Monday, October 3, 2022

Thanks Alex Hey

 Hey there! Let's talk about Alex Hey

A while back I reached out to an ADHD coach. I was so overwhelmed. I had all these ideas and thoughts running through my head. I didn't quite know where to begin. I had to learn how to balance my own health needs with my family's needs with my goals I wanted to progress. I wasn't making much progress as I was often in head, calculating everything I needed to get done. 

I turned to Alex Hey. Alex is an ADHD coach. I found him through his blog and YouTube videos where he gets pretty real about his own struggles. I found it a very genuine approach and could really relate to what he was going through. So I looked him up. Now I know what you are thinking... I am a brain injury survivor and I don't claim to have ADHD. During my time of navigating my brain injury, I did a lot of research as to what works for me and what doesn't. Many of the tools and resources that are helpful to those with ADHD are helpful to me. As well, tools for those with Autism and other spectrum disorders are also helpful to me. So I do incorporate a lot of those strategies into my life to manage my brain injury and other health challenges. 

Over several sessions, Alex and I planned out how I could pursue my daily activities, my business goals, my family's needs, and still carve out some "me time". It was really helpful. I would like to share my biggest tip I learned from Alex here with you. I first used this with some of the more mental tasks I have to do during the week, such as figuring out my financial budget and bills. However, I then applied this technique to my organizing and decluttering approach. Voila! It was a beautiful match and I still use it to this day.

Alex taught me the Pomodoro technique. This is not a new technique, it has been around for quite some time. I scanned the book on the Pomodoro technique years ago. It never clicked. However, Alex walked me through it and talked about how he used it in his life. This made it more real for me and showed me how I could apply it as well. 

The Pomodoro Technique

If you are not familiar with the Pomodoro technique it is a timing technique. You figure out something you want to work on, let's use doing a huge stack of dishes as an example. To use this technique you would get out a timer. You would give yourself an amount of time where you are going to focus solely on doing the dishes. Its not going to be a huge block of time like 3 hours all at once. You choose something that gives you enough time to make a good dent in your task while not burning you out for the rest of the day. The technique uses 25 minutes for the task and 5 minutes for a break. It then goes on to explain that by breaking it up with 5 minute breaks throughout the day, you are more productive then if you go for a few hours with no break.

In our example where we are going to use 25 minutes for a task and then 5 minutes for a break here is the break down:

Starting the timer for your task for 25 minutes

Start washing dishes

Timer rings at 25 minutes

Stop washing dishes

Start the timer again for 5 minutes 

Begin your break (you can do whatever you want on your break, you can watch TV, enjoy a latte, listen to music, the list is endless)

Timer rings at 5 minutes

Stop your break

Start the timer for 25 minutes

Start washing dishes again

Timer rings at 25 minutes

Stop washing dishes

Start the timer again for 5 minutes for your break

Begin your break 

Timer rings at 5 minutes

Stop your break and the cycle continues of 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off until you are either done for the day or your task is finished. 

My personal approach to the Pomodoro technique is different. This is what Alex helped me with. I originally dismissed the technique because with my medical situation and past brain injuries, I can not focus for 25 minutes at a time. It is too long a time most of the time. I can't operate anywhere close to this type of breakdown. So Alex and I discussed a lot of different timeframes I could try until I came up with one that works for me and that I can stick with. It was in late 2019 we found me a time setting I could use. I still use it all the time and love it. 

My Approach to the Pomodoro Technique

I get fatigued very easily. So I chose 15 minutes for tasks followed by 15 minutes for a break. I can also only do about 4 cycles of this before I am completely wiped out for the day. So in essence, I am only doing about 1 hour of Pomodoro calculated task time in a day. It sounds like nothing! Yet I am able to get dishes done, the apartment tidied, and clothes put away during that time. If I use it for digital tasks, it helps me get my bills in order, ensure my budget is on track, or that I prepped my grocery shopping list for the week. Sometimes I also use it to do the meal prep for the week.

Without the technique, I will still eventually get my tasks done. However, it could take me several hours to get around to doing the dishes or the budget as I will get wrapped up in something else. I find the Pomodoro technique, used with flexibility to match your own personal situation, keeps you on target for accomplishing what you want to do accomplish that day. It really helps dampen any procrastination as well as perfectionism because it makes the task the most important item to accomplish.

