from unwanted telemarketers by adding your name to the "Do Not Call" list,  www.donotcall.gov.  Don't forget to add your cell phone too!

  • Political Phone Solicitation - Relief for those who want to be left alone, courtesy of the National Political Do Not Contact Registry,   www.stoppoliticalcalls.org

 

WHAT TO KEEP?

With statements and receipts piling up from banks, investments, and the government, it's often not clear which documents to keep and for how long.  In the absence of direction, many people keep everything!  The following websites offer some excellent guidelines on what to keep, where, and for how long.   (These websites are recommended only as a guideline.  For specific advice, please consult your attorney or accountant.)

 

Want to digitize insurance information as well are receipts?

  • Toss your paper receipts and computerize them with www.neat.com

IDENTITY THEFT

Check your bank and credit card statements diligently every month to make sure all the charges are accurate.  NEVER give out personal information or your social security number.

 

  • Protect yourself from identity theft and always destroy confidential materials that contains personal or account information.  A  small shredder can be purchased for as little as $15 and can save you a lot of headaches.

  • If you are purging years of documents, consider www.infoshred.com to help you dispose of the information securely.  They will  come to your home with a mobile industrial sized shredder and destroy the items in front of you!  Also try www.ewasteservice.com for scanning,shredding, storage and document destruction services.

  • Reviewing your credit report frequently is an important tool in being vigilant against identity theft.  Under the Fair and Accurate Credit

  •  Transactions Act, consumers can obtain a FREE credit report once every 12 months from each of the 3 consumer credit reporting   companies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  Instead of getting all 3 at once, get a different once every 4 months, making a recurring reminder inyour planner/computer.  This ensures that there have been no changes throughout the year.  www.annualcreditreport.com.  

  • What to do if you are the victim of identity theft, www.ricedelman.com/cs/education/article?articleId=157

  • For real peace of mind, prevent your identity from being stolen before it happens, www.lifelock.com

  • Are you a victim of cyberbullying, online harrassment, gossip or slander?  Create a Google Alert for your name and you'll receive an  email anytime you are mentioned somewhere online.  Other companies that provide advice and can help you wipe away the lies are www.wiredsafety.org and www.reputationdefender.com.  You can download the book The Future of Reputation for free.

 

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

When you know you can donate your items to a good cause, it makes the process of letting go easier.

 

General Websites

  •  Recycling / ReUse Centers - Local information on recycling and ways to make a difference.  www.earth911.org

  •  Big Brothers Big Sisters will also take your reusable clothing and houshold items.  For drop locations or to schedule a pick up,    visit  www.bbbsdonate.org

  • Frugal Living Resources -  Being frugal is more than just learning how to save money.  Try out some of the tips on http://www.gogoshopper.com/resources/frugal-living-resources.html

  • Garage Sale Tips - This website has some good tips to clean, organize and sell your stuff.  www.betidy.com

  • Junk Removal - Finally ready to clean out your attic, garage, or basement but daunted by the idea of what to do with the discards?  www.800gotjunk.com will unload and dispose of your unwanted stuff.  They'll even sweep up afterwards!

  • Moving/Downsizing - MaxSold will help with online downsizing and estate sale auctions.

 

Specific Items (listed alphabetically)

  • Appliances - Check out www.recycle-steel.org

  • Blankets, Towels & Linens - Donate to your local animal shelter or the Humane Society.  For CT:  http://www.cthumane.org

  • Building Materials - Check with your local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx

  • Carpets - Try www.carpetrecovery.org

  • Cars, Boats, RVs - Consider a tax-deductible donation to Purple Heart and support our troops at www.purpleheartcars.org, Heritage for the Blind at www.hftb.org.  Both will come pick up your vehicle.  Or try Kars4Kids where they sell the car at auction and proceeds help children in need.

  • Clothing - Donate your formal dress to www.operationfairydust.org.  Donate your business attire to help low-income women transition back into the workforce at www.dressforsuccess.org or the Corporate Closet.  Of course you can also donate clothing and other household goods to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Be sure to list your items at www.itsdeductible.com for tax purposes.

