Success Stories

Its one thing to read about getting organized, it's another to put it into practice.

Do you have a success story? Let's celebrate your achievement! We want to hear from you. We know how challenging and overwhelming the issues are in getting organized. Whether you have acted on a single tip or re-vamped the whole kitchen, we honor your success and there is great value in sharing it with others. Please, share your experiences! We salute your triumph!


EUREKA!!!!! We have some live one folks -- some highly motivated & ambitious visitors of the 1,2,3 SORT IT website who has utilized our step-by-step recipes for organizing the kitchen AND the desk-top.

So don't be bashful, we'd love to hear from the rest of you too!

Hello Julie-

Well, I won the bet...sort of....! First let me apologize for my late response. I began writing to you three weeks ago, but was long in tooth and short on results at that time. Thus, I didn't write to you then. I do want to thank you whole heartedly for your phone call. What a thoughtful and most helpful gesture. Thank you!-Thank you!-Thank you!!!! So here is what transpired after your call and your inspiration.

First of all I was more energized than ever to get the task completed. Secondly, I was on a mission to get the task done in the most thorough, efficient and complete way possible. I was a dynamo!

Then my husband came home from work (Poor Guy-I know that he was wishing that it had been his golf day). We discussed your phone call and the new tactics that we were going to implement-and he said that he could still get the job done but "wasn't too sure that the bet should still be on. Well, after talking over the updated plans, we kept the stakes at $50.00 and he still took the challenge and later was found at 11:40P.M. sound asleep amongst the sorted paper mess. He lost. (It is only money). BUT, we both won in that the results that have taken shape over the past three weeks are amazing.

Even before we got into this cluttered mess, our home never was so completely organized and in this great of shape.

Thank you again, Julie. Mike said that this is the best deal he has ever received for $50.00-the job was more than worth the money and effort.

I will write to you later with the events and results of our families efforts. I wanted to get back to you and let you know the progress and to belatedly thank you. I sure wish you were here on the main land. You are truly inspiring and great at motivating the wayward "clutter bound" individual. Thank you for your help!

Most sincerely,
Karen and Michael B.

I did it! I reorganized all the cabinets in my kitchen (we sure have a lot of them). I got rid of two boxes of things we don't need. I actually have cupboards now that are empty and I have nothing to put in them.

Next is to purchase a few things to help me organize the drawers a little better. I purchased that spongy non-adhesive drawer liner and really like these but need to buy more. I have separated my cooking utensils. Since we have so many drawers I put the ones I would cook on the stovetop with under the stove top and the ones I use for other things in another drawer. I just need something to separate them or organize them somehow. I need to do the same with the recycling and may be using one of my "new" empty lower cupboards

I was excited because we already have pull out shelves in many of our cabinets. My brother is building a few extra shelves I need for my food cupboards, as well. Then the fun part, we will either strip the current paint to original wood or paint if that would look better. Maybe working in the kitchen is going to be enjoyable now.

Your information was very helpful. It kept me motivated, which I needed this weekend. A close friend had planned on helping me but she broke herleg (quite bad, actually) two days before (hell of a way to get out of it, huh?) and I almost put it off for another weekend. I ended up putting it off from Saturday to Sunday and had a few little things to finish up last night and a few unused cupboards to really scrub but am so relieved I actually did it. Yay!!!


I just wanted you to know that I am so glad to have found your web site. The information I have put to use has been terrific! It has been a slow process to dig my family out from under the "clutter of life" that we have accumulated over the years. Your advise so far has helped us to get on out way. Thanks.

Karen B.

Aloha Julie!

I have picked up and applied your (fabulous) idea for the 5-drawer paper management idea... and it's great and it works!.... (you might say: of course, with all your expertise knowledge...!) I did alter the sections a bit into:
1 To Pay
2 To Answer
3 To Read
4 To File
5 To Attend (which means things I need to attend (as in go to) or attend to (as in look into)...

I am so relieved and my desk is always neat and tidy at night and even when I get an unexpected caller, I can put the thing I am working on in the Attend basket....
Thank you so much for your bright ideas!!

One greatful internet visitor,

Else - Holland

I have gradually been doing it...but you provided me with the inspiration to chuck it out, chuck it out, chuck it out... unfortunately I didn't find the cat bowl on the desk( the cat eats in the back porch ) but I now have like things sorted together. This was particularly important for my craft stuff!


From small to spacious!!

God must've led me to your site! Well, maybe He used someone to tell me about it, but nonetheless, it was a God sent!!

