simplify 101
Creative Organizing Blog

June 14, 2011

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December 06, 2008

freebie friday

Just when you least expected it...Freebie Friday is back! And there's just one word for that:


Take a peak at this little beauty that's up for grabs...

Snippets pro 5 (2) 

That's right, it's Lain's newest creation "Snippets!" Isn't it darling? Well, as they say, you can't judge a book by it's cover. Which is a shame, 'cuz that's a super cute cover, don't you think? But wouldn't you just love to get a peek inside? Well, I've got good news! If you hop on over to the Simple Scrapbooks website you can get a snippet of Snippets, a.k.a. a sneak peek. And while you're there, be sure to join all the fun going on with the virtual launch party—including challenges and party favors!

Don't forget to come back here after all the fun and post a comment for your chance to win a copy of Snippets! To enter, simply share which snippet of Snippets (or essay, if you're up for more formality) you liked best and why. Comments will stay open until Sunday, November 23rd at 5:00 PM Central. The winner will be announced shortly there after! Good luck! (And congrats, Lain! Your new book looks awesome!)

December 04, 2008

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August 28, 2008

When Organizing Isn’t Enough

I know it’s shocking to think, but sometimes Organizing Isn’t Enough. That’s the premise of best-selling author Julie Morgenstern in her latest book released earlier this summer, called “When Organizing Isn’t Enough:  SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life.” (Who knew there was more to life than organizing? ;) )

In all seriousness, in “When Organizing Isn’t Enough” Julie introduces readers to the concept of shedding, a step-by-step approach for creating space during a time of transition. According to the book’s cover: “Organizing works when you know where you’re going but don’t know how to get there. But sometimes organizing isn’t enough. When you’re eager to make a change in your life, but you are unsure of your new destination, you need to SHED.”

Whenorganizingisntenough_4The book teaches you the process of shedding. The first step is to identify the theme for your new chapter in life. This theme, then guides you through the next steps in the shedding process.

  • Separate the treasures—what is really worth holding on to?
  • Heave the trash—what’s weighing you down?
  • Embrace your identity—who are you without all your stuff?
  • Drive yourself forward—which direction connects to your genuine self?

This book offers a fresh perspective on decluttering and creating space during a time of transition in your life. Aside from providing a simple to follow step by step process, there are number of powerful nuggets in the book—tidbits to help you let go of anything that’s weighing you down. Clutter, for example, is anything stagnate in your life, and can be found in your physical space, in your schedule and even in your habits. Julie shows you how to go through the SHED process for each of these key areas in your life and create space for a fresh, new life.

Wouldn’t it be fun to talk to Julie on the phone and learn all about her latest book? Guess what…I had the opportunity to do just that last week! And here’s the best part—you can listen-in right here, right now! Learn all about Julie’s latest book and how it can help you SHED your stuff and change your life.

Click hear to listen to the interview.


May 27, 2008

The Organizing Junkie is hosting

The Organizing Junkie is hosting a basket carnival today, and I just couldn't pass up on the fun. See, the buckets have been getting a lot of press around here lately. But my first love organizing love was the good old wicker basket. I seriously remember going to Pier One with my Mom when I was maybe like 12 years old and drooling over all the baskets. Crazy, isn't it?

Anyway...I thought I'd share some photos of baskets (and other containers) I use in my scrapbook space / office. Since...I also haven't really talked about scrapbook organizing lately on this blog-o-mine. So here we go:


This is a photo of one of the cubbies in my space—it's journaling central. Everything I need to journal on my scrapbook pages is tucked into this one cubby.


I love this basket because it's already divided, making it perfect for stashing an assortment of goodies, like markers, journaling cards, a date stamp, and accent words. I added some drinking glasses inside the compartments so the pens would stay propped up. A sundae cup raises up the journaling cards for easy access.

Next to the basket are two containers with more journaling goodies: a ceramic dish holds little journaling cards...


and a metal tin holds stickers, journaling notebooks and larger journaling cards.


I also use a basket to hold my 8 1/2" x 11" card-stock. I love this. I have super heavy pieces of white chipboard that serves as a divider between the different it's easy to flip right to the color I'm after. Plus, big scraps of card-stock can go right in the front of each color section for easy access. The basket is labeled with a swatch booklet for quick and easy reference of color combinations to try.


