How Organizing Can Help Couples (1)Contact


During this time of year we get the chance to get together with family and friends who we haven’t seen in a while.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can pick up conversations with people as if I just saw them yesterday, others sometimes not so much.  It all comes down to how we communicate with one another.

So I met with my good friend Anna Osborn, LMFT to discuss how couples can communicate with one another when de-cluttering your home or just even getting ready for the holiday festivities. Click the picture above to listen to our discussion or click here.

Even if you are not in a relationship, but share your space with someone, the strategies that Anna and I discuss can be easily applied to your situation as well.

There are great strategies shared in this discussion and I’d love to know which one you need to focus on most in your life, and why.

Once you have listened, joined the discussion below.  I’m excited to hear your take.

With love and deep thanks,


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Last Week Of National Preparedness Month

Emergency Map

Today is National PrepareAthon Day !  Many of you have taken up the call to prepare yourself against disasters and emergencies all month long.  Huge high fives to you for going on this month long emergency preparedness journey.  All this preparation will keep your mind at easy when an emergency does arise in your hometown.

This week is all about practicing where to go and what to do in an event of an emergency.  Practice! Practice! Practice! these routes with your family members.

Organizing Tip: Create a map like the one shown above and post it by the main exits of your home.  This will help communicate to everyone in your home what the possible exits are in an emergency.

In case you missed any Emergency Preparedness tips during this month check out:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3


Week 3 of National Preparedness Month

Preparedness Kit

It’s week 3 of National Preparedness Month and we are more than half way through.  Great job for keeping up! This week is all about physically creating your Preparedness Kits.  Check out what I have in my home preparedness kit and where I got them:

Water (One Gallon Jugs)  -Sprouts

Food (Non-perishable) – Sprouts/Costco/Amazon

Energizer Emergency Weather Station -Amazon

Headlamp with LED Lights  -Target

Energizer AA Batteries – Target

First Aid Kit – Target

Pocket Mask - American Red Cross

Emergency Bandage - Amazon

Coghlan’s Four Function Whistle -REI

Dust Mask -Target

Plastic Sheeting – Home Depot

Duct Tape – Home Depot

Moist Towelette, Spoons, Heaters -MRE

Garbage bags -Costco

Wrench – Home Depot

Pliers -Home Depot

Can Opener -Target

Local Maps-

Prescription medication

Prescription glasses

Copy of insurance policies, ID, bank account records, Family Emergency Communication Plan in a Ziploc bag


First Aid Info -

Blanket  -REI

Complete set of clothing (long sleeve, long pants, sturdy tennis shoes)

Chlorine Bleach – Target

Medicine dropper -Amazon

Fire extinguisher -Target

Matches- (MRE) – Amazon

Feminine hygiene products -Target

Plastic utensils and plates, paper towels (MRE) – Amazon

Paper and Pencil -Target

Kid’s Activities

Here’s a Basic Emergency Supply List that you can use while your are out shopping for these supplies.

Organizing Tip: Use a clear plastic bin and backpack to contain all of these items.  Place at least a kit in your home garage, near your home entry way and smaller kit in your car.  Also place an old or extra pair of shoes in your car in case you don’t have a chance to put your shoes on in an emergency.


Week 2 of National Preparedness Month

It’s week 2 of National Preparedness Month and this week it is all about focusing on how to plan for specific needs before a disaster. In other words what are your specific emergency plans for your children, older family members, pets or business.

Because we moved recently, my family and I discussed the new locations of where to meet in an event of a disaster.  We decided that home would be our first place to go in an emergency and if home was not accessible then the neighborhood park stop sign next to the school would be our meeting place.


The purpose of this week is to get real specific about your preparedness plans.  Pick a location and an alternate location.

We are starting to gather supplies to update our preparedness kit from last year. We have a toddler so we are including coloring books and activities to help keep our child entertained while in an emergency.

Get a checklist and more information for your specific needs below:

Preparedness for Kids

Preparedness for Elderly

People with Disabilities

Pet Emergency Supplies Checklist

Business Preparedness

Basic Supply List



Get Prepared!



Did you just hear about National Preparedness Month?  Not to worry…here is:

Week 1



Week 1 of National Preparedness Month



September is National Preparedness Month and each week I will be sharing my organizing tips along with to get prepared for emergencies.

This week we will be focusing on “How to Reconnect with Family After a Disaster.”

I challenge you to sit down with your family after dinner tonight and create or update your Family Communication Plans.  Click on the links below to access easy to fill in pdfs:

Plans for Kids
Plans for Parents

Organizing tip:  Keep paper copies in a plastic Ziploc bag or laminate it and place it your emergency preparedness bag (we will be going over preparedness kits in the coming weeks).  Also take a picture of these plans with your cell phone camera so that you always have this information with you.   Be sure to have a passcode for your phone so that only you have access to this information!



