simplify 101
Creative Organizing Blog

« organizing with your kids! | Main | today »

September 30, 2006

what's that?

I have a blog? Oh yes, I vaguely remember something about that ... hmmm ... I seem to have abandoned you. I've been pondering what to do for a pre-holiday challenge and amid all the indecision (plus sending out my newsletter this week and some other exciting diversions like my lab puppy munching on a battery) I seem to have just avoided blogging. I feel like I need to decide what I'm going to do about the pre-holiday challenge before I can post again ... so perhaps now's the time. I'll just write and see what I come up with. This should be interesting ... but first ... I have to share a few things.

I'm sitting here with the world's worst headache --- the kind you wake up with and hope will somehow just magically go away. The kind that hurts so bad you can't even fall asleep when trying to take a nap. The kind that goes down into your neck and circles your entire head. And yet ... I have been awake for approximately 8 hours and 43 painful minutes and it just now occurred to me "Take an aspirin! Take two! Make the pain go away!" And so I did ... perhaps by the end of the post I'll have 1) a plan for the pre-holiday challenge, and 2) a pain-free head.

Do you know what that's all about? Why are there some things we feel we should just be able to bear? Be able to handle on our own? Be able to tough it out and just take it? Or just figure out all by our lonesome? For some reason I'm like that with headaches. How about you ---- is there anything you have like that in your life --- or am I all alone in this insanity?

I have a feeling this post is going to be one of those that my husband won't get ... the "random girl-talk" type of post. Do you ever do that? My best friend from high school, Liz, and I will do this ... we'll have about three to four conversations going simultaneously and they can extend over an entire weekend. We'll seamlessly jump from one topic to another and back again without missing a beat ... and if Jay overhears any of it he's completely lost. I miss that. I miss Liz. I should pick up the phone and call her as soon as I'm done with this mish-mash of a post ...

Hmmm ... maybe I don't need to create anything new! That's it ... we'll just do the same drill as last time. (I'm back to the post-holiday challenge again, Jay.) I'll pick one thing that I'm going to do by the end of twelve weeks and post about where I am each week. And you do the same. I'm feeling braver this time ... I'm going to tackle my PILE of magazines! It's true ... I have too many. There isn't much I overindulge in, magazines seem to be one exception. The other used to be plastic food storage containers, but I've got that one under control. This is scaring me ... am I really *that* boring???????

Alright ... here's what we did last time. So let's just do it again! Here's a recap:
1) Decide on a goal and describe the benefits of accomplishing your goal. For example, how you will feel, or your space will look, etc.
2) Make sure your goal is measurable (three times a week, four hours a day, eight pages a month, fits on a bookshelf, etc.)
3) Set a deadline.
4) Post your goal here and then, check in from time to time and let me know how you're doing. It's a simple way to create change in your life ... and just in time for the holidays, in this case. Yeah!!

So here's my goal:

1) Reduce my collection of magazines and magazine clippings so the collection will fit in my magazine bookcase, metal basket by my desk and one other small "in-process" basket (to be designated.) Also, set up a system for storing magazine clippings so they're useful and accessible. Doing this will help me to feel more in control. I will be able to easily find all the beautiful and inspiring photos I've been saving. And my space will be more organized by containing the magazines in a single location. (OK ... maybe it's two.) 

2) The magazines will fit in the spaces designated above --- and as new magazines come into my life, old ones will go bye-bye. (Ouch!)

3) My magazine collection will be organized and in control by December 23rd. What has not been gone through or put into a system will be pitched if it doesn't fit in the spaces designated above. And I need to add a space ... the clippings will probably go in binders ... and those can be on my other bookcases that I use for reference. And I have to decide if it's OK to keep the large picnic basket full of clippings ... OK ... I'll decide soon.

4) I'll check in with you --- if you'll check in with me. Deal?

Oh before I sign off, update on the headache: gone ... yeah! And, do you want to see my "collection?" These are some old photos --- I thought about doing this before but I wasn't ready ... now I am ... or at least I'm making myself be ready. Here we go:


aren't they lovely? here's more ...


and last but not least ... the picnic basket. Again, this is an old photo ... currently the very large picnic basket is loaded full of clippings!


