My 2012 In Review…

I cannot believe 2012 is coming to a close!  My “end of year” feelings are usually pretty ho-hum.  This year is a bit different.  2012 will go down as one for the books for me.

As most of you know, I started Pure & Simple in June 2010.  I was still in grad school and taking pro bono clients at that point.  I graduated in December and went from full time grad student to full time business owner.  I totally freaked out!  I sat around for months making excuses … for everything.  It was awful!  I decided to get my act together and go big or go home!  I spent the last 6 months of 2011 working on projects and trying to understand what business was all about.  How to start one, how to run one, how to get clients, etc.

So 2012 came ringing in with big expectations.  It was a complete roller coaster.  So many ups and so many downs.

My theme for 2012 was “try it on”. I would try something on for size.  If it fit, then I kept it.  If it was uncomfortable, then I took it off with no guilt.  I have “analysis paralysis” when it comes to decisions.  I will analyze and research, analyze and discuss, only to realize I spent all this time analyzing what was the right decision then made no decision at all.

When do we really know that the decision is right?  Try it on for size.

{2012 Recap}

February 9. My guest blog post was published on  My website received 1,800 views in about 3 hours. I found out I made it into the competition for the 3M Command Hooks Commercial Contest.


February 19. Organized with a local family while my videographer filmed the project.  All for the 3M Command Hooks Commercial Contest.


March.  My first editorial ran in LKN Woman Magazine about how to tackle that clutter.

April. Joined Business Leaders of CLT.  One of the best networking decisions I have made to date.

Credit: Hawthorne Direct

Credit: Hawthorne Direct

May 2. I flew to Los Angeles to film 6 videos for the 3M Post-It Notes Necessorize campaign.

May 8. Signed on to work with Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont to help bring organizing ideas to their readers.

Office on moving day.  It was a mess!

Office on moving day. It was a mess!


June 5. I moved in with Raymond.  This was a large step for each of us, and one we both are still enjoying! 🙂


July. I was nominated for The Best Personal Blog category in the 2012 Charlotte Web Awards.  My editorial ran in LKN Woman Magazine about organizing makeup.  I made the cover of Apartment Times Magazine. 🙂

New logo & new business cards

New logo & new business cards

August. My brand went through a total makeover.  I love the new look! 🙂

September.  My editorial ran in LKN Woman Magazine about creating a landing zone.

Observer Article


September 5. The Charlotte Observer ran an article about my trip to Los Angeles and my business.

September 7. Signed on to guest post for the The Charlotte Moms to help bring organizing ideas to their readers. 🙂

October 3. Filmed my first Podcast with Fort Mill Magazine.

November.  My first article for SouthPark Magazine was published.

LKN Woman to Watch

December.  I was featured in LKN Woman Magazine as the Woman to Watch.  The Gaston Gazette wrote a fabulous article about my business and processes.

Speaking Engagements I’m a very nervous public speaker.  I hated giving presentations in college.  I managed to trap that fear in a little box this year as I spoke to different groups around the region about organizing.  I quickly realized that I actually like talking to groups of people!  The larger the audience the better! 🙂

Writing and Blogging I have never considered myself a writer.  But I found myself writing articles for magazines all through the area like LKN Woman Magazine, SouthPark Magazine, and Fort Mill Magazine. And the blogging?  Well only my favorite part of every day.  I love blogging.  I love sharing.  I love meeting all of you! 🙂

Organizing Projects & Clients I have met some incredible people this year and helped them through some really large piles.  I have never met the same client twice and I have never met the same project twice. I respect each and every one of my clients, their story, and their stuff. Clutter is an outward expression of something else that is going on in our lives.  I’m called in to help deal with the outward expression, but generally we hit on the “other stuff” as well.  I love my j.o.b. and I love helping people. 🙂

Cheers to 2013! 🙂  Bring it on!

