Don’t let things or people distract you into procrastinating

You wake up in the morning motivated and ready to tackle whatever it is you’ve been procrastinating on. Or maybe you’re excited about a new project. You drink your coffee, get dressed, and get ready to get to work. Then something happens.

Maybe you open your email, or worse Facebook and get sucked into spending the next few hours on your computer. Or maybe a good friend calls and asks you to go shopping. Or you get an alert that your favorite TV show dropped on Netflix. It doesn’t matter what it is, the point is that there are people and things that will try to distract you into procrastinating. If you let them.

Strategy – plan the night before

There’s a simple strategy you can use to keep this from happening. It’s to make the important project you’ve been procrastinating on a priority and working on it first thing every morning. The whole process starts the night before. Before you call it a day, sit down and make a simple plan for what you want to get done the next day. Identify the three most important tasks. This will be things that start to move the needle. Maybe they are all focused on one main project, maybe it’s several things you know you should be getting done.

Write 3 things down

Write these three things down. They don’t have to be anything big. In fact, I find it helpful if they are all items I can take care of in an hour or less. When you get up in the morning or get to your office, look at your list and work on these three most important tasks before you do anything else. Don’t look at the email. Don’t start playing on your phone. If possible don’t even answer the phone or attend meetings before these three tasks are taken care of. Make them your number one priority.

Don’t leave it to the end of the day

This alone will make a huge difference in how your day goes, how productive you are, and it of course keeps you from procrastinating on those projects. Putting them off until the end of the day when you’re too tired to do anything is no longer an option. Stop procrastinating: strategize, write 3 tasks down, complete them first thing in the morning and beware of things that derail your plan. Click To Tweet

Pinpoint what caused you to procrastinate

Aside from that, simply being more aware of what things, devices, and people tempt you to procrastinate is helpful. When you find yourself putting something off, look back and see if you can pinpoint what caused it. Then take action towards preventing it from happening in the future.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, book a complimentary 30 minute coaching appointment to discuss how to increase your productivity and reduce your procrastination.

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Stop procrastinating: 7 Hacks to motivate yourself to make progress

Ready to stop procrastinating and make some progress? Try one of these seven simple hacks to motivate yourself into action. Give them each a try over the coming days and weeks and find the ones that make the biggest difference for you. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, come back to this list and employ one or several of these hacks. Your productivity will soar.

Tip #1: Pick Something Small 

One of the big reasons we procrastinate is because something feels overwhelming. There’s too much to do, so we choose to forget about it for a little while. It’s a coping mechanism, just not a very productive one. Instead, pick one thing, something small that you can do right now to move you in the right direction. This creates momentum and forces you to take action.

Tip #2: Set A Time And Go 

Another hack that works like a charm is to set a timer. Your phone has one built-in, as do most smart watches. Set it for fifteen or twenty minutes and chip away at a task you’ve been procrastinating on. This works just as well for decluttering your closet as it does for filling out those dreaded forms. If twenty minutes feels too long, start with ten and increase your time. Again, the goal is to start and do something.

Tip #3: Bribe Yourself 

There’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. Work on a home organizing project for an hour and then watch an episode of your favorite show. Or promise yourself a walk or dinner out when you finish decluttering the living room. Come up with something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day.

Tip #4: Find An Accountability Partner 

Find someone else who’s either trying to be more productive or beat procrastination themselves. Check in with each other daily. Share what you want to accomplish and what you will get done today. Knowing you have to report to someone else makes you take action. It’s also motivating to see the other person do the same. Try it.

Tip #5: Measure Your Progress 

When you’re working on something long-term like organizing your enitre home for example, it can be tempting to procrastinate because it doesn’t seem like you’re making much progress. Instead, prove to yourself that you are getting closer and closer by tracking or measuring it. Make a chart, use a spreadsheet, keep a journal. Find a way to measure your progress and use it to motivate yourself to keep going.

Tip #6: Remind Yourself Of Your Why

There’s a reason you’ve decided to do that thing you keep putting off. Think about why you want to get it done. Is it so you feel less overwhelmed? So you can run around with the kids? So you can find the clothes you actually want to wear? Find out your why. Write it down and then keep it front and center. Look at it every day before you get ready to get to work.

