Sue McMillin
Sue McMillin
Organizing Consultant & Speaker

With Time to Spare

Organize to Make Life Easier


Getting organized can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Streamline your office. Do you have a strategy for organizing your paper and electronic files? Learn proven techniques on how to better manage your information and save an hour a day. Visit Office Transformations to see success stories.

Simplify your home. Do you know what to keep and what to throw away? Learn practical steps on how to gain more space, save more money and reduce stress. Visit Home Transformations.

I’m passionate about creating an organized workplace and a peaceful home so you can make life easier and be more productive. Even though the new year is behind us, it’s always a great time to get organized.Take a look around at the online posts and articles, books and Facebook. Learn how I come alongside clients through services including presentations, seminars, workshops and hands-on coaching. Whether in your office or home, I’d love to help bring order to your surroundings.Take advantage of With Time To Spare’s book discounts and get If I File It, Can I Find It? and Organized! How to Create a Happier Home, Family, and Life for half price.




I hope you have enjoyed and applied the practical guidelines in this series, “Principles to live by and to enjoy life more fully.” These simple nuggets of wisdom will help you get organized so you can enjoy your life more fully and give you time to spare at work or at home.

In this series I have encouraged you to:

- Battle with clutter.
Update and eliminate or you will accumulate.
- Take action against small irritants that trip you up.
- Downsize your stuff.
- Find the RIGHT place to put it all

Also, I have hopefully inspired you to:

- Finish each project that you start.
- Do the worst jobs first.

Why not drop me a line with your testimony of how one, or all, of these ideas has changed your life? I would be delighted to share your story. And if you enjoyed this series, why not check out other transformational series on my website?

- Promises Kept
- Making Promises become Practices, Part One, Part Two, Part Three
- Don’t Freak Out, Declutter! Part One, Part Two

Always remember that I would love to come alongside you to help you with organizing, clutter reduction, creating systems and time management. Just give me a call or send me a message.


In this 7th post of “Principles to Live by and enjoy life more fully.” An oft repeated truism in my seminars is “Update and eliminate, or you will accumulate!”

This saying resonates with my audiences because we see that when we don’t eliminate clutter, clutter builds up into endlessly growing stacks and piles until it crowds a room and blocks out light and air!

In the office.  My clients in the business world generally understand that you must take off time weekly from producing to spend a small amount of time for maintenance. But, what my clients fear is falling behind and not finishing their work. In fact, today downsized workforce means that many have too much work to fit into the normal workday. So spending time maintaining – updating and eliminating – seems impossible.

The key to maintaining is understanding how much time is actually lost when we don’t update and eliminate. The average office worker wastes 1-2 hours a day from too much clutter and too little organization.

  • Maintenance means organizing yourself in a way that makes finding and moving electronic and paper documents easy and accurate. Studies show that the average office works sends 30 minutes a day just looking for things.  The annual cost of clutter to businesses have been estimated at $177 billion!
  • Make maintaining part of your daily work cycle. At the beginning of your day, take 10 minutes to plan, set up, and strategize. At the end, take 6-8 minutes to put things back where they belong. The formula – for every hour that you work in your office or home, spend one minute maintaining the area.

In the home. My home clients find out the hard way that if they don’t update and eliminate they will accumulate. There’s no place where this is more true than in our clothes closets. How often do we go out and see a cute outfit that we simply must have, only to bring it home and cram it into an already overcrowded closet. We must update – and eliminate – seasonally, or we will accumulate.  Here is another saying, “When you buy something new, give away two”. In addition, read how four simple steps will take your closet from overcrowded to delightful!Chrystal's restored pantry

One of my associates recently had an opportunity to help out her friend who was expecting a baby. The frustrated homeowner had an overcrowded pantry that desperately needed organizing and purging. She had not taken the time to update nor eliminate things in her pantry. Like most young moms, the demands of children and home life had robbed her of time, so her pantry desperately needed some help.

My associate walked the homeowner through the whole process. They took everything out of the pantry, and set up stacks of “like” foods on the table. Soon the stacks of pastas, snacks and cans took up every nook and cranny of the table.

Then the updating and eliminating phase began. She eliminated all outdated foods as well as all the things that did not need to be stored in the pantry. The updating of the pantry consisted of installing new organizational baskets and bins from the dollar store or purchased from my website  in order to containerize like items.  Can organizers and lazy Susans are also fabulous gadgets for organizing a pantry or kitchen cabinet.

When the updating and eliminating were complete, the restocking phase began. This was a breeze because the items to go back in were fewer and more functional. The whole process took just about an hour, and the pantry looked like a work of art! The mom was amazed!

The bottom line. Believe me, if you take this little nugget, “Update and eliminate, or you will accumulate”, and put it into practice, you will experience less stress and a more enjoyable life. Your home and office will be more efficient and you will experience more peace. Try it and see!

Read more:  Part II: Do the worst firstPart III: Remove small irritantsPart IV: Finish each project completely; Part V: When more is less; Part VI: A place for everything and everything in its RIGHT place;   Part VII: Clutter gets in the way of the life you want to live.