Back to school – making homework easy

Reading time: 3 minutes

No more arguments, plan the best time to do homework. 

Helping your child to be successful with their homework is about planning.  Plan a time when your child can concentrate and an adult is available to lend support to the task.  Some children will be able to do homework right after they finish school other children will need time to do some physical activity  before they can concentrate and yet other children will need to eat first.

Mother and child and after school homework

Have a quiet area near an adult . Children may need support from an adult at times to be successful

 

Plan the best space for doing homework 

You will need a spot that has limited distractions, minimize stimulation from video screens and phones and reduce loud conversations with other family members in the homework area.

Plan a schedule for completing large projects 

Large projects take more than one night to complete.  Help your child learn how to plan ahead.  Look at the week and weekend and see what time is available to work on the project.  Divide the project into smaller sections that can be completed a little at a time during the week and on the weekend.  At first it takes a lot of discipline from the parent and the child but as the family gets used to planning ahead your child will tell you that they need your help with some homework and the only night you are both home is Wednesday.  It will be great when they take over the time management of homework.

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

Teach your child management so they will have enough time to complete large projects.

Each child will be different, some will like quiet spaces and others will like to be around people. Some tasks will need large spaces and others will need hardly any space. Click To Tweet

Have a portable homework station that can move with you. 

Many families have shared custody of children between parents and some families are always on the move taking children to after school events where children need to do homework while they are waiting for siblings to finish an activity.

have supplies on hand that can be taken with you so your child can complete their homework on the move.

Help your child be able to complete their homework quickly

 

Help your child be prepared so they can complete their homework quickly

Have a portable homework station that can be taken anywhere

Taking into consideration all the variables, homework areas need to be portable.  Children need have a container with all the pens, pencils, markers, erasers, rulers, a stapler, tape, glue, paper, calculator etc. they need.  This container can be used in any room in the house allowing for flexibility.  Let your child organize the container since they know what they need.   This container can be put in the car and taken along to activities, babysitters, parent’s homes.  It is important that children have the supplies they need and learn to take care of them so they can get their work done.  If you choose to have one room or area for homework make sure to consult your child about what it should look like so they want to work in that area.

Share your tip for making homework an enjoyable experience.

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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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

Reading time:  2 minutes

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. Pick clothes that can survive a washer and dryer.  There won’t be much hand washing of clothes.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. If they bring their laundry home from school it is a good time to team them how to do it

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.  It is a good investment for both parents and students.

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 laundromat.

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.

 

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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Organizing your mind and space for the new school year

Reading time: 7 minutes
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

Continuing 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 done 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 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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

 

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ONEPWR Cordless Sprayer by Hoover

I always enjoy reviewing a product.  I was lucky to be contacted by Hoover and given a ONEPWR sprayer to use. It is an interesting new product, a handheld cordless electric sprayer.

Whenever I tell someone about this product the first question is, “Does it spray paint”? No, it is for keeping your home clean and safe.  Since Covid has become a part of our lives cleaning and disinfecting has become a larger part of our life too.  This lovely sprayer can replace your pump spray bottles.  You know the ones that make your hand cramp when you’re spraying shelving units, showers or any large surface area.

Assembly

It is easy to assemble and use.  Place the battery in the charger.  When it is charged slide it onto the sprayer. Put your favourite clean product in the container, hold the finger trigger and spray the surface you want to clean.

Safety

When you’re using the sprayer protect your eyes and nose by wearing a mask and eye protection.  You don’t want to get any cleaning spray blowing into your face from nearby vents, fans or windows.  It is especially important to wear protection when you’re outside using the sprayer. There are a few products you should not use in the ONEPWR sprayer, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, pine sol and pine-oil based solutions.

So many uses

This product is so versatile. It comes with a bottle of household cleaning solution.  You can use whatever cleaning product you prefer.  You no longer need to buy your favourite product in a spray bottle.  You can buy it in a larger economical size. The sprayer is not limited to cleaning.  You can use it to spray insecticides, fertilizers, fungicides and weed killers.  You can use it with water to mist plants, clean floors and the inside of your vehicle.  It is great to have in the kitchen.  Whenever you need to wipe something off, you spray and then dry the surface.  It is so much easier than running the tap, wringing out the cloth and wiping something down.  You might get more people involved in cleaning when it is this easy and fun. It is great for cleaning large surfaces like walls.  Think about your next move or after a renovation how easily you could clean all the walls. Don’t forget it is cordless.

