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November 30, 2010

Congratulations to....

...Jennifer who said "Oh, gosh, I wouldn't know which area to ask you to organize LOL! I could sure use some coaching ... great giveaway!" You are the winner of the one-on-one coaching package. Congrats, Jennifer! Email me for details and to get started.


Thanks to everyone who entered! By the way, check back this Friday for another Freebie Friday post. This week I have a super fun giveaway from FranklinCovey. (Woohoo --- thank you FranklinCovey!) In the meantime, check out their fun, interactive Gift Finder that will help you find the perfect gift. Very cool. :)

November 29, 2010

Monday Morning Check-in

Happy Monday to you! I hope you had a great weekend. Did this weekend have you fantasizing about what it would be like if every weekend were a four day weekend? There’d be so much more time for fun…and getting things done.  I have to admit, that thought crossed my mind more than once this weekend.’s an update on my Finish It Friday lists:

Play List:  All items on the play list were completed (woohoo!) except for finishing Kailea’s birthday banner. I’m inches from the finish line on that one, and it will definitely be done in time for the big day. Hooray!

To Finish List:  I did pretty good here, too. The only lingering to-dos are my holiday wish list and to finish shopping for Kailea’s birthday. Not bad.’s a quick reminder about a few time sensitive things:

  • Today is the last day to save 20% on all instant downloads and January online workshops.
  • There’s still time to enter for a one-on-one coaching package with me. But time is running out! Go here for details.


I hope you have a Happy Monday. I'd love to hear how your weekend went. Please leave me a comment. :)

November 26, 2010

It’s Freebie Friday!

Happy Friday to you! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving…and are enjoying a happy Friday! Today’s freebie is our way of saying thank you for being a part of the simplify 101 community. Whether you’re a blog reader, a newsletter subscriber, a workshop participant, a coaching client, an in-home client—or all of the above, Jay and I are truly grateful for you.


To say thank you, today I’m giving one person a one-on-one coaching package with me. If there’s an area of your home and life that you want guidance, ideas and support, as you embark on the change-making process, one-on-one coaching is one of the fastest ways to get to where you want to be.


This coaching package will help if:

  • You are looking for ideas to stay organized and on top of your to-do list this holiday season.
  • You are trying to figure out how to declutter your home and make it guest-ready before your visitors arrive in December.
  • You are ready to go after a big goal in 2010, but you aren’t sure how to get started or you’re simply feeling a bit afraid.
  • You feel overwhelmed by the state of your home, and you just aren’t sure how to start getting organized. 
  • You are planning to organize your craft room or scrapbook space, and you’d love fresh ideas to help you decide what storage solutions and organizing systems will work best for you.
  • You’re in need of a plan to get organized so you can start enjoying your home, family, and life again.

One-on-one coaching is one of my favorite things to do. It’s so rewarding to help people create positive change in their home and life by letting go of clutter—both physical clutter and emotional clutter. Often it’s a simple breakthrough that helps my clients figure out the true obstacles that are getting in the way of creating a home and life they love. Once they have this breakthrough—or aha moment—taking action is no longer overwhelming; instead it’s energizing and fun.


If there’s an area of your home and life that isn’t quite how you want it to be, I’d love to help! Simply leave a comment letting me know why you’d love a chance to win this one-on-one coaching package. The winner will receive my organizing questionnaire and two, one-hour long coaching calls. The questionnaire is designed to help me pinpoint what’s standing in your way, and then together, we’ll create an organizing action plan that makes it simple and fun to achieve your organizing goals.


Here’s how to enter for a chance to win a 2-call coaching package with me:

1.  Leave a comment letting me know why you’d love a chance to win this one-on-one coaching package.

2.For a second chance to win either link to this giveaway on Facebook OR tweet this giveaway with a link on Twitter. Then, leave a second comment telling me where you mentioned this giveaway.


Post your comment by Tuesday, November 30th, at 9 AM US CST. Good luck my friends, and have a great weekend!


Update:  Comments are now closed. Thank you to all who entered...winner will be announced soon. :)

November 24, 2010

Get Organized for the Weekend: It’s Finish It Friday!

