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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
How Simplifying Will Save You Money In 2009!

My theme that I am trying to live up to this year is "Simplify" which I am using to save money as well. I have two children, 5 and 1, they are about to have birthdays this month.  After just organizing toys from Christmas I am not looking forward to more stuff.  So I concluded on being a tornado of simplifying around my house after Christmas and am doing something almost everyday that will simplify some place in the house.  I am realizing, like my clients realize, the more you simplify the more money you will save and want to save.  Let me expand on this. 
Remember my "Three Steps to Systemize" are (do in this order):
1)      Eliminate the Excess
2)      Sort out what's left over
3)      Structure in bins, shelves, etc., this causes you to do your shopping AFTER eliminating.
Let me give you an example of something I recently worked on.  I have paints, coloring books, play dough, painting books, ribbons, stickers, phonics work books…if you have kids you know all the "stuff" that accumulates fast.  I collected everything thing around the house that went in this category and my five year old and I sorted through all the pencils, markers, pens and everything else I listed above.  She loves helping me sort.  Then we put items in the craft organizer that we hung on the wall that displays what we have so we can use it easier (what a concept) and made it out of the children's reach so only I have access to the items.  I also did this with the toys, put some of them in bins on the shelves that only I can bring down when I want so the mess now is small and easy to pick up.  They haven't even noticed the toys being gone but have played with their kitchen more because there is not so much that gets messed up. They now have a few things that keep their attention rather than lots of things that distract their attention.  From now on if we go on a trip or I want to make something with the kids or feel like they need a new toy I go to MY surplus.  It avoids a shopping trip and the money that would be needed.  Toys received for birthdays are now going to be played with at my discretion and even taken out of the packages at my discretion, they will have a brand new toy then to play with come July when Christmas and their birthdays are still months away and I will have more leisure time while they are occupied with their "new" t041oys. 
This process can be done throughout your home or business.  Start sorting through all you have and putting like with like.  You may be surprised at how many scissors or ribbons or office supplies you have that you can use up instead of running out and buying more.  I have seen this so many times where clients can't find what they have so they buy more and then when they bring it all together they have a year's worth of products.  Make your items easily accessible so you can stop avoiding going through the clutter to get to the couple things you want.  Look in your desk drawer and look at all the pens and pencils and pads of paper you may have along with gum, candy, stamps (that you forgot about), address labels…the list goes on and on.  Eliminate everything you can by throw away or give away.   If you are sick of having hundreds of mismatched pens then go and buy the ones you like to use all the time along with some matching mechanical pencils and throw or give away your old ones.  Buy one or two small notebooks that you will actually use…no you really won't use the freebie ones much so get rid of them.  Get the desk drawer organizer I have used for years that has eight compartments and is DEEP.  You can find them at office supply stores and Walmart.  Use up your staple stash. 
Bottom line, use what you have or make your space user friendly.   It will save you money in the long run, not to mention keep you nice and neat and simplified! 

posted on: 1/7/2009 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances

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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

by Triste Horrell

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About Triste:

Being an organizing expert makes one want to be a "showroom" in all areas of life. However reality can hit hard when you're a mother of small children and a military wife and own an organzing business. Of course Triste would like to have a picture perfect Better Home and an even Better Garden. Throw a Pottery Barn in the backyard for exceptional creative time to become the wiz-woman for all the ideas and inventions that the world could not live without. But Triste has settled on the fact of telling herself "I can be perfect in my mind and no one can mess up my space there!" In reality Triste is very self-motivated and has true business accomplishments like having SYSTEMIZE since 1997, the first home and business organizing firm in the state of South Carolina. She has been repeatedly recognized in her Greenville, SC area for her organizing expertise and makeovers on local NBC and FOX news, Greenville News, local magazines such as Greenville Magazine and Upstate Parent and NPR radio. She has turned people's lives around by focusing on what she calls the "four building blocks of being organized" consisting of space, time, financial and personal. This is even represented in her business logo. "That's what I'm in business for, turning people's lives around!" Also applying her popular 3 Steps to Systemize have not only organized her clients but KEPT them organized for years.

Triste's Website:


Downtime Activities

  • Reading Magazines
  • Spending time at our cottage
  • Keeping our Westie pretty
  • Putting tealights around after the kids are in bed
  • Adventures with my awesome hubby
  • Making microwave smores...just for me
    1 graham cracker, broken in half 1 small piece of chocolate 1 big marshmellow On one side of cracker put piece of chocolate and marshmellow on top. Place in microwave and heat for approx. 17 seconds (while cooking replace marshmellow on top of chocolate if needed). Put other half of cracker on top, eat and enjoy and watch out for oozing chocolate!

My Organizing Tool-Box

  • Time - Outlook
    This is a great way to keep papers off the desk and track where you need to go, task list, jot down quick notes on the virtual "post-its, keep up with contacts in the virtual Rolodex
  • Personal Finances - Quicken
    This simple yet practical program keeps your bank accounts in tact...did I mention simple?!
  • Business Finances - QuickBooks
    I have used this program for years and have set many clients up on it. It is a must for keeping track of business transactions and keeping tax time easy...push a few buttons and out come the reports, your done and your tax preparer loves you.
  • Space - turntables
    I love these things! You can put them in cabinets, the fridge, garage, and closets. They are inexpensive, easy to find and available at any discount store and you can even find fancier ones. If you are not sure what they are, they are the white (or other fancier kinds) and spin around like a lazy susan, you can have a single or double-tier one for spices.
  • Personal - Magazines and Internet
    I love to look at magazines and the internet for good articles on personal development, pictures for decorating inspiration and fun projects to do with my family. I keep my magazine subscriptions to a minimum (3) so I can read them and enjoy each one. I look for things on some of my favorite websites for whatever fancies me at that time.
  • Online Recipe Boxes
    Use these on some of your favorite websites, bring the laptop into the kitchen while the recipe is up and you never have to have the paper clutter. One of my and my husbands favorites is Williams-Sonoma.

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