If You Could Only Use 3 Words to Represent 3 Goals What Would They Be?

In late December I read an interesting article by writer and speaker Chris Brogan regarding goal setting. Chris talked about his practice of choosing three words that represent goals that he wants to focus on in the coming year. Each word represents an area in his life that he wants to improve. I’ve included a link to Chris’s blog post explaining his technique at the end of this post.

Describing a goal with a single word sounds easy.

Word cloud representing weight loss, financial, and organizing goalsI found it to be rather difficult.  Let’s look at some examples.

If you have set a financial goal to get out of debt you might choose debt-free as your word. According to Chris hyphenated words are okay for this exercise. If you are trying to build up your savings account you might choose the word save. Do the words debt-free and save actually reflect what you want? A result of being debt-free and having a healthy savings account is freedom. Would freedom be a better word? Continue reading

Do You Fold ‘n’ File?

Socks in drawerI’ve been doing a lot of closet and bedroom organizing lately. The folding and filing technique has been a recurring theme. I’ve folded and filed scarves, bandanas, t-shirts, panties and socks. It is one of my favorite techniques to teach. Folding and filing clothing in a drawer saves space and allows you to see everything at once. 

Folding and Filing socks

Most people roll socks together into a ball which takes up extra space and causes the socks to lose their elasticity. This is the way my mother stored socks and it’s the way that I did it for years. Continue reading


The Tale of Two Bookcases a.k.a. the Domino Effect

Have you ever noticed how one small home décor change can have a domino effect?

One colorful domino falling into five dominosWe recently replaced the carpet, painted the walls and changed the furniture arrangement in our living room. We moved a large wall unit out of the living room to open it up. It made a big difference. I would have been perfectly fine with selling or donating the piece that had served us well for thirty years, but my husband wanted to keep it. We moved the wall unit to his basement study and put it in the space that had previously contained a couple of short bookcases. That created another problem; thus the domino effect.  What should we do with the bookcases?

Thinking out loud can be dangerous.

Continue reading

3 Tips to Help You Remember Where You Put Your Keys

Are you sometimes forgetful? Believe me you are not alone!

Many of my clients suffer from forgetfulness. They simply can’t remember where they put things. Sometimes they have trouble remembering where they put seldom used items, but a lot of the time they lose their keys, checkbooks or cell phones.

Woman's right hand holding car keysSometimes the right hand really doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

Honestly I can say from time to time I misplace my keys or my cell phone, but usually not for long. This is really embarrassing, but the last time I lost my keys, I was actually holding them in my other hand. Talk about proving that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

Usually misplacing keys is due to being preoccupied and not being mindful of what we are doing. That was absolutely what was going on when my left hand couldn’t find my keys in my bag because my right hand was holding them. I still can’t believe that I did that, and to make it even more embarrassing…  I was with a client. I’m so thankful that she has a great sense of humor. Continue reading

WOW! I Had No Idea That…

Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc. has a huge recycling program.

I became aware of this recycling program a few months ago. I subscribe to the National Organization of Professional Organizers discussion board. There was a discussion about Goodwill Industries and the The Donate Movement, powered by Goodwill®. Until I read that post I was unaware that non-saleable items were in fact recycled by Goodwill Industries.

 My horrible blunder

For years I have been throwing stained and ripped clothing in the trash which of course goes straight into the landfill. The worst part is that in my ignorance I have allowed and (cringe) encouraged many of you to do the same thing. Continue reading

Gratitude Changes Everything

A to-do list with a twist

I’m a task driven person. I have been using a simple master to do list in the form of a 70 page spiral notebook for a couple of years now. I’m on my 2nd notebook. It took two years to fill the first one. This year I added a twist to my to-do list. I drew a line half way down the page and wrote above the line I’m grateful today because… Continue reading

A Burst of Spring Clearing

Spring: A Time for New Beginnings

Last week marked the official beginning of spring. I’ve always thought of spring as a time of new beginnings. It’s a great time for clearing. It’s a time to clear the litter and leaves from the planting beds and discover the summer perennials that are sprouting. It’s also a good time to clear the clutter and spruce up the inside of our homes.

Two Women, Two Ladders, and a Plan Continue reading

Where Does the Time Go?

Born Organized? Not Me.

If you have known me for a while then you know that I was not “born organized”.  I’m one of those people who are neither left nor right brain oriented. I guess you could describe me as an orderly free spirit.  I have had to learn how to be organized and how to figure out ways to work with my rebellious free spirit.

Time Management is Actually Self Management.

I have excelled in developing systems or processes to organize stuff and information. I live these systems and I teach them every day. However, like many of you I struggle with time management. That of course is a misnomer in its self because you really can’t manage time. You can only manage how you use your time.

Case Study: My Husband Continue reading

The Missing Piece – Confessions of an Organized Gardener – Part Three

Have you ever had a project stall? I had a gardening project that was on hold for six years. I was missing a vital piece of information.

Before and after dry creek projectIn January 2011 I decided to make it a priority for the year. I wrote the project down as a goal and read over it daily. Keeping the project on my mind actually drew the solution to me. Continue reading