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Living Simply: The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Your Clutter

Reprinted with permission by Leo Babauta.

First: Why Should You Simplify?

What’s the problem with clutter? Well, nothing, if that’s the way you like things. Everyone lives differently, and I’m not saying the decluttered lifestyle is better than the cluttered one.

However, I’ve found some benefits of decluttering from my decade or so of experience with this issue:

* Less stressful. Clutter can be a lot of visual distraction and mental stress. It’s basically a bunch of things you have to do (put away clothes, file papers, pay bills, get rid of junk, etc.) that you’re procrastinating on. While you don’t want to think about them, in the back of your mind you know they’re there.
* More efficient. I don’t know about you, but I work much better in an uncluttered home or workspace. There aren’t as many distractions, which means I can focus better.

* More peaceful. I can really relax in an uncluttered home. It’s just serene.

* More attractive. When you’re trying to sell your home, rea…

Lists, my life would fall apart without them.

I find lists particularly purposeful when they can be reused, especially at certain times during the year, like now during the holidays or when I'm planning a vacation. Or, for everyday activities such as grocery shopping and meal planning. Template reusable lists (checklists) are a huge time saver and there are lots of resources out there that provide them. To help you I have collected a list of my top five:



ListPlanIt
Real Simple Checklists
Printable Grocery Lists
Simply Checklists
Checklists for Parents of College Students

Check them out and save yourself not only time but your sanity!

My son leaves for college in one month…so, what does that have to do with organizing?

A lot! There is more to going to college than packing up clothes and ordering dorm bedding—you do know that you need extra long sheets for dorm beds don’t you?

Even if you don’t have children heading off to college one day, read on for ways you can save money for other reasons or just how to live with less.

For those of you with young children, those planning to have children or those who have a child just a few years away from finishing high school if you haven’t started saving for your child’s college education, START. I thought I was prepared financially but I’m not even close. I thought my insanely brainy boy would be raking in the scholarships—NOT. Don’t count on scholarships, don’t count on great loan rates, and most of all don’t count on family. START saving A LOT of money now.

My son is going to an out-of-state college (not private) and that alone is costing $15,000 more a year just because he isn’t a resident. Yes, $15,000 MORE not total. And, if you thinking obtaining reside…

Get Organized Today!

Personal and professional success is the result of more than talent, commitment and hard work. Success requires you to organize your home, your office and your relationships to meet the demanding needs of each. How efficiently you order these important aspects of your life is your key to finding success with ease and is one of the most important tools you have for becoming the absolute best you can be.



In Get Organized Today!, myself and 18 other top experts have joined to give you insightful guidance and advice learned through years of study and consulting with their clients and colleagues. These experts share their secrets and give you powerful organizing information and strategies. All the organizing professionals you will meet in this book want you to live your life with ease and simplicity.

Get Organized Today! is the book you need to help you plan, execute and maintain order in your work, life and relationships.

Get Organized Today! Retails for $24.00 and you can receive your signe…

50 Best Blogs to Organize Everything in Your Life

I'm thrilled my blog is listed among the 50 Best Blogs to Organize Everything in Your Life featured on OnlineDegrees.net.

Online Degrees is dedicated to helping students find the best accredited online college to pursue their associate's, bachelor's, or graduate degree. They work diligently to find the best online schools which provide the ultimate in schedule flexibility while delivering a high quality education. With so many excellent online colleges to choose from, they will work with you to match your career needs with the perfect online education choice.

If you are interested in pursing a Professional Organizing career online check out my online Webinars and Self-study programs for Professional Organizer business owners.

And, be sure to check out the other 49 best blogs on Online Degrees.net.

Listen to My Clutter-Busting Tips for the Entire Home

I had the extreme pleasure to be interviewed by Matt and Bonnie Dewkett of The Joyful Organizer. Listen to some wonderful organizing tips that you can apply to any room in the home. I also provide and explain some of the benefits of getting organized.

Listen to internet radio with The Joyful Organizer on Blog Talk Radio

Please share with friends and family and feel free to rate the show in iTunes.

Enjoy!

Feeling BLIS from NAPO Conference

Last week I was in Columbus, Ohio for my 8th NAPO conference. I always come back re-energized and exploding with new organizing systems, techniques and practices as well as inspiration from fellow Professional Organizers. Here are a few new ideas that I would love to share with you (my clients):

Set-up your power office
Tackle your towering to-do list
The cost benefits of organizing
Strategies to organize individuals with ADD/ADHD
Organizing tools you can find on the Web
How to maximize small spaces

As always, I learned a lot and also met some fun and functional organizing vendors. My favorite is BLIS (Best Life Information System) and I would love to show you a demo of how this Web-based home and life information management system allows you to have all of your important information at your fingertips. You can quickly view your calendar, link to a Web site, pull up your family’s important medical information, plan a birthday party, make a to-do list, or locate the plumber’s number, …

Announcing...Get Organized Today

I am thrilled to be a co-author of Get Organized Today with so many top-notch and fun Professional Organizers!

