My 3 Favorite Resources for Staying Organized


As part of the Life Well Lived Getting Organized panel, I was asked What are your favorite resources (Products, Apps, Books, Websites, etc.) to help you get organized?

Because most of my life is now digital – whether I’m paying bills, scheduling life, or working in my home office – I rely heavily on three simple tools:

  1. My iPhone You can bet that no matter where I am, my iPhone is close by. From my iPhone (and various apps on it) I can access all of my contacts, my calendar, my files, my social media accounts, my blog and whatever else I need to organize work or play.
  2. Dropbox I used Dropbox to store all of my digital files so I can have access to them anywhere I have an Internet connection. I can even view files on my phone using the Dropbox iPhone app. Everything is synced to my computer and iPad and super easy to share with anyone I might be collaborating with. No need for emailing or wondering what version of a file is the right one!
  3. Evernote This handy tool has helped me organize personal to do lists, blog post ideas and meeting notes on the fly. I use the iPhone and iPad apps fairly frequently when I’m not at home. Once I’m home, my notes are synced and waiting for me on my computer. Evernote saves me a ton of time and is much more efficient (and eco-friendly) than a pen and paper!

How do you manage to stay organized? I’m always open to new tips and tricks!

You can head on over BlogHer and read 35 Resources to Help You Get Organized for even more tips and join the conversation. (I see a few on there that I’m definitely going to try out!)

Be sure to enter the current Life Well Lived Sweepstakes for a chance to win an iPod Touch a $50 iTunes gift certificate to go with it.  All you have to do is comment on the post. Good luck!

Managing Clutter: Keeping Kids (and Your Living Space) Organized

As part of the Life Well Lived Getting Organized panel, I was asked What are your best tips for keeping the clutter at bay with kids in the house? How do you help your kids develop good organizing skills?

I have a pretty big, old house that spans three floors. And though I have space, I do not have much storage. Closets weren’t really a big thing back in 1892, when my house was built.

I have two boys, ages 6 and 3, that have lots of toys. To keep the clutter down and to teach them to keep (and stay) organized, I have three rules I adhere to:

1. Everything must have a place. Pretty simple. If it doesn’t have a place to live, then you might not get to keep it. And in the middle of the floor or on Mom’s table is not an option. Just because I live with two kids doesn’t mean that my house has to look like a playground. This rule usually motivates the kids (and husband) to find a place (or places) to store things.

The boys have 3 cabinets in the living room to store toys.

2. Toys must be put into said place once playing is done. Want to watch some television before dinner or go outside to play? Sure. Just make sure you clean up before doing so. While I’m the neatest in the house, I have no desire to clean up after everyone’s messes. The kids know that it is expected of them to clean up their toys before they can go on to the next activity. It might take the 3 year old a while to put things away, but he’ll get there if he’s motivated enough.

This ottoman holds toys on our second floor. Once the toys are put away, we are left with a nice foot rest or additional seating.

3. Purging is necessary every few months. At some point, those “places” for storage become overloaded, and toys end up without a home. Typically, this means that it’s time to go through toys and start donating. We go through toys every few months with the kids and note which ones they have outgrown or just don’t use. It’s a great exercise to go through. They might not agree right away, but when they realize they can’t keep everything, they start to make some good decisions. Plus, they like that their old toys will be used by another little boy or girl who might enjoy them even more.

When the playroom cubes get overloaded, it's time to purge!

How do you manage kid clutter in your home? How do you teach kids the art of organizing?

Go on over to BlogHer and read Simple Ways to Get Your Kids Organized for even more tips and join the conversation. And be sure to enter the Life Well Lived Moments Sweepstakes for a chance to win an iPod Touch a $50 iTunes gift certificate to go with it. (Please note – this sweepstakes ends May 16th so enter now!) All you have to do is comment about your favorite example of a Life Well Lived Moment when you were alone.

3 Tips for Managing Physical and Digital Clutter

As part of the Life Well Lived Getting Getting Organized panel, I was asked how I organize paperwork both online and off.

I’ve been working on simplifying my office and home for better organization and piece of mind for some time now. Who hasn’t, right? When I have lots of papers lying around, I get overwhelmed. I hate not knowing what to do with things, so I try to come up with systems to make life easier.

Here are my 3 tips for managing physical and digital clutter:

  • Only keep what you need. This is a big one. I know that if I don’t throw things away, I end up with a big pile of papers (or emails!) that I don’t know what to do with. Once I finally go through them, I just end up tossing or deleting them. Save yourself the trouble and recycle or shred unnecessary papers (or delete emails) when you get them. You know you’re not going to do anything with them anyway.
  • Use digital storage and limit physical storage.  I live in a big old house with almost no closet space. I also prefer a minimalist design style. On the personal side, I only file things like receipts for my health savings account (HSA) or handbooks and from my son’s school. While I do have paper files for my business, I keep them contained to one filing cabinet. I have all my personal or business digital files stored on Dropbox so that I have access to them at all times.
  • Have a place for everything. We pay all our bills online and sign up for electronic statements whenever we can. This cuts down on paper quite a bit. When I do get mail or papers from the school, I make sure I have a place for everything, usually in the designated files I mentioned above. If I don’t, they get taken care of or tossed. Period.

How do you manage physical and digital clutter?

Go on over to BlogHer and read Ten Ways to Organize Your Papers – Online and Offline for even more tips. And be sure to enter the Life Well Lived Moments Sweepstakes for a chance to win an iPod Touch a $50 iTunes gift certificate to go with it. All you have to do is comment about your favorite example of a Life Well Lived Moment when you were alone.

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