3 Step System for Kids School & Precious Papers

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Yes, you can have fun with your kids and their school papers using this 3 STEP SYSTEM!

The school year is over and now it is time for summer fun! But what to do with the huge pile up of art, reports, awards and all those papers that came home throughout the year. Here is a simple system you can do now to clear out the last year and then be set up for next year.

Marla Dee, creator of the Clear & SIMPLE Way, has been helping people for 18 years. And she comes from a family of 10 children so she get the chaos that kids can create.

Marla Dee on KUTV – 3 step system for kids school & precious papers!

Step 1 – Get a bulletin board or display area for each child for the treasures of the week to be seen!

I have been blessed to work with hundreds of moms through the years. And I have heard over and over again – “Where do I put all the art work and school papers?” When your child has a chosen place to put the treasures, your child feels seen and proud. But you can rotate the pieces weekly or monthly. Once you take them off the board, go to step 2.

Step 2 – Choose a container, about the size of a file tub, which can hold the papers all year long. Once the papers come off your child’s board, ask which ones she still wants to keep and then place them in her drawer or tub or cool container. They will still be there throughout the school year and if you run out of space, it is a signal to go through a release a layer. Now check out Step 3.

Step 3 – Schedule a day with your kids for paper play. It is time to do STACKS© (sort, toss, assign, contain, keep it up and simplify) on the paper. The key is to make this last step FUN. Put on music and have snacks. Then let you child take his tub of papers and dump it out on the table or floor and spread them all out. Enjoy the time as your child relives the school year. Honor this time with them by listening to the stories. Next, ask your kids to choose their FAVORITES – the TREASURES!! Then 3 hole punch them and put them in a big binder. Last, you can let them decorate the front, or pick a favorite and slide it in the front sleeve.

*** The best part is now placing the binders in your child’s room so they can relive those memories for years to come.

Your Homework –Try this out right away with the current school year’s papers. Please share your stories with me at info@clearsimple.com or www.facebook.com/clearsimple.com and I will give you a prize. I want you to get organized and have fun doing it – Marla Dee

 

 

Top Ten Tips for Travel

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Travel can be stressful so enjoy our tips that simplify & help you organize all your trips!

We have used all the tips & tools below to radically reduce the stress and struggle that travel can bring.  These tips are the SEE IT. MAP IT. & DO IT. steps for travel.  Try them out and let us know what you think!

Marla sharing her personal “bag lady” story and more…

  1. The perfect suitcase is the key.
    • Size, weight, color, material, design
    • Each person needs and deserves their own suitcase
    • Have an ID tag that is current (no address)
  1. Simplify the clothing
    • Choose a capsule wardrobe so you can mix and match easily
    • Choose to roll your clothes or use the pack-it systems
  1. Apps and online resources that help: clearsimple.com/travelapps/
    • Use Wunderlist – have a standard list for your different types of trips and then easily adjust for current trip. Yes a list makes a difference. You can even print the list so you can check the items off.
    • Use Last Pass for all your key & private information
    • Tripit stores all the trip details
    • Get AAA or similar service for travel troubles
    • Uber and Airbnb are some of our favorites
    • Get your TSA Precheck to save time every plan trip
    • Check out Costco Travel – especially for car rentals
  1. Get an extra set of all electrical cords and chargers. Keep these packed and ready to go.
  2. Have your body care items already on hand – refill after each trip. Use smart containers for your body care items.
  3. Find the perfect tote or carry-on bag that can hold all you need and feel easy to carry.
  4. Carry-on Essentials Kit ready to go in the perfect carry-on.
  • Medicines (get the small plastic medicine pouches)
  • Soft light sweater or jacket and socks
  • Toothbrush, wipes, body care & eye mask
  • Book to read or game to play
  • Easy water bottle like the collapsible water bottle
  • Gum and food snacks, including protein
  • Ear buds or head phones that you love
  1. Safe holder for passport, id and credit cards (make a copy that stays home with an assigned person who can help). Use Last Pass to hold all the vital information.
  2. Check out The Container Store for some of our favorite bags and tools.
  3. The Power of One. Try taking one book, one notebook, one technology device, etc. Then decide one purpose (most important) for your trip. clearsimple.com/travelstuff/

Travel Bags & More from The Container Store

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Travel Goods – get’m while they’re hot!

You know that organizers can be obsessed with containers and bags.  But when it comes to travel, having the right containers makes a huge difference.  We just wanted to let you know that JUNE is the annual travel sale at The Container Store, one of our favorite places to get exactly what we need for traveling. Check out the items below and then head to www.thecontainerstore.com to see much more.

