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

Organizing for an Allergen-Free Life

Learning that you or your child is highly allergic to something can be a stressful time, and a time that demands extremely organized behavior. I recently learned that my son has a peanut allergy and can’t even tolerate non-peanut foods that were packaged in the same processing plants as peanuts. And, after witnessing the nasty allergic reaction that started us on the process of having him tested, I’m more than happy to make our home and his life as peanut-free as possible to keep an allergic reaction from happening again.

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An Organized Method for Discovering and Planning Activities for Your Kids

Now that my son is toddling around and exploring the world, I’m always searching for interesting places to go and fun activities to do with him. He can handle one big activity a day, and actually needs at least one to burn off enough energy to sleep well at night.

Nature walks, playgrounds, and playgroups are trusty standbys for a couple days a week, but I also want him to experience new things and meet a variety of kids. I’ve spent a good amount of time researching age-appropriate activities in my area, and have been able to organize a calendar with times and addresses so there is always a possibility on the schedule. Putting in the time to research what is in your area can help you find great activities for your children, too. To learn about activities in your area, check the following resources.

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Pursue the Remarkable Life You Desire

I went on a walk with my son the other day while wearing a food stain on my shirt, a matching stain on my pants, and socks with sandals. My goal was to help my son burn off energy so he would take a much needed nap, not stroll the runway at New York’s Fashion Week. Besides, I didn’t expect to see any of my neighbors in the middle of a weekday afternoon, savory clad or otherwise.

Which means, of course, I ran into seven of my neighbors. I had forgotten it was Labor Day, and apparently none of my government-employed street mates had anywhere else to be except for their front yards.

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To Thine Own Self Be True

One of my favorite aspects of childhood was that who I was could change on a dime. One minute I’d be an astronaut and the next a tight-rope walker. I could decide to be a kid who sings in the grocery store, and a few seconds later decide I was a kid who touched every piece of produce.

Unfortunately, the downside of changing who you are constantly means that you’re a pretty lousy decision maker. I certainly was. How do you know if you want macaroni and cheese for dinner if it’s not yet dinner time? How do you know what to wear to school the night before if you don’t know if you’ll be a ballerina or a firefighter the next morning?

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Excuses, Excuses …

It’s easy to come up with excuses. Heck, I tell them to myself all the time:

I can’t cook dinner tonight because I had a hard day at work. I can’t put that dirty dish in the kitchen because I’m so comfortable sitting here on the couch. I can’t because … I can’t because … I can’t because …

Since excuses are so easy to make, it’s no wonder they keep people from uncluttering and organizing their homes. Here are the five most common excuses and what you can do to overcome them:

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Five Reasons To Let Go of Clutter

We can all think of excuses for holding onto our clutter (“I might need it someday,” “I paid good money for it”), but excuses don’t even hold up in these circumstances:

  1. You hate it. If you don’t like it, don’t keep it. Life is too short to hold onto things you loathe.
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Resources for the Chronically Disorganized and Hoarders

Not everyone who wants to unclutter and organize her home can do so without the help of someone else. Thankfully, assistance and effective treatments are available for those who need it and their families:

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Motivational Links for August 26, 2010

I’ve been thinking a great deal about words that begin with the letter P lately — productivity, promptness, and procrastination. The following articles are on the topic and really speak to getting motivated to unclutter and organize your home and office. Enjoy!

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Curbing Toy Clutter

A year ago today, I became a mother. I have a number of close friends with young children, so I wasn’t under any delusions about the work involved with raising a little one. What I wasn’t prepared for was how I would handle all of the toys other people gave to us (and continue to give to us) for our son.

First things first, you should know we are extremely grateful to have people in our lives who love our son and give him gifts. Their generosity is heartwarming and beautiful. We feel very blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. However, our home is very tiny and had we kept everything, we wouldn’t have been able to walk through our living room.

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Are Your Belongings Stored in Their Best Place

When organizing your home, there are two effective strategies for where you should store items:

  1. Where you use them.
  2. In a central location.

Objects like coffee cups should follow rule #1 and be stored where you use them, which is likely an area near your coffee maker. Objects like vacuums usually follow rule #2 and should be stored in a central location that is easily accessible to the rooms in your home with carpeting.

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