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Archive for Book Reviews

Downsizing? Read Don’t Toss my Memories in the Trash

This month I am reviewing a book to help you in downsizing yourself but probably someone else in your life.  Don’t Toss my Memories in the Trash by Vickie Dellaquilia.

Guide to help downsize a loved one.

This book has very practical steps and suggestions for downsizing in many different types of situations. The person maybe moving to a smaller house, an apartment, moving in with family members or to a seniors home.  In each situation the person is losing something and must learn to adapt to a new living situation. They may need to get use to meeting new people, having less privacy, being less independent.  This book guides the caregivers to avoid  pitfalls that can occur.

Here are 6 tips from the book

1.Giving up the family home is like losing a loved one.  When the family is gone the memories are all they have left.

2. Remember the goal is to get the parents resettled with the things they love that make them happy and comfortable.  It is not about the finances of selling stuff, emotional battles over a childhood or arguments between family members.

3. Consider how much energy and time you have for the job.  Children sometimes have a small window of opportunity to help and want to do it in a week when parents need to go more slowly. Get help with moving, selling items, removing junk you don’t have to do it all yourself.

4. Have a goodbye ceremony with some family and friends to say farewell to the house.  Take pictures of things or video of experiences in the home.  Then start packing up

5. Take pictures of how a room is set up, how things are on the dresser or in the bathroom.  At the new place you can replicate the situation so they can adjust more quickly.

6. Have sheets of packing paper and use them to simulate the furniture and assess what large items can be moved and where they will fit in the room.  A visual representation can make decisions easier.

This book covers: 

  • Timelines
  • How to start talking about the need to  move
  • How to start
  • What to take
  • Packing suggestions
  • What to ask a mover
  • Unpacking
  • Adjusting to the new home

It is a great, quick, easy to read resource.

Post a comment about the best tip you have for helping someone to downsize

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer 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. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 

 

Clearing an Estate? Read “They Left Us Everything”

Today I am reviewing a booked written by Plum Johnson, They Left Us Everything  a memoir. She is a Canadian author from Oakville, Ontario. It is an easy to read , novel style story about her experience emptying her parent’s home.  Once you start reading it you become engaged in the story and can’t put the book down. It takes you on a roller coaster of emotions:  sad, humorous, happy and thoughtful.

Paperback book, They Left Us Everything

by Plum Johnson

Many people have had the experience of going through years of possessions and trying to figure out

  • how to divide things between family members,
  • where to donate things,
  • the division of labour between family members on how the work will get completed and
  • when to sell the home.

This book takes the reader through the many pitfalls and solutions that Plum and her siblings discover to solve these difficult situations.

One of my favourite parts of the book is the chapter on how they divide up their parents’ possessions between the 4 siblings .  Plum has made an annotated inventory list complete with photographs, 422 items, 8 pages long.  There are two categories; one for all the furnishings that have been appraised and priced and one for historical items that were considered priceless. They take turns picking things off the list until everything is gone.  It is very interesting to read the how the process goes, who selects which items and why, and how competitive they can be during this process.

The book has practical suggestions but mostly it gives the reader emotional and psychological insights into the relationships that they have with their parents and that their parents have with each other.  It also shows how these relationships affect how they experience dealing with their parents’ possessions. Learning from their experiences can help each of us to understand the many layers of feelings that affect each of us and our relationships with people and “stuff”

A few memorable thoughts from the book are;

  1. “The most valuable things come from within yourself”
  2. “Are you untangling the stuff in the house or untangling yourself from your parents?”
  3. “Gradually things in the house relinquished their hold on us.”

Post a comment about the part of the book you liked best or a tip to make clearing an estate easier.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer 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. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Smart Organizing – Simple Strategies for Bringing Order to Your Home

 

Paperback book Smart organizing

Author Sandra Felton

Sandra Felton, the organizer lady, is the author of this very practical book to help people bring order to their life. The book helps people to “reach their organizational goals in the simplest way possible.  This is why I recommend the book.  The book is full of people’s stories, quizzes, tips and practical solutions to suit a variety of personalities.

