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Archive for Holidays season

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 julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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?

MindoverClutter.ca 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 julie@mindoverclutter.ca 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.

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

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.

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

 

What Should I do with Clothing I no Longer Need?

Clothes that are old and out of style are hard to donate so when you no longer want to have it in your closet make a plan so they can be loved by someone else.

1. If you have children sort their clothes at the start of each season and put the clothes that no longer fit in a box or bag.  You may find it easier to put clothes that now longer fit into the donation box or bag right after they come out of the dryer.  Make a connection with a family that has children a year or two younger than your children and give them the box of clothes at the beginning of each season.  This helps both families to know what clothes they have and what they need to buy and you don’t need to figure out where to donate them because they go to the same family every season.

2. There are many consignment stores that sell clothing.  You can find them on line.  Each store will have their own niche market.  Contact

Clothing can be sold through consignment stores

Clothing can be sold through consignment stores

them to see if they want high end clothing, teenage clothes, etc.

3. If you have unusual pieces of clothing like a nurses cape, old fashioned outfits or accessories take them to  your local little theatre group.  They may be able to use them in their productions.  It would help the theatre company to say money on their costumes.

Vintage and unusual items can be donated to theatres

Vintage and unusual items can be donated to theatres

4. Sometimes communities have special clothing drives.  You may find that formal wear can be donated to groups collecting clothing for proms.  In the late fall there maybe winter coat and boot drive for homeless street people.  Running shoes can be donated at some running stores and they donate them to organizations that send the shoes overseas.

5. Clothing can be donated to women’s and men’s shelters as well as thrift stores in your community.

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.   http://organizedassistant.com/?p=34727.

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 Clutter.ca 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 julie@mindoverclutter.ca to purchase your clutter free gift of time.

A clutter free gift of time

Give the gift of time

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