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Organizing with Post-it Notes {Planners}…

I am a self proclaimed planner lover.  I love anything sorted and organized in a planner, and I like paper versions.  For some reason, I like being about to draw, doodle, and mark events in different colors.  You don’t get the same feel with an online planner.  I have yet to find an online version that lets me insert a little tooth for days when I have a dentist appointment. 😉

So if you love planners as much as I do, then here are some suggestions on taking it to the next level with some Post-it products:

Post-It Tabs

Allows you to separate your planner into sections.  Or tag the current week.

Wall Pockets

I. LOVE. THESE. I use them to hold my receipts in between my finance days. You know, those days when you input your receipts and look at where your money is going?  Yes, I am a bit old school but the process works for me and I can track my expenses.  My accountant loves me.  {Hi Brian ;)}

Arrow Flags

Great for reminding you of the days when you absolutely cannot miss that most important {insert activity}.  I like the flags because they visually remind me.  Dings and things are great on phones, but I like to see stuff.

Planner Love

The coolest all-in-one planner I have come across is the Erin Condren Life Planner.  It is amazing.  I balked at the $50 price tag, but I think it is worth it.  There is a section for everything that you may or may not want to track.

For example: I like to track my eating habits and my workouts.  I hate writing each down in their own separate notebook because I like to see it visually in relation to the calendar.

If you liked today’s post, then I would love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment below! 🙂

Until next time…


Charlotte Observer…

Having fun on set.

Happy Labor Day! 🙂

Yesterday morning I decided to start the day off with a cup of coffee and a good book.  I was busy enjoying the morning and decided to check Facebook.  Sounds like I am too plugged in. 😉 Well I am glad I did, I had received a note from a friend indicating there was a great article about me in the paper. {Thanks Kelly for the heads up!}

Oh my!  In the Sunday Charlotte Observer? I ran down to the newspaper box in our apartment complex, checked to make sure it was full of papers, and quickly deposited my $2 in quarters.  Opened the door — excitement barely contained.  *wonk*wonk*

It was full of Saturday papers.  You can imagine the look on my face.

I grabbed the paper on our way to lunch — well I actually grabbed two copies.  I plan to frame the article.  Is that corny?

In case you missed it — here it is.

Until next time…

Organizing with Post-it Notes {Files}…

Paper can take over our lives.  Mail coming in.  Mail going out.  Coupons.  Newspapers.  Magazines.  Bills to pay.  Bill to file.  Camp registrations.  Tax returns.  Instruction Manuals. I could go on forever.

I am a proponent for online storage, but some things just need to be physically filed away.  Setting up a filing system can take days, but if set up properly, it could save you hours down the road!

3M Post-it Notes Commercial on how to organize your files:

To start with, you need to decide how you want to organize your files.

File Boxes

Target File Box ($13.39)

My preferred method of storing files.  The Container Store also sells file boxes.  They are more expensive and do not have the metal rail.  {I prefer the rail; makes it easier to slide the folders}

Filing Cabinets

ERIK File Cabinet ($99)

You can get filing cabinets anywhere (Walmart, Office Depot, etc).  I prefer the one from IKEA.  I have seen it in action, and it is very nice!

File Folders

I love the idea of color coordinating files.  {Green = money, Red = Emergency}

Hanging file folders come in a variety of colors these days.  Sometimes I feel like I’m shopping for Starburst candy and not folders {tropical, jewel, green}.

File Labels

Post-it Tabs

Post-it File Folder Labels

Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping your paper and files organized?  If so — please share!

Until next time…

Organizing with Post-it Notes {Notebooks}…

There are so many options available for us to “get organized” or “stay organized”.  Digital options.  Paper options.  Binders.  Notebooks.  Calendars.

The options can be overwhelming.  Which do I choose?  What will work best for me?

As I mentioned in my previous series post about organizing with Post-it Notes, I prefer binders for almost anything.  What can’t go in a binder will go in a notebook.  I need things to be written down and visible.  So if you are like me, then this post is for you.

