Author Archive for Julie Stobbe – Page 2

Sick of your old home? 5 Ways to fall in love all over again

Photo Credit: Bruce Mars on Pexels

My guest blogger is Haley Kieser of Zog Digital.  She always shares an inspiring fresh approach  to solving problems in your home.

Our homes are supposed to be the place we go and feel relaxed and inspired. Unfortunately, there are times where it feels very cluttered and closed in. After so much time, we can end up feeling sick of it. It’s time to get you to fall in love with your house again! You deserve an inspirational sanctuary that takes your stress away. Here are 5 ways to get there.

Decluttering

One of the biggest reasons why we feel that we’re getting sick and tired of our place is because we get buried in the clutter. Our home can be a representation of our minds. Therefore, we must professionally take care of both! We can start with professional organizing. The first step is assessing your clutter and really considering what you can let go of. This can be trash or receipts that are unnecessary. Once you identify the trash and trouble spots, you can move onto creating a functional environment that will work with you. Take note on how you feel once you take care of the decluttering. It’s like a brand-new home to obsess with, followed by a brand new you!

[Need help? Let us lend a hand. Read more about our organizing services.]

Painting

Photo Credit: Rawpixel on Pexels

After you’ve decluttered your home, you might be inspired to take things further. What better thing to pursue next than repainting your interior? Assess what colors give you the feeling that you desire and find the complementary interior colors as well. If you’re having a hard time trying to find the right colors on your walls, use your smartphone to visualize what different colors can do for your home. It might not be perfect, but you can get a sense of what it may look like after its painted.

Refurnish

Sometimes the furniture can be old and can drag you down. This can be a sign that it’s time to reassess some of your furniture. A new couch or table can reignite the passion for your home and have you looking forward to inviting guests or going home every day! Maybe try sprucing up your media center while you are at it. After all, the living room is where most households spend the majority of their time.

Kitchen

Photo Credit: Sarah Jane on Pexels

One way to get back into the groove of your home is by making it a place where you are excited to invite company. This can begin with the kitchen! The kitchen tends to be a place where most guests start their evening in your home. Whether it’s eating or sharing a glass of wine, you want conversations to be able to flow here. Creating an open environment with an island you can sit at with guests is where most would start. You can even start by changing up the cabinets entirely. The cabinets breathe a lot of life into a home.Small changes in your home, decluttering, painting or updating furniture can give you and your home a new vibrant feeling. Click To Tweet

Smart home

The times are flying by – maybe it’s time to try to keep up! Getting a smart home is easier than you think and can be less expensive than renovation. Just start by picking up a smart assistant and placing it in your home. You can then ask the assistant questions and get instant answers. If you find yourself liking it, you can then dive deeper by getting smart lights, smart thermostats, and smart tv’s. All of which will be commanded by your voice! Imagine turning on your television to your favorite Netflix show without having to grab the remote across the room. Pretty awesome, right?

There is a whole assortment of ways to tackle the stale image one has on their home. The most important thing is just trying. In no time the love for your home will be reignited!

Share one way you make a change in your home to it feels fresh and new again. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter –  Facebook  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

4 Organizing tips for getting rid of piles of paper

A lovely colleague sent me this first tip.  Marie Mushing runs a networking group called People in Connection

1.Make the area a showcase

See what working with a professional organizer can do for you? Professional Organizers rub out junk. Where there was once chaos and huge piles of paper, is now a showcase. Thank you Julie! Replace the junk pile with something pretty as I did, then you won’t want to pile junk on that again. Great motivation to keep the filing done!
Keep your filing cabinets free of paper?

2.Prevent drop zones from forming

If you have an empty flat surface it sometimes  calls to people, “to fill me with stuff.” To prevent that area from becoming cluttered put a large object or two in that spot.  It will make the area feel full and then you won’t drop things there.  With only 2 larger objects, it is easy to pick them up and dust and clean.  If you use a number of smaller items it may make the area harder to clean.

