May Tips and Tricks

Do Tackle Toppling

Contain tiny things so they can be moved as a unit & won't topple when you reach for one. Medicine cabinets are big culprits: plucking out the right bottle feels like a game of Operation. But corral them in an open bin on the shelf & grabbing the whole group or just one is a snap. Works everywhere ‑‑ for tea, vitamins, small tools, art supplies ‑‑ & so simple.

Don't Squeeze

Next time you think, "I can squeeze this one last task in before I go," just don't. Recognize it as an example of false efficiency. Cramming the task in when you don't truly have time will cause you to: do it badly, be late for your next appointment, & stress about both. Leave the task undone for now & enjoy being on time.

Get Bejeweled

My favorite way to store jewelry is in a hanging organizer like this one. You can see everything at once, & it's usually easier to hang this on a closet rod or a hook on the back of a door than it is to make room for a jewelry box. (I suppose if you have very fancy jewelry you might need something more secure, but I don't have that problem!)

Give to End Poverty

I'm excited about a poverty‑fighting program with a new chapter in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Circles has a proven (30‑year!) track record of ending generational poverty, attacking it from all sides & involving whole communities. Email me or go here if you'd like to get involved, & go here if you'd like to donate funds!

March Tips and Tricks

Here are 4 quick tips from me, Molly Boren of Simplicity Works Organizing Services. I hope they make your life a little easier.

Do Stop Phone Distractions

Every app thinks it's important enough to shake you by the lapels every 5 minutes. To turn off on‑screen or sound notifications on an iPhone, go to Settings > Notifications > select the app. On an Android it's Settings > Sound & Notification > App notifications > select the app. Limiting distractions is an essential modern skill, for your sanity as well as efficiency. I have been loving this tip lately ‑‑ very empowering!

Don’t Bury Supplies

Vertical is great for papers, but not for office supplies. They get buried in these deep, opaque upright "organizers" when we forget what we've tossed inside (supplies & other things, like cash & jewelry). Dump supplies in a drawer or box instead; it needn't be pretty. Maybe use dividers or small boxes inside & a cup on the desk for pens (but avoid over‑organizing). Extra supplies can live farther away, e.g., in a labeled box on a high bookshelf or closet.

Get Coins Counted

I got these low‑tech gadgets for my son but it's me who really loves them. Spare change clutters most homes, be it in a jar or scattered on surfaces. How to turn it into usable money? Coinstar is a good option, especially if you forego their fee by donating your cash or buying a gift card to a favorite retailer. But it's just as easy to convert 100% of it with these coin counting tubes (& paper sleeves that your bank might give you for free). I rolled $33.50 in 10 minutes while Sam built tiny forts with the finished product. Your bank then deposits the rolls or trades them for bills. You might even get very fancy with these sorting trays.

Give Freedom

Since 1983, Detroit's Freedom House has saved the lives of people fleeing torture, rape, & violence in their home countries. It gives them the tools ‑ such as legal aid & housing ‑ to build stable, independent lives & contribute to their new communities. Freedom House is now facing a 60% shortfall in its budget due to a surprise withdrawal of funding. Help this life‑giving & time‑tested group continue its work with financial or in‑kind donations or as a volunteer.

Jan Tips & Tricks

Here are 4 quick tips from me, Molly Boren of Simplicity Works Organizing Services. I hope they make your life a little easier.

Do Talk to Yourself

Clients think they're crazy for talking to themselves during organizing sessions, but I'm all for it. Organizing is about making things clearer, & when you articulate your thoughts out loud ("This goes upstairs...This is a 'to file'"), especially as you categorize, your decisions are clearer. I do this most nights as I put away the things I've brought home with me.

Don’t Do More

Scrutinize your to‐do list & consider the 4 Ds: is there anything I can Delete, Delay, Delegate, or Diminish? Julie Morgenstern helps separate the "Wish I Could Dos" from the "Actually Really Need To Do Nows."

Get Scratch Free Floors

Furniture socks are the newest entry in the "Why didn't I think of that" category. A client introduced me to these & they're just what they sound like: little socks for the feet of your furniture. They protect your floors with no adhesive to apply (or curse), saving time & money so you can save both for more important things.

Give Breakfast

Talk about a practical way to help those in need. St. Andrews in Ann Arbor has provided free breakfast "every single day no matter what" for 35 years & counting. Donate &/or volunteer to support this vital mission.