Good for the environment

Using the ONEPWR sprayer replaces single-use wipes and spray bottles and the packaging it comes in. This reduces what is going into the landfill.  You can reduce the number of chemicals you use in your home by purchasing eco-friendly cleaning solutions.

The ONEPWR cordless sprayer is more convenient and eco-friendly than single-use spray bottles or wipes. #ad #Hoover Click To Tweet

Disadvantages

No product is perfect.  It is a little heavy with the battery and the liquid container filled.  It is still very manageable to hold and direct the spray where you want it to go.  Any time you have a product with a rechargeable battery you need to remember to charge the battery and have a place for the charger.  There will be those frustrating occasions when you have forgotten to take the battery off and charge it.    The ONEPWR sprayer needs more space to store it than 1 spray bottle.  But how many spray bottles do you have?

Value

This product costs approximately $240.oo CDN.  You will recover the purchase price quickly.  You will spend less on single use wipes.  You can purchase large size economically priced products. It will make cleaning so easy that you no longer need to pay someone to clean for you.  Perhaps you’ll keep the cleaning person and let them use the sprayer, lol.

I think I covered all the information about the Hoover ONEPWR Sprayer.  Tell me about your experience with this product in the comments.

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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

 

 

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Organizing a student’s move to university or college

Learning at college or university has a variety of meanings especially this year.  Some first-year students will be used to virtually learning and not be used to timetables and in-person classroom learning. More social interaction on-campus or off-campus may seem like a welcome change from their isolation of the last 18 months.  It may also be overwhelming.  Help organize your student’s move away from home by taking the right amount of stuff and organizing it in a way that suits their personality and new lifestyle.

Organize the right amount of stuff to take.

Panic may be starting to set in.  This is the time of year for back to school.  Some of you may be moving a student to a school close to home, some may have a long drive to the new school and others may have to fly.  Whether you may be able to make multiple trips to your student’s school or if you have one chance to get it right,  Anne Wynter’s    How to Cut College Clutter  shares many tips in this lovely blog post about:

  1. Clothes
  2. Documents
  3. Mini Kits
  4. Sentimental Items
Having an over abundance of possessions in your dorm room or apartment can contribute to poor time management and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed, Click To Tweet

Make your move a successful, low stress enjoyable event.

dorm room organizing

How much should I take?

Organize your employment

Once your student is settled at college they may need a job.  Finding suitable work may be easier than you think.  This article,  Ways to make money in college from Aaron Whitman of Careful Cents has many employment opportunities to suit any timetable.  Whether your student chooses to work a little or a lot any income helps to reduce the overall debt that they might incur at the end of their education. Plan ahead with your finances. In addition, balancing work and school also teaches time management skills.

There are many things your student needs to learn about moving to college or university.  Teach them the skills a little at a time.  Don’t overwhelm them.  Start with packing, arriving and setting up the space.  All teenagers can figure out how to get food. lol.

Now I’d like to hear from you.  What tip are you going to use from the post?  Or maybe I didn’t mention the thing that is most important in your family when someone moves out.  Let me know in the comments.

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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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Tips for getting organized during a move

August is that time of year for people moving to be settled before September when a lot of commitments restart after the summer.  It might be into a dorm room, across the country for a new job or a new home. My guest blogger is Sophia Perry from Arizona Moving Professionals.

Moving to a new home might be exciting, but the mere thought of getting ready for the move is seldom so. With a bunch of tasks on top of an already busy schedule, anyone would feel frazzled. Nevertheless, proper organization is a key to a successful household transfer. A sure way to keep on track with your relocation journey is by designing a detailed to-do checklist. Furthermore, there are a few more practical tips for getting organized during a move. These will benefit your effortless and untroubled relocation to your new home.

Make time your ally – prepare early

Once you cast the dice on your household moving, there is no reason to postpone preparations. Getting organized during a move is best with enough time on your hand. It is essential to get ready mindfully, without feeling rushed and pressured by the lack of time. Did you know that moving houses is one of the top 3 most stressful life events? However, allowing yourself sufficient time to arrange the relocation will significantly decrease stress and anxiety levels. And if you want to make the entire process a breeze, consider virtual organizing consultations. It is a cost-effective solution to set up an organizing system in place. Also, it will be helpful if you find yourself struggling with what to keep or don’t even know how to start organizing your items for the move.

Declutter and organize your current home

Regardless of whether you are moving within the greater Toronto area or beyond, you will need to sort out your possessions. With enough time to dedicate to this task, you will streamline the entire moving process. You can always ask for help with organizing your inventory and slash hassle.