Okay, technically it’s only Wednesday, but since here in the U.S. we have a long, four day weekend ahead, it really feels like Friday. Don’t you think? I’m just sitting here thinking about the long weekend ahead…and thought we could start Finish it Friday early this week. Sound fun? I hope this weekend your play list is longer than your finish it list. (And I hope mine is, too.) Here we go…


To-do-list-copyright-simplify101 Play List

  • Watch the Thanksgiving parade.
  • Eat coffee cake and drink coffee.
  • Make stuffing. (Yes…this really sounds fun.)
  • Eat turkey. (A big treat since we eat so little meat anymore.)
  • Finish Kailea’s birthday banner.
  • Select photos for calendar.
  • Knit.
  • Start a holiday craft project.

To Finish

  • Clean house.
  • Decorate for Christmas.
  • Finish my holiday wish list.
  • Finish planning Kailea’s party and finish shopping.
  • Start + finish laundry.
  • Finish Freebie Friday blog post. (That's right—be sure to check back here this weekend for a fun Freebie Friday.)

What do you have planned this weekend? If you're in the U.S. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. :) Thank you for playing along.

Holiday Shopping Tips + A Free Shopping List Template

Gift-box-copyright-simplify101 With Black Friday fast approaching, you probably have holiday shopping on your mind. Here are some tips and ideas to help you stay organized while shopping so you can shop efficiently, stick to your budget and best yet—avoid bringing future clutter into your home!

Create a shopping list. Before any shopping spree, create a shopping list. If your primary focus is gift shopping, create a list with five columns:  recipient’s name, budget amount, gift idea, store and notes. Use the notes section for recording details such as sizes or color preferences. It’s easier to remember these details in the comfort (and quiet!) of your own home, than it is in the frenzy of a crowded store. (Follow this link to download a free holiday-gift-list form.)

Shop at home first. If you shop for gifts throughout the year, be sure to corral together any pre-purchased items and take inventory. You may have forgotten about some of the items you picked up, and you may even be able to add a few check marks to your shopping list before leaving your home. Next, browse online for gift ideas and purchase items if you find something on your list at the right price. Many retailers are offering pre-black Friday sales—so it can make sense to shop early when prices are good and the selection is best.

Make plans to save. Continue your at-home shopping prep by combing through store circulars and searching online for printable coupons from retailers and / or items on your shopping list. 

Stay organized while shopping. Snap your shopping list to a clipboard, and add a pen and your pre-printed coupons. Stash your clipboard and reusable shopping bags inside of your purse or another reusable shopping bag.

Avoid bringing home future clutter. Stick to your list. But, if you find a deal on something that you think you just can’t pass up, run it through this test:  When and where you will use the item? For example, if you’re eyeing an article of clothing, identify when you will wear it, and then make sure you have items in your closet that will work well with this new item. Remember, it’s only a good deal if it’s something that you really love and are sure to use.

Stop shopping when you’re done! Once you’ve checked all the items off your list, put away your clipboard (and your wallet!) and head home. Pat yourself on the back for a shopping trip well-executed!


What tips do you have for staying organized while holiday shopping? I look forward to hearing from you!

November 23, 2010

Get organized for less!

Mark your calendar! simplify 101 is having a big sale this weekend—woohoo! Give yourself (or someone you love!) the gift of organization this year by signing up for a simplify 101 online workshop. There’s never been a better time to try an online organizing workshop than this week. For five days only you can save 20% on our popular January online workshops. Our online workshop sale begins this Thursday November 25th and runs through Monday November 29th. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to get organized—and save!



Also, starting today all clearance items are now 50% off! If you see something that catches your eye, act fast because quantities are limited. This is your last chance to pick up the remaining items in our online store like push pin panels, magnetic chalk boards, magnet board accessories, canvas closet organizers, binder accessories, and more!


Happy shopping! (Speaking of which, check back here tomorrow for a fun post to help you stay organized while shopping this holiday season.)

November 22, 2010

Monday Morning Check-In

It’s Monday…already! It was a fast but fun weekend. I hope you had a great weekend, too. This is the place to share the progress you made on your to-do list over the weekend. No worries if you didn’t get everything done. By having a list and a plan you likely finished more (and hopefully played more!) than you would have otherwise. That’s how it works for me, anyway. Okay, here’s my progress report!

Play List

  • Knit. Check.
  • Walk / run. Check.

