Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Don’t put that down!

Look around? Do you see coffee mugs on the table, your desk, or dishes on the counter? How about are you using your treadmill as an extra valet? Do you want an easy tip to cut that clutter out?

Alejandra Parejo- Cup photo-1448632055520-5180f82474e2
Photo by Alejandra Parejo

You need to implement the one touch rule.

What is the one touch rule?


Easy. If you have something in your hand ~  take it where it belongs. Don’t put it down.

We recently talked about laundry. Fold it when you take it out of the dryer and put it away. How about when you and come home from work or school and you change clothes? Hang them up or put them in the laundry basket. Don’t throw them on the bed or your exercise equipment. Touch them one time. If you toss them on the bed you have to come back a second time and put them away.

Let’s talk about dishes. Don’t leave them sitting around. Don’t put them in the sink, immediately put them in the dishwasher.

Who is guilty of leaving an unfinished craft project on the table? How about ingredients all over the kitchen when cooking or baking?

When you use something ~ put it back. Touch it one time.

This applies to your entire family. Kids too.

Danielle MacInnes photo-1455815152231-be9c88eb7468
Photo by  Danielle MacInnes

The Parent Coach, Susan Stiffelman at the Huffington Post suggests the following:

  • “Establish that no new toys can be taken out until whatever has been played with has been put away. Kindly remind your daughter if she forgets. And by all means, do not clean up her messes. If you cave in and do the job for her, you will have taught her that if she whines or procrastinates long enough, she won’t have to take responsibility. Acknowledge that you understand that she’d rather not put away her paints, or that it looks like it will take forever. By letting her feel heard and understood, you’ll ensure that her upset will dissolve more quickly — and help her accept that she simply has to get the job done.”

  • Start by resetting the rules. Explain to your kids that you’ve made some new decisions about cleaning up, and you want to share them so that everyone knows what to expect. “When you’re finished playing with something, it’s important that you put it away completely before you move on to something else. If you forget, I’ll remind you once. If you still forget, that particular toy will go in a special box for a month.” Some parents tell their children that toys that are left out will be given away. Decide how harsh you want to be — but make sure that you follow through. If you deliver meaningless threats in the heat of the moment, your child won’t take you seriously.

  • Break a big job down into bite-sized steps. Help your children work in manageable increments if they have a lot to clean up. “Start by putting away anything with red on it … or anything made of plastic … or whatever is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.” This will help them learn that, little by little, they can get a big job done — whether it’s cleaning up a physical mess, working on a complex report or organizing a research project.”

For more of Susan’s tips click here

If only I could get the fur babies to put back their toys.IMG_0316_1024 2

You should have better luck with your kids.

Aaron Burden photo- crayon 1453749024858-4bca89bd9edc
Photo by Aaron Burden

Only Touch an Item Once

I love your feedback.

Pam's Bee.jpg

#beeorganized #overwhelmed #disorganized #family #realmom #motherhood # truelife #mom #kids #laundry #onetouch, #clutter #reallife



Posted in Organizing

Drumstick — The Chicken Grandma


Every so often you end up with a chicken who can be defined by the word ….. moxie. I don’t typically name my girls but I may have to name this one. A couple weeks ago (the night of July 4th to be exact) this Rhode Island Red came close to being a late evening […]

via Drumstick — The Chicken Grandma


Grab life, seize the day, just do it,  what ever you want to call it.  Just go.

Posted in Organizing

What are you waiting for?

This is another example of no excuses. I hope you enjoy life live lightly ‘s post.

Live life lightly

That question stops me in my tracks a lot.

I have no real answer. What am I waiting for? It’s like everyone waits around for so much of there lives they forget what they were going to do in the first place.

Working around people who are dying, sooner rather than later, I always hear people talking with regrets.

“I wish I spent more time with my family”

“I wish I would have realized that my work wouldn’t be the one here with me in my last moments”

“I wish that I would have told “___________” that I loved them”

“I wish I would have taken more chances

So what in the world makes us chose to push these plans off? Why have I waited so long to start this blog? Why can I not convince myself to just sit down and write my novel?

Why can’t I decide…

View original post 203 more words

Posted in Organizing

No more excuses!

