Fresh start: Four tips for getting organized

By January 13, 2018All Posts, Home

We’re not Mary Poppins (although being able to fit a houseplant in our purse might be kind of fun). Sometimes we need some guidance organizing. So we looked to an expert: Marla Dee is the creator of the Clear & SIMPLE Way — a company that’s helped people for 18 years make organizing SIMPLE.

We’re excited to have her share her top four tips for making organizing simple this New Year!

From Marla:

We all want to be ORGANIZED!  But just thinking about all the clutter and chaos makes it overwhelming. We don’t even know where to start. The New Year energy is a great time to start fresh and get some simple systems in place. I am excited to share my Top Organizing Tips for the New Year!


TIP 1: Pick one small, medium and large project for each season.

So much of our stress over organizing is thinking that we have to do it all.  This is too much and so we never start.  This tip will help you get started and keep going.

Small Project. By small I mean a project that can be completed in 2 hours or less.  Let’s tackle your purse, wallet or briefcase.  Another great one is the junk drawer or office supply drawer in your desk. These are areas we are into every day and it feels great to get them organized.

Medium Project. This project can be done in about four hours on a Saturday morning when your energy is high. Great medium size projects are the kitchen counter or your bedside night tables. These are areas we see all the time and the clutter can drive us crazy.

Your Large Project will take a day or a weekend. Choose only one weekend of the 3 months so you can prepare and enjoy this project with your partner and family. Some great ideas for the winter are the toy room (now that new toys have come in), your clothes closet, or the home office.



TIP 2: Use the STACKS© System to learn the skill & make organizing easy!

The reason most of us dread and get drained by organizing is we don’t know how. It is a skill. Only 10% of the human population is born with the organizing gene. We wouldn’t expect a child to read a book without learning the ABC’S.  My STACKS system is a step-by-step approach that makes organizing easy and teaches you how. By asking only one question at a time, you are only making one decision at a time.  You will save time, energy and money if you do it this way.

  • Sort – what is it?
  • Toss – do I keep it or let it go?
  • Assign – where does it go?
  • Contain – what does it go in?
  • Keep it up – how do I maintain this?
  • Simplify – how can I simplify?


Let me bring this to life for you.  Haul all the clothes out of the closet and sort them first (according to type, colors, size, etc.). Once you can see what you really have (how many of that same top) the tossing becomes easier. After you have let go, the clothes that are left now need a spot so you assign a home, then ask about containers. HINT: Get all the same color hanger to transform you closet. Next ask how are you going to keep this up? You might schedule a seasonal or annual clear out with a girlfriend. Lastly, you could simplify by getting help from a friend that loves you and will be honest with you.


TIP 3: Consistent containers and containers inside drawers make a big difference.

When organizing the pantry or closets, get all the same color and type of container. This gives your project that final fabulous touch. Do you want neutral or bright colors? Do you want baskets or metal bins? Getting clear or connected containers inside the drawers helps so much with the small stuff to keep it organized.

TIP 4: Start all this with my GIFT to you — The ART of Letting Go eBook.

ART stands for Acceptance, Release and Trust. This free book will help you pick your project, take you through STACKS to get it done, and then get more resources to keep going:


ACTION: Take 10 minutes right now to choose your three projects for this winter season.  Talk with your partner or family if wanted. Then schedule them on your calendar. Get the ART of letting go book to guide you.

If you want some extra help in organizing, feel free to check out other great resources at, or contact Marla at 801-463-9090

You can also share your success with Marla on

Maddie Jacobs

Author Maddie Jacobs

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