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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

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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.

Photo Organizing is fun with the ABC’S System

Are your precious photos stashed in boxes & bins in the basement?

Do you have thousands of pictures on your phone and computer?

Photos can be our most precious possession yet trying to keep them organized can be a nightmare.

We are excited to share our best tips and systems for photo organizing all month long. This blog is all about the Sort Step in S.T.A.C.K.S.© (Sort, Toss, Assign, Keep it Up & Simplify). We are also sharing the fabulous ABC’S system created by Cathi Nelson, President of APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers).

Clear & SIMPLE, Marla Dee, Photo Organizing, ABC's

Watch Marla talk through the ABC’s on KUTV Fresh Living!

 

The first step is to SORT into general categories such as family, friends, major events, or time lines such as increments of 1, 2 or 10 years. This is your general sort and it goes easier if you stick to the categories.

Next take each category and SORT again using the ABC’S© system. SORT the photo’s into the following four categories:

A stands for ALBUM. This is for the photos that you know you want printed for albums or photo books. These are the treasures that you want to look at often and share with your loved ones.

B stands for BOX or BACKUP. These are the pictures you want to keep but don’t need to see regularly. Printed photos can be stored in a photo box. Digital ones can be stored on your computer and in the cloud.

C stands for CAN (Trash Can). These are all the duplicates, the bad shots, and the meaningless shots! You will be amazed how many of these surface when you are going through the piles.

S stands for STORIES. We remember most of our life by events and stories so keeping your photos this way works wonderfully.

Remember – you can get help from a professional organizer.  Go to www.APPO.org to find a trained one in your area. For those of you in Utah, we have two excellent organizers.

1 – Natalie Avery, of 2sparehands, is a member of APPO and can help with all levels of the process.

2 – Donna & Scott Harper, of SharperTransfer, can help you with your photos and your old movies.

Or – Come to our August 19th LIVE workshop to meet the experts and see all our tips in action. you even get to bring 25 treasure photos and have them scanned onsite. clearsimple.com/photoworkshop

We have experienced such fun and freedom having our photos organized and ready for viewing and hope you will too! Marla, Kate & Team

 

FREE Yourself with the Power of 3!

Write down the 3 MOST IMPORTANT to do’s of your day and let that be enough.

FREE is the word we hear the most when we ask our clients to share how they feel after getting organized! Getting free of the clutter and chaos allows you to have what you really want.

One of the most challenging areas to clear & organize is our calendar.  We tend to pile on way more then we can possibly handle. And technology has only added to the overload. The stress of this eats away at our health and happiness.

At C&S we love making things simpler. So here is our favorite, and our client’s favorite, tip for your time. This is the DO IT© step. (Check out SEE IT© and MAP IT© blogs.)

DO IT© – How can I possibly fit everything into my day, much less make it simple? Try out the power of 3.

Start by taking only 5 minutes at the start and end of each day to ask what are the 3 MOST IMPORTANT TASKS for your personal and work life – the ones that only you can do? Then write them done in a simple notebook, on a yellow pad, in your smart phone notebook or app (try Wunderlist), on a 3×5 card or even a Post-it note. At the end of the day, look back and celebrate getting those 3 things done! Or you will get to notice how you got distracted so you can practice again the next day.

This simple practice will help you discern what really needs your attention each day. Along with the sense of accomplishment for getting done what matters most to YOU!

Using the Clear & SIMPLE System of SEE IT© MAP IT© DO IT©, we can show you how to make time tangible and manageable!

Let us know what your experience is once you try this – Marla, Kate & Team

Travel Tip – There’s an App for that!

Traveling is FUN, but planning & packing can be stressful. Apps can make it easy.

From Marla – I love to travel but have always put off the planning and packing till the last minute. Of course this just adds to my stress and my belief that I can’t make traveling simple. Well I am happy to share that all aspects of traveling have changed for me and now I get excited when it is time to plan a new trip. I give the credit to the apps below. Planning my first fun trip of the summer has been a blast and quite simple. Instead of being in stress mode, I had fun preparing to visit my dear friend Michelle in CA where we will have 5 days to talk, create, walk, explore, laugh & cry.

I want to thank my business collaborator Kate Fehr for teaching me about these apps and strongly encourage you to check them out and use them on your next trip. 

From Kate – For me, the biggest stress around traveling used to be the giant list I would create of all of the projects that just “had” to get done before I left town. THEN I would start thinking about planning and packing for the actual trip. With next to no time left, I would pack way more than I really needed, or even wanted. Now when I plan a trip, I get my itinerary and any related travel information into TripIt. Then I go to Wunderlist and create my plan, from what I want to get done before I leave (like making sure my home is clean) to what I want to take with me. Simple, brilliant, and oh so freeing!

1. TripIt  When we first heard about TripIt two years ago, we were ecstatic…but could it really make things that much easier?! We found out it helps more than we imagined. After you book a trip, you simply forward the confirmation emails to [email protected] and the system builds an itinerary for you. If you make changes, simply forward that confirmation email and TripIt updates the plan for you. Once the itinerary is built, you can go in and add, change, and/or delete things. If you prefer to not send your emails, you can input the itinerary yourself or sign up for the Pro Plan where the app will update things automatically. For more details read our earlier blog here.

2. Wunderlist Wunderlist is a life changing app – you can use it for all the lists in your life. We are now running our whole business and our personal lives using this cool tool. Marla loves that it reminds her what to do and when to do it!! Kate loves having one place to dump everything from her brain, then knowing she can access it everywhere she goes. Get more details here.

3. LastPass – When Kate talks about digital organizing, the very first thing she discusses is a password keeper. She has found that one of the number one stressors around our digital lives is trying to remember and/or track all of the passwords our lives require. We love LastPass not only because you can store passwords, but you can also save banking and credit card information and digital records like insurance cards, membership cards and misc. notes. Their app is available on most devices and can be accessed offline. All of that information can sure come in handy while on a vacation, especially if you lose a credit card!

We hope you have a fabulous summer filled with travel of all kinds. We would love to hear about your adventures.

Marla, Kate & Team