Welcome Lauren Halagarda

posted by Aby Garvey on March 17, 2014 12 Comments

Lauren HalagardaI am super (duper!) excited today to introduce you to Lauren Halagarda. Who is Lauren, you ask? Well, Lauren is simplify 101′s newest blog contributor! And here’s the best part—Lauren is going to be blogging about using technology to simplify your life. Yes!

If you’ve been around these parts for a while, then you know this is really great news for both of us (you and me.) As you may know, when it comes to organizing my natural preference is to use a low tech, paper-based system whenever possible. Sometimes, this is perfectly fine. But other times, I’m missing out! Sometimes life could be a whole lot easier if I warmed up to the idea of using a tech tool to solve an organizing problem. And that’s where Lauren comes in. Lauren is going to help us organize our digital life and use tech tools to simplify our lives. How great is that? (I for one, could not be happier!)

Today’s post is designed to let you get to know Lauren a bit. I think you’ll quickly see that she and I share a similar philosophy when it comes to getting organized, along with a love of rearranging furniture—something we both did constantly at an earlier stage of life! Then tomorrow, Lauren is going to share her first official post which will take the mystery out of cloud based storage options for photos. So without further adieu…here’s Lauren!

What topic will you be blogging about at simplify 101 and why is that topic important to you?

I’ll be the new technology translator at simplify 101 and blogging about choosing and using technology (software, hardware, gadgets and apps, etc.) to help you get and stay organized at home.

How do you spend your time when you’re not blogging?

I am currently working on reorganizing my organizing business online over at http://Homeology.co and when I’m not blogging, I am mom to a sweet and active little 2 1/2 year old boy. My husband and I enjoy being active and prefer the outdoors; playing soccer, going for walks, to the beach, playing at the park. And, if there is any time left, I love DIY and tinkering with my power tools in the garage.

What areas of your life have you simplified, and how did you do it?

I would have to say that the one simplification I’ve made with the most impact is owning and acquiring less. I don’t really consider myself a minimalist but since I used to work in clients homes, I know I have less stuff by comparison. It has been an ongoing effort but we try to eliminate unnecessary duplicates, let go of stuff that goes unused, borrow or rent where appropriate and try not to stockpile anything but the most frequently used items. In addition, I always use a Prevention Checklist when I shop (it’s pretty much in my head now) to keep me from acquiring things I don’t need, love, have a home for, etc.

If you received an extra hour today, how would you spend it?

I would head straight for my garage and start building something!

As a child were you messy, tidy, or somewhere in between?

I was both. I oscillated back and forth between having everything I owned on display (and not knowing how to organize it) and minimizing what was visible (I was a stasher!) but I never really knew how to be organized as a child. It wasn’t until college that I began understanding how to better organize my life. I’m always learning!

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to being organized?

I would have to say that my biggest challenge in recent years has been moving frequently and becoming a mom. OK, that’s two…but those are two of the top five most stressful life events! And, we’ve moved twice since my son was born 2 1/2 years ago.

Tell us something on your bucket list.

A romantic trip to Venice & Tuscany with my husband would soothe my soul.

What’s your favorite social media and why?

Uh, Pinterest, hands down! Can you say eye candy?!?

Tell us five random fun facts about you.

  • Coca-cola and Mallowmars are my greatest guilty pleasures!
  • In college, I drove my roommates crazy by constantly reorganizing and rearranging the furniture to find the most functional layout.
  • I never met a power tool or can of spray paint I didn’t like.
  • I have lived in 14 different residences and four different states.
  • I have played soccer most of my life…and still do (when I’m not spraining something).

How can readers keep in touch with you between posts?

Please help me give Lauren a warm welcome to simplify 101! And while you’re at it, share your biggest technology challenges in the comments. What would you love to learn about when it comes to technology and using it to get organized and simplify your life? Thanks for sharing! 


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and coaching program

Latest posts by Aby Garvey (see all)

  • March 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    What is a Prevention checklist, if you don’t mind my asking? I am excited to gain some tech knowledge from you!

    March 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Erin! I’m happy to answer your question.

    A Prevention Checklist is a list of questions to ask yourself before you buy. It can help minimize or eliminate impulse buys and reduce the amount of clutter you bring into your home. Examples include:
    Do I love it?
    Do I need it?
    Does it fit & feel good?
    Do I have a home for it?

    Be sure to check back tomorrow for my post on cloud based photo storage options!

    • March 18, 2014 at 4:45 am

      I would love suggestions for organizing my recipes once and for all! I’ve got recipes from so many sources (cookbooks, magazines, Pinterest, websites, friends and family) that it’s tough to keep them straight. There’s got to be a way to use my kindle or iPad to store them all in one format digitally. Or do I just create a template and print them out. Help! Thanks!

      March 18, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Sandy, thanks for sharing your challenge. The quick answer is Evernote. Since you have so many different sources, it seems ideal for you. They won’t be in the same format or layout but they will be centralized, searchable and functional.

      I’ll add this to the list for potential post material!


      • March 18, 2014 at 8:08 am

        I am really looking forward to these posts! I mostly avoid technology because it is just too confusing to work out what can really help or what just adds more steps to your day.

        March 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm

        Hi Catherine! Glad you’re here.

        Admittedly, I love using technology but I agree with you, it can sometimes make more work for you. Sometimes it’s not the right tool for the job or the right tool for you…sometimes all it takes is a bit of investment in selecting the right tool and/or learning how to use it.

        Let me know if there is anything specific that I can address on the blog!

        • March 18, 2014 at 9:54 am

          Hooray! Welcome, Lauren! It’s wonderful to have you here, and I’m definitely looking forward to your posts. :)

          March 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm

          Thanks for the warm welcome, Jennifer. I’m excited to be here!

          • March 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm

            Hi Lauren! So nice to have you here, and I am really looking forward to your wisdom. I could definitely use it!

            March 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm

            Hi Nancy,
            Thanks and let me know if you have any specific questions you’d like answered!

            • March 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm

              I’m looking forward to reading your posts as well. Welcome Lauren.

              March 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm

              Hi Peggy,
              Thanks for the welcome! Let me know if there is anything specific that I can address on the blog!