Week Four – Simplify.

Shaaron, the organization guru. You’ll meet her later in the blog.

It has been a long time since I’ve felt this excited about life. There really is a magic in this project for me. I’ve loved the things I’ve blogged about so far, and I’m even more excited by some of the things that I have planned for the next few weeks.

Just a few more thoughts on financial freedom before moving on to this week’s project. I’ve had so much resistance to it over my life, but I’ve discovered that budgeting is AWESOME and helps me feel so much more in control of my money. I set a financial goal that gives me some motivation to save, cut costs and find extra sources of income (like picking up extra shifts at work, booking more musical gigs, etc.). Also, be sure to check out another amazing resource that my roommate, Sharon, showed me: www.americasaves.org (I signed up with utahsaves.org, so I imagine there is one for every state). SO many wonderful resources to help with financial goals.

There’s more that I could write about that topic, but there’s a lot of information to share this week, so I’m going to shift gears.

I’m reading an awesome book called The Artist’s Way that I’d recommend to anyone who wants to improve their creativity. The author, Julia Cameron, has some great thoughts that spurred my focus to simplify and get organized. She says:

“One of the clearest signals that something healthy is afoot is the impulse to weed out, sort through, and discard old clothes, papers, and belongings…. By tossing out the old and unworkable, we make way for the new and suitable. A closet stuffed with ratty old clothes does not invite new ones. A house overflowing with odds and ends and tidbits you’ve held on to for someday has no space for the things that might truly enhance today.” (-Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way, p.83)

I have a tendency to hold on to things for sentimental value or because I think I’ll need it again twenty years in the future. That quote helped me do some physical purging this week to accompany some of the emotional housecleaning I’ve been doing. The hope is that I can create a space for something better in both cases.

At the beginning of the week, I went through my bedroom and got rid of any clothes that I don’t wear or that were worn out and any clutter that has been taking up space. I sorted through my papers and cd’s. I made a trip to Deseret Industries (UT’s version of Goodwill) to get rid of things that might be useful to other people.

Next, I looked into other resources available to me. There are several good articles online about getting organized. This is one that was particularly helpful: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/organizing/how-to-get-organized. It had a lot of practical ideas and suggestions.

I also turned to a great lady I’m friends with named Shaaron Saunders, who is a professional organizer. (Just a plug for Shaaron: You can hire her to help you get organized for $25/hour by calling 801.235.9181. She really is a miracle worker.)

Here are some tips she shared with me that I found particularly useful:

Keep spices in a drawer with the labels facing upwards to create space in kitchen cupboards

-Start by cleaning out your purse or wallet. Transfer any information you’re saving on random scraps of paper (like phone numbers, etc.).

-Small things become great if you’re consistent. Put all loose change in a jar and make a fund (Christmas, Help for Hati, vacation, etc.) (-This is one I’ve started after two other sources in the week encouraged me to do it!)

Small jewelry can be stored in Ikea ice trays, or…

…in candy or chocolate boxes, like Ferrero Rocher or Godiva containers


You can keep small things like spare buttons in a central place, like a journal

-Work from the premise, “If I were blind, could I find everything I need in this room?” She also repeatedly stressed the old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” This can create peace and elevate the mood in your home.

-When getting mail from the mailbox, open it over the trash can. Toss junk mail after cutting off your name and address to use as an address label for future correspondence. For bills and important mail, highlight the due date and paper clip all important pages together.

Clothes sorted by color are easier to locate, and shoe bags on the backs of doors are great space savers... not only for shoes, but hair accessories, cleaning supplies, etc.

Keeping clothes organized by color helps locate them faster. Also, shoe bags on the backs of doors save space with not only shoes, but can be used in other closets for hair accessories, cleaning supplies, etc.

-Keep a hamper next to a dirty clothes hamper in your closet for old items to be donated to Goodwill when it gets full.

These are only a few of her suggestions. She had a lot of other great ideas. I’m excited to continue to organize this week and to create space in my time and in my physical environment for the good things that are constantly coming into my life now. I’m feeling pretty grateful.


3 thoughts on “Week Four – Simplify.

  1. Sarah Washburn says:

    These are great suggestions!

    I’ve gone through weeding out times before and for the most part, they have always been wonderfully helpful and purging.

    I did regret throwing out old clothes once. When I had just barely gotten married, I took all of my baggier clothes (from when the shirt styles were a little looser) and gave them to the DI. I hadn’t been wearing them and I didn’t want to keep them because they might be a temptation if I started to gain weight. My reasoning was that if I only had more form-fitted clothes, I would keep in better shape. This was true–but I hadn’t factored in pregnancy!

    I now wish I had those clothes to wear during those in-between times before maternity clothes fit and before you can fit into your regular clothes again (first and second trimester and after you’ve had the baby and haven’t lost the weight yet). Sometimes I wish I still had those shirts! They definitely would have come in handy!

    I am a huge organizer. But I’ve found that after time, things become disorganized again. You can’t just organize once. You have to get in the habit of organizing again and again. Make it become a part of your life!

  2. wsc24660 says:

    I discovered this quote recently and it has become one of my faves:

    “Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work.”

    Good job on the fun projects!

  3. Mary Lee Call says:

    Can so relate to your desire to be organized. It’s an ongoing process in my life and I actually like doing it. But I end up living with stacks of things thinking I don’t have time to tackle them. I’m working on learning to just doing a few things each day.
    Here’s a quote I cut out of Better Homes & Gardens (Dad gave Linda and me subscriptions): “When your home is organized you feel more energized.” (Helen Norman) So true!
    Somehow this quote from a fortune cookie also inspires me: “You are free to invent your life.”
    YOU inspire me too.
    Mary Lee

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