Start Small Go Big

Start organizing small, then go big



How can SMALL and BIG be used together for organizing?  When we think of these opposites, can we use these together in getting organized?  Well here’s how!


Organizing and productivity are overwhelming. The most frequent question is how do I get started?  Whether your view is a cluttered desk or home, it’s not clear where, when or how to get started. And what about the next steps? Is that starting with the small of units, like organizing your paper clips or the shoes in your closet?  Or do you go big with the big stuff? Here’s answers to these 2 important questions.

Start small

I love the question, how do I eat an elephant? Its the analogy I use most often in presentations.  Of course the answer is one bite at a time!  It’s in getting start in a small way that gets you started at all.  It doesn’t matter if you take a nibble at the trunk or the foot, starting with a nibble gets you started. Your nibble in your home could be the junk drawer in your kitchen, the floor of a closet, the shelf in a linen closet or the papers in your kitchen.  Nibbling can be an amount of time, like only 15 minutes.  A nibble can be a number, like picking up 3 items to donate.  Your office nibbling can be your inbox, a bookcase, or a file drawer.  Decide what small looks and feels like to you then set a date on your calendar to commit.


Go big

Look around at your home or office.  What’s the big stuff in your way?  We organizers call it macro organizing.  Start with the big stuff when you keep on organizing.  It’s not the time to launch into complex sort ing of your stuff. It’s also not the time to go to that shoebox full of small random items.  Work on the big stuff first.   Big stuff open up space. That’s the space you see and feel.  It’s the big stuff that helps you break through being stuck and you feel the openness of your space.  Take a big picture with your papers too.  What are the big categories you can sort?  Broad categories make it easier to work through tedious papers.


Is this a new perspective for you?  Have you thought you needed hours to organize and never started?  Have you walked about from your papers after creating an overly complicated system?  Here’s a new way to make organizing happen for you.


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Summertime…and the decluttering is easy (30 things to declutter in 30 days)

30 things to declutter in 30 days


Summer’s here and we have a slower pace.  Summer is typically when we have a little more time, our schedules are a little more flexible.  Hot spots have gathered clutter all year long and now is the time to declutter.  Not only is this a great start,  your summer decluttering efforts will be a gateway to fall. Then it’s on to more serious organizing with back to school and holidays coming up. There are definitely easy items to declutter.  Take advantage of summer to declutter 30 things in 30 days.

  1. Out of date magazines and catalogs
  2.  Extra notepads and stationary
  3. Expired coupons
  4. Pens and pencils that overflow in your pencil cup
  5. Extra gift wrap and gift bags
  6. Broken sunglasses
  7. Expired sunscreen
  8. Cosmetics and skincare products that are unused or over a year old
  9. Unused hair care products or blow dryers
  10. Nail polish that is not your color
  11. Boxes
  12. Empty jars or storage containers
  13. Shopping bags and paper bags
  14. Pools toys that won’t inflate
  15. Broken outdoor chairs
  16. Worn out or stained towels
  17. Tee- shirts you haven’t worn
  18. Old electronics
  19. Old cell phones
  20. Kids’ old backpacks
  21. Broken toys
  22. Faded, thin flip flops
  23. Books you won’t read again
  24. Expired condiments like ketchup, mustard, relish and mayo
  25. Crunched up paper goods
  26. Extra plastic drinking cups
  27. Unsubscribe with
  28. Delete old photos you won’t use in photo books
  29. Smart phone apps you haven’t used
  30. Any one item each day that is easy for you to declutter


Your decluttering may include recycling, donating, selling or sharing these things.  Make it easy to declutter by choosing what’s easiest for you to accomplish. There’s no one way to declutter, however it’s best to start small.  If you commit to one item a day, you will accomplish so much in 30 days. Get started today and share your success here!


Every newsletter has decluttering tips for you.  Join my newsletter here!


I am an Organizer Coach now!

I am an organizer coach

I have always valued education because furthering my skills makes a difference for my clients.  My clients are the reason I continue to learn new ways to help them let go, streamline and keep their intentions daily in their lives. Completing my Coach Approach training is one way for me to empower my clients with their home, work and life goals.  I am an Organizer Coach who works one on one with clients to empower your change and goals.


For the past year, and several years before, I have been taking classes via phone, working on skills in small groups, and completing a curriculum to become an Organizer Coach.  My classes and reading have included learning about modalities, using new tools to help my clients such as a values and needs assessment, and learning more about ADHD, depression and anxiety. Throughout the year I have coached or been coached in 3 different small groups to practice my skills and learn what it is like to be coached.


