“Thank You, Marla Dee, for being an all a rounded Trainer. Your efficient Clear & SIMPLE Ways/Systems REALLY DO WORK. I can't wait to have you come share your message with our organizers in London at our APDO Conference!”
“Thank you so much for your kindness in your prompt reply. Again I find your products and newsletter helpful and comprehensive. All of your representatives and information, from product recommendations to organizational systems to life strategies and advice for the spirit, have indeed been uplifting. Again thank you.”
“Learning the SKILL Success Story -
Marla, your humane, spiritual and holistic approach is so wonderful. I am recommending your book to all my friends! the ideas in your book, and the way you present them, not only will hope me un-clutter the room for the child we want to adopt but is is also helping me overcome the paralyzing fear of not being able to be a good parent. You will be hearing back from me and my wonderful family and music studio.”
“PERSONAL SUCCESS STORY -
Jack Canfield once said, "Nothing is missing in your life. You must simply make room for it." I don't know about you, but I have that desire to DECLUTTER & Simplify. It feels so good to let it go and create peace in my space by getting organized. If you need help doing this, get it. I've used Marla Dee of Clear & SIMPLE several times and it's been worth every red cent. It even helps me attract more cents!”
“Home Office Success Story -
To the amazingly fabulous C&S Trainers and Trainees,
I am sitting at my clutter free computer, looking at my cute cork boards, feeling so much gratitude. My body is tingling with delight as I easily open drawers, look in my closets or peer into my open spaces. I hope our paths cross again. My heart will be be filled with gratitude for the gifts you gave me.”
Tracy Chasecreator, artist, and healer
“Business Consultant Success Story -
I must tell you that you audiobook is excellent. Your advice is cleaning up my office! the secret I have learned from you is your process steps and the vision towards success. Congratulations! Your generosity of sharing other resources/books/web sites is most impressive. I've already recommended your audio to 5 good friends and 3 business clients. Good Luck”
“Personal Success Story -
Marla is so insightful in helping me understand where I get stuck. She helps me get clear in a very joyful way; like moving from Paper Prison to Paper Power. She always seems to have the next step when I feel overwhelmed and can't seem to find a way out. She has helped me create new habits that keep my life clear and simple!”
“ORGANIZER SUCCESS STORY -
In January 2007, after months of research, I made a life-changing decision to invest in my new business as a professional organizer. I chose the Clear & SIMPLE Certified Organizer Training Program because it offered a three-level approach to support the success and longevity of my business. Marla Dee has brought together the systems, knowledge, tools and understanding, injected that with her unique philosophy of care, strength and hope, to create a one-of-a-kind experience. In doing so, Clear & SIMPLE training sets an unrivaled standard for professional organizers seeking their best vehicle to success”
“Class Success Story -
Everything is clear and simple with Marla Dee! Her personality and wonderfully engaging teaching style made her a favorite with our students - as I could tell from her consistently excellent evaluations.”
Marjorie McCloyDirector, Life Long Learning, University of Utah
“Mom Success Story -
I originally rented your audio from the Library. It is revolutionary! It inspired me so much that I decided to add it to my personal collection. I really like your approach and techniques and have already put several of them to practice in my household with success. I never realized how much easier sorting could be if you didn't have the distraction of finding a home for everything simultaneously.
I'm also training my 7 year old with solid, repeatable techniques so that she doesn't have to feel the heavy yolk of 40 years of accumulation when she reaches my age. Thank you for what you do.”
Like the bright blossoming flowers, bright containers make us happy.
We love the sweetness of Spring, especially bright colors popping up from the earth as the flowers bloom. Our brains and bodies are drawn to color first, like the bee to the blossom. Color gets our attention and bright colors make us feel alive.
So spring is the best time to bring those same bright colors in our space. We often associate color with arts and crafts but you can bring it into your kitchen, office, bedroom, bathroom, garage and so much more.
Baskets, bins, boxes and more. Here are links to some of our favorites:
As you can tell we love The Container Store because they have incredible solutions and a fabulous crew to help you find what you need. Let us know how we can support you in clearing or beautifying your space this spring.
Clearing & organizing are easier when we align with nature. Mother earth is masterful at letting go of the old & dying materials to make way for new growth. As we say hello to spring, take 5 minutes to pause and ask –
“What is one habit I am holding onto that is keeping me stuck or cluttering my space?”
From Marla – “I am releasing the pattern of going to the computer in the morning before I do my meditation and journaling. When I go to the computer first, it throws off my whole day. When I take my quiet, grounding sacred time first – my whole day flows. What are you ready to release?”
From Kate – “Right now I am letting go of trying to do everything myself. Forcing the ‘I can do it ALL’ mentality has really taken a toll on me energetically, emotionally and physically. I’m practicing delegating some things to free me up. Then I can do what I most want. What is one thing you could hire out or ask someone to help with?”
Here are some examples of old habits that can outlive their usefullness:
Keeping all the emails in my inbox rather than setting up simple subfolders such as read, action and pending.
Doing my meals and grocery shopping on the fly rather than weekly planning.
Going to bed too late – forcing myself to stay up. Or sleeping in too late and skipping my morning time.
Plopping all the incoming mail and paper on the kitchen counter (rather than an incoming container).
