Home Organizing Tips & Tricks for Productivity

Being organized and being productive both require finding what you need when you need it. The following tips will make both of these easier.

Our homes can easily fill with clutter and chaos.  Yet, the purpose of our home is peace, support and connection.  We are sharing our top 5 tips that are easy to implement and can make a big difference over time.

Watch the video for all the great information and see our tips down below. Marla on Fox 13 – The Place

Marla Dee on Fox 13 – The Place

Top 5 Tips: 
  • Containers make a huge difference for all types of stuff and all areas – everything from drawers to the garage. Containers make it easier to store your things, find your things and return them to where they belong.  Trick: Leave the tops off containers that will be used often for easy access. (Watch the video for some of our favorites)
  • Then label the containers and the shelves. This makes it easy for you to find what you want rather than digging through multiple bins and boxes.  It also makes life easier because the kids (or husband) can put it back where it belongs. Get and use your own labeler. The Container Store has a great selection of all kinds of labels.
  • Get your own TimeTimer – the best tool for making time tangible. This wonderful tool is different from you typical timer.  It shows you by the section in red how much time is left so you can quickly adjust.
  • Capture all incoming information in ONE place – one notebook, one place on your smart phone and one container for all the paper that lands in your home. (check out the video for a couple fun ideas including a magnetic container from the Container Store that can attach to your refrigerator Piggy Magnetic Container.
  • Create strong ZONES by putting like with like. These days we are so busy that the stuff lands everywhere. Start with creating zones just for home office & paper, for all the toys, keep the bedroom only the bedroom, all tools together, a nice relaxing living room, etc.

We care about your home being everything you need and want.  Please reach out and let us know if we can help by teaching you how or helping you get it done!

Marla, Kate & Team

Top Four Organizing Tips for Couples

Work together rather than battling each other.

Relationships can be our greatest gift and also our greatest challenge. And of all relationships, our intimate partner is the most loaded. Because the Universe is intelligent and likes to balance things out, we often partner with our opposite. Use these tools to make projects and organizing easier to do together.

Tip 1: For your TIME

Plan your weekends for all the parts of your life. Rather than stressing about projects every weekend try the following formula instead.

    • One weekend just for PLAY.
    • One weekend only for PROJECTS.
    • One weekend where each person get to do what he or she wants!
    • One weekend left open for the outside world and events.

Marla sharing TIPS on KUTV Fresh Living

Tip 2: For Your STUFF

Use Bankers Boxes for the piles when doing your projects.

This is one of my top tips for all organizing projects. Contain the piles in banker’s boxes so you aren’t distracted with all the stuff shouting at you. This also makes it easy to move the piles and stage the project.

Tip 3: For your PROJECTS

Try out the powerful tool of MIND MAPPING

Numerous couples have told me that mind mapping has saved their marriage. Because the left-brain list maker often ends up with the right-brain creative, trying to plan anything can be loaded. Mind Mapping allows each of you to access get your vision down on paper. Then share your maps with each other and you will be ready for action. Try this when planning a trip, an exciting renovation, the garage, etc.

Just Google Mind Mapping to get hundreds of examples and resources. Here is an example from Wikipedia.

Tip 4: For Your Happy Home

Each of you get your “own space” to keep the way you want.

We all have our own style and patterns with our stuff. It is vital to the life of the relationship that the man has his cave and the woman has her creative area to spread out those projects.

Your Next Step

Sit down this week with your partner and look at the month ahead. Use TIP 1 above and schedule each weekend accordingly. Have fun experiencing how different your weekends can be. Then use the other tips when you are ready for the project. Please share your success with us through email or sharing on our Facebook Page and we will give you a prize.

We want you to get organized and have fun doing it!
Marla & Team

Slow down and savor this sweet time…

How long has it been since you’ve spent time just sitting & sharing?

December can be a time to slow down (rather than speed up). Waking up sipping a cup of tea and talking quietly is a precious gift. Or, since the sun sets earlier, we now have long evenings to sit, read, write and share with each other. Before technology came, we sat around a roaring fire or the big, wood dining room table and we talked. Wouldn’t it be sweet to give yourself this softer way of being?

