9 ways to organize a vacation in 2021, enjoy them all

Reading Time 10 minutes

2020/21 have been unusual years. You may have been working less and feel like you don’t need a vacation.  Even though you were working less you weren’t on vacation.  You may have been working harder.  A vacation is a time to step away from all the concerns of your job, in an office, in a home office and tasks in your home.  This break from normal routines and responsibilities lets you rejuvenate and have more energy in the future. Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP says in The Importance of Taking a Vacation,  “A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. The bottom line is, taking time away from the stresses of work and daily life can improve your health, motivation, relationships, job performance, and perspective and give you the break you need to return to your lives and jobs refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes. ”

Now you know why you deserve one here are some styles of vacations to plan in 2021.

A vacation from your computer. 

laptop and 75" monitor screen

Most of your work is on your computer.  Close it and put it away.  Pretending to be on a vacation by looking at your computer less frequently is not a break from work.  Put an autoreply message on your email explaining when you will respond to emails.

A vacation from your normal routines

A woemen wearing white pants and blue shirt holding a blue cleaning cloth and spray bottle

A stay at home vacation might be the perfect solution for you this year.  Take time to plan it. “Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip!” Don’t miss out on the planning.  Change your normal routines, bedtime, getting up in the morning, meal times, activities.  Stay up later, get up later, have breakfast in bed, eat out, order in, go for walks, swims, rent a bike, sit in your backyard/balcony, read.  Think of all the things you enjoy doing and make a plan for each day of your vacation.   Fill it with things that you love doing,  want to try for the first time and that are not part of your normal routines. Here is an article that has 100 activities for kids.  

A vacation from your town/city

You may not want to stay overnight in hotels.  You can still plan a vacation outside of your city limits.  There are many communities that surround where you live.  Plan day trips to see local sites and visit markets, parks and walking trails.  Trying googling 5 free things to do in ……. to get ideas of activities and sites to see.

A vacation from loneliness

women isting on a chair with her knees up to her chest with a cup of coffee

During Covid19 there were times when you needed to stay home.  You may have gotten used to doing your own thing.  We are social beings and need to interact with others.  Plan on meeting with someone each day of your vacation.  Plan a social distancing picnic.  Each of you brings your own food and meet at a lovely spot to talk.  If talking is not your strong suit, meet up with a friend and play a game.  It can be a board game, frisbee, throw a ball or try kubb.

A vacation to try new activities 

There nothing better about a vacation than doing something new.  If you can’t travel somewhere new do something new.  Take a week of lessons and learn how to paddleboard, sew, bike, play an instrument, paint etc.  Treat yourself to a new spa treatment every day. Eat at restaurants you’ve never visited before.  Public golf courses have lovely patios that overlook beautiful green spaces.  Try camping.  Start in your own backyard and then explore other campsites.

A vacation to support your country

The country you live in has a lot to offer.  Too often we don’t appreciate what is right in front of us.  Use your vacation to help local businesses and the tourist industry. Whether you want to travel far or close to home, book a hotel or resort and spend your vacation dollars helping to stimulate the economy.  Over many years I have visited all the provinces and 2 of the 3 territories in Canada.  I am proud to tell people of the lovely places I have seen, the great people I have met, the fun experiences and delicious food.

A vacation to support your mental wellness. 

We all need a break from the stress of work and the uncertainty of the future.  Take time to focus on what you need. Plan your vacation to be only in the present.  It may be a stay at home or an away from home location. Enjoy what is around you, interact with people who encourage you, experience things that refresh you.  You may want to try meditation, yoga or exercise.  Take time to try new healthy foods and recipes.  Experience nature.  Plan each day with activities that will renew you so you can handle what comes next.

A vacation to be with family

man and woman holding hands together with boy and girl looking at green trees during day

During Covid19 some of you may be feeling like you need a vacation away from family.  That is ok too. Communication and interactions with family members may have been strained over the last couple of months.  Take a break, laugh together, do new things, go somewhere unexpected.  Together, plan a vacation.  You may decide that each member of the family plans one day and you all do it.  Each member may get to pick one activity they want to do and you combine all the suggestions together.  Take the pressure off the person who usually needs to make all the plans. Use the time to reset relationships, build new respect for each other and have fun.  I have learned when doing family vacations it is really important to plan into each day a time when everyone does their own thing for a while.  Alone time is just as important as together time during a vacation.