  • Computer Hardware - It's important to wipe your computer hard drives according to the Department of Defense standards so your information is not stolen.  You might want to hire a computer professional to wipe it for you.  Any equipment that is too old to donate, can be donated to local schools, churches or non-profit organizations or recycled through www.hp.com/recycle or your local Staples office store will recycle it for you.  You can also donate your computer to the National Cristina Foundation at www.cristina.org.  They will pick up the equipment for a minimal fee (to cover pick-up and recycling costs) and recycle it!

  • Crayons, Coloring Books & Stuffed Animals - Make a kid smile, send them to www.projectsmile.org

  • Electronics, Etc. - Recycle your old CDs and DVDs at www.cdrecyclingcenter.com.  To recycle your Ipod, go to www.apple.com/environment/recycling/ipodrecycling.  Need to unload your Cell Phone, PDA, or accessories?  Try www.sellmycellphones.comwww.greenphone.com  or www.gooddeedfoundation.org.   Some additional places to sell or recycle your electronics...  www.gazelle.comwww.venjuvo.comwww.techforward.comwww.myboneyard.com,  and www.mygreenelectronics.orgwill tell you where the nearest electronics recycling center is.

  • Expired Coupons - Did you know that expired coupons can be sent to troops stationed overseas?  They can use them for 6 months  after the expiration date. It's 100% legal and each overseas base has a USA address so it is a local mailing.  Go to www.ocpnet.org and get the details. How redeeming!

  • Eye Glasses - Drop off old glasses or sunglasses to lenscrafters and they'll make them good as new and deliver then to those in need around the world through the Gift of Sight program.  www.lenscrafters.com  Also try www.neweyesfortheneedy.org

  • Fleece - Donate any brand fleece jackets made from Polartec and Capilene to be melted and made into clothes.   www.patagonia.com/recycle.

  • Fluorescent Bulbs - While fluorescent light bulbs save energy, improper disposal of them creates a hazard.  Instead of saving them for until your local hazardous waste day, you can drop them off at the service desk of your local Home Depot.

  • Magazines/Comics - Donate your old magazines/comics to literacy programs.  http://magazineliteracy.org/recycle-magazines/

  • New toys, books & games  - Furnish the playrooms of a Ronald McDonald House.  www.rmhc.org

  • Old Linens - Drop off sheets, towels, pillows, blankets, and comforters for animal bedding to www.aspca.org

  • Paint - For unwanted or leftover paint, http://www.paintcare.org/

  • Pillow Cases - Send your old pillow cases to "Little Dresses for Africa" where they are made into dresses and distributed to orphanges sending hope to little girls that they are worthy.

  • Printer Cartridges - 90% of all cartridges are recyclable yet only 20% are reused, leaving about 300 million at the landfill!  Buy  recycled, refilled toner and ink cartridges and return the units to the store's drop-off spot on the same trip (Cartridge World, OfficeMax, Walgreens, etc.).  For brand compatible cartridge models, visit www.PGInkjets.com.

  • Sneakers & Running Shoes - Reuse-a-shoe accepts worn out athletic shoes of any brand which are recycled into sports surfaces for youth around the world. www.letmeplay.com/reuseashoe or www.nikereuseashoe.com.  Soles4Souls collects used and new shoes for those in need  www.soles4souls.org or  try their other divisions www.clothes4souls.org and www.hope4souls.org

  • Sports Gear - Kids will be thrilled to hit the playground with your old rejects.  Find a nearby school to review teacher & coaches wish  lists www.iloveschools.com, gather up your baseballs and basketballs to go to Third World countries www.nays.org, or mail this non-profit company your loot www.sportsgift.org.

  • Textbooks - Sell back gently used books at www.cash4book.net.  Enter the ISBN number and they tell you what they will pay.  If interested, they will pay the shipping.  You can also try www.chegg.com.  

