Home Organization

Spring – Fall Cleaning

Why should you Spring or Fall clean your house?

Spring or fall cleaning is doing all the things you don’t do on a regular basis.  That means it’s usually items that rarely get cleaned, mostly just a couple of times a year.  There’s a few items like dusting lamps or cleaning the oven that are probably part of your regular cleaning, but I included them for those that don’t do them in their normal cleaning.  Most items listed in these checklists are not done as part of a normal routine.

What are the benefits?

If you don’t clean some things, you might find yourself having extra work, or even repair bills, which means lost money. 

i.e. Not cleaning your dryer vent hose could cost you in longer drying times as well as problems when lint clogs the vent system. 

Having a house sparkling clean brings a sense of newness.  Something that definitely goes along with spring cleaning — and even the coolness of fall cleaning.  It makes you feel much better about the appearance of your house  especially when guests visit (neighbors, friends, or relatives). 

Spring Cleaning also can be a time to get better organized.  It might mean letting go of items that you no longer use, hence the increased amount of garage sales!   Or it might mean just donating those  items.  

Do you have to clean all at once? 

Of course not.  Sometimes, especially for duct work or heating and cooling cleaning, a professional is better.  And if you do have toddlers running around, it might be easier to have a cleaning service come in. 

There’s also the option to hire out some of the services and do some of it yourself.  For instance, hire someone to wash walls, windows and blinds besides the duct work and dryer vent.  You decide what you want to do and when it’s better to hire someone.


Best time to Spring or Fall Clean

If you are the host for family gatherings for the holidays, the best time to do your spring or fall cleaning is just before the holiday. Then your house will be ready for your holiday celebration.  But that doesn’t mean you have to do all the rooms before a holiday, you can just do the ones people will see.  If you want, you can do the rest after the holidays.


 Not that you don’t have to clean up after guests leave, but you can relax knowing your main spring or fall cleaning is already done.


Actually, I recommend cleaning whatever you can as early as possible. Even if the weather is still cold outside, there’s plenty of things to be done inside.  If you have kids, be sure to work around any spring or fall break schedules so you’re not cleaning when you want time to spend with your kids.

Click here for Spring-Fall Cleaning Checklists – 9 pages 

Print them as a pdf and just check off items as you complete them.

To customize:

Print as an Excel spreadsheet  (97-2003)   OR

Open docs for Google Sheets or other spreadsheet programs


Is your Guest Room ready for Guests?

Visitors Drop by

Helen used to run around her home and pickup the piles whenever a friend came calling.

Then she’d throw those items all into the guest bedroom.  ‘I’ll do it another day”, she would say, and close the room door.

Guest Room Ready for Company?

That was fine until the holidays came.  Helen’s sister wanted to come into town, which meant she needed to use the guest bedroom.  It wasn’t enough to have to worry about meal planning for family and relatives for the holiday, now Helen also had to get the guest room ready.

Before Helen could wash the bedding, she had to get to it.  Those things she constantly tossed in the room were piled on the bed and all over the place: clothes she was going to donate to  Goodwill, books and magazines she had finished reading, stuffed animals and toys from redoing a grown child’s bedroom, suitcases, gifts, etc.





It would take her weeks to clear up the piles of clothes, books, toys, boots, shoes, purses, photos, and everything else she had haphazardly tossed in the room to deal with another day.


Helen was fed up with having to clean up the bedroom every time a guest came in.  She saw a listing in her local paper, and signed up for my course. She went through the P.L.A.C.E.™ principles, and cleaned up her house.


She finally realized that even one pile meant more work to do.

More time lost.

Less time to get ready for the holidays.


Helen learned to stop tossing items into the guest bedroom and just deal with them right then. No more waiting for more things to donate, no more piling things in a room.  No more un-piling the guest bedroom just before the holidays.

Helen learned how to be better organized.

And now you can too.

This is the first time this course is available online.  You don’t have to spend any extra time or money to travel to a course.  It’s coming to you.


