Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life
June 2016 – Vol. 15 No. 5

The more you have, the more you are occupied…But the less you have the more free you are. ~Mother Teresa

A different kind of to-do list


photo credit: Bucket List via photopin (license)

As an organizing expert, I’m big on making all kinds of lists from grocery lists and packing lists to lists of things to do. But today I want to write about a different kind of list – a bucket list. You know what that is, right? It’s a list of things you want to experience or achieve before you die.

Since hitting the road as full-time travelers in our motor home, many people have told us that we are living their dream. I got to thinking about how some people say they would love to do this or that thing someday but for one reason or another never do. I have to confess that I’m one of them! I’ve been saying for years that I want to write a novel (historical fiction) that becomes a major motion picture. But time keeps on ticking and I am no closer to making that dream a reality.

That said, I have checked many things off my bucket list. And I’m making progress toward others. What I want to share today are my top three strategies for improving the chances that you will do what you say you want to do while you still can!

Write it down. That’s step one. Numerous studies have proven that writing your goals increases the odds of achieving them. So whenever I think of something I want to do or achieve before I die, I add it to my list which I keep in an electronic file. Some say that writing your list with pen on paper is even more powerful. Whichever you choose to do, keep your bucket list where you’ll see it often and consider it a friendly reminder that life is short.

Commit to one thing. Pick one thing from your bucket list – maybe the easiest or the least expensive. Give yourself a time frame for completion. Put it on your calendar. Tell people what you are going to do. And then take a step, even if it’s just a baby step, in the direction of your goal. Let’s use that novel of mine as an example. November is National Novel Writing Month. If I chose to put this goal first, I could commit to writing 50,000 words in the annual NaNoMoWr challenge. (I included the link in the event that “write a novel” is on your bucket list, too!)

Check your spending. I don’t know about you, but some things I would love to do someday are pricey like taking a cruise to Alaska. So I have consciously chosen to spend less and save more. I think twice about everything I buy. I ask myself, “Do I really need this? Or do I already have something that will do?” When it makes sense, I buy clothing and other things secondhand. And when I’m ready to part with things I no longer love or use, I sell them on Craigslist or with the OfferUp app. (You’ll find some more ideas on how to turn clutter into cash fast in my book How to De-clutter and Make Money Now along with instructions for how to re-sell the book when you’re finished with it!)

Now it’s your turn to share. What’s on your bucket list?

Your “cleaner, happier home” reading list

If you missed the last newsletter, you missed my winning decluttering strategy. Here it is: Organizing Tips Newsletter – April-May 2016.

And if you need extra motivation to declutter and clean house, here are three guest blog posts I wrote to help you out: – 7 Ways to Clean House Like It’s Earth Month Every Month

QuickandDirtyTips.CleartheClutterCoverRevise2com – 3 Ways to Get Rid of Your Junk

1800GotJunk Blog – 9 Habits of Organized People That Will Simplify Your Life

And this article is a must-read for parents (and grandparents) – Home Alone: 6 Free Safety Apps Help Kids in Case of Emergency 

Finally, if you haven’t already, I recommend reading my latest book. Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness is jam-packed with quick tips for a cleaner, happier home. One Amazon reviewer called it a “pocket sized wonder” that delivers “pocket sized happiness” and went on to say:Each page takes a few moments to read, and the actions suggested are equally as easy. It’s a great way to find your inspiration and make the changes you’ve been putting off.”

Favorite products and resources  

As a professional organizer and certified House Cleaning Technician, I’ve used and recommended a lot of products, services and resources over the years. Every month in this column, I share new and old favorites.

textureLast month, I told you about a way to declutter your coffee table. Texture offers unlimited access to your favorite magazines – and all their back issues. Once you install the Texture app, you can read all your favorite magazines on your phone, tablet or computer – anytime, anywhere. It’s a great way to get rid of magazine clutter and yet, always have reading material handy.

If you and your family members currently pay for more than a few subscriptions, you’ll actually save money every month because with one account, everyone in your family can access their favorite magazines (on up to 5 devices). There’s a 30-day free trial so you can see what you think and decide if it’s right for you. If not, just cancel your subscription.

kitchen organizersYou may recall that I attended the National Hardware Show last month. As I was walking the aisles of the housewares section, I spotted some kitchen organizers and stopped to take a closer look. I could see right away that these are not your same old, same old kitchen organizers. Let me introduce you to YouCopia. This company makes an innovative line of products designed to maximize space in even the tiniest of kitchens.

YouCopia’s Classic Spice Stack lets you store up to 24 full size bottles (or 48 half-size bottles) in a set of three drawers. Simply pull out a drawer and it drops down for easy viewing of your spices. It includes 96 removable drkitchen organizersawer labels to make it easy-peasy to organize your spices. (You know how much I love labeling!)

One of the things I often see is wasted space in upper cabinets. The solution? YouCopia’s Store More Shelf Riser. What makes this shelf riser different from any other I’ve seen is that the legs are adjustable. So you can customize it to your needs. Keep your eye out for this shelf riser…it will be coming soon to a store near you.

As if the well-designed functionality is not enough, all YouCopia organizing products can be quickly put to use in your kitchen with no assembly or installation required. Check out the full line of YouCopia kitchen organizers here, including adjustable pot lid organizers, coffee pod organizers, food wrap organizers and more.

Shameless promotion: Happy birthday to me! 

thismonthridingtofightcancerI celebrated my birthday on May 27. And I had just one wish – I asked my friends and family to support me in the Great Cycle Challenge to help fight kid’s cancer.

My goal is to ride 250 miles this month and raise $500 and I will be pedaling as hard as I can to reach my target. Why am I doing this? Because 38 children die of cancer every week.

This challenge will be tough, but it’s nothing compared to what these brave kids face every day of their lives as they battle this terrible disease. Kids should be living life, not fighting for it. And so I am taking on this personal challenge to raise funds to fight kids’ cancer and give these kids the brighter futures that they deserve.

If you are able, I hope that you will support my challenge and join me in the fight to end childhood cancer by making a donation through my fundraising page. Just click here.  All funds raised will support Children’s Cancer Research Fund to continue their work to develop innovative treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer. Thank you for your support!

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

FULL DISCLOSURE: Some links in this organizing tips newsletter may be affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I will earn a small commission. These earnings go toward the continuation of this complimentary newsletter which is free to you, but does cost to distribute. Please know that I only recommend products that I would recommend whether I got paid or not.