Both baskets were purchased at Wal-Mart...over a year ago. The ceramic dish and metal container were from Target. Which reminds me...if anyone has any extra of those metal, rectangular buckets...the small size from a year ago...let me know. I know someone who really, really wants some and would be happy to relieve you of them. Post me a comment if you over-indulged in small, metal containers.

Happy organizing!

May 26, 2008

organizing for the do-it-yourselfer just got more fun!

You may have landed here today and thought "Where am I?"'re right here at the Creative Organizing blog. We just gave her (and the simplify 101 site) a new look in honor of something new we've been working on to help you on your organizing journey.

Do you love to organize? Or do you love the feeling of a freshly organized space? Do you love to learn new things and make new friends? Do you wish you could work with a professional organizer...but feel that you'd stretch your budget better if you did the hands-on organizing yourself?

If you answered yes to any of these're going to love our brand new online organizing workshops.


We're kicking it off with a workshop called "Quick & Simple Clutter Control." In this workshop, you'll have access to an online community, photo gallery, lesson materials, a project download and a worksheet—all designed to help you learn clutter control techniques, and then, take action on them in your own home. You'll have access to the ten simple yet effective clutter control solutions during the first week of the workshop. Then, for a full four weeks, you'll take action at a pace that works for you and your schedule, conquering the most troubling clutter hot-spots in your home.

For four, full weeks you'll have access to a professional organizer (me) via a private, for-workshop-participants-only, forum. Plus, we'll have a live telecall to get your questions answered. So you'll have everything you need to your home into a haven of calm by the end of the summer! How fun is that?

I hope you'll join me on this exciting new adventure!

May 22, 2008

new birthday traditions (and a challenge for you!)

First, a big thank you and many hugs for all the birthday wishes! You all really made my day. :)

So I was chatting with a friend today and she was asking about my birthday. "How was it?" she asked.

"It worked," I said. "I turned 40."

I then went on to tell her, all kidding aside, it was truly a wonderful day. In all honesty, the best birthday ever. And why was that? Well, the answer is this:

I *decided* it would be a great day.

In the past...I have tended to be a tad-bit grouchy on my birthday. And this pattern goes back many, many years. My 16th birthday. Grouchy. My 21st birthday. Grouchy. Thirty. Morning sickness = grouchy. I'm not sure why I was so frequently a tad-bit grouchy on my birthday...I just was.

This year, I decided it would be different. (Instead of being grouchy *on* my birthday, I was grouchy for the first few days of May instead.) It's true. I pondered and stewed and contemplated. Forty? Forty. Finally I decided, it was going to happen one way or another, so why not enjoy it?

I spent some time figuring out what would make me happy on my birthday. I had said for years I was going to have a *big* party on my 40th...but that thought, as the day drew near, was really not so appealing. Cleaning my house and making food all while opening myself up to "over the hill" gag gifts...I sensed grouchiness on the horizon.

I've also been around long enough (and have decluttered enough homes) to know it isn't the *stuff* that makes for a happy birthday. Nope. A big birthday gift wasn't going to stave off the grouchiness.

The thing that I knew would work was an afternoon of pampering. So I called. I made the appointment. And off to the spa I went for a 90 minute massage and a manicure. (Exact duration of the manicure is unknown...but did you catch the 90 minutes on the massage? Oh my heavens, this is truly the way to go.)

It was a wonderful day. Jay and Kailea made me my favorite cake. I got to talk to friends and family on the phone. Jay made me dinner. My sweet neighbor Lisa sent me an Edible Arrangement. There were other gifts involved. I got wonderfully sweet comments on my blog. It was a truly, truly special day.

I ended the day by writing thank you notes, which will be my second new tradition. (The spa thing...that ones sticking around, too.) It was wonderful to end my day focused on gratitude and expressing my thanks with those who celebrated my big day with me.

So I share all of this not to remind you once again of my age (I think this will be the last specific mention of it for at least ten years) but instead to remind you of two pathways to happiness that I rediscovered on my birthday.

The first is to take care of *you.* Happiness, my friends, is in our own hands (well, and the hands of the message therapist in this case.) But seriously, we have to decide what it is that will make us happy, and then set into motion a plan that will make it be. This took me many years and many grouchy birthdays to figure out.

The second pathway to happiness:  gratitude.

