October 2004
Vol. 2, No. 10

Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life

“Life is made of millions of moments, but we live only one of these moments at a time. As we begin to change this moment, we begin to change our lives.”

–Trinidad Hunt, author, educator, business consultant

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FEATURE ARTICLE: Kitchen and bath organizing tips

October is National Kitchen and Bath Month. That’s as good a reason as any to organize the two most used rooms in your home.

Following are some of my favorite kitchen and bath organizing tips to help you get started:


* Pare down.

Go through your kitchen one drawer, one shelf at a time looking for items you no longer want or need. Make a decision to donate these items. Someone, somewhere could really use these things that are just taking up valuable space in your kitchen.

* Clear your countertops.

Remove everything, then put back only what you use at least several times a week. Store everything else in cabinets and drawers. Store least frequently used items at the back.

* Reduce paper clutter.

Look at the types of papers that are littering your kitchen. What have you got? Jot down the categories: coupons, take-out menus, school schedules, unread mail, bills to pay, papers to file.

A simple solution for reducing paper clutter is to create labeled file folders for each category you find. Store file folders upright in a vertical file at one end of a counter for easy access.


* Save storage space with bath caddies.

If storage space is at a premium in your bathrooms, buy a handled plastic caddy for each household member to store in his/her bedroom and use to carry toiletries to and from the bathroom.

* Nowhere to hang anything?

Invest in an over-the-door rack with hooks for hanging wet towels, bathrobes and other articles of clothing.

* Discard unneeded items.

Dispose of expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Also discard old, sticky nail polishes, makeup that is more than a year old and discard or give away items you no longer use or like.

Remember. . .you don’t have to stop everything to get organized; you just have to start. Start by making a commitment to spend 15 minutes each day on organizing a particular area or project.

Don’t waste time fretting about how much you have to do to get your life in order. Just focus your attention on what you can do today. You’ll get there eventually.

Next month: Last-minute holiday organizing

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

SURVEY RESULTS: Winter holiday organizing

Last month, I asked: “When do you start shopping and preparing for the winter holidays?” As promised, here are the results of that survey:

8% said: Right after the holidays are over (for the next year)
41% said: Throughout the year
30% said: One to two months before
19% said: Days or weeks before
3% said: At the very last possible moment

Thanks to all of you who responded. Apparently, I have some very organized readers – nearly 4 out of 5 people are shopping and organizing for the holidays well in advance. I am so impressed!

Of course, just because we start early, doesn’t mean that we finish early. If you still end up scrambling at the last moment, you can look forward to next month’s issue with tips for last-minute holiday shoppers and organizers.

NEW SURVEY: Finding things

Often, in the process of uncluttering and organizing, we find things we thought were lost or things we either didn’t know we had or had completely forgotten about.

What has been the most significant or memorable “discovery” you have made while uncluttering and organizing?

Money (checks, cash, savings bonds, etc.)
Letters, cards, photos or other memorabilia
Jewelry or other valuable
A prized possession
An item that belonged to someone else
Other (please describe)

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: Labeling your cell phone

I looked for it everywhere, and there it was in an overnight package on my desk. Someone had shipped my lost cell phone.

I had cut out the contact information from mybusiness card and taped it to the back of my cell phone and voila! I got it back.

Label your cell phone — it only takes a minute and getting back all your stored phone numbers will make your day.

–Submitted by Angela Brown, Charlotte NC

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.)

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, The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple. Check it out at http://www.unclutter.com/books.html.

SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Home from book tour

I apologize to my regular subscribers for the delay in e-mailing this issue. I’ve been on the road for the last two weeks promoting my latest book and wasn’t able to get it to you. I did try!

I am happy to report that The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple is now in its second printing – just one month after its first printing. If you don’t see it in your favorite book store, please ask for it.

Or, if you would like a signed copy, you can order from my Web site: http://www.unclutter.com/books.html Click on the SignedCopy.com logo to have a signed copy sent to you.

Just a thought: Autographed copies make great gifts for book lovers and anyone you know who wants to get organized.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Trouvé food storage containers

Are you always searching for the lids to your food storage containers? With Trouvé food storage containers, your search is over.

Trouvé’s patented feature allows the lid to snap onto a rim on the bottom of each container. If you ever lose a lid, Trouvé promises to replace it for free.

But the thing I really like about these containers is that the three sizes nest neatly (with the lids attached) to help fight clutter in your cabinets.

For more information or to order, go to: http://www.savethelids.com

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