Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life
October 2013 – Vol. 12 No. 9

The KEY to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.
~Brian Tracy

A question of ownership

Do you own your stuff? Or does your stuff own you?

I happened upon a tweet this week from a young man by the name of Evan Stone. He wrote: Anything you own that you can’t give away actually owns you.

Whoa. That’s a pretty radical statement.

Or is it?

Everything we own ties us down to some degree – whether it’s the need to take care of it or the need to store it which requires the space to do so which means having to pay for that space one way or the other. I think it’s safe to say (though you’re welcome to disagree!) that the less stuff we have, the more freedom we have.

Think about it. If you owned nothing except the clothes on your back, you would be completely free to do anything and go anywhere you choose, provided you have the means. Of course, I don’t think for a minute that you or I need to get rid of everything. But if you can’t let go of stuff, you may be limiting yourself to a smaller life than you could be living in terms of relationships and experiences.

When people declutter their lives in a big way, they tend to describe it as “liberating” or “freeing.” My husband and I recently sold just about everything to hit the road as full-time RVers and you know what? We can attest to that feeling of being free. Selling everything gave us the freedom to take off on this amazing adventure.

How might letting go of things create more freedom in your life?

QUICK TIP: Let organizing begin with me

When you recognize the behavior that’s been causing the disorganization, that’s when you can start to make the change. (Audrey Lavine)

Excerpted from Secrets of Professional Organizers Volume 3

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 introduced you to the service I use to remember birthdays and anniversaries. SendOutCards reminds me via email about upcoming special occasions so I don’t forget and then makes it easy to send cards and gifts. I especially love that I can create a Christmas card and have them send it to my entire Christmas card list. If you want to try it, you’re welcome to send a few cards on me with no obligation.

This month, I want to share two resources. First, have you ever thought about becoming a professional organizer and getting paid to help others get organized? 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. Even if you don’t plan to launch your new business until next year, you can write the cost of training off your taxes as a start-up expense in 2013 – plus enjoy a super discount right now. Marla is one of the leading educators of professional organizers and I highly recommend her training materials.

The second resource I want to share with you is an online store called ShopGetOrganized that is an associate member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. They carry a wide variety of organizing products, including some that are hard to find anywhere else. And right now, you can get 20% off everything (even clearance items) when you enter the  discount code CJNOV20 at checkout. The discount is available through the end of November.

For a look at more of my organizing favorites, Visit

Shameless promotion: More secrets

As 2013 winds down, I am beginning to plan for 2014. I truly enjoy connecting with you each month and sharing tips and ideas. So I’ll continue to write and publish this newsletter and let you know when it’s available for your reading pleasure. I’m also starting to write a few shorter posts once a week or so that I will send your way.

I just finished writing a new book called The One-Minute Organizer’s Guide to a Cleaner, Happier Home. That book will be published next October. Meanwhile, I am busy working on a paperback version of the bestselling Secrets of Professional Organizers series (Volumes 1-3). And more books will be forthcoming in the coming year!

Meanwhile, I invite you to join my organizing support group on Facebook where you can ask questions and get answers to your organizing challenges.

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

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am an affiliate of many products that I recommend and endorse, so any given issue of this newsletter may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase something, I may receive a referral commission. All proceeds from affiliate programs go toward the continuation of this complimentary newsletter. Thanks in advance for your support! Please note that I only recommend products that I would recommend whether I got paid or not.