Living Simply

Are there days when you can’t find your keys? Do you own a closetful of clothes but never seem to have anything to wear? Do you spend sleepless nights wondering how you will ever plan the kids’ birthday parties, organize the basement, or balance your checkbook (since you haven’t reconciled it in six months)? If you constantly seem to be playing catch-up, you’re not alone.

“The first step is to establish a more organized lifestyle that suits your personality—it’s not about living in a sterile environment. It’s a conscious choice that’s conducive to how you interact with your family, and how you want to be perceived,” says Patricia Diesel, principal owner and president of Keep It Simple Now, a New Jersey-based professional organizing company. Diesel, a Basking Ridge resident, is a certified empowerment coach and national speaker who assists individuals, entrepreneurs, and corporations that need help with chronic disorganization and life balance.

“Functioning in an organized manner actually frees you to enjoy a simpler and more carefree life,” she says. Some of Diesel’s clients just need a little help managing the disparate elements of their lives. Others are chronically disorganized, and need to establish smart habits and structure to keep them on track. Still others are hardcore hoarders who need to take a serious look at their habits to understand the emotions (such as anger and fear) that often drive their behavior.

How do you know when you’ve crossed the line?

Here is Diesel’s reality check list:
✻ Is your personal or business life in jeopardy
because of your disorganization?
✻ Are piles and piles of papers or magazines
becoming part of your décor?
✻ Do you continually lose items such as car
keys and important documents?
✻ Is it difficult to let go of things that you no longer need?
✻ Is procrastination becoming part of your routine?
✻ Is your chronic disorganization causing you or your
business to lose time and money?

“Becoming organized is a gradual process. It can be intimidating, so I don’t pressure my clients,” Diesel says. “It’s okay to take baby steps by spending as little as fifteen minutes a day to begin to de-clutter one’s life.”

Diesel’s basic tips for a more organized life include:
✻ Purge first, then sort.
✻ Assign everything a  home.
✻ Organize similar items together.
✻ Dedicate 15-20 minutes each day to creating order.
✻ Break projects into manageable baby steps.
✻ Celebrate your victories to keep motivated.

Diesel is the author of A Simple Guide to an
Organized Life. For information on Diesel’s
educational workshops, visit
or call 908-766-9670.

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