Thanks Alex for all of your help! While I was chatting with Alex and giving him the update on my progress, he told me that October is ADHD Awareness month. I have received comments from learners that took my decluttering course that it was very helpful from an ADHD perspective. As a thanks to Alex, I would like to give back something as a shout out to those in the ADHD community and those helping them. I am offering my course on decluttering for free in October. Just sign up for my course on those days with the coupon code OCTADHD and the price will be reduced to $0 for you. You can take as long as you want to finish the course, you just have to sign up in October. 

You can find Alex here:

Alex Hey - ADHD Coach

My course is here if you want to check it out:

Decluttering Course 

The coupon code to claim my course for free is OCTADHD which lets you claim it for free anytime in October. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Product Review: Sink Stoppers in 4 Colors


Product Review - Sink Stoppers in 4 colors

Today, I am doing a review of the 4 color starfish sink stoppers. These are available on Amazon, and I love them. I bought a pack to start and actually bought another pack just so I would have more if I needed some in the future. The main reason I bought 2 packs was because I donated 2 of the first pack thinking I wouldn't want more. I was trying to color coordinate my bathroom and the 4 pack had 2 colors that went well with my color scheme. I then realized how much I love them and bought another pack and kept all 4 stoppers this time so I have lots in case I want to use them in other sinks.


This brings me to the first reason I love these sink stoppers, the color choices they come in. You get a bag of 4 stoppers and the colors you get are green, red, black, and blue. I love the color choices. I currently have the black one in our bathtub and love it. I used to put a green one in our bathroom sink and the blue in our bathtub. I prefer to just use it in our bathtub now. We don't really need a stopper for our bathroom sink in our home but that is just personal preference.

The second reason I love these sink stoppers is they have little rubber suction cups on the bottom, as you can see in the picture below. When you put it over your drainhole, it sticks to where you place it. That alleviates several problems. It sticks to where you place it with its 5 rubber suction cups that are easy to put in place. Sometimes I place them and stick it into place using my feet instead of hands. It is that easy. You don't have to worry about having to lean over and push really hard to get it to stay in place, meanwhile getting a cramp in your back. 

The suction cups on the bottom keep it low down enough that it grabs a lot of the hair that would otherwise travel down the drain and cause a clog. However, it stays high enough off the ground in some areas that water flows underneath it well. Some other sink stoppers dip below the bathtub level and go inside the drain hole. Once that stopper fills up with hair, your entire bathtub or shower starts to back up because the water can not drain fast enough anymore. When you are done your shower, all that wet mucky water stays with the hair you are trying to clean out and it can make you a little bit queasy to have to deal with the mess.

These sink stoppers prevent all of that. The water flows well underneath so your tub and shower never back up while you are in it. The hair accumulates on the top of the starfish shape of these stoppers. You can just use some toilet paper, or even your fingers, and grab the hair that gathers on top quite easily without much mess. Alternatively, you could leave it for a bit and wait for the hairy mess to dry off a bit and then it is even easier to just grab with your fingers. 

Now, let's discuss some of the areas where they don't score full points. Due to being above the water, there is small portion of hair that might go under them and get caught around the suction cup. So you have to sometimes untangle a couple of strands that get caught every now and then. I would say it catches about 80 - 90% of the hair. This is echoed by other consumer reviews. 

The suction cups and the bottom of the stopper tend to get dirty or mucky as water will collect in those areas and it doesn't dry as well as the rest of your bathtub or drain. In order to prevent this, you want to wash them regularly or soak them in a strong cleaning lotion. I find almost all stoppers get mucky except for ones made out of steel. I try to always remember to do a soak for them to get everything off and then it lasts a long time and stays clean. When checking other consumer reviews, this was a shared experience. Other consumers clean their stoppers once a week and found no issues when doing so.