That’s it.  You are all out of good reasons.


No good reason:jaie-miller-225882
Photo by Jaie Miller on Unsplash


Do you have a stash of stuff you purchased that you “meant to return”  but never got around to it?  Are you shopping for need or want?  Did you suffer from buyers remorse?

Do you have a bag of stuff you meant to donate but just have not got around to it?

Do you have that one closet that you have been meaning to clean out because can’t really close the door because it is crammed full of stuff?

Did you build a storage shed in your back yard for your lawn equipment but over time you find you can’t fit your mower in there much less find your weed eater?  I know it’s on your to do list right?

All summer you have been meaning to go through your kid’s toy box to sort out the toy’s they have outgrown to donate to the children’s hospital.  Best of intentions…..

What is on your list you have been meaning to get around to?  Well, whatever it is here is your round to it!


“Now is not the time to look for Excuses” Rafael Nadal

Have a great day!!


Posted in clutter, Organizing, Uncategorized

Dorm Rooms – Tips to help you live in 114 square feet

Oh, my goodness can you believe it is almost that time again?  Ah, College Move in day. It’s right around the corner.  Do you have a college freshman in your house or are you a college freshman?    I know you are both looking forward to the day and a bit nervous.  Not to fear I want to share some of the best tips to make your move in day the best it can be.

college photo-1423798402048-1eb649bf30db.jpg

But how are you or your daughter going to make it in 114 square feet?   The average dorm room is 12 x 19 feet (228 total square footage) to be shared.

In that space, there will be a bed, desk, dresser, probably a mini fridge and microwave not to mention all of those clothes, makeup, hair stuff, and toiletries.

EEK that is tiny living. So you are going to have to make the most of every foot.

Will you be coming home for the holidays? If so maybe you don’t need all of your winter clothes since it will be fall when school starts.


  • Also, think comfort for class clothes and shoes.   Perfect examples are solid tanks, comfortable flats, and a comfy pair of jeans. Mix and match will be your friend. Remember that scarves can really change an outfit.
  • You will not need lots of dressy outfits. Think a basic little black dress with a jacket and dressy outfit and shoes for more formal affairs like internship interviews, presentations or formals.
  • Work-out clothes, a bathing suit, bathrobe and shower shoes & sneakers
  • If you are going to an area where it gets chilly you will need a light jacket. Heavy coat, mittens, hat, and scarf *(if you’re going to a campus with a colder climate) Maybe rain boots and an umbrella. Don’t forget a comfy pair of slippers (for hanging out in the residence hall)
  • Remember your entire space will be small. So don’t bring lots of shoes. No more than 6 (1 of each: flats, dressy heels, sneakers, shower shoes, slippers, boots) It’s hard but really you will not wear every shoe in your home closet and more importantly, you don’t have room for them all.

Don’t over pack.

Whatever you think you need edit out 40% of it.

Mom can send it to you if you really need something. *If you are going home for Thanksgiving you can switch out your fall clothes for winter and pick up your winter coat then.

Oh, by the way, you will probably be sharing a bathroom with lots of other girls.

No leaving your stuff in the bathroom.

You will have to carry it from your room to the bathroom and back again. Bring your own shower supplies. You’ll want a small bag or carryall that is easy to hang up where you can reach your soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

What should you bring with you?

  • A waterproof shower caddy – either a plastic caddy or a mesh bag
  • Towels and wash cloths
  • A robe – for covering up after you shower – It might be a bit chilly in the halls even if you are not modest
  • Shower shoes – either flip-flops or crocs
  • Shampoo and conditioner – if you can use the 2-in-1 kind, you’ll save space
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • The shower gel is really easier than bar soap.


Which brings us to Laundry.Laundry photo-1469504512102-900f29606341

You will be doing your own. So you will need to bring your own laundry detergent, softener, stain remover and quarters. You will need a laundry basket or bag to get your stuff to the laundry.

Don’t bring:

A printer there should be a printer lab so you will not need one.

Toaster, hot plates, skillets, or toaster ovens


Halogen bulbs and/or lamps

Most schools do not allow you to put holes in the walls so no nails.

