Organize 365 Podcast: Home organization |Paper management | Productivity | Professional Organizer Lisa Woodruff | Sunday Basket

You’ve had it. You are ready to once and for all GET organized.

  1. Set the intention to GET Organized.

Set aside time on your calendar – daily (15 minutes) and weekly 1-2 hours+ to reach your goals. 

  1. Is your disorganization chronic or situational?

Situational disorganization arises from times of uncertainty or change, usually last a few months to a few years until you get your wheels back under you and have reoriented your organizational systems

Chronic disorganization stems from never learning good organizational strategies to begin with.

  1. Which level of disorganization are you starting at?

Level 1 – Declutter - If every drawer is a junk drawer and you are drowning in stuff, your focus should be on donating, selling and discarding everything you don’t need. 

Level 2 – Organization - After you have cleared the clutter it is time to organize what you have left so that everything has a place to call home.

Level 3 – Increase Productivity - Getting organized does not end after your last item has a home, it is just the beginning. The longer you live in an organized house the more time you will have to move from organizing your home to organizing your time and life.

  1. Pick a program to keep you on track and accountable. 

The 100 Day Home Organization Challenge is the perfect match for your American home. 

  1. Increase the intensity

Hire a coach or get an accountability buddy. Listen to podcast #143 to see if Virtual Organizing Coaching calls would help you.

Direct download: Org365-142.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

#10 Creating Morning & Evening Routines Ep.62

#9 How to SORT Paper Ep. 90

#8 10 Working Mom Hacks for a More Productive Week Ep. 89

#7 Monthly & Yearly Checklists Ep. 116

#6 How ADHD Affects Getting Organized. Ep.94

#5 Organizational Quicksand: What to Do When You Are Stuck. Ep. 109

#4 Organization 101 The Sunday Basket. Ep 101

#3 Productivity Podcast #7 - What Does Lisa Do All Day? Ep 122

#2 Productivity Podcast #1  How I look at time and how to tell where your time goes. #110

#1 The 40 Weeks 1 Whole House Week 1: Kitchen Paper Ep. 1

Are you ready to get your home organized? The 100 Day Home Organization Challenge is the perfect match for your American home.

Direct download: Org365-141.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

The audio book version of The Mindset of Organization is finally here!! I hope you enjoy these sample chapters today. You can get a free audible copy of The Mindset of Organization and start a free 30 day trial at

Direct download: Org365-140.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Listen to how being organized, and living an organized life allows you to be more productive, and be able to handle those unexpected emergencies and events that come into every person's life. Change is inevitable. Unexpected events are going to happen. They are a guaranteed but they're unexpected.

A few weeks ago, I had a series of events happen in a matter of just two to three days that cost me 80 hours out of the next two weeks of my life. Some of these were good changes. Some of these were bad changes. And all of them were unexpected.

I'm going to walk you through that 16 days, how these events unfolded over that time, what ended up getting sacrificed out of my schedule, and how I got back on track.

So what did I do?

#1 - I managed my expectations.

#2 – My systems are rock solid.

#3 - I used my phone for almost everything!

#4 - I remained calm so that the kids and Greg remained calm too.

So this getting organized thing, it's a big deal. It's a really big deal. It has a huge impact, not only on your space and how your space looks, but your ability to drop everything and take care of your kids or the people that you work with so that they can go and grieve or do what they need to do, and you can pick up the pieces and not be a hot mess or all stressed out about it. It's important for your marriage if you're married. The more organized you are, the more time you have for those people that you love and for yourself.

The quickest way to get to a productive life is to get your home organized. Join me in the 100 Day home organization challenge and let’s do this!


Direct download: Org365-139.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

I’m sharing what I like, don't like and why I think that this book doesn't work for American women.

Talk about a controversial statement, I know, but I think "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" does not work for the majority of American women. Marie and I approach organizing differently based on our ages and countries of origin./p>

There a few things that I do like about Marie's book.

