Family Comes FIRST

When was the last time you sat down with your family and really talked? You know those precious times when you find out what is going on behind the scenes.I just did this with my daughter Jessica last night.  We went out to dinner at one of our family favorites, an old diner called Coachman’s.  I asked her what she wanted to do most for the upcoming Holidays. We let our minds wander with ideas and ended up talking about many things. By the time we left I felt so close to her again.  And I knew I needed to write about this.

One of the most precious things we can do at the Holiday Season is spend meaningful time together. To keep this simple, just sit down as a family and ask each person to share what is the one thing they want most to do? Then put these important choices first on your calendar and feel the relief of letting go of all the other stuff we tell ourselves we should be doing. You have chosen what matters most.

You can make this time together fun by –

  1. playing music
  2. making treats
  3. coming up with a theme
  4. going somewhere special (more…)

More ideas for Back-to-School Papers

Clear & SIMPLE, Michelle Powell

As we all get back to school and work, one thing crossing many of our minds is, “How will I manage all the paper?!” Read what Professional Organizer, Michelle Powell, has to offer as support in her article 10 Tips to Conquer Back-to-School Paperwork.

“School has not even started and I have enough paperwork to fill a recycling bin.  If you feel the same, here are a few tips to get your year off on the right foot:

  1. Create ONE organized landing spot for all paperwork, mail, schedules and schoolwork.
  2. Spend a few moments each day reviewing everything that enters the house.  In 5 minutes, you can organize a great deal of information.
  3. If something has a date, put it onto the calendar. (Electronic and/or paper.)
  4. Filter immediately.  If incoming paper does not apply to your child, RECYCLE IT immediately……”


Read more from Michelle HERE.

Traveling with MORE?!

What are we supposed to do when “traveling with less” just isn’t in the cards?

Last week I was preparing for a road trip back home to Salt Lake for two weeks, including a 4-day camping excursion. As I Mind Mapped packing the car for 3 people & one sweet little rat, the list began to get pretty long.

  • Myself – suitcase, camping bag, mobile office
  • My man – suitcase, camping bag, mobile office
  • Son – suitcase, camping bag
  • Family Pet “Remy” – food, bedding, treats, cage
  • Travel cooler – lunch, snacks, water
  • Camping gear – tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cooler, chairs, large bin full of smaller items

Needless to say I knew that the car was going to be FULL, but there was not much I could do about that. So I used the Clear & SIMPLE Systems SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. and S.T.A.C.K.S.© to ensure organization and peace throughout the process. Many times in life this is reality, which is why our systems are not just designed to clear excess, unsupportive stuff, but also to “MAP” and “Simplify.”


Take a trip with YOURSELF!

Take a trip with YOURSELF!

We take trips for family, for work, for community service. Isn’t it time to claim a trip just for you?

What if you could take any trip you wanted this summer?  Where would you go? What would you do? Would you be with your intimate partner, with your kids, with a best friend? How about taking time with the most important person of all – how about a trip just to be with yourself?

In asking this question, I realized that I hadn’t taken my much needed solo retreat in years!  Yikes, I used to do this every year. I would take 3-5 days away from my world of responsibilities and explore what was happening inside myself.  I remember my first trip to  see the Redwoods, when I found the red rock wonders of Capital Reef, and my many journeys to my homeland of Montana. This sacred time would always – 

  • Clear my body and my brain of the clutter
  • Light a creative fire igniting new ideas
  • Restore my being and bring me back to life
  • Remind me how precious just being alive is
  • Reconnect me with nature which is my source

So what happened? (more…)

Organize travel plans in one place!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have all your travel details in one place? Check out the app TRIPIT!

One of my least favorite things about traveling is having all of the information scattered all over the place and the hassle of trying to find what I need when I need it. The confirmations are in my email. The schedule of events is on my calendar. Notifications of flight delays come to me by text. Reminder to check-in for flights is sent to my email. When someone needs a copy of my flight info or itinerary, I have to go searching to find it in order to forward it. And so on…

“Why can’t I come up with a system that makes this all easier??” I would despairingly ask myself. Well guess what I found out…There’s an app for that!!

When I heard about TripIt, I was sold. After you book a trip, you simply forward the confirmation emails to [email protected] and the system builds an itinerary for you. If you make changes, simply forward that confirmation email and TripIt updates the plan for you. Once the itinerary is built, you can go in and add, change, and/or delete things. If you prefer to not send your emails, you can input the itinerary yourself.

For a recent trip to London I was able to put it to the test and I think it is brilliant! (more…)

Organizing is more FUN with a friend!

Everything is more FUN done with a friend – even organizing!

Let’s face it – most things are more fun when done with a friend – shopping, movies, dining, hiking, travel, and hobbies. What is it about organizing that makes us think we have to suffer?  We have to force ourselves to get it done.  It is always on the list but typically the last thing we want to do on the weekend, right? There seems to be shame around letting our friends see our chaos. And yet inviting someone to help is the solution!

This is one of the powerful secrets to make organizing FUN!  Invite a friend to do it with you. Let go of the fear and shame of your friends seeing the chaos and open up to a powerful experience. As a professional organizer for 15 years I have seen hundreds of people be set free when they let themselves receive help from an organizer, a friend or family member.  The important elements are:

    • Pick someone safe who won’t judge you.
    • Do the project in small pieces of 2-3 hours
    • Make it fun by playing music or having snacks
    • Try taking turns and helping each other
    • Choose someone that supports you making a change


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