Organize Your Paper

Are you drowning in a sea of paper? Are the piles taking over your space and your life?

Do  you remember when getting a letter in the mail was a treat? The purpose of paper and information is connection, education, growth, creativity and productivity. Sadly, we have lost touch with this pupose due to the overwhelm. We need help. We need systems to handle all the information coming at us every day.

Time to go from Paper Pile Pain to Paper Power!

Marla Dee

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© is the 3-step organizing system that works for all the areas of your space and life. Let’s use it to change the paper pain to paper power!

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© For Your Paper Guide

SEE IT – Take a look at where you’ve been and where you are now. Do your best to be neutral and take the observer viewpoint while exploring below:

  • Go around your space and take pictures of all the paper piles. Then look at the pictures – what do you see?
  • Tap into your emotions and write the story your paper clutter tells.
  • Take time to write what’s working. You can be specific or general.
  • Is your active paper separate from your older papers? Or mixed up.
  • What isn’t working? Where are you stuck and why?
  • What is stressing you the most about your paper pain?
  • Are you holding onto outdated ways of handling paper?

MAP IT – Make a written plan for what you want. Think about the big picture and overall goals with the paper. You can work out the details later.

  • Write how your space will look and feel when you have the right homes and habits in place for handling all of the paper that comes in.
  • Create an online board of images that reflect what you want most.
  • Create a mind map showing the elements of your ideal area and systems.
  • Now take some time to write a new story. How do you want to feel when handling your paper? How might you be open to a different way (i.e. having less paper, using simplified systems, getting help)?

DO IT – Take the steps to make it happen. The DO IT step is loaded because you are now touching all the paper. We will introduce you to the subsystems of iRAFT© for the active paper and S.T.A.C.K.S.© for all the rest. Get help from a professional organizer if needed!

  • Gather and start with your active paper before the older stuff. This would be your most recent piles of incoming paper and mail, bills to be paid, and such. You will use the system of iRAFT© for these papers. iRAFT© stands for incoming, Read, Action, File and Toss. You will want detailed guidance on each step of this system. Get everything at www.clearsimple.com/iRAFT.
  • After you get your active paper organized, you can tackle your older paper and files. Time for the S.T.A.C.K.S.© System that guides you through each step. www.clearsimple.com/systems. You will also want to consider the FreedomFiler System for all your filing needs! www.clearsimple.com/freedomfiler
  • Once you complete your active paper, take time to celebrate.

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© For Your Paper Guide

Your Guide, Marla Dee.

I love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

Organize Your Bedroom

Is your bedroom a peaceful sanctuary or a cluttered disaster?

Because the bedroom is behind closed doors, it’s easy to ignore the clutter that builds up there. But continuing to ignore your bedroom means always waking up feeling tired and overwhelmed.

If you were standing at the door to your bedroom right now, what would you be seeing and feeling? Is it a peaceful sanctuary or a cluttered disaster?

The purpose of your bedroom is rest, relaxation, intimacy and healing. You can transform your space by the following Clear & Simple’s easy system.

Marla Dee

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© is the 3-step organizing system that works for all the areas of your space and life. Let’s use it to transform your bedroom.

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© For Your Bedroom Guide

SEE IT – Take a look at where you’re at. Have each person answer the questions below for the whole bedroom (we will do the clothes closet later). When you are done, take time to share with each other.

  • What’s working? You can be specific or general.
  • What do you love about the look, feel and function?
  • Are there things you know you want to change?
  • What’s not working? What don’t you like?
  • Are there things in your bedroom that don’t belong there?
  • Are you doing things other than rest and intimacy in your bedroom?

MAP IT – Make a written plan for what you want. Go after what you really desire as this is the most important room in your home.

  • How do you want your bedroom to look, feel and function? Have FUN!
  • Create an online board of images that inspire you. Go for it!
  • Create a mind map showing all the elements you most want.
  • Is there a theme for your room such as beach house?
  • What colors and textures would make you happy?
  • What do you want to add to your bedroom, like a reading chair?