  1. I love that she has brought the discussion of clutter and organizing to the attention of the media and people around the world.
  2. I like the idea behind her method of sparking joy. “If it doesn't spark joy that you should get rid of it.”
  3. I also love that Marie champions that idea that organization is a teachable and learnable skill.

Yes, yes, YES! That is what I have been saying for years, that it doesn't matter if you're not organized now, you can learn to be organized.

{To really understand why this book doesn’t work for American women read the whole post or listen to the podcast where I dive deep into the differences between an American house and a Japanese house and our cultural differences.}

What works for Marie but I have not seen as easily implementable for Americans are the following five things.
#1 Marie says you should tidy all at once and be done.

Immediately that rubbed me the wrong way, which is why I had such a hard time with her book. Having helped so many women organize their whole homes and organized my own I know, it took me three years to get organized. Knowing how hard American women try to be organized and the quantity of items to be organized I knew it was not that easy. You can't just wave a magic wand, do it once and it's all done.

#2 Marie consistently brings up this idea of perfectionism, the perfect system and that you can reach perfection.

I do not think that you can reach perfection. I'm not there, I actually get bored when I get anywhere close to being super productive. I create all these alternative projects I can do to make my life a little bit more cluttered. I don't want to live in a perfect minimalistic, 100% efficient life. I don't agree that you can actually even achieve a perfect life.  

#3 Is the topic of paper organization.

This is the hot button that originally rubbed me the wrong way when reading Marie’s book. The first time I read her book, I stopped reading after the one and a half pages about how to organize paper, which basically said just get rid of all of it.

I about had a heart failure.

So when I re-read the book last week, and I read all the way through I realized that towards the end of the book she does tell you how to organize paper, a little bit. But she still sticks with the idea that almost all paper should be thrown away and that there are only three files that you should have.


Not filing systems.
Three envelopes or three files of paper, TOTAL.

#4 Marie glosses over photos and memories.

Her suggestion to go through your photos one by one and make decisions, would take at least a year for most of the Americans that I know. It is definitely not something you can tidy all at once and be done in a day or two. Furthermore, most Americans have a hard time deciding which photos are good to keep and which ones can be let go.

Don’t believe me? What do you do with your school pictures after you put one in a family frame and hand them out to friends and family members? If you are like most Americans you store the rest in the school envelope and “save” them. Who know, we might “need” them. And they cost good money. See – we need help.

And lastly, #5 Marie explains how she empties her purse every single day.

Her wallet, train ticket, etc all come out of her purse and are stored in different places in her home. Then she puts the purse in a bag and puts it up on the shelf of her closet. There is no way that I could empty out my purse and refill my purse every day.

I am so grateful that the "Magic Art of Tidying Up" has become such a popular book and has brought this whole idea of organizing and decluttering to the forefront of the media. It has opened up the discussion for people around the world to really take a look at the stuff that they have saved and think about the kind of a life that they want to live.

However, if you are an American and you have read this book and you've made great progress in your master closet, but then you haven't made much more progress in the rest of your house, you're doing just fine.
So what does work for American women? The 100 Day Home Organization Challenge is the perfect match for your American home. Registration just opened for the January 2 kick off. Join today!
Direct download: Org365-138-2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

When your family gathers together for the holidays this year, bring out your memory boxes!

Organizing old family memories, treasures, photos, and memorabilia is time-consuming and hard emotional work. Why not involve the whole family this year and conquer a few boxes at the same time.

  1. Pull out all the photos.

Grab a few boxes of photos and let you family enjoy them, unorganized and all. Enjoy sharing stories and reminiscing about old times.

Use a photo-safe pen for family members to label who is in the picture on the back.

Let your family pitch duplicates, blurry pictures, pictures of landscapes, and other unnecessary photos.

Ask a teenager to scan the best photos and share them with the family.

Let your family members take the photos home!

  1. Record the stories.

You can make a video or audio recording of your family’s memories, but I like good old fashioned oral tradition as well.

