Meet our January/February Smart Woman and comment to win Clever Container products valued at more than $40

Photo by Eileen Joyce

Photo by Eileen Joyce

Finding ways to stay organized has always been a fun challenge for Debbie Rutter. She reads a variety of online blogs related to organizing that have helped her find useful ways to add order to her daily life.

Those blogs also helped her learn about Clever Container, a direct-sales company that is all about organizing, functionality, ideas — and fun.

“I found Clever Container when my oldest child was leaving for college, and I realized I was ready for a new phase of my life,” she said.

Rutter started in September and was the No. 4 seller out of about 2,000 consultants in the country her first two months in business.

When did you realize you had a talent for organizing?

I am not naturally organized and had to learn organizing skills throughout my adult life. As I started to do that, I realized that I was always drawn to the organizing aspect of volunteer projects. The skills I learned to survive running a home and family later turned into a passion.

What do you do to keep yourself organized?

I plan blocks of time into my schedule to look at the upcoming day or week’s schedule so I can prepare for how busy our days will be. As I have become more organized, I have become better at anticipating what I will need to do to take the stress out of upcoming events. Taking time to do that — even when you don’t think you have a moment to just sit and think — saves a lot of time in the long run. From an early age, I have also included my kids in the process.

What products are offered by Clever Container?

We have a wide variety of products for your home, office or car. Many of my customers struggle with organized closets and taming their paperwork, so I am thrilled to have lots of solutions to present to them for those problem areas. Our prices range from $5-$43.

How did you decide to become a Clever Container consultant?

Because I am not naturally organized, I realized the shame, stress, and frustration that is felt when you don’t have good systems in place in your life. By being a consultant I can share what I have learned with other people who are going through those same emotions.

How do you hope to help others get organized?

I hope the tips I offer at home shows and in classes will inspire people to set up routines in their lives that will save them time and money. By focusing on one project at a time, they can see results and continue on their personal organization journey. My customers can call me when they are feeling overwhelmed and need ideas so that I can … help them stay motivated.

What are your top three tips for staying organized?

1. Find a home for items and return items to those places when you are finished with them.

2. Anticipate your upcoming needs by planning ahead.

3. Get rid of items that you are not using because they weigh you down mentally and take up valuable space.

About Debbie Rutter

Age: 42
Lives in: Manchester Township
Family: Husband, Todd; two sons, Kyle, 18, at Penn State University; Adam, 17, senior at Central York High School
Hobbies: Gathering with others for fun events, Penn State tailgating, traveling, book club and Bunco
Occupation: Consultant and direct sales professional organizer with Clever Container

Contact Debbie Rutter about Clever Container

Phone: 717-542-2821
Facebook: Clever Container Debbie Rutter

Smart giveaway

1549529_10201294941758934_303498513_nDebbie Rutter from Clever Container wants to help you get your paperwork under control. The two items pictured at right are a well thought out system to tackle the daily influx of mail, one of today’s biggest organizational challenges.

The black box is the base and can be used with either the pink-and-lime floral design or sleek black side facing out depending on your decor. Inside the box goes a set of hanging folders, color coordinated file folders and preprinted labels. There is also an explanation sheet that tells you how to get started.

1546033_10201294942598955_1592609565_nNewsletters, coupons, bills and so much more now have a home so you can keep track of them and tame your paper pile. You will love this system as it saves you time and money.

They have a retail value of $41.

Comment below with your favorite organizing tip by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7 for a chance to win the Clever Container products pictured at right. A winner will be drawn at random from all the entries received, and announced in the comments section and on the Smart Facebook page. Good luck!

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29 Responses

  1. Bonnie Giambalvo says:

    My favorite organizing tip is to have fun while organizing… Turn on some great music! Don’t get emotionally attached to items … Recycle or give to someone in need. Purge !!!!

  2. Jody Kroh says:

    Do it together as a family! When we got flooded and purged together I found it much easier to get rid of unnecessary items.

  3. Cynthia Hogue says:

    I find it best to deal with mail immediately by sorting it into categories such as bills to be paid, items to be filed, correspondence that requires further attention, and junk mail to be thrown away…and then do it! If things go on a pile chances are they can be overlooked and forgotten and as the pile grows the chore of sorting becomes overwhelming.

  4. Tracey Wesstrom says:

    I love to organize my photos with friends! You accomplish two things at once, sharing/socializing with friends and organizing your photos for future generations!

  5. Jamie Menges says:

    I have my children’s art supplies and paper in plastic drawers. They know where to look when they need something. Although we are still working on the “put it back where you found it” part.

  6. Heather Goodwin says:

    Break large projects into smaller ones. The task does not seem as daunting.

