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Home & Holiday Tip #3: Containers for Beauty & Order

During the Holidays we want our homes to be organized and also beautiful.  This is our favorite tip for bringing both of those together!

The secret to success is CONTAINERS! Containers provide a home for all the loose stuff so it is easier to find, use and return.

1 – Containers inside: Use containers within drawers, closets, and cupboards and on shelves to add clarity and beauty. When it comes to the kitchen and pantry, containers make a huge difference. Our favorite resource is The Container Store.

2 – Consistent: Then be consistent (all white, wicker, etc) to add that clean feeling and functionality. You can also add one color for fun!

3 – Label: Lastly, label all containers for instant ease in returning to their home and zone.  There are many ways to label now so you can get really creative. Check out this erasable duct tape. See The Container Store’s other fabulous labels.

Have FUN getting Holiday Container for your wrapping paper, gifts, and decorations.

Our FREE GIFT for this holiday season is our Ebook – Top Ten Tips for Home & Holidays.  You can get it on our Shop Page.

Gift Wrap Deserves a Home Too

Containers make everything better!

Where are our container-lovin’ peeps? You all know how much we love The Container Store for all of their savvy solutions, but do you feel the same? Perhaps these holiday gift wrap storage options will sway you. We were in The Container Store just the other day and were checking out the options…pretty great stuff right here!

We chose 3 different options at 3 different price points. No surprise that they have something for everyone and every budget!

HANGING GIFT WRAP ORGANIZER

This handy-dandy organizer has pockets for greeting cards, ribbon, bows, wrapping paper, bags, supplies and accessories. Smartly-designed pouches make retrieving supplies super simple. Rolled paper is held upright by velcro straps to keep it from being crushed when it is hanging, but easily release in order to fold the bag in half.

TCS Hanging Gift Wrap Organizer
GIFT WRAP WORK STATION

This nifty a-frame stand holds up to 12 rolls of wrap plus ribbons, bows, gift bags, accessories and supplies. It is light-weight which makes it nice and mobile. A hook at the top makes storing it in a closet a cinch.

TCS Gift Wrap Work Station
WHITE ELFA MESH GIFT WRAP CART

The primo in gift-wrapping solutions, this cart can hold wrapping paper, bags, tissue, ribbon, supplies and more. It includes 3 small drawers and 2 large drawers and has a Melamine top. The fine mesh weave prevents small items from falling through. (more…)

Our Love Affair with Wunderlist!

Love lists? Dread lists? Try this cool tool!!

We are on fire about Wunderlist and we just have to share it!! We have known about it for some time, dabbled with it a bitand then got totally hooked. Because it is available across most devices, we always have our lists with us. We are able to MAP easily. We can share lists with other people through the app or by emailing them. We can also print and carry them around when needed.

A feature that we have just begun to use, but are very excited about is Emailing to Wunderlist. You simply forward the email to Wunderlist and it becomes a To Do. The subject is the Task Name and the body of the email gets put into the Notes. Even attachments are included on the To Do. Seriously? Thank you Wunderlist for giving us a way to clean out our inboxes!!

We are now running our whole business and our personal lives using this cool tool. We loves that it reminds us what to do and when to do it,  having one place to dump everything that we need to remember, and knowing can access it everywhere we go.

You can have lists for…

  • Places to visit
  • Personal To Do’s
  • Work To Do’s
  • Personal Projects
  • Work Projects
  • Books to read
  • Groceries – with sub categories for each store she shops at.

 

Check out Wunderlist on iTunes and Google Play. Go to the Wunderlist Website to download for other devices.

Wunderlist helps millions of people around the world capture their ideas, things to do and places to see. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a loved one, working on a project, or planning a vacation, Wunderlist makes it easy to share your lists and collaborate with everyone in your life. Wunderlist instantly syncs between your phone, tablet and computer, so you can access your lists from anywhere. Take a look at the possibilities in the picture below! All of this possible in the FREE version, but they do offer a PAID version with even more options.