Share stories, let the grandchildren overhear, and laugh until you cry.

Hearing the stories of your family’s history is powerful.

  1. Pull out childhood memories from the attic and storage room with your adult children.

Bring up a few boxes of your adult child’s childhood memories to reminisce and go through in the family room. Share the memories and either declutter the items or send them home with your child. J

If you are the child, go grab a few of those boxes on your next visit home.

  1. Play old home movies on the TV.

Fire up the old VHS or movie reel player and enjoy watching past holidays, babies take their first steps and ride their bikes.

Memories are meant to be shared and enjoyed. Enjoy yours with your families this holiday!

You can view the full post here:

Thank you to for sponsoring this podcast series.

Direct download: Org365-137.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

The process of selling your items is labor intensive. I often suggest just donating your unwanted items to save time and get you to living a less cluttered life faster.

However, there often is value in the items you no longer need, and being paid to declutter has a nice ring to it.

In each case, a bunch of time and space is necessary to store, price, list, and deliver items. In the past few years, numerous companies have come into the marketplace that will store, price, list, and deliver your items for you.

Win – Win!

Now all you have to do is determine which of these companies best suits the type of clutter you have and ship it off. accepts china, silver, figurines, and crystal. I have bought and sold with and have had excellent results. is an online resale website for maternity through adult women’s clothing. I like that also buys and sells baby items, kid's toys, and kid's books. is a great resource for selling electronic items and DVDs. gives you an estimate of how much you can make on your CDs, DVDs, video games, and electronics by scanning the barcodes on those items. works in a similar way to Once you send a photo of your handbag to, you will receive a quote and a free shipping label to mail them your handbag.

I have purchased and have been very happy with the service from Thread Up. Thread Up sells clothing for all the women in your life, from babies to grandmas. To sell your clothing, order a clean out bag and get started cleaning out your closet!

Thread Up offers you $10 off your first purchase if you use my affiliate code here.

EBTH {Everything But The House} is a full service online estate sale company. If you have a whole house worth of items to sell, start with an EBTH in-home consultation. Smaller lots of sale items can also be sold through EBTH’s regional distribution centers.

You can view the full post here:

Thank you to for sponsoring this podcast series.

Direct download: Org365-136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

For many of us, it is relatively easy to let go of inexpensive items of clutter that we no longer love and need. As you progress through your home decluttering/organization journey, you will naturally start to question why you are keeping items of greater value.

For many of us, the act of collecting is fun. As children, we collected Beanie Babies, Happy Meal toys, and rocks. As we age, the desire to have complete collections can consume us beyond our actual desire for the items being collected. 

And once collected, collectibles have both a real and a perceived value. 

So what do we do when we look around our homes and see expensive clutter that we lovingly collected and purchased?

  1. Does the collection still bring you joy? 
  2. Have you documented the memory?
  3. Look up the monetary value. 
  4. Share your collections with family. 

You can view the full post here:

Thank you to for sponsoring this podcast series. 

Direct download: Org365-135.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

I always thought that I divided my calendar into three separate years because I was a schoolteacher or because I had children. But the more I talk to women without children who work 9-to-5 jobs, the more I find that this way of looking at the calendar actually rings true for most women.

In this week’s post, I will walk you through how I organize my calendar three times a year, and how each time block starts out structured and organized and ends up chaotic and unstructured.

My 3 calendar seasons are September to December, January to May, and June to August.

Read the full post here:

Direct download: Org365-134.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

  1. Organizing Holiday Decorations
  2. Organizing Your Kids!

Check out the full post for relevant links to get you started organizing in these areas.

Etsy Store Updates

  • The 100 Day Home Organization Challenge registration opens on December 16th.
  • NEW: The 21 Day Garage & Storage Room Organization Sprint is available.More sprint information
  • Order signed copies of The Mindset of Organization in my Etsy Store.

Visit my Etsy store

Direct download: Org365-133.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

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