3.Designate a paper collection spot

Assign a place to put papers that need to be read, filed, signed etc.  Place  a tray, lovely baskets, eye catching red container etc in a convenient location. Why red?  Red is a high energy colour, it increases your heartrate, your eye is drawn to red items.  Buy using a red basket it can help to  make dealing with paperwork a high priority activity.  Keeping paperwork consolidated in one spot makes it easier to find and work with.  When paper is all over the office or house it becomes visual clutter, causing anxiety, the release of cortisol and you feel stress.  Cut the visual clutter, collect the paper in one spot, and complete the tasks.

4.Avoid the L word – later

Piles of paper will continue to build up if you leave them for later.  Later will never come.  Schedule time to deal with paperwork: schedule time to read, file, and reply to paperwork that generates more work.  Schedule these activities according to your level of energy at different times of the day.  Scheduling reading after lunch at a low energy time of the day may not be productive but scheduling file after lunch maybe perfect because it gets you up and activity. Scheduling time at the beginning of each day to concentrate on work generated by email, letters, documents might work well when you are able to focus on single tasks.  Remember not to multi-task.

Schedule time for paperwork

If you’re interested in learning how colour can affect your productivity, this guide is free and you can find it here .

What tricks do you use to help you complete paperwork?

Related articles The truth about multitasking 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces distracting clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook – Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Time saving window cleaning tips

Clean your windows without leaving the ground

Need to wash your windows but you don’t want to spend the time doing it because the next rain will wash away the time you spent shining those windows.  Try using a window cleaning product that attaches to your garden hose.  First you rinse the window with water then switch the setting to soap continuing to spray the window and then switch it back to rinse.  You can clean your windows without your feet leaving the ground.  One such product is Windex Outdoor spray.

For cleaning the inside or outside of your windows try using Norwex cloths.  You use water and the cloth, no chemicals.  They do a fantastic streak free job.  Norwex has many chemical free cleaning solutions.  I have been using them since 1995.

Share the method you use for cleaning your windows.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – Facebook – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

5 tips for digital hoarders

Let go of the anxiety over missing information 

Are you a digital hoarder?

Some people feel very anxious about missing some important news or information.  They will save all kinds of article, websites, reviews, newspapers etc.  With digitizing information becoming so quick and easy now, many people are putting everything into their laptops, Dropbox, cloud storage.    Before you continue to save everything sort through it and keep what you need and love so you will be able to find it again on your device.  If you have 11000 photos will you be able to share the one you want to find without becoming overwhelmed and frustrated? If you keep everything you will not be able to locate the information you want.  Once again you will feel anxious. It started will worrying about missing out on information and it ends up with having so much information it is useless.  The anxiety is still there.

Read it and delete it

It is ok to forget things, in the past you only remembered a few things that were important to you.  Most things were forgotten.

File it so you can find it. 

Make folders, files or date tabs so you can find things that you store.  Delete duplicate and out of focus photos and file the best photos with a name on the picture.  Use meaningful file names to help you set limits on types of material you will store.  Avoid file names like, to read, someday,  when I have time, next month.

When it becomes obsolete delete it.

Your interests change, jobs change, where you live changes and the information you have collected is no longer relevant or  of interest to you.  You can search your files to find that type of information  but that may take too much time, when you come across files that no longer interest to you, delete them.  It is ok.  You are changing and growing and you are moving away from past interests.  There are a lot more interesting things in your current life,  you can let go of the 10 year old information holding you in the past and taking up your time.  Look to present and keep moving forward.

Avoid temptation to save 

Melinda Beck  writes in the Wall Street Journal, “Nobody knows how many Americans have digital-hoarding issues … but the proliferation of devices, the explosion of information and the abundance of cheap storage have made it all too tempting for some people to amass emails, text messages, Word documents, Web pages, digital photos, computer games, music files, movies, home videos and entire TV seasons than they can ever use or keep track of.”

