Archive for Attitude

Organize your 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.Developing good buying habits will save you money. Click To Tweet

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.

Do you plan a budget for your holiday shopping?

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 Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Lack of abundance

 

Are you stuck in a mindset of “lack”?

Do you sometimes feel that you will never get ahead.  That life is holding you back.  I feel that way some days when I am working in my  business.   There can be a number of stumbling blocks to becoming successful.  Some we may not have any control over.  One of the biggest stumbling blocks can be our own attitude.  This short video gives you an insight into how to examine your attitude and move from focusing on what you don’t have (lack) and focusing on what you do have (abundance).

Click here to learn about an attitude of abundance. 

How do you overcome those feelings that you can’t achieve  something that you want to accomplish? 

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?

 

Moving students home – Make home life simple

Each party in this living situation has different expectations so make a contract with each other so it is clear what the expectation are. Click To Tweet

Expectations

It is a big change in lifestyle when students move home for the summer, for the students and the parents.  Sometimes students think

Share your ideas

What are your expectations?

  • It will be just like before I left
  • I will have the same responsibilities as I did living away from home
  • I am on vacation for 4 months
  • and so on…

Sometimes parents think

  • they have lived on their own so they should have no problem contributing around the home without being asked
  • now I have someone to help with all the work
  •  things have changed and we do things differently now
  • and so on…

Each party in this living situation has different expectations so make a contract with each other so it is clear what the expectation are.  My daughter presented me with some rules when she moved back home for a few months.  She asked me to look at them and see if they were suitable and to add any rules.  It made things very easy and simple because there were less misunderstanding.

Your contract/ agreement might cover the following ideas.

Sharing the car

May I have the car?

Car                                                                                                                                                

  1. Who pays for gas?
  2. When can they use it?
  3. Do they have to ask to use the car or can they just take it?

Food/ Groceries

  1. Who buys the groceries?
  2. Who pays for the groceries?
  3. Do you buy everything on the list?
  4. Do you buy only the things you need from the list when you go shopping?

Cooking

  1. Who cooks?
  2. Who plans the meals?
  3. Do you cook for everyone or only yourself?

    Where do I start cleaning?

    What needs to be cleaned?

Kitchen

  1. Who cleans up the kitchen?
  2. What needs to  be cleaned,  floors counters, stove, sink?
  3. Who does the dishes?
  4. Who empties the dishwasher?

Schedule

  1. Do you record your activities  in a specific place, electronic or paper?
  2. Do you need to tell where you are going and when you will be back?
  3. Are there any activities you are expected to attend?

Laundry

  1. Who is responsible for laundry ?

Cleaning

  1. Who does the cleaning, is it a shared task?

This checklist of ideas makes it seem like working out an agreement will be a lot of work.  The agreement only needs to cover areas that cause conflict, tension or have changed since the student last lived with you.

Our agreement looked like this:

Food                                                                                                                                                                                 

Family agreements about house rules

Make a contract / agreement with everyone in the family to reduce stress and misunderstandings

  • Buy groceries: give Mom the bill,  buy everything on the list
  • Weekday meals:  First one home cooks, Mom will try to plan the meals for the week

Car

  •  Mom will pay for gas

Kitchen:

  • Clean and wipe counter and island and stove
  • No dishes in sink or on the counter, put them in the dishwasher before going to bed

Schedule:

  • Record your evening activities and times when you won’t be home for supper on the calendar
  • Politely and conversational let us know where you are going and when you plan on returning. This for safety reason, if you don’t return we need to know where and when to start looking for you

Last week I wrote about Moving a Student Back Home 

Tell me what items you put on your contract in the comments below.

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

7 Habits of very organized people

So you want to get organized?

Achieving order in your life doesn’t mean being perfect. That’s not realistic. Getting organized is not an event; it’s a process that happens over time. Like changing your eating or exercising habits, it sometimes involves behavioral changes and routines.

Perfectionism

Is being unrealistic by spending so much time on a task that it deprives other important tasks of sufficient time.

Excellence

Is doing the best job you can with the time and resources at your disposal.

What is organization? 

Being organized has less to do with the way an environment looks rather than how effectively it functions. If a person can find what they need when they need it, feels unencumbered in achieving his or her goals, and is happy in his or her space, then that person is well organized.

Myth #1 Organization is a born talent.

  • Organization is a skill. If the right resources or support are available it is easy to learn.

Myth #2: It’s impossible to stay organized.

  • Organizing is sustainable, if systems are built around the way the person thinks and designed to grow and adapt to new information.

