And the three winners in our ScanSnap S1100 birthday giveaway are …

Thank you to EVERYONE (all 12,855 of you!) who are now following @Unclutterer on Twitter and who have participated in our Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 birthday giveaway. We have greatly enjoyed this giveaway and Fujitsu’s generosity! Now, let’s get on to the good stuff …

At 10:00 a.m. EST, the random generator picked the following winners:

@bobt6464
@runwithtweezers
@andrea317

I have direct messaged the three winners of the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 and they have 24 hours to respond.

Even though the birthday giveaway is over, you can still sign up to follow @Unclutterer on Twitter. Also, sign up to follow @ScanSnapIT for tips and tricks about reducing your paper clutter. Again, we want to give BIG, AMAZING, GIGANTIC thanks to Fujitsu for doing such a generous giveaway for our birthday celebration and our Twitter followers!

We’re celebrating our fourth birthday by giving away three S1100 Fujitsu ScanSnaps

Today is Unclutterer’s fourth birthday! As part of the celebration, Fujitsu has generously provided three of their new, ultra-portable, S1100 ScanSnap scanners for us to give away to three lucky Unclutterer Twitter followers.

We’ve teamed up with Fujitsu to help our readers cut back on paper waste, digitize clutter, better organize work/home offices, and celebrate our big four. We will give away three ScanSnap S1100 scanners next Tuesday, January 11, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. EST.

How to enter to win: Entering to win is simple. All you need to do is follow us on Twitter. If you aren’t already on Twitter, create an account and then follow us @Unclutterer.

We will randomly select three winners from our Twitter followers. You only need to follow us once (and please, only once), to participate in the giveaway. If you already follow us on Twitter, then you are already participating and need not do anything more. Winners of the giveaway will have 24 hours to respond to a direct message from @Unclutterer to claim their new scanner. Failure to respond within 24 hours will disqualify you from the giveaway.

While you’re following @Unclutterer, consider also following Fujitsu @ScanSnapIT for scanning tips and news. I know that some of you aren’t interested in social media and will complain about having to sign up for Twitter to participate in the giveaway — however, this is the easiest way for us to manage the giveaway and it ensures that many of our readers are already entered to win with no additional effort on their part. Also, if you’re an avid Wired magazine reader, you know that social networking sites can help increase worker productivity if used efficiently. If you still wish to complain, well, please don’t because you can always cancel your account after the contest has ended. This is simply the easiest way for us to conduct the giveaway.

I am so exited about this birthday event and cannot wait to give away three Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 scanners. Remember, you have until 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 11, to follow us on Twitter for the scanner giveaway. Good luck, and again a special thanks to Fujitsu for their amazing generosity!

Introducing: SimpliFried.com

The Unclutterer family is growing, and I am elated to share with you the incredible news. Today, Dancing Mammoth (our parent company) is launching a new website that hopes to end mealtime stress. I would like to introduce you to our new sister site:

SimpliFried’s motto: “If your nerves are fried, we’ll be your simple, delicious, and nutritious cooking guide.” Our goal is to make feeding yourself and your family as painless as possible.

Similar to Unclutterer, there will be daily content posted to the site. Topics will range from simplifying and improving your cooking skills to food science to recipes that get you quickly in and out of the kitchen. Once a month there will be meal plans and shopping lists that make your life in the kitchen easier. Check out SimpliFried’s manifesto and About page to learn more.

I’m on board as the site’s Editor-in-Chief, and Matt Fetissoff joins me as our senior writer. Matt has lived for more than an year in an RV, and he knows a thing or two about cooking incredible meals in small spaces with low-tech equipment. Consulting to the site are a couple farmers (one in a major city and one on a large Midwest family farm), a butcher, a nutritionist, a self-declared foodie, and my very picky husband and even more picky peanut-allergic son who test drive every meal plan and recipe.

You can key in the URL by hand, subscribe to SimpliFried’s RSS feed, or get daily updates by e-mail. We also have a Twitter account @SimpliFried that regularly posts links.