It’s your turn. 

Start the New Year right–get organized now. 


There’s only 2 more days left.  The course is closing Sunday night.


Cut the Clutter and get organized now.

Sign up here. 





Piles, Piles, Everywhere a Pile

Cindy closed doors to her home so she could keep the clutter out of her mind. She might not have been able to see it, but the closed doors constantly reminded her there was a mess behind each of the doors. So not only were her piles growing, but the piles in her mind were also growing. So now her emotional stress and frustration was growing too.

It seems that whenever a pile starts, it’s so much easier to just add to it. You think, “I’ll just put this away when I put away the other things in this pile.” And so the pile keeps growing and growing.

That’s probably how hoarders end up that way. Now I’m not saying you will become a hoarder, that’s unlikely because hoarders don’t seek out help. And if you didn’t want help, you wouldn’t be reading this in the first place.

I was hired once by someone’s son to help his mother as he was out of state. I talked to her on the phone, but once I got to her house, she refused to even let me inside. In fact, she barely opened the door to talk to me. Needless to say, I didn’t get inside to help her clear her hoarding.

Cindy’s main problem was how was she going to find the extra time to get rid of the piles.

Here’s 3 steps to get rid of those piles.


  1. No matter how big your pile is, stop making it bigger. Just put away what you were going to add to the pile. Whether it’s putting clothes into the laundry basket or the screwdriver back into the garage on the other side of the house–don’t leave it where it doesn’t belong. Put it where it needs to go.
  2. If you take even just one more thing off that pile to put away too, the pile will start shrinking instead of growing every time you remove something.
  3. Take 2 or 3 or 4 things to put away at the same time, and it will shrink quicker.  You don’t have to do the whole pile at once, but the more you can do at the same time, the faster your pile is gone.


Are you holding onto things too long?

How long do you hold onto things

you’re NOT using?

Do you have clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in over 2 years – either because your weight has changed or they are out of style?

If you really lose that weight don’t you

                     deserve an updated wardrobe?                          


Are you still keeping stuffed animals from your child’s youth and they are now in college and don’t want them?

Won’t your grandchildren want new ones

to create their own memories?


Do you have toys from kids that they have outgrown?

Tip:  Keep Legos and other similar expensive toys

that will last from one generation to another. 

               Could you donate the rest to a thrift store?           


Do you have books you’ve read that you don’t plan on ever reading again?

                Could you pass them on to a hospital surgery waiting room,

a school, or a library book sale?


Do you have old, worn, or broken anything you aren’t using?  (kitchen items, clothes, tools, etc.)

Could you take to thrift stores that take these for parts –

especially electric cords.


Purging doesn’t have to be done all at once.

You could do one room at a time or one category at a time.


Once your purge what you don’t need, do you know how to organize what you are keeping?


Do you have systems to keep your home organized?

If you don’t, come learn how to use systems so that everyone can find things in your home without you having to label every cabinet and shelf.


If you’re tired of doing all the clean up yourself,

it’s time to learn systems and teach them to your family so that you can ….

 Cut the Clutter to Enjoy Your Life


Click here…   hurry – this course is open for a few more days.

We start Monday!


















Is Clutter Taking Over Your Home?

Cindy was frustrated by the appearance of her home.  In fact she was so frustrated that she even closed doors to all of the rooms.   The first reason she did this was so visitors didn’t see her messy house.  But the main reason was for her – she didn’t have to look at the clutter either — But it didn’t help.  The closed doors just made her feel worse about her house knowing that behind those closed doors lurked a mess.  A mess that she was going to have to clean up, someday.


As if she didn’t have enough things to do by going to work, coming home, making dinner, and taking care of the family; clutter represented one more thing to do–one of these days. Doors just helped her procrastinate the inevitable, but it didn’t remove the frustration of knowing it was there.

kitchen clutter

Kitchen clutter


Cindy’s frustration was adding to the physical clutter by giving her mental and emotional stress.


