Simply Put Organizing

What would I do without…

Command picture hanging strips and command brush metal hooks.
Thank you 3M!!
If you don’t know what I’m talking about quickly go to your nearest Target or a similar store and look for them in the home maintenance aisle. No more nail holes!!!!!
I am feeling very grateful

clear your make-up clutter


I love innovative products so when I saw this in a recent magazine I new I had to tell you about it. Almost all of us have shadows and blushes that come in multiples. We may love one color and never use the others. Solution found, just pop out the colors you love and place them in this magnetic compact. Lose all the plastic compacts that are cluttering up your cosmetics drawer. To buy visit www.uniicostmetics.com $29.00

The Body Safety Box


Looking for something fun and purposeful to do with your kids this summer? One of my clients, Dr. Missy Gryder, has just launched a wonderful new activity kit for children and families called The Body Safety BoxTM. This innovative new product gives parents the language to use with their children to teach them important child abuse prevention skills. Kids create personalized, keepsake quality projects that help make learning memorable. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the HELPS ProjectTM, a non-profit child abuse prevention project serving kids in Valley public schools. Please visit www.bodysafetybox.com to learn more!

Get Organized Now

I am so excited to tell you all that I have co authored a book that is soon to be released. It will be available on Amazon but you, my fabulous followers, will be able to get an autographed copy at a reduced rate. Details coming soon….

Five Habits of Organized People

If you know someone who is naturally organized you may wonder how it is that they seemingly have everything together all of the time. I believe that some of us, myself included, have brains that are wired for order. We have habits that come to us naturally and easily develop systems for everything else. Naturally organized people may have an edge as they don’t have to develop new habits but the good news is, once identified, anyone can work to add organized habits to their everyday life. Here are five habits that organized people have that you can learn too:

1. They stay away from bargains.
This is the beginning and one of the most important habits. If you don’t bring it into your home in the first place it won’t turn into clutter. I clear out a lot of expired warehouse purchases from pantries and spoiled toiletries from bathrooms. Just because you can get three for the price of one doesn’t mean you need it.

2. They stick with what works.
This is another Achilles heel that leads to clutter in the home. Bathrooms and cleaning closets are most cluttered by the need to try each new thing. Go ahead and try new products but only if you are unhappy with what you are using. If you like the new product better, donate the old products to shelters or a friend.

3. They have a designated transition spot.
This is a place for items you bring in the home that you don’t have time to immediately put away. Having a designated place to dump your stuff prevents piles all over the house. Remember not to leave things in your transition spot for more than 24 hours.

4. They never label anything miscellaneous.
Organized people define their spaces completely to take the guesswork out of where items belong. This is especially important for files.

5. They schedule regular decluttering sessions.
Organized people keep things current. They have a donation bag ready and declutter on a regular basis. If your home or office is really cluttered try setting a timer for ten minutes and identify as many things as you can (at least ten) that can be donated, discarded or recycled. Organized people are masters at relocating items to where they belong throughout the day. If you walking from point A to point B you might as well carry something that is in point A that belongs in point B.

Take the summer to incorporate these habits into your daily routines. Post them on the fridge or in your office cubicle until they become a natural way of life. You will be amazing at how much better you feel with less stuff coming in and more stuff going out.

Tax Time

Link to Video

Suze Orman stated, in an article I read, that she had a ‘surefire way to build wealth’ that won’t cost a penny. So easy, she stated, that it can be done while watching television. Her suggestion, clean up old financial paperwork that serves no purpose other than attracting dust-I couldn’t agree more!!

If you live out of piles of paper and your file drawers are full it’s time to clear out the clutter and create a simple system to take control of your financial future. Suze Orman is a firm believer that orderliness begets wealth. I’m not so sure about that (I should be a zillionaire), but I do know that you will save quite a bit in late fees and have a much better idea what is going in and out of your bank accounts if your statements and bills are in order. Organizing paper is completely overwhelming for most of us I’ve tried (along with advice from Suze Orman) to take the overwhelming feeling out and make it as simple as possible.

What you’ll need: a crosscut shredder to prevent identity theft, a garbage can to toss non financial paper and an a few boxes of hanging file folders and a table designated for sorting. If you can borrow a banquet table for this process you can work on it over a period of days without feeling like it’s in the way. If you don’t know anyone with an extra table to share then try to designate an area of your home for the purpose of this task.