So before you get too busy with the holidays and start bringing more stuff in, we invite you to take an honest, deep look at your life. By simply getting still and going inward, we can open to what truly has meaning to us!

We invite you to set aside a morning or an evening to ask and answer the following queries. Then share with your loved ones and ask them to share.

From Marla – I just did this with my wonderful partner and was truly surprised and delighted at what he had to say. I felt our love deepen in those moments.

What means the most to me right now…

  • in relationship with myself?
  • in my intimate relationship?
  • in my family?
  • in my home?
  • In my friendships?
  • in my work or creations?
  • in the next steps of my path?

** Get a printable version here.

Joyfully surrendering to the slowdown,
Marla, Kate & Team

Keep Travel Simple with TripIt

Let TripIt keep it all together for you!

It’s time to go on vacation, yay! And then you are flooded with overwhelm. The vital details for the trip are scattered everywhere! The confirmations are in your email. The schedule of events is on your calendar. Notifications of flight delays come to you by text, if at all. Reminder to check-in for flights is sent to your email. When someone needs a copy of your flight info or itinerary, you have to go searching to find it in order to forward it. And so on…

When we first heard about TripIt, 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.

Our favorite things are…

  • Being able to check in and check flight status in.
  • It syncs to our phone calendars.
  • Once you’ve entered places you are staying, maps are attached for easy navigating.
  • Being able to use the app along with logging in online.

For more information and to download it for your mobile device go HERE. Happy traveling!


Clear & SIMPLE, TripIt, Screen Shot

Find your JOY this Summer.

What is it you most WANT this summer? Do that.

“I am flying through the tops of the trees, held snugly by the padded bench and metal bar of the lift as it takes me up the mountainside. I inhale sweet high mountain air and look in awe at the majesty all around me. Wow, this is summer at it’s best. I am at the Sundance Resort in Utah only 50 minutes from my front door. And yet I have never done this!! Why did it take a dear friend’s visit to get me up here? Why have I never explored it on my own? I am opening to more adventure in my life this summer. And I am amazed at what is right around the corner.” Marla Dee

Jinny Ditzler of Best Year Yet wrote this lovely article titled “Want to Make This Summer the One You Finally Enjoy?” and we just had to share it with you.

…So here we are again in the first days of this blessed season. This year I’m determined to make the most of it. Here are last summer’s unkept promises, but this year these and more will happen because I’m going to stick my neck out and promise to give you a full report after it’s over.

  • Sit in my favorite garden chair and read every day, even if only for a bit.
  • Take a whole day to go for a hike in the mountains.
  • Once a week make a big cup of coffee, go to the park, and gaze at the sky.
  • Invite more people to enjoy simple meals by our pool.

But it’s not easy. Last Tuesday after a long weekend in Aspen to celebrate our 35th anniversary, I awoke filled with energy and happy to tackle my pile of tasks. Later feeling proud after a productive day, I found Tim swimming laps in the pool. I said, Well, somebody has the right idea ~ good for you! ~ but thought to myself, What’s wrong with this picture?

Instead of integrating the relaxation, blessings and love of the weekend into my first day back (as he had done) I spent most of the day at my desk, yet again intent on getting as much done as possible. In spite of the fact that one of my three Best Year Yet Guidelines this year is Enjoy life.

Summer is the most enlivening time, isn’t it? It’s so natural to want to slow down, contemplate, meditate, read, walk ~ and enjoy ourselves.

Let’s make the most of this time of renewal as the benefits are many:

  • Greater sense of inner calm
  • Increased fitness as we go outside and move
  • More clarity as we expand our horizons in these warmer, longer days
  • Time to read, think, learn and inspire
  • Peace that comes from enjoying each moment

Next Steps

  1. Make a list of your summer promises.
  2. Choose someone you’ll be accountable to.
  3. Add one summer enjoyment action to your To Do List every day.


Above all I recommend that if you haven’t ever made a Best Year Yet® plan…

Marla Dee in the mountains of Utah

Marla Dee loving this summer in the mountains of Utah

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Love on summer. Love on your life.

Marla, Kate & Team