Master Organizing + The Container Store

The Container Store launched the ATHome Services here in Los Angeles and I was one of the lucky few to have the opportunity to visit The Container Store Headquarters in Coppell, Texas!


The Container Store Headquarters took me off guard a little bit.  First off, the headquarters, which The Container Store refers to as the “Home Office” is pretty modest both inside and out compared to their stores. It had a more modern artistic feel, where The Container Store products were displayed like pieces of art.


Secondly, there’s an affinity for Gumby..yes folks Gumby..he’s like The Container Store’s mascot. When I ask what the deal was with all the Gumby accents throughout the building, The Container Store’s response was that they were “flexible” like the green little guy. In other words The Container Store believes that in general people are “always in the right” and The Container Store will adapt and be flexible in any situation that comes upon them. I absolutely loved it!

Gumby sightings on the quilt displayed in the hallway, on garbage container and even on the historical timeline!

Gumby sightings on the quilt displayed in the hallway, on garbage container and even on the historical timeline!

I also  loved how The Container Store named the conference rooms!

"Fun and Functional"

“Fun and Functional”

I also got to see the distribution center, which is a huge wherehouse connected to the “Home Office”


At the local Container Store we got to meet the staff and meet some of the original ATHome Organizers of Texas. The tone of the store was just  amazing, super friendly and helpful!


The Container Store ATHOME Organizers of Los Angeles Left to right: Cheryl Perkins, Linda Koopersmith, Tari Richardson, Me (Master Cruz), Megan Acuna, and Amber Benton

The Container Store is just an awesome company and I just have deep appreciation and gratitude for my experience in Texas!  Live Happily Clutter-Free!

Bird's eye view of The Container Store HQ

Bird’s eye view of The Container Store HQ



30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge – Spring 2014

let it go

Hello There!

I am SO excited that you are joining me in the 30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge!

Starting tomorrow, March 2oth, the objective is to reduce the clutter in our physical spaces. Could be home, work, car, whatever. Try and look at your space with fresh eyes and figure out what can simply be let go of.

Here are the guidelines for this 30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge:

1. Every day, you have to get rid of something. You can sell it. You can give it away. You can recycle it. You can trash it (if all else fails!).

2. It doesn’t have to be big, expensive, or grand. It can be small. Perhaps the hardest things to get rid of are the small things that we’ve had for a long time that seem meaningful but may just be tying us down.

3. If you get something during this time, big or small (beyond simply food or personal care items), you must get rid of something. One in, one out. PLUS you have to get rid of your “one a day” item…so if you buy or get a new shirt or a DVD or a bike, you gotta ditch TWO things that day.

4.  The real accountability and group support happens when you share what you are letting go of. So once you’re done deciding what to let go of for the day, give yourself a pat on the back and share what you are letting go of on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Make sure to follow the #MO30DayChallenge hashtag for motivation, inspiration and accountability.

If you don’t now where to start, don’t worry, each morning, I’ll post an area of space to tackle based on what I am letting go of myself.  During this 30 day journey I will be giving organizing tips from paper organizing to organizing your car trunk based on the items I am letting go of.

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Enjoy the journey of living HAPPILY clutter free,

Master “Simplify to Amplify” Cruz


Thank you Jennifer Kramer for inspiring and exposing me to this challenge =)!



What is the most frustrating space in your home or workplace to organize or keep organized?

Playroom 1Playroom 2



For getting laundry done make a date with your washing machine and dryer and let the others in your household know the day as well.  Get another container and separate dark colors from light colors in the beginning when you toss your clothing to get washed. Agree to the level that you will allow your laundry basket to reach before it gets too full and overwhelming to look at.  Do batches of laundry in small doses.  For example do light colors on Tuesdays and dark colors on Thursdays.  Doing laundry in small batches makes it easier to tackle versus a huge overflowing laundry basket.  Be flexible, if doing laundry in small batches doesn’t work set aside a full day to do laundry.  Choose the method that will get you motivated to get it done.

What organizing tip are you going to use today?  Take action on it to a road to an organized life.  Tell us about it in the comments below.


30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge: Day 30!

Day 30 of the 30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge..donated a chair

Wow I can’t believe that the challenge officially ends today…I feel like I can keep getting rid of something each day.  Thanks to everyone that went on this 30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge journey with me. Until next time..cheers to a clutter free home!

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30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge: Day 29

Day 29 of the 30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge..recycled some bakewareware