Archive for Special Days

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Facts about St Patrick’s Day 



1.Irish immigrants coming to North America started St Patrick’s day parades to honour their nationality.

2. The first parade took place in Boston in 1737 followed by New York in 1762.

3.Ireland held their first parade in 1931

4.St Patrick’s Day always fell during Lent, when all the pubs where closed

5.The original colour associated with St Patrick is blue but because shamrocks and leprechauns are green, St Patrick’s Day adopted the colour green.



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


Organize Your Valentine’s Gift

Looking for that perfect clutter free Valentine’s Day Gift?  One that says:

  • I understand you,
  • I want you to be happy,
  • I want to make your life easier


Great Valentine's Ideas

Let’s get organized

Contact Julie if you need help making this happen.

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

Preparing for the Holidays

Here are some tips for holiday planning to make a H A P P Y month.

Holiday Decorating

You maybe feeling overwhelmed or disorganized by the quantity of items on display in your house.  Try putting the non-seasonal items away to reduce the number of items on display.

Keep decorations simple

Decorate with flowers

Think about decorating with fewer items but larger size items.  This means there are fewer items to pack and unpack which will reduces the amount of time you need to prepare your home.

Take advantage of using linens to cover tables or end table and pillows to decorate couches.  They may be less bulky to store and cover a larger area making your home seem completely decorated while taking less time to get the job done.

Use items that self destruct so you don’t need to pack them away, flowers, paper towels, tissue boxes all give your house a festival spirit but don’t need to be packed away and stored.

When you go through your decorations part with the ones you know longer need early in the month so thrift store have an opportunity to sell them and so they don’t need to store them until next year.  Some stores don’t take holiday décor in January and then you will be stuck storing them for another year.

 Accept Help

Acknowledge that you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed and when people offer to do things say yes.  We all love to help people so let people feel good about themselves by allowing them to help you.

If people volunteer to bring food to a party accept gratefully.  Allow people to help clean up dishes on their way out the door.  In fact be ready for it.  Have a place to put cutlery to soak.  Have out a container for compost.  Put glasses or coffee mugs directly into the dishwasher.

Planning is important

Divide Your To Do List into Categories

Use a to do list. Divide your to do list into to pick up, to e-mail, to call, to buy then you can plan your day and route to get things done and not be driving back and forth all over town.  The trick here is to actually look at the list and use it not just make it.

Keep your plans from year to year, record your menu, grocery list quantities, time lines.  Each year you can reuse, revise and update the plan

 People and relationships are the reason for the season

Some people like to send cards in December.  I keep my cards and addresses and stamps all together.  When I am going somewhere where I will be waiting I pick up the supplies and take them along and write my cards.  I have done it at hockey rinks, doctor’s offices, bus stations and on car trips.  I usually leave replies to someone who has sent me a longer letter until January.

Use your spare moments to write cards

If you want to automate the card sending operation there is a company called send out cards.

Gift giving maybe an area where you are developing a system. Have you thought about Clutter free gift giving?

Consider the idea of a gift that self destructs.  See my post on Clutter Free Gift Giving

Yes You Can

Yes you can 

Being organized is more about an attitude then how something looks.  It is not about having the perfect home, party or gift it is doing the best you can with   the time and resources that you have. The only way to get better at organizing is to practice. It is a skill that can be learned and with practice it becomes easier and     easier.

Give the Gift of Time

Looking for a Gift of Time to give this Holiday Season? has 3 hour packages designed to help with any number of tasks in the home and office. Considering purchasing an:

Gift a gift of time to someone who is busy

Gift a gift of time to someone who is busy

  • Income Tax Receipt Organizing Package
  • Holiday Cleanup Package
  • Streamlining Your Office Package.
  • Organizing for the New Year

Packages can be designed to fit the individual needs of the person receiving the gift.  Purchase your introductory gift package in 2016 for $150.00. Contact to purchase your clutter free gift of time.


Organize your Clutter Free Gift Giving List

There are many considerations when trying to purchase the perfect present. Sometimes the person has everything.  Some people may feel that they have enough stuff and they don’t want to have to decide how to store more items. Some people feel that they need to keep everything they are given whether they need it or like it or can use it. They are afraid of hurting the giver’s feelings.  It may feel like an impossible mission.  Consider the idea of a gift that self destructs

Give tickets to an event:

Sporting, theatre, art gallery exhibit, musical event.  Give them tickets so it won’t be a gift card that they file or lose.  Most performances will allow tickets to be exchanged for a different date. Try giving tickets to a Toronto Rock Lacrosse game.  It is an experience, reasonably prices and you get to see the Air Canada Center. You can support your local community by purchasing tickets to a little theatre production, hockey tickets.  Give them the gift of entertainment.

Rent a sports venue

It can be an hour of ice time, indoor soccer, indoor tennis and indoor golf.  This type of gift usually gets people together to socialize and be active.  It is a gift of physical and emotional health.


You can give lessons to a person.  Art lessons, wine tasting, golfing, scuba diving, music, craft, beading, the ideas are limitless.  It can be one lesson or a group of lessons. Give the gift of a new experience.


Give a gift of a meal, prepared by you for them on a mutually agreed date.  You may want to give them a batch of muffins every month or whatever their favourite food is.  People enjoy receiving homemade Christmas cookies or a fruit plate.  You can go on line and search COOKIES in a Jar.  The recipient of the cookie mix adds water or milk and bakes the cookies. Give the gift of sharing your time with others.

