August 2005
Vol. 3, No. 8

Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life

“Housework is something you do that nobody notices unless you haven’t done it.”
–Sam Ewing, humorist

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FEATURE ARTICLE: Organizing for back to school

After a few months off, it can be a challenge to return to the regular school year routine. Even if you don’t have kids in school, fall is a good time to turn over a new leaf and at least get your schedule organized.

One of the best organizing tools for busy families is a calendar that lets you see at a glance who needs to be where when. If you have the space, an oversized, erasable board is ideal. Use different colored markers for each family member.

Another type of calendar I recommend is a 4- or 8- person physician’s office calendar to help eliminate double-booking yourself.

Some calendars, such as The Family Planner, are specifically designed for organizing family schedules.
The planner is a 16-month calendar that begins in September. The spacious 8 1/2″ x 11″ format provides a full view of the entire week with generous space for writing in all your family’s activities. Each daily column is marked hourly leaving more space for those busy afternoons/evenings during the week and equal space between hours for those hectic weekends.
The Family Planner includes a built-in address book special page designated for phone numbers of your children’s friends. Click on the link below to learn more about this product:

If you prefer electronic calendaring, check out Yahoo.com’s calendar that lets family members share schedules over the Internet.

Finally, a quick search of the Internet turned up some great calendars at Calendar.com.

Next month: Organized routines

DID YOU KNOW? August is National Men Do Laundry Month

Recognizing the “Great Laundry Divide” that exists between the sexes, GE Harmony has declared the month of August “National Men Do Laundry Month,” raising national awareness of how Americans can better manage the chore. With this declaration, women are encouraged to put down their laundry baskets for one month and share the load with their partners.

SURVEY RESULTS: Paper pile-ups

Last month, I asked: “Where is the biggest accumulation of unfiled papers in your home?”

As promised, here are the results of that survey:

36% said: Kitchen 0% said: Entry way/hallway 37% said: Office/den 7% said: Bedroom 9% said: Living room/family room 3% said: Basement/attic/garage 5% said: Dining room 4% said: Other (storage unit, all of the above, hobby room)

The kitchen seems to be a magnet for paper clutter.
A simple solution is to set up a “fridge file” with refrigerator magnet clips. Use different colored clips to organize take-out menus, upcoming event flyers and schedules, recipes, coupons, and other papers that might otherwise get misplaced. Periodically go through papers and discard any that are no longer needed.

Just a reminder: You don’t need to save paid bill statements unless you write off those expenses on your tax return.

NEW SURVEY: Organizing help

Which of the following subjects are of most interest to you; i.e., most needed?

a. Organizing children b. Organizing a move c. Organized vacation planning and travel d. Paper organizing e. Work/home office organizing f. Closet organizing g. All of the above and then some h. Other (please explain)

TO RESPOND TO THE SURVEY, click the following link editor@unclutter.com or send email to editor@unclutter.com with the words “August Survey” and your 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: About magazines

When I read a magazine I put a sticky note on the cover. I force myself to read the magazine from front to back. If I can’t finish it in one sitting, which is usual, I write down the page number where I should re-start. Also, if there is a recipe or article that I want to save, I write that down.
Then I know where I am and I don’t miss any of the things I want to save.

–Submitted by Nancy Jordan, Greenwood, IN

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

Do you have a really great organizing tip you would like to share with other readers? Or a question about an organizing challenge you have?

Send an e-mail to editor@unclutter.com with “Readers_Write” in the subject line.

If your question or tip is included in a future issue of this newsletter, I will send you a free autographed copy of my latest book, The One- Minute Organizer Plain & Simple. Check it out at


PLEASE NOTE: I get a lot of questions and it’s impossible for me to respond to them all. Please know that I do read them and do try to answer as many as I can.


As you are waiting in the checkout aisle at the supermarket, look for my tips on organizing kitchen appliance warranties in Real Simple magazine. I am also featured this month in Cooking Light’s Expert Picks.

You’ll find these tips and more in my books, which are available in bookstores everywhere (including online bookstores) and in select Target, K-Mart and Lowes stores. If you would like a signed copy of any of my books, you can order direct from me:


Click on the SignedCopy.com logo to have a signed copy sent to you.

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