Get Organized Today will be available late-Summer 2010.

My chapter is Win at Organizing - Overcoming Chronic Disorganization.

For complete details visit our Web site Books page.

Schedule me to speak to your organization (work, church, club, networking group, etc.) about how to Win at Organizing. Call me for details 503.246.0170.

Taking a fresh look at your business

Sometimes it's difficult to imagine that taking on those organizing projects may save you money instead of cost you money. Getting organized is an investment. Over time you will save money, increase productivity and achieve a better balanced work environment. If people know where...

Hear what people are saying about our GO System Webinars

Here's what people are saying about our GO System training:

I thoroughly enjoyed the training and felt that Anne was clear and concise with the information.

I am a new organizer and really appreciated the depth and scope of information presented in the webinar. Having an understanding of underlying issues with clients is essential in providing excellent service. Signe Hill

I highly recommend the Go System as a set of tools to work with in order to become more productive, have more clarity and work more efficiently.

The Go System course was both enlightening and educational. It is unlike any other organizing course I have taken. Knowing why things instead of just knowing that they happen will make me both a better Professional Organizer and a better business owner. I highly recommend this course to anyone that would like some specific actions to take to improve their productivity. Cindy Vanhoff Professional Organizer Reclaimed Spaces, LLC Spokane, Washington

I really liked the multi-ta…

4 Weeks to Reclaim Your Time - eBook

Do you know poor organization is often a derivative of poor time management?
Do you often feel overwhelmed?
Are you feeling like you juggle too many tasks at once?
Do you feel your environment is in constant chaos?
Do you feel like you have too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do everything?
Do you often say, “I’m too busy, I don’t have time.”

Then this e-workbook is for you!



For 28 days follow my Four Week Plan to More Effective Time Management and I will teach you habits that will lead to more control over your time and skills to manage yourself within your time more effectively.

There are 24 hours in one day, 7 days in one week, and 365 days in a year. We all get the same exact amount of time. It is how we choose to spend our time that makes the difference. You’ll be amazed at the changes you can make in just four weeks and I’m sure you will be surprised at how easy the changes are to make.

Each week covers a different focus:
Week One (habits 1-7) creating new habits, goal…

Your Go System Registration

It's time to register for the next GO System Webinar Lunch and Learn series starting February 12, 2010. The great thing about Webinars is you can attend them without ever leaving your office or home!

The GO System is a training course that focuses on workplace productivity. This course is for those of you who have "had enough" in terms of workplace stress, long hours and unproductive workdays...and are seriously ready to get more focused, organized, and productive. The GO System addresses seven major issues that help significantly improve personal and workplace results including:
1. Establishing strong foundational habits
2. Processing incoming items
3. Prioritizing
4. Using time rationally
5. Effectively managing projects
6. Understanding personality issues
7. Understanding psychological issues

The bottom line - you'll get more done!

The profile of a typical GO System course candidate:
*Unorganized people who have finally "had enough" are excellent candidates…

NAPO Oregon Presents: 2010 Pacific Northwest Organizing Expo

This is a free event, so come join us! Stop by and see me at the Professional Organizer Training Institute booth. Great door prizes!

For more information visit their website .

NAPO Oregon Presents: 2010 Pacific Northwest Organizing Expo
January 30, 2010, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Montgomery Park
, 2701 NW Vaughn Street, Portland Oregon

How to Get a Copy of Your Vital Records by Real Simple

Have you ever been frustrated because you could not find an important document when you needed it and then further frustrated because you did not know how to obtain a replacement? It's 'real simple', here is all you need to know How to Get a Copy of Your Birth Certificate, Replace a Passport, and Store Important Documents | How to Replace Your Passport |  Real Simple.

INTRODUCING THE GO SYSTEM

I’m kicking off GO Month with my GO System Webinar Lunch and Learn series.

GO stands for Getting Organized. January 2010 will mark the sixth year of NAPO sponsoring Get Organized (GO) Month. GO Month is dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of getting organized and of hiring a NAPO professional organizer.

The GO System is a training course that focuses on workplace productivity. This course is for those of you who have “had enough” in terms of workplace stress, long hours and unproductive workdays…and are seriously ready to get more focused, organized and productive. The GO System addresses seven major issues that help significantly improve personal and workplace results including:
1. Establishing strong foundational habits
2. Processing incoming items
3. Prioritizing
4. Using time rationally
5. Effectively managing projects
6. Understanding personality issues
7. Understanding psychological issues

The bottom line – you’ll get more done!

Many people offer the following advice: …