Friday, April 28, 2006

Affordable Luxuries

It came to my attention this week, that Forbes Magazine has an ongoing lifestyle feature titled "Affordable Luxuries". Affordable is a subjective term, but Forbes defines their "Affordable Luxuries" at $200 or less. You can be the judge if that is affordable to you or not.

In March, Forbes did a great service to professional organizers by dispelling the myth that our services are for "only the idle rich". Thank you Forbes Magazine!

In fact, my clients come from all walks of life and varying financial means. The thing that is common to all of my clients is that they are smart people tired of living their lives with clutter. It is an honor for me to help them live their lives to the fullest. After all, my mantra is "Everyone deserves a Simply Organized Life!"

If you would like to read the article from the magazine, click on this link:
I should note that the rates quoted by Ms. Caron are rates typical of the East and West Coasts. Here in the Midwest $200 goes quite a bit further.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Waste Knot, Want Not

Simply Organized Life Recognized as Green

Those of you that are frequent visitors to Simply Organized Life's main website (link at right) will have noticed our press release from April 13, 2006.

Simply Organized Life is honored to now be a partner with the Washtenaw County Waste Knot Program. The photo above is from yesterday evening's Waste Knot Awards Ceremony. It was a great pleasure to be recognized as the first and only Organizing Consultant to be a Waste Knot Award Partner.

Eliminating waste and caring for our environment is important to me in how I run my business and how I work with my clients. I am so happy to be recognized publicly by my fellow Waste Knot Partners, businesses both small and large. To learn more about the Waste Knot Program click on the link at:

Friday, April 14, 2006

Volunteers Needed!

Ann Arbor Book Festival

This year I am the Volunteer Coordinator for the Ann Arbor Book Festival ( The Festival will be held from May 10th through 14th in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is a volunteer position for me. I have estimated that the Festival will need nearly 90 volunteers to make this year's events a success!

For those of you that have already volunteered, I thank you (and request you let me know your T-shirt size ASAP!).

If you are reading this and are interested in volunteering, please e-mail me. We still need many volunteers for events on Thursday, May 11th; Friday, May 12th and Saturday, May 13th.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Business Tip #5

Outsource What You Don't Do Best

As small business owners (this includes me!) we often try to do everything ourselves. At a recent women business owners meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Nina Howard the Founder of Bellanina Spa and Institute ( called folks like us "Do it Alls". I think Nina knows, she's been there and done it all!

However, even "Do it Alls" sometimes need to limit their activities to what they do best and let the experts work for them. This is called outsourcing. It doesn't mean you are going to go to China to get the job done, but what it does mean is that there is someone out there (perhaps another small business owner) that can do what you are struggling with in less time for less money.

Remember! Your time is valuable. Pay the experts to help you when you need it!

This includes help organizing your time or your clutter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Business Tip #4

Guard Your Time

In yesterday's post I wrote about the benefits of using only one calendar for business and personal scheduling. Today I want to teach you the benefits of using your calendar to carve out time for your business and yourself.

Only you can be in control of your time. Not your spouse, kids, clients or anyone else! It is up to you and only you to make sure you are maximizing your time to meet your business and personal goals. This may be a major paradigm shift for some of you, but once you make this shift life will become easier.

Your calendar is to be used not only for appointments with other people, but also for appointments with yourself. For example, if you are a business owner, you may need to set aside time at regular intervals for strategic planning. This is the type of stuff that usually falls through the cracks. What you need to do is schedule time in your calendar for these activities, such as strategic planning, and treat this scheduled time as you would a client appointment.

In the days ahead, watch for more information on Business Tip #5 "Outsource what you don't do best."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Business Tip #3

One Calendar is Easier than Two (or more!)

If you keep all of your appointments in one calendar you can really save time. When people use two or more calendars they waste time tracking things in two places and double checking to make sure they have not missed anything.

I realize this is a bit of a contradiction from Business Tip #1 (Keep the Business Stuff Separate) but when it comes to keeping track of your time you want to have everything in one place. Once the time is gone, it's gone forever!

Personally, I use an electronic calendar on my computer that synchronizes with a hand held device. I like this because my schedule varies and I can use different colors to indicate if an appointment is personal or business related. Furthermore, I am never without my calendar!

Electronic calendars are great time savers, but they are not for everyone. I recommend that many of my clients stick to the paper calendars that they are familiar with. If you are using a paper calendar it is wise to have one that is large enough to write both personal and business appointments, while at the same time being small enough to take with you.

In Business Tip #4 we will talk more about time use!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Business Tip #2

Focus on One Thing at a Time

As easy as it seems this can be a difficult task, especially in this day and age of instant messaging and BlackBerry users. In our modern day culture "multitasking" is seen as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Let me tell you...Multitasking is not always good! In many cases focusing on one thing at a time can actually be more productive.

My clients are intellegent, hardworking, driven people with all kinds of great ideas and mental to-do lists running around in their heads. Often times folks nowadays just do not know how to slow down and focus on one thing at a time.

When I am feeling overwhelmed with all I have to do, I use three simple and inexpensive tools to prioritize the tasks at hand.
1) A Piece of Paper
2) A Pen
3) A Timer

You can do this too!

Using the paper and pen, just write down everything you have to do on a piece of paper. I call this the "brain dump" (I think I originally heard this from my friend and time management consultant, Randy Dean). Then ask yourself: "What is the best use of my time now?" Set your timer and focus in on that one thing that is the best use of your time. That task will be off your to-do list in no time!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Business Tip #1

Keep the Business Stuff Separate

This is particularly important if you have a home based business, but also applies to people who have businesses outside of the home.

It is really important to have a separate space for business related materials, both physical materials and electronic materials.

Storing physical materials can be as simple as a separate file drawer only for business materials or a kitchen corner reserved only for business use. For those of you that work from home, you want to avoid keeping business materials in shared areas of the home. By this I mean: do not use the kitchen table, dining room table, coffee table or any other shared flat surface in the home to store your business materials!

For electronic materials, you want to make sure business data is stored separately from personal data. If you do not have two computers (one for home use and one for business use) you can simply make electronic file folders to separate business files from personal files.

Watch for tips #2 through #5 in the days ahead!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Simply Organized Business SM

This evening I had a great opportunity to speak to a women business owners group that I belong to. I always learn something new at each meeting. This time it was my turn to speak about my business and share my five tips for A Simply Organized Business SM.
1) Keep the Business Stuff Separate
2) Focus on One Thing at a Time
3) One Calendar is Easier than Two (or more!)
4) Guard Your Time
5) Outsource What You Don't Do Best

In the next few days I will explain the thought process behind each of these tips and how they can help women (and men) business owners be more effective AND efficient.