  7. Becky says:

    Doing something “now” instead of “later” keeps things from piling up. When tempted to put something “down” instead of “away” because I’m in a hurry, I count 1Mississippi, 2Mississippi, etc and usually discover that it takes less than 20Mississippis to complete the task!

  8. Becky G. says:

    Using an age-old saying: “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” Having the right tools and labels helps with this job. Everything in its place; a place for every thing. (Note: I’m still a work in progress.)

  9. With 6 grandchildren I enjoy organization containers. These help with keeping craft pieces excactly where you can find things quickly!

  10. Patty Marn says:

    It can be a struggle to keep things organized as a business owner. I love the creative way that these containers can be used. I organized the coat closet the other day and place a container with my husbands gloves, scarves and hats and I placed another one for my own stuff so that all we have to do is take the container down, pick out what we need and then put it back on the shelf. When we return home we go right to the closet and put the items back and hang out coats.

  11. Kelly Licari says:

    I stay organized by using little snippets of time to get things done instead of waiting for a block of time and trying to tackle everything at once.

  12. Melissa Kline says:

    When my daughter was younger, I used small clear containers to keep her art supplies separated. Each bin had a picture attached to the outside so she knew exactly what was in each. More recently, we started using the small 3M hooks attached to the shelf edges in her bedroom to hang necklaces and jewelry. Keeps them untangled and easy to see what she wants – plus a bit of free, unique artwork!

  13. Colleen says:

    My favorite tip is setting the timer for 15 minutes and working on one project then walking away. This way the task doesn’t seem overwhelming.

  14. Debi Damon says:

    I have so much to learn about organizing our lives but love the idea of taking a set amount of time each day to tackle one drawer or closet at a time. Motivation to organize is often a struggle for me.However…. Look out ….2014 could be a year of reorganizing our home.

  15. Courtney says:

    My favorite organizing tip is to purge!

  16. Gini says:

    My favorite tip is to clean up as you go.

  17. Nicole says:

    To organize, I label and color code!

  18. Steve says:

    I organize by using my filing cabinet for all paperwork.

  19. Matt says:

    I organize by planning ahead.

  20. Sue says:

    I stay organized by throwing away items that can not be fixed or reused.

  21. Deb says:

    I look at my “birthday calendar” each month and add cards to my grocery store list that I need to mail out in the upcoming month.

  22. Haley McGlaughlin says:

    Love the products this company has to offer and Debbie is a great organizer and consultant. She truly cares for her family, friends and clients! Congrats Debbie!

  23. Anita says:

    I always take time first thing in the morning to plan out my day. I find it’s the single most important thing I do to keep me productive. It takes about 10 minutes. Now if I can just get control of the pile of papers on my desk…

  24. Amy K says:

    Clean as you go, especially if you are cooking or baking! I keep a sinkful of hot, soapy water and wash bowls, utensils, etc. as I go and put away ingredients after they are used. It sure keeps the mess down and all that is left to “clean up” are the baking sheets!

  25. Jill Lordan says:

    If you don’t use it…you probably don’t need it. Another tip…you don’t have to organize your whole house at once. Start with one drawer and do a little bit at a time. It will make you so happy to see that drawer organized that you will keep going!

  26. Mary Jane Reachard says:

    My over the door folder holder is working great for my MICHE business. I can organize orders, pending shipments, payments, contacts and still have a few spaces for new ideas. Love it!

  27. Sue Tilley says:

    I organize my paid bills in an accordion folder divided by month. After the bills are paid each month, I file them in the appropriate month and discard (shred) the bills from that month from the previous year. Helps to keep paperwork to a minimum.

  28. Gloria Irvin says:

    I honestly wish I had a”favorite” way to get organized…but if I did, I probably wetlands so desperately need to win this contest! With the task of keeping books and paperwork for my business, my own home and for my recently widowed mother, I find myself feeling overwhelmed to the point of years from time to time….I usually end up worth three huge piles of paperwork that, when I can no longer stand to walk meat my desk, I end up spending at least half a day trying to get the papers into chronological order, then try to separate them by utility,,medical, taxes…etc….The next step is then to try to find containers large enough to hold all of the paperwork….and there is an unnatural and overwhelming amount of paperwork that is associated with the death of Assn elderly person…and this stuff is supposed to be organized and understood by the elderly surviving spouse….Anyway…If anybody ness help with getting paperwork’s pathetic, over stressed and worked me….Gloria Irvin.. and sole bookkeeper and owner of Irvin’s Books…Owner, and sole bill payer and paper sorter at the Irvin’s household in Mount Wolf, and the legal power of attorney, and loving daughter of my darling nursing home confined.mommy.

  29. April Trotter says:

    A winner was drawn at random. Congratulations, Heather Goodwin! Please email me at or call 717-771-2030 and I’ll put you in touch with Debbie so you can get your Clever Container goodies! Thanks to all who entered and shared awesome organizing tips.

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