DO IT – Take the steps to make it happen. Look on your calendar and set up time for the transformation. Try playing music and make this joyful.

  • Choose which area you want to start with. We suggest starting small and building up from there. For example, you could do the bed and side tables, then go to the dresser and rest of the room.
  • Go through the S.T.A.C.K.S.© System for the project (Sort, Toss, Assign, Contain, Keep it up, Simplify). By following STACKS the process you will save time, energy and money. Go to www.clearsimple.com/systems/
  • Once you complete each area, take time to celebrate. Why not have a date night in your new bedroom! We promise you will sleep better and wake up happier.

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.© For Your Bedroom Guide

Your Guide, Marla Dee.

I love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

3 Tools for School Success

School Tools to relieve the stress and add success!

It’s here! – Time for the kids to go back to school, or for the grown kids to leave for college. No matter what age you are, school can be overwhelming as well as exciting. We want to make organizing fun so we are sharing our tools to relieve the stress and add success.

1 – Even with today’s technology most of us still need paper. A Day Planner that suits the child is still vital for tracking all the information and actions. And check out the brilliance of discbound notebooks. This notebook is called the TUL Notebook at Office Depot, the ARC at Staples or CIRCA at Levenger (an online resource). You can also find cool accessories for them at Etsy.com– just search for disc bound.

2 – Set up yourself up for success by getting the perfect backpack for you along with all the necessary tools. Watch the video below to see some of my favorite tools to go inside the backpack. Hint – those packs get heavy, so get one with wheels.

3 – We all have activities where we get lost in the zone. Our favorite tool for helping you stay on track in the TimeTimer. It answers the big question of how much time is left without having to calculate. And the section in red gets your attention so you stay focused.

Invitation to you – Choose one of the TIPS above and share your experience with me at [email protected] or www.facebook.com/clearsimple.com and we will give you a prize. we want you to get organized and have fun doing it.

Clear & SIMPLE, Marla Dee, School Tools

Tools for Easy Travel: Bags & More

Travel goods make travel easy!

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.  I want to share some of my favorite items and places to shop for the best selection of travel bags and more.

Note – Make sure to check out The Container Store’s short tips & videos for ideas to help you stay organized for travel.

1 – The Perfect Bag makes all the difference. You will need your roll on case but back packs are becoming very popular now for shorter travel. Check out this blog on Travel & Leisure for the best checked luggage.

I really like the Eagle Creek luggage. It is equipped with the 4 wheels for easy moving and great compartments and extra features. Eagle Creek has been around for a long time. The quality and warranty are excellent.

I’ve also come across a new line of luggage called Biaggi. Biaggi has travel bags that have zippers to enlarge or condense the size and can easily pack up into a small cube for storage.  You can find both brands at The Container Store.

 

And, of course, there are the classic bags which cost more but they are fabulous! Since, I am traveling a lot more these days, I just updated my bags to a gorgeous Tumi set. I also recommend Briggs & Riley for high quality.

2 – Create your body care set with all your body essentials. By having these all ready to go, you will save time and have less stress both before and on your trip. Then, take 3 minutes when you get home to refill the containers so you are ready for the next trip.

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

3 – Another of my all-time favorites is the Eagle Creek Pack-it Folders. These cubes make it easy to pack your items, keep everything neatly together. Then I love how easy it is to lay them out (in a drawer or on a shelf) wherever I am staying so I have easy access.

4 – Don’t forget about your technology!  You spent money on your tech stuff so you want to protect it. You also want easy access. You can find some great options here.  A couple of my favorites are:

I hope these items and tips help you have a fun-filled and easy summer of travel! Stay tuned for a blog & video coming up where I will be showing all my travel gear.
Marla Dee – your guide to an organized and simpler life.

www.clearsimple.com/marladee 

Top Ten Tips for Summer

Top Ten Tips for Summer

SEE IT – get in touch with what is most important to you

MAP IT – make it happen by writing it down on your calendar

DO IT – then enjoy each event to its fullest!


