Our simple summer.

This summer was one of the greatest testimonies of how living with less gives us the opportunity to LIVE more.  Kate Fehr

Nothing calls me back to the most joyous times of being a child like summertime. Vivid memories of waking up without alarm clocks, spending days in the pool with friends, and traveling through the mountain states are always front and center come May. Since I first became a mom, my desire has been to have lots of summer adventures with my son and let work simmer on the back burner. This, of course, is easier said than done.

When our minimalist journey began over 4 years ago, I had no idea just how powerfully it would support my deep desire of keeping our summers about play and connection. During those 2 years, and 25 layers, of releasing of stuff (we moved through lots of emotion too), I had no idea how this would set us free to really experience life!

This summer was one of the greatest testimonies of how owning less and doing less gives us the opportunity to LIVE more.

  1. We spent four of the last five weekends in a row out of town, with the fifth weekend fully engaged in a 40th birthday celebration and a wedding. We were essentially not home for FIVE weekends in a row.
  2. We spent 5 days in Idaho to experience the totality of the solar eclipse. My son even missed the first 2 days of school, which he was not excited about at first, but it was one of the more moving experiences of our lives and we are most grateful to have been there.
  3. While we were away from home, whether traveling or just doing regular old things, we were able to be fully present with the people and activities we were experiencing.


Clear & SIMPLE

My son and me goofing around in anticipation of the eclipse.


Because we live simply with less stuff and all of our stuff has easily-accessible homes:

  • Packing and unpacking is quick and easy. This makes preparing for trips stress-free and getting back into the swing of things a breeze.
  • We usually don’t have vacation hangovers from the stress of vacations.
  • Upon returning home one weekend much earlier than expected, I wanted more playtime. We got home, unpacked, started laundry, put everything away, and then had plenty of time to go to Snowbird for Oktoberfest and a hike.


There was a time when I spent SO much time, energy and money organizing, and re-organizing closets, drawers and our garage. Once I no longer had as much stuff, I was able to spend time on what matters most to me. None of it is worth all of the beautiful memories I have as a result of letting go.

Minimalism simply is about living with the things you truly use and that truly add value to your life. It’s a very personal experience and journey, one that I invite you to try out for yourself.

All my best,

Travel Bags & More from The Container Store

Travel Goods – get’m while they’re hot!

You know that organizers can be obsessed with containers and bags.  But when it comes to travel, having the right containers makes a huge difference.  We just wanted to let you know that JUNE is the annual travel sale at The Container Store, one of our favorite places to get exactly what we need for traveling. Check out the items below and then head to www.thecontainerstore.com to see much more.

Note – Make sure to check out their short videos along with their travel tips.

1 – The Perfect Bag makes all the difference.

Check out the Eagle Creek Collection and see the video here

2 – Create your body care set and refill when you get home.

Here is a link to the page full of containers.  Kate’s favorite are the GoToobs.

3 – Check out the Eagle Creek Pack-it Folders. This is Marla’s favorite.

These cubes make it easy to set up camp wherever you are staying.

4 – And a favorite for Technology is the GIO Organizer

We hope these containers and tips help you have a fun filled summer!
Marla, Kate & Team

Transform a closet, cupboard or drawer!

How would it feel if your closet looked like this?

Quick Tip – Choose just ONE closet, cupboard and drawer for a spring make over!

How much easier would life be if all the items in your cupboards were contained?

Clear & SIMPLE, under-sink Bins

From goodhousekeeping.com

How about your bedside table? What a difference it makes when you use drawer organizers!

Clear & SIMPLE, Bedside Table Drawer Organizer

From realsimple.com

Our DO IT TIP this week:

Start with asking which cupboard, closet or drawer am I ready to tackle?  Then ask what would make it feel FABULOUS and give yourself permission to do just this ONE! 

Let us know what you choose and how it goes. Happy Spring! Marla & Kate

Watch this month as we share our TOP TEN TIPS for Spring! We’ll share the latest & greatest container ideas as well as organizing tips to clear clutter and organize these areas.

Why not try The clear & SIMPLE Way!

Get our TOP TEN Organizing Tips for Spring!

Spring is just around the corner! Are you ready for freedom & fun?

Join us once again at the Spring Home & Garden Festival for new tips and inspiration

Here is one to inspire you now…

Tip #5. Choose containers that you LOVE for the areas and stuff you use the most!

One that we love is the Feathergrain Wood Bin from The Container Store. It’s pretty, sturdy and functional. Use it in deep cupboards as a make-shift drawer, or in closets to organize items from toiletries to office supplies. Since they are lightweight you can easily move them about the house, like for toys or art supplies.

Clear & SIMPLE, Container Store Feathergrain Bins

Get the rest of our top tips from Marla who will be speaking ONLY once each day, so mark your calendars!

        Friday March 6th @ 2 p.m.
        Saturday March 7th @ 10 a.m.
        Sunday March 8th @ 11 a.m.

Clear & SIMPLE, Marla Dee at Home Show

Visit our Booth #2743, near the Design Stage, for Expert Tips and to enter our drawing!

You can also Purchase Discount Tickets.

Show Information:

Friday March 6th @ 12:00 p.m. through Sunday March 8th @ 6:00 p.m.

South Towne Expo Center
9575 S. State Street
Sandy, Utah 84070

Go Here for additional information and directions.

5 Tips to Effectively Deal With Your Email

Are you caught up in the ongoing battle of inbox clutter? Welcome to the club!

Email is absolutely one of the biggest places of stress, clutter, and loss of productivity. Below are 5 ways to tackle that craziness. And let me just say, that it definitely takes practice and consistency for them to work.

1. Process your email, do not just “check it.” – This is one of the most common areas of email time waste. When you set aside time to mindfully deal with your inbox, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can get through things and in turn, how much time you will have for other things in your work day. Schedule the time in your day specifically for this.

2. Have a system for the incoming. To effectively process your email you’ve got to know what to do with each one. My email system is the same as my paper system. To R.A.F.T.© my email, I have a folder for each step.

R – READ: for all the emails lists I am on. I have a dedicated time each week to read through these. Once I have, I toss them or file them.

A – ACT: for the emails that need a response, or info needs to be placed on a calendar, etc. Each day I have scheduled time during the opening and closing of my work day to handle these.

F- FILE: for future reference.

T – TOSS: this is just my trash folder, but I like to stick with acronym for ease.

3. “Unsubscribe”!!! – There is a wealth of information on the internet and most of us want to read up on our fair share. Subscribing to email lists is a great way to do this…until the emails start flowing in. Be realistic about the information you truly want to receive and unsubscribe to the rest.

4. Do NOT use your inbox as your To Do List – As a former “email to do list” junkie, I cannot stress this enough. Combining your to do list with emails makes both systems less effective mostly because you get lost in between the two lands. Use your planner, a spreadsheet or an app on your phone for action items.

5. Clear out “Sent” and “Trash” folders – This is just like taking our house trash out to the curb for pick up. It’s clutter, it’s sub-conscious stress. Get it out of your email and off your mind. Depending on how often you reference your sent files will depend on how far back you want to keep things. For my line of work, I only save a month’s worth.

To reiterate some of my statements above, I learned all of these things the hard way. The honest truth is that I’m still practicing them. Even though I have the foundation and systems in place, sometimes I simply don’t follow them. The great thing is that they are implemented and therefore make it fairly quick and easy to restore homeostasis.

Please write and let me know what you do to help with the email clutter – Kate Fehr

For more information on using R.A.F.T.© for your paper, Read This Post.

R.A.F.T.©, Diane Hatcher 2000-2015