Tip #7: Just Start

I’ve saved the best for last. It’s the easiest but also the most powerful. Hear this. Just get started. That’s right, sometimes all you have to do is just get moving in the right direction. Do something. Do anything. Even if it’s something super small. You get over that initial hump and start to build some momentum.

Comment on the hack that works best for you.  

Need some help to get started? Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual appointment and let me help you get started on your mission. 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Stop procrastinating: Set a goal – Write it down – Get started

Getting over procrastination takes action. Of course that is easier said than done. Today I’m going to share a simple three-step process with you that will help you get started and get more done than you ever thought possible.

Set a goal

It all starts with a goal. You have to know what it is you want to accomplish. If you don’t know what your goal is, it’s hard to know what you should be doing first or what you should be doing right now to move in the right direction. So what do we do instead? Anything other than the work we know needs to get done.

Your goal is simply putting what you know you need to get done into words. A good goal has defined parameters and a set deadline. That doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s a simple goal we all strive to accomplish. We have to file our taxes by a specific date. You have a pretty good idea of what paperwork you need, what forms you need to fill out, and where you need to turn them in. You also know what your deadline is. In other words, you have a well-defined goal when it comes to filing your income taxes. And yes, I realized most of us still procrastinate when it comes to this particular task. That’s why the remaining steps are just as important as the first one. For now I want you to think about one thing you need to get done and turn it into a goal.

Write it down

Write it down. I don’t care if you find a random scrap of paper, use your favorite notebook, or type a note to yourself on your phone. The important part is that you put your goal into writing. This does two things. First of all, it helps you clarify what your goal is. You have to get pretty specific when you try to put what you want or need to do into words. Secondly, writing it down gives you something to look back on. It serves as a reminder and as a tool that you can use when you are tempted to procrastinate.

Set an appointment with yourself

Last but not least, it’s time to get started. That’s often the hardest part, isn’t it? You’re tempted to skip your workout until you lace up your shoes and get started. Once you’re off and running, it’s much easier to keep going. Once you have your goal written down, think about something you can do right now to move you in the right direction. Go do that. Then come back and do something else. Each morning, start by looking at your goal and challenge yourself to take action. Before you know it, you will have made some serious progress. And you’re starting to beat procrastination.Time to schedule, words on blank board hold by a young girl in the outdoor.A three-step process to stop procrastinating: set a goal, write it down, schedule time. You can do it Click To Tweet

Need help setting goals?  Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual appointment and let me help you get started. 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past

Are you a procrastinator? Many of us have the tendency to put things off and no matter how often we beat ourselves up over waiting to the last minute to pack for a move, declutter our home, or file our taxes and struggle to get it all done in time, we keep doing it again and again. If you’re ready to finally beat procrastination and get ahead of the game, you’re in the right place.

Forgiveness

Over the course of seven blog posts, I’m going to share my best tips and strategies for overcoming procrastination with you and we start today with – Forgiveness. I know it seems like a strange place to start, but it’s an important first step. Here is why forgiving yourself for procrastination should always be the first step.

There’s nothing you can do about the past except learn from it. Beating yourself up about not following the plan you made for reaching a goal does you no good. Quite the opposite actually. If you stress yourself out and engage in negative self-talk, you make it worse. Those feelings of anxiety will enforce your habit to procrastinate again the next time.

Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more. Click To Tweet

Try to do better

The next time you find yourself procrastinating, tell yourself that it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Say it out loud and then promise yourself to try to do better. Trying is the important keyword here. You’re working on mastering  new skills and changing a habit. That takes practice, time, and of course failing again and again. It’s part of the learning process.

You may feel frustrated at times about your lack of progress. It’s normal. If you can, tap into that frustration and use it to motivate you. Vow to try again and do better. Look at your mistakes. What caused you to procrastinate this time? Learn from it and you will start to do better.

Learn from your failings and start again

Maybe there’s a big task and you started strong, chipping away at it a little at a time. Then you missed a day and another. That’s okay. Not great, but okay. You did well for a while. It’s good practice and maybe this particular experience taught you that you can’t allow yourself to skip more than one day on an ongoing project.

There’s always something new to learn whenever we fail at something or slip back into a bad habit. At the very least we figure out that something isn’t working for us. Maybe you do better with three or less to-do’s per day. Maybe you need twenty-five so there’s always something to check off. You won’t know until you try.

Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more.

If you need help to get back on track with your project try a virtual organizing appointment. Virtual organizing allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home.

Book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing appointment. 

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 Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Can organizing your space impact your mental health?

My guest blogger this month is Bryan Styles. Bryan is a life coach and a freelance writer with a focus on improving the quality of peoples’ lives. He puts all of his efforts and energy into educating people about how to overcome hardships and live a happier life.

Dice with letters, forming words Mental Health.

We all live different lives, surrounded by different people, interacting with different things. Everything in our environment leaves a mark in the long run. While we can choose who we spend time with, not many people pay attention to the space they live in. It often becomes something we all just get used to, be it due to a lack of finances, or simply a lack of options. The importance of our living environment is immense, and even a few small changes can make a difference in our lives. With that in mind, I would like to give an answer to one question – can organizing your space impact your mental health?

How confined spaces affect our mental health?

I have had a lot of experience living in a cramped-up apartment. Just my girlfriend and me in a single room that was at the same time the living room, the bedroom, and the kitchen, and a small bathroom. At first, everything was fine. I always thought about how there are people who don’t have a roof over their heads or live in much worse conditions. I went with it.

However, after some time, I noticed that I was becoming more and more nervous. The apartment had to be cleaned and organized every day, which always took a lot of time, even though it was such a small space. If you skipped one day, things would start to pile up and soon we would be in a mess that caused even more tension. Living in that apartment felt more like work.

A silhouette of a person sitting and hugging their knees

As soon as you start decluttering your space, you will feel how the tension and stress leave your body, piece by piece.

Nevertheless, once we cleaned it up and organized our stuff, I felt like I was a free man. There was this rush of energy and good feelings of having some free space around you.

It is a fact that our environment sets our mood. Organizing your space will impact your mental health, in many good ways. However, the road from clutter to freedom is a difficult one, and it does require a bit of planning and effort.

A few tips on how to get rid of clutter

While I don’t want to turn this article into a “How to clean your apartment” guide, there are a few problems that must be addressed:

  • how to deal with a lack of space
  • what to do with all the stuff you need, but don’t have enough room for
  • how to not go crazy while decluttering your apartment

I want to give you a couple of productive tips and best practices I used a lot.

A small apartment will always be a small apartment

Living in a small apartment is not something you can fix by decluttering. Sure, you will get more space, but the apartment will still be small. It is important to understand this because you will have to make radical changes in order to avoid decluttering your place every few weeks.

The most crucial step in this process is to do extensive research on organizing small apartments or homes. Read articles, follow interior design blogs and vlogs, browse photos online, read interior design and staging magazines, and look for tips about handling the lack of space in your home.

The more research you do, you will start noticing a specific pattern. Living in a small apartment means getting rid of bulky items, and organizing your space in a minimalistic style.

That’s all fine, but I cannot throw my wardrobe to make more space!

Well, yes and no. When I talk about getting rid of bulky items, I understand that some things like closets, the bed, and the table have to stay inside. However, there is one thing you must realize.

You are storing everything in your apartment. Clothes for summer and winter, all of your electronic equipment, everything. While that is normal for a large home, it is virtually impossible to keep a small place organized while keeping everything.

My suggestion is to rent extra storage for bulky items outside of your home. You won’t pay much, but the space you will get will make a huge difference.

A silhouette of a troubled girl thinking about everyday activities

People are often overburdened with everything that happens in their lives. Having an organized living space will help remedy that issue.

Keep only the essential furniture and electronics, and move everything else to the unit. When it comes to clothes, you just need to have clean clothes for seven days. Move everything else to a storage unit, and you can pay a visit every week if you want to get new clothes.

Furthermore, if you have a rug, get rid of it. Sell it, donate it, throw it away, just move it out of the house. Cleaning the floor is much easier when there is nothing on it.

It is a bit of an odd strategy, but it works really well if you organize it properly. After some time, you will start enjoying the extra space, and you will start to notice the positive impact it has on both your physical and your mental health.

Do everything with a positive attitude

Making these radical changes will be a difficult decision for some people. We all have a tendency to like patterns in our lives, and making changes often disturbs us.

Nevertheless, there are ways to turn this decluttering process into a fun activity.

