Find your JOY this Summer.

What is it you most WANT this summer? Do that.

“I am flying through the tops of the trees, held snugly by the padded bench and metal bar of the lift as it takes me up the mountainside. I inhale sweet high mountain air and look in awe at the majesty all around me. Wow, this is summer at it’s best. I am at the Sundance Resort in Utah only 50 minutes from my front door. And yet I have never done this!! Why did it take a dear friend’s visit to get me up here? Why have I never explored it on my own? I am opening to more adventure in my life this summer. And I am amazed at what is right around the corner.” Marla Dee

Jinny Ditzler of Best Year Yet wrote this lovely article titled “Want to Make This Summer the One You Finally Enjoy?” and we just had to share it with you.

…So here we are again in the first days of this blessed season. This year I’m determined to make the most of it. Here are last summer’s unkept promises, but this year these and more will happen because I’m going to stick my neck out and promise to give you a full report after it’s over.

  • Sit in my favorite garden chair and read every day, even if only for a bit.
  • Take a whole day to go for a hike in the mountains.
  • Once a week make a big cup of coffee, go to the park, and gaze at the sky.
  • Invite more people to enjoy simple meals by our pool.

But it’s not easy. Last Tuesday after a long weekend in Aspen to celebrate our 35th anniversary, I awoke filled with energy and happy to tackle my pile of tasks. Later feeling proud after a productive day, I found Tim swimming laps in the pool. I said, Well, somebody has the right idea ~ good for you! ~ but thought to myself, What’s wrong with this picture?

Instead of integrating the relaxation, blessings and love of the weekend into my first day back (as he had done) I spent most of the day at my desk, yet again intent on getting as much done as possible. In spite of the fact that one of my three Best Year Yet Guidelines this year is Enjoy life.

Summer is the most enlivening time, isn’t it? It’s so natural to want to slow down, contemplate, meditate, read, walk ~ and enjoy ourselves.

Let’s make the most of this time of renewal as the benefits are many:

  • Greater sense of inner calm
  • Increased fitness as we go outside and move
  • More clarity as we expand our horizons in these warmer, longer days
  • Time to read, think, learn and inspire
  • Peace that comes from enjoying each moment

Next Steps

  1. Make a list of your summer promises.
  2. Choose someone you’ll be accountable to.
  3. Add one summer enjoyment action to your To Do List every day.


Above all I recommend that if you haven’t ever made a Best Year Yet® plan…

Marla Dee in the mountains of Utah

Marla Dee loving this summer in the mountains of Utah

Visit original blog post.

Love on summer. Love on your life.

Marla, Kate & Team

3 To-do’s for the Day is Enough!

Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it sacred.

From a practical standpoint, we’ve written about choosing the 3 most important things for the day and letting the rest go. But when we read Melissa Camara Wilkins’ blog post, What is an Enough List? we fell in love with the depth she brings to this simple guideline. Imagine how it would FEEL to pick up a small notebook or index card tomorrow morning and write down the 3 things that are most important to YOU and let that be enough!

“I used to think there was never enough time.

At the end of every day, no matter how busy I’d been, there were always projects unfinished, emails unanswered, and household chores left undone. I hadn’t done it all, so I felt like I hadn’t done enough.

And it’s only a short leap in your heart from “I never do enough” to “I’m not enough.”

I tried making really thorough to-do lists, but that just gave me a super detailed record of all the things I wasn’t getting to. I would not call that helpful.

The real problem was, I could think of way more things to do than there were minutes in a day. (Oops.)

That’s when I decided to create an Enough List.

See, an Enough List isn’t a list of everything you could possibly do in a day.”

Read the entire beautiful post…

We are playing & practicing with this simple daily list for ourselves. So far we have noticed blocks, disbelief, freedom and a sense of openness and ease. We would love to hear from you about your experience…

Marla, Kate & Team

Summer is here. Have a lazy weekend!

Give yourself permission to let it ALL go!

We just love and appreciate our systems that walk us through simply and joyfully getting things done. However, sometimes it is most supportive to just walk away from the lists, the projects, the events, the people, the decisions, ALL of it, and have no plan at all.

Lay around and do nothing. Have a TV marathon. Read an entire book. Take a drive into the mountains. Sit on the porch andClear & SIMPLE, Lazy Weekend, Woman laying in grass take in the loveliness around you. Sleep late. All the while releasing the guilt that typically creeps in and tells us we aren’t doing enough.

Courtney Carver of Be More with Less offers this dialogue to address those icky feelings…

“When guilt creeps in and tells you to do more, take a deep breath and say, ‘Guilt … I appreciate your input, but my heart wants what my heart wants, and it doesn’t want to clean, shop, catch up, or keep up. My heart wants a rest. My heart wants to smile.’ “

Read more in her blog post, Permission for a Guilt-free, Lazy Weekend.