Although there are only four posts currently live on the site, we’ve been working on SimpliFried for more than four months getting ready for the launch. I’m honestly surprised I was able to keep it a secret for so long. I am thrilled to finally be able to introduce it to you. The new logo even makes me smile, and I’m so glad we were able to have the same artist make him.

If you are looking for simplification strategies for your kitchen and cooking, I hope that SimpliFried can be a positive resource for you.

Happy New Year!

All of us at Unclutterer hope you had a terrific 2010 and would like to wish you a great 2011! Our team has today and tomorrow off from work, but don’t forget you can always jump into the Forums and join the conversation there. We’ll return in the new year to share more Uncluttering insights.

If you aren’t a regular follower of Erin’s RealSimple.com column, also consider checking out “Three Year-End Organizing Queries” and “Creating Uncluttering and Organizing Resolutions for 2011.”

Happy New Year!

Unclutter Your Life in One Week released in paperback

Today is the official release of Unclutter Your Life in One Week in paperback. I’m extremely excited about today and this event for many reasons:

  • Not all books printed as hardcovers ever make it to paperback. Making it to paperback is a sign that the publisher continues to believe the content of the book is worth staying in publication. I’m really honored and humbled by this.
  • A few big bloopers were fixed, especially the one from page 17 in the hardcover. On page 17, I accidentally wrote a sentence stating the exact opposite of what I intended. Oops!
  • As a special promotion, Amazon is selling the paperback at almost $7.00 off the suggested retail price — Unclutter Your Life in One Week in paperback is just $8.06.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the book over the last year, and to those who will support it in the future. I truly appreciate the opportunity to continue to share the Unclutterer message in a different medium.

Happy holidays from Unclutterer!

Like a good chunk of the western world, Unclutterer’s offices are closed today and tomorrow. We wish everyone who celebrates Christmas a merry one, and the rest of you we wish a joyful couple days off from work! Don’t forget, you can always jump into the Forums and join the conversation there. We’ll return after the holiday to share more Uncluttering insights.

Improving your odds at keeping New Year’s resolutions

Sue Shellenbarger, the work and family columnist for the Wall Street Journal, yesterday wrote “Steps to New Year’s Resolution Success” detailing the science behind keeping resolutions. Great advice begins right at the beginning of the article:

When setting a resolution, simply deciding to change your behavior may work for a while. But when the cognitive parts of the brain responsible for decision-making become stressed by other life events, that resolve is likely to succumb to an emotional desire for instant gratification, says Baba Shiv, a Stanford University marketing professor who specializes in neuroeconomics, the study of the biological bases for making economic decisions.

Keeping a resolution requires a detailed plan, with emotional rewards when milestones are reached—and even a strategy when there’s a setback. And don’t wait for Jan. 1, experts say: Start planning now to increase your chances for success.

The full article is worth reading if you’re interested in making uncluttering or organizing resolutions for 2011. I’m already planning out my resolutions for next year and will share details next week. I’ll definitely be putting into practice some of Shellenbarger’s suggestions.

Also in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal was a great article on organizing craft and present wrapping supplies featuring suggestions from Los Angeles-based professional organizer John Trosko: “More Homes Make Room for Wrapping.”

Getting organized for the new year

I keep a ridiculous number of lists: movies I want to see, books I want to read, groceries I need to buy, recipes I want to try, things I have to do, letters I should write, gifts I wish to give, music I want to have my son hear, my lofty someday goals. These lists are handwritten — I tried to keep them digitally but kept writing things down on sticky notes and then sticking the notes to my iPhone. A key component of being organized is knowing yourself, and I’m a handwritten list maker.

At the start of every year, I get a new notebook and copy the lists from the old notebook into the new. I grab a big cup of coffee, light a fire in the fireplace, and curl up under a warm blanket with the notebook and a good pen. I recopy the lists for a few reasons:

  1. My notebook gets beaten up during the year and I’m ready for a new notebook every 12 months.
  2. The copying process is a tradition I really enjoy.
  3. When going through the lists, I can change my preferences, reorder my lists, and eliminate things I did/saw/tried that I forgot to cross off over the course of the year.
  4. The old lists become recordings of my life over the past year. Since I don’t keep a diary, this is the closest thing I have.