I was one of those "my kitchen just has no space" people and after printing and reading your whole section on kitchen organizing, I got to it first thing on a Saturday morning. In 4 hours I had filled a large box and 2 big brown bags with utensils, gadgets, pans, plastic cups and silverware that I never used, didn't know what they were for, or were way too old for me to care about! I just could not believe the amount of space I uncovered.

First of all, I have to say I now have a huge empty top shelf in my pantry, plus had two drawers to actually fill after having emptied out so many utensils I never used. I rearranged the whole setup of the kitchen and put things where they really would be more convenient, plus spread things out where they once had been crammed. I can't believe it's the same kitchen. Getting a pot used to be very stressful and now I'm excited every time I need to reach for something because it's so handy, plus it all looks so nice!

For the first time, I am proud of what's behind the doors and want to show it off as much as possible! My significant other could not believe this was the same kitchen! I even put the strainers and the pasta sauces where the pastas are stored, something so simple but had never occurred to me!

I finished in 4 hours! The next day I actually got up and decorated the kitchen so now it not only looks good on the inside but on the outside too! And no more guilt every time I open a cabinet door or the pantry! I just smile! I now can't wait to tackle the rest of the house!

So what do I do with all the pages I printed out from your website?? hahaha!

Thank you so much for sharing these great tips. How something so simple never occurred to me is beyond me, so thanks again!


Hi, Julie..
For the first time in my adult life, I am making dinner at home every night. And it is all because I followed your "kitchen recipe".

I accumulated a lot of gadgets and recipes, but usually ended up eating a restaurant 7 nights a week, because my kitchen was not efficient at all. In fact, my friends had a running joke that my fridge was a place where leftovers went to turn into science experiments, my stove was for heating up potpourri, and my cupboards stored piles and piles of empty cottage cheese and yogurt containers.

This summer, I moved in with a friend and bartered my making dinner for living rent-free in the house. I got to move all my stuff into the kitchen and I followed your recipe.

Now, each cupboard has food in it, arranged by type. My spices are in plastic baskets according to whether they are baking or not. No more stacks of unused containers in the cupboard, no more rotting takeout leftovers in the fridge, and I actually bake in the oven.

Wow! What a change in my life! And you know what the most amazing result was? I have found that I actually like cooking!! Now I am even making jams and cooking ahead.

Thanks for the inspiration...
KC (who also did the desk recipe and got rid of tons of junk paper, and a couple of ratty ole cat toys that she found in there with them LOL)

After reading all the suggestions you offered, I tackled the master bedroom closet. We had only a small one that backed up to one our daughters, that she never used, so we eliminated hers, put in vented shelves and voila! My husband and I have room. Clothes are color sorted and easy to reach.

Lisa AZ.

Julie and all at 123 Sort-it.COM!

Thank you so much for this TERRIFIC site! I found your place by complete accident, after sitting in my home office one morning completely fed up with the fact that my life was a disorganized mess! (Notice the was!)

After browsing your site for a while, I promptly printed off all the information I could get my printer to print...the one that caught my eye the most that morning was the DESK-TOP MANAGEMENT section! Boy did I need that! I run a business from my home, and am lucky enough to have a separate room all set up as an office. The business is doing great, but my office was a disaster. Papers piled high on both floor and desk, magazines took me forever just to find a pencil and pad to take down notes from phone calls...much less print contracts and keep up on the influx of paper from the mail and customers! I was an accident waiting to happen, and I knew it!

Well, today was D-Day (desk day). I started out completely following your recipe for a well managed desk. This was the most well written, concise piece of material about organizing that I've ever read (and believe me, my shelves are full of "how to organize" books). I started working on my office at 10 am on August 10, 1998. It's now 2:31am, August 11, 1998...and the only thing I have left to do is vacuum! My office is so clean I can hardly believe it. My desk looks great...organized, files are in their place, and the influx of papers is being handled by the 5 shelf filing system you recommended. I can see my floor now because after hauling off several large leaf sized bags of magazines and trash, I now have only 3 small magazine holders with my husband's automotive magazines in them...and now there's a place for my comfy chair and a table with a plant (that I might actually be able to keep alive because I can find it!)!

Julie, thank you! I feel so refreshed sitting here typing this...and I owe it to you! What a TERRIFIC site, and my office is proof! :)

Thank you so much,

Hurray! Got one of my desktops cleaned off based on your "recipe". My office is on the 2nd floor and I must use a typewriter in my work as Treasurer for my church. The checks are duplicate checks and must be typed. The typewriter had been on my husband's desk in our basement for the past three years because I had no room for it in my office. This meant I had to travel 2 sets of steps whenever I needed to type my checks or envelopes.