Pure & Simple Organizing, 3M Post-it Notes Commercial, Notebook Style

  • Buy a “pretty” notebook.  I prefer something with a solid cover.
  • Decide how to organize within the notebook.
    • By date
    • By event
    • Will you tear out the pages when you are done?
  • Post-it Note Tabs are great for adding notes per day or event
    • Example:  Next Action steps from a meeting can be added to the tab and removed when completed.
    • Visual reminder of what was important from a meeting or for a particular day
  • Post-it Writing Tools are an all-in-one necessity
    • Write
    • Highlight
    • Flag when necessary
    • I am forever carrying pens and highlighters in my purse and organizing bag
  • Post-it Label Pads
    • Keep sections in the notebook organized
    • Keep each notebook categorized and organized

How do you stay organized with notebooks?

*Pictures courtesy of

Until next time…

Organizing with Post-it Notes {Binders}…

I’m bbaaacckk!  Hey everyone!  Whew — what a busy couple of weeks.  Three trips, a move, and a ton of new clients!

Now it is back to business and the fun stuff — blogging! 🙂

I’m starting a new series centered around the 3M Post-it Notes commercials.

First up — how to organize with Post-it Notes — binders edition! 🙂

Pure & Simple Organizing 3M Post-It Notes Commercial, Binders

I have an obsession with binders, especially those from Martha Stewart (sold at Staples).  If done correctly, they can be really useful!

First tip:  add a label to the spine.

This will allow you to glance at a grouping of binders and know exactly which one to pull.

Second tip: Use tabs to separate different sections.

Post-it Filing Tabs

Any divider will do but think about flexibility.  The Post-it tabs can be moved around from one page to another and will remain sticky. 🙂  Not to mention — you can write on them!

Third tip:  Use sheet protectors.

I love the feeling of them.  There is something about glossy and shiny that gets my blood pumping. 🙂

Fourth tip:  Use the Super Sticky Full Adhesive Notes on the inside cover.

Post-it Super Sticky Full Adhesive Notes

Coupon here.

They won’t fall off because the whole back is sticky, and you can always pull for a note when you need to jot down an idea.

Last tip:  Buy up every single Post-it Pocket from your store.  They are amazing!

Post-it Pockets

They stick to anything – like a binder.  Great size to keep those smaller loose items that need to be grouped together.  Example:  paint samples inside your Home Inspiration Book.

What is your favorite use of the all mighty binder?

Until next time…

*Pictures courtesy of  

Oh what fun …

So I know I have said over and over how much fun I had in Los Angeles.  What I left out was how much fun all the people were!  The 3M Ladies were no exception!  I had a great time with them chatting about their lives and career.

The 3M Ladies!
Gina, Erica, & Jamie

About halfway through the day, Erica came over with a folder and a smile.  You could tell she was up to something.  She opened the folder to reveal a picture of me — that was just taken by the way.  She says (with the biggest smile ever), “Will you autograph this picture for one of our coworkers?”


Erica & Jamie were presenting the Post-It Notes Necessorize project to 3M and the marketing team.  They flashed my headshot up on the screen so everyone could see who they chose.  Their coworker, Jim, stopped in his tracks and said aloud, “She is cute!”  I think he was a little embarrassed and the girls wanted to pull a joke on him.



We added the beautifully autographed picture of our Post-it(R) Necessorize(TM) Hollywood Star to our co-worker Jim’s photo wall in his office. See below for his big smile…..”

There I am!

Absolutely hilarious!  And Hollywood Star? *Blushing*

Thank you ladies for a great opportunity and a wonderful time!  It was a pleasure meeting each of you! 🙂

Until next time…

Little Miss Sweet Tea Goes Coast-to-Coast…

“Little Miss Sweet Tea” is my nickname from an organizing buddy…thanks Sandra. 😉

I left Charlotte this morning for a week long trip to Myrtle Beach.  Raymond and I were enjoying lunch at Hamburger Joes when he said, “Coast to coast in one week!”  I will cheers to that! 🙂

Thank you all so much for the emails, phone calls, messages, and facebook posts about the Los Angeles trip!  It was simply amazing.  I thought I would take some time to share with you the details. 🙂

