The 3 step foundation system to get organized!

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 Steps card here.

Take the 3 steps in order

SEE IT – What’s working, what’s not working and why?

The first step is SEE IT.©, which stands for take a look at where you’ve been. Before you dive into touching the stuff, take 5 minutes to answer the questions what’s working, what’s not working and why?

MAP IT – How do I want my space to look, feel and function?

The second step is MAP IT.©, which stands for make a plan for what you want. This can seem overwhelming also. To make this step simple write how you want your space/project to look, feel and function when you’re done.

DO IT – STACKS. Sort, Toss, Assign, Contain, Keep it up, Simplify

The third step is DO IT.©, which stands for take the steps to get it done. For this step, try out the Action System of STACKS. Now that you are touching the stuff, the project gets crazy. The power of STACKS is taking one step at a time.You do this by asking one question and making only one decision at a time. Go here for more on STACKS.

Get the Clear & SIMPLE STEPS CARD and more here

CS Steps Card, See It. Map It. Do It.

Your space tells your STORY!

Your space, your home, your office, your car, your desktop… are simply reflecting who you are and what is going on inside you. So what story would they tell if you were looking in from the outside? 

Pause right now and go to your favorite room, or the room you spend the most time in. Take a look around and notice what thoughts arise. What about the sensations that are coming up in your body. Let your senses find a voice and speak to you. Take it in and trust whatever is shared. Who knows, you might even be surprised.

Here are some one-line story headings.  What would yours be?

  1. I like comfy & color
  2. I’m tired and overwhelmed
  3. I enjoy beauty and peace
  4. I have too much stuff
  5. I am a soft person
  6. I’m simple – or – I’m complicated
  7. I like being messy – it’s who I am
  8. I need lots of color – or – I need neutrals
  9. My space is full of other people’s stuff
  10. I am a minimalist
  11. I absolutely love being organized
  12. Everything has a home – or – I don’t where to put things
  13. Everything needs to be out so I can see it.

My environment is an external reflection of my internal reality! Sharon Benedict www.newinkcopy.com

Now go further and ask, does your space support or drain you? There is no right or wrong here; this is about noticing. This is the SEE IT© Step in action (take a look at where you’ve been). Does your space reflect who you are in present time? Or do you now want to make a change? We invite you to share your insight with anyone close to you and ask about them. We would love to hear your stories!

Marla, Kate & Team

Clear & SIMPLE, Marion MandalaNOTE – Visit www.TheHomeEnhancer.com if you want help changing your story. Marion Mandala will transform your space into a place you love to be! She lives in the Portland, OR area but also offers virtual sessions.  You can connect with her at 503-953-5976.

SEE IT.© Take a look at where you’ve been – click here for more info


Let Your Bedroom be a Sanctuary!

Let’s take a look at your Bedroom. Is it time for a change?

Is your bedroom a sanctuary or a dumping ground? As professional organizers we are often asked, “where should I start organizing in my home? There is clutter and chaos everywhere.” Your bedroom is the place to start!

The bedroom often becomes the landing zone for homeless items, or the make shift home office, the TV room, or even a place where a person can’t sleep anymore because there is so much clutter. This breaks my heart.

Your bedroom is meant to be a place of rest, relaxation, intimacy and healing. You spend more time here than anywhere else. It can be a favorite room in the early morning and late evening. One of the best gifts you can give yourself, especially in the cold months of winter, is creating a bedroom that is a sanctuary.

So here is a true story from Marla’s past – I asked my talented friend, Jeanine Mallory of Fresh Space Organizing, to help with a client’s bedroom. The woman had moved in months before, but her bedroom was boring and plain. She is a talented artist, loves color, fabric and unusual things. So we needed a makeover. By following the steps below and working together we transformed her bedroom in a day. We went shopping at Ikea! We hung purple curtains on the wall behind her bed along with sparkly lights. We brought in bright colors and candles. We used things she already had and found perfect homes for them. She now loves being in her bedroom. She is reading, journaling and sleeping so much better. How about you? Is it time for a makeover of your bedroom?

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

Be brave. We invite you to take a look in your bedroom today and pretend you are a stranger. Just notice what is there and how it feels. Are there items that don’t belong in your room and that drain you when you look at them? What patterns do you notice? What do you notice that you love? Take it all in.

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

How do you want your bedroom to look, feel and function? Do you want color or neutral shades or a combination? Do you want busy or simple? Do you want to add something like a reading or meditation chair? What you do want to take out or change? Take 5-10 minutes and write down what you want.

DO IT – take the actions to get what you want

Choose an hour or a day to transform your space. Give yourself this gift. Here is a super simple solution:

Set the timer for an hour and remove the following things from your bedroom:Clear & Simple, Organize Your Bedroom

1 – Anything that doesn’t belong in this space.

2 – Anything that is now past time or no longer relevant, like old clothes or broken furniture.

3 – Anything that doesn’t support your vision of how you want your bedroom to be.

Then set the timer for one more hour and ask what you can add or move or change so that the room feels fabulous to you!

Please let us know what you do!

Marla, Kate & Team 

Get more amazing guidance for your bedroom here clearsimple.com/organizebedroom
SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. © Copyright of Clear & SIMPLE, LLC. All rights reserved

The Sweetness of Summer

 Choose now what you WANT your summer to be!

When summer comes around, don’t you just want to have fun? The kid in us comes out and the playful, nostalgic energy of summer seeps into our spaces and bodies every chance it gets. Then the thoughts “Let’s take a road trip – or head up in the mountains to camp- or spend a week lounging on the beach” creep in.

As wonderful as this feels on one hand, it can be frustrating on the other because we still have responsibilities and commitments. Darn it! You will find us saying again and again, this is YOUR life and you get to decide what it looks like. Trust us, we know this is easier said than done and takes practice.

That is why we encourage you and your loved ones to take 30 minutes to travel through SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. © and create your Best Summer Ever!

SEE IT:  Have everyone share one favorite memory from a past summer and what made it so great.  Was it nature, the activity, a special place or just being together?

MAP IT: Have everyone choose one thing they would most want for this summer.  Create a MAP (make a plan) of some kind to bring the intention into reality.  You can simply write it on the calendar, draw or print a picture of the place/event, collage or get creative in any number of ways.

DO IT:  Our TIP for making the DO IT step simpler is to pick one special play event, one project and one creation for each month of the summer.  Choose now and then let yourself enjoy the juicy fruits of your planning.

We may not be able to blow off life as we know it just to play every summer, but we can consciously call in energy, activities and interactions that fill us up and bring us joy.

Trust us, we’re over practicing this ourselves. We’d love to hear how you make summer time special…?

Pretending we’re 10 again,

Marla, Kate & Team

Our Top Ten Tips for Summer

Our Top Ten Tips for Summer

Make this your best summer ever using the Clear & Simple Way!


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.

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