A happy woman on a beach.

Having a positive attitude is the most important part of living our lives.

First of all, you must start with a positive attitude. Have in mind that, once you are done, you will feel a lot better. Second, listen to some music while you work. Music is important for our bodies and our minds. Third, get some help. Ask a friend, a member of the family, or your significant other to help you.

Finally, if you don’t want to do the heavy lifting yourself, you can always hire a professional to help you get organized.

Can organizing your space impact your mental health – YES!

Once you get rid of all the clutter in your apartment, you will feel an instant change. You will have more energy and motivation for anything you want to do. Remember, things are what you make of them. It is all about a positive attitude. And once you have enough space for yourself, you will feel as if you can do anything you set your mind to!Our environment sets our mood. Organizing your space will impact your mental health, in many good ways. Click To Tweet

Virtual organizing allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home. https://mindoverclutter.ca/virtual-organizing-services/

Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment. 

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 Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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6 Organizing tips for laundry and your student- Bring it home or do it at school?

Success in doing laundry starts with packing the right clothes.When packing for college or university stay away from white clothes, they will turn grey and red clothes that will turn everything pink.  Leave them at home.Discuss who is responsible for doing laundry before your student leaves for university. Click To Tweet

1. Practice

 If your student has not done laundry at home use the last week or two before they leave to teach them how to use a washer, sort laundry, empty pockets and use a stain remover .

2. Money

Find out if the washers and dryers need coins or if money is put on a plastic swipe card.  Put some money on the card or send coins to get them started and into the habit of doing laundry.

3. Laundry ” Basket”

Provide a central collection area for their laundry in their room.  It might be on the back of a door or chair, a bin or bag in the closet. It needs to be portable so they can move it easily to the Laundromat which may be on another floor.

Collapsible Laundry Basket

Mesh laundry baskets let damp things dry until they are washed

cloth laundry bag

Put a laundry bag on the back of a door.

 

Backpack laundry bags make it easy to get everything to the laudromat.

Backpack laundry bags make it easy to get everything to the laudromat.

Plastic ventilated laundry basket.

A basket can be put in any convenient location and is sitting open easily to throw clothes in.

4. Supplies

Buy liquid laundry detergent because it dissolves quickly and comes in small bottles. It is better to have a supply of small bottles than a large one which is heavy and hard to take to the Laundromat.  Buy fabric sheets for the dryer as the student will probably never be there for the rinse cycle.

5. A place to hang damp clothes

Have a place to hang up clothes – a line, door hooks or a free-standing wire rack in their room for things that are damp or that they don’t want to put in the dryer.

wooden folding clothes drying rack

Use a rack to dry clothes and save money

Folding Clothes Drying Rack

Folding wooden or wire racks can be hidden away when they are not in use under the bed or in the closet.

Plastic over the door hooks

Over the door hooks come in many styles to fit the door and space.

 

over the door hooks are great for hanging up damp clothes

over the door hooks are great for hanging up damp clothes

6. Who does the laundry, parent, student, home or at school?

Decide if you will do their laundry when they come home on weekends. Set the policy early so there are no surprises.

Share your experience about laundry successes and failures.

POC Gold LeafJulie 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 – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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Moving a student to school – 5 bathroom organizing tips

Make everything as portable as possible.   It may have been a while since your child had to share a bathroom and/or not had a bathroom attached to their bedroom.  Here are some tips.

1. Have a basket for transporting all shower items from their room to the bathroom. The basket should have ventilation so it will dry out and not get moldy.

Make it portable

Make it portable

Use a well ventilated container

Use a well ventilated container

Shower organizer that hooks on the shower bar

Shower organizer that hooks on the shower bar

 

2. In some residence, the students need to supply toilet paper.  Extra supplies can be stored under the bed. Send all shower essentials shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving, etc in a convenient portable size.

Use small bottles in the shower store extras under the bed

Use under the bed storage for extra supplies

3.  Include over the door hooks that the student can use to hang their towel while showering so it is convenient and use in their room to hang the towel to dry.

Make everything as portable as possible so it is quick to pick up and go and easy to put away. Click To Tweet

4. Send a bathrobe.  They may not use one at home but might find it useful at residence.  Pack one that they will wear not one that has been around for a long time.