Lastly, these stoppers get great reviews. There are 609 ratings on Amazon in Canada leaving them with a 4 / 5 rating. They were rated 4.5 for easy to use, 4.4 for easy to clean, 3.5 for value for money and a 3.3 for suction power. For the suction power rating, I can see why some people might find them lower than others for suction power. As I stated, I can put them in place with my feet. I prefer the suction power it has and it does not move around in place for me. Some consumers left a review stating they had to make sure the suction cups were pressed down before they took their shower or it would move a bit. I have not had that problem at all with the 2 packs that I have. I am not sure why people don't find it to be good value for the money. On the Canadian site, it sells for $12.91 for a 4 pack of sink stoppers which is very reasonable. I think it does a great job for the price.

This article does feature links to the product on Amazon. If you purchase something through one of the links in this article, I may receive an affiliate commission from the retailer at no additional cost to you.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Our Winner Of the Relaxing Pink Contest: Kaye Menner

Over the past weeks, we introduced the Relaxing Pink contest which we also advertised as the Calming Pink contest. In our post Relaxing Pink contest winners, you were able to see all the beautiful, inspiring art created by our 10 top contestants. Today, we are going to give you a deeper look behind the scenes with an interview of our winner, Kaye Menner. 

Before diving into the interview, we want to refer you back to why we are diving so deep into art. We like to walk people through decluttering and getting organized while reducing the emotional chaos that comes with decluttering. We found, in our own experiences spanning decades, that viewing beautiful objects such as relaxing, calming art brought us to a state of relaxation. It gave us a breather from decluttering. It allowed us to recenter ourselves and get past the emotional drudgery that comes with sorting through items you need to organize or donate. For our full take on our decluttering process, you can view our online course on Udemy, Decluttering Without The Emotional Overwhelm. For a summary of our 3 step process and how we use colors to calm us down, you can review our blog post Creating Calm Using Colors.

We are so grateful to the 474 artists from Fine Art America who competed in our contest. Altogether, they submitted 2,307 pieces of art for our judges to assess. We tallied a total of 3,415 votes to get our winner, Kaye Menner. What an accomplishment! If you want to see all 2,307 pieces of art you can see the full contest here

Inside The Clutter (ITC):

How long have you been doing art / photography for?


I commenced my amazing passion for photography around 2005 after purchasing my first digital camera. I have not stopped my love of photography since.


What got you interested in the creative arts?


I have always loved 'arts' of all kinds, and once I purchased my first 'digital' camera, I was hooked! My mother was an artist (painter and pencil drawings). Not sure that I followed in her footsteps, but something 'artsy' was passed on to me!

Did you formally study any where or did you just pick it up?

After my amazement as to what I could view through a camera lens, I decided to do an online course. I did this through Proud Photography - a wonderful course covering all of the important aspects of professional photography with personal tuition /correspondence. I have also done many online tutorials to further enhance my knowledge and professionalism.


Who were your mentors?


For the first few years, Proud Photography and the amazing members were really my mentors as they had forums where we could exchange positive and negative feedback on our work. Now I receive comments and retweets on twitter and other sites also.


What is your favourite art medium?

I love all mediums of photography, but I must say that macro photography has always been a favorite of mine.


Who were / are your favourite artists / photographers in history?


I love a lot of history art, but like so many, so will not pick one now.


Tell me about your winning piece – what was the inspiration behind it, what were you thinking about when you were doing the piece / taking the shot?

I have always loved macro photography, and loved flowers, especially dahlias. I have a fascination with water droplets and the refractions that can be captured. I was inspired to do a photo shoot of a pretty pink dahlia in my garden after the rain. It was a lovely bright and sunny day and I was able to capture the water droplet at the right moment.

Here is the winning piece from Kaye, Spring Raindrop as featured on Fine Art America

Timing is of the essence with water droplets. I always like to capture them when they are just about to drip, but a second too late, the chosen droplet drips! I can spend hours waiting to capture my desired shot. The angle of the shot and the background behind the flower and droplet is also very important.


How do you find support for doing art? What or who are your go–to people or communities for supporting you in being an artist? Do you use Facebook groups, community organizations, workshops, family, friends, a network of artists in person or online, or a combination of many people and groups?


I have always had a lot of support when submitting my photographic images, initially through Proud Photography where I took my detailed course years ago, but thereafter from entering my images to contests on many online sites. I am also on several social media platforms where I receive many lovely positive comments and support also. My family and friends are also very supportive of all my artwork.

Tell us about your connection to art. What motivates you to create your pieces?


