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Our Favorite Containers in Action

Kate shares a container story in her own home.

Kate’s Closet Journey

Before we even closed on our home, I knew we would be putting elfa from The Container Store in at least 3 closets including the entry one. Since I have designed my fair share of elfa closet systems, with the support and guidance of their amazing designers, I felt comfortable beginning the journey on my own. With one of their sales on the horizon I got right on it.

After taking solid measurements and confirming them 5 times (lol), I hopped onto The Container Store’s Custom Closet design center to start designing our entry closet system. This is a very handy tool to get an idea of how the layout will look, feel, and function, and I highly recommend going into a store, if possible, or calling their design center to have one of their experts look things over before making any purchases.

Once I felt good about the design I headed into the store to finalize with an elfa designer. As you can see from the middle picture below, the elfa system made a tremendous difference in the functionality of the space. You will also notice that all of the open shelves became a bit of a dumping ground, mostly because of the remodeling we had been doing.

As you see in the third picture, fun and right-fit containers not only make the space pop, but also function better. Making time to measure the shelves for the containers also gave me the time to move all the items that don’t belong in there. Whew, what a difference!

Containers are one of those subjects where we can experience a wild array of emotion about… from excitement to overwhelm, from adoration to contention. If you aren’t sure where to start, please hop over to The Clear & Simple Steps page for guidance. Purchasing containers comes after most of the other steps of the organizing process.

When you get to that step, or want to inspire yourself to get there, purchase Our Favorite Containers eBook!

Entry Closet Before

Entry Closet w/ elfa

Entry Closet After

** The containers I used in our entry closet are all from The Container Store. They are the Feathergrain Wooden Storage Bins and the Grey Tree Print Fabric Storage Bins with Handles plus the White Bin Clip Labels.

Get All Our Favorite Containers in One Book

A place for everything in your home.

Clear & Simple, SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT., Marla Dee, Kate Fehr, Our Favorite Containers

Your Guides, Marla Dee & Kate Fehr.

We are passionate about teaching people The Clear & Simple Way to clear clutter and get organized at last.

Clear & Simple, LLC

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© 1999-2021 Clear & Simple, LLC.

All rights reserved.

Spring Organizing Tips

Our Top Ten Tips, Tools, & Truths for a Happy Spring.

Bring the sweet energy of spring into your space!

Ritual is a great way to anchor your intentions. It helps you to massage and soften and release tough holding patterns and bring to conscious reality the longs of your heartStephanie Bennett Vogt

Check out The One Minute Clear Exercise from Stephanie Bennet Vogt. This unbelievably simple, yet profound practice of only one minute a day for seven days will shift your space and your being. Click here for the video and feel spring energy move into your own body.

Clear & Simple’s Tips on ritual…

1. Invite fresh, clean energy into your space.

On a warm, sunny day, open up your windows and doors, turn on some music and let the freshness of spring flow through your space. This helps move the stagnant winter energy to rejuvenate all the moving molecules. Then let yourself enjoy the new energy and what you are inspired to do throughout the day.

2. Dig in the dirt – or simply plant one pot.

Ahh, the yummy feeling of dirt in your hands – dry, rough, wet, packed, smooth – so many sensations just waiting for you. Spring is the time to let your inner child go outside, get your hands dirty and connect with the earth. For those of you that love gardening, you know how healing this time is. Give yourself permission to put earth time first and love every minute.

If gardening isn’t really your thing or you don’t have the time, just pick out one fabulous pot, choose a flower arrangement and plop it in. Place it on your porch, where you can enjoy the beauty every day when you arrive home.

Spring is invigorating!

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?

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).

 

4. 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!!

Harness the creative spring energy!

You know how contagious spring energy can be. It hits your body and you feel compelled to start clearing your space, go buy cool containers and somehow bring your space to life. You want to mirror what is happening outside and bring it inside. We believe that each season has it’s own energy and tapping into that makes organizing easier.

 

5. You get to choose what stays and what goes!

This is your space, this is your life, this is your choice, and your responsibility. There is a gift if you claim your personal power and make your space what you really want. Start with one room and ask – how do you want it to look, feel and function? Take out everything that doesn’t align with YOU! Then have fun making changes like adding color, or a new plant, a sweet bookshelf, or soft rug. Create a room that you love being in!