5. Send 2 bath sheets and 2 or 3 hand towels and 2 washcloths. Don’t send red towels that will turn a load of laundry pink, if they wash their towels.

Need help planning how to organize your dorm room? Book a 30 minute complimentary virtual appointment 

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 Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Moving a Student to School – 6 Closet Organizing Tips

Bring lots of hangers, you can never have enough.  It is a great way to make new friends by sharing the extra hangers.

Bring lots of hangers

Buy thin hangers because the closet space is limited

Use a second hanging bar to make more room in the closet

Use a second hanging bar to make more room in the closet

1. Store your clothes in the closet.  Double your hanging space by purchasing a lower hanging bar.  Add an extra shelf up high in the closet to store off-season items mitts, hats.

2. Under-bed storage containers are very helpful for sports equipment, food, laundry detergent, musical instruments, etc

3. Use vertical space to add more storage.  There are many types of carts with drawers which can be used to store school supplies, cosmetics, food etc.

4. Use the inside of the bedroom and closet doors to hang items.  Over-the-door rack and hook products accommodate coats, clothes, etc

Over the door hooks

Lots of hooks can be very useful

over door hooks

Use the space on the front and inside of the doors

5. There are many pocket style items that hang from the closet bar.  Buy one or a shelf for shoes to use to double the shoe space storage.

6. Make sure anything you buy is returnable because you won’t exactly what you need until you get there.

Need some help planning your move book  a 30 minute complimentary appointment to get help planning the space in your new room. 

 

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 Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Organizing your mind and space for the new school year

Large projects can be broken down into smaller sections and a little parts can be completed each day.3 Easy Steps

Back to school, I have been procrastinating on dealing with this topic for my blog.  Some of you may be feeling the same way about getting ready for school this year.  Here are 3 easy steps.

  • embrace the normal preparations you have always done,
  • plan for new priorities in your child’s routine to make them successful and then
  • plan for the new circumstances in your child’s learning situation.

You can’t plan for all circumstances, be ready to adjust.

New look this year

Your child’s school year may have a new look this year.

  • Homeschool
  • Unschool
  • Virtual school
  • In-classroom school
  • Forest/ outdoor school

Normal Preparations

Some things about going back to school don’t change.  Start by focusing on the things that are the same as other years to help your child enter this school year without worry. Focus on the differences later. Keeping school preparations “normal” gives your child a sense of security.

Get a few supplies

  • Keep your supplies to a minimum.  You want your child to have less in the classroom this year.  It will be easier for them to keep track of their own things.  Eight markers instead of 24 or 36, 12 pencil crayons. Wait and see what they need instead of buying everything they might need.
  • Use a backpack, pencil case and lunch bag that are vinyl.  It makes it easier to wipe off daily.  Yes daily when they arrive back home. These are good items to have for any form of school.  Your child will have a place to pack up their books at the end of the learning time.  Giving an end to school and onto to play.

Set up a station at home to do homework. 

  • Have a caddy with supplies, scissors, eraser, stapler, pens, pencils markers crayons etc.  Some children need a space in the middle of the household action.  The noise actually helps them to concentrate and not daydream.  The adult equivalent of working in a coffee shop.  Other children will need a quiet spot away from distractions.

portable caddy

Plan new priorities in your child’s day to make them successful

Whether your child is in school or learning at home, routines give a sense of stability to a child.  Being well-rested, energized and stress-free will make the day of learning fun, enjoyable and exciting in any situation. Don’t make it a big deal make it a new deal.

Start. with cleaning up their bedroom

  • After a summer of playing, sleepovers, and unstructured play their room may be a mess.  Put things back in order so your child has a space to go and relax after school.   Everyone needs a place to call their own to get away on their own.

Have good bedtime routines.

  • No matter what age your child, they need an expected time when they are to be in their room and be in bed.  Determine routines that help your child to relax and become calm.  It will be different for each child.  A bath or shower, reading, essential oils, planning for the next day etc.  Start the routine at the same time each night.

Morning routines

  • Expect your child to get up at the same time each day.  This will make going to bed at the expected time easier.  Have them make their bed.  It will give the room a feeling of calm when they need that space to go and relax. It is hard to relax in a room of chaos.  Get dressed.  Learning in pajamas was great fun last year.  This year, get up and get ready to take on the day.