Worry that someone would think she was a terrible housekeeper.

Wondering how she was ever going to crawl out from under the piles.

Thinking how much more work she now had to do.


A lot of people get very discouraged when they realize that their frustrations are due to their inability to keep their house organized.


But it’s not your fault.

No one taught you how to Clear the Clutter and STAY organized.


There was no class in school like Health or Home Economics to teach you.  So things just started piling up, and the more they piled up, the easier it seemed to just add to the pile!


Whether your clutter is in many rooms, one room, or you just want to learn some systems for organization, click the link below now to discover how to Cut the Clutter to Enjoy Your Life.  This course won’t just show you how to declutter, it’s going to teach you systems to be organized.


Come join us!



Forget items at the grocery store? Use a template.

Do you find yourself unpacking your groceries at home and realize your forgot to buy something you wanted?  Maybe it was a gallon of milk, butter, cereal or bread.  Whatever it was, it had been on your mind, but once you were grocery shopping you totally forgot about it.


It happens. 

It happens even more when you don’t create a list. 


Most people make a grocery list just before they go shopping.  That’s not when you tend to think of things.  It’s usually while you’re making dinner, or any meal, and realize you are running low on something or that next week you’d like to make this particular meal that would require ingredients that aren’t in the house.

What if there was a way to create your list when most things popped into your head?  When you’re preparing a meal.  When you’re home.


That’s why it helps to have a Master Grocery List.  One you could print off weekly, or whenever you needed a new list, that you could place in an easily accessible place.  A place like the refrigerator or a bulletin board in the kitchen area.  And to make it even easier, what if that list was already printed for you?  You wouldn’t even have to create a master list, just mark a template.


I designed a Grocery List Template that has over 250 items on it.  You can hang it up and not only you, but ever member of your family could see it and use it.  All you need is a highlighter, or if you want you could circle an item.  Then you would have a list ready to go.  If you thought about needing mayo on Tuesday and fish on Friday, you would have the list right there to mark.  And if a family member wanted waffles for breakfast next week, they could mark that down too.


Most  people buy the same things, and the same brands every week.  However, you may prefer to make your own list so you could be more specific.  So if you’d rather put down specific items, like Cheerios or Raisin Bran, then Sheet 2 of the Grocery List has just the 17 categories with lines under them  so you could list exactly what you want to get.

My Grocery List Optin

Try it both ways, one week with a pre-printed list and one week with just the Categories.  The most important thing is to have a list that everyone can add to and that you can re-print weekly whenever you need it.  You have nothing to lose, and may find yourself saving alot of time and not having to make another trip to the grocery store because you’re out of milk!


Here’s the Grocery List

It is my present to you.


Where did it go?

It disappeared.  It just vanished.

I spent days looking for it, hours at a time.

I looked under the bed, in the closet, everywhere.


But I can’t find the remote for the bed so my husband can sleep somewhat upright. If you have sleep apnea, you know what I am talking about.  It’s like a hospital bed. Adjust it any way you want it to go.

I know I shouldn’t think so, but I suspect a little grandkid about 3 yrs. old may have moved it.  He loved to push the buttons and watch the head or the feet of the bed go up or down.   I did call and ask him if he took it, and he said no.


Of course it didn’t help that it had been missing for a few days before we realized it. My husband stopped raising his bed every night because sometimes he could just fall asleep. And it doesn’t help that there is a garbage can right but he night table where the remote would Sit. I really do think I would have checked the trash bag if it weighed much as it is usually just full of tissues.  But it’s been 3 weeks and the remote has now shown up.

I’m an organizer, and I don’t like to say I lost something, but it’s lost. Possibly lost forever.

We called the bed company and they wanted $150 for a new remote.  Then it turned out that they could take m y emote – since we got matching beds – and pair it to his bed.  So we did that since I only raised mine when I had foot surgery and had to be in bed several days.