Just looking outdoors motivates me. Just going on a walk, I always take my camera. There is always something special to capture if one looks closely. And of course, my love for photography and the desire to capture beauty in nature and explore beautiful landscapes, especially beach scenes.


How many pieces do you create in a week, month, year?


I always capture many images wherever I go, but just lately have not had as much time to post as many as I'd like.

How has the process been for you? What was it like to get from just starting out to the skillset and experience that you have now?


It has been a very long and interesting learning curve. I have loved every minute of my learning and progress and will not stop learning!

What advice would you give to artists just starting out?


Enjoy your photography.

Don't be too critical of yourself.

Practice and learn as your go.

And do some courses if you choose.


What great advice! I find it is so easy to be overly critical of your own work yet many others find it amazing.

What advice would you give to artists that are experienced but not getting noticed or selling any pieces?


In this day and age, everyone needs to promote their skills, eg photography, so get online to the many amazing sites to promote.


Kaye’s favourite sites are listed at the end of the interview as well as links to her personal sites and stores.

Do you ever get burnt out or just lose all creative inspiration? If so, how do you get past that?


I must say I never get burnt out without the desire to photograph. Only due to being very busy or health issues (and Covid) recently. To those who seem to lose some interest, don't worry. It will probably be temporary. Just take your time, go on a quiet walk, either around your local neighborhood, or on a lovely bush walk. Always have your camera in your bag! You never know what might amaze you on your travels, eg a funny face on a tree or even a funny cloud pattern. It is really endless as to what we can find on a simple walk.

Do you usually sell your art online or do you sell through a physical store?


I mainly sell online but if someone local likes my art, I am most happy to print them an image or sell an online digital image at a discussed price for their own use. I have sold a few images through local church, school and council art shows.

ALL MY IMAGES ON FINE ART AMERICA ARE AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE ELECTRONIC DIGITAL PURCHASES by contacting me through Fine Art America, or by direct by email to me at 

Price to be discussed and short contract signed.


That wraps up our interview and what a fabulous discussion we had with Kaye. I really found so many of her tips really helpful. Here are her websites and social media links if you would like to see more of her artwork. She gives us some comments on her different sites below, just click on each site to get to her inspiring artwork:

Fine Art America


(English 'Print on Demand' Photography and Arts site similar to Fine Art America)


I have around 27.6k followers on Twitter. I think my best social media for promotion



I have lots of images on my Pinterest account




In closing, we will leave you with another piece by Kaye. She had 2 pieces that finished top 10 in our contest. Her 2nd piece is called Art of a Pink Blossom and it finished 9th. 

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Relaxing Pink Contest Winners!

Just a few weeks ago I presented my 3 stage process for getting through decluttering by minimizing the emotional chaos. One of the tools I introduced was using colors to calm down and relax while decluttering. In my blog post, Creating Calm Using Colors, I talked about how I did this to get myself from decluttering stress to organization success. In our blog post, Relaxing Pink Contest on Fine Art America, we discussed our first contest along these lines. We focused on looking for art in calming, relaxing colors. When we are overwhelmed, in the midst of decluttering, we can use these pieces to just take a break, find something beautiful to look at, and remove ourselves from the emotional and mental chaos that comes from decluttering. We tend to intermix the terms calming and relaxing so our promo graphics advertised for the contest Calming Pink instead of Relaxing Pink because we were so relaxed we just interchanged the words. I apologize if this caused any confusion. 

We ran our contest, and what an absolutely amazing contest it was. 448 artists competed! Each artist could submit up to 8 pieces of art. We received 2,302 submissions. There were so many wonderful art works, it was truly inspirational. If you would like to see all 2,302 artworks you can find them here. There was no way we would be able to judge all the pieces, we definitely needed help with voting. We opened up the voting to anyone, so members or non-members of Fine Art America could go online and vote. In total, there were 3,415 votes. A really big round of applause to all of our top 10 finishers. It is really impressive to place in the top 10 in a contest like this! Congratulations!

