home office

Organize by Containerizing Small Items

If your New Year’s resolution to organize your home has already been sidetrack, don’t give up.  You may need to shrink down your approach.

Try starting with a small project. Sometimes containerizing a small mess will help you feel like you’re back on track. It can motivate you to organize more areas.

A container can corral small items so the area looks cleaner and is more efficient for you. I did that today using a small container I bought at Target for $1.00.

Here is what this area looked like before. …

Paper Clutter Organizing Tools

Are you always scrambling to find a pen and paper when you need to take a message while on the phone? Do you have a place to put those messages so you or a family member can find them? Or do those messages end up getting lost and someone, maybe even you, gets mad because the important message didn’t get the person on time?

If the above happens too often in your home it’s time set up an organizing system that is easy enough for the whole family to following.

I have been going through my “Cut Out The Paper Clutter” free e-course on the Facebook Page by the same name. Lesson 3 is about how to control and organize all those little scrapes of paper we use to write messages on. Since I suggest several kinds of products I thought I would show you examples of what I’m talking about.

The products listed below can be purchased through Amazon. The links will take you directly to those products. You may also find similar products at your local office supply store and some discount stores. None are very expensive and would be well worth it if they work for your household.

The time, money, arguments, and embarrassments that will be saved when you are organized are priceless.


This phone message organizer is great if you have family members or even yourself who have a tendency to lose those messages. They are inexpensive enough that you can keep one by most phones. The top copy pulls off and can be posted (see bulletin board below) in one central area. They create a carbonless copy so you always have a back-up. I used to use this tool when my boys were living at home.


This bulletin board is the size of two standard pieces of copy paper put together. That makes it small enough to hang on a wall in the kitchen or near the main phone. If you have a large family or take a lot of phone or other messages than you might consider using a larger board. One side of my refrigerator is exposed in a good area so we always used that spot for messages when my son’s where growing up. Now that it’s just my husband and me, I use the top of the stove vent near the main phone.

If you are always looking for a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to write a note then a desk organizer can help a lot. I have one that is similar to this one near my main phone in the kitchen. It makes it easy to take phone messages or grab a piece of paper to make out a shopping list. Since I have a lousy memory and tend to forget things I write notes to myself a lot. I’ll put these reminders up on top of the stove vent so I see them.


These are just a few tools that can help you and your family stay organized. They are inexpensive enough that if they don’t work well for your household you haven’t spent too much money. Organizing tools can make a world of difference but one size doesn’t fit all. Think carefully about any these or other tools before you buy them. You don’t want to add to your clutter. If you feel these tools will work then give them a try. If not then research other tools to see if something else will work.

To a lighter load along the way.



Join the Free e-course, Cut Out The Paper Clutter

This past week I decided to start a Facebook page devoted to paper clutter.  I wrote an e-course last year that gives one short lesson from each chapter in the eBook, “Cut Out The Paper Clutter”.  I figured the Facebook page would be a great place to discuss these lessons plus give even more tips on decluttering those paper piles.

I’m in the process of updating many of the links in the e-course.  The first 3 lessons are already done and the rest should be completed in the next day or two.  Since each lesson is sent every three days you can go ahead and sign up today and get the updated lessons.

I’m going to start discussing Lesson 1 (Junk mail) on Friday, January 20th (tomorrow). Since it will be on a Facebook page you can jump in anytime you want to. Here is a link to sign up for the e-course and to “like” the Facebook page.


Cut Out The Paper Clutter e-course.

Cut Out The Paper Clutter Facebook Page.

Cut Out The Paper Clutter eBook

Since I started setting up the Facebook page and editing the e-course lessons I’ve found myself motivated to work on some of my own paper clutter. Yesterday I went through some file folders that contained a lot of instructional articles about setting up a blog and website.  Since mine has been set up for a few years now there was no reason to keep these printed articles. If I need help with some technical problem I can always look it up online again. A nice thick stack of papers went into the recycling bin!

Join me on theFacebook page and hopefully you too will get motivated to get rid of some of your paper clutter. Then once the clutter is gone it will be much easier to organize the important papers that are left.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.  ~Hans Hofmann

The e-course is free. TheFacebook page is free. What have you got to lose except some paper clutter.