  • Wedding or Bridesmaid Dresses - Wedding dresses are often stashed away in closets, never to be seen again. However, some dresses are being transformed into angel gowns for precious babies who never make it home from the hospital. Dresses are turned into beautiful burial garments for babies and are given to hospitals for the grieving families.  www.heavenlyanglesinneed.com or you can donate your "angel gown" to NICU Helping Hands, 301 Commerce St, Ste 3200, Houston, TX  76102

  • Yoga Mats - Keep your old yoga mats out of the landfill and help "upcycle" them into other products.  www.recycleyourmat.com

Send Your Clutter to...

  • The Troops - Check out the list of things the military could use.   www.give2thetroops.org/items.htm

  • Goodwill - Find a local Goodwill store and find out how to donate.   www.goodwill.org/page/guest/about

  • The Salvation Army - Pick up may be available for clothing and furniture.  www.salvationarmy.org

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters - Donate your gently used household items and clothing.  Need to schedule a pick up in Southwestern Connecticut?  Call (877) 399-2570.  www.bbbs.org

  • Freecycle  - With more than 4 million members posting messages, this is the place to go if you want to unload clutter quickly.  Post what your selling, goes to the first responder, leave on your front porch, and its gone!  www.freecycle.org

  • Craig's List - Free online classified ads.  Look here if you want to sell or donate items.  www.craigslist.org/about/sites.html

  • Resellers - There are a lot of great resellers who will provide their expertise and help you sell your goods.  They keep a percent of the proceeds but you don't have any of the hassles.  Try www.ebay.com or if you love handbags (pre-owned) try www.Portero.com

 

Don't Agonize...Organize & Containerize!

Never go to a store or make a purchase on-line without measuring first!  Make sure your organizers fit the space.

 

 

 

Go Green!

Are you doing your part to help the environment? 

 

Sites for Savings

  • Smart Savings - Billy negotiates great deasl on groceries, clothes, entertainment, insurance, etc.   www.billy.com

  • Virtual Assistant - Alice sells direct from the manufacturer.  Set up an account and you'll receive a 15% discount and free shipping.   www.alice.com

  • Conserve Cash - This handy money site will reveal how much you spend on different categories after you allow access to your bank  and credit card transactions and balances.  The colored graphics will help you create a budget and learn that fiscal restraining can be fun!   www.mint.com

  • Shrink Bills - Maximize cell phone minutes and credit card rewards.  www.billshrink.com

  • Free Sample Momma - If you like to "try before you buy", this site is filled with free sample offers and coupons.  www.freesamplemomma.com

  • Cleaning for a Reason - This cleaning service provides free housecleaning for women undergoing chemotherapy.    www.cleaningforareason.org

  • Cost Saving Driving Service - www.iDriveYourCar,com is an innovative and cost effective transportation option for clients using  their own car and gas.   www.cleaningforareason.org

  • Barter & Borrow - Check out these online "collaborative consumption" networks to reduce the need to buy new stuff:

 

Other Sites of Interest

 

 

Acts of Kindness

  • For Wounded Soldiers - Send a handwritten postcard for them to read upon arrival at the U.S. Military Hospital in Landstuhl,  Germany.  Mail yours to 21st TSC, Medical Transient Detachment, Attn: Soldier's Angels, Unit 23203, APO AE 09263.

  • For the Planet - Save landfill space by recycling used library, membership and gift cards instead of throwing them away.  Send them   to Earthworks System, c/o Halperin Industries, 25840 Miles Road, Bedford, OH  44146.

  • For Sick Kids - Comfort them with DVDs when they're undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments in pediatric hospitals.  Send movies to KidFlicks/Barta, 11755 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1450, Los Angeles, CA  90025.

 

 

Inspiration

  • Daily OM - Sign up for a daily dose of inspiration that will nurture your body, mind and soul,  www.dailyom.com

  • Self Growth - SelfGrowth.com is the most complete guide to information about Self -Improvement, Personal Growth and Self

  • Help on the Internet. It is designed to be an organized directory, with articles and references to thousands of other Web Sites on the World Wide Web.

  • Do Nice Things - Every Monday, get ideas for doing good deeds and read inspirational profiles about people who do them.   www.doonenicething.com.  Recent studies show that giving to others releases oxytocin, the "feel good" hormone.

  • Messages from The Universe - Sign up for Inspirational messages based on the Law of Attraction www.tut.com/theclub/