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 – Home Filing System
-What’s New on Plan-and-Organize-Life.com – Recent site additions
-How the Universe Decluttered My Computer


Spring is finally here in the U.S. Hopefully we’ll have some warmer weather and dryer days to come so we can enjoy the fresh air. And for some of us, it’s time to do our spring cleaning. Do any of you do official “spring cleaning”? I’m not so particular about it, but I can tell you that I can’t wait to get some of the windows washed so I can see out them better!

Did you know…

According to a 2011 survey by The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), 82% of 18-29 year olds will spring clean this year, approximately 15% more than the national average based on previous years studies.

The study done in 2010 by the SDA found that 60% of people surveyed still regularly engage in spring cleaning. The top three things to clean are allergy triggers, bacteria, and clutter.

For more details on these studies and interesting tidbits about peoples’ motives to clean in spring, go to the American Cleaning Institute. American Cleaning Institute.

The Monthly Mission – Home Filing System

I know that I talked about my home filing system last month because it was a big issue at the time. Now, with April being tax month, it’s a great time to look at your home filing system, if you haven’t already. To read more about April’s monthly mission, click here.

Recent Site Additions

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

Spice Rack - See before and after photos of my spice storage including my new spice rack.

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.

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.

How the Universe Decluttered My Computer

Sometimes the Universe simply declutters for us.

I have been overwhelmed by my emails for some time now. The majority of my email headaches come from mailing lists I’ve signed up to in the past. I do a lot of online shopping and they all want me to come back! Even though I have removed myself from several mailing lists, it’s still too much. And some seem to take forever to stop sending me emails. Then, there are other mailing lists I want to stay on, and they send interesting information to read every day or week. But I never seem to get around to reading them so they end up in a folder to read “later”. (What a bad word, “later”.) Those “read later” folders can easily fill up to a point where it would be inconceivable for me to actually read them all. Besides, some of them may be outdated by the time I get to them.

Well, the powers that be have helped me to let go of a lot of those emails. My computer, which had been acting strangely the past few months, finally bit the dust. Ah, but being the smart pro-active organized person that I am, I have my files backed up. But, the Universe was determined to make me let go of my stuff. The backup drive died as well shortly after the computer, before we could transfer the data.

I have been able to get into my computer with partial access only. Besides, it shuts off at any given moment without warning. So, just like running into a burning building to save the most important things to me (which you should never do, by-the-way), I went in and gathered a few important emails and documents. And that was it.

Now, I could feel really upset that I’ve lost years of financial data, or emails from years gone by, but I’m actually feeling rather relieved. (I will say, that most of the photos on my computer were also located somewhere else. Losing photos of my kids first few years would probably really shake me up. Since this is the digital age of photos, we have very few photos printed out. Note to self: backup those photos and copy them to CD’s.)

Anyhow, while running into my computer to save only the most important items, I saw that I had saved a lot of stuff that I rarely looked at or used more than once. There were also tons of emails that were never even read! By letting go of all of these things and only taking the very few most important documents with me, I’m allowed a fresh start. How refreshing and freeing is that?!

Since I started writing this, my husband has managed to save my financial records, however, I’m only going to keep the last year of data. I really don’t need to know what I bought 12 years ago. I primarily use my finance software to keep me up to date with account balances and for reminders to pay my bills on time.

My husband has also managed to save all my old emails on a memory stick to put onto my new computer. Well, I don’t really want them! I don’t want to muck up my brand new computer with stuff I’m not likely going to need or want or miss. I don't want it staring me in the face, making me feel guilty that I haven't gotten to it, or overwhelmed because I don't have enough time to get to it. I already gathered what I felt was important.

So, what’s my point?

Well, I’m definitely not suggesting that anyone crash their computers or lose important info. But perhaps you should take a little time to run into your files as if you could only take a few with you and see what’s really current and useful to you? And maybe allow yourself to let some of those unread emails and unused documents go, clearing up both your hard drive space, and your mind. It’s ok to not read every email you get. It’s ok to take yourself off of email lists. It’s ok to dump old emails you haven’t gotten around to. Phew! What a relief.

I know that when we think about our filing systems, we tend to think of physical papers. But our computers are like a giant filing cabinet and should be cleared out regularly as well. So, if your computer files and emails overwhelm you, go take a peek and see what you can let go of.

And don’t forget to do a backup of the important stuff. And maybe a backup of the backup! 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.