Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life
April 2014 – Vol. 13 No. 1

“Less is more.” ~ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


Five little words to help you get organized

Raise your hand if you’re a perfectionist.

Does your need to do everything perfectly keep you from getting things done? Do you think maybe it’s the reason why organizing this or that is still on your to-do list instead of your done list?

I’ve got three little words for you: Done is perfect. You might think that perfectionists are more organized than most people, but the opposite is true. Funny, isn’t it?

Oh! But I promised you five words to help you get organized. Here are the other two: Good job.

I don’t know if it’s human nature or what, but it seems like we have this habit of glossing over our achievements and focusing more on what we haven’t achieved.

Good job! That’s what I want you to say OUT LOUD when you finish what you set out to do – whether it’s decluttering a junk drawer or cleaning out your garage. Good job! Because done is perfect!

(If you want or need some support in overcoming perfectionism so you can get organized, consider joining my organizing support group on Facebook with more than 700 members helping members to declutter and organize their homes and lives. Check it out.)

Get rid of clutter by singing? Whatever works!

When decluttering, I live by the mantra: If you don’t love it or use it, lose it.

One of my readers wrote to tell me that she sings to herself, “If it doesn’t make you happy, throw it out!” to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands. Sing it with me: If it doesn’t make you happy, throw it out!

If you can’t bear to get rid of some stuff, at least move it out of your everyday living space. The longer you live without it, the easier it gets to part with it permanently.

Have you ever considered organizing for a living??

If you love organizing and are looking for a new career, I’ve got three suggestions for you.

It’s that time of year again when my colleagues Judy Warmington and Treva Berends roll out the red carpet for people who want to organize for a living. They offer two ways to get started in this growing industry. One is the In-Person Option in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 26 or June 7. The other is their Long Distance Option, which they call “PO to Go!” This is the Self Study & Coaching version of their live training. Either way, their training includes free, on-going mentorship. Learn more here.

napo-smThe National Association of Professional Organizers also offers courses for the beginning professional organizer. And if you really want to jump in with both feet, you may want to attend the upcoming annual conference May 28-31, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you decide to do that, please let me know, because I will be there and we can make plans to meet!

Favorite organizing products and resources

As a professional organizer for the last 14 years, I’ve used and recommended a lot of organizing products, services and resources. Every month, in this column, I share my favorites.

This month, I want to share two resources that I love and use regularly. The first is Shoeboxed. This is a service that will scan, organize, and store your receipts on their secure server. I wrote a blog post last week about how I use it and why I love it and how you can try it for free. In case you missed it, you can read that post here.

I’m also loving Springpad. If you’re like me, you’re always coming across new products, interesting articles, recipes, photos, web links, and other bits and pieces of information that you want to save for future reference. Springpad is an app that lets you save all of those things in your own personal digital notebooks for easy access later.

I created three notebooks that you can download into your own Springpad account and start using right away to get you organized:

Organize Your Time Notebook

Organization Kickstarter Notebook

1-Minute Spring Cleaner Notebook – NEW!

In the 1-Minute Spring Cleaner Notebook, I share quick tips for spring cleaning, plus some of my favorite cleaning products for getting the job done. There’s a place in the notebook for you to make your own master list of spring cleaning jobs and another place to create your personal spring cleaning to-do-today list.

In my personal Springpad account, I have notebooks for recipes, book ideas, travel plans, and more. Every time I see something online that I want to save, I just “spring” it into a new or existing notebook using the Springpad clipper tool. Thanks to Springpad, I’m feeling more organized than ever!

For a look at more of my organizing favorites, visit

Shameless promotion: Here, there, everywhere!

OneMinuteCleaner_book_210My publisher runs a monthly FreshPicks special and this month, my book The One-Minute Cleaner was chosen. This means that you can grab the ebook version for any e-reader platform for only $2.99. I think it’s regularly priced at $8.00 so if you want it, come and get it now while the getting is good!

On March 15-16, I attended the International Home & Housewares Association show in Chicago. I was honored to be the cleaning expert in Reliable Corporation’s booth. They make my favorite steam mop – the Reliable PRO T3 – as well as other steam cleaning products. I got a chance to wander around the show and discovered other nifty cleaning and organizing products that I will be sharing with you in a future post.

You’ll find some of yours truly’s spring cleaning tips in the April issues of Real Simple and Parents magazines. I scanned them for your reading pleasure:



You may also be interested in watching this video interview I did with Smead Corporation as part of their Keeping You Organized series. In this podcast, we talk about the process of decluttering and turning clutter into cash.

That’s all for this month. Until next month, keep it simple.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission which goes toward the continuation of this complimentary newsletter. Please note that I only recommend products that I would recommend whether I got paid or not.