When we are confronted with all the stuff in our space, organizing can feel overwhelming! We don’t even know where to start. Marla Dee defines clutter as “delayed decision or holding onto the past.” The stuff seems to pile up because there are just too many decisions to make. So we need a simple place to start. Try this three step system for any project of any size. For more details get the C&S Systems card here.
Take the 3 steps in order
SEE IT – What’s working, what’s not working and why?
Yes, you can have fun with your kids and their school papers using this 3 STEP SYSTEM!
The school year is over and now it is time for summer fun! But what to do with the huge pile up of art, reports, awards and all those papers that came home throughout the year. Here is a simple system you can do now to clear out the last year and then be set up for next year.
Marla Dee, creator of the Clear & SIMPLE Way, has been helping people for 18 years. And she comes from a family of 10 children so she get the chaos that kids can create.
Marla Dee on KUTV – 3 step system for kids school & precious papers!
Step 1 – Get a bulletin board or display area for each child for the treasures of the week to be seen!
I have been blessed to work with hundreds of moms through the years. And I have heard over and over again – “Where do I put all the art work and school papers?” When your child has a chosen place to put the treasures, your child feels seen and proud. But you can rotate the pieces weekly or monthly. Once you take them off the board, go to step 2.
Step 2 – Choose a container, about the size of a file tub, which can hold the papers all year long. Once the papers come off your child’s board, ask which ones she still wants to keep and then place them in her drawer or tub or cool container. They will still be there throughout the school year and if you run out of space, it is a signal to go through a release a layer. Now check out Step 3.
*** The best part is now placing the binders in your child’s room so they can relive those memories for years to come.
Your Homework –Try this out right away with the current school year’s papers. Please share your stories with me at [email protected] or www.facebook.com/clearsimple.com and I will give you a prize. I want you to get organized and have fun doing it – Marla Dee
*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.
The holiday season is in full swing and as much as we wish that everyone could move through this time joyfully and easily, we know it can also be challenging. We are here to help simplify this time with practical & meaningful tips. See below for our GIFT to you – all our top tips for home & holidays!!
Tip for your home: Simplify.
Start SMALL. Choose an easier project like your purse, junk drawer or top of the dresser to begin.
Pick ONE. Choose one tip, one home area or one project for each season of the year and let this be enough. Then enjoy your life and loved ones the rest of the time rather than stressing about the stuff.
Tip for your holidays: Make your own traditions.
It’s your life and your choice. Create your own meaningful traditions based on your family’s current values and desires, not just what has “always been done.” Why not set aside an evening in front of the christmas tree – go around and ask each person in the family what would mean the most to them? Then consciously choose and deepen your traditions.
Here are a few ideas from our lives –
Special one-on-one time
a sledding or skating outing
reading a chosen story before bed
giving to a family in need
a game night each week
choosing a theme for the year
making ornaments, cookies or candy
caroling with loved ones
Wishing you a magical and soulful holiday season – Marla, Kate & Team
New life and fresh ideas abound. The urge to create has been building all winter long. Sadly, it can also be overwhelming because of all the fun choices. Just imagine taking a trip down to the local gardens and gazing at the abundance of flowers. Where do you start?
To help you really enjoy this Spring, we are sharing our top ten organizing tips throughout the month. Get a printable version of all of our TOP TEN TIPS for Spring.
This week is about the Practical & Pretty:
3. Keep it simple by choosing one project for the season.
It can be overwhelming to think about all the clutter clearing and organizing projects in your home, which can block you from ever starting. So begin with choosing just ONE project for each season and over time your space will be transformed. Also, each season has it’s own feel.
Spring is the perfect time to transform your closet, garage or craft area.
Remember to write a vision of what you want to create before you dive in (the MAP IT Step).
6. Get inspired and bring in new life with bright colors.
How often have you caught your breath at the sight of a flowerbed in full bloom? Just like the blossoming flowers, bright containers make us happy. Our brain and bodies react to color first. So make your space or project one you will love to spend time in with bright, fun colors!
To find containers for all areas of your home in gorgeous colors, we love & recommend The Container Store!!
Share your stories and photos on social media, #TheCSWay. We LOVE hearing from you!
Those piles of paper and overflowing files can be tamed!
“I’m coming clean here. Literally. I had piles of paper taking over my spare room that was supposed to be my sweet home office. It desperately needed attention. There were files from the last decade, including my husband’s old papers (he passed away years ago). Boxes overflowed, piles fell over, and the result was stress, stress, stress every time I walked into the room. What I lacked was a system to handle it all. I was inspired to tackle it after Marla Dee came to help me create a vision and plan.
Sort first – What is it? Gather the most active papers and sort them first. Keep the labels general in the beginning. Remember like with like. You can sort right into hanging files or bankers boxes with post it note labels. For example: mortgage/rental papers, life insurance, health insurance, auto, monthly utilities, loans, etc.
Toss – Do I keep it or let it go? Give your self permission to recycle or shred the papers that need to go. Get a printable version of our Record Retention Guidelines.
Assign – Where will it go? Sanity starts with capturing the paper as it comes in. Choose a location and container for the incoming paper and drop everything in. It is just like the inbox for your emails. Then get a container for the action papers and 1-2 file drawers for the files you need to keep handy. Check out a printable version of our Paper flow Map for additional support.
Contain – What does it go in? Choose a color of hanging folder that you love along with the powerful FreedomFiler System or another of your choice. Archive papers can just be put in boxes, labeled and stored.