I now have my typewriter where it belongs. My desk is a right-angle computer desk with equal lengths on both sides. My computer is on one side and all I have to do is swing my chair around and I can type. I have plenty of room for papers I need to work with and my husband was so impressed that when I told him I would like shelves on the wall above my computer, he went shopping and got 2 shelves and put them up the next day. THANK YOU!

Now I need to work on the floor. Some of the desktop stuff went on the floor to make room. I didn't 'sort' a lot of it because it was so overwhelming. However, magazines are in one pile and there are A LOT of loose papers to sort through in its own pile. I once was a somewhat organized person, but somehow it got away from me.

That's enough for now.


Hello you wonderful Sort It people!!

I'm so excited I want to name my first born after one of you! (bg)

Last night I stumbled upon your web site and copied every article. I printed out the one on the kitchen and began tackling it immediately! I started at midnight (I'm nocturnal), and worked and worked and worked, and was exhausted. I looked at the clock and it was only 2:30 am and I was amazed at how much had been accomplished!

I've always had trouble even getting started, as I get so overwhelmed so easily, but I was so happy to see your article take me through everything step-by-step. So when are you posting on a craft room? (vbg)

I belong to a decluttering listserv, and there will be a lot of people visiting your site after hearing my ranting! I can't help it, I'm just so happy to actually have my kitchen back!

Have a great day! =)

Aloha Julie!

At work I am very, very organized. Never have to look for anything, and am always way ahead of schedule on projects.

At Home it became a whole other story. I could not seem to stay on top of things - My "desk" was made by my husband, using an old hand carved door, he made a base and spent hours sanding the years of paint off - not easy being that the door was carved in great detail. He then had a glass top made to order with a hole for the computer cables to run through where the original door knob was. Its Beautiful!

It was also piled about 3 feet deep with paper work, bills, pictures, magazines. And YES the cat food dish that belonged to my Cat that has been dead for at least 8 months. When I read this part in your Recipe I laughed and thought at least I wasn't that bad! Guess I was....

I started your Recipe at 6:30am, following the directions (added one or two more breaks). I filled 2 boxes for donations, 4 large garbage bags with trash, and recycled about 75 pounds of magazines. I forgot how beautiful my desk really was.

I finished at 4:00pm and was totally exhausted, but so elated at the progress I had made. My husband, was delighted! Its so easy to get backed up these days that having everything in its place is saving me hours each week. I even found extra time to get the 98' Taxes going - usually its April before I can even begin to find everything!

When I revisited your site yesterday I saw the Kitchen Recipe and almost took a vacation day just to get started! I have a small kitchen and I love to cook, so this is going to be a day well spent getting it under control.

If you have any time to do a Recipe on a Basement/Workshop I would love it - My husband has a workshop downstairs that also houses my canning supplies, chest freezer, gardening tools. Its a mess!

Julie, sorry this email is so long but I just can't tell you how pleased I am at finding your site - I've passed the address along to friends and co-workers.

Brandi Barchi
EX - dis-organized person

Back in late September I went to the 1,2,3 SORT IT website and followed the how to organize your desk recipe. The website worked well for me, it told me in a very practical way how to get organized. My desk never looked so good! More importantly, it stayed that way for the next three and a half weeks. I stayed very focused on keeping it that way. I was hoping that over time the neatness would become easier and I wouldn't have to devout so much energy to the process. But, all in all I felt like a success story. I couldn't resist dragging my other half over to say, "look how neat it is".



Just before Christmas and during the quiet holiday period, I spent much time cruising around on the web and in this forum. I downloaded a large number of files and articles, e.g. from the 1, 2, 3 sortit website on how to beat clutter in all areas of home and office. Great place for inspiration, I must say!

I then installed an electronic organizer and made a master to-do list. (Boy, was that one long ... and still is!)

Today, the organizer told me that one of the points on the list is over-overdue. So, hey, I thought, why not organize all my CD-ROMs and diskettes today? On went the loud music, the hips started twitching and I attempted (in the best of moods) to pull all my diskette-holding boxes off the shelf. Ha! Fat chance! Couldn't even get to the things!

So I started sorting through my computer magazines piled up in front of the low shelf. What a job! Hey, I have ... correction: *had* magazines hailing the impending arrival of the first ever Pentium computer. Headlines were screaming at me "Windows NT - Does it work?".