To Finish List

  • Finish holiday creative projects list. The list is finished and I selected two projects to start with—a new birthday banner for Kailea and a gratitude tag book for December. I bought necessary supplies and started on the banner project.
  • Plan next week’s menu / grocery list. Finished!
  • Help plan / coordinate fondue dinner party. Check! Need to send out an email with plans.
  • Create gift giving plan. I’m in good shape here. It’s not done but underway.
  • Plan Kailea’s birthday party.  We made great progress on the plans…just a few more things to finalize, and then we can start implementing the plan.
  • Create wish list and ask my family members for their wish lists. This is in process. 
  • Finish laundry. Check.
  • Run errands. I did way more errand running than I had envisioned…and I did get a new iron. (Thanks for the recommendations.) I ended up going with a Rowenta. Hooray!
  • Finish cleaning the house. Mostly a check.
  • Finish a couple of blog posts. Finished one.


Now it's your turn! Can't wait to hear how your weekend went! By the way, be sure to check back here on Friday for what I think is a super-terrific Freebie Friday!

November 19, 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Organizer on Your List: Books

Have you started thinking about your holiday gift lists yet? Creating gift lists is one of the many holiday related items on my to-do list this weekend. I’ll be asking my family members to create their wish lists, and I’ll be putting together a wish list of my own. (Fun!)


With gift giving on my mind, I thought it’d be fun to put together a blog post or two on gift ideas. This first post includes three book ideas for yourself or the organizer on your list. I love to receive books, and I also love to give them as gifts. So here are some ideas to whet your book-giving appetite.


For the Mom on Your List

Five-minute-moms-club The Five-Minute Mom's Club:  105 Tips to Make a Mom’s Life Easier by Stephanie Vozza is wonderful compilation of organizing and time management tips for Moms. This book includes tips from real moms like Julie Morgenstern, Gretchen Rubin…and there’s one from me, too. (How fun is that?)


I love tips—especially the kind that make life just a notch easier or solve a dilemma. This book offers just that—105 practical tips for Mom. For example, Tip #53 talks about using rewards to motivate your children. The author shares the story of Nancy Beck who used video games to create a reward system that works so well, her children ask her for chores to do. (Gotta’ love that, right?) Here’s Nancy’s story, from the book.

"As a Christmas present when my son was about eight, I allowed his sister to buy him a video game console. I remember in my sleep on Christmas Eve I had an overwhelming feeling that I had just allowed something too powerful into my house."


Oh, do I know that feeling. I remember feeling the exact same way when Collin asked for (and received) a video game system for Christmas several years ago. I love the plan that Nancy came up with to solve this dilemma. She has her kids do chores to earn video game time. Here’s how she does it:


"I estimated how many minutes it would take to do a particular chore and that would be the amount of minutes earned. We sat down as a group and had a unanimous vote about the time payment.


For example, if sweeping the floor takes five minutes, then the person doing the chore gets five minutes of video time in his bank. We use a community jar of change on the kitchen counter. Each of my children has their own jar. As they earn minutes, they take change out of the community jar and place it in their own. And when they spend the minutes, they move them back into the community jar. The children keep track of their own time, and they tend to keep an eye on each other. They also have learned the concept of time…”


Yep, I love that. If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for a Mom on your list, give this book a look. I think you’ll enjoy the tips, and you’ll be happy knowing that this book also supports a great cause. A portion of the proceeds from this book go to the Pajama Program (, an amazing nonprofit organization that provides a warm pair of PJs and a new book to children in need, many of whom are awaiting adoption.


For the Time Crunched Person on Your List

168-hours Earlier this year I read the book 168 Hours:  You Have More Time than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. 168 hours refers to the number of hours we each have every week. The author builds a compelling case that this is really a lot of time. She shares inspiring stories of people who use their 168 hours intentionally to build a life that really works well for them. Additionally, the author shares strategies that will help you (or your time crunched friend) make the most of your weekly 168 hours and fit in the activities that matter most to you. 




 For the Scrapbooker on Your List


The-organized-inspired-scrapbooker-new As I mentioned in an earlier post, The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker, the book I co-authored with Wendy Smedley, is back in print. (I have now held the new version in my hands—woohoo!)  If creative clutter is getting in the way of your scrapbooking plans, this book will help. Step-by-step The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker shows you how to design an organizing and storage system that will work for you, your creative process, and your scrapbook space (even if that happens to be the kitchen table!) So if you have a scrapbooker on your list who is in need of a new organizing plan, give this book a look.


I’d love to hear from you. Do you love to give (or receive) books as holiday gifts? If so, what’s on your wish list this year? Thanks for sharing! 

Get Organized for the Weekend—It's Finish It Friday!