You will not need an alarm clock if you use your phone.   Your phone will be your camera, calculator, calendar and address book. You are on your own to get to class. Mom will not be waking you up so if you need a loud alarm clock then, by all means, get one.

This is not by any means a complete list if you want more tips on what to bring check out this  list from College Love to Know  Things to Take to College Dorm

Good Luck and Enjoy every moment of your new adventure!!  I love to hear your comments.




#college #dormlife #tinyspace #lessismore #clothing #packinglist

Posted in Organizing

Why do I blog?

I recently discovered that writing needs to be for me and the bonus is that others will want to read

I enjoy organizing.  I like taking a room or in some cases a house and putting it in order.  I have been working on an extensive project.  My client was overwhelmed and had no idea where to start.  Well, I start the same way I do ever project.  One step at a time.

My client had moved 3800 square feet of stuff into a 2500 square foot house.  But we have sorted through and pared down.  He is finding that some things we started off with that he really needed now is not really needed.  It was personal and emotional. Now we are in the home stretch to getting the house organized.

You may think that I just talk the talk and don’t actually put my tips in action.  So not true.  I work with clients and we work together until the client feels we are done.

I set timelines.  We do not work for more the 5 hours a day and not every day.  Once we have sorted through stuff it gives my clients time to see what they can do with it.  In other words, if we unpack a box of pots and pans but the client already has pots and pans a decision has to be made.  What to keep and what to let go of.  If you are letting it go are you selling, donating or giving it away?  pawel-blazewicz-29564.jpg

The moral of this story is baby steps, one step at a time.  Plus if you are not sure, set it aside and revisit it later.  You may just find that you are ready to let it go.

Other clients want me to come in and completely reorganize their pantry or kitchen without their help.  I can do that but I have to know a little about the client.  How do they use their kitchen?  One cook or is the entire family in the kitchen at the same time?  Do they not cook but order take out?  If they cook what is their specialty?  (Me, I am a cook but I don’t bake.)  Maybe they are a real Betty Crocker.  Are they tall or short?

What is this rambling post about?  You can get organized.  You can do it.  You have to think about your needs and how you will use your space.  Make your space work for you.  larm-rmah-191878.jpg

Sometimes I am helping a person who has had a death of a loved one.  Those are very emotional.  If you are dealing with emotions and you are not sure what to with stuff it’s OK to set it to the side and then revisit it later.   We do what we can and I say there are no rules for dealing with your loved one’s stuff.  I never want someone to force it and make a decision that causes them additional pain or emotional distress.  When they are ready they will make the decisions they feel are right for them.  I just try to guide the way.

Follow me and I will share tips to help you control your clutter and get or stay organized.

Posted in Organizing

Do you know what you don’t know?

No matter who you are or where you live you need to know these things. Maybe not every one of these things applies to everyone but these are good things to know. Do you live in a house? How about an apartment? Water, fire, and safety are issues regardless of where you live.tiny apartment photo-1468323867382-6a9fcbbd68f2

Do you know where your main water cut off is? This is a really good thing to know before you have an emergency.ashim-d-silva-35194

Do you know where your breaker box is? Bonus if your breakers are labeled. Do you have a working flashlight?Idea-starwars-james-pond-185593

When did you change the batteries in your smoke detector? Do you have smoke detectors on each floor of your home?

When did you change the filter to your central heating and cooling system?wang-ward-195913

Do you have a basement? If so do you have a sump pump? Does it actually work? You might want to think about testing it before you have a flood in your basement.

How old are the hoses to your washing machine? Did you know busted washing machine hoses are a major cause of flooded houses? It ‘s true. Now you can replace them with no-burst hoses.washer eating woman 6-21

If you are in a new house, change the locks. You have no idea who has keys to your house. If you are a renter check with your landlord before doing this as it may be a violation of your lease.


When was your AC unit serviced? We live in Arizona and with temperatures expected to be above 110 degrees for months on end, this is a very important detail. You really don’t want your AC to fail during a heat wave.

Gutters? Clean them out and they will work better. Clogged gutters can cause damage to your foundation, your wood fascia boards, landscaping, and roof by causing ice dams in the winter.


If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are … a different game you should play.