How do these new skills help you, my client?

  • Are you stuck and can’t get started? Coaching supports awareness, action and learning.  Your new awareness will lead you into action.  Getting started and finishing up are often holding back my clients until we work together.  Learning comes from perspectives at your success.  Overall, coaching supports maintaining the change you have created.
  • Need a trusted coach to listen to you?  I believe in the strengths of my clients. You bring thoughts and ideas and my listening brings focus to our work. Your values, needs and strengths are all a part of our work together.
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and paralyzed?  Your strengths are the foundation of organizing in your home, work and life. It’s easier to maintain the systems you establish by working from your strengths.
  • Do you struggle with ADHD or anxiety?  Brain based conditions, such as ADHD and anxiety, can impact your executive function and your goals. Our work together will move you forward as you create new awareness and learning.
  • Have you created support for your efforts?  Essential structures, such as self awareness, support and education are the baseline for your life.  Together we investigate how these essential structures support your organizing goals.


It’s been a busy year with training through Coach Approach, a coaching skills training program designed specifically for organizers.   I want to thank my trainers Denslow Brown and Cameron Gott, as well as my colleagues in training with me.



6 Areas to Declutter to Sell Your Home Fast

sell your home faster

A decluttered home speeds up the sale of your home.  After years of living in  your home, you have collected more than 2000 in just three rooms! It’s clear that a new buyer wants to see your home, not all the clutter in it.  Realtors know that home buyers see themselves in something beautiful, organized and spacious.  According to a 2011 study by, cleaning and decluttering your home is the top method to get more for your home and a quicker sale.  Here’s the top 6 areas to declutter your home for a fast sale.



The kitchen is your first stop to declutter.  Most buyers want a big kitchen with lots of storage. Maximize your counter top and cabinet appeal by clearing off the kitchen counter top. Leave as little out as possible to showcase the backsplash and counter top itself.  Go through your kitchen cabinets and let go of odd glasses, mugs and plates.  Be sure to recycle old broken appliances.  Pack away seasonal items you won’t be using this year. Look under your kitchen sink and eliminate old packaging and leave basic cleaning supplies.  Declutter your pantry too especially if there is an abundance of items. Use up your pantry stock to minimize what is in the pantry.


Bathrooms are the next stop to declutter.  Leave just hand soap on the counter. Declutter under the sink area and in the drawers.  Get out the trash that is in this room.  Neatly fold any towels.   Check out your medicine cabinet for expired medications and over the counter items. Be sure your laundry is hidden away too!


A spacious closet and abundant storage is on everyone’s wish list.  Declutter your closet and keep only what you love and can wear.  Do the same for out of season clothes you have not worn last season.  If you are using closets to store decor or linens, take time to decide if these will be used in your next home.


Kid rooms

Your kids’ rooms and kids’ toys are especially important to organize.  Too many toys can overwhelm a potential buyer.  Pack up more than half of your kids’ toys to sell your home. While your home is on the market, plan on lots of time at parks to entertain your kids and keep their toys organized.


With more and more people working from home, an organized office is critical to the sale of your home.  Gather up all your paper and go through it to shred or recycle.  Place papers by year in boxes, ready to file at a later date.  Condense all cords and keep out only what you use regularly on your desk. A tool cup with scissors, pens and markers is all you need to keep out.  A decluttered office brings out the best in your home.


What about offsite storage?

While generally not an advocate of offsite storage, it is useful during staging a home for sale. Out of season clothes, additional furniture, extra toys and other items you are not ready to sell or donate can be stored here.


Decluttering your home has a big bonus! You have more space at your new home and you have saved money not moving the extra items. If you are unsure, be ruthless and let items go.

When Organizing is NOT Enough

Declutter first, then organize



Organizing is on every one’s mind these days. If only I had time, or I need to be, or best of all, I SHOULD get organized. The thought is that if I organize what I have, I can find it and use it.  You may have tried organizing, re-organizing and then re-organizing again.  By trying different strategies,  you realize that you are not having the success at finding what you need and having access to what you want.  Being organized with all your stuff is not the solution. It’s not enough to be more organized. It’s time to make a decision about what you have ( or what has you.). That’s when organizing is not enough.


