Welcome to the Plan-and-Organize-Life.com Newsletter. I hope you enjoy getting the newsletter and that it helps to keep you on track with your organizing goals. Remember, you can get a lot done in only 10 minutes of decluttering and organizing!

Table of Contents

-Did you know?
-Monthly Mission – Living Room
-What’s New on Plan-and-Organize-Life.com – Recent site additions
-Back to Basics - Decluttering


Welcome to another new year, and time to get back to organizing after all the holidays! As I write this, I’m anxious to take down the Christmas tree and all the decorations and reclaim my home. Especially from all the new toys and gifts that are spread out around the living room, waiting for new homes, wherever that may be!

Cleaning up and putting away all the holiday stuff jumpstarts my new year’s decluttering and organizing. I’m not looking for perfection, but I can see the progress after putting these holiday things away and it inspires me to keep on going! And there are certainly areas of my home that need more decluttering and attention than others. How about you!

Did you know…

January 2011 is the 7th annual Get Organized Month? It was started by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) seven years ago to promote the benefits of getting better organized. To find events in your area or to learn more about getting organized or finding a professional organizer, go to NAPO website.

The Monthly Mission – Living Room

Let’s start another year of monthly missions starting with the living room and taking down our holiday decorations. To read more about January’s monthly mission, click here.

Recent Site Additions

Here are some of the more recently added pages to the website you may have missed.

Garage Makeover - before and after photos of my personal garage makeover. See how we tackled the problems and ended up with a functional garage.

Streamline Your Morning Routine - Ideas to help you get out the door in the morning and be on time for work or school.

Storage Shed Organization - Before and after photos of my storage shed reorganization project.

Toy Organizing Project - After Christmas I had to do some toy re-organizing. Here is a before and after of my little toy organizing project.

Bathroom Drawer Make Over - How to organize a bathroom drawer, an example with before and after photos.

Stop Clutter - Quick simple tips on how to stop the clutter from coming into your home in the first place.

Organizing Your Magazines - Suggestions to help you downsize your piles of magazines and how to store them neatly.

Organize Your Junk Drawer - take control of that drawer you toss stray items into. Give it purpose with a few minutes and a little organization.

Back to Basics - Decluttering

Before you can do any sort of organizing of your belongings, you really need to do some decluttering. You can’t organize clutter. Boxing up your unused and unneeded belongings into pretty boxes isn’t really organizing. Decluttering is so much more important because once you get rid of what you don’t want or need, it leaves you with space (both physically and mentally) to organize your home and life to be what you want it to be. You can’t do that until you clear out the old to make room for the new.

January is a great time to declutter and get a fresh start. Ever since I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do after the holidays was to put away all my Christmas gifts after the first of the year. Time to find a home for all my new things. I still enjoy doing this at the beginning of the year. Now with a family of four though, it’s even more important! And decluttering is more of a necessity too since space is limited. In order to make space for the new stuff, we have to let go of some of the old stuff.

Here are a few reminders of how to decide what to discard from your clutter:

Duplicates - if you have duplicates of something, keep the best one and let the other(s) go.

1 Year – If you haven’t used an item in the past year, most likely you won’t use it in the future, so let it go.

Expired – check out your kitchen cabinets, refrigerator and medicine cabinets to let go of expired items.

Doesn’t fit – or it fits poorly, or it’s really out of date…let it go and make room for things that fit and flatter you!

Broken – how long have you been planning to fix that thing? If it’s been over 6 months, do it today, or let it go. If it’s damaged beyond repair, toss it.


Love it – if an item is something you truly love, use, display and it represents who you are and want to be, then by all means, keep it!

Until next time, happy organizing!


Tracy Greene

P.S. Sometimes links to website pages get broken. If a link doesn't work, you may need to copy and paste the entire link into your browser.