3 Step System for Kids School & Precious Papers

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.

Step 3 – Schedule a day with your kids for paper play. It is time to do STACKS© (sort, toss, assign, contain, keep it up and simplify) on the paper. The key is to make this last step FUN. Put on music and have snacks. Then let you child take his tub of papers and dump it out on the table or floor and spread them all out. Enjoy the time as your child relives the school year. Honor this time with them by listening to the stories. Next, ask your kids to choose their FAVORITES – the TREASURES!! Then 3 hole punch them and put them in a big binder. Last, you can let them decorate the front, or pick a favorite and slide it in the front sleeve.

*** 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

 

 

iRAFT – Be FREE of Paper Pile Pain

Did you know you can handle all of your incoming paper in less than an hour a week?!

You heard us – less than an hour a week! We know paper comes at you from all directions and that you think it’s impossible to ever manage it all. Behold…  iRAFT©! We have created a system that simplifies all your interactions with the paper & information. Remember a SYSTEM – Saves You Stress, Time, Energy & Money! Let us introduce you to iRAFT.

EVERY piece of paper that comes into your life can be handled using the iRAFT© steps…

  • Incoming – every paper item that comes into your life
  • Read – magazines, articles, letters, cards
  • Act – requires you do something (make a call, pay a bill…)
  • File – file it quickly and be able to retrieve it easily
  • Toss – shred or recycle

Click for a printable of iRAFT. | or go to www.clearsimple.com/iRAFT for more

*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.

READ:

Choose a cool container for your reading that is staying at your desk, your reading chair and for on-the-go.

ACTION:

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.

FILE:

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.

TOSS:

 

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.

Other – Enjoy your reading time.

Clear & SIMPLE, iRAFT

 

Our GIFTS to you!

A little package with powerful purpose.

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

people, motherhood, family, winter and adoption concept - happy mother and daughter cuddling at home

Wishing you a magical and soulful holiday season – Marla, Kate & Team

Get all of our TOP TEN TIPS for Home & Holidays in this eBook.
This is our GIFT to you during the holidays! Feel free to share this with others in your life.

Visit Our Shop where all of our downloadable are 50% off for the month of December!

Clear & SIMPLE, TOP TEN Tips for Home & Holidays

Pretty & Practical Spring Organizing Tips

The Energy of Spring is contagious!

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!
Marla, Kate & Team

Clear & SIMPLE, Top 10 Spring Tips

 

 

Client Story – Taming the Paper Piles

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.

I made this my project for spring and started working my way through the piles using the Clear & SIMPLE Systems© (see below). I sorted first. Then Marla took me through the toss. Honestly, having her at my side talking me through it made all the difference in the world. Next we chose a container for my incoming paper to land until I was ready to deal with it. Lastly, she introduced me to the amazing FreedomFiler System for my action system and all my files, from reference to taxes. I have peace of mind knowing that every type of paper in my space has a home and a system to keep it running smoothly.” W.R.

Why not try The Clear & SIMPLE Way © to transform your paper piles…

SEE IT© – Take a look at where you’ve been

Take 10 minutes to write out what’s working, what’s not working and why. Just let the words come out of you and enjoy the clarity and release.

MAP IT© – Make a plan for what you want

Write a simple vision by asking how you want your paper space to look, feel and function? Get ideas here on our ULTIMATE OFFICE MAP.

DO IT© – Take the steps to get it done

Take it one step at a time using the Clear & SIMPLE System of S.T.A.C.K.S. ©.

Sort firstWhat 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.

TossDo 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.

AssignWhere 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.

Keep It Up – How do I maintain this? Place all incoming paper and mail into a container then sort once a week into 4 piles – Read, Action, File and Toss, RAFT ©. Take the piles to their appropriate place and then spend 30 minutes just on the ACTION items. FreedomFiler System is the answer again to keep ALL the paper files organized!

Simplify – How can I simplify? Schedule your paper power time each week just like you would the laundry. Also, getting help from a Professional Organizer is always a gift.

We invite you to just start using the tips and tools above. Tackle the active paper piles and let us know what happens.

Marla, Kate & Team

Clear & SIMPLE, SEE IT MAP IT DO IT & S.T.A.C.K.S.

©RAFT, SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. & STACKS Copyright Clear & SIMPLE, LLC All rights reserved.

Marla Dee’s Top Ten Organizing TIPS!

Clear & SIMPLE, Salt Lake Home Show

Reclaim your space, your day and your life!

Do you have clutter and chaos in your life? Download our TOP TEN Tips for the Year. Marla will be taking a deeper look at them at the home show and will be speaking each day, so mark your calendars and come! If you can’t join us stay tuned throughout the month as we share the tips with you.  We want to support you in reclaiming your space, your day and your life.

Extra TIP& GIFT: Have a one-page master map for your year that inspires, empowers and supports you. Here is the form that we use with our clients. It’s our gift to you! If you would like a personal session with Marla to expand on this, click here.

Marla Dee is speaking again at the Salt Lake Home Show.
      Friday January 8th @ 4 p.m.
      Saturday January 9th @ 11 a.m.
      Sunday January 10th @ 12 p.m.

Clear & SIMPLE, Marla Dee at Home Show

Visit our table next to the Design Stage to enter our drawing and receive special offers!

You can save $2 per person by purchasing tickets online.

Show Information: Friday, Jan. 8th @ 2:00 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 10th @ 6:00 p.m.

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

Go here for additional information and directions.