Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life September 2010 – Vol. 9 No. 7
“To select well among old things is almost equal to inventing new ones.” ~ Nicholas Charles Trublet
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7 ways to save money by getting organized In a July 2009 survey by Pew Internet Research, 23% of respondents said they have used sites like Craigslist and eBay to raise funds. It pays to unclutter!

Uncluttering and organizing can also save you money.

1. If you waste even just 15 minutes a day looking for stuff, and you earn $20/hour, you waste the equivalent of $5 a day or $140/month or $1680 a year.

2. If you misplace bills or don’t have a good bill paying system in place and end up paying bills late, you could get hit with late fees. If your credit card payment is late, the lender may decide to raise your interest rate to 20% or more which will cost you even more money every month from that date forward.

3. If you’re not organized, you might end up paying more money for certain events (charity walks or conferences for example) that have discounts for early registration.

4. Disorganization may cause you to misplace checks or deposit them late which could subject you to bank overdraft fees.

5. A lot of people end up re-buying stuff only to find the original stuff later. Example: If your closet is disorganized, you might end up buying clothes or shoes that are similar to ones you forgot you had. This happens a lot!

6. When you keep a running list of foodstuffs you need, and bring it to the grocery store with you, you are more likely to buy only what you need. Furthermore, and you have a well-stocked pantry which means less need to order out because you can’t put dinner on the table with what you’ve got.

7. Organizing coupons can save you lots of moola on everything from groceries to department store items to dinner out.

Can you think of any other ways you could save money by getting organized? Write to me: donna@unclutter.com

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.

If you are naturally organized or have learned how to be organized and have an interest in becoming a Professional Organizer, I recommend taking a course like the one offered by Judy Warmington and Treva Berends. They’ve been training professional organizers since 1997. Together Judy and Treva have 35+ combined years of organizing experience and to date have trained more than 300 people hailing from 25 states.

Their one-of-a-kind program energizes you to do to the work you have been designed to do. It’s a 12-hour, in-person, one-day-you’re-on-your way training seminar that will train your to become an independent contractor. Graduates automatically become a part of their referral network and have access to on-going coaching for as long as you need/want it.

For more information, visit www.theorganizingspecialists.com and tell them I sent you!

From a reader: Organizing help for new parents

Miranda wrote to say: I love your website. I have a question for you: my extremely organized, tidy brother is going to be a father for the first time (yay!). Mess and clutter make him crazy. Can you recommend anything that will make this transition to a new parent easier?

My reply: Fortunately, new babies don’t make much mess or create much clutter! That increases exponentially as they age which will hopefully give your brother time to adjust to the inevitable. J

One neat and inexpensive product is the Pet Net – a string hammock that you can hang in a corner of the baby’s room to create a home for all the stuffed animals he/she is bound to be given as gifts.

Another nifty idea is to hang a shoe bag organizer from the back of the door to serve as a storage place for diaper cream, assorted baby toiletries, teething rings and other small items that can quickly clutter up a room. I like the ones with clear plastic pockets so you can see at a glance what you’re looking for.

You might also check out my web site at www.unclutter.com to take a look at the closet rod organizers mentioned on the home page for organizing baby clothing in various sizes.

Also, there’s a card service I recommend that’s perfect for busy people, especially parents of young children. It’s a program that lets you create and send real paper greeting cards from your own computer. You select from an online catalog; they print, stuff and mail them for you for as little as 62 cents each plus postage.

It’s an easy, cost-effective way to send birth announcements with photos of your baby. You can also use this program to send holiday cards as well as birthday cards, thank you cards, sympathy cards, and more. And get this: your cards can be printed with your own handwriting and signature and you can even send gifts with your cards – all from the comfort of your own home. Check it out at www.sendoutcards.com/kuper. Your first card is on me!

(Full disclosure: I liked the SendOutCards service so much, I became a distributor, so I now earn a percentage of all the cards and gifts sent by my customers. Nice, huh? You could be earning some extra cash for the holidays doing the same. Check out www.sendoutcards.com/kuper and get in touch if you want to learn more.)

Shameless promotion: Kicking the (mop) bucket!

Earlier this month, the Bissell Corporation invited me to participate in a round table discussion – a cleaning summit of sorts – with industry influencers and “forward thinkers” who were brought together to postulate on trends over the next seven years. What an interesting discussion!

I’ve been working with Bissell on and off over the last few years as a spokesperson and product reviewer. I can’t help myself: I have to tell you about a new product I recently tried out in my home and absolutely love. The Bissell Steam and Sweep Hard Floor Cleaner is an all-in-one product that eliminates the need to vacuum or sweep first and then mop.
I’m a big fan of anything that saves time, but I also love that it does a great job of cleaning my bare floors – with only water so it’s an eco-friendly cleaning tool as well.

Speaking of cleaning, I noticed the other day that I have some extra copies of my books, The One-Minute Cleaner and Cleaning Plain & Simple. If you would like a signed copy of either of these books (or any of my organizing books), you can order directly from my Web site: www.unclutter.com/books. Quantities are limited so orders will be filled on a first come-first served basis.

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