Whether you have lived in your current home for over 20 years or less than a year, you probably have items that you rarely use or not at all. Thus, make a point to get rid of these. Moving them to your new abode will only create mess and clutter over time. And relocation is the perfect opportunity to declutter your stuff and keep only those items with real value in your life.

If you feel uneasy with tossing still usable items you don’t need, there are several ways to give them a new life. Your friends or relatives may appreciate a nice surprise gift. Or you can sell or donate things for worthy causes. Setting up an organized move in big part is sorting out your possessions. Hence, get on this task at the earliest, and sail smoothly to your new place come moving day.

Book your moving services with time to spare

Summertime is when most people change locations. And with the moving season in full swing, make sure you lock in your moving date as soon as possible. Finding good movers in Niagara can be challenging at any time, and let alone during the summer. Hence, enlist professional movers that know the area well as you sift through your belongings. An expert mover is instrumental in getting organized during a relocation. Thus, rely on professionals, and secure your swift transfer to a new home during the warm summer months.

Neat paperwork is vital for getting organized during a move

Every household move involves a lot of paperwork. To keep organized during the entire process of moving, get your papers in one place. All you need is a practical binder that you can have with you along with other essentials. To be well organized during your move, ensure you have easy access to all important documentation. Keep your moving company paperwork, such as order of services and bill of lading, neatly arranged. Besides, keep all of your personal and financial documents with you at all times.

Ask your mover for moving supplies 

With your inventory sorted, and important paperwork safely set aside, it is time to tackle the packing part. But before you embark on this mission, have your moving supplies ready. Instead of searching for suitable materials across Niagara, rely on the assistance of your mover. It is the easiest way to find all the materials you need. Like so, you will get a supply of quality packing materials that will not compromise the safety of your valued possessions. Besides, you will save lots of energy and effort looking for and gathering pieces from different places. Hence, talk to your mover to ensure your comfort and save yourself from another onerous moving-related task.

Have a sound packing plan

Once you have secured your moving supplies, it is time to start the packing party. Although the filtering of their household items is an arduous task for many, all will agree that packing is a drag. Unless you opt for professional help to see it through quickly, you will need a good packing strategy. First and foremost, do not put off the task for later. And, remember that you do not have to do it all in one day. Hence, motivate yourself to make progress in the course of a few days. Packing an entire household is certainly not easy, but the most important part is to start the job. So, create a timeline and follow it. Getting organized and keeping it up during a move is a challenge within itself. If you feel yourself lagging with the process, you can always reach out for some boost from your professional organizer.

Box in the essentials last

Preparing and packing on time is the safest way to stay on top of your move. However, essentials such as bathroom supplies, bed linen, and kitchen utensils should be packed last. You will need these and various other items until the last moment on your moving day. So, make sure you designate a couple of boxes to pack them last. These should also be your open-first boxes when you move into your new place. All the essentials will make your first couple of days more comfortable until you start unpacking and settling in. Getting organized during a move might seem like a tricky task. But, with the tips mentioned above, it is possible to streamline your project and make it a cinch

How far in advance of your moving day did you start packing? 

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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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5 tips to help you organize your email

Reading time: 10 minutes

In 2020 there were 306 billion emails sent and received each day worldwide. Experts generally agree that a person sends and receives 121 business emails each day. The best time to send an email is between 10-11 am.  The average professional spends 28% of the workday reading and answering email, according to a McKinsey analysis. For the average full-time worker in America, that amounts to a staggering 2.6 hours spent per day. Jan. 22, 2019

It is no wonder that you are so distracted by e-mail that you can’t get anything done? Here are 5 tips to help you manage your email communications.

1.  Turn off the audio reminder of e-mail arriving in your inbox so you won’t be distracted from the task you are trying to complete.

2. Set aside two or three specific times of the day to check your e-mail and respond to quick items with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  Schedule, in your agenda, longer e-mails to be answered when you have more time.

3.  Cut down on those 121 emails by reducing the number of lists and newsletters you subscribe to.  They are just like magazines that lie around waiting to be read and creating a feeling of stress in you.

4.  Keep your inbox as empty as possible by creating folders to store receipts, orders, invitations, information etc.  Search functions do work well for finding old emails, leaving them all in your inbox means you spend time re-reading emails.

5.  Don’t respond to e-mails from companies and people you don’t know.  Don’t respond to any e-mail asking for or giving you money.

The average professional spends 2.6 hours each day on approximately 120 emails. Click To Tweet

Share your best tip that helps you use email productively?