The 7 Habits of Very Organized People

1. They have a place for everything

  • 25% of business documents are misplaced and will never be located so those documents must be recreated.They put things back

2. They put things back

  • Executives waste six weeks per year searching items

3. They write things down

  • From a master list of things to do determine the priorities for the next day.  This may include planning the most effect routine to use  to accomplish the tasksthe route driven to  see a client or considering  high and low energy cycles in the day and planning tasks accordingly

4. They don’t allow papers/ e-mail to pile up.

  • The average worker sends and receives over 190 messages each day.  Approximately 60 e-mails can be processed each hour.  Learn how to use e-mail effectively in order to limit the number of e-mails received and sent each day.

5. They don’t procrastinate

  • Procrastinating causes people to spend more time and energy on avoiding the task than completing it.  Once it is accomplished it is out of sight and out of mind.

6. They set goals and assign deadlines

  • Schedule a time for each task in the project to be complete, so deadlines can be met easily.

7. They only keep what they use and enjoy.

  • Clutter is usually the “extra” that is kept on hand just in case it is needed.  About 20% of items are used 80% of the time,  so 80% of items are hardly used at all.  Find the important 20% and let go of the unimportant 80%.

 

  1. They have a place for everything                                                   
  2. They put things back
  3. They write things down
  4. They don’t allow papers/e-mails to pile up.
  5. They don’t procrastinate
  6. They set goals and assign deadlines
  7. They only keep what they use and enjoy.

If you need help getting organized contact me for a virtual consultation 

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

 Twitter – https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

 http://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

 

Time management for children

Time to schedule, words on blank board hold by a young girl in the outdoor.

Scheduling helps everyone to understand what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed.

Weekly Agenda Page

 like to develop a weekly agenda page for each child in the family.  They have their own page posted on the refrigerator or bulletin board. 

Record all Weekly Activities – School, Home and Extra Curricular

At the beginning of each week, I record all their activities, music lessons, group activities, sports, etc.  I also record their special activities at school so they remember to bring library looks, physical education clothing, and musical instruments.  It also includes any chores that they have to do around the house.  If you prepare it on the computer, many things don’t change from week to week.

Record Additional Activities for the Week – Test, Projects, Parties

The children will add to the page, tests and projects that have been assigned at school.  Before they can play, watch TV or have screen time they have to complete everything on their list.  If you start this habit for them when they are young, it teaches them how to organize their time.  You will be helping to instill in them a habit that will last them a life time.

   

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Library books Physical education Class trip   violin
Practice piano Girl Guides Collect garbage Skating  Birthday Party at Susie’s
Set table Empty dishwasher


Paper or an App

I like paper because I can see everyone’s week at a glace without switching between screens and accounts.  But if you enjoy technology because you can access information from anywhere at anytime try Choice Works for scheduling with your children’s activities.  It allows you to select activities and list them by picture for non reading children or in words. 

A Students Guide to Effective Time Management

Thanks to Amy and Peyton for sending me this article for young adults entering college and university. This article has many helpful tips to help you be successful at school : A Students Guide to Effective Time Management 

Time management is about finding a system that works for you and your children to make life easier.  Please leave a comment about agendas, systems and apps that you use. 

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 

Twitter – @julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

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

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.

Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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

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.

Lessons

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.

Food

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

Charities

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

Here are a few gifts that are clutter free, personal and thoughtful but the ideas are endless.

 Join my  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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

Organize your desk to make the impression you are a leader

Do you want your desk to say you are a leader, hard worker, creative? Could your desk say that you are messy, boring, behind the times? Let your workspace be your business card.  You may have a physical office or a portable office, organize it to suit your needs so you can work efficiently, show your clients that you are knowledgeable and a leader in your field.

This mobile work station can help to keep your work organized

Technology

Use technology that helps you accomplish your business.  Having state of the art technology that you don’t understand and can’t use competently  or having outdated technology will give  your clients the wrong  impression .  Purchase the technology that is right for you and  your budget. Don’t fall into the trap of buying technology that is more powerful than you need to make a “good” impression. Clients may feel like your  are showing off. Show your clients that you are knowledgeable, prepared appropriately and ready to lead them through the task at hand.

Desk Photo /  Screen Saver

Use a photo that lets your clients learn something new about you. Make yourself memorable to your clients. Make sure it is in good taste, you want to make a professional impression on your potential clients.  Be authentic not boring. An interesting screen saver on your laptop will have the same effect.   

Business Cards

Have them close at hand so you can give them out at the appropriate time.  You don’t want people to take them because they feel obligated, you want them to have them because they are interested in you.  Make sure your business card is professionally designed.  If you want to show you are a leader don’t use the free sites.  Make sure they are readable, scanable, classic and interesting.   Good supplies show that you value quality and  do quality work.

Piles on Your Desk / Piles of Paper in your Bag

This relates to your organizing style.  Too many piles gives the impression you are behind in your work and may not able to help your clients in a timely manner.  The perfect office will make some clients feel uncomfortable because they will feel like they are not good enough to work with you.  Determine how you function best, piles, filing cabinets, trays, desktoppers.  Remember to keep loose papers neatly piled or stored in the way that works best for you. Lead by example, if you are prepared to work then others follow your work ethic making it easier to accomplish the job on time.

