Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life
November 2015 – Vol. 14 No. 7

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ~Arthur Ashe

5 places to get help getting organized

OrganizerIsInSometimes you need a little help to get started on what seems like a monumental project. Other times, you just need to have some accountability to keep you on track. Or maybe you need to work one on one with a professional to guide you through the process of decluttering and organizing your home.

Following are the top five places I recommend for getting help getting organized.

On the web site of the National Association of Professional Organizers, you can find a professional organizer near you. Yes, it costs to get professional help, but there are also costs associated with NOT getting help.

If you or a loved one is struggling with more than the average amount of stuff, I recommend downloading the Clutter-Hoarding Scale, an assessment tool developed by the Institute of Chronic Disorganization and the Quick Reference Guide that goes with it. On this site (under the Resources tab), you can also click to Find an ICD Organizer who is trained to work with people who have hoarding issues. You’ll find other resources on the site as well.

Clutterers Anonymous is committed to helping members stop cluttering one day at a time. The program is designed along the same lines as Alcoholics Anonymous with heavy emphasis on being accountable and supporting one another.

My Facebook support group is another, less structured option. Join nearly 3,000 members in this closed group where we share our challenges and achievements and cheer each other on to a less cluttered home and more organized life.

Several people in my Facebook support group have mentioned using 1-800-GOT-JUNK to help them clean out their homes – and they were very happy they did. This is a fee-based service that hauls away household junk for disposal or recycling. You just point to what you want gone and they take it.

3 expert cleaning tips to save the day!

November 15 is National Clean Your Refrigerator Day. I kid you not! Seriously, if you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your fridge, it’s time. Here’s my 15-minute plan for cleaning the refrigerator as published on

And another thing I was asked about recently. What’s the right way to wash towels? Check out this article on 5 ways you’re ruining your towels.

Finally, what if you spilled red wine on the carpet and it left a stain that’s been there for some time? Learn how to get rid of that stain and decades-old dirt, grime and stains in this article – Cleaning the impossible. (My tip is on how to remove stains from porcelain sinks, tubs, and toilets.)

Favorite organizing products and resources

As a professional organizer for the last 14 years, I’ve used and recommended a lot of organizing products, services and resources. Every month in this column, I share my favorites.

In the last issue, I invited you to look at SendOutCards, a program I use to send real paper greeting cards right from my laptop. I’m not talking about e-cards. These are cards that you order online and they are printed, stuffed, stamped and mailed for you for as little as 93 cents plus the cost of a stamp.

With SendOutCards, you can send holiday cards to everyone on your list in minutes instead of hours. I’ve been using this program for 9 years and love it.  If you want to check it out, you’re welcome to send a few cards on me with no obligation. Let me know what you think!

This month, I want to remind you about the Holiday JOY Challenge. November is the start of the holiday season, which means that friends and family will be ringing your doorbell throughout the next couple months. If you’re starting to panic with the thought of guests visiting your home and seeing your mes, don’t fret. It’s time to join the JOY (Just Organize Yourself) Challenge.JOY-LOGO2-small

Whether you have a back-entry mudroom, front entry with closet, or a teeny-tiny entryway with no closet, the JOY Challenge will provide tips for all types of spaces. You’ll need to clear the way for guests’ coats, and no matter where you live, winter is on the way, so boots (whether rain or snow) are coming! Not to mention finding a home for hats, mittens, scarves, and bags. Luckily, the challenge provides a super simple plan to get that entryway in tip-top shape.

There is no pressure—you work at your own pace, and can ask questions at any time. You’ll also receive helpful (and inspiring) downloadables throughout the challenge to keep you motivated, plus access to a private Facebook group with other challenge takers. You can work on the challenge any time between mid-November and mid-December, but sign up now so you get all the goodies! To learn more or to join the challenge, visit Take $10 OFF through November 10 with coupon code JOY10.

Shameless promotion: Turn clutter into cash for the holidays (free download)

When I wrote the original version of How to Declutter and Make Money Now, the U.S. economy was still in recovery mode. Fast forward to today. Many people are still struggling to make ends meet.

And yet, according to a market research study by NPD Group, the average American home contains $7,000 worth of unused items – items that could be sold to generate cash or donated as a tax write-off.

In the newly revised edition of How to Declutter and Make Money Now, I lay out a plan in Chapter 1 for how you can get started turning clutter into cash for the holidays. This entire chapter is one of the many additions to the revised version. And I want you to have that information. Download Chapter 1 for free HERE.

In Chapters 2-9, you’ll learn about the many ways to sell things that are just taking up valuable space in your home. Wouldn’t you rather have the cash? Did you know that you can take a picture with your smartphone and sell stuff that way? Or that you can re-sell anything that is already for sale on Amazon (like my book)? In Chapter 8, you’ll learn all about swapping which is the next best thing to making money. Trade something you no longer love or use for something you really want!

Grab your copy of the book HERE at the special introductory price!

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 through one of these links, I may 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 note that I only recommend products that I would recommend whether I got paid or not.