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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Manage Technology Before it Manages You

Reading Time – 5 minute 

In 2020 technology become a communication lifeline.  It was used for education, business, family communications, school and social events.  It became the most important method of communication and entertainment.  Zoom took over life.  Will this be a difficult habit to change? Do you want to reduce your reliance on technology?  Did technology get you the results you wanted for your life? The ideas and thoughts in this 2014 article by Harold Taylor still hold true for 2021.  How are you going to manage your technology going forward?

 

Who manges what

By Harold Taylor

Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He has published over 17 books and presented over 2000 seminars.

An online poll of over 1000 Canadian adults released last Saturday by Angus Reid/Vision Critical (Toronto Star, January 26, 2013) revealed that 90% of the respondents believed their smartphones made their lives more convenient. So convenient, evidently, that 30% of them went online before getting out of bed, 31% at the dinner table, 29% in the washroom and 42% before falling asleep at night,

Smartphones may be smart, but they lack intelligence. Why are we so willing to be at the beck and call of an idiot? The Internet leads anywhere, which for the undisciplined means nowhere. Why browse away the hours? Email, computer games and social media are endless, but our time is not. Why do we behave as though we will live forever?

Smartphones maybe smart, but lack intelligence. Harold Taylor Click To Tweet

Research shows that the Internet and digital technology can have a negative impact on our ability to learn, focus, pay attention, memorize and relate to others on a personal basis. It also gobbles up our time, encourages busyness and multitasking and stifles creativity.

The futures of our business, personal lives, and our nations do not depend on the development of technology, but on our ability to manage the technology we develop.

Technology is important, it can’t be avoided, you’re reading this blog, lol.

Comment on how will you change your use of technology? 

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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Have you applied the 80/20 rule to your life?

The 80/20 rule can be applied in many situations and states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.  It is also known as the Pareto Principle. The principle has been named after Vilfredo Pareto—an Italian economist—who, in 1895, noticed that about 80% of Italy’s land belonged to 20% of the country’s population.  Maciej Duszyński states in his article Pareto Principle & the 80/20 Rule, “Pareto’s principle is more of an observation than a full-fledged scientific theory. It is commonly noticeable in a variety of contexts—but it’s not applicable to each and every scenario. Plus, the numbers 80 and 20 should not be added up to 100. The fact it’s called the 80/20 rule is a simply a catchy, historical catchphrase.” As an organizer the 80/20 helps people to easily, subjectively analyze what they use the most, how they spend their time and how to manage their projects.

Possessions

Many times Professional Organizers will talk to clients about the 80/20 rule.  I will say, you use 20% of your stuff, 80% of the time.  This means most of your stuff (80%)  is not used very often.  Think about your clothing.  Do you have some outfits you wear a lot?  You love how they look, feel and you get a lot of compliments. If you apply the 80/20 rule you can let go of 80% of your clothing because you don’t wear them very often.  Think about your other possessions.  Do you have DVDs, books, jewelry, tools, toys and dishes filling your closets and cupboards?  Let go of the 80% that you almost never use.  Organize, enjoy and respect the 20% that you use frequently.

Time Management

Once you realize that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of the time and effort you spend on them, the importance of prioritizing becomes obvious. If you have a To-Do List, prioritize the top 2 items (20%) and complete them first. Although the other items, of less importance, might not be completed the ones you did complete will have a big impact (80%) on your accomplishments.   Don’t neglect the other tasks. Move on to doing them once you clear the big ones. You can delegate the other tasks. The 80/20 rule will help you to use your time efficiently.

Projects

It is important to understand when a project is finished.   The first 20% of the time you spend on a project will get you to 80% finished. Trying to get the final small amount completed perfectly may not be a good use of your time.  When you have 80% of your project perfected should you move on and publish it, institute the changes or present it for discussion?  I have a saying on my bulletin board that says, “good enough” + “published” is 1000 times more valuable than “perfect” + “not quite ready yet”.  I have seen weeks, months and years spent focusing on making the last 20% perfect.  It can be a stumbling block to your success if it allows you to procrastinate and lets you hide behind the fear of accomplishing a new challenge.  The feedback you receive on your project will be more valuable in perfecting your work than you spending more time on it.

Paper

An organizer, Linda Samuels reminded me that the 80/20 rule can help you with your filing.  She says, “Applying the rule to papers is a good one too. We only retrieve 20% of the papers we file. And since most people (other than organizers) dislike filing, it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Perhaps recycling rather than filing is a better option for that other 80%.”  You usually keep more paper than you need and that makes it difficult to find the 20% that is important in our files.   This is true for emails also.