Click here to read the article Are you a Secret Digital Hoarder?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – Facebook – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

 

The truth about multitasking

Do you feel like you have too many tabs open in your brain?

Image by Jason-Salmon

Psychologists have described flow as an ecstatic feeling, being totally engaged with an activity you enjoy. Good productivity habits minimize interruptions in flow.

The average American uses up to 3 mobile devices daily. The untethering of people to these devises has made productivity shoot up. Multitasking slows down your productivity because moving from unfinished task to unfinished tasks means every time, you need to look back to see where you left off and where to start and all those seconds add up to minutes decreasing your productivity by up to 40%.

Only about 2% of people can successfully multi-task Click To Tweet

Slow down to be more productive

People also need time to think and reflect on their work so they can be more intentional and less reactive.

Sometimes, task switching is unavoidable –  an important  phone call at work or children hurt themselves at home. Whenever it’s possible, try to limit distractions and block out time to work on a specific task, and only that task.

Multi-tasking is seen as a badge of honour but really, it slows down everything and creates open loops in the day.  Reteaching yourselves and your children how to focus on one thing at a time is going to be the single most critical skill for the next few decades.  When focus remains on a single task, it can be completed, producing  a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Physical vs mental multi-tasking

Brain research indicates that you can have several motor programs running at the same time. (Your Creative Brain ) So you can steer your car, talk to passengers and adjust your rear view mirror simultaneously. Unfortunately you can only focus your conscious mental attention to one of these things at a time. You can multitask physically, but not mentally.  We think sequentially so we should work sequentially.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here  to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

 

Organizing your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for some people.  Coordinating schedules, planning menus and preparing the house can make it a busy time.Make your Thanksgiving Day full of giving thanks. Click To Tweet

Here are some tips to make the day for full of giving thanks and you less stressed.

Let everyone help by bringing a dish to the meal.

1. Let people help

Ask them to bring some of the food.  If you have someone who doesn’t like to cook ask them to arrive early and help greet people at the door.

2. Plan a menu

  • record the amount of food you cook.
  • record the cooking time for each dish
  • reuse the menu, grocery list  and cooking  schedule next year

3. Plan to take a walk

Enjoy time together, be thankful for the beautiful nature around you.

  • Between the main course and dessert have your guests go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air and build an appetite for dessert
  • While your guests are out, you will have time to clear the leftovers and put them in the refrigerator

4. Be thankful

  • let everyone say something they are thankful for, it is amazing how this can create a happy atmosphere at the dinner table

Share your best tip for making Thanksgiving celebrations less stressful.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter –  Facebook  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Organize your life with a desk calendar

Don’t ditch your desk calendar: The benefits of handwriting events and tasks

My guest blogger this week is Jessica Pyykkonen.

Even with hundreds of available apps to help organize your life, a paper desk calendar may be just what you need to stay on top of your work schedule. Despite dire predictions, desk calendars are thriving in the digital age. Furthermore, desk calendars may even be gaining some ground. Between 2014 and 2016, the sales of calendars jumped 8 percent and the sales of planners grew 10 percent.

Why are people sticking with or rediscovering paper? As organizational guru David Allen says, “There’s still no tool better than a paper planner.” Scheduling with pen and paper even offers some advantages over digital calendars. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of analog scheduling and discover tips to improve your desk calendar.

The brain-hand connection

Typing and handwriting may seem similar, but our brains handle the two activities differently. Because handwriting requires you to make sequential strokes to form each letter, it activates large regions of the brain involved in thinking, language, and working memory. The same is not true for typing a letter on a keyboard.

In one study, pre-literate children were split into groups and taught how to draw letters by hand, trace letters, or type letters on a keyboard. Later they looked at the same letters while their brains were scanned in a functional MRI machine. Networks of the brain known to support successful reading activated in the students who’d written the letters, but not in the students who’d typed or traced.

The benefits of handwriting are also evident later in life. Older students comprehend lectures better when taking notes by hand rather than on a laptop. Moreover, adults are better able to learn a new alphabet when they practice letters by hand rather than on a computer.