Obviously, the lists also help to keep me organized.

What traditions do you complete at the end of the year or start of the new year that help to keep you organized? How do you enjoy these traditions? Do you keep lists? Share your new year organizing traditions in the comments.

And the final winner in our Kindle Wireless Reading Device giveaway is…

Thank you to EVERYONE (all 11,095 of you!) who are now following @Unclutterer on Twitter and who participated in our Kindle giveaway. Now, let’s get on to the good stuff …

At 10:00 a.m. EDT, the random number generator picked the following number:

3758

Which means, the winner of today’s Kindle Wireless Reading Device is:

@wickedphysics

I have direct messaged the winner of the Kindle and she has 24 hours to respond.

Again, thanks to everyone for participating in our giveaways and congratulations to @wickedphysics on winning the second Kindle. I hope the device helps to alleviate bookshelf clutter in your home.

And the first winner in our Kindle Wireless Reading Device giveaway is…

Thank you to EVERYONE (all 10,738 of you!) who are now following @Unclutterer on Twitter and who are participating in our Kindle giveaway. Now, let’s get on to the good stuff …

At 10:00 a.m. EDT, the random number generator picked the following number:

5320

Which means, the winner of today’s Kindle Wireless Reading Device is:

@austinmomof7

I have direct messaged the winner of the Kindle and she has 24 hours to respond.

Remember, there is one more giveaway this Thursday, October 28, so you can still sign up to follow @Unclutterer on Twitter. Congratulations, again, to @austinmomof7.

Is this the first you’ve heard of the giveaway? Learn more.

Unclutterer giving away two Wi-Fi Amazon Kindles

Unclutterer readers are the most amazing readers on the internet — at least in our (unabashedly biased) opinions. As a result, those of us on the Unclutterer staff will be purchasing two of the latest generation Wi-Fi Amazon Kindles to give away to two of our lucky readers.

Books can take up a lot of storage space in our homes and offices, and having a digital e-book reader certainly helps keep bookshelves from lining every inch of our spaces. The two units we’re giving away are the latest generation Kindle Wireless Reading Device, which are Wi-Fi only, with a 6″ display, in Graphite. It’s the same device I have and love with a passion. (I especially appreciate that I can read silly mystery novels and no one else is the wiser.)

How to enter to win: Entering to win is simple. All you need to do is follow us on Twitter. If you aren’t already on Twitter, create an account and then follow us @Unclutterer.

Next Tuesday and Thursday (October 26 and 28, 2010) at 10:00 a.m. EDT, I will use twitRand() the Random Integer Generator at random.org and select that day’s one winner. You only need to follow us once (and please, only once), to participate in the giveaway. If you already follow us on Twitter, then you are already participating and need not do anything more. Winners of the giveaway will have 24 hours to respond to a direct message from @Unclutterer to claim their new Kindle. Failure to respond within 24 hours will disqualify you from the giveaway.

I know that some of you aren’t interested in social media and will want to complain about having to sign up for Twitter to participate in the giveaway — however, this is the easiest way for us to manage the giveaway and it ensures that many of our readers are already entered to win with no additional effort on their part. Also, if you’re an avid Wired magazine reader, you know that social networking sites can help increase worker productivity if used efficiently.

I am so exited about this reader appreciation event and cannot wait to give away two Kindle Wireless Reading Devices. Remember, you have until 10:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 26, 2010, to follow us on Twitter for the first Kindle giveaway.

NOTE: twitRand() appears to be offline, so we’ve had to change the manner by which the winners will be randomly selected.

Goodwill launches The Donation Movement

Goodwill Industries launched a new project yesterday called The Donate Movement that encourages people to get rid of unused items in their homes to help their communities and the environment. My friend and professional organizer Lorie Marrero is the spokesperson for the new initiative, and you may have already seen her commercial:

Giving items to charity is often easier when you know what you’re giving away will actually help someone. I really like the widget on The Donate Movement site that shows you exactly how much of an impact your donation will be making:

Anything to encourage the donation of useful items to charity is a great initiative in my book. I hope Goodwill’s new project gets people to evaluate their stuff and make room for what really matters in their lives.