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Archive for family

Happy Father’s Day

The computer swallowed Grandpa,
Yes, honestly it’s true!
· He pressed ‘control and ‘enter’
· And disappeared from view.
·
· It devoured him completely,
· The thought just makes me squirm.
· He must have caught a virus
· Or been eaten by a worm.
·
· I’ve searched through the recycle bin
· And files of every kind;
· I’ve even used the Internet,
· But nothing did I find.
·
· In desperation, I asked Mr. Google
· My searches to refine.
· The reply from him was negative,
· Not a thing was found ‘online.’
·
· So, if inside your ‘Inbox,’
·· My Grandpa you should see,
· Please ‘Copy, Scan’ and ‘Paste’ him,
· And send him back to me.


··· This is a tribute to all the Grandmas & Grandpas, Nannas & Pops, who have been fearless and learned to use the Computer………
· They are the greatest!!!
·
We do not stop playing because we grow old;
We grow old because we stop playing

NEVER Be The First To Get Old!

Happy Mother’s Day

Listen to this Ted Talk with  MC Abdominal and his Mom about the rap song they wrote and performed together.  Moms aren’t prefect but they give you inspiration. Remember to remember your mom.

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

Moving Students home – Make Home Life Simple

Expectations

It is a big change in lifestyle when children 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

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

3 Tips to organize moving students back home easier?

Moving back for the summer?

Moving back for the summer?

It is that time of year when college and university students are moving back home for 4 months.  If you pack up their items in an organized way it will take some of the work out of moving them back to school in September.

1. Buy bins that stack inside each other when they are not in  use.

It will make them easy to store.   Most of us like to cut costs and use boxes to move students.  Since moving is a ongoing process for the next number of years buy some bins.  They will stack nicely in a truck/van and in a closet or storage area at home.  You will only have to get them once where as with boxes they are usually recycled and you need to find more every time. Bins  are  waterproof.

2.  Before the student begins packing, make a list of items they need at home.  

Make sure those items are packed together.  Label those bins, bedroom.  Other items that they only needed for school can be left in the bins  to be moved back to school in September.  Label them basement, closet where ever they will be kept.  You may need a bins or two labelled laundry.  Some items may need to be washed before they are stored away for the summer, bedding, blankets, winter coats etc. This makes unloading quick and easy.

3.  At home, designate an area where the bins will be stored over the summer.

Clean the area out before you go to pick up your students.  If everything is kept close together or in a limited number of areas when September arrives, you know where everything is.

A little planning can make the move quick and easy.  Next I will talk about how to making the living arrangement at home easy and enjoyable.

Moving to university

Don’t forget anything

What have you done to make moving your child back home easier?  Share a comment 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

3 Tips for Organizing During A Divorce

This is an excerpt from a great article by Autumn Leopold .  Click on the link below to see the entire article

1) Give people the appropriate time and space they need to sort through items. If they need to stop and share some memories with you, let them. Do not judge or share your opinion just keep the process moving forward.

2) Be mindful of the children in the home. If they need to see or discuss some of the items you may be donating or throwing away, sit and let them get their feelings out. They may have some memories tied to those items that you aren’t aware of.

3) After the homes are separated, parents should do their best to create a new routine for children as quickly as possible. Do something new and change things up around the house. Get different bedding or a few decorative items to create a new environment for the healing to begin.

Organizing During A Divorce.

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

 

11 Professional Organizers Share their Favourite Tips.

Professional Organizers in Canada

I asked my colleagues from the Professional Organizers in Canada Cyber Chapter to send me their favourite organizing tip.  This is what they said.

Patti Schneider from Time to Organize Coach™ in Huntsville, Ontario tells us :

  • Don’t organize anything without tossing, recycling and donating first!

April Miller owner of April Miller Professional Organizing in St John`s Newfoundland shared:

  • To ensure better maintenance: Organize according to what works for you, not according to someone else’s system.

Elana Kleinman owner of EK Organizing in Toronto, Ontario

  • For maintenance, do a 5-10 minute scan of your home before bed and return everything to its assigned home. This prevents end-of-week (month?) organizing marathons:)

Ruth Beattie-Ostrom of HOME, Hard Organizing Made Easy from Parry Sound, Ontario shared:

  • A fun tip to involve children to help maintain the house: set the timer for 15 min and everyone (incl mom) puts items back in their place.

Kym McFadden owns Space-Ese-Solutions Inc in Burlington, Ontario.

  • If you don’t use it, lose it. Recycle, donate or toss it in the garbage. I generally tell clients for clothing wear it within 6 months and all other items use it within 6-12 months or out it goes. Then go have fun! If it is close to bedtime read books together.

Nathalie Bureau owner of Nathalie Bureau L’Art de l’Organisation/Organized Living from Saint Boniface, Quebec tells us:

  • Using the space vertically is one of my best tips
  • Sort food packages in a drawer using hand made separators or dividers.

Adele Lapointe of Chaos to Clarity from Burlington, Ontario simply said:

  • Like with like

Karen McIntosh Murdock,Your Organized Friend in Edmonton, Alberta

  • If grieving clients are having trouble releasing sentimental belongings I recommend that we take photos of the items, write down the stories surrounding the item and make them into a photobook.

Bev Chandler owner of C & C Organizing  from Regina, Saskatchewan shared:

  • Keep the things you use the most, close at hand.

Adriana Romkes  from Dundas,Ontario tell us:

  • Less is more

My tip, Julie Stobbe owner of Mind over Clutter in Beamsville, Ontario

  • If you are having trouble letting go of things figure out if it is because you are clinging to past or fear the future.  Once you solve that mystery it will be easier to part with unused items.