What does this research on the brain-hand connection mean for your work calendar? You may remember your appointments better if you write them down on paper rather than typing them.

You could even think of jotting down tasks and appointments as exercise for your brain. “One of the advantages of moving away from the keyboard and doing something that requires greater flexibility in how we use our hands is that it also requires greater flexibility in how we use our brains,” writes Nancy Darling, a psychology professor at Oberlin College.

A desk calendar also provides a place to doodle. Scribbling idly may seem like a waste of time, but it’s a powerful way to improve concentration during boring tasks. In one study, people who were randomly assigned to doodle during an intentionally dull phone call remembered 29 percent more of the information transmitted on the call afterward. Doodling also quickly calms the mind, and most people find it enjoyable.

Dash digital fatigue

Of course, using a paper planner or calendar offers a way to step away from screens during your busy work day. If you feel like you spend too much time on mobile devices and are drowning in notifications and alerts, you’re not alone.

Devices are designed to be addictive. Our brains secrete the feel-good chemical dopamine when we hear a notification, and we experience real symptoms of anxiety if we can’t respond. American adults spend nearly 11 hours per day staring at screens, and iPhone users unlock their phones up to 80 times a day.

You may be suffering from spending too much time on technology without realizing it. The more time teens spend online, the more likely they are to say they’re unhappy. Adults randomly assigned to give up Facebook for a week ended up happier, less lonely, and less depressed at the end of the week than those who used Facebook.

Former tech employees are even raising an alarm about the negative impacts of the technology they helped create. A group of them started an organization called Center for Humane Technology; they feel too much technology erodes mental health and social relationships. Stepping away from your laptop and phone to schedule on paper is one way to decrease your time on digital devices at work.

Plan and personalize

Using a desk calendar may help with big-picture planning and organization because it’s easy to see all your appointments at a glance. Many people prefer the tangible feeling of paper. For instance, 92 percent of college students prefer to read print books versus reading on a digital device.

Furthermore, whether you love minimalist, elegant, or cute desk calendars, your calendar becomes as unique as you are once you put pen to paper. Personalize it exactly how you want and don’t be afraid to transform it into an efficient, artistic extension of your brain. Once you have your calendar, stock up on different highlighterssticky notes, and colorful pens.

Don’t ditch your desk calendar: The benefits of handwriting events and tasksInfographic by Quill

Long live the desk calendar

Digital devices aren’t going anywhere. Chances are you use some sort of online calendar, and you may want to continue doing so. But don’t ditch your desk calendar just yet. Many people use both a paper planning system and an online calendar because each offers different benefits. Writing down appointments helps you remember them better, gives you an opportunity to step away from screens, lends itself to big-picture planning and organizing, and offers a myriad of personalization options. Moreover, putting pen to paper may help you stay calmer and more focused.

Do agree with this article? Paper or electronic what works best for you?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter  FacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Back to school – making homework easy

Helping your child to be successful with their homework is about planning.  Plan a time when your child can concentrate and an adult is available to lend support to the task.  Some children will be able to do homework right after they finish school other children will need time to do some physical activity  before they can concentrate and yet other children will need to eat first.

Mother and child and after school homework

Have a quiet area near an adult . Children may need support from an adult at times to be successful

 

You will need a spot that has limited distractions, minimize stimulation from video screens and phones and reduce loud conversations with other family members in the homework area.

Large projects take more than one night to complete.  Help your child learn how to plan ahead.  Look at the week and weekend and see what time is available to work on the project.  Divide the project into smaller sections that can be completed a little at a time during the week and on the weekend.  At first it takes a lot of discipline from the parent and the child but as the family gets used to planning ahead your child will tell you that they need your help with some homework and the only night you are both home is Wednesday.  It will be great when they take over the time management of homework.

Large projects can be broken down into smaller sections and a little parts can be completed each day.

Teach your child management so they will have enough time to complete large projects.