Lighting

When you enter your office is it dark and stark or bright and light? What does that say about you?  I don’t care, I don’t notice details or  I am open and I want you to be comfortable.  Adding lighting to your office can make the space more inviting, interesting and make it easier for clients to read information.  If you are dealing with an older population eyesight can be declining. Good lighting makes it easier for them to engage with the information.  The more ways you show your clients you understand their needs the more likely they are to trust that you are an expert.

Books

Keep up with popular books in your industry, even if you don’t find them interesting.   Your clients may ask you about them.  You want to be able to make a  comment that helps them to understand the value in the book or article. You can also display a few books to show your clients that you have diverse interests in intriguing  topics.  It shows them that you like to expand your knowledge.  Leaders develop many skills not just the ones directly related to their business. Skills and knowledge learned from others make you a better leader.

Pictures on the Wall

Displaying your certification and education reassures clients of your expertise.  But a wall full of outdated certificates may not give the best impression.  Have a couple that show your current accomplishments. You want your clients to know you value education and keeping current is important.

Try to Avoid

  1. Leaving your unfinished lunch on display
  2. Having your desk cluttered with staplers, pens, tape dispenser, post it notes, etc.  Keep them in your desk drawer or in a box.  Have your desk say that your a leader and expert.
  3. Silly objects, you are trying to show your clients that you are a leader not the funny one.

Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space   or follow me on Twitter @julieorganizer

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

 

 

 

Organize Your Work Schedule with an Interruption-Free Hour

Many people realize that multitasking is not the best way to get work completed.  However they experience many small interruptions in their day, e-mail, texting and phone calls that take away from concentrating on a project.

These small tasks, added together, use up your work day.

“Drive by” conversations, when  colleagues  stop by your desk or stop you in the hall and give you information also take time away from important tasks to be completed. As well the information may be forgotten or lost.

Being interrupted by colleagues stoppingto chat can cost you a lot of valuable time.

Some offices have designated a specific time of the day for working on projects. It is an interruption free time to concentrate on work during which employees can’t send or answer emails, texts, phone calls, attend meetings, etc.  Each office is different so the designated time maybe office wide or scheduled into each person’s work day, week, or month individually.  It is important that this time and format is respected by your colleagues and supported by management.  You maybe surprised how much you can get done in one hour with no interruptions and your full concentration on one task at a time.

Contact Julie at Mind over Clutter to come and speak at your office.

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

5 Myths about Being Organized

Myth 1 Organization is a born talent

Organization is a skill. If you have the right resources or support it is really quite easy. Some tasks at home can be simplified so they are not so over whelming and time consuming.  Here is one small example about meal planning.

  1. Pick your menu for the week
  2. From the menu make your shopping list
  3. Now you don’t need to decide what to make each morning or evening and you can take out of the freezer the items you need for later in the day.
  4. After you have done this for a number of weeks or months you can start recycling your plan.  This makes it even easier as you just pull up an already completed menu plan.

    Plan a menu then build your grocery shopping list.

    Plan a menu then build your grocery shopping list.

Myth 2 – Organized space is neat, tidy, minimal and boring.

Organized spaces should reflect your personality and lifestyle. If you can’t enjoy the space then you won’t take care of it.

Myth 3 –Getting organized is an overwhelming, hopeless chore

No matter what you’re organizing, no matter how daunting the task or how huge the backlog, getting organized boils down to developing a predictable process which you can reproduce. You follow your process and organize the current things you are using and then each time you’re organizing, work for a little time on the backlog.

Develop processes that work for you, can you can stay organized.

Develop processes that work for you, so you can stay organized.

Myth 4 -It’s impossible to stay organized

Organizing is sustainable, if your system is built around the way you think and designed to grow and adapt with you.  Here are some tips:

  1. If it only takes 30 seconds , do it right away if not add it to your to do list
  2. Most unorganized people don’t notice things are in the “wrong place.” Look and do a mental check to see if everything has been returned to its assigned space.
  3. Use spare minutes wisely.  Have a list of small tasks that can be completed quickly when you are waiting for meeting, appointments, trains, planes, children, elderly parents.
  4. Use your lists to record: things to do , to call, to e-mail and errands .  Check the list don’t just write it down.

Myth 5 Organizing is a non-productive use of your time.

You can’t afford to not be organized. A national survey conducted by Professional Organizers in Canada in 2010, indicates 91% of disorganized Canadians feel that disorganization negatively impacts their lives – with a large focus on feelings of stress, frustration and even failure. According to a study by a Boston marketing firm, the average American loses 55 minutes a day, roughly 12 weeks a year, looking for things they know they own but can’t find.  Newsweek, June 7, 2004.”

Leave me a comment about what is stopping you from becoming organized.

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