Focus on good nutrition.

  • Have lots of water and breaks when needed.  Keep food available for quick snacks and keep sugary snacks up high out of eyesight.  Make lunches the night before or at breakfast time.  Use the lunch bag even if you are at home.  Having lunch ready to eat prevents grabbing a quick unhealthy option, it is ready to eat when you are and it is quick, easy and there is no mess to clean up. You can take it outside and have a picnic.

Make exercise or outdoor play essential at the end of the learning day

  • Children may be required to stay in their desks more this year. At home, they may be in front of screens for longer periods.  When they arrive home or finish learning, get them outside.  There may be complaints at first.  Make it fun, have a snack outside, read together, talk about your day, play hopscotch, tag, go for a walk, play cards or a board game. No matter what you think you need to get done, nature, fresh air and unstructured movement will help to relax your child.  A relaxed child is a happy child and easier to talk with, get to cooperate and hear a laugh.

Manage your child’s new learning circumstances

Now that the basic priorities, for any type of schooling are set up, think about how to  manage the new circumstances

Time to listen

Change is difficult.  Slow down and listen to their fears and concerns.  If you are fearful about the new circumstances they will pick up your concern.  Keep yourself calm. Don’t hide your concern, talk about it in a way the is age-appropriate for your child and decide together what you can do to make things less scary.  Worry doesn’t help to solve the problem, a plan does.

 

A day off occasionally?

Some children will be impacted more by all the new expectations.  They might need a day off.  Discuss how to make the new expectations easier to follow.  Think of it as a mental health day.

Reward the small accomplishments

Pointing out success encourages more success.   Embracing change, accepting it and conquering your fears is something to celebrate. Celebrate the big and small successes. You may celebrate finishing the day smiling, helping someone else, overcoming a fear, wearing a mask for a long time, creating a great story, setting the table, doing some exercise.  It can be anything.  Be kind to yourself and treat yourself with compassion.

What do you need for your child’s learning experience

Research what you need to help with your child’s learning situation.  Do you need: course materials. babysitting, a learning environment to meet your child’s needs, a weekly chat with the teacher, a play date with school friends. Think about how you can meet your child’s physical, emotional, social and educational needs. You may be able to figure out some solutions before the learning begins, but not everything. Be flexible and change as the situation requires.

Mother and child and after school homework

A schedule to help set learning expectations

Some children work best with a schedule.  It helps them to know what to expect.  Some children don’t do well with surprises.  You don’t need to set a very detailed schedule but a general one is helpful.  When will learning occur, independent, online, with a parent or at school?  When is unstructured time?  Don’t use it as a reward, everyone needs time to relax and rejuvenate.   What chores need to be completed? When will homework be done?  What time is bedtime?

Mask management /water bottle system

New this year are masks.  Have a place to put masks that need to be washed and a place to pick up clean masks.  Have a water bottle with the child’s name on it and wash it with hot soapy water each day.

A pickup routine – washing/ disinfecting hands

If you are picking up your child from school or daycare think about having a way to clean or sanitize their hands before they enter your vehicle.  I have a container of water with a lid in my car.  When I am doing working at a client’s house I wash with soap and water.  Some people prefer hand sanitizer or wipes. Place their backpacks in the back of the car until they can be sanitized when you arrive home with soap and water.  You may prefer to use disinfecting wipes to clean items when you pick the child up.

A great attitude

It is an adventure.  Enjoy it.  Think outside the box and develop solutions as problems arise.  Nothing is too big.  Break the problem into smaller parts and solve each part until there is no problem anymore. Make your child resilient.  It is the best lesson they can learn.

Accept change, move forward and see how you grow - isn't that what learning is all about Click To Tweet
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 Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

 

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Guide to merging two homes into one

My guest blogger this month is Jenna M. She is a stay-at-home mom who loves spending time online. She often explores social networks and writes blog posts on various topics such as cooking, home organization, moving house, etc.

Combining two households is not always easy – whatever the reason for this may be. Moving in with your partner, getting married, your colleague becoming a roommate – all of these bring different changes, both emotional and physical. Moving in together can be a big test for a love relationship, but also a test of how well you can get along with your new partner. Either way, merging two homes into one should be done with a proper plan and preparation, so you end up with a lovely home and a harmonious atmosphere. We’ve created a simple guide on making two households one, so you can be sure about what you can expect and how to deal with common challenges.