Each child will be different, some will like quiet spaces and others will like to be around people. Some tasks will need large spaces and others will need hardly any space. Click To Tweet Many families have shared custody of children between parents and some families are always on the move taking children to after school events where children need to do homework while they are waiting for siblings to finish an activity.

have supplies on hand that can be taken with you so your child can complete their homework on the move.

Help your child be able to complete their homework quickly

 

Help your child be prepared so they can complete their homework quickly

Have a portable homework station that can be taken anywhere

Taking into consideration all the variables, homework areas need to be portable.  Children need have a container with all the pens pencils markers erasers ruler stapler tape glue paper calculator etc. they need.  This container can be used in any room in the house allowing for flexibility.  Let your child organize the container since they know what they need.   This container can be put in the car and taken along to activities, babysitters, parent’s homes.  It is important that children have the supplies they need and learn to take care of them so they can get their work done.  If you choose to have one room or area for homework make sure to consult your child about what it should look like so they want to work in that area.

Share your tip for making homework and enjoyable experience.

Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

6 Tips about laundry and your student- Bring it home or do it at school?

Success in doing laundry starts with packing the right clothes.When packing for college or university stay away from white clothes, they will turn grey and red clothes that will turn everything pink.  Leave them at home.Discuss who is responsible for doing laundry before your student leaves for university. Click To Tweet

1. Practice

 If your student has not done laundry at home use the last month or two before they leave to teach them how to use a washer, sort laundry, empty pockets and use a stain remover .

2. Money

Find out if the washers and dryers need coins or if money is put on a plastic swipe card.  Put some money on the card or send coins to get them started and into the habit of doing laundry.

3. Laundry ” Basket”

Provide a central collection area for their laundry in their room.  It might be on the back of a door or chair, a bin or bag in the closet. It needs to be easily portable so they can move it easily to the Laundromat which may be on another floor.

Collapsible Laundry Basket

Mesh laundry baskets let damp things dry until they are washed

cloth laundry bag

Put a laundry bag on the back of a door.

 

Backpack laundry bags make it easy to get everything to the laudromat.

Backpack laundry bags make it easy to get everything to the laudromat.

Plastic ventilated laundry basket.

A basket can be put in any convenient location and is sitting open easily to throw clothes in.

4. Supplies

Buy liquid laundry detergent because it dissolves quickly and comes in small bottles. It is better to have a supply of small bottles than a large one which is heavy and hard to take to the Laundromat.  Buy fabric sheets for the dryer as the student will probably never be there for the rinse cycle.

5. A place to hang damp clothes

Have a place to hang up clothes – a line, door hooks or a free-standing wire rack in their room for things that are damp or that they don’t want to put in the dryer.

wooden folding clothes drying rack

Use a rack to dry clothes and save money

Folding Clothes Drying Rack

Folding wooden or wire racks can be hidden away when they are not in use under the bed or in the closet.

Plastic over the door hooks

Over the door hooks come in many styles to fit the door and space.

 

over the door hooks are great for hanging up damp clothes

over the door hooks are great for hanging up damp clothes

6. Who does the laundry, parent, student, home or at school?

Decide if you will do their laundry when they come home on weekends. Set the policy early so there are no surprises.

Share your experience about laundry successes and failures.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Organizing a Student’s move to University or College

Panic maybe starting to set in.  This is the time of year for back to school.  Some of you maybe moving a student to a school close to home, some may have a long drive to the new school and others may have to fly.  Whether you may be able to make multiple trips to your student’s school or if you have one chance to get it right,  Anne Wynter’s    How to Cut College Clutter  shares my tips in this lovely blog post about:

  1. Clothes
  2. Documents
  3. Mini Kits
  4. Sentimental Items
Having an over abundance of possessions in your dorm room or apartment can contribute to poor time management and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed, Click To Tweet

Make your move a successful, low stress enjoyable event.

dorm room organizing

How much should I take?

 

Join my  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Click here to  learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

 

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