Simplicity & the Whole Tulip 2015 Pantry Cleanse

Simplicity organizers and the Whole Tulip partnered together help take the overwhelm out of pantry disorganization. The New Year is all about clearing out the old to make room for the new! It was time for a fresh start with a pantry cleanse. Beeland Voellinger was our winner and she has written about her experience…

Pantry Cleanse Winner

   Before Simplicity and the Whole Tulip arrived I was feeling completely frustrated because I could not find what I was looking for when it was time to cook a meal and I continued to buy some items over and over because I could not find them in the pantry.  I found myself organizing the pantry in a way that I thought everyone could understand, but inevitably I would find the peanut butter stacked on top of the soup cans and the bread crammed next to the dog food.  I don’t why it bothered me so much but it certainly didn’t bother anyone else in my family.  I like to think that I can be easy-going and flexible, but the pantry was driving me CRAZY!  What I thought would be obvious to my mother, husband and two children was obviously not obvious at all.  I had all of my pasta, rice and quinoa in a clear basket next to the raisins, Craisins and dried cherries in a clear basket.  Why couldn’t my family get it?  I guess it was because I didn’t know the power of a label-maker.  Who knew the words “pasta” and “dried fruit” would make such a difference between an unorganized pantry and one that was filled with boxes and bins neatly labeled and organized in a way that everyone could read and understand where to place things when unloading the groceries and where to look when trying to plan the next meal.


Center-Before Pantry Cleanse

Pantry Cleanse Before

Pantry Cleanse Before

I thought the Simplicity ladies were professional and efficient in every way.  They didn’t judge my family or me when they saw several boxes of Cheerios with torn bags and boxes wide-open or the cans of Vienna Sausages that someone (not me) bought and hid in the back left corner of the pantry.  This was A HUGE project for me to tackle on my own and so I was really happy that Simplicity was there to help guide me towards organizational bliss! It was such a relief working alongside these women who threw away everything that had expired in the pantry, took care of the trash, helped me find a new spot for the recycle bin, dropped off hundreds of plastic containers without lids to Goodwill, wiped down my empty shelves, swept my pantry floor, and yes, labeled every bin, basket and shelf.  I’m so grateful Simplicity helped me gain control of one thing-my pantry.






When Adri and Carolyn of the Whole Tulip arrived, we hugged and headed to the kitchen for what I thought was going to be an embarrassing confession of my failures in the kitchen.  I have known these ladies for a long time.  Carolyn lived across the street from me for a few years and Adri’s son and my daughter were in the same class at school.  I read their blog, have attended their classes, and tried their recipes and enjoyed a tour of Whole Foods with them with it first opened in Charlotte.  I knew them and they knew me, but it was different meeting them in my kitchen. Not for one minute did I feel intimidated or nervous sharing my struggles with figuring out how to feed my family in a healthier way.  We shared stories of our journeys to find peace and balance as mothers, daughters and wives, we discussed going dairy-free and gluten-free, ADHD, behavioral therapy, organic vs. non-organic, Juice Plus and food allergies.  They are a fantastic resource of information to both my family and me.

What do I miss since the pantry purge began? Nothing at all. I was a little sad to throw away the Aunt Jemima syrup, but I am hoping my family will be bigger than the problem and just try the pure maple syrup sitting on the shelf now.

I think the nicest surprise going through this process with Simplicity and the Whole Tulip is that I now know that I don’t have to face these challenges by myself. Instead of avoiding a project like organizing the garage or planning my next meal for my picky children, I now have great resources who can help guide me in the right direction.

It’s amazing how less really equals more. Cheers to a fresh start!

– 2015 Pantry Cleanse Winner, Beeland Voellinger

2015 Pantry Cleanse

Simplicity Logo

PastedGraphic-1 (5)PastedGraphic-1 (5)SIMPLICITY LOGO




January 5-18th

Simplicity organizers and The Whole Tulip are partnering together help take the overwhelm out of pantry disorganization.

The New Year is all about clearing out the old to make room for the new! It’s time for a fresh start with our pantry cleanse. 


Consider signing up to win this free pantry cleanse give-a-way!

To enter contest and for more details click here.