Plan a short vacation

Some places still have restrictions on where you can travel.  Plan a number of shorter vacations.  Here are some tips on how to pack light.

The trick to packing for a short trip is to take items that can be used in more than one way.  Take a large bag or backpack with you for items you want handy while you are in transit. You can use that bag for shopping, hiking or at the beach.  Pack a small handbag in your carry-on suitcase to use after you arrive, in the evening and site seeing.  Take one neutral coloured skirt or pants to wear each evening and pack tops that can be worn in the evening and then more casually with shorts the next day. This eliminates separate evening and daytime apparel for a short trip. Sports clothing can take up a lot of space.  For running, hiking biking take clothes that can be hand washed reducing the amount you need to bring.  Although having a wide variety of swimwear may be fun pack 2 outfits that you can mix and match to make 4.  Reduce the number of jackets you take by wearing layers, pack a long-sleeved shirt that you can wear alone or over a t-shirt in case it is cool or you need to cover up from the sun. You will need a sweater/lightweight jacket for the evening and a windbreaker for the day.  Combine the 3 layers to help you stay, cool, warm or dry. Having a colour scheme so all of your clothes go together well gives you lots of outfits to mix and match. While you are in transit wear the shoes that take up the most space and pack the ones that need less space in your carry-on suitcase.  The last thing to do is make a list of what you packed so the next time you go on a short trip the packing is even easier.

Take time for a vacation and let me know what you did to refresh so you will be better able to handle what comes next. 

If you want to talk over your vacation plans,  book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing appointment. It allows me to support you by providing planning and coaching while both remaining safely at home. 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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7 Tips for keeping your vehicle organized

Reading time 5 minutes

We are looking forward to using our vehicles more and travelling again. Vehicles are used as mobile offices, restaurants, entertainment centers, locker rooms and homework stations.  Keeping a vehicle clean can be easy.  Here are 7 tips to help you organize your vehicle.

Garbage Bag

1. Have a plastic garbage bag in the front and back seats of your vehicle.  It can be hooked on the headrest or armrest.  Make sure all garbage is put in the bag and not all over the floor.  When the bag gets full unhook it and put it in your garbage can on the way into the house.  Keep a few extra in the vehicle.

A plastic garbage bag can be hooked on armrests.

A plastic garbage bag can be hooked on armrests.

Place a garbage bag in the back seat by hanging it over the head rest.

Place a garbage bag in the back seat by hanging it over the head rest.

A garbage bag can be anywhere in the car, just make sure it is used.

A garbage bag can be anywhere in the car, just make sure it is used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a backpack ready

2. If you have a young child keep a backpack ready at the door to take with you in the car.  Fill it with things your child can use to entertain themselves.  When you arrive at home put everything back in the backpack and bring it into the home.  This prevents toys, papers and video games from being left all over the vehicle. It also prevents things from being damaged by being left in a very hot vehicle.

Use your cupholders for temporary storage

3. Cup holders are a great invention.  Put a clean tall cup in the holder and use it to hold pens, pencil crayons, small toys, notes, papers, snacks. It will help to keep items confined to a space and prevent them from being lost in the vehicle.

Organize your change to make it easy to get into your hand or to take out of the car.

Use a cup for your change. it will be easier to retrieve your change . Keep the cup in your cup holder.

Organize your snack in you cup holder

Bring snacks from home and keep them in your cup holder

Organize children's toys in cupholders

Use a cup holder for children’s toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A portable office 

4. If you use your car for an office try using a bin, box, bag to contain all your supplies.  There are a number of portable office organizers available or make one that is personalized for your situation.

use any container and make a car office organizer

Customize your own portable office for your specific needs

Office organizer for the front seat of the vehicle

This organizer keeps the seat clear for items while organizing your office supplies

Portable office organizer for the car

This office organizer attaches to the seat so it won’t end up on the floor of your vehicle

This is a portable office that can easily be taken with you to the car, meetings, library or hockey arena

This is a portable office that can easily be taken with you to the car, meetings, library or hockey arena

This mobile work station can help to keep your work organized

This mobile work station can help to keep your work organized

 