If you have bathrooms that don’t get used on a regular basis make sure you occasionally flush the toilets and run water from all the taps. You want to make sure your faucets don’t corrode and that your drain traps don’t dry out. If the drains dry out sewer gases can enter your home. Ewe!

So what did you not know?  Really?

Thanks Pamela


Posted in Organizing

Sick Of Stuff? Smart Solutions For A Clutter-Free Home — lifewithlilred

I love sharing with you someone else’s perspective on clutter free.    Check out Live with Lil Red’s post.

Is there stuff everywhere you look in your home? Are you tired of tidying up only to find that the house looks like a bombsite the day after? If so, you’re not alone. If you’ve got a guest room packed full of boxes or your bedroom furniture is constantly draped in clothes, here are some […]

via Sick Of Stuff? Smart Solutions For A Clutter-Free Home — lifewithlilred

Posted in family, summer tips, Uncategorized

Should you go on vacation?

This is one of my favorite blog posts.  So I am sharing it with you again.  Enjoy and GO on VACATION!.

Should I stay or should I go was never a question in my family.  The answer was always let’s go

Photo by Marjorie Bertrand

I was reading comments on vacation memories and got to thinking about my own.

Our family motto is,  “it was not a vacation until someone had a flat tire or ran out of gas”. I got to thinking about all the prior vacations. The memories ran from shortcuts that were not, in fact, shorter but may have involved some very narrow roads that may not have had guard rails that went on for miles with no place to turn around. Praying that you did not meet another vehicle since we were pulling an RV.

My granddad loved Colorado and we went there many times. I have traveled by vehicle all over the United States and parts of Canada with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and my husband. We have stayed in tents, a Scotty tiny trailer, fully functional RVs, hotels, and cabins.

I have seen lots of wild animals from bears, moose, and elk, to little ground squirrels. 45 years ago we fed a bear chewing gum one time.  DO NOT DO THIS.  don't feed the bears

I have seen a rogue bear who he thought he could share a tent. The owners of the tent were willing to let him because who’s going to stop him.

We always went to the ranger talks. We learned about the parks we were visiting and heard some great stories. The walk back to the camp was amazing. No lights except for the stars and flashlights. If you have the opportunity to do this, do it. Take the time and take your kids.

I can’t tell you how many flat tires or times someone ran out of gas. Someone in my family has this thing about wanting to see how many miles they can get out of a tank of gas.   There have been many other calamities such as the time the truck caught on fire – That was a bit too exciting! Then there was the time the mini-bike fell off the back of the RV. My uncle was following us and I think he had to change his pants after that experience. Of course, this is the same uncle whose short cuts were not shorter.pierre SD

Of course, my parents will never forget the time they left me in South Dakota, which was 754 miles from home. First, you have to understand it was way before cell phones and there were 5 vehicles all traveling together. I was prone to ride with almost anyone of the 5. So it was just a matter of miscalculation on all our parts. I can tell you that now to this day. When I get out of the car to go to the restroom…I have the keys.

It was an adventure for me. Hours later when my parents stopped for the night and set up camp they discovered there was one less kid with them… Huh? What took hours to drive earlier did not take anywhere near as long back. I was fine. My parents got a few gray hair that day. But never the less vacation continued on as planned. It was an amazing time.

My cousin’s birthday was always celebrated while on vacation. One year we couldn’t find a cake so she got a cookie with pine needles candles on it. She still talks about her birthday cookie.

My husband and I took a trip with my parents to Yellowstone a few years ago.  There was a forest fire blocking our way back to the DNR Dude ranch (yes, that was the name) where we were staying.  So we had to take a detour of  163 miles.  We almost out of gas but we saw the most amazing sunset I had ever seen.  All I am saying is sometimes the detour brings a wonderful surprise just around the bend.

warren kelly photo-1464886127619-5a478b4fad96

If you are on the fence about taking a vacation let me say, GO! They are your vacation days. Take them. Spend time with your family. Unplug and go. There are only so many summers when your kids will be little. They are growing up and you need to make memories.

So go make memories. Good or bad they will be the things you will talk about for years and years to come.

Heck, maybe one of your kids will write about it someday.

Pam's Bee.jpg

#vacation #goRving #travelwithkids #familytime


A Piece of Advice