Walking by piles of stuff day after day rather than a weekly restore to put everything in it’s home.
Once you get clear on what you are ready to release, you can then ask what you want to come in. What would feel good and supportive for you life now?
We would LOVE to hear your ideas! Marla, Kate & Team
Being organized and being productive both require finding what you need when you need it. The following tips will make both of these easier.
Our homes can easily fill with clutter and chaos. Yet, the purpose of our home is peace, support and connection. We are sharing our top 5 tips that are easy to implement and can make a big difference over time.
Containers make a huge difference for all types of stuff and all areas – everything from drawers to the garage. Containers make it easier to store your things, find your things and return them to where they belong. Trick: Leave the tops off containers that will be used often for easy access. (Watch the video for some of our favorites)
Then label the containers and the shelves. This makes it easy for you to find what you want rather than digging through multiple bins and boxes. It also makes life easier because the kids (or husband) can put it back where it belongs. Get and use your own labeler. The Container Store has a great selection of all kinds of labels.
Get your own TimeTimer– the best tool for making time tangible. This wonderful tool is different from you typical timer. It shows you by the section in red how much time is left so you can quickly adjust.
Capture all incoming information in ONE place – one notebook, one place on your smart phone and one container for all the paper that lands in your home. (check out the video for a couple fun ideas including a magnetic container from the Container Store that can attach to your refrigerator Piggy Magnetic Container.
Create strong ZONES by putting like with like. These days we are so busy that the stuff lands everywhere. Start with creating zones just for home office & paper, for all the toys, keep the bedroom only the bedroom, all tools together, a nice relaxing living room, etc.
We care about your home being everything you need and want. Please reach out and let us know if we can help by teaching you how or helping you get it done!
Relationships can be our greatest gift and also our greatest challenge. And of all relationships, our intimate partner is the most loaded. Because the Universe is intelligent and likes to balance things out, we often partner with our opposite. Use these tools to make projects and organizing easier to do together.
Tip 1: For your TIME
Plan your weekends for all the parts of your life. Rather than stressing about projects every weekend try the following formula instead.
One weekend just for PLAY.
One weekend only for PROJECTS.
One weekend where each person get to do what he or she wants!
One weekend left open for the outside world and events.
This is one of my top tips for all organizing projects. Contain the piles in banker’s boxes so you aren’t distracted with all the stuff shouting at you. This also makes it easy to move the piles and stage the project.
Tip 3: For your PROJECTS
Try out the powerful tool of MIND MAPPING
Numerous couples have told me that mind mapping has saved their marriage. Because the left-brain list maker often ends up with the right-brain creative, trying to plan anything can be loaded. Mind Mapping allows each of you to access get your vision down on paper. Then share your maps with each other and you will be ready for action. Try this when planning a trip, an exciting renovation, the garage, etc.
Each of you get your “own space” to keep the way you want.
We all have our own style and patterns with our stuff. It is vital to the life of the relationship that the man has his cave and the woman has her creative area to spread out those projects.
Your Next Step
Sit down this week with your partner and look at the month ahead. Use TIP 1 above and schedule each weekend accordingly. Have fun experiencing how different your weekends can be. Then use the other tips when you are ready for the project. Please share your success with us through email or sharing on our Facebook Page and we will give you a prize.
We want you to get organized and have fun doing it!
Marla, Kate & Team
*Please note that we recommend implementing this system and starting in present time. Once you are familiar with it and have every step in place, then go to the piles, filing drawers, etc. to clear out and clean up. Paper is its own beast and is very overwhelming. If you desire the help of an organizer, please contact us.
iRAFT begins with INCOMING:
As we mentioned above, the information is coming from many places; the mail box is only one. Think about how much easier it is to start into your email because it is in your INBOX. So for the paper, choose a container that will hold a week’s worth of incoming paper and put everything there! This includes mail, flyers, notes, etc… You also need a place for thoughts, conversations and such to land. You might use an app on your smart phone, Evernote or a small spiral notebook.
Then once a week (or more often if needed) you will take all the incoming and sort it into four piles. You simply ask do I need to Read, take an Action, File or Toss. Then take the paper (or move the emails) into the each container or folder.
Choose a cool container for your reading that is staying at your desk, your reading chair and for on-the-go.
Every home and office needs an action container for those papers that need your attention such as bills to pay, errands to run and items to discuss with someone else. We suggest making your container vertical so that it is easy to find what you need and leave the other items organized. It is also nice to have it portable so it can move around your space.
We often ask our clients to describe how they feel about FILING. We hear words like yuck, overwhelming, impossible, always behind, drawers are full. And there is a constant theme of not know what to keep or for how long. So start with setting up a “to file” container and then schedule time once a week or once a month to file, depending on your volume. If you really hate filing then get someone else to do it.
By sorting once a week into RAFT, your tossing of the paper is now easy. Have fun noticing how much of that paper pain is really toss papers. Of course you can still throw away junk mail and such before it even lands in your space.
To summarize the SYSTEM:
Daily – plop all the incoming paper and information into the container.
Weekly – take 5 minutes to sort into 4 piles – Read, Action, File, Toss. Then take each pile to it’s proper container.
Weekly – set your TimeTimer for 30 minutes and do the action papers that need to get done that week.
Monthly – take your To File pile and file into your FreedomFiler system.