A service

Someone may enjoy being relieved of performing a tedious job.  Arrange for a cleaning service, professional organizer, snow removal, lawn care.  Give them the gift of time for themselves.

Professional Organizing Services


There are many charities that can benefits from donations.  Select a charity and make a donation in the name of the person.    Look at one aspect of the person’s life and try to find a charity that represents their interests. Give them the gift of generosity.

Give the gift of Fun

One year a group of us rented a hot tub for a week and shared the use of it. Another year I bought rocket kits for everyone, we built the kits and shot off the rockets

Don’t let your gift giving be an omnishambles this year.  Here are a few gifts that are clutter free, personal and thoughtful but the ideas are endless.

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.

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

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

  • 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


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.

What is the Most Stressful Part of the Holiday Season for you?

During the holiday season expectations are raised.  The food needs to be perfect, the gift needs to be thoughtfully purchased, the house needs to be tastefully decorated, and everyone needs to be happy all the time.  Record your expectations for season.  Everything you can think of.  Look through your list and decide on a plan that makes each expectation manageable for you.  If your expectations align with practicality this holiday will be less stressful and more fun.

Planning Food Could you:

Make a simple Holiday meal.

Make a simple Holiday meal.

  1. Cook ahead of time and freeze the food
  2. Plan a potluck with everyone contributing
  3. Buy your holiday baking
  4. Simplify your menu, prepare fewer items


Gift Giving Could you:

  1. Reduce the number of people you buy for
  2. Draw names so everyone gets one gift
  3. Set a price limit on the value of the gift
  4. Plan an experience instead of buying a gift: go to a play, go out for dinner, and go to a movie

Decorating Could you:

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

Use flowers to decorate.

  1. Put out fewer items
  2. Use larger items to make the space look decorated instead of using  lots of small items
  3. Decorate with flowers; you don’t have to pack them away when the season is over





Be Happy Could you:

Spend time together doing things you enjoy

Spend time together doing things you enjoy

  1. Plan your schedule so you don’t get over tired
  2. Plan down time so each member of the group can spend time alone
  3. Plan things you like to do, not have to do
  4. Plan to exercise and get fresh air

Can you learn to ask for help and accept help?

Do You have a Bucket List for the Holiday Season?

I have never been a person to make a bucket list.  Mostly because I feel I don’t have anything to put in it, the bucket.

Enjoy a walk and view Niagara Falls, dress warmly

Enjoy a walk and view Niagara Falls, dress warmly

However during December I sometimes get depressed.  It is mostly because of the lack of light.  It is also because there is a lot of expectation leading up to December 25th and then it is all over.  Some times it went well and some years it didn’t go very smoothly.  This can lead to dreading the holiday season and having your spirits drop.  So over the years I have been incorporating many fun events through the month of December so there is less emphasis on one day.  So this year I am making a bucket list.

Listen to choirs at the Niagara on the Lake candle light walk

Listen to choirs at the Niagara on the Lake candle light walk

  1. go to a holiday  concert
  2. go to a candle light walk sponsored by a town
  3. go to a mall and don’t shop just enjoy people watching and the decorations
  4. go on a tour of outdoor skating rinks
  5. go tobogganing
  6. have the neighbours over for an open house evening
  7. go to a dinner theatre
  8. walk around your neighbourhood and enjoy the holiday  lights every night
  9. play holiday music
  10. participate in a gift giving program, help the less fortunate
  11. watch the world junior hockey tournament on  television

    Visit your local dinner theatre like Oh Canada Eh!

    Visit your local dinner theatre like Oh Canada Eh!

  12. buy a poinsettia from a fund raising group
  13. grow an amaryllis plant
  14. buy an advent calendar for yourself
  15. visit Niagara Falls in the winter – cold but amazing

Let me know what would be on your bucket list.

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

Plant a bulb and watch it grow


Happy Canada Day

La Rocca Canada Day cake purchased at Sobeys

La Rocca Canada Day cake purchased at Sobeys

Having a party and looking for some great trivia?

  • 77% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Quebec,
  • in Saskatchewan a hoodie is called a bunnyhug,
  • Canada is the best G20 country in the world to be a women and
  • the correct number of points on a Canadian Maple leaf is 11.

Here’s a link for more trivia

World Championship Synchronized Skating Championships.

On April 10, 2015 I had the opportunity to attend the  World Championship Synchronized Skating Championships in Hamilton, ON Canada.  It was an event that I just decided to go to a the last minute.  It was a fantastic evening. There were 25 teams of 16 skaters, females and males, from 20 countries .  Canada, Finland, Russia and Sweden were represented by 2 teams each.  Two surprising countries in the competition where  Mexico and Turkey.

I watched the short program for each of the 25 teams.  A routine may consist of:

  • straight line sequences,
  • wheels,
  • block pattern where they travel in a square or diamond pattern across the ice ,
  • circle step sequences,
  • spins in unison,
  • pass through where 1 lines pass through the other line and
  • many of the skating elements you have seen in other skating competitions.

It very exciting to be part of the crowd when the Canadian teams entered the arena and the crowd went wild.  If you have a chance to go to a World Championship Competition for any sport go out and support the participants.  I knew nothing about Synchronized Skating, I learned a lot and had a great time.  The Pan Am games are coming Toronto Canada you have a chance to learn a lot and have a great time too.

Synchronized Skating

Block formation


A group of 4 skaters ding a spiral

A lovely spiral

Synchronized team skating

Line Skating Pattern

Residential Organizing Services for the Region of Niagara, Hamilton, Halton-Peel and Surrounding Area