Here’s to doing what makes our heart sing this weekend. – Marla, Kate & Team


Is Organizing Overwhelming? See SORT in action!

SEE THE SORT in action – Thanks Ruth Hadlock (a Clear & SIMPLE Certified Organizer™)

You’ve picked the organizing project to do, you have set aside the time and now the overwhelm hits. You look around at all the stuff and feel paralyzed about where to start…We are here to help! Read and watch below as Ruth Hadlock brings the power of SORTING FIRST to life!!


Clear & SIMPLE, Ruth Hadlock, SORT

Click to watch Ruth on TV


We just love when other people share in their own words the steps of The Clear & SIMPLE Systems™. It affirms to us how simple and supportive they truly are. Ruth Hadlock of Streamlined Space, who is also a Clear & SIMPLE Certified Organizer™, explains the power of a simple SORT.

PARALYZED! My clients tell me it’s often overwhelming when they decide they are going to finally organize a junk room/craft room/etc. They are inspired and ready for action but as soon as they walk into that room and look around at all the clutter they are paralyzed – they don’t know where to start and what to do! I’m a certified organizer in the Clear & Simple method, a step by step system called S.T.A.C.K.S. © that takes you through the entire organizing process.  The first step is SORT. I have seen over and over again that by sorting first all the other steps are easier; they actually build on each other.

So we start with setting up for the SORT. Put together 15-20 bankers boxes. You can buy them at Office Depot or Costco [or best price at Wal-mart]. These are great because once you’re done with this project, you fold up the bankers boxes until you’re ready to use them for your next organizing project. [read Clear & SIMPLE’s blog post on bankers boxes to get more]

The goal of SORT is to put like with like according to categories. As you pick up an item, ask “What is it?” and put it in a bankers box with a post it note label. For example, if you were sorting your office, you might have books, office supplies, filing supplies, projects, etc. If you don’t have a box already with that category, then make a new one. 

The benefit of using boxes is you can freeze the process in time. How many of you have tried to organize an area, run out of time, friends are coming over, so you shove it into a closet and shut the door essentially wrecking any organization you just tried to implement!? This way, when you run out of time, simply stack the boxes against a wall and when you have time another day, you can easily pick up where you left off.

The key is to focus only on sorting. You’re not jumping ahead to “Am I going to keep it? ” Where will I put it?” “Does it need a container?”. Those are later steps. Just sort until the room is completely categorized.

Does this take time? YES! But how long has this room of yours been the way it looks now? I promise this method pays off if you follow the system. You will feel the progress!

VIEWER HOMEWORK: Choose a room in your house to sort. Download the Clear & SIMPLE Systems Card for free. Next time, I’ll share the 2nd step “Toss” with you.

Marla, Kate & Team

Would you like to become a professional organizer? Check out our in-depth, 3-tiered training program.


Slow Down for Summer

Summer can be a time to slow down rather than speed up!

Summer is a sweet time. We often feel the tug to be a kid again on summer vacation, free from life’s responsibilities. And yet the summer can get crazy and even busier than the rest of the year. So how do we slow down and take in the sweetness of this summer?

Renee is a constant source of inspiration for us. Her blog below offers simple truth on how to slow down and love your summer, whatever stage of life you are.

One of my touchstones for gauging how fast–or slow–I’m living, is noticing if I have a vase of fresh herbs and flowers on my desk. When I’m living the life I desire, I create the time to meander in my garden and pick colorful, fragrant flowers and plants to enjoy in my office.

What’s your touchstone that lets you know you’re moving at a speed that feels just right for you? A signal that tells you you’re living joyfully and in alignment with what matters most?

For the last 16 years I’ve been self-employed. And it took me more than half of that time to figure out that I get to choose the speed at which I live, work and play.

When I finally “got this,” I realized … summer is an especially sacred time for me. It’s a time when I crave–and need–to slow way down. To embrace expanses of unscheduled time, to enjoy spontaneity, adventure, more time in nature and less time online. As delicious to me as homemade peach ice cream–I lap up spaciousness and big open creative windows where I get to sit with ideas, meditate on my life purpose and personal hopes and visions, integrate all I’ve learned from the past six months, explore new ways of being and reconnect with soulful friends for long hikes and late night swims in spring-fed waters. Summer is when I re-calibrate and am reminded of who I am and what I love.

Continue reading on her blog…

This is the 3rd year that we are really practicing slowing down during the summer. We hope you find the joy and peace in doing so yourself. – Marla, Kate & Team

Clear & SIMPLE, Renee Trudeau