Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life
November 2013 – Vol. 12 No. 10

Allow it to be easier than you think, faster than you expect, and more fun than you can imagine.
~Michael Neill

Organizing a stress-free holiday season

Does the sound ofSanta gets organized, making a list sleigh bells make you tense? A little organization can make the difference between having a stress-full or a stress-free holiday.

My favorite tip? Plan to have everything done two days early so you can relax with your family and guests and not still be running around on the holiday itself.

Then do like Santa and start making a list. (See Holiday Organizing Part 1 – Making Lists).

Now is also the time to clean up your act. If you’re having guests for the holidays – even if just for dinner – don’t leave it to the last minute to clean your house. Do it now and then make an extra effort to keep it clean and picked up.

Also well in advance, you can prepare the guest room and stock the bathroom with clean towels, toilet paper, and toiletries. And don’t laugh, you can even set your dining room table a few days in advance. It’s one way to keep clutter from accumulating on the table!

Stay tuned for more holiday organizing tips over the next few weeks, including my first annual “Get Organized Gift Giving Guide!”

Cleaning out your fridge

When’s the last time you cleaned our your refrigerator?

Experts say that leftovers should be consumed within 3-4 days. Even if refrigerated food still smells okay, it could be crawling with bacteria…eww! You should also toss food (especially meat) that is past its expiration or “consume by” date. On the other hand, if you find moldy cheese, it’s okay to cut off the mold provided you cut off a margin of at least one inch around it.

And did you know? Butter absorbs odors, so keep that wrapped up tight. The coldest part of your refrigerator is the back and lower sections – a good place to keep dairy. And there are a few items that rightly belong in your pantry, not your refrigerator – onions, garlic, potatoes and bread.

Favorite organizing products and resources

As a professional organizer for the last 13 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 shared two resources. The first was for people who might like to start a career as a professional organizer. Certified Professional Organizer(R) Marla Dee can help you get your business up and running fast with your choice of her home study course or 5-day live training.christmastreestoragebag

The second resource is an online store called ShopGetOrganized that carries a wide variety of organizing products, including some that are hard to find anywhere else like this nifty rolling Christmas tree storage bag pictured at right. Anyway, I just learned that they’ve got a triple sale going on for BLACK FRIDAY / CYBER MONDAY 20% off everything + $4.95 Shipping + a Free Gift. Just use code AG112913 at checkout. That offer will end Tuesday, 12/3.

This month, I goPliioshelft a chance to try out Pliio(R) Clothing Filers, thanks to my friend and product co-creator Clare Kumar. This is an ingenious product that transforms messy piles of clothing into organized files – yes files! Pliio Clothing Filers make it really easy to fold t-shirts, scarves, and more for neater, more compact storage in drawers, on shelves, and even in your suitcase. I’ve actually been “filing” clothing for years and now I’m wondering why I didn’t think of this! If you can’t imagine what I’m talking about, check out the quick video on the product web site. The product is currently sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in the U.S. and Canada.

For a look at more of my organizing favorites, visit

Shameless promotion: How to get extra cash for the holidays

REV2HowToDeclutterPRINTA recent survey showed that the average American household has about $3,000 worth of unwanted items that could be sold to generate cash or donated as a tax write-off. Who couldn’t use an extra $3,000 or even $300 for that matter?

Selling stuff you no longer use or love is an easy way to put some extra cash in your pocket. Stash it away for a rainy day or put it to good use right now for the holidays.

In How to De-clutter and Make Money Now, I show you how to turn your clutter into cash fast. Grab your copy here on sale!

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

FULL DISCLOSURE: Some links in this newsletter may be affiliate links, meaning if you purchase through my link I may earn a small commission. Thanks in advance for your support of my work! Please note that I only recommend products that I would recommend whether I got paid or not.