Here are our winners, in order. There were a few artists that had 2 or 3 art pieces in the top 10! If you would like to see their piece in more detail or see more pieces by that artist, just click on the link to be taken to their artist site on Fine Art America:

Kaye Menner took 1st place with Spring Raindrop

Gary F Richards took 2nd place with Reindeer Haven:

John Rogers took 3rd place with Rosebud Reflections:

In 4th place, Elaine Manley presented us with Heaven Sent Peony:

Sarah Irland took 5th place with Welcoming Spring:

Joan Han finished in 6th place with Soft Pink Rose:

In 7th place, we had a tie. We had another piece from Gary F Richards. Here is

Perfectly Pink Orchid Black and Bokeh:

The other 7th place finisher was Lori Deiter with Pink Dreams:

Our 8th place finisher is Rebecca Herranen with Pretty In Pink:

In 9th place, we had a 5 way tie!

Anna Serebryanik presented us with Lavender Happiness:

This is Blush by Bonnie See:

Tara Turner presented us with The Pink Boulevard:

Our first place contestant also had a piece finish in 9th place. 

This is Art Of A Pink Blossom by Kaye Menner:

This is another piece from Sarah Irland, who had her piece finish 5th. This piece below 

is called View From The Bridge:

We had a 4-way tie for 10th place. As well, some artists showed they really excel in this contest format by placing again. Larisa Fedotova presented us with Queen Of The Garden:

Sabina Von Arx presented us with Swiss Mountains Early Morning:

This is another piece from Joan Han and is titled Pink Dream:

Gary F. Richards ended out this contest with his 3rd piece in the top 10. This is 

We will be following up in a few weeks with an in depth interview with our winner, Kaye Menner. We will also be highlighting the top 5 pieces in a YouTube video so that you can see them in a larger format. I find the YouTube videos played continuously can really provide a calming effect. As well, we will be featuring all the artists and their pieces on our website and will provide an update when it is ready to be viewed. 

If this artwork inspires you to begin decluttering, our course is now live on Udemy. You can find Decluttering Without The Emotional Overwhelm here.  

Friday, April 1, 2022

Our Online Course Is Now Live: Decluttering Without The Emotional Overwhelm

We are now live on Udemy! As someone with a brain injury and disabilities, I find decluttering really difficult. I have to be careful before I begin. It is easy for me to begin, with great intentions, and then get overwhelmed or fatigued and stop in the middle. The chaos that is left can only be described as at least 3x more mess and clutter than when I began. I learned over the years that I needed to do a whole process prior to decluttering, to ensure to be able to finish what I started. Years later, I am sharing my method of decluttering in a course that is now on Udemy! 

Intrigued? Here are some questions the course asks to see if it is the right course for you:

Do you struggle with decluttering?

Does decluttering make you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, or anxious?

Do you begin to declutter only to get overwhelmed and end up have even more mess than when you started?

Do you struggle to organize your home because you have chronic medical issues or other life stressors?

Do you find many courses or resources on decluttering, or organizing your home, to go too fast, to be too involved into the process?

Do you feel lost when you try to organize your home? Not sure where to start?

Welcome to the Inside the Clutter Method! This method involves 3 stages for decluttering. Stage 1 is planning and preparing to declutter. Stage 2 is preparing for the emotional overwhelm that comes from decluttering. Stage 3 ties everything together, and approaches decluttering using the work we did in stages 1 and 2.

I understand how difficult it can be to organize your home, to declutter, to make decisions about what to keep, what to throw out, and what items can be donated. I am a multiple brain injury survivor with numerous medical conditions. When I first began decluttering, I could only do the top drawer of my desk. It was so overwhelming, I had to nap after and could not think about decluttering again for months. I spent many years working with different organizers. Through it all, I found what worked for me and what didn't. I can declutter now much more easily and quickly. I eventually created the Inside The Clutter Method. I hope you enjoy it and find something inside that works well for you.

If this sounds like a fit for you, check out the course here:

Decluttering Course On Udemy

The course promo video is here:

Promo Video

Monday, March 14, 2022

Relaxing Pink Contest on Fine Art America

In my last post, I referred to using colors as a calming technique while decluttering and discussed a contest currently running. So far, there are 225 artists entered, and over 1,000 art pieces to view in our contest.