Wednesday, May 2nd

  • 3:30am – Up and at ’em
  • 5:30am – Arrive at airport, check baggage
  • 5:40am – Some random guy makes a pass at me and asks me to coffee.
  • 5:50am – Still in line for security.  Random guy is still talking to me about his entire life story.
  • 5:53am – Security pulls me aside for further inspection.  My Command Hooks require additional search and X-Ray.
  • 5:54am – I am thanking the good lord upstairs for thorough security guards.  I was able to shake the creepy coffee guy.
  • 6:30am – Board first flight of the day.  Charlotte to Atlanta
  • 7:55am – Land in Atlanta.  Man that was fast!
  • 8am-10am – Kill time in Atlanta airport.  On the hunt for Starbucks and breakfast!  Fell asleep at gate, started snoring!
  • 10am – Board second flight of the day.  Atlanta to Los Angeles.
  • 10am-1:30pm(PST) – Slept like a baby on plane.  Ladies & Gentlemen, Welcome to Los Angeles.
  • 2:00pm – Rehearse scripts for next day’s commercial
  • 2:30pm – Grab luggage and rental car
  • 2:45pm – Driving to downtown Los Angeles listening to jazz
  • 3:00pm – Good and lost in downtown Los Angeles.  Good and lost!
  • 3:30pm – Arrive at Hawthorne Direct.  Walk into conference room full of people.  Oh my — big girl pants on, ready to meet and greet!
  • 3:40pm – Wardrobe fitting and modeling for client and agency.
  • 5:00pm – Off to nail salon in downtown.  Good and lost…again.
  • 5:45pm – Late for nail appointment!  Crud!
  • 6:30pm – Off to Venice Beach to meet the ladies from 3M for dinner.  Cool swanky spot called “Hotel Erwin”.
  • 7:00pm – Good and lost in Venice Beach.  No directions — no phone.  Oh..crap!
  • 7:30pm – Got directions from very upstanding couple in Venice Beach.  Found Hotel Erwin!
  • 8:00pm – Dinner with the 3M ladies! 🙂
  • 9:00pm – Found my hotel — time for sleep!  Wait…where is my face wash and toothpaste?!
  • 9:15pm (that would be 12:15am EST) – time for bed!  Holy guacamole…what a day! 🙂

And that was just day 1. 😉

Los Angeles Trip = Uh.Mazing

Back to reality for this small town southern girl. 🙂  L.A. was … simply amazing.  I couldnt have asked for a better trip or a better experience!  Not to mention – I met some of the coolest people! 🙂

Here are a few pictures from the trip.  I didnt get to take many because I was either driving myself around L.A. or working constantly trying to do the best job possible!


Downtown Los Angeles


Post makeover 🙂 Thanks Shannon!

Bye L.A. — Had a blast!

25 Random Things {L.A. Style}…

“Ladies & Gentlemen, Welcome to Los Angeles” 🙂

  1. Why do I always attract the strangest people?
  2. No I do not want to grab a cup of coffee with you — did you realize you are missing all your teeth and smell of cigarette smoke?
  3. Knew this guy’s whole life story.
  4. By 5:45am.
  5. While standing in line for security.
  6. Good grief — too early for this nonsense.
  7. So …the girl on my connector flight…
  8. Talky, talky, talky!
  9. Hello … don’t you know it is 7am!
  10. I felt bad for her neighbor.
  11. Dramamine is a girls best friend
  12. Especially when she hates long flights.
  13. That is me.
  14. I barely made it on the plane in Atlanta.
  15. Sleepy sleepy.
  16. Pretty sure I started to snore.
  17. So… driving in L.A…. Interesting
  18. I got lost.
  19. About 15 times.
  20. I have the cutest rental car ever.
  21. I suck at driving it.
  22. I keep pushing down the clutch.
  23. Yea … it is an automatic.
  24. Wardrobe fitting was today.
  25. This is a crazy experience. 🙂

Until next time…