Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life October 2010 – Vol. 9 No. 8
“Even if I don’t reach all my goals, I’ve gone higher than I would have if I hadn’t set any.” ~Danielle Fotopoulis
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Kitchen and bath organizing tips Did you know that 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:

KITCHEN * 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. Toss anything that’s out of date or no longer needed.

BATHROOM * Maximize vertical space. Hang a shoe bag organizer on the back of the door and use it to store toiletries and other bathroom items. I’m also a big fan of 3M Command Adhesive Hooks that you can adhere to any surface and remove easily without marring.

* 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.

Just focus your attention on what you can do today. With consistent effort over time, you CAN get organized once and for all.

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.

This month, I’d like to introduce you to doxo, a new web service that enables you to receive, manage, and file household bills, statements, and other important documents from multiple service providers, all in one place. The new service is free and available at www.doxo.com on an invitation basis.

Benefits include:

* One Place, One Password. You can organize all of your bills and other important documents in one place. You own their records forever, without worries about archive times, deletion policies, or losing documents when you switch providers.

* Organization Made Easy. You can receive, file, manage, and act on your household account to-dos, and manage any type of document that your providers send, including bills, statements, policies, explanation of benefits, terms and conditions, and more.

* Connect and Go Paper-free. When providers join doxo and you connect with them, your bills and other important documents come directly to your doxo account. doxo automatically tracks and notifies you of due dates. (You then pay your bills as you do now.)

* Safe and Secure. doxo operates with security protections that meet or exceed the methods used by banks and other financial institutions. Documents are protected from hackers, natural disasters, and mailbox theft.

* Kinder to Our Environment. Producing and delivering business mail consumes 9 million trees, burns 500 million gallons of fuel, and generates 10 million tons of greenhouse gasses annually. Going paperfree is one of the easiest ways to reduce environmental waste.

For more information or to request an invitation to join, go to www.doxo.com. Scroll to the bottom of the home page and enter your e-mail address to request an invitation.

From a reader: Clutter be gone!

Denise Benfield of Reading, PA wrote to say: We keep a box in our entrance and everyone tries to put something into it to donate every day. The kids collect so much between Happy Meal toys to birthday party bags, it’s easy and they like to think about the people that may want to use this stuff.

It’s surprising how you can find something almost every day to put in that box! We find ourselves always doing little mini-cleans to find something to put in the box. Searching drawers and bins. . . and organizing along the way!

I find that local daycare centers welcome all kinds of things from clean stuffed toys, CDs, kids DVDs, arts and crafts supplies, books (they LOVE books) to lawn sprinklers to run through!

We all added articles of clothing today as we got ready for school this year. It really does work and the kids don’t feel like they are giving all their belongings away. The goal is just one thing a day.

Shameless promotion: Please vote for my book! Oh. My. Gosh. I just learned that my book Organizing Plain & Simple is a finalist in the 2011 Los Angeles Organizing Awards.

Can you please do me a favor? If you are so inclined, please take a few moments now to vote for my book (and for any other organizing services and products you love).

=> Click here to vote http://bit.ly/bEdjNY

While I have you, I want to thank you for subscribing to Organizing Plain & Simple Monthly. I write this newsletter for YOU and I truly appreciate your readership, comments, tips and suggestions. Please keep them coming!
That’s all for this month. Until next month, keep it simple.