You spend a lot of time in your vehicle. Keep it a safe and healthy place free from flying objects and germs. Click To TweetClean up messes quickly – people and the vehicle

5 . Keep disposable wet wipes in the glove compartment for quick clean-ups. I have a small container of water, soap and a cloth for washing hands and faces. I keep it in a small box so it won’t roll around the van. I bring it in and change the water and put it back the next time I go to the van.  Keep a roll of paper towels handy.  You never know when they will come in handy for bigger clean-ups.  If you have a mess in the vehicle clean it up right away.  You have the products with you so it is an easy job. Always take everything out of the vehicle when you arrive home.  Use the car door pockets and seatback pockets for items that permanently stay in the car.   If you start with a clean vehicle on every trip it is easier to keep it clean.

 

Prevent messy build up in your car.

Take everything out of the car each time you arrive at home.

Keep disposable wet wipes for quick clean ups of spilled drinks, and dirty hands.

Keep disposable wet wipes for quick clean ups of spilled drinks, and dirty hands.

 

Cleaning up after every trip for a few minutes prevents needing lots of time to clean your vehicle later.

Be ready to jump in your car and go and enjoy your trip, short or long

Keep your cargo area under control

6. It is easy to put things in the back or trunk and arrive home and rush into the home.  If you don’t take the things out then when you add more it becomes fuller and fuller.  There are certain things that live in the cargo space.  Find a home for them.  A box, crate, a built-in storage area, a bag hooked to the side with a 3M hook, under the bottom by the space tire.  Make sure the other items are stored back in their proper place in the garage, basement or home.

Seasonal storage “locker”

7. Sometimes the cargo area is used as a seasonal storage “locker” because there isn’t an easy place to store and access sporting equipment.  Some situations are hockey bags, golf clubs, soccer equipment and water sports.  When the season is over clear out the gear.  Wash it, clean it, dry it and store it away until next year.  Leaving wet equipment in your vehicle year-round will cause it to deteriorate and get mouldy.

I think I covered most problems in your vehicle, garbage, toys, paperwork, messes and cargo areas.  What did I miss?  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 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. 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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Nesting or hoarding? How to offer help.

Reading Tim: 5 minutes

We no longer call it hoarding or call a person a hoarder.  Now we refer to it as hoarding disorder and a person with a hoarding disorder.  There is much more respect for the journey being travelled by the person with a hoarding disorder.

Much is still not completely understood about hoarding disorder.  Is it genetic, is it learned behaviour, is it caused by a mental wellness issue that triggers it?  Is it a combination of all of these?

Making Peace with the Things in Your Life

In Making Peace with the Things in Your by Cindy Glovinsky, she writes about the internal battles of guilt and shame and by making peace with those a person can make peace with their things. She talks about figuring out what is going on in the person’s life so they can figure why they are doing what they are doing. Part I  talks about assumptions, Part II looks at habits and feelings, Part III describes possible causes of dealing with things and solutions and Part IV looks at ways to detach oneself from automatic emotional responses that perpetuate cycles of clutter.

Hoarding disorder is a complex situation involving learning how to change automatic responses that perpetuate clutter cycles. Click To Tweet

Cluttered Pearls The Stigma of Hoarding

This 2013 article takes a close look at the many different types of behaviours involved in hoarding.  The information is still true today. I hope you enjoy  this perspective written by  Jean Oliver  http://www.nexusnewspaper.com/2013/01/24/cluttered-pearls-the-stigma-of-hoarding/

 

Stigma of Hoarding

Hoarding Scale 

The Institute of Challenging Disorganization is a resource for many different types of organizational problems including hoarding disorder. They developed the ICD® Clutter-Hoarding Scale® that is based on five levels of clutter. 

Clutter Image Rating 

The Clutter Image Rating scale (with 9 levels/photos)  was created by Dr. Randy Frost and Dr. Gail Steketee. They are experts in the field of hoarding.  Their books are a good resource.


Offering Help 

A lot of times a friend or family member will offer help. Too often the person thinks it would be better for the friend with hoarding disorder to have a less cluttered space.  The help is usually offered in a well-meaning manner.  If the person with the hoarding disorder is not ready to change, progress will not be made or if some is made it will not be a lasting change. Talk to them about what they want and need.  It may be to join a group for peer support in conquering their hoarding habits, working with a therapist or working with a Professional Organizer.  The journey of changing habits and conquering shame is long but worth the time, energy and support you can give them.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments about your hoarding disorder journey.