Clear & SIMPLE, Wunderlist

We hope you embrace this fun and simple way to manage your lists! Let us know what you think.

Marla

Creators of the Clear & SIMPLE Way to get & stay organized!

Tip #7 for a Fabulous Summer!

Say hello to the new school year after fully saying goodbye the last one!

If you missed Our Top Tips for Summer, make sure you check it out! For this post, we’d like to focus on and expand on just one tip.

During the last weeks of summer many of us are trying to pack in as much play time as possible. Why not also schedule some meaningful time for you and your child(ren) to reminisce about last year and how much has changed all while getting organized?

7. Organizing Last Years School Papers can be FUN– Make a date with your child to spend an afternoon to go through all of the papers you saved from the last school year. Use STACKS (Sort, Toss, Assign, Contain, Keep it up, & Simplify) to make organizing the papers FUN! Lay them all out on the dining room table or the floor and sort into simple piles such as art, writing, homework, and friend stuff. Enjoy reliving the last year. Toss the easy stuff and then keep the treasures. Next simply three hole punch them, put in a fun binder and place them in your child’s bedroom for easy enjoyment anytime!

Clear & SIMPLE, School Papers

This is a project many moms always have on their on-going project list. Unfortunately it is one that often stays on that list and never gets done. When you schedule the time to do it, involve your child and make the process fun, everyone wins! You’ll be so relieved and grateful to have it checked off your list and actually be able to enjoy looking at all of those papers.

Extra TIP – Choose a container or drawer now for next year’s school papers to make it easy to keep the back pack cleared out.

Click here for a beautiful, downloadable and printable copy of our Systems Cards for an outline of S.T.A.C.K.S…© and feel free to share with everyone!

Squeezing out every last drop of summer energy,

Marla, Kate & Team

 

 

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

How being organized – or not – affects our relationships.

What does organization have to do with relationships you might ask?

Why is it that “Mr. Organized” partners with “Ms. Chaos”? Think about how often you are at odds with someone in your life because of organization issues:

  • Not being able to find what your boss is looking for.
  • Arguing with your child about the way their room looks.
  • Being accused of throwing important things away.
  • Always being asked where something is.

As professional organizers we constantly witness the stress in our clients relationships over organization styles and decisions.  Too often those with the ability to organize do not understand when others cannot maintain their environment. Those that are organized need to keep in mind that our research shows only 10 – 15% of the population is naturally organized. Hence, the need to be able to communicate and get help when lack of organization gets in the way.

This barrier between those who naturally know how to organize and the other 90% who don’t is why our main focus is teaching people how.  The foundation for any organizing project or communication is three simple steps outlined below.

SEE IT – take a look at where you’ve been

Begin by taking a realistic look at where a lack of organization is impacting your life and relationships. Choose just one area or issue. What’s working,  what’s not and why?  Keep it simple. Then look at it from both sides and try to see what is at the heart of the conflict. Often our relationships serve as mirrors to look at ourselves. Once you have clarity, why not share your truth with this person or persons and then ask for them to share.

MAP IT – make a plan for where you want to go

Now that you have each shared your truth, each person can create a simple vision for what needs to change.  Try asking – what is the single most important change that needs to happen?  What is one action you can take? Let this be enough. It is imperative to the relationship that each person has a chance to share their vision and what is important to them.

DO IT – take the actions to make it happen

How you choose to implement your changes or DO IT will be very specific to the relationship. Some may come up with a way to do it together, while others might call in outside help, and still others will compromise on different levels.

Some examples of this are:

  • A family sets up a system for incoming mail and an active paper system together.
  • A mother and child call it fun time, put on music, and make a game of putting everything back in its’ home.
  • A couple decides to hire a professional organizer because they would rather enjoy their time together hiking or taking dance lessons.
  • A boss and assistant set up a weekly 1 hour focused time to go through all the lists and questions.
  • Two friends or buddies get excited about helping each other one weekend a month with the clutter areas – We all have them you know.

(more…)