Communication is the key

As any other big step in life, moving in together should be discussed by both parties. It’s necessary to plan the whole moving process, including the look of your new home. Talk about the necessities like the working space, additional closet space, etc. Communication is the key to any successful project. By talking and agreeing on all the details, you will ensure a stress-free move and merge the two homes a lot faster and easier. Also, remember people often fight about the items in their homes. That’s why you should always keep in mind that these are just things, and very often, they are not worth fighting with your loved one.

When merging two homes into one, it’s all about communicating and accepting the changes – don’t fight over small details!

The first step of merging two homes into one – the selection of duplicates

Probably the hardest thing to do is to sort out double items in both homes and pick the favorites. As you won’t need duplicates, especially appliances and furniture, you will have to make a selection of items that will make the perfect home. To do this, you’ll have to make a list of the items both households have and decide which ones you’re going to keep. Here are some criteria you can consider:

  • style of the items – it’s natural that the styles of the two homes are different. So, once you decide on the style of the new home, see if the items match. Also, sometimes a fun mix-and-match can turn out to be amazing!
  • condition of your items – if you have two similar or identical items, you can keep the one that’s in a better condition or the one you bought more recently.
  • check if the item fits – measuring is another important part of merging two homes into one. Check if the items fit into the dedicated room, or if they need a smaller/bigger replacement.

Sometimes, if it’s too difficult to decide, buying a new item is the perfect solution. If you can’t decide which item is better to keep, maybe it’s fun to get rid of them both and go shopping for a new one together. And you can always sell old items at a garage sale or online and even make some money out of the merging process. However, if you still want to keep some items but can’t use them in your new home, storage can be a solution for excess furniture and other belongings you want to keep safe until you need them again.

Select all the duplicates you now have and decide together what you’re going to keep in the new household.

Merging two homes into one should be done with a proper plan and preparation, so you end up with a lovely home and a harmonious atmosphere. Click To Tweet

Preparing for the merge

There are a couple of things you need to do before the big move, whether you’re moving into a new home or welcoming a new roommate.

Decluttering

Removing unnecessary things has several benefits. Besides making more space, you can significantly save time and money if you’re moving. So, start getting rid of all the things you don’t need or use anymore, as well as outdated and damaged items.

 

Clutter is no good, so make sure you get rid of it before merging two homes into one.

Compare floor plans

If you’re both moving into a new house, it’s good to compare floor plans and measure where each piece of furniture will go. This way you can put the items in their place as soon as you move in, and avoid making an unnecessary mess all around the house. However, if you have trouble organizing your home to maximize the space, try contacting an organizing pro to help you out. This will help you have a fresh start with a functional home.

Label the boxes

If you’re both moving in on the same day, it’s good to know what’s inside each box so you can unpack much faster. Make sure you label the boxes with your name, but also the items in them. It will be much easier to sort the boxes out and find certain items if you need them quickly.

General tips for merging two homes into one

Even though this is a big and exciting change, many people feel stressed when moving in with someone and often tend to make the event even worse by holding on to certain rules or items. So, here are some tips on how to make merging two homes a happy occasion and stay positive during the process:

  • Be open-minded – since you will be sharing your living space now, be sure to stay open-minded about the new home. It will be different from your old home, and that’s okay.
  • Don’t hold on to small things – it’s okay to have certain rules about sharing the living space or not give up on some important items, but don’t make a big thing out of small décor items, for example. Be ready to compromise and accept some other solutions proposed by your new roommate.
  • Respect the other party – no matter how well you know each other, make sure you respect the preferences and decisions of your new roommate. Also, don’t express negative opinions too loudly, especially when talking about the family heirlooms of your partner. Even if the item doesn’t suit your taste, you need to respect other people’s family items that have been handed down.

Finally, merging two homes into one should be about compromise and mutual respect. We’re sure that everything can be solved with a proper conversation. And even if you don’t like something now, you might change your opinion after a while, or find a solution to the problem. Stay positive about the new life change and do everything you can to make this a memorable event!

If you need help planning your move book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment. https://mindoverclutter.as.me/virtualorganizingassessment

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 Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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