I think this is the world's largest picnic basket ... roughly 2 cubic feet of storage. (A TON of clippings!)

Better go get busy! Have a great weekend :)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Count me in :) I don't know quite yet what my goal is. I have an idea but want to narrow it down and get a good focus first so I'll post on Monday with that.


Mary E.

I set a 4 week goal for myself that ends October 16th. I am going to stick with that one and will come up with something else for the new 12 week challenge. I just do not know what it is yet. I am just getting home from a 24 hour crop, supper out with my husband and shopping. The only thought in my head is SLEEP! So, I will sleep on what I need to do for the new 12 week challenge and post it Sunday or Monday.

By the way, I completed apx. 22 pages at the crop and have several others in various stages of completion. Yea for Mary!

jessica duquette

Great idea, Aby, count me in! My challenge is to move my entire website over to it's new location, every page, editing each page, re-optimizing every page, creating separate new pages for certain functions, etc. General spiff-ication.

I will have this done by November 1st and then I will move on to phase 2 of the challenge.

Thanks for the inspiration! I will be blogging about this, too! (with links to you, of course!)


I asked for a challenge, and here it is! I am going to clean out all the closets in my home. I will work on this for one hour per day Mon-Fri. I would like to have this done by Thanksgiving so that I can go into the Christmas season without that added visual stress. This is a very obtainable goal for me as I am very type "A" and with the exception of my craft room closet most aren't too bad. I just need the motivation to do this. If only I could talk a buddy into doing this with me so someone would be checking up on me! The work starts tomorrow!



I think that I need to tackle Grace's room. It's always messy. I'm ok with messy, but she thrives in a room that is orderly - not freakishly "clean" - but orderly... However, being only 5, she doesn't know how or where to start.

Since we've moved some things out into the scrapbook studio (thank you SO much), bought a new "big girl" twin bed... I think that it is time for us to make a change for her.

So - I don't have the plan yet - but there's the goal :) 12 weeks to a room that works for Grace (rather than for me!) so that it is a peaceful place for her to go to, play in, sleep in (sound familiar?)

feels good to have that all out!



Oh, Aby...I'm so glad to hear I share a vice with you. You don't even want to see the pile of magazines next to my bed. I did purchase something pretty to house all those mags in but it's not so pretty right now as it is overflowing with mags.

My biggest dilemma is throwing away mags after I've read them. I like to give them away. And usually I do but sometimes I have a hard time finding someone who will take my decorating mags (which stumps me...who wouldn't want free decorating mags!?!).

Anyway, I am going to monitor your own challenge and see what you do with the hopes that you will inspire me to do the same.


Great Dane Addict

I used to have magazines laying all over the house. Then I found an old binder and began clipping every little thing I liked out of each magazine and taped it to a piece of paper. I have pieces of paper for each room in the house, landscaping, clothes, skin care etc, and it all fits in my binder. It really is handy and keeps the magazines from piling up!


Thanks for the motivation and help I need! So many goals to choose from... but I'll start with this:
My goal is to have my bedroom clean and free of anything and everything that is not related to relaxing and sleeping (including computer/ dh guitars/ scrapbook supplies/ boxes/ kids stuff and other 'haven't made it to the right place yet' things). Plus hang pictures up. I will have room to walk and will feel relaxed.
I will work on this 1/2 hour a day and atleast 1 hour on weekends.
December 22 it will be done.

Jen G

My goal is my daughters' room. We started over the summer and it needs to get finished! (yes - I mentioned this about a month ago when you said something about cleaning out the kids room before school started. nope, not done yet - who knew it could take so long!)

1. Their room will be a wonderful horse themed place for them to imagine and relax. It will display their treasures, have room for their friends, be easy to clean up, and make them happy.

2. Plans are done, need to prioritize this over doing other weekend stuff and projects.

3. First milestone --- Sunday, Oct 8.

A...I want to have the shelves and supports purchased and ready to hang on 3 walls. includes the measuring, stud finding and exact placement decisions. depending on the supports I purchase, they may need to be painted before hanging.

