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Downers Grove, IL 60515


From Piles to Smiles® organizing and productivity service provides personalized, non-judgmental, professional coaching and hands-on organizing assistance that can help you claim control of your hectic personal and business life.

Sue-isms and Truisms


Organizing and productivity ideas to help you experience the simplicity, harmony and freedom of being organized and in control.

Sue-isms and Truisms

Sue Becker

Nine years ago, when I wrote my first newsletter/blog post, my goal was to provide simple, step-by-step guidelines to help people enjoy the simplicity, harmony and freedom of being organized. 108 articles later, I’m still passionate and excited about my mission to help people simplify their lives. However, I’ve decided to take some of my own advice by eliminating this undertaking so I can add more white space to my life –  I’m hanging up my keyboard and stepping back from writing newsletters and blog posts. My final gift to you via this medium is sharing a few of my favorite organizing tips and quotes – I hope they inspire you to keep moving forward on your quest to get, and stay, organized so you have the white space to do more of what matters in life.
I also want to take this time to acknowledge my Mom, who has cheerfully and skillfully served as my editor. I’m incredibly grateful to her for all the love and wisdom she’s shared with me in life, as well as in the editing process, including the proper use of commas, and the difference between “lie” and “lay.” Thank you, Mom, for being one of my biggest fans!

Space Organizing

  • APPLES each day keep the clutter away™:

Arrange similar items together
Pare down
Put things in logical places
Locate containers
Enhance with labels
Sustain your system

  • Other areas will get worse while some get better
  • Store things near where you use them
  • Don’t put it down, put it away

Paper Organizing

  • Don’t start cleaning up the backlog until you have a system in place to handle the incoming paper
  • Every time you touch a piece of paper, do something purposeful to move it along on its journey by answering the question, “What’s the very next action I need to take on this?”
  • When setting up your filing system ask yourself, “Where will I look for information when I need it again?”

Time Management

  • By capturing all your to-dos in one place you won’t have any more to do than you did before – you’ll simply have a way to remember and prioritize your tasks
  • Plan your next day the day before
  • A “what” without a “when” is a “whoops” – be sure to identify exactly when you’ll do the things on your to-do list
  • “Put Eat Chocolate on your to-do list – that way you're guaranteed to get at least one thing done.” – Anonymous

I leave you with this Irish Blessing, and wish you the joy of knowing when you have enough:

May You Have…

Enough happiness to keep you sweet,
Enough trials to keep you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human,
Enough hope to keep you happy,
Enough failure to keep you humble,
Enough success to keep you eager,
Enough wealth to meet your needs,
Enough enthusiasm to look forward,
Enough friends to give you comfort,
Enough faith to banish depression,
Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.