It’s Simplify Your Life Week

The first week in August begins SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK. No, I’m not advocating “If it doesn’t give you joy, you must throw it away.” But we should spend time thinking about what makes our life a little less stressful, and we can applaud that and cheer about items playing a role. We’ve all heard the “less is more” slogan, and yes, it is easier to find things when it’s not part of a crowd. But just “throwing away” is wasteful, and without being present in the moment as we acquire things–instead just grabbing up what does the trick when we’re in a panic over something–we’re destined to repeat our mistakes again and again. While I write the Organized Mysteries and the Frugal Lissa Mysteries, my characters, Kate & Lissa, are the experts in their fields–I’m just the happy mentee that follows along behind them and documents their advice on Read more…

What’s New Wednesday?

In the last few weeks, I’ve been polishing and adding new content to Organized for Masked Motives, which first appeared in the Halloween Anthology, Midnight Mysteries. The anthology was only available in fall 2016 & 2017 and is now completely off-sale, never to return again in that format. It was fun getting this title ready as an individual release because I could lengthen it a bit and give it the kind of extra content always included in the rest of my Organized Mysteries series–something I couldn’t do with the anthology. This time, Kate & Meg are up to their costumed necks in trouble on Halloween, when they find ghosts, ghouls and witches are not the only ones to beware of on fright night. But our dynamic organizing duo are on the case, as they multitask their normal mix of mom chores and business scores, all with volunteering at a school carnival in the same week. Oh, Read more…

So Much Going On

You know the old saying about how the best way to get something done is to give the job to a really busy person? I’m changing that saying to “This busy person’s office door is closed–effective immediately.” Also need to give out the warning that this blog post is a little longer than I like, but it contains a lot of new information, and I hope it is more than a little interesting to boot 🙂 Earlier this week, ORGANIZED FOR SCHEDULED SABOTAGE hit all the online bookseller shelves. Hooray! More exciting is that I got it out despite the fact my workhorse computer died September 28th. The laptop had been acting persnickety for about a month but seemed to rally each time I sweet talked it and promised that rest time was coming soon. My family also had a big emergency during this same time and we had to do some unexpected Read more…

For a Little Christmas Fun

Because we’re all so rushed right now, I’m reprising an interview Kate McKenzie did a few years ago about the McKenzie Family Christmases and some of the things she does to stay sane during a very busy time of the year. Remember, until Christmas you can find a full Organized Mysteries Christmas story on the Short Stories page of this website–just look for Short Stories on the black bar under the banner above. Interview on Christmas Tips & Organizing with Kate McKenzie Interviewer: Hello, I’m here today with organization expert Kate McKenzie. Welcome, Kate. Kate: Thank you. It’s nice to be here. Interviewer: The holiday season is coming up. I always get excited about spending the time with family and curling up with a few good books. What is your favorite thing about the holidays? Kate: Being able to share the time with family and friends. Before Keith and I Read more…

Let’s End July with an Organized Halloween Sneak Peek

Yes, believe it or not, July 2016 has less than half-a-day left. Where has so much of the year gone? While I don’t normally like to hurry time–as I seem to be crunched by it most days–I am looking forward to the cool temps of fall. To that end, I’m currently editing/proofing stories for a Halloween anthology to be released a few weeks before the trick or treat holiday. More on that in the coming weeks. And I’m handing out treats today in the form of a sneak peek of my story included in the anthology “Organized for Trick or Trap.” Hope everyone likes it 🙂 Organized for Trick or Trap Excerpt Kate McKenzie looked out the windows of her cheery cherry-patterned kitchen curtains and watched lace-like snowflakes drift down lazily on the other side of the pane. Definitely going to be a white Halloween, she thought. Something she was Read more…

The Organized Mysteries Series

I’ve just sent off an Organized Mysteries short story for a summer anthology project (more about that later), and I’m spending the next couple of weeks finishing up another full length Organized novel (again, more info coming soon). All that organized writing got me thinking about early interviews I did that talked about the series. I’m reposting one of those interviews today, conducted by Mason at Thoughts in Progress. If you’ve already read it, I apologize for the repeat, but when I reread it this morning it was a nice reminder that planning out a series well ahead of time truly has helped me keep all my writing on-track. Interview – April 9, 2014 (Thoughts in Progress–Interview Organized for Murder) Mason – How did you come to write a mystery featuring a protagonist who is an organization expert? Ritter: I was at an author signing once, before I started writing ORGANIZED Read more…

Quick Organizing Tips to Gain Minutes Each Day

It seems like everyone I know is looking for ways to save time right now. Between regular tasks, upcoming spring schedules, the chore of getting everything together to complete our taxes (I know, bad word, I’m sorry), opening the garden or freshening the landscape, and just general spring cleaning because we’re finally able to leave the house without having to brave the cold every day — there’s a lot to do at the moment. I quipped this morning I might farm out some of my tasks to the dog. And while she’d likely try to do her best, I think I’ll leave that as a joke between us. While we can’t actually create time, we can save it and use the extra minutes each day in efficient ways to seem to do more things without giving up sleep or fun. Find 3 to 5 minutes every time you’re in the Read more…

Monday Morning Motivator – January 17, 2016

As early as possible, write down the most important tasks of the day. Not everything can be a priority. Knowing what absolutely must be done–and when–helps you focus better on goals for the day and not get sidetracked.    

Spring Means Mud…Rooms

I started talking the other day about ways to transition from wintertime living rooms/family rooms to springtime ones. Today I’m taking a sweep at the Mud Room. Yes, the room has mud in its name and its function is to try to trap the dirt and grime before the mess enters the house. However, if your mud room is anything like mine, trapping dirt is just the beginning of the room’s job. In our mudroom, we also have the washer/dryer, and a utility bathroom people are supposed to use to strip and shower when the filth is too much for the guest or master bathrooms. Clothes go right into the washer this way–at least on principle. But that only happens if everyone does his or her part. Too often, there are piles of everything all around. And the lovely cabinets and counter top I had the builder install so I Read more…

Holiday Tips in My Newsletters

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Hope your holiday is stress free and full of all the people and events that make you happy and healthy. Many of you already subscribe to my newsletter, but for the ones who don’t I not only give news of my books and events, but I let my fictional characters pop by to offer tips to keep the holidays–and just life in general–moving more smoothly. So, if you like organizational, efficiency, and/or entertainment tips to help keep things humming during seasonal occasions, you might want to read my two November newsletters. I’ll have more tips in my December newsletter, and plan to post a few here as well. Seasons greetings everyone, and enjoy every moment 🙂 Early-November 2014 newsletter Late-November 2014 newsletter