erindoland
Erin Rooney Doland is Editor-in-Chief of Unclutterer.com, a website providing daily articles on home and office organization, and author of the book Unclutter Your Life in One Week, published in November 2009 by Simon and Schuster.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas, William Allen White School of Journalism, and her master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a writer, productivity consultant, and lecturer. She, her husband, and son reside in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

In addition to her work at Unclutterer, Erin is a weekly columnist here on SimplyStated. She has also been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, USA Weekend and the Wall Street Journal Online.

Recent Posts By erindoland

An Organized Approach To Yardwork

The weather is finally starting to warm up here in the northern hemisphere, and now is a great time to start cleaning up your home’s exterior spaces. This winter was hard on many landscapes, and there may be more work than usual for you this spring. Try to keep an organized approach to the work ahead of you to keep from feeling overwhelmed.

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Keeping Clutter Off Your Reading List

Over on Unclutterer.com today, we’re talking about keeping clutter off bookshelves. One thing that has helped me significantly to curb bookshelf clutter is to schedule when I’m going to read books, the same way I might schedule a meeting or plan to see a movie with a friend.

Scheduling time to read is fun for me because it’s usually a reward after a long day of work and tending to responsibilities around the house. It also helps me to keep my to-read list of books from growing out-of-control.

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Three common traits of people who have uncluttered and organized homes

There are three major differences between someone who perpetually has an uncluttered and organized home and someone who doesn’t.

The first difference is that the person with the perpetually organized home has small routines she follows every day to keep the house orderly. When she walks in the door with the mail, she has a routine she follows to immediately process the mail. When she is done with dinner, she has a routine to clean the kitchen. When she gets ready for bed at night, she has a routine to put her dirty clothes in a hamper. There are weekly laundry routines and dusting routines and she always hangs her coat up and stores her keys in the same place. These routines aren’t given much thought, they’re just a part of her behavior.

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How Not To Nag

Living with other people can be frustrating for many reasons, especially if you feel like you aren’t being respected by your housemates or family members. Numerous times I’ve heard mothers complain that their children don’t do chores when asked and they have to nag their kids incessantly to get them to do anything. I’ve also heard similar complaints directed toward spouses and roommates.

Nag, nag, nag.

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A Little Bit of Organizing Can Pay Off When Speaking with Customer Service Representatives

I greatly dislike having to contact a company’s customer service line. Sure, the people on the other end of the line are usually very pleasant. However, the calls always takes longer than you would expect them to, and two-thirds of the time I’m disconnected in the middle of the call.

For instance, whenever the customer service representative (CSR) says, “I need to transfer you,” I know I’m about ready to be disconnected. Transfers are the black hole of customer service lines.

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Staged Homes — Inspiration from a Make Believe World

My family is in the process of selling our house and moving in to a new home. Things are chaotic, to understate the situation. I have sore muscles, am already tired of the entire process, and am eager to be settled.

Getting settled is still a way off, as a good portion of our large furniture is still in the old house. Our real estate agent believes that keeping some furniture in a home helps to sell it because it gives future buyers an idea of what can be done with a space. However, all personal objects (like family pictures and signs of daily life) should be removed so that potential buyers can envision the place as theirs.

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Distracted? Try These Tips To Get You Back On Track

We are all tempted by distractions when we’re trying to focus. Some folks can’t stop checking email, others are drawn to the television, and if I don’t get enough sleep my mind wanders uncontrollably.

I think a few minutes of distraction each hour are fine. In fact, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found that mindless activities sprinkled throughout your day can help you be more creative. The problem comes, though, when your distractions start to significantly impact your productivity.

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No Need To Apologize for a Little Clutter

I don’t talk about it publicly very often, but I have a physical disability. The reason I don’t talk about it is because I rarely think about it. And, the reason I rarely think about it is because I was born with it and it’s the only life I know.

Besides, you can’t see me from your computer, and even if you could see me, you probably wouldn’t notice. I’ve been acquaintances with people for decades, and they are absolutely unaware of it.

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Creating a Child’s Room to Encourage Organizing Skills

Organizing skills are learned. Some children take to organizing more quickly than others, but none is born with a calendar in one hand and a label maker in the other. Teaching children to be organized is an on-going process, and how you set up your child’s room can help facilitate some of these lessons.

The most important thing to remember when creating a child’s room is the height of the child. The average two year old is around 34″ and the average 10 year old is about 54″ tall. If you want your child to learn to put away her toys and put her dirty clothes in the laundry basket, you will want to make most everything in the room accessible to this height range.

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Uncluttering In Response To Grief

February has been a roller coast of a month emotionally for me. Most notably, my aunt passed away from brain cancer. She was an amazing woman, someone I was very close to, and each day seems to bring a new feeling — anger, disbelief, sadness, joy that she was able to be part of my life.

One of the unexpected side effects of this loss is that I have a strong desire to unclutter many areas of my life. I want to clear my calendar, sort through my closet, and clean out all the kitchen cabinets. I want fewer responsibilities that don’t matter, to create more room in my life for the responsibilities that do.

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