Share your favourite organizing tip with me in the comment box.

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. 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.

10 Hacks to help Parents Organize Their Children’s Routines.

You have successfully accomplished back to school organizing but the day to day chores are not getting done and you are feeling overwhelmed.  Clutterbug has a great video, Organizing Hacks for Parents.  Organizing your home to help your children become more independent means that they are able to complete tasks without your help.  This will help daily routines and habits to be accomplished quickly leaving more time for family fun together.

Which hack worked best in your household?

Need some organizing help contact Mind over Clutter, julie@mindoverclutter, to help bring happiness to your home.

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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.

Is it Possible- Family and Running A Business?

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

Scheduling helps you to use your time in blocks and avoid scattering single tasks throughout the day leaving small segments of unproductive time.

My tip for moms running their businesses from home is about time management.

Running a business and organizing a household is a complex task.  Time management is the key to success and sanity.  Scheduling everything will help:

  • tasks to get completed,
  • commitments to be honoured
  • and make arriving ontime possible

However scheduling everything can be overwhelming initially.  Start by using only one calendar, paper or electronic, for all the activities in your schedule. Try a “clearing your mind” task.  This involves writing down everything you have to do.  Record one task per line on your paper or one  task per entry until you have everything recorded.  Include, exercise, work appointments, social commitments, bill payments, household tasks, children’s commitments, social media, doctor appointments, marketing, networking, trip to the park, birthday parties etc.  After you have them recorded, go back to the top of your list and write the date and time (schedule) when you will complete the task.  Put all of these dates on your calendar remember to include travel time when you schedule tasks.  As you look at your calendar you will be able to determine how much time you have each day, month and year available for the activities that are important to your life, family and business.  It will help to put time into perspective and help determine why you might be feeling:

  • overwhelmed
  • overworked
  • bored
  • tired
  • successful
  • energized
  • excited
  • frustrated

Once you start to schedule everything, it will become easier because many of the entries will be recurring each day, week, month or year.  They will be in your calendar and only new items will need to be add to your schedule.  This will provide a structure that you can rely on to help you with the complex task of running a business and organizing a household.

 

Road Trip

This great advise appeared in the P.O.S.T Professional Organizing Strategies and Tips newsletter.You can subscribe to this newsletter by going to Professional Organizers in Canada http://www.organizersincanada.com/.  POC POST Newsletter subscribe is on the right side column.

There’s something about summer, the lure of the open road and the promise of a change of scenery that makes us want to load up the car and just go some place. If there’s one time you really want to be organized, it’s when you’re travelling. Travelling requires more organization than we may possess in our daily lives, so cut the stress by following an organizing checklist for inside the car.

Planning & Prepping

  • Make sure your car is good condition –  oil checked, tires inspected and filled – test the air conditioning and wiper blades.
  • Driver’s licence, passports, insurance card, ownership and registration, and contact numbers for roadside assistance should be readily accessible. Make spare copies and leave with a travel companion.
  • Spare tire and jack – are in good shape and are easy to access. An emergency car tool kit should include an orange flag or pylon that you can use to signal for help if needed. Learn how to change a flat tire.
  • Spare set of keys – in case they get locked inside the car or drop out of your pocket. (Even if you have to call a locksmith to open the car, you’ll be able to drive when it’s unlocked.)
  • Plastic grocery bags for garbage – always!

    Back seat organizer

    Keep your backseat organized with a portable blue bin

  • These blue bins fit between two seats and can hold a lot of gear. Each young member of the family can have their own bin for a blanket, sweatshirt, hat, sunglasses, spare shoes. They can access anything that they need on their own and have a place to wrangle their souvenirs.
  • A file box with a labelled folder for each section of the road trip.

Maps

  • A traditional map or print custom maps for your journey at GoogleMaps or MapQuest Route Planner. CAA or AAA will also provide route maps.
  • (GPS) A Global Positioning System – some travellers say they wouldn’t leave home without one!
  • APPS are available on smartphones to find everything from restaurants, hotels, parks, other points of interest as well as weather reports and plenty of games, quizzes and puzzles for young ones.
  • Book the hotel ahead so you don’t have to find a place at the end of the day. Find hotels with generous cancellation policies.

In-Car Diversions

  • Music –  An iPod playlist or CD collection if you’re travelling through an area where radio signals might be sketchy.
  • Audio Books, DVDs and a laptop.
  • Spare batteries, charging cables and electricity power converter for electronics.
  • Healthy Snacks: fruit (apples can keep well for a long time), pretzels, granola bars, crackers and nuts, along with a few fun treats. A trip to the grocery store along the way can help you save money too, because the costs of dining out can add up.
  • Beverages: A soft-sided cooler packed with water bottles and low-sugar soft drinks.

Toiletries within easy reach

  • Tissues, paper towels, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer and a roll of toilet paper, in case the rest stop isn’t well-stocked.
  • Prescription medicines as well as basics like pain relievers, antacids and remedies for motion sickness.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • A first aid kit with antiseptic and band-aids for minor cuts, cortisone cream for insect bites, and bandages.

Clothing & Comfort

  • Wear comfortable clothing – no items which restrict or bind.
  • Wear shoes that are easy to take on and off.
  • A sweater or jacket over a T-shirt for instant respectability in public areas.
  • A small blanket if you disagree on the temperature setting within the car.
  • A pillow from home for an unfamiliar hotel bed.

Finally

  • Think twice before posting about your trip on social media if your house is currently empty!!
Residential Organizing Services for the Region of Niagara, Hamilton, Halton-Peel and Surrounding Area