Clobber Clutter

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Are you frustrated by the surface clutter that accumulates in your home? It doesn’t take long for piles to develop. And if you turn your back on them they start to grow. Here are five habits that will help you outsmart the mess.

1) Only handle papers once. It’s sometimes called the OHIO rule (only handle it once.) Don’t set things down “for a minute.” That’s where the trouble starts. It’s too easy to be distracted by a project, person or phone call. Once you walk away from it, you may forget to put it away. Read more

Command Center in a Basket

basketYesterday Michelle asked how to set up a Command Center.

There are so many ways. I decided to show mine because it is compact and fairly inexpensive.

I bought a basket and popped two three-ring binders into it. One binder is for all of our family information. The other is my recipe binder.

I also have a section in the back with a few file folders for things that I don’t want to hole punch. Read more

Stair-Steppin’ for the Environment

chichen_itzaSome people resist taking measures to live a low-impact lifestyle because they’re afraid it will be too hard. They’re not interested in saying goodbye to convenience, splurges and fun to adopt a tough, pioneer-style existence.

I’m here to say, “That isn’t the only choice.”

You don’t have to start out selling your car and turning off your electricity!

This is a process much like climbing stairs. In my mind, I visualize a massive staircase like the one in Chichen itza, Mexico (see picture). It looks overwhelming at first, but as you take it one step at a time you make fast progress. If you climb too fast or if you get winded you can always stop and rest. If you’re climbing with someone else, you might need to pause and wait for them to catch up. Start slowly and keep climbing. Read more

A Salute to William Morris

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“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

I’m sure when he uttered those words in the mid 1800’s, he had no idea he would be the most quoted man in organizing circles more than a hundred years later. His words cut to the heart of organizing. He simply encouraged others to shift their direction–to move toward simplicity.

Imagine if everyone owned only what was meaningful or useful! They would have more time, more money and less stress; because possessions bring responsibility which requires time and money.

The Key to Organizing: Do it Now!

objects_lock_metal_282448_m.jpg“It’s often not the big things that stop us but the little things that we just don’t get around to. But little things done consistently can have a profound impact on your business.”
Robert Middleton

I read this quote designed to inspire business people to get busy marketing themselves and their products. And as often happens, my thoughts turned to organizing. Read more

Three De-cluttering Tricks.

serene1) Shift your thinking. Think of your home as a haven. I think of our home as an oasis from the madness of the world. It’s where I feel safe and secure and let my hair down. In order to feel perfectly comfortable, I know I can‘t have piles of stuff that act as a constant reminder of all the work I have left to do. Since I view my home in this way, I’m less likely to let it get too cluttered.

2) Stay motivated. While working on a decluttering project, I frequently return to the areas that I have already cleaned or organized. That little backward glance makes me feel good about what I’ve accomplished and makes me want to accomplish more. Read more

Make Your List and Print it Twice…

santalistAfter completing my holiday cards I made two more copies of my freshly updated mailing list. In the past I would look around for return address labels ripped from envelopes, check my address box for scribbled notes or quickly scan last years list trying to remember who moved, died, or had a baby. This took a fair amount of time.

Then I found a faster, less cluttered way of doing things. I made a paper copy of the mailing list and made updates throughout the year. I updated the paper copy with red pen as soon as I learned of a change. That way I was able to make all of the adjustments to the list in one sitting. Read more

Prepare for the Holidays Using a Few Organizing Pointers

reg-1351796507-19212.jpgAs you go about the business of preparing for the holidays, remember a few of the “rules of organizing.” They can be particularly helpful at this time of year.

1) One-in one-out. To keep your home from looking cluttered, put away most of your knick knacks and accessories. Then pull out the decorations. As Robert Browning says, “Less is more.”

2) A place for everything, and everything in its place. Gather all of your holiday decorations in one place. Sort them and decide if they are still important to you. Read more

Preparing Your Thanksgiving Feast

thanksAre you hosting the Thanksgiving meal this year? If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about preparing an elaborate sit-down meal, follow these simple strategies to simplify the feast.

1) Clean the house this weekend. Get your family involved in the process. Then next Wednesday you can just touch-up the areas that need it.

2) Take inventory of your serving platters, trays and dishes. Do you have enough chairs and linens? If you figure it out now, you’ll have time to react. Borrow from a friend who isn’t entertaining that day. Read more