Note – Make sure to check out their short videos along with their travel tips.

1 – The Perfect Bag makes all the difference.

Check out the Eagle Creek Collection and see the video here

2 – Create your body care set and refill when you get home.

Here is a link to the page full of containers.  Kate’s favorite are the GoToobs.

3 – Check out the Eagle Creek Pack-it Folders. This is Marla’s favorite.

These cubes make it easy to set up camp wherever you are staying.

4 – And a favorite for Technology is the GIO Organizer

We hope these containers and tips help you have a fun filled summer!
Marla, Kate & Team

Simplify the stuff while Traveling!

Travel Tip - The Freedom of only one bagLeave a Comment
The FREEDOM of one bag, one book, one purse, one list, one purpose! One is enough.

Time to take a trip! Whether it is just you or a group, juggling all the stuff can be overwhelming. Why do we buy into the belief that more is better? When traveling, this outdated idea only causes trouble.

We are inviting you to experience the freedom that comes from choosing just ONE!

  • Decide on one suitcase that is just the right size to hold your essentials and no more.
  • Packing this suitcase will be easier if you have one toiletries bag
  • one light jacket that can double as a blanket on the plane
  • one pair of shoes packed and one on your feet
  • one carry on purse (or case) works better with
  • only one book to read
  • one snack to get you through
  • one list for each trip (read our blog about Wunderlist)
  • For the truly daring, how about one pair of earrings
  • one piece of technology like your smart phone
  • one chosen place or person to visit

 

I tried this approach on my last trip and I was blown away at how much simpler EVERYTHING was! I had one perfect size suitcase, one over the shoulder  purse, one book, one notebook, my iPhone, one list, and one friend to visit.

And I felt so much more relaxed and present in each moment. I am hooked on this idea – Marla Dee

 

 

Travel Tip – There’s an App for that!

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Traveling is FUN, but planning & packing can be stressful. Apps can make it easy.

From Marla – I love to travel but have always put off the planning and packing till the last minute. Of course this just adds to my stress and my belief that I can’t make traveling simple. Well I am happy to share that all aspects of traveling have changed for me and now I get excited when it is time to plan a new trip. I give the credit to the apps below. Planning my first fun trip of the summer has been a blast and quite simple. Instead of being in stress mode, I had fun preparing to visit my dear friend Michelle in CA where we will have 5 days to talk, create, walk, explore, laugh & cry.

I want to thank my business collaborator Kate Fehr for teaching me about these apps and strongly encourage you to check them out and use them on your next trip. 

From Kate – For me, the biggest stress around traveling used to be the giant list I would create of all of the projects that just “had” to get done before I left town. THEN I would start thinking about planning and packing for the actual trip. With next to no time left, I would pack way more than I really needed, or even wanted. Now when I plan a trip, I get my itinerary and any related travel information into TripIt. Then I go to Wunderlist and create my plan, from what I want to get done before I leave (like making sure my home is clean) to what I want to take with me. Simple, brilliant, and oh so freeing!

1. TripIt  When we first heard about TripIt two years ago, we were ecstatic…but could it really make things that much easier?! We found out it helps more than we imagined. After you book a trip, you simply forward the confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and the system builds an itinerary for you. If you make changes, simply forward that confirmation email and TripIt updates the plan for you. Once the itinerary is built, you can go in and add, change, and/or delete things. If you prefer to not send your emails, you can input the itinerary yourself or sign up for the Pro Plan where the app will update things automatically. For more details read our earlier blog here.

2. Wunderlist Wunderlist is a life changing app – you can use it for all the lists in your life. We are now running our whole business and our personal lives using this cool tool. Marla loves that it reminds her what to do and when to do it!! Kate loves having one place to dump everything from her brain, then knowing she can access it everywhere she goes. Get more details here.

3. LastPass – When Kate talks about digital organizing, the very first thing she discusses is a password keeper. She has found that one of the number one stressors around our digital lives is trying to remember and/or track all of the passwords our lives require. We love LastPass not only because you can store passwords, but you can also save banking and credit card information and digital records like insurance cards, membership cards and misc. notes. Their app is available on most devices and can be accessed offline. All of that information can sure come in handy while on a vacation, especially if you lose a credit card!

We hope you have a fabulous summer filled with travel of all kinds. We would love to hear about your adventures.

Marla, Kate & Team


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