The Pantry Cleanse Process:

  • Simplicity will assess your current pantry and take before pictures.
  • Simplicity will help you sort, purge, and organize your pantry to create new systems.
  • The Whole Tulip will assess your current food categories and offer healthy alternatives.
  • The Whole Tulip will create a customized food and snack list.
  • Simplicity will come back and rightsize the pantry based off your new pantry stock and take after pictures.


What you can expect:

  • You may need to purchase organizational supplies in order to create a new organizational system in your pantry.
  • You may want purchase new healthy foods and snacks.
  • You will be asked to write one blog on your experience with Simplicity and The Whole Tulip, which will include before and after pictures.
  • You will experience vulnerability and change!



  • All entries are due by Sunday, January 18th
  • The winner will be announced on Wednesday, January 21st


To celebrate the partnership between the Whole Tulip and Simplicity Organizers, you will receive 20% off if you book both services and mention the code PANTRYCLEANSE in the month of February!


Back To School Organizing Party


Back to School Organizing Party


What better way to start the school year than with an ORGANIZING PARTY!

This year Simplicity hosted their 3rd annual Back to School Organizing Party for the 6th grade girls at Trinity Episcopal School.

It is the perfect time for classmates to catch up on life, meet new friends, and learn new organizing strategies before school begins!

From recognizing the benefits of getting organized, to creating a morning routine, to learning how to utilize a planner and organizing a backpack – the basics of school organization were covered!




BTS-1 Icebreaker-1

Getting to know each other!



Brainstorming time!


Morning Routine


BTS-4 Get to School

BTS-5-Get to School


BTS-6 Backpack1

BTS-7 Backpack2


BTS-8 Locker1

BTS-9 Locker2

Simplicity’s Top 10 Study Tips

BTS-10 Study Tips

  1. Create a designated study space-where there are few distractions.
  2. Make sure you have all the school supplies you need in one area.
  3. Use drawer dividers-to help keep your space organized.
  4. Determine your best study time-when you are most productive and focused.
  5. Take a 5 minute break every 30 minutes.
  6. Keep the top of your desk clear-so you have less distractions and more space to spread out.
  7. Avoid time wasters (internet, phone, tv, video games)
  8. Keep a master calendar to view the big picture of all your commitments, events, and projects.
  9. If you feel like you don’t have enough downtime in your schedule, cut back on some of your commitments.
  10. Pack your backpack and lunch the night before to avoid a rush in the morning.

To encourage these students to take some of Simplicity’s organizing tips and apply them in their own home, Simplicity held a contest. The winner of the contest had to answer questions and take pictures or video of their space.

Congratulations to Millie Saydlowski for winning the Simplicity Kids organizing contest!

Remember organizing is often a learned skill.  If you are interested in learning more organization for you or your child, consider attending our Fletcher Parent Workshop or contact Simplicity directly.

Back to school organizing party contest

SMARTY PLEDGE: To Organize My Command Center

SMARTY PLEDGE: To Organize My Command Center – by Elizabeth Ouzts


Smarty Pledge Before

What prompted you to contact Simplicity/enter the contest?

I’d heard great things about Simplicity from friends and thought it would be great to win time with an organizer through the Smarty Pledge to Purge Giveaway.  I NEVER thought I’d win!



What do you think interfered with your ability to become organized?

I felt like I didn’t have the time to tackle the overwhelming piles of “stuff” so I just kept putting it off.  I was also using a pre-made filing system that was not customized my needs.  Files became over-stuffed and difficult to retrieve papers.  You know when you have a file titled “TO BE FILED” that there is a breakdown in the system!



old filing system smarty pledge



How did disorganization make you feel?

It made me feel stressed and made me not want to go into my home office.



What was disorganization costing you?

My sanity!  I was feeling overwhelmed and couldn’t find things I needed.



How did you feel before Simplicity arrived on your project day?

I was both nervous and excited.  I wanted to get help and organize but wasn’t sure how the session would go.


What was your impression of Simplicity when they arrived in your home?

Laurie put me at ease immediately.  She was friendly and professional and made me feel like this was something I could do.


What items did you find most difficult to part with?