With this holiday weekend upon us, first I want to say thank you to you. Thanks for reading my ramblings and celebrating my big birthday with me. Second, I want you to do something for you this weekend. Perhaps it's some extra time scrapbooking, or a bubble bath, or a leisurely hour at the book store, or maybe even a (90 minute!) massage—just because. Simply do something for you. You deserve it AND it will feel great to get in the driver's seat of your own happiness. If you take me up on my little challenge, or if you have favorite way to pamper yourself, please share. I'd love to hear how you celebrate YOU.

May 20, 2008

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Duis consectetuer porta metus. Nullam convallis, diam eget luctus euismod, nibh urna auctor nunc, ac dapibus metus arcu et metus. Sed nisi turpis, ultricies quis, ullamcorper ut, adipiscing lobortis, nibh. Etiam auctor interdum odio. Integer condimentum nulla quis dui. Integer consectetuer felis eu tortor. Sed tincidunt, massa in sagittis dapibus, orci mauris fringilla tortor, eget feugiat nulla orci a odio. Duis a nisi. Morbi semper, turpis vitae pulvinar faucibus, enim orci iaculis pede, a tempus felis risus in sem. Proin risus. In dictum sagittis orci. Nam eu neque. Curabitur nunc. Morbi non neque et risus pretium ullamcorper. Aliquam lectus libero, volutpat a, interdum ac, vehicula sit amet, eros. Mauris accumsan elit bibendum ipsum.

Aenean quis leo mattis felis posuere vehicula. Sed imperdiet cursus nibh. Nunc vulputate. Morbi orci ligula, facilisis vel, auctor vel, tincidunt id, nisi. Mauris eget neque. Donec ut metus in mauris pulvinar rutrum. Integer purus. Integer facilisis. Vestibulum sit amet odio. Nulla facilisi. Pellentesque ac risus. In adipiscing massa in libero. Donec tristique tempus leo. Proin ipsum velit, lacinia nec, tempor eu, pretium nec, elit. Sed cursus venenatis sapien. Nulla non turpis. Curabitur semper massa. Aenean cursus.

Nulla facilisi. Cras in felis et libero iaculis volutpat. Curabitur pretium. Nunc ut orci vel elit porttitor facilisis. Donec sodales risus eu mi. Aliquam erat volutpat. Mauris vitae nulla. Sed sed turpis nec metus dapibus adipiscing. Integer nibh ligula, commodo et, eleifend et, viverra at, enim. Vestibulum fermentum eleifend nisi. Aliquam condimentum aliquet quam. Sed sed sapien. Integer porta. Quisque gravida massa ac libero mattis accumsan. Proin ultricies dignissim massa. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Fusce pede magna, volutpat in, dictum nec, commodo non, purus.

May 19, 2008

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Duis sodales eros eget pede. Sed at leo vel neque ornare fermentum. Sed malesuada sapien ornare risus. Donec tristique vestibulum est. Suspendisse magna ante, condimentum eu, ullamcorper in, faucibus vitae, urna. Suspendisse nunc neque, auctor at, tincidunt eget, eleifend ut, nisl. Morbi quam. Maecenas enim nisi, volutpat ac, aliquam ut, ultrices vitae, neque. Vivamus egestas hendrerit dui. Praesent ullamcorper ullamcorper nisl. Nullam a ligula. Maecenas tempor dolor a elit. In aliquam nulla vestibulum nisl. Maecenas malesuada, sem eu convallis rhoncus, nisl sapien sagittis velit, sed interdum augue sem sed nibh. Mauris ut turpis quis sapien lobortis varius.

Suspendisse accumsan ligula sit amet dui. Mauris ut nisi. Suspendisse potenti. Ut rutrum ligula at pede. Nulla facilisi. Maecenas ornare, lacus vel adipiscing ornare, est felis ultricies lectus, sit amet gravida nisl libero at urna. Suspendisse facilisis ipsum ultrices tellus ultrices placerat. Morbi mauris turpis, rutrum eget, lobortis id, tincidunt at, est. Donec at quam. Nullam hendrerit sodales enim. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Nunc molestie mi sit amet erat. Vestibulum lorem sem, ultrices eu, vulputate non, sollicitudin eget, odio. Fusce mi arcu, accumsan sed, laoreet nec, mollis ut, felis. Ut at enim. Nullam et mi.