Kevin Kruse states in his article in Forbes, “No matter what your situation, it’s important to remember that there are only so many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. Pareto can help you to see this is a good thing; otherwise, you’d be a slave to a never-ending list of things to do.”

What 20% of your effort gives you 80% of your satisfaction? 

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 and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Getting organized – should I do it myself?

Do you enjoy watching all the TV shows about people getting their homes and lives organized?  Some of those shows make it look so easy. So you start thinking about doing it yourself.

Car trunk full of bags of things to donate

Do it yourself?

The is the best answer if you are healthy and can lift and move things around your home to other space and out to your vehicle to take away to be donated. If you can schedule time for your project and are motivated to make your home work well for you, set the time up now to begin your project. There will be a lot of decisions to be made about what to keep and what to give away.  If making those types of decisions come quickly and easily you will be successful with organizing your home. You will need a system for sorting, parting with items and organizing things well.  If you have that plan or want to research how to get organized you are ready to start.

Need some instruction and guidance? 

If you enjoy the physical labour of working around your home and creating a space that suits your lifestyle and personality but you’re not sure of the steps try purchasing an online course.  They can give you the guidance you need when your not sure what comes next or how to set up zones in a room.  Once you learn the process you can repeat it until your entire home is organized. It is a cost-effective way to get your entire home organized.   Create an Organized Home is my online course with video instruction, worksheets and checklists providing you with step-by-step instruction.

Need some motivation and accountability?

You may have good intentions about organizing your home.  Getting started and continuing the work is the hard part of the job for you. Make sure to book appointments in your schedule to do some organizing work.  The appointments may be shorter ones every day or longer ones once a week.  Be consistent, working daily or weekly so you will see progress and that will motivate you to keep going.  Find an accountability partner.  That is someone you tell about your project, when you will be working on organizing your home and exactly what you will do that day.  They will contact you to see if you did the work.   Try working virtually with a Professional Organizer.  They can help you with the initial planning, you meet with them to discuss how the project is moving forward and if you are stuck, together you can come up with solutions.  They will keep you motivated and accountable.  Here are the virtual services I offer.

Need some help letting go of things?

Do you find it difficult to decide what to let go of and pass on to other people to use and enjoy? You may be very sentimental and want to keep everything.  Try thinking about keeping only the best of the best instead of everything.  If you have the best quilt, the best teacup, the best photos in one album, the best painting you will still have all the memories and less possession to clean, pack, move or display.  Other people will be able to enjoy using the items.  It is important to remember that not everything that comes into your life is meant to stay forever. Develop some questions you can ask yourself to help you decide if you are going to keep something or let it go. Decide if you need to touch an item one last time to be able to let it go or if holding and touching the item makes you want to keep it. In this second case, you may need a friend to help you.  If you’re having trouble letting go of things from your past and moving forward I have a 9 week one on one coaching program.

 

Need some company?

Do you really dislike working alone?  Do you like having someone to discuss things with?  Ask a friend to help you.  Put on some motivating music and make it fun.  Make sure you know what you want to do so you can tell your friend what to do.  Have a plan. You want to make good use of the time and not let it become a conversation, coffee or consoling time.   Working with a Professional Organizer is a great way to have help with your project.  Two people working at it will get it done twice as fast.

Here are the in-person professional organizing services I offer.POC Gold Leaf Member

Need some help maintaining your organization?

Do you have a beautifully organized home and bit by bit the place starts to become messy again?  There may be 2 reasons.  First, you may need to adapt your plan so it can work better.  Wherever the piles are forming it is a sign that the place you have chosen to store those items is too far away or too hard to access.  Try storing those items in a new place so it is easy to get them out and put them away. The second reason for the mess developing is you need a maintenance schedule.  Each evening take 15 minutes to put things away and get ready for the next day.  Once each week use an hour to make sure your system is working, everyone is putting things away and declutter some items you may not need. As time goes on you may find small tasks and situations occur that you need help developing a solution for.  Sign up for my Laser Coaching Program. They are quick 15-minute appointments to discuss one (at a time) specific organizing dilemma and decide on a solution to implement.

Everyone has different organizing skills. No matter what part of getting organized is a stumbling block for you there are resources to help. Click To Tweet   Let me know in the comments what is the hardest part of getting or staying organized for you.

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 and office. She guides and supports your to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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