My daughter’s artwork from school was the most difficult to part with, but with Laurie’s help I learned how to cull this and keep the “masterpieces” for Madeline to have later.


What surprised you about your project day with Simplicity?

I was pleasantly surprised by how much we got done.  4 packed drawers of stuff, an art cart and several piles are now in one and a half drawers (with room to spare) and the art cart is neatly stacked with office supplies that I need daily. My files are now customized and easily accessible!



New filing system Smarty Pledge


Instead of having a file called-“Child’s File,” I now have a customized file for each of my daughter’s important papers, including school papers, activities, and medical records.





How did you know when you reached organizational success?

I knew I was successful when I could sit at my desk, work, and access all the things I needed.  Also when the recycle and shred piles were larger than the keep pile I knew things were going in the right direction.  I selected an inbox to hold all the current papers that need to be acted on immediately.  The rest was filed or discarded!



Smarty Pledge inbox


How did you feel once the project was completed?

Wonderful!  I am inspired to keep this area organized and work on other areas that need help.


How would you describe your overall experience?

This was an AMAZING experience!  It exceeded my expectations and I’m so happy with the skills I’ve learned and the help Simplicity provided.


What are your plans to maintain your new organizational system?

I am going to get a few more filing boxes and store these in accessible but out of the way places.  I’m going to keep my inbox and filing up to date and get clear boxes for my closet.  Once my basement is finished I’m going to organize all the arts and crafts before moving them to their new home.  I’m excited to keep this ball rolling.  Organizing is contagious!



Smarty Pledge After Simplicity

When is clutter considered a problem?


Have you noticed clutter and hoarding have become a hot topic in the media recently? Have you seen the television shows on TLC and A&E and wondered if you or someone you love might be a hoarder? Well, hoarding is NOT a new trend or phenomenon. It has been around for a long time, but is usually only discussed behind closed doors. It is also more common than you think, with 2-5% of the population struggling with this issue (even more than the number of people who have OCD or Bipolar disorder which we hear about all the time).

Hoarders often keep items for many of the same reasons as you and I do, such as:

  • for sentimental value – an emotional attachment or to remember an important life event
  • for utilitarian value – the item is, or could be, useful
  • for aesthetic value – the item is considered to be attractive or beautiful

However, the clutter becomes a larger problem when someone begins acquiring possessions compulsively, never discards items or is not organizing or maintaining the saved possessions. The constant acquisition of items, combined with a refusal to discard any items can reach a point where one’s safety becomes a major concern.*

If you are curious about hoarding, please join Dr. Andrea Umbach and Simplicity Organizers for a discussion about clutter and hoarding. Dr. Umbach is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the treatment of hoarding, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and trichotillomania. She trained under experts in the field and works with individuals who hoard both in and out of their homes. Dr. Umbach hopes to address questions you have about hoarding such as:

When is clutter considered a problem?

What is the impact of clutter?

What is the difference between collecting and hoarding?

Where does hoarding come from?

What can be done to help individuals who hoard?

Dr. Andrea Umbach

To learn more about Dr. Andrea Umbach, please visit her website or the Charlotte Anxiety Consortium.

*Information gathered from Children of Hoarders website.

True Confessions of the Queen City Style

This is me.

Whitley Hamlin, of the Queen City Style

And this is my closet.


It’s okay. I’m not ashamed to admit it, and this is just one of three four closets that house my clothes.  I am not a hoarder by any means, though this closet might seem to indicate otherwise.  As part of my job as personal stylist, I purge closets with clients all the time.  You don’t need a closet full of things you never wear. It is mind cluttering, overwhelming, annnoying and wasteful. My personal wardrobe comes in handy often with my work as a wardrobe stylist, and I will never ever rid of any of my Grandmother’s or Great Grandmother’s clothes.  That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love a beautiful, more  organized closet however… Oh, how I would.

I am really looking forward to the upcoming Lunch and Learn, Thursday, September 19, with Simplicity Organizers and Closet Log. Together we will share tips and strategies to help you create a closet of personal style. Simplicity Organizers will discuss how to organize the keepers and donate or consign the rest. I will next explain how to streamline your wardrobe in order to help determine your own personal style. Finally, we will unveil Closet Log, a new site that catalogs your wardrobe from your PC or heldheld device!  Whether your style is girly, glam, classic or fashion forward, or you are still working to figure it out, please join us. We will have a great time getting it all organized.