Take the e-course first and if you still need more tips and help with decluttering and organizing your papers then invest in the eBook for only $9.99.

To a lighter load along the way.




Will Yet Another Organizing Product Bring You Success?

This is the time of year where all those back-to-school and office supplies are on sale. Even if you don’t have school age children (mine are grown) it is easy to get caught up in believing that this organizing file solution or that 5 subject notebook will solve all our paper clutter or organizing problems.


Guess what – it might work and then again it might not. How many different products or solutions have you tried over the years with limited success? I know I’ve tried many.


What I have learned over the years is it’s not necessarily the product or idea that is bad it’s just that it didn’t work for me.  I’m sure you have had the same result at times.

So besides trial and error plus lots of money spent how can you determine if a product will help you?  That’s a hard question to answer. The best way is to take a look at what is currently working for you in any area of your home.

We all have some areas of our lives where we are relatively organized.

If you are organized when cooking in the kitchen pay attention to what kinds of organizing products and/or habits you are using that makes it work for you. Is your desk at work clean and organized but you desk at home is a disaster? Pay attention to what is working at the office and duplicate it at home if possible.

We are creatures of habit and each of us have different learning/organizing traits.  Some we are born with and some we learned when growing up or as adults. Even if we were born missing the organizing gene we can still find the right kind of products and solutions to help us learn to get more organized.

So when you find yourself tempted to try yet another product in hope that it will solve all your organizing problems stop and think about it first. The questions below will help guide you towards one that might work for you.

Ask yourself:

  1. Does this product work similar to other products I’ve used before?
  2. Have I been successful with using this kind of product?
  3. Do I already have a product or solution for this particular problem but haven’t taken the time to figure out if it will work or not?

As we are bombarded this time of year with all those ads for products to help get our children and ourselves organized we have to remember to stop and think before buying.  Most products can help but one size does not fit all.

Figure out your style (or your child’s) so it will be easier to match the product or solution to it. That will increase your chance of success.



Is Your Email Inbox Too Crowded?

Is your email inbox too crowded? Do you dread looking at it each morning?

I remember how exciting it use to be to see what the mailman left in the mailbox that day? A card from a dear relative, a letter from a friend who lived out of town, or a new magazine to read.

It also used to be fun to open my email inbox in the morning to see what interesting piece of information would be awaiting me. Now that I use email for most of my correspondence from friends, relatives, news, information (newsletters), and business information I have found that I dread opening the inbox. There are way too many emails that I’m not interested in anymore that are crowding out the few I want to read.

Several times a year I re-evaluate what I’ve subscribed to.

Many are the retail stores, both online and brick and mortar, where I gave my email address at the time of purchase. Although I rarely shop these stores I’m bombarded with special offers on an almost daily basis.

Sometimes I subscribed to a newsletter and find out it really isn’t what I thought it would be. But I take the time to open it just in case there is some tiny bit of information I could use.

It’s time to unsubscribe to the emails that are now clutter!

The following steps will help you keep your inbox to a manageable level. Take these steps every few months and you’ll start looking forward to opening your inbox daily.

Be sure to set a timer and only do so much time per day. It will keep you fresh and more objective when deciding what to unsubscribe to.

  1. Start with the easy ones such as retail stores you rarely shop at. Unsubscribe from the most recent email. Search for sender (each email browser is different) and delete all the old emails for that sender. Their specials are expired!
  2. Next look at what informational newsletters you have signed up for with retail stores. Most of the time you can find the same information on their website when you need it, not when they are trying to sell you something.
  3. Next look at the newsletters from individual smaller websites. Do their newsletters meet your expectations? Does the content add value to your life? Are there too many marketing emails sent in between the occasional newsletter? Only you can decide if it is worth it.
  4. Now look at your personal emails. Do you have certain friends or family that constantly forward those jokes, silly pictures, etc. If you are not interested in these email you can ask your friend/relative to please take your name off their forwarding list. Or you can set up a filter for those people and keep their emails out of your main inbox, away from your important emails.

Next time you subscribe to a newsletter or store email give it a month or two to decide if it is worth it. If not, then unsubscribe right away. You can always re-subscribe in the future.


Declutter and organize your piles of papers with the eBook “Cut Out The Paper Clutter”.