6. Refresh Your Clothes Closet

Spring is the best season for clearing out the clothes closet. Here are two personal tips for this personal area that gets a lot of use. First, we suggest getting real by trying everything on your body and asking, “Is this me?” Be prepared to laugh and cry. Make it a party and do this with a friend. You will actually be able to release the clothes much easier than if you just look at them on the hanger.

Second, choose hanger heaven rather than hanger hell by simply getting the same color and material of hanger. This is the easiest and cheapest closet transformation. Choose one color and get the different types you need in that color. The body and brain go to color first. You will be amazed at the difference.

Get The Steps to make spring organizing easier!

Spring is often a time when the urge to organize hits us! It’s vital to your success to know where to start, what to do and how to keep it up! What is you were given a simple step-by-step method that makes the organizing easy. Then you could choose a small project, like your junk drawer, or tackle a large project such as your garage.

7. Learn the SKILL!

Here’s the hard truth–only 10% of the human population is born with the “organizing gene”. This leaves 90% who don’t know where to start, what to do, or how to keep it up. We teach 3 simple steps – SEE IT, MAP IT, DO IT© – Look at where you’ve been, make a plan for where you want to go, then the take action. The action system is STACKS© Sort, Toss, Assign, Contain, Keep it up & Simplify. Get your FREE Steps Guide at www.clearsimple.com/steps/

8. Capture the incoming paper in one place and container.

The paper comes at us so fast it is impossible to keep up with it. It can take over your kitchen counter, dining room table, desk or any horizontal surface. You can start by freeing your kitchen counter of the paper piles. Get one large container to hold the incoming. It can be a covered basket or vertical wall pocket. Place all the incoming paper here and then sort once a week into piles for read, action, file and toss.

We created a 5 step system to simplify all of your interactions with paper, technology & information. Remember a SYSTEM – Saves You Stress, Time, Energy & Money! Let us walk you through iRAFT,  go to www.clearsimple.com/iraft.

 

Ways to make letting go easier.

“Clutter is delayed decisions and holding onto the past.” Marla Dee

We know it can be fun to clear the clutter from your clothes closet or garage. It can also be overwhelming when faced with all the decisions. It can be helpful to do this step with a trusted friend. Here are a couple of tips that will support you in letting go. 

9. Choose a donation agency that aligns with your joy and beliefs.

Giving to charities that support work you care about makes the toss step easier & more meaningful. Working with our clients for years has shown us this is true. Get online and look for a charity that speaks to you. If you can find one that will pick up the stuff, even better.

10. Let go of one habit that is keeping you stuck.

Spring is a time of renewal, of light, of growth. Releasing even one old habit and replacing it with something new can bring energy and new growth. Maybe this spring is the time to start going to bed at the same time every night. Or how about a simple 10 minute meditation each morning.

 

Cool Tools for Spring Organizing!

 

Get the Cool Tools to make the job easier. – Everyone knows that having the right tools is essential for getting the job done.  As professional organizers, we want to share our favorites that every home (and most offices need)

 

    • 30 banker’s boxes are the minimum for a home.  We use them to sort, contain and move the piles, stage the stuff during large projects, and free our clients from the visual distraction of all the stuff in messy piles.
    • A labeler is essential.  Having your containers and shelves labeled not only makes it easy to find what you need but mostly makes it easier to put things back where they belong. We recommend the Brother PTouch.
    • The time timer is a brilliant tool that allows us to stay focused and “touch” time. This amazing tool comes in many sizes, can be used by all ages and has hundreds of uses. Go here to check it out
Clear & Simple, Time Timer Mods
Clear & Simple, Time Timer Mods
Clear & Simple, Time Timer Mods

Your Guides, Marla Dee & Kate Fehr.

We are passionate about teaching people The Clear & Simple Way to clear clutter and get organized at last.

Clear & Simple, LLC

FOLLOW US

© 1999-2021 Clear & Simple, LLC.

All rights reserved.

Tip #8. Dig in the dirt – or plant one pot

Digging in the dirt takes us right back to being a kid. There is nothing else like it.