For the love of great style,


 *My photos courtesty of Joshua Galloway

2013 Lunch and Learn Series

Thursday, January 24th

A New Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

-Presented by Robin McCoy, Simplicity Organizer

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”  Ben Franklin  

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” Mark Twain.

Are you in Franklin’s camp or in Twain’s? Most of us are somewhere in the middle, but wherever we are on the continuum, we’re all driven by habits.  We’ll discuss procrastination and what it’s costing you.  We’ll look at the science of habits- how we form helpful ones and how we can break self-defeating ones.  Guidelines for establishing and maintaining order in your life will be shared.

Thursday, February 14th

Organizing Your Small Business

Angie Mattson, Owner of Your Organized Guide (

You’ve heard the clichés about being a business owner – you wear so many different hats and you’re constantly juggling all the balls.  At some point, your small business feels like it’s running you! In this session, we’ll uncover the Five Essential Business Systems ™ which eliminate your overwhelm, create time and give you control of your business (and your life) – all without losing your mind. You’ll also gain a clear understanding of how business systems positively impact your bottom line.


Thursday, March 14th

Organizing Your Papers

-Presented by Anne Steppe and CPA-Nesha Pai Singer (

Taxes season is here! Simplicity has partnered with CPA financial specialist, Nesha Pai Singer to review record retention guidelines, answer looming tax related questions, and help you streamline and create a new paper archival system. What to keep and what to purge will be discussed, as well as systems for “taming the paper tiger”.  For an additional $5, you can bring personal bags of shredding.  A ‘SHRED-IT’ truck will be on-site to professionally shred your documents.


Thursday, April 18th

Rightsizing Your Life

-Presented by Robin McCoy, Simplicity Organizer

Have you had a shift in your family or living situation? Do you anticipate a major life event- retirement, becoming an empty nester, welcoming home a boomeranger, selling the big house?  If so, this session is designed for you.  We’ll use Rightsizing Your Life, by Ciji Ware as our springboard.  (You do not need to buy or read the book in advance.)  The emotional and psychological challenges of major life changes will be our focus but plenty of practical suggestions and strategies for weathering such a change will also be discussed.


Thursday, May 16th

Getting Organized for Family Travel

-Presented by Anne Steppe and Andrea Gill, Simplicity Organizers

Does getting ready for vacation exhaust you?  If so, learn some easy and practical techniques for planning, packing and “battening down the hatches” for departure.  Preparing for family travel by car and by plane will be addressed and specific suggestions will be offered for packing for spend-the-night camps.


Thursday, June 6th

Organizing for College

-Presented by Catie Eller, Simplicity Organizer

Yes, summer’s just begun, but mid-August will be here before you know it.   Start your preparations now to avoid any last minute hassles.   Emphasis will be on both organizing for academic success and for peace and harmony in the dorm.  If you have packing lists and suggestions from college, please bring them along.  This session is geared for both students and parents alike but either can attend solo. 


Thursday, August 29th

Creating Systems and Routines for the New School Year

-Presented by Catie Eller and Laurie Martin, Simplicity Organizers

The sand has been shaken out of the beach bag and now it’s time to concentrate on the book bag.  With the tips and strategies we’ll offer, we can help you start off on the right foot.  Emphasis will be on managing busy schedules and establishing routines.  We will also cover setting up a homework area, buying supplies, organizing the book bag and packing healthy lunches will be covered. 

Thursday, September 19th

Organizing to Create a Closet of Personal Style

-Presented by Laurie Martin and Whitley Hamlin, Owner of the Queen City Style (

Is your closet stuffed to the gills and yet you never feel like you have anything to wear?  If so, this session is for you. Organizer, Laurie Martin, will offer tips and strategies on organizing the keepers and how to thoughtfully donate or consign the rest.  The style maven, Whitley Hamlin, creator of the Queen City Style, will show you how to streamline your wardrobe and develop your personal style. Get ready for a whole new you!