Happy Friday to you! Are you ready to get organized for the weekend and share your to-do list? It’s time for another round of Finish It Friday. Woohoo! I hope you'll join me this weekend. If you're new to Finish It Friday, you can read about it here.


I definitely have the holidays on my mind—and my to-do list—this weekend. But the good news is that we don’t have much else planned this weekend, so it will be a great to hunker down and get some things done. Best of all—it all seems fun.

To Play List

  • Knit. Even though many items on my list this weekend will be fun—since they need to get done, they may not feel like true play. So...I'm going to carve out some time to really relax by knitting.
  • Walk / run. Yes…it really does sound like fun.  We’ll see if I still categorize it as play after the weekend is over.


To-do-list-copyright-simplify101 To Finish List

  • Finish holiday creative projects list. Yep, it’s time to make some decisions...and it's also time to get started on at least one of the chosen projects. :)
  • Plan next week’s menu / grocery list including Thanksgiving breakfast and lunch.
  • Help plan / coordinate fondue dinner party. Really excited about this one.
  • Create gift giving plan.
  • Plan Kailea’s birthday party. 
  • Create wish list and ask my family members for their wish lists.
  • Finish laundry.
  • Run errands. (This includes getting a new iron. Let me know if you own a high quality iron that you love. I want something that works well and is built to last...which could be a challenge. ;) Thanks for any ideas / suggestions.)
  • Finish cleaning the house.
  • Finish a couple of blog posts.

Whew, I better get busy! Check back later today for at least one of those finished blog posts. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing what's on your to-do list this weekend! 

November 15, 2010

Monday Check In + Important Info on Early Bird Specials

Happy Monday to you! I hope you had a terrific weekend. If you joined me in Finish It Friday, here’s the place to report your progress. Here’s my update:


Play List

  •  Make birthday cake.  Finished!
  • Wrap birthday presents. Finished!
  • Write up clues for scavenger hunt. Finished! (So fun.)
  • Make list of possible holiday creative projects. Started…will finish and start making some decisions this week. 


To Finish List

  • Finish laundry.  Finished!
  • Start and finish coordinating Thanksgiving plans. Finished!
  • Start planning Kailea’s birthday party. Started!
  • Start brainstorming holiday gift ideas. Started!
  • Hair appointment for Kailea. Finished!


Woohoo! Now it’s your turn…how did you do with your lists?


Also...just a quick reminder that time is running out to take advantage of early bird savings on two popular January workshops. While it might be hard to think about January right now, if you can for just a minute you may picture this. It’s early January and the start of a brand New Year. You’re ready to create positive change in your home and life. Will this year be the year you decide to clear out the clutter—for good? Or maybe this will be the year you go after that big goal you’ve had percolating in the back of your mind for the past few years.


Whatever your goal for 2011—simplify 101 online workshops will be there to help you! And if you act now, you can give yourself an early New Year gift and take advantage of early bird savings. (Our early bird price is the lowest price you’ll see on these workshops—so act now before these savings opportunities are gone forever!)


ClutterBinFinal-sized Quick + Simple Clutter Control begins January 4, 2011

I don’t know about you, but the post holiday clutter drives me nuts—and that’s where Quick + Simple Clutter Control comes in. This workshop gives you simple, straightforward ideas for tackling the surface clutter in your home. And you won’t go it alone. Instead you’ll have the support, ideas and best yet—accountability of the simplify 101 online community!


NEW for this session of Quick + Simple Clutter Control:  fresh and fun daily prompts designed to help you tackle specific clutter areas and get your home back in order after the holidays!

Early bird savings end tomorrow November 16, 2010—so grab your spot today!


How To Achieve Your Goals + Create a Life You Love begins January 6, 2011


Do you love the idea of setting New Year’s resolutions, but grow bored or frustrated by mid-January? If so, How to Achieve Your Goals and Create a Life You Love is for you! In this fun and effective online workshop you’ll learn how to dream big and turn your dreams into goals and ultimately realities. Discover simple techniques that will show you how to take action on your goals and create positive change in your life. Plus, you’ll learn how to avoid common mistakes and misconceptions about goal setting. In short, you’ll leave this workshop armed with just what you need to achieve your goals and create the life of your dreams!


This exciting workshop begins January 6th. Sign up today to take advantage of the lowest price on this workshop for 2011. Early bird savings ends tomorrow November 16, 2010!

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