Quisque nisi. Morbi condimentum arcu. Phasellus bibendum. Phasellus non enim at sem sagittis vestibulum. Aenean ut justo. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Suspendisse aliquet cursus dui. Ut ipsum risus, consectetuer nec, ultricies at, accumsan et, ante. Vestibulum feugiat. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Maecenas laoreet bibendum tellus. Mauris justo.

Duis ornare arcu id magna. Morbi nec mauris blandit odio sollicitudin luctus. Ut nunc ante, aliquam eget, mattis vitae, iaculis at, quam. Ut laoreet. In dictum. Phasellus quam felis, tincidunt id, rhoncus sit amet, aliquet sit amet, velit. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Phasellus leo justo, pellentesque eget, accumsan vitae, auctor in, urna. Quisque ullamcorper leo in felis. Morbi at turpis. Mauris nisl dui, ornare at, cursus vitae, ullamcorper eget, pede.

Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Suspendisse nibh ligula, eleifend in, vestibulum eget, lacinia sit amet, quam. Ut quam. Vivamus elit enim, tincidunt nec, molestie eget, malesuada a, erat. In non mauris. Praesent vitae felis. Nullam fringilla, erat at sodales ultricies, enim mauris vestibulum nibh, non scelerisque ipsum nunc quis tellus. Etiam non arcu. Quisque porta luctus purus. Nullam vitae massa ut tellus semper lobortis.

May 18, 2008

the beginning of a new era

I was going to entitle this post "the end of an era." But as this era draws to an end, what I'm most excited about is the new era that lies ahead.

So what is this era that's coming to an end?

My 30's.

Poof! They're vanishing before my eyes.

According to the clock, I have about two hours left to spend in my thirties. (But, oh no, I just thought of something. I was born in the Eastern time zone, so maybe it's even less. Oh just doesn't matter.) Because just around the corner is a whole new era.

I'm so excited.

Thinking back over the past four decades of my life, this last one, my thirties, was by far the best. I see that as a great sign: life just keeps on getting better and better and better. I love that.

I've been thinking about this milestone a lot this month...perhaps this explains my lack of blogging. I've been doing a lot of introspective thinking; trying to get some perspective on this whole rite of passage. Moving from a thirty-something to a, uh, forty year old, well it just took a while to get my brain around. It's really happening. It really is.

This past decade was fantastic. Most notably, my thirties brought me two amazing kids with the wonderful husband I married late in my twenties. (And seriously, if those kiddos were all I had to show for my thirties, that would be more than enough. They make my world go round.)

But that wasn't thirties were really good to me.

On a professional front, this fine decade brought me an exit from corporate America (woohoo!) It brought me simplify 101, The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker, The Happy Scrapper, a column with Organize Magazine, but best of all...amazing new friends...some of whom I have met in person and some of whom I have come to know and love in the virtual world of blogs, websites, email and telephones. I never would have dreamed any of this were possible in my twenties. Back then...I didn't even own a computer!

My thirties also took me on many a fine adventure. I visited places like Napa Valley with Jay, Washington with my Mom and several trips to my home state of Michigan. There were trips to Chicago for CHA; Boston, Reno and San Diego (a personal favorite!) for organizing conventions and even a trip to Las Vegas. (Note to self...fill your forties with more travel.) 

My thirties were also when I ran my first 5K (and my second and third for that matter!) In my twenties I think I would have been hard-pressed to run one "K" let alone five. Just more evidence that life continues to get better.

So...I'm sharing all of this mostly for me. To process it all. To embrace it. To rejoice in the fact that life truly is getting better. Sure. I had far fewer wrinkles when I was twenty. But along with the wrinkles of my thirties came wisdom and joy that fills my mind and heart today—wisdom and joy beyond anything I could have imagined in my twenties. And it just keeps getting better.

I love this thing called life. And tomorrow, Monday, May 19th, I celebrate forty amazing years on this planet. And I give thanks for the chance to experience this miracle called life.

Bring on the forties! I can't wait to see where this next decade, this next phase in my journey, takes me.

By the way, thank you for letting me share. Once I get through this birthday "hoopla" and the introspection that seems to be accompanying it, I promise I will blog about organizing again. I promise. :)

Have a great day!


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