Breaking through Just. In. Case

What’s holding you back from letting go? It’s a moment you need to come to terms with. Is it a financial, emotional, sentimental mindset. This is the motivation factor behind Marie Kondo’s Magic of Tidying Up. If you own something, it should bring you joy. Are you ready to accept that an items needs to go if it is not serving you or bringing you joy? Can you see a real spot for this item or imagine a specific way to use it? Dig deep and see what has a hold on you to hold onto your stuff. If you need motivation, it’s time to talk through your reluctance with others and get support. Blogs,books and podcasts give you new ideas and new ways to think about your stuff.  There’s no amount of organizing that can make up for necessary decluttering.


Getting stuff out to the universe.

Getting stuff out is a big step in your organizing journey. You have decluttered but your stuff sits in your car or on a step in your home for too long. All of a sudden you find yourself going back into those bags. Here’s where a team approach can really help. Find online resources who come to you or answer the call to leave items on your doorstep. Find a clutter buddy who also needs to drop off donations.  Use an app such as OfferUp, LetGo, or to let go of your items.


Declutter regularly.

We know the culprits – a birthday, holiday, shopping trip or big event coming up. We know more is about to come in. Take this time as prime time to declutter. What we also know that decluttering is ongoing that is needed as routinely as brushing our teeth. Write in time on your calendar to commit to organizing.  Check here for answers to your decluttering questions.

The same applies to our paperwork. I have frequently heard, “I organized that file in 2010 and never looked in there again.” Get information on what to keep and how long to keep it. Then set up a daily triage, weekly admin time and annual file maintenance reminder on your calendar.


It’s a whole new way of thinking about organizing. When you know organizing is not enough, it’s a perspective change that changes everything about what you own. Your stuff no longer owns you. So long, saiyonara, and toodles!


Want an organizing and productivity boost each month?  Join my newsletter here. Ranks in Top 15 Best Organizers in Houston

I am delighted to be mentioned in the recent survey of top 15 best organizers in Houston.


Rated for reputation, credibility, experience and professionalism, ranked in the top 15 organizers in Houston.


I am grateful for the opportunity to assist others in streamlining their lives and prioritizing organization and productivity.


Learn more here about Expertise and my review:

Quick Fixes to Get Organized

Quick fixes for getting organized


Do you dream of quick fixes to your organizing challenges?  Don’t we all want to wave a magic wand and make all clutter go away?  By nature, a quick fix does not accomplish your real goal of getting organized. However when you have just a few minutes, there are some options that will make a difference for your organizing.

Paper organizing

Paper comes in at an alarming rate.  We have different papers we need.  What do we do with all that paper?   An accordion file is a quick fix for getting organized. This product has either 7 or 13 slots.  Decide on your categories for paper, meaning group them together by what you plan on doing with them.  This can be To do, To pay, To file, or Taxes.  Another option might be Clients, Financial, or Administrative.  Label the tabs and you have a quick fix for organizing these.

accordion file

Quick fix for papers: accordion files.


Your closet is where you start your day.  Why not make it easy to get ready in the morning with a quick fix of slimline hangers?  These hangers are truly slimmer so more fits in your closet. Everything hangs at the same height.  You will see the clothes rather than the  hangers too!


slim line hangers

Quick fix for closets: slim line hangers.



There’s nothing like a timer to help us be more aware of time. Setting a timer helps us with judging how long a task takes or keeping to a specific amount of time to accomplish a task.  Either way, your time awareness improves with a timer.


Quick fix for time: timer.



Just as overwhelming as paper, email grows to dramatic proportions daily. What’s the quick fix here?  Hit unsubscribe as much as you can!  With every shopping email or blog post,  you have the option to let go.  Take a minute to scroll to the bottom of the email and unsubscribe.  Remember that minute will save you 5, 10 or 30 minutes later.


The quick fix for decluttering is spending 15 minutes at a time culling and eliminating. Use an energy spurt to eliminate what you have not used and don’t love in that quick fix.  Get that bag into your car right away and drop it off.


Be careful with the idea of buying bins as a quick fix.  It can be deceptive to stack up more bins with more stuff you won’t be able to use.


I’d love to learn more about your quick fixes to organizing and productivity challenges.


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Organizing: Streamlining or Unearthing Treasures


organizing streamlining or unearthing treasures


What’s organizing REALLY about?  Working together with my clients I see two different ways we work.  I also see the goals of our work in two different ways as well.  Organizing while both strategies accomplish what my clients want, each process differs slightly.  Here is my concept of organizing as letting go and organizing as unearthing treasures.


