Welcome to Organized for Life and Beyond

Hello! I am a retired home and office organizer. and an active genealogist and author.

Although I do occasionally take on new genealogy projects, and do some speaking to groups, I mostly write (blog posts and books), research my own family tree, and point people with questions in the right direction. I’m here to help, even if it means making referrals to my trusted colleagues for services I no longer provide.

During my professional organizing career, I decluttered homes and offices, developed organizing systems and ideal schedules, and created The Clutter Flow Chart Collection. But it was photo organizing that eventually rekindled my love of genealogy research. I also became interested in end-of-life matters, which include downsizing and making decisions now, so your loved ones won’t have to later.

All of my experience and interests dovetailed in the form of my 2021 book: What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy, And my 2023 book: Go With the Flow! The Clutter Flow Chart Workbook.

Please take a look at the resources on my website. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, and you still have questions for me after reading my FAQ, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Hazel Thornton


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    • Thanks, Brenda! I didn’t even know people could comment on this page. Lets meet for coffee sometime when you’re in town.

  1. Dear Hazel,

    Thank you for writing about the 80/20 Paretto Rule. I never could understand that phrase. I used to work retail and I had a

    manager who used to talk about that. But I just never could get it to connect in my brain.

    Your examples especially with the clothes we wear more and switching the hangars was helpful..

    I think you are great. Too bad you don’t make “house calls”.

    Thanks for listening,


    • Thank you, Linda! I’m glad you could relate to my examples. And I did make house calls for 15 years!

  2. Hazel,

    Thanks for the copy of your new book and the acknowledgement in it. I read it already and was impressed with your knowledge of techniques and websites. You have passed me by with your technical knowledge. I still am trying to figure out how to post a photo to familysearch.org. I loved the “bathing beauty” photo of your grandmother on the book cover.


    • I think of you every time someone admits they made a lot of mistakes in the beginning and don’t trust their trees. I have never felt the need to start over, due to the methodical (and painstakingly slow) way we had to work back then. The skills I learned from you make it easy for me to resist grafting whole undocumented branches to my tree with the click of a mouse!

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