Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life June 2012 – Vol. 11 No. 6
“Less is more.” ~Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
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Help! I’m organized, but my kids are not! I was a naturally neat kid. (Imagine that!) But most kids tend toward the opposite extreme.

So where does that leave you, oh organized one? Well, you can continue to complain and yell, quietly seethe, or learn to live with the chaos.
Or. . . you can plant the seed of organization.

Set an example. If you toss your coat over a chair when you come home, guess what? Your children will do the same. The best thing you can do is model the behavior you would like to see. Oh. You’ve been doing that? Then try this. . .

Show them what’s in it for them. Let’s say you want your kids to keep their rooms neater. Why should they? (I’m assuming you’ve already tried the old “Because Mom or Dad says so” reason with no success.) Okay, so what’s in it for them? Well, maybe you tie some sort of reward or privilege to keeping their rooms organized. Or maybe float the idea that they may be able to get cash for stuff they no longer love or use.
Check out my latest book for ways to cash in on kid’s gear, electronic gadgets, movies, CDs and more.

Help them get started. Offer to help family members get started. Have them start small – one drawer, one shelf at a time. Give them trash bags or boxes labeled DONATIONS, SELL, and TRASH (To label bags, apply a strip of masking tape to the bag and use a marker to write on the tape.)

Be specific. Kids need more direction than just “Clean up your room.” Their idea of “clean” and yours may be worlds apart. What exactly do they need to do? Spell it out.
Make a list; for example, “Put all the clothes that you no longer wear for whatever reason, in this trash bag.”

Be respectful. Remember that while you can offer organizing suggestions, the decision about what to keep and what to toss ultimately rests with the owner of an item.

Don’t expect perfection. Being organized is not about being perfect. What you want to see is progress!

What readers are saying I asked for comments on last month’s article where I shared what losing weight has to do with organizing. Here are just a few of the responses I received:

I liked this post, in fact I have a quote on my frig that says “If you think you can, YOU CAN” and I read it every day. It is so true how what we think affects what we can do. – Lovay

I handle clutter and weight loss the same way.
After I heard you speak a few years ago, your one minute plan has been my mantra. I try to use a few minutes before work to put away a few things so that I’m not overwhelmed on the weekend. And I shave a few bites or calories off what I eat when I want to lose a little.
– Eileen

Thank you for the thinking in the present and past concept. I too am trying to lose those 20 lbs. and am hungry all the time. I have also been reading the Power of Positive Thinking and The Secret and your post falls in line with those books. Your message came at the right time for me. Thanks. – Maureen

Favorite organizing products and resources As a professional organizer for the last 10 years, I’ve used and recommended a lot of organizing products, services and resources.
Every month, in this column, I share my favorites.

Last month, I introduced you to ListPlanIt, where you can download hundreds of lists to help you live a more organized life and get your copy of 100 Days of Summertime 2012 eBook.
It includes 31 lists and it’s just $5 – or free when you sign up for any ListPlanIt membership and get instant access to everything.

This month, I want to tell you about a new magazine for those of us who want to learn more about how to get organized and stay organized.
It’s called, very appropriately, Getting Organized and it’s available in your choice of print or digital format. To get a feel for the magazine, check out some of the articles at the magazine’s web site.

By the way, in about a month (late July 2012 or so), Getting Organized will be launching “30 Days of Give-Aways.” The publisher will be offering a prize giveaway each day for a month to subscribers and winners will be announced daily on the magazine web site.

For a look at more of my organizing favorites, Visit www.unclutter.com/favorites.

Shameless promotion: Got clutter? Cash in!

I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops (yes, that was me!), so I’m sure by now you’ve heard that I recently wrote a new book called How to Declutter and Make Money Now. It’s currently available as an Amazon Kindle book only, but by the time you hear from me again, there will be a print version. Promise.

I’m proud to report that nearly 25,000 copies have been downloaded to date and that this book is the #7 top rated book out of 540 books in the Cleaning, Caretaking & Relocating category. If you’ve read it, your Amazon customer review would be greatly appreciated!

Anyway, this little book is filled with dozens of ways to cash in on clutter and for $3.99, you can’t beat the price! Well, actually you can, if you are an Amazon Prime Member because then you can borrow it for free.

Check it out on Amazon. You can click on the book cover to read the introduction and a few pages or download a sample to your Kindle.

Here’s something cool. Did you know? You actually don’t need to have a Kindle to get access to Kindle books?

There’s a Kindle reading app that you can download for your computer (PC or Mac) or smartphone or tablet. Go to my book page. Scroll down the right side of the page to where you will see a link for Kindle Reading apps. Once it’s downloaded, you can buy any Kindle book.

After purchasing the book, log into your Amazon account and look for Manage Your Kindle. Click on that to see your Kindle Library. Select from Actions to the right of the book title and select where you want the book delivered to (e.g. your PC). Then open the app on your PC.

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