August 2004
Vol. 2, No. 8

Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life

“What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that’s another matter.”

–Peter F. Drucker, Management consultant

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FEATURE ARTICLE: Simplifying your life

August 1-7 is Simplify Your Life Week. Have you ever wished that you could simplify your life? You can. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Simplify your schedule. . .

* Most of us make time for other people’s priorities, then address our own needs in whatever time is left. Instead, block off at least 15 minutes every day for your priorities – a quick workout, reading, or a hobby.

* Cross one thing off your to-do list without doing it. The average person’s to-do list is full of things that are worthwhile, but hardly emergencies. If a task is really important, it eventually will work its way back onto your list. Meanwhile, you will have moretime for yourself and loved ones.

* Focus on the present. Worrying about the future and fretting about the past waste precious time. When you feel anxious, remind yourself to focus on the present. Take a deep breath and then do what needs to be done right now.

For a simpler home environment. . .

* Purge your wardrobe. Throw out, give away or donate anything you are not using. The typical person wears only 20% of his/her wardrobe. The other 80% just makes it harder to find the stuff you do wear.

* Unclutter closets, shelves and drawers. Ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I got rid of this? Could I get another one pretty easily and inexpensively if I need it someday?” Keep only those items you find useful or beautiful. Unclutter one small section at a time, or set a timer for 15 minutes.

* Revamp clutter zones. Ideas: Create a work center with everything you need for handling mail and paying bills. Clear your kitchen counters completely . . . then put back only what you use every day.

Next month: Organizing for every day

To read back issues, go to: http://www.unclutter.com/newsletter


Leave a few minutes earlier for work to allow time for stopped school buses – and avoid frustration. While waiting, remember back to when you were a kid. Think about your favorite teacher, friends, and other happy memories.

SURVEY RESULTS: Selling online

Last month, I asked: “Have you ever sold anything (or attempted to sell anything) on eBay?” As promised, here are the results of that survey:

33% said: Yes
67% said: No

Recently, AuctionDrop and The UPS Store teamed up to introduce a new “drop and ship” for people who want to sell items on eBay without the hassle of doing it themselves.

Now you can bring unpacked AuctionDrop-authorized items to any The UPS Store location to be professionally packed and shipped to AuctionDrop’s centralized processing hub. AuctionDrop’s staff handles the necessary steps for selling an item on eBay, including photography, testing, research, listing, customer service, payment processing, re-packing, shipping, and returns.

No payment is necessary at drop-off with basic service, as AuctionDrop takes a variable commission on the sale.  You can learn more about AuctionDrop by visiting www.auctiondrop.com.

Some eBay facts:
* There are currently 65 million registered users.
* Sales per second equal $729.
* More than 2,000 bids are placed on antiques and artwork every hour.
* More $38 million in crafts and needlecrafts supplies were sold last year.
* A craft item is sold every 9 seconds.
* A scrapbook item is sold every minute.
* More than 3,000 Christmas items are sold every day.
* More than 600 antique diamond jewelry pieces are sold every week.
* More than 4,600 diamond pieces are sold every week.
* More than 7,600 gold pieces are sold every week.

NEW SURVEY: Misplacing things

How often do you misplace things?

a. Pretty much every day
b. Once in awhile
c. Hardly ever

TO RESPOND TO THE SURVEY, Please DO NOT REPLY to this message. Send an e-mail to editor@unclutter.com with the word “Survey” and your letter answer in the subject line. Feel free to include comments in the body of your e-mail. I really enjoy reading them.

I will share the results of this survey in the next issue.

READERS WRITE: Sorting paperwork

I recently moved into a new home and brought all my clutter with me. After reading some of your newsletters, I finally am motivated to sort out and throw out. Instead of tackling a huge box of paperwork, I fill a small plastic bin and commit myself to sorting that out. That way it doesn’t seem quite so big a job.

–Submitted by Linda Du Toit, Mexico

WRITE TO WIN an autographed copy of my most recent book!

Do you have a question about uncluttering or organizing? Or a really great organizing tip that you would like to share with other readers?

Send an e-mail to editor@unclutter.com with “Readers_Write” in the subject line. (Please DO NOT REPLY to this message.)

I try to answer all questions and, if your question or tip is used in a future issue of this newsletter, I will send you a free autographed copy of my latest book, Organizing Plain & Simple. Check it out at http://www.unclutter.com/books.html.

SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Back to school book tour

In late July, I kicked off a back-to-school organizing tour with tips for grammar to grad school students. I will continue the tour in August with stops in San Francisco, Detroit, Cleveland, DC, NYC, Dallas, Chicago and Denver.

Earlier last month, I was featured on the “Get Wise — Get Organized!” radio show at World Talk Radio on July 19. Professional organizer and host, Bridget Beck and I, talked for an hour about uncluttering. To listen tothe show, visit the archives: http://www.worldtalkradio.com/show.asp?sid=94  I will also be on this same show September 20 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Pacific Time to discuss “Secrets of The One-Minute Organizer.” I hope you will tune in!

Just a reminder: If you would like to get a signed copy of one of my current books, go to: http://www.unclutter.com/books.html

Click on the SignedCopy.com logo to purchase a signed copy directly from my Web site and have it delivered right to your door!

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