Thursday, October 17th

Hoarding: The First Steps to Recovery

– Presented by Dr. Andrea Umbach, psychologist at Southeast Psych and Founder of the Charlotte Anxiety Consortium (

Simplicity Organizers observed the extreme emotional, psychological, financial, and mental effects of a diagnosed hoarder                        when they worked on the television show Hoarders, hosted by A&E.  Hoarding stories are often fascinating to listen to or watch on television,  however when you or a close friend is struggling with hoarding, you experience first hand the devastating effects.  This session is appropriate for anyone who would like to better understand the serious impact of hoarding. Dr. Andrea Umbach, who specializes in the treatment of hoarding and anxiety disorders, is passionate about assisting others in their quest toward improved functioning by learning new skills and making positive changes in one’s life.

 Thursday, November 14th

Organizing for the Holidays

Presented by Anne Steppe

The holidays…they’re back!  If last year’s decorating, cooking, shopping, wrapping and gifting left you exhausted and stressed, this year can be different.  Learn how to focus on what really matters and let the rest go.  Tips will be offered on time management, setting priorities and the nuts and bolts of streamlining your holiday traditions so 2013 is your best holiday season ever.


Cost:$25 per person if you register on-line.  $30 at the door.

Free for all Junior League members who register through the JL membership site.

Each attendee is encouraged to bring gently worn clothing items for men, women, or children.  These     items will be donated to the Junior League Warehouse.


What to bring: A salad topping to share.

Santa’s Little Helpers

christmaswrappedboxIt’s hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us. Between shopping, wrapping, decorating, holiday cards, cooking, and not to mention the usual daily grind… there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. Simplicity’s personal assistants can help simplify your life so you can enjoy The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Our organizer elves can do everything from de-cluttering before the family comes in town to packing up the holidays when it is all over…. and our personal assistant elves assist with everything in between:

• Purchase gifts online or onsite
• Create inventory of gifts
• Wrap gifts
• Return store items
• Deliver gifts
• Assist with parties and preparation, including set-up
• Update address book
• Create spreadsheet for Christmas card mailing list
• Address and/or stamp Christmas cards or print labels
• Online ordering and pickup
• Schedule appointments /update calendars
• Schedule travel arrangements (hotel, air, etc.)
• Address invitations and send thank you cards
• Mailing services: mail packages, pickup mail, stamps
• Pickup and deliver dry-cleaning


Let Simplicity help you have a more peaceful and simplified holiday season this year. Email to schedule time with our professional organizers or personal assistants.

(Please note that in order to use our personal assistant services, you must have already used our organizing services.)

Help Warm Charlotte This Winter

Warm CharlotteDo you have winter clothes, sweaters, coats, hats, scarves, socks, blankets, towels, and other cold weather items piling up in your home? Put these items to good use and help us warm Charlotte this year! 

Environmental exposure-related deaths, hypothermia and frostbite pose an especially high threat to homeless individuals around the world during the winter months. Without shelter and often without proper protection against the elements, those in need face constant decisions between food, medicine and sufficient attire for cold weather. It comes as no surprise that cold weather attire often takes the lowest priority in that scenario.

Simplicity has partnered with other local business owners to do some real, tangible good in the community this winter by founding Warm Charlotte. These organizations are heavily involved with Charlotte’s homeowners, and in various ways, we come across many people who own more “stuff” than they really want… or need. Many of these items are often thrown away or transferred to storage facilities, never to be seen or used again. We want to change that paradigm.

donationboxThere are many ways in which you can help, the first of which is to bring winter clothes and other cold-weather items to our mobile donation centers on ANY Sunday in November. We will be in the parking lots at various shopping centers around the Charlotte area. We will then deliver the donations to the shelters and families that need them most. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to receive updates on this important cause. You can also make a monetary donation to the cause – every donation, in any amount helps!!


Sunday, November 4th: Southpark Mall, benefiting the Florence Crittenton Home

Sunday, November 11th: Park Road Shopping Center, benefiting Charlotte Rescue Mission

Sunday, November 18th: Stonecrest at Piper Glen, benefiting Crisis Assistance Ministries

Sunday, November 25th: Cotswold Village Shops, benefiting United Family Services

We will be using Captain Clutter’s truck to accept donations at each location from 1 pm to 5 pm each Sunday in November – just  “Look for the Big Green Truck!