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. 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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Organizing your smaller space to feel like a bigger space

Last week I reviewed a book that helps you to downsize the items in your home.  Once your home is decluttered and organized a few design elements can make your room feel more spacious.  It is important to organize your home so it suits your personality and lifestyle.  As design is is not my strength, I invited a guest blogger, Downtown Apartment Company,  to share a design graphic to help you with making your smaller space feel larger.

There aren’t many of us that live in a place that is as big as we’d like. We have to work with what we got. Luckily, there are ways to make your place feel bigger without adding any square footage. Coping with a smaller living space can be done with a few easy steps.

Using elements of design and psychology, you too can make your small place feel like a big space!

No matter the size, there are a lot of simple yet effective techniques and tricks you can do to really open up your place and make it feel roomier. An example is altering the colours, textures and patterns of your home. Changing the overall design is a fundamental way to affect how people will feel in it.

Using a monochromatic colour palette, for example, will make a room feel more airy and open, compared to a room with loads of contrast. Accenting your room with light fabric curtains and furniture with long, thin legs will also add to the impression that your place is bigger than it really is. Decorating your walls with striped elements will guide the eye horizontally or vertically to creating the feeling of additional height or width, as well.

Accepting your small space doesn’t have to mean feeling like you’re always trapped in a phone booth. Mastering the design elements below will help you and others feel less claustrophobic and more like the place you’ve always dreamed of.

Making Your Small Space Feel Bigger from Downtown Apartment Company

Have I missed anything?  In the comments let me know how you make a space feel larger. 

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. 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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Scaling down, Living Large in a smaller space

Scaling down

Great ideas for downsizing, moving or moving a family member

This book written by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker is a complete guide to help you declutter and move. It has practical solutions for downsizing your clothing, collections and dealing with sentimental items.

It also addresses how to move a family member to a supervised living facility. The authors remind you that if your parent can make decisions that your purpose is to help them move happily from a large space to a smaller space not make decisions for them.

It suggests that you write a book about your life, put it down in black and white. A number of different ways of recording events about your life are provided.

It has a chapter on the step-by-step process of moving into your new home. They examine the psychology of making the scaling down change.

It is a great resource to have. Who knows when you will need it.

If you need help preparing for a downsizing move book a virtual organizing appointment with me.  

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. 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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11 Tips for organizing your lists

paper or electronic To Do lists?

Do you spend valuable time making a to-do list and it doesn’t seem to help you get anything done? Does that list keep getting longer and longer? There are many ways to keep track of tasks you need to complete.  Bullet Journaling, apps, notebooks, lists or recording a list on your phone.  No matter how you record your list here are some tips to help you become more productive.

11 To-Do List Tips 

These suggestions are from “Don’t Agonize, Organize Your Office” by Diane A. Hatcher.

  1. Make an Action list, Today’s Goals list or give it a title that motivates you.
  2. Make a tomorrow’s list before you finish your day and throw out the old list and start fresh daily.
  3. Lists help you to focus and this increases productivity.
  4. For lists or calendars to help you be more productive you need to use them consistently.
  5. Write down anything on your list you don’t want to forget and cross off items as they are completed to help you achieve a sense of satisfaction.
  6. If a list is longer than 10 items focus on priorities and meeting due dates.
  7. Record individual tasks on your list, not projects.
  8. Look at the list often and keep it visible in the same location every day.
  9. Double the amount of time you think each task will take to prevent over scheduling.
  10. Use one calendar to record all your appointments due dates and deadlines. Refer to the calendar when you prepare the action list for the next day.
  11. Prioritize by time blocks. Choose tasks off your list that can be accomplished in the time you have at hand. Also, consider your energy level when you are selecting the task to complete.

Kanban System

digite.com

What happens if your list has more than 10 items and you’re afraid you will forget something if it is not on the list. There is a Japanese system called kanban.  This is a good system for visual people and for projects.

