Archive for Special Days – Page 2

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


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

Looking for a Gift That Works?

When I was at the National Home show in Toronto last month I stopped by the  Straga Products booth.  They make lovely wooden cutting boards that  can be personalized.  They make great presents for weddings, birthdays, client appreciation, etc.   What would you have written on your cutting board?

wooden cutting boards

Personalized cutting boards make a great gift

Shopping Guide

The holiday season is here and Black Friday has come and gone and Cyber Monday is completed. Why talk about shopping now?

Do you need it or want it?

Do you need it or want it?

Developing good shopping habits will save you money.  Now is the time of the year when you can get lots of practice developing good shopping habits.

Buying for the Wrong Reasons

  • It was on sale
  • Too good a bargain to pass up
  • I may find a use for it some day
  • Someone else I know may need it one day
  • It feels good to shop

I am sure we have all experienced these reasons for purchasing items at one time or another.  Usually these types of purchases are items we don’t need, use, want or even like.  They cost us money, not save money.  If you have made a purchase for the wrong reason, you can return it.

How to Buy

  • Shop for things you need not want
  • Shop for things that fit into the space you have
  • Shop for things within your budget
  • Determine how you will use the item
  • Know where you are going to store it or display it
  • When you buy something new, give something away.

Holiday Help

I participate in  Professional Organizers Blog Carnival along with many other organizers.  Janet Barclay has developed this site to help people get a lot of ideas on many organizing topics.  This month the blog site is about everything related to the holiday season and gift giving.  I hope you enjoy reading it.  Read my submission on Clutter free Gift giving.

Holiday Season gift giving

Everything you wanted to know about gift giving

Looking for a Gift of Time to give this Holiday Season?

Mind over has 3 hour packages designed to help with any number of tasks in the home and office. Considering purchasing an

  • Income Tax Receipt Organizing Package
  • Holiday Cleanup Package
  • Streamlining Your Office Package.

Packages can be designed to fit the individual needs of the person receiving the gift.  Purchase your gift package in November for $120.00. Contact to purchase your clutter free gift of time.

A clutter free gift of time

Give the gift of time

World Kidney Day

The pastor at The First Mennonite Church in Vineland, Dr. Carol Penner, decided to donate her kidney.  Her decision started a chain of 4 donors and 4 recipients.  She has written about her decision in her blog at

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