Sort all your papers into six piles:

  1. Monthly bills, bank statements and pay stubs
  2. Investment statements
  3. Tax returns and support
  4. Deeds
  5. Warranty and User Manuals
  6. Forever Docs such as marriage licenses, wills and birth certificates

If you have a file cabinet in your home, label one drawer finances. I am a huge fan of filing bills in a twelve month system. Label one hanging file folder for each month and sort bills that you have paid into the month they were paid. The reason I like this method is that you can go back to any month and see your total expenditures. I also store my bank statement into the same file. Basically you will have a snapshot of your finances for any given month at your fingertips. At the end of the year you can pull out anything you need for tax back-up from each month and the rest can stay in the self purging system. When January 2011 comes around you shred the contents of January 2010 the same with February, March etc. You will always have a year’s worth of financial documents at hand.

The other option, and it’s not one that I recommend is to make a separate folder for each bill you pay. The caveat here is that you have to remember to empty the folders on an annual basis. If you don’t have the discipline to do this your files will soon by overflowing with paper you no longer need.

Edit the Piles

For all the paper you are eliminating from your piles, I highly recommend running through a crosscut shredder. The FTC estimates that up to nine million Americans a year are victims of identity theft. A good shredder will help protect your financial future.

It is important to know what to keep and for how long. Suze Orman has a great cheat sheet on her website: www.suzeorman.com/financialcluttter

Here are some of her rules for financial papers:

  • Bills: one year’s worth. Pull any tax deductable bills and ask your accountant how long they should be kept.
  • Pay stubs: one year. When you receive your W-2 make sure that your last check stub matches then shred the stubs.
  • Bank Statements: One year at least. If you are planning on applying for a mortgage or car loan it is better to keep up to two years. Again, check with your personal accountant if you have any questions.
  • Investment Statements: save all monthly and quarterly until you receive your end of the year summary and then shred the others. Save the documents for any trades you make during the year for three years.
  • Tax returns and supporting documents: The IRS has three years to challenge anything on your returns. Keep three years at all times. If the IRS suspects you haven’t reported income it can challenge returns up to six years. To learn more about IRS record keeping guidelines, see Publication 552 on their website (irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p552-pdf)
  • Warranties: Keep only active warranties and toss the rest. I suggest tossing all user manuals you don’t actively refer to as manufacturers have downloadable versions on their sites. You can also visit www.usersmanualguide.com or www.manualnguide.com.
  • Documents to Keep for Life: there are some documents you just can’t throw away. These include marriage Licenses, divorce decrees, wills, trusts, estate planning documents and death certificates. Suze Orman also suggests you keep a permanent record of all major loans you have paid off such as homes, cars and so on.

Tips for going Paperless

Of course, if you hate paper as much as I do, you can easily take care of almost all your financial to do’s online. If you’re worried about cyber-safety just make sure you are logged onto a secure network. That means no bill paying at wi-fi hotspots. Check out your banks website for automatic bill paying, accounts alerts and more. This should all be free, if it’s not, switch banks. You can also go online to check out things such as Social Security benefits. Toss all those green and white sheets once you have verified the current one is up to date. Go to www.ssa.gov and click on estimate your retirement benefits.

Footnote: after writing this article I can’t wait to get home and dig into my files!! Thanks so Suze Orman even I will be better organized. Wow!

A Great New Consignment Store

I love to consign my clothes!! I consign clothes, furniture, knick-knacks and anything else I can find all year long and, at the end of the year, I collect all my checks for Christmas money. This serves two purposes, I never have to worry about having holiday cash and my house stays clutter-free!

For those of you in the Phoenix area I have found a great new resale shop, Poor Little Rich Girl. This store has it all, great pieces from the best closets around and boutique overstock. I bought two pieces for a total of 44.00 and they still had the tags on them!!
If you live in the Valley or are just visiting, check them out..

Love this Product!!

This product caught my eye as I was checking out of The Container Store yesterday. I bought a few and have used them on my hair appliances as well as small appliances in my kitchen. They are a great solution to cord clutter (hate that)

Repurpose. Replenish. Renew. Restore. Relax.