New Year, Fresh Start

Happy New Year!

Congratulations to the winner of our annual One Room Organizing Giveaway contest:  Deanna Bannerman!!

A new year means a fresh start, and getting organized is the perfect foundation for that new beginning.  The big question is always how and where do I begin?  Create a purpose and a plan for 2016.

I like the idea of setting goals, especially those that are easy to accomplish!  A great idea for organizing in the new year includes choosing 3 projects per month.  A very small project, such as organizing your purse, a medium sized project such as organizing your paperwork (or maybe this is a large project for you?)  And lastly, choose one large project such as organizing your photos (my personal project, and I promise to share some ideas once I complete this!).  This way, you’re making progress each month without getting overwhelmed because tasks are broken down.  

The OAL team continues to help others create more organized and beautiful spaces with every job we tackle.  Our work is always evolving and re-designing spaces has become a huge part of what we do lately.  If you have stuff, especially too much stuff, we can help you edit, eliminate and redecorate using what you already own and love. We create spaces that look fabulous and function well.

Organized 2016-0445_Fotor

If you would like to learn more about how to make your home the best that it can be, then join me on January 30th for The Simply Organized Home.  Class is 9:00 AM-3:00PM and includes breakfast, lunch and materials. to register .

If paperwork is making your crazy then consider joining my Organizing Paperwork Permanently class (only 3 spots left).  This class is on Feb. 9, 7:00-9:00PM and includes dessert.  

Starting this February, join us on Facebook or Instagram as we post quick and simple ideas and tips.

12 Days of Simpler Christmas

Happy December!  Ready or not,  Christmas is coming…fast!


I haven’t posted a blog in quite some time, but I do have a couple of good excuses.  My first grandchild, a boy, was born on Oct. 14th.  Everyone tells you how great being a grandparent is but until you experience it, you really can’t imagine how wonderful it really is.  His name is Brady Paul and he is truly a dream baby!  I’m crazy about him and I’m thoroughly enjoying watching my son and his wife parent him with amazing confidence and so much love.  I’m so blessed!


My second excuse is that our home has been undergoing a remodel for the past 7 weeks.  We now have a totally transformed basement (well almost) and a designated teaching/entertaining space which were my two goals for the space.  I love to connect with people and I love teaching classes – now I can easily do both in my new space!

Yesterday my team and I began a new series on FB and Instagram called 12 days of Simpler Christmas.  As we begin this new series our hope is that you will consider what you value most during this busy season and learn new ways to focus your energy into those areas.  Most people go through the holiday season without a clear sense of what makes them happy and fulfilled.  It is truly the time of year when we have to make conscious choices since Christmas offers so many possibilities.  We hope you will follow along.  You will see some photos of my new space and I trust that you will be excited to join me for a class in late January or early February (see  YEAY!!

We wish you a simpler and more peaceful Christmas this year!  If you need a little help with organizing, decorating or just a couple extra cheerleaders, the OAL team is full of energy , ideas and joy to inspire you to not only dream your dreams but to actually live them out!!

New Fall Classes!

I know many of you have taken the class, The Simply Organized Home, over the years. It has been a keystone of what I teach and you’re able to see for yourself that living a simpler, less cluttered life is possible. This class is always being revised and this year it’s better than ever! I encourage you to please spread the word and consider taking this class again with friends or family members!

We’ve also got two other classes that are perfect to get you prepped for the upcoming holiday season – Entertain with Ease and Simplifying the Holidays.

Don’t wait – we’ve still got spots left. Register Today!

Favorite Back to School Ideas


“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity they think of you.”
~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Hard to believe another school year is already underway.  My kids are grown and gone now but since I’m married to a school administrator, the school calendar still matters to me!

Here are a few of my favorite back to school ideas I found most helpful while raising my sons.

  1. Use a single, great calendar system for keeping track of all of your family activities.  Your phone might do the trick or you may still prefer a paper planner.  Either way, choose a system that works for you and learn to use it well!
  2. Clean up and clear out kids rooms including clothing, books, toys and electronics early on in the school year (do this with your kids if possible). We all function better in simple, less cluttered spaces.
  3. Plan simple, healthy meals based on your families schedule.  Learn more about how I do this in my new fall class Entertain with Ease.
  4. Do what you can ahead of time.  Pack lunches the night before, place all necessary items in backpacks and gather sports gear. Mornings will be oh so much nicer!
  5. Give kids responsibility early.  Responsible kids are made, not born!  Remember in a few short years your son or daughter will be someone’s roommate or spouse…will they make a good one??

Want more ideas? Our fall classes will help you get ready for the busy school year ahead and the holidays! Click HERE to learn more about the classes and to sign up!

Would you love some help getting organized now that the kids are back in school?  This week is totally booked but contact Organized at Last for openings next week!

Fashion In a Heat Wave

About 13 years ago I purchased this little brown dress on clearance for $19.00 at Lucy.  I’m pretty sure it is my favorite item of clothing I have ever owned.  I still wear it at least once a week and I still love it as much as the day I bought it.  It’s simple, machine washable, cool on these hot summer days, can be dressed up or down and is perfect for travel because it doesn’t wrinkle.


A few days ago I thought how much I would love to own another one like it. I didn’t have time to go shopping so instead I jumped online and searched for “best summer dresses”.  What came up was Walmart and a bunch of cute, really inexpensive dresses.  For those of you who know me, I could care less about labels, name brands or even the latest “style”. I do however love simple dresses because they represent everything I embrace.  They are feminine, easy to throw on, cool, and wash and wear (I hate to iron).  I have only been to Walmart once in the past 10 years but I decided to order a few dresses (5 to be exact).  The total was about $50.00.  Here are some photos of what I ended up with.


Under this short striped dress I wore a pair of little shorts.



My sister Mary also decided to order a few dresses. Each one was under $10.

MarySummerDress MarySummerDress2 MarySummerDress3

If this Washington heat wave continues..and it will…I’m ready!  What is your favorite summertime style?

Why Hiring a Professional Organizer Is a Good Idea

It seems to me that a lot of people struggle with organizing, yet many more never realize that help is available. We hire a mechanic to fix our car, a contractor to repair our home,  so it makes perfect sense to hire an organizer to help make sense of our stuff.

Our job is to make your life function more smoothly by eliminating the unnecessary and making room for what really matters. We guide you in the process of creating a simple, functional and beautiful space that works for how you and your family live.

January is a National Get Organized month. Why not commit to making this year one in which you make a difference by creating order amongst the chaos. Make changes in your life that allow you to focus on things that are important to you. By getting organized you create more time to work on things like exercise, eating well and building stronger relationships. Because, in the end, these are things that matter most.

2015 Ann Maries Basement 3

Here’s an example of what we can do for you. In just a couple of hours we can help you transform your space.

Ann Maries Basement 2

2015 01 Anne Maries Basement

Make 2015 your year to refresh, restyle, and re-organize. Join us this January for our re-vamped Simply Organized Home Class. Registration is limited to ten people so sign up soon!

“Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.” – Christina Scalise