I now have the trunks of our two cars full of old magazines. I have kept some, those that I hadn't even opened. 22 of them, to be exact. 22 computer magazines, each about 1 inch thick, all woefully out of date. ;)

I now also have 11 AOL CDs (yeah, right! Bahhh!), 6 CompuServe CDs and floppies and about 50 assorted sampler CDs with all kinds of possibly useful little programmes on them. And ... (Drum roll, please) I have FLOOR SPACE! Yes! Oh, and I found the Christmas cards I bought 3 years ago and couldn't find since.

I am really proud of myself. And, of course, I still haven't managed to organize my CD ROMS and diskettes. Oh well, another day, another de-clutter effort ... :)

Dirty, perspiring and happy Ellen in the UK, who finally got the message that magazines that I haven't looked at in almost 4 years will not exactly contain much absolutely-must-have information.

Just a testimonial for your website,

So..I went there after Julie Coldeen (another Julie) raved about it. I downloaded so many pages. Started reading: Kitchens last night...well, yesterday evening. You may guess what happened. I was just going to tackle the tupperware cupboard last night, I knew it would be easy. Then I moved onto the next cupboard and the next...until it was after 11 PM.

This morning I had to make some phone calls, only could leave some messages and I kept on going. I am currently in the middle of my pantry. The space I have reclaimed and the JUNK I've gotten rid of is incredible. I am sure you and your fellow organizers can guess at the number of old spices, old shopping bags (why is it we must save anything with a handle?), etc., I had crammed into my closet.

Now I have a problem not many others have: too much kitchen space. No, I am not kidding. It invites me to fill it. (Really, it is a huge kitchen.)...But I will resist and just continue to find a place for everything.

One nemesis. Coupons. I am so cheap I can't not clip them, but they breed. What are some good solutions.

Anyway, the site is absolutely fantastic, anyone looking in should stop by. It is inspirational and entertaining. I plan on tackling my whole house this way. Thanks to Alan in California and Julie in Hawaii for such a wonderful site.


Success is here...

After reaching the top of my desk and finding May, sorting everything into to do, to read, to file, and to do today piles (oh, yes and one enormous trash pile as well), I had slowed down...then someone asked what's under the desk and I knew I had to look...just more large piles of junk that could be filed or yesterday was file and pitch day, and today I have scads of leg room and what a great looking office.

I am currently tackling the to read pile...after this mild procrastination, that is! :)

My son is getting a desk in his bedroom for his birthday today...I am starting him off with the addition of a few trays, as well. Maybe he will never suffer as I have!

Barb, who sits in a pretty durn good looking office.

"...discovering your site two days ago Kitchen was just the motivation I needed to "dig deeper" and reclaim my dream kitchen. You guys are very generous to share this information freely. I've recommended your site to everyone I've talked to in the last 48 hours. It's not just a business, it's a ministry!

Your recommendations are just what ADD, right-brainer types like me need: detailed, step-by-step walk-throughs of what to do first, next and last. We are particularly vulnerable to distractions and easily overwhelmed!

One point you make in the Kitchen section really hit home. You said not to blame the condition of your kitchen on the space available. Three years ago, we built a new home, and I, personally, designed the kitchen. It is my dream kitchen, and everybody who sees it thinks it's perfect. "Thank you so much," I'd say modestly, praying all the while that they not open a cupboard or was really a hardhat zone sometimes! But thanks to your help, I got the courage to empty the entire kitchen--something I'd never dared to do before--and start over completely. I'm almost done and just wanted to write and say thanks!

By the way, would either of you like some Jello? I know where there are 39 boxes, organized alphabetically by flavor.

Keep up the good work!

"... And after this past Saturday, I will shamelessly promote Julie & Alan's web site 123sortit. I've been wading through my office for weeks now trying to get it organized. I'm normally an extremely organized person but this paper tiger was more than I could cope with. Too easily distracted, I'd get started and get called away only to come back to a bigger mess the next time I tried. I spent the day Saturday in my home office and am proud to say I've tamed 4 years of personal files, business files and the paperwork for 4 years of homeschooling 2 children. Talk about your paper accumulators! The State requires us to keep ALL the work as proof that the child is being educated. A four drawer and a two drawer filing cabinet didn't begin to handle it all so I had boxes and stacks everywhere. Now, thanks to their expert direction, I have nice little Rubbermaid file boxes stacked and ready to go to the attic and the rest of my office is tamed as well.

Just thought you'd like to hear another success story from Lurkersville!

Lil Lia'

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