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

 

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

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!

Marla

Clear & SIMPLE, TripIt, Screen Shot

Summer is here. Have a lazy weekend!

Give yourself permission to let it ALL go!

We just love and appreciate our systems that walk us through simply and joyfully getting things done. However, sometimes it is most supportive to just walk away from the lists, the projects, the events, the people, the decisions, ALL of it, and have no plan at all.

Lay around and do nothing. Have a TV marathon. Read an entire book. Take a drive into the mountains. Sit on the porch andClear & SIMPLE, Lazy Weekend, Woman laying in grass take in the loveliness around you. Sleep late. All the while releasing the guilt that typically creeps in and tells us we aren’t doing enough.

Courtney Carver of Be More with Less offers this dialogue to address those icky feelings…

“When guilt creeps in and tells you to do more, take a deep breath and say, ‘Guilt … I appreciate your input, but my heart wants what my heart wants, and it doesn’t want to clean, shop, catch up, or keep up. My heart wants a rest. My heart wants to smile.’ “

Read more in her blog post, Permission for a Guilt-free, Lazy Weekend.

Here’s to doing what makes our heart sing this weekend. – Marla, Kate & Team