  1. Put FUN First – Choose the most important fun activity and fill up on the juicy energy it offers.
  2. Before you leave on vacation – make two copies of each document in your wallet. Keep one in a safe place at home and take one with you to put in the hotel safe. Then you are prepared if anything should happen.
  3. Connect with the Earth – Choose one morning or evening each week to be your time to connect with the earth – a long walk, sitting outside under a tree, a bike ride, or soaking up the sun. Let this be a time that fills you!
  4. Garden – If you want to garden but just never have the time, plant a container with a favorite flower or vegetable. You will still enjoy gardening but on a more manageable scale.
  5. Family Passes – Buy a family pass to your favorite summer place, then as a family review the schedule of events and mark your calendar with those you don’t want to miss!
  6. Three Most Important Things – Every morning, when you are planning your day, write down the three things that truly matter most that day. The sense of accomplishment that you will feel when you complete these three things will free you to do other things.
  7. Organize Last Years School Papers – Make a date with your child to spend an afternoon to go through all of the papers you saved from the last school year.Lay them all out on the dining room table or the floor. Enjoy reliving the last year. Then choose the keepers and treasures. Next simply three hole punch them and put in a fun binder so your child can look at it whenever he/she wants too.
  8. Birthdays, Graduations, Weddings – Take one hour and make a master list of all the birthdays, graduations, and weddings, which are coming up this summer. Keep a copy with you so you can jot down gift ideas and have it handy when you are shopping
  9. Weekend Project – Take one weekend, pick one project, (i.e. a closet, pantry or storage) and using the Clear & Simple Systems (see download below) organize the space. Then mentally let go of the rest and enjoy your summer.
  10. Keep it simple, take a deep breath. Our favorite app for simple breathing and meditation is headspace.com

We would love to hear from you – what are your favorite Summer Tips?

Marla Dee & Team

Download a pdf copy of our TOP TEN TIPS for Summer.

Get more guidance with SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. © and S.T.A.C.K.S. © by downloading our Systems Card.

SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. © and S.T.A.C.K.S. © are property of Clear & Simple, LLC. All Rights Reserved

STACKS: The 5 Step Organizing System

STACKS: The 5 Step Organizing System

The 5 Steps to get organized at last

It is time to learn the simpler way to organize. Earlier we talked about the foundation system of SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT.  You start with the SEE IT – take a look at where you’ve been. Then MAP IT – make a plan for where you want to go. Now it is time for the DO IT step. Now we are touching the STUFF and trouble starts. Because this step is so loaded it gets its own system called STACKS.

S – SORT

T – TOSS

A – ASSIGN

C – CONTAIN

K – KEEP IT UP

S – SIMPLIFY

Organizing can be overwhelming because we are trying to make many decisions at once. Should I keep it or let it go, where will it go, how did it get here, who will take care of it? It is exhausting and we typically give up after a couple of hours. STACKS breaks down the process into 5 distinguishable steps that you take one at a time. You ask one question at a time, make one decision at a time, and take one action at a time

These steps make it possible to break down the process into bite sized pieces. And the steps build on each other. When sorting just sort! The toss is easier once you can see exactly what you have, then what’s left needs a place to go followed by what it will go in. Once everything is contained, it is time to ask how to maintain it and lastly, how to simplify? If you really give STACKS a try for a couple of small projects, you might get hooked.


I promise using STACKS will save you time, energy and money! And, by taking one step at a time, you will have more energy, think better, and get through the project faster.

Get your copy of the C&S Systems card here. 

Stay tuned for our next blog where I will take you through the C&S System visually and teach you even more. I have used this system on thousands of organizing jobs over the last 20 years and there is nothing like it. 

Marla Dee – Your Guide to getting organized at last!