B...Window covered. Have gone back and forth about the curtain style, rod style, etc. Time to decide, sew and hang!

C...Furniture Ordered. The check I have been waiting for came in this week and now I can purchase the furniture needed. 2 twin size beds, each has 5 drawers installed below. 1 desk armoire that will hold their games, dolls, treasures, etc. My goal with these pieces is long-term use. They are pricy, but the beds with storage underneath will always have a place in my home and since I work at home, I am sure a desk armoire will come in very handy when it is time to give up my office.

So that's it! I am committing and making it public... Feeling good about this, though, and so excited to create this dream environment for my girls.


Please help with filing creative ideas from magazines so that they stay accessible and don't get buried and lost forever. I like the way you think so much! Got my Circa system going and signed up for your BPS class.


For some darned reason, I can receive emails but not send them today!
Anyway, I got your email and would be very interested in helping out. I'll be home today at noon my time. Want to email me? Or want me to call you when I get in??
I get on the plane in 30 min. or so... :)


Ok....Lets see....I have already started a 15 week plan to lose my pregnancy weight and get back to the pre-baby weight by Christmas. Things have been going well in that I have been consistent however the pounds are not going as fast as I thought they would! So Im thinking that my 12 week goal is to purge my house of everything that is not needed or totally loved! All closets, cabinets and the basement! Just in time for all those Christmas presents to clutter it up again lol. So I will work on one room/area of the house each week. By Christmas I will have a slimmer body and a happier house! Yeah!

Lisa Cohen

I so need this challenge. I HAVE to clean out my life!! Ughh. All the schtuff is getting everywhere and it's preventing me from fully having my mind clear. LOL! Although I'm neater and more organized than 99% of the people I've met, I have a confession. I am a piler. And I have stacks of books and magazines all over "my spaces" in the house. The kitchen counters, the side table near my bed, everywhere.... but what's really a mess right now that needs to be dealt with is on particular closet in my basement (that holds a bunch of kid stuff). I need to get rid of the items we no longer use... and maybe tie in some community serice for my daughter with donating some of the toys and stuffed animals that are in good condition to the nearby hospital's pediatric section and the local battered woman's shelter. But I think I need a year long challenge.... like maybe one a month...because I see all sorts of areas that need to be conquered! The arts and crafts area (loved your organizational makeover), my small studio, another closet in the basement that has all of MY stuff, the garage, my clothes closet (that has all clothes that I never wear from when I worked in an office as well as "gift" toys and books for my kids), my digital studio desk, the pantry... OY! Do you sense a theme here? Much organizational help is needed!! I just check out a book by Real Simple for organizing your home and loved lots of things that I found but what was lacking was where I could find some of the products that I liked. They had a general area of resources but not, p25 modern corner organization system, , . That would have been helpful. Okay I'll stop rambling.... Thanks for getting me thinking about the challenge!

Mary E.

Hi, I'm back again with my challenge. Besides my 4 week goal with the laundry room, I have figured out the rest of it.

1. Come up with a schedule for daily tasks around the house to get done in a timly manner. It will also divide and assign them. This will be a joint effort with my husband. He says he is up for it.

2. Clean and orgainze the food pantry.

3. Clean and organize the walk-in pantry.

4. Clean out the coat closet in preparation for, ugh, winter.

Believe it or not the hardest item on the list will be #1. Making the plan will be easy. It is the implementing it that will take some doing. I'm going to do my part, now let's see how committed my husband will be.

Jane S.

OK, it must be the week for magazines. My organizing of "kipple" on Monday got to everything BUT magazines and catalogues. See my blog "there's a word for it" at

Rebecca S.

I am so in! I really need this challenge. My goal is:
- Have a designated place for magazines that have not been read
- Have a designated binder system for storing clippings and a designated place for the binders
- Have a designated location for magazines to keep
- Do it all in 2 months - by Dec. 12 - so I am organized before the holidays!

Thanks, Aby! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Powered by Typepad