Still hoping we find it, but I’m almost giving up.  But – you never know.  I have yet to pull absolutely everything off the closet floor – just in case it’s in there.  About 2 years ago I found a digital camera in a boot.  Apparently my husband packed it in the boot on the way home from a vacation and forgot, and we just thought we lost that camera.  Of course when we found it we already had better cameras.

So even though I’m an organizer, some things can get lost, accidentally.

Never said anything was 100%.


Have a place for everything, and put everything in its place.

And don’t change it!   (story for another day)



PS  If you have little kids and remotes – hide them (the remotes, not the kids) when they come over.

Or the remotes may disappear!

This got me up in arms (really frustrated) and I’m mostly an introvert!

I read something that I totally disagree with.

In fact it surprised me how strong my reaction was.  I feel like a fish out of water.


Just minutes ago I read an email and someone suggested this. I shot back an email immediately and said

“Please don’t ever do that!”

In fact if you follow me on twitter, you might have seen that someone recently tagged me in an article we were both quoted in, that had this same idea (not a comment from the person who tagged me.)  Normally I would have played up a place I’d been quoted in, especially since it’s a major online pub. I admit that I didn’t promote this article because I didn’t agree with many of the other organizers’ comments in the article.  But today I feel like I need to say something after one more person even thought of doing this!

So what am I fussing about?  I just got an email that said this guy was thinking of “color coordinating his books.” I think this guy was jesting when he said it, but I’m not sure.  I literally told him that sentence got me “up in arms.”

Maybe you’d think that organizing books by color is a good idea. The blocks of colors would look pretty. It’s logical. Something I’m all about – logic. I even advocate color coordinating for: paper file systems, binder spines, closet organizing and especially for calendars.  I’d color coordinate my digital files, if I could. But that’s about it. Color coordinating your books – it’s useless!

Really, how can you even think of color coordinating your books–or sorting them by height? How do you find anything? Are you going to remember a book is blue, or yellow or green, or tall or short? There’s only one way to organize books and that’s by type. First separating fiction from nonfiction and then by categories: i.e. biographies, art, music, health, hobbies, etc.   For business:  marketing,  sales, writing , training, etc.  You can even create subcategories: I have separate shelves for office organizing, time management, and home organizing. That’s how you organize books. That’s how you find something.

The realtor’s.com article is about décor. I don’t organize my house for someone else to think it’s pretty. I organize my house and my office so I can find what I want — WHEN I WANT IT!

Everything in its Place – that’s my motto and my business name.  Make your house, and especially your office, functional, don’t organized things to waste time.

OK, I feel like I’m on a soapbox. And I was wondering what I was going to write about on my blog. No problem this week.  I’m done.  I need a nice cup of hot chamomile tea and a good Victorian romance book to relax!  Yes, I do read  them!  (refer to the comment in the realtors.com article)


PS  And for heaven’s sake, don’t use your books to hold up a lamp or anything else. You bought the books someone wrote them– read them or display them or donate them.  But please don’t ruin them!


Regrets After Decluttering

When my mother passed, and my father cleaned out the house, there were 2 items I didn’t think to ask him to save.

  1. One was a picture I had made for my mother.  It was just a paint by number, but it was a picture of a woman celebrating the Sabbath on velvet and she had framed it and kept it on our living room wall.

    Thinking about regrets

    Thinking back

  2. The second regret was sheet music I had since I was around 12 or 13 when I was taking piano lessons.  They were all popular songs. I never could get the left-hand notes right or coordinate it with the right hand, so the piano teacher taught me guitar chords on the piano for the left hand.  I had all this sheet music from popular songs of the day, and my Dad pitched them.  Now, I did get the actual piano when he moved to Florida, but I wish I had that sheet music to go along with it!





Here’s an article of items other people regretted losing.  It appeared in a blog called SpareFoot.

You might to check it out:   decluttering regrets


Have you ever tossed something when you were decluttering that you wish you still had?

Comment below.

Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!




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