Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life October 2011 – Vol. 10 No. 9
For things to change, you have to change.
~Kurt Mortensen

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Giving yourself the slight edge I’m reading a book right now – actually I’m listening to the audiobook in my car – and it’s seriously changing my life for the better.

It’s The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. The author proposes that it’s not so much the big events that shape and direct our lives but the small, seemingly insignificant choices we make every day that have the bigger impact.

By doing small “right” activities over time, we have the potential to become massively successful at anything, thanks to the compounding effect of our actions.

The good news is that these “right” activities are very easy to do. The bad news is that they are also easy NOT to do.

Olson cites the example of diet and exercise. If you eat a salad for lunch or go for a walk today, does that make you healthy? No. If you choose to eat a greasy hamburger instead, does that make you unhealthy? No. But what if you made one of these choices EVERY day? Would one make you healthier and the other make you unhealthier? Absolutely.

So let’s apply this philosophy to organizing.
What easy little thing can you do each day that will compound over time into a more organized life?

What if you took a few minutes to make a to-do list for tomorrow and you did that every day?

What if you get in the habit of setting things down where they belong rather than on the handiest surface?

What if you spent 5 minutes picking things up and putting them where they belong before you go to bed each night?

What if you set up a folder for bills that need to be paid and got into the habit of opening mail daily and putting bills to be paid in that folder? Do you think that might prevent bills from getting misplaced and paid late which means unnecessary late fees?

What if before buying something, you stopped to ask yourself if you really need it or just want it? Would that maybe help to eliminate future clutter that you have to deal with?

Olson says it’s not a matter of willpower, but a matter of knowing and believing that what you do today and tomorrow and the day after will lead you toward your vision of a more organized life – over time.

So many of us see time as our enemy. Let’s instead decide what we want and then make time our friend!

How to simplify holiday card sending

How would like to have a simple, affordable way to reach out to friends and family this holiday season to let you know that you are thinking of them?

Watch this quick 2-minute video by my friend Jules Price and see how SendOutCards can help simplify your life, improve your relationships, and save you time and money this holiday season and all year long.

Then visit www.sendoutcards.com/kuper and give it whirl. I invite you to send a card on me and make someone’s day!

Favorite organizing products and resources – PLUS a GIVEAWAY! 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 shared with you how I use 3M Command brand products for organizing plastic storage container lids and organizing purses in your closet.

In that issue I wrote: “you’ll be happy to learn that these products are expensive.” Oops. Yes, that was a typo. They are very INexpensive.
Check out www.unclutter.com/favorites for a direct link to these products on Amazon.*

This month, I’m excited to introduce you to The Tote Buddy – and give you a chance to win one!

The Tote Buddy neatly store piles of reusable bags, helping you to declutter and stay organized for every shopping trip.

Before The Tote Buddy, I would put all my reusable bags in one bag that I would carry into the store. But it took up half my cart! The Tote Buddy is a portfolio-style organizer that lets you store them all flat.

The Tote Buddy* is my new favorite organizing product for under $20.

For a chance to win one for yourself or to give as a gift, email your favorite organizing tip to donna@unclutter.com by November 15, 2011 with the subject line: I want The Tote Buddy. The winner will be picked at random and announced in the November 2011 issue.

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

Shameless promotion: Coffee, tea and me!

I had an opportunity earlier this month to provide tips on how to simplify your morning routine to radio listeners across the country.

My sponsor was Keurig, Incorporated and they gave a Keurig Platinum Brewing System to every station to give away to their listeners.

We have one and my husband and I love that we can make our morning coffee exactly the way we like – and be able to offer a wide variety of beverages to our guests including including teas, cocoa, and even hot cider.

If you want some tips on simplifying YOUR morning routine, take a minute to read this article that appeared on one of the radio Web sites.

While I’m the subject of the Internet, let’s get to know each other better by connecting on Facebook.

Look for me at www.facebook.com/donnasmallin and subscribe. You’ll also find me on Twitter at @donnasmallin.

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