When Spring comes, our hands start itching to go digging in the dirt. For thousands of years spring’s arrival meant it was time to till and plant. This primal instinct is wired into us. We need this time with the earth. It is healing unlike anything else. So we feel ourselves called outside, driving to the plant store and co-creating with mother earth.

But like everything else in life, the project of planting can feel overwhelming, especially for someone like me. I am not a born gardner like my daddy was. He started each day outside, wandering through his yard and garden, picking weeds, talking to the plants and digging in the dirt. He could get things to grow that no one else could. He had a way with the earth. Growing up I wanted to work alongside him and learn but it felt overwhelming. Sadly I never did.

As an adult, when spring arrived, I would have the urge to go plant but didn’t know where to start. So one year I thought why not start small. I started with one pot on my front porch holding one plant.  I let myself enjoy this sweet & simple ritual. Then everyday I was greeted by the bright flowers when I came home. Overtime this has grown to a flower garden in front of the house and more in the back.

Just getting ready to write this blog, I had to go get new plants for our new office. This spring let yourself go dig in the dirt and take in how fabulous it feels to your body and spirits.

Let yourself play! Marla Dee

Tip #5. Donate in alignment with your values.

Donating your stuff, your time and resources to a cause you care about is FREEING.

Why would we fill up our cars with our client’s donations? Because letting go of our stuff and deciding where to donate our resources are loaded decisions. We want to make it easier. We have seen over and over again that when our clients choose an agency or cause they really care about the letting go is easier.

We define clutter as delayed decisions and holding onto the past.

We are asking you to help your family and loved ones find a place to donate and a cause to contribute to. Please see the list below for ideas on places you can support.

We are sharing our chosen cause below and would appreciate your help.

 The Utah Professional Organizers are donating 200+ hours of our time and skill.

The Utah Professional Organizers are excited to help The Road Home organize supplies, donations, and storage closets at Palmer court. This wonderful organization helps find permanent housing for homeless individuals and families in our community. We need donations to make this project a success!  Everything helps.

We have found through the years that donating stuff, time and money to a cause you care about makes a big difference. We would greatly appreciate your help in this transformation.

Please go here to make a monetary donation. Or if you want more information about the Utah Professional Organizers go here.

Clear & SIMPLE, Utah Professional Organizers, 2017 GO Event

Here are some additional links for national agencies that will make it easy for you to let go of the stuff that is keeping you stuck!

 

Please share your own stories with us! Marla, Kate & Team

Tip #7. Transform Your Clothes Closet

SPRING is here! Time to weed out your cluttered closet and create a happy one!

Spring is the best season for clearing out the clothes closet. And yet the project can also feel overwhelming. Enjoy our juicy tips for transforming your closet so you get excited every morning.

Pull EVERYTHING out to clear out. It just doesn’t work to go through this while leaving the stuff in it’s old place.

Tip for the brave – Try EVERYTHING on your body and ask, “Is this really me, and is this me now?” Be prepared to laugh and cry. Do this with a friend. You might find it impossible to put the item back that no longer works.

Use S.T.A.C.K.S.©SORT, TOSS, ASSIGN, CONTAIN, KEEP IT UP & SIMPLIFY on the clothes, shoes, jewelry, and accessories to really get the job done and have FUN!

SORT first so you can see what you have. This makes all the other steps easier.

TOSS comes next and you will want to be honest with yourself.  Do you love it, wear it often, and/or need it?

ASSIGN strong zones for all the different types of stuff  including shoes, purses, hats, etc.

CONTAIN – Get consistent hangers in all the same color and type. This makes it easy for your brain and body to focus on the clothes rather than be distracted by the hangers. You will also want to contain all the little stuff on the shelves rather than having it loose.

KEEP IT UP by putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket and putting shoes where they belong at the end of the day.

SIMPLIFY your clothes closet by aligning with your body and wardrobe type. We love the powerful system called Dressing Your Truth.

Check out this closet makeover from a student in one of our live workshops. We loved her example because it reflects REAL LIFE! By simply going through S.T.A.C.K.S.© you will transform your closet and love it again.

Clear & SIMPLE, Before & After Shared Closet

Please share your stories and pictures with us! Marla & Kate