She focuses on planning.  I recently twitted “hope is not a plan”.  She outlines how to develop a plan that is right for the person, how to work with the plan getting each space in the house organized and how to live with the plan and maintain the new organized life.

Here are some of the tips that appear in her book.

Bathroom

If a bathroom is shared by several children and is cluttered with their things, get them their  own coloured basket for toiletries.  Each child can take it a back and forth to the bedroom leaving the bathroom clear.

Garage

Use the walls to hang up smaller items you need more often.  Put up a peg board in the garage and use S- hooks to hang up gardening equipment, tools and sports equipment.

Laundry Routine

If you do laundry for a number of people, refuse to wash unpaired socks.  Insist that everyone pins each pair of socks together with a sturdy safety pin or those little plastic circles into which some sock pairs will slip.  If they aren’t paired you won’t wash them.  Now no more pairing socks.  Another good idea is to colour code socks.  Buy a different colour band or sock for each individual and let him or her match their socks.

Sandra Felton encourages,”spending less time and energy on the mechanics of living and  giving more time for more significant pursuits.” Her books help people to be successful at this.

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Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices. 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.

ADD-Friendly ways to Organize your Life

This is the name of a book that can help people with ADD to get organized.  It can also help other people to understand how they can assist someone with ADD get organized. The person without ADD acts as a coach.

ADD Friendly ways to Organize your Life

ADD Friendly ways to Organize your Life

The book mentions:

  • Stop coaches – help to determine when the task is finished
  • Decision Coaches – someone who can help to clarify thoughts and feelings by asking questions
  • Priority coaches – talk things over to help make things clearer

There are chapters on:

  • different approaches to organizing,
  • thing organizing,
  • time organizing and
  • paper organizing.

Each chapter suggests strategies and processes for a person with ADD to try.  Then the chapter continues and explains how a coach, friend or family member can assist.  The last part of the chapter explains how a Professional Organizer would work with the client.

Easy to Use

The book is written and formatted so it is easy for a person with ADD to use.  The sections are short.  There are circles and boxes, headings and bullet points and a review section at the end of each chapter. Judith Kolberg, a Professional Organizer and Kathleen Nadeau, a Psychologist have collaborated to create a book full of strategies that work.

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What has  been a helpful resources for learning about organizing skills?

Interested in Starting a Business?

If you are interested in starting your own home based business,how to start a home-based…. is a great series of books. They  contain information about the field of business, clients and practical materials such as forms.  Some of the books in this series are Computer Repair Business, Personal Chef Business, Interior Design Business and Professional Organizing Business.

how to start a home based Professional Organizing Business

Great series of books for information on how to start a business

how to start a home-based Professional Organizing Business has sections on:

  • helping you to decide if Professional Organizing is for you,
  • setting up your office,
  • finding and working with clients,
  • products and
  • forms

For approximately $20.00 you will have enough information to confidently start your business.  The books contains a script for the first  phone conversation with a new client. This is very helpful especially with your very first client.   It has sections on setting your rate and a number of different ways to charge along with the pros and cons of each ways.  The book lists a number of ways to market your business.

Along with the business side of Professional Organizing  half the book contains skills and information a person needs to be a competent organizer.  It teaches the the psychology of clutter, why areas become disorganized, how to declutter a space and products to use to organize a client.

The section containing forms is very helpful and they are easy to customize to your own business.  There are assessment forms, invoices,mileage records, marketing plan sheets etc.

This book is written by  Professional Organizer Dawn Noble.  It is easy to read and use.

If you want to start a business see if this series contains a book that could help you be successful.

Scaling down, Living Large in a smaller space

Scaling down

Great ideas for downsizing, moving or moving a family member

This book written by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker is a complete guide to help you declutter and move. It has practical solutions for downsizing your clothing, collections and dealing with sentimental items.

It also addresses how to move a family member to a supervised living facility. The authors remind you that if your parent can make decisions that your purpose is to help them move happily from a large space to a smaller space not make decisions for them.

It suggests that you write a book about your life, put it down in black and white. A number of different ways of recording events about your life are provided.

It has a chapter on the step by step process of moving into your new home. They examine the psychology of making the down scaling change

It is a great resource to have. Who knows when you will need it.

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