Who We Are:

Providence Property Management – Residential property managers specializing in working with individual homeowners who want to rent their Charlotte home or condo without the hassle of finding tenants and handling ongoing maintenance issues.

Simplicity Organizers – With their team of professional organizers, Simplicity works with individuals and families to de-clutter, simplify, and create systems, bringing order to their lives and homes. In a world dictated by deadlines, cell-phones, and endless emails, it is often difficult to maintain a balanced life. Simplicity is your solution.

Captain Clutter – Providing Charlotte’s premier de-cluttering and re-sale services across the city, “the Captain” offers the greenest, most efficient and most cost-effective solution to getting rid of all that junk you’ve been holding on to for years!

The Queen City Style – Local fashion blogger and stylist Whitley Hamlin assists Charlotte residents with creating aesthetically beautiful, stylish spaces in which to live, work and play. She also styles clothing and outdoor spaces for special events in the Queen City.

Master Bedroom Closet Organization

As seen on Laura Ashley blog

If you are like most, your to-do list includes addressing a burdened closet that’s home to old yearbooks, dusty sports gear and, of course, dated wears that may never come back in fashion. Thankfully, there is professional help for the overwhelming mess you have created.

We were fortunate to take a front row seat to the makeover of a busy mum’s master bedroom closet as she– under the guidance of professional organizer Andrea Gill of Simplicity Certified Professional Organizers— restores order to a cluttered closet.

Simplicity’s method is just that, S-I-M-P-L-E, and guides you through the painstaking task in 6 easy steps.

The first call to action is to SORT— grouping like items together by season, colour, function, etc. Take a peek at these freshly hung shirts by color and sleeve length on uniform non-slip hangers.

The second step, IDENTIFY, this is where you determine the fate of your belongings. Create four piles of what should be kept, donated, sold or tossed, keeping only what is cherished or frequently used. While the Laura Ashley dress you so brilliantly wore for graduation is indeed a treasure, it is perfectly acceptable to donate to our archive or your favorite vintage shop. It may be difficult to stay on task, but try not to leave the room until finished.

Next it’s time to MAP OUT a designated spot for each category. Frequently used items should be the most accessible. Your rainy day wellingtons go on a high shelf, and your well-intentioned but less worn yoga pants in a storage box.

Then PUT IT AWAY, everything in its own spot.

The man of the house should have a convenient spot for his shoes (rather than under the bed).

Keep a collapsible step stool like this one in your closet so items up high are always within reach.
Andrea prefers t-shirts, pajamas and such folded and put on their end in a storage box. “Filing versus stacking keeps things neat when adding to or taking away and it takes up less space,” she says.

Now you have the makings of beautiful order. To wrap things up, you will LABEL your lovely Laura Ashley storage boxes (shown) and containers with their contents (nickers, scarves, socks, etc.).

Now that you have your path to organization, take note of these expert tips to guide you on your way to organizational bliss.

  • While sorting, place any items to be relocated to another spot in the house in a basket outside the room.
  • Storage solutions are great tools, but be sure to MAP IT OUT FIRST, so you are not left with containers that don’t fit your space. Laura Ashley has a variety of shapes and sizes to suit.
  • Accessories like scarves can be visually distracting in a small space. Fold and place them in a box.
  • Add an inexpensive bar of soap or sachet to your storage boxes to keep things fresh.
  • Wire shelving can leave a mark– use a placemat under folded clothes to protect them.
  • Holding on to designer clothing that you never wear? Consignment shops love boutique and designer wears, but keep in mind they will only take the current and/or upcoming season.
  • If you have the luxury of shelving, place shoes one forward and one back. This takes up less space and makes spotting the perfect pair simple with both the toe and heel in view. Also, put your daily shoes on a shelf and seasonal and party shoes in clear boxes on a high self.
  • Invest in a valet pole to make putting away laundry easier. You can order one online or as part of a custom closet.
  • Update your system as needed and just like any well-oiled machine,  maintenance is always needed!

At last, it’s time to ENJOY organization at its best! This busy mum of two can spend more time getting lost in the lives of her children and less time lost in the shuffle.