Organizing is streamlining and letting go.

You are overwhelmed with stuff.   Your goal is to have less, organize it and then keep your space maintained.  The first step  in your organizing project is to review what you have.  Then you assess it’s value. Do you use it or love it?  If neither applies, it’s time to eliminate this item.  As Marie Kondo says, “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” Working on having less is often the most motivating reason to get organized.


Organizing is unearthing treasures.

Your stuff is overwhelming you, but just culling out is not enough.  Your goal is to keep what’s most valuable to you.  Organizing can also be about finding and unearthing treasures. You can take the “treasure hunt” perspective where you sift through items to find what is most valuable to keep.  In choosing what’s most valuable, only you can be the judge.  It may be a long lost trinket or a check.  Organizing can be unearthing items that have been buried in what’s not important.



unearthing treasures

We found this treasure while working together! What treasures have you found while organizing?


When you unearth treasures, whether it’s financial or sentimental, you find real value in organizing.


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How your Dog helps you be more Organized

dog helps you be more organized

There’s lots of reasons to have a furry family member.  You want unconditional love all the time.  You think a dog will help your kids be more responsible.  Your family is not complete without a pet.  Did you ever think how having a dog will help you be more organized? It will!


Dogs help you have routines

Dog require care on a regular, consistent basis day in and day out.  As a dog owner, you want to care for your dog.  The routine walking and feeding of your dog gives you structure for your day. Typically your dog’s care takes place around the same time each day.  Having a new sense of routine gives more order to your day all together.  You have a sense of time and when tasks should occur.


Dogs help you exercise

We have the desire to exercise daily, but we may not be able to initiate this daily.  With a dog, we happily walk or run on a regular basis.  Being more active on a daily basis helps you with clarity and focus. Regular exercise starts your pattern of healthy habits like improved nutrition.  Exercising with your pooch helps make daily exercise a routine too.


Dogs remind everyone to pitch in

Dogs keeps us working as a family team.  Everyone takes turns walking, feeding and caring for your dog.  Working as a team means that your family will pitch in on other responsibilities too, such as meals and laundry.  Getting your family rallied with your pooch means that you are teaming up together.


There’s much comfort in having a dog.  The bonus of being more organized helps everyone!


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Minimalism, Essentialism and Simplicity


minimalism, essentialism and simplicity


Have you heard the buzz about minimalism?  The concept started just after World War II and has exploded in the 21st century.  Minimalism is paring down to a minimum and living with less. It’s no surprise that according to a 2011 study, 90% of Americans admit that unorganized clutter at home or at work has a negative impact on their life. There are major benefits to living with less.  However, there is more to this concept.  Maybe you are not about living with the least you can, but about living with what’s essential or living simply.   While you are creating a new awareness of how much you really need, you can align with decluttering and organizing cultural concepts. There are several ways to create a less encumbered lifestyle and these choices might be minimalism, essentialism or simplicity.



Do you embrace a life where experiences are key and stuff bogs you down?  Are you a person who owns less for the sake of owning less?  When there is too much around you, do you feel anxious?  You may be a minimalist at heart.

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus , well known as The Minimalists, are bloggers who focus on the minimalist lifestyle.  Their personal experiences about owning too much shape their writing.  Their writing includes information about stuff, finances, debt and more.



Do you embrace a life where your essential needs are met and the stuff you own is only what is essential?  Perhaps you purchase and keep only the essential items required for your daily living. You might keep only your essential items on the kitchen counter to use daily. You may be part of the essentialism movement.


Greg Mckeon, author of Essentialism shares his perspective about time and space.  It’s the pursuit of ‘the right thing, in the right way, at the right time’.   In applying criteria and prioritizing, we can choose what we want and what we want to do with regard to our core values.



Do you want to make life simpler?  Are you okay with a few basic items out but keep what’s used less frequently in the cabinet? Are you feeling overwhelmed by too many meaningless activities that you used to love? You may just want to simplify your space and time.


My core belief and what we share at is to “keep it simple sweetie.”  Our lives are enhanced by making decisions with simple choices.  We are often drawn to complexity in our work and home so by stepping back and choosing simplicity, we can find happiness and balance.


It’s small distinctions that set apart minimalism, essentialism and simplicity.  This granular evaluation of living the life you want can help you keep away from clutter and over-commitment.   Your commitment to the lifestyle of your choice depends on where you are on the minimalism continuum.