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REAL SIMPLE

 

The E List


ELLEN GETS IT DONE:

PHOTO ORGANIZING

My winter project? I am determined to go back through all my digital photos, pick out favorites by year, and make annual photo books. (I use This Life/Shutterfly because I can upload my photos directly from my phone to This Life and then create books through their partner, Shutterfly. It’s not the easiest interface but I like the simple, black canvas books). Digital photography has changed our lives. We document EVERYTHING. How to sort though the files? We asked Ellen of Ellen Gets It Done…

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The E List


YOUR LIFE: ORGANIZED!

We’ve all got our issues with organizing. I keep mine secret and hidden away. The public areas of my house, all clear counters and orderly bookshelves, belie what’s behind closed doors. My sister Billie, who believes that I alone received the genes for my mother’s neat-freakiness is flummoxed by the state of my closets and drawers. That’s what doors are for: to hide my dirty little secrets of untidyness. My go-to gal for help in these matters is my good friend, Ellen Madere. These days she’s also an organizer to the stars, and this month (February issue) she is featured in Real Simple’s Ask the Organizer. The article addresses all of my pain points: where exactly IS all the stuff I’ve so neatly stored away, dealing with emotional clutter and the top of my husband’s bureau (I have a very efficient way of tackling this one: when I can’t stand the chaos for one more minute, I sweep the collar stays, post it notes, change and chewing gum into a cardboard box, label it “Joe” and stash it in the basement. He, of course, hates me for this). If you simply can’t face going it alone, here’s a list of advice from Ellen…

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The E List


ELLEN GETS IT DONE

When we moved to our new house nine years ago, my seven-year-old daughter was delighted to find a small loft off her bedroom. She called it her “office”, and we furnished it with bookshelves, a desk and a cozy chair. Over the years, she accumulated a collection of broken crayons, dried up markers, half-finished craft projects and Hello Kitty accessories. And we kept buying more baskets and bins to corral all her stuff.

When she entered high school, I knew I had to deal with her “office”. She needed a simple study space without distractions (facebook, texting and skype are enough of a hazard). The idea of clearing out nine years of her childhood paralyzed me and upset her. To avoid the mega battle, I hired Ellen. They disappeared upstairs. Occasionally, I’d hear a burst of laughter. Twelve bags of trash (!), piles of recycling and several donation boxes later, I couldn’t wait to have a look…

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