Anyone can vote! You can check out the contest on Fine Art America here: Fine Art America contest 

Here are more details on our contest here:

Creating Calm Using Colors

I have a 3 stage process for decluttering. Stage 1 is planning and preparing to declutter. Stage 2 is minimizing overwhelm by reducing the emotional impact and chaos inside the home that comes from decluttering. Stage 3 is when we actually declutter, not before.

In today's blog, I want to discuss one of my methods for Stage 2, minimizing overwhelm. One of the essential things to have prior to decluttering is a go to place or sense of being for when you feel overwhelmed by decluttering. It is essential to find something, some place, some ritual, or some item that makes you feel calm. Decluttering brings up so many emotions and requires so many difficult decisions, if you are not able to just chill out when you need to, you could end up in a deeper hole than when you began.

One of the tricks I have for calming is to have a visual area I can look at and just lose myself in the colors. I have an aesthetic Pinterest page for this reason. I built it solely to calm myself down when I was going through tremendous medical challenges. I chose colors that I could just stare into and feel better for doing it. You can click here to get to my Pinterest page if you want to see it. My aesthetics pages are the ones that just have posts dedicated to specific colors: blue, green, pink, white, purple, and grey. I also have nature elements as a calming board for myself which includes animals or nature photography that is relaxing to look at.

I found that having a piece of art that I could stare at, get lost in, really helped me to calm down when I needed to. If you find that pink is your calming color, we will have a website for you to view in a few weeks. If you want to preview the site, you can find it here: We will be replacing the demo art on the site with artwork done by very talented artists. We are hosting a contest currently where more than two hundred artists are submitting their work. The pieces are inspiring, beautiful, relaxing, and amazing to look at. We will feature them on this blog, and on our websites, and on our YouTube channel so you can see their work in video format as well. For those interested in purchasing a piece that inspires them, we will provide information for you about the pieces and the artist it was created by.

In the future, we will bring forth other colors that I found to be calming: blue, green, white, cream, and grey. Are there other colors you favour when you think of relaxing, meditating, or sinking in to that deep sense of calm and tranquility. Let us know and we will run a contest, bringing forth beautiful art work that inspires and relaxes at the same time. You will be able to view the pieces on our sites whenever you need to. Art transports us into another time and dimension, so we want to help you by providing some great pieces to look at.

If you have not used color to help create tranquility before, let me explain the reasoning behind why we do it at Inside The Clutter. First, you can find out if there are colors that make you feel calmer, safe, more relaxed. You may already know your colors and just need to surround yourself with that color. Once you know your color, we will have a site dedicated to that color where you can go when you need a break and just view beautiful art pieces that remove you from the stress you are experiencing in the moment. Second, you want to be able to get in tune with how you feel, what reactions you have to things, prior to decluttering. In our hectic lives, we often forget how we feel and get into our routine based on actions, duties, and responsibilities. We push down our feelings and then forget we have them. We want to be able to know if we like or don't like an item or a color when we are looking at it. So we begin slow, with looking at items that are in a color group, and start to decide if we like or don't like the color. Then we look closer within that color to choose pieces we like, pieces we react to positively. All of these actions increase your ability to handle decluttering and the inner turmoil that comes with it. It helps in your decision making process when you need to decide on whether you like your oven mitts or if you should donate them. Decluttering is a lot of tiny decisions, all the time. So begin with looking at art dedicated to one color and then we can build from there.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Welcome to Inside The Clutter!

 Well hello there! Welcome to Inside The Clutter! We are focused on helping people get through the emotional turmoil that comes from decluttering.

There are so many experts out there that offer blogs, sites, courses and in person help with decluttering. They are really great at what they do. However, decluttering is not just about going into someone's home, reorganizing cupboards, folding clothes, and donating what isn't wanted anymore. There is so much personal involvement emotionally, mentally, and energetically. It takes a lot to declutter your home. 

We want to offer some advice on how to prepare to declutter your home, and how best to prepare for the physical aspects as well as the emotional aspects. We especially consider that people with medical conditions, brain injury survivors, those with fatigue or chronic pain syndromes, seniors, and many others will especially struggle with decluttering when it is done too quickly. 

Stay tuned as we explore different options for how to approach decluttering! 

Thanks Alex Hey

 Hey there! Let's talk about Alex Hey A while back I reached out to an ADHD coach. I was so overwhelmed. I had all these ideas and thoug...