  • Place your list of items you don’t want to forget about in the To-Do column
  • You pick 3 tasks you will be working on at any one time and move them to the doing column.
  • You can only add a task from the To-Do column to the Doing column when you complete one.
  • Using Post-its on a whiteboard, arrange in columns:  “To-Do”,  “Doing”,   “Done”.  There should never be more than three notes in “Doing”.
  • You can add a “Waiting” column if you are waiting on other people to send you information.

Let me give you an example.  During the pandemic when my area has a stay at home order, lockdown, I work on my new online course, Create an Organized Home.  At the beginning of the project, all of these items were in the To-Do column,  I picked items to work on and move them to the Doing column and as they are completed they are moved to the Done column.  The nice thing about the Done column is I can check and see if I missed something and put it on my To-Do Column.

To-Do                               Doing                             Done

Update my website         Proofread the material      Learn to write a course

Market my course           Check settings               Write the course

Add SEO to each page                                              Find the best software

Determine price                                                        Put course on software

Release course                                                         Make videos

Your To-Do column is a holding area for all those things you need to get done not just related to one project as in my example. The Doing column are the high priority items to work on that day.  The Done column lets you know you are meeting your deadlines and gives you a sense of accomplishment.  Using this system you don’t need to keep rewriting your list.  Move the post-it note from one column to the next.

However you structure your list you can only do a small number of tasks at once. Whether it is a list on paper, a digital list, journal or post-it notes,  set your priorities for the day, work on them first so you don’t get distracted by less important tasks and refer to your list frequently.

Let me know in the comments how you structure your To-Do lists. 

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. 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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Organizing your storage unit for frequent access

This week my guest blogger is Sophia Perry from Arizona Moving Professionals

There comes a point when any household or a business needs additional storage space. Many people use it during a move or for decluttering and organizing purposes. While storage units are often a necessity when running a business, in recent times, they are becoming increasingly popular for people who recognize the importance of having a tidy living space. Hoarding items can lead to feeling snowed under and consequently anxious and frustrated. Hence, storage units are a practical solution. However, if you intend to use storage and free up some work or living space, be aware that, without a mindful approach, you’re risking turning your unit into the ‘land of lost and found’. Therefore, you need a good strategy for organizing your storage unit for frequent access to optimize the experience of your stressless, clutter-free lifestyle.

It starts with setting your priorities

Storage units are a multifaceted solution for storing a variety of items. Apart from helping with organizing a business inventory or a loved one’s belongings and heirlooms, people also use storage units to keep their cars and vehicles during the off-season, such as boats or motorcycles. If you’re moving, planning a home remodelling, or have a knack for interior design and decorating, a storage space is a guaranteed way to simplify your life. First and foremost, it’s important to consider the intent and purpose of the unit you’re using or planning to use. Click To Tweet

Create a mindful picture, and even better, an inventory list, of what type of items you plan to store. This will help you adopt a more organized approach towards your storage solution from the get-go. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself piling up unnecessary odds and ends and just spreading the enchanted hoarding circle outside your home or office. A storage unit is a fantastic way to declutter and harmonize your space or offset the stress of a move, as long as you prioritize keeping your items organized and easily accessible.

To organize your storage unit with success, create a master inventory list and set priorities regarding the importance of your items.

A productivity planner next to a keyboard

 

Plan the layout of the unit

The idea of vast space available to be used for storing your items might be tempting. However, you’ll need to consider what goes where to ensure you’re organizing your storage unit for untroubled access to your items. With this approach, you might realize that you have a lot of clutter to let go of and will surely provide you with a perspective on your priorities. All it takes is some pragmatic consideration of how quickly and how often you will need something.

Items that you use less frequently, or hardly ever, should go at the back of the storage. For a smooth transition, let movers load these last in the truck, as they will be unloaded first and consequently dropped off at the back of the storage unit. This is a good chance to give these items a second thought. Try to determine why you are keeping them and what do you need them for. Not only will this help you to arrange your unit for efficient access, but it will also give you a clear picture of the scope of your possessions.

Have a practical idea about the layout of your storage unit to ensure quick and easy access to your items.

A man’s hands, papers, mobile phones, markers, and a PC monitor

 

Decluttering a storage unit

If you’ve been using a storage unit for a while, you know how fast and easy it fills up. However, with an effective decluttering and organizing method, you can have it sorted for smooth access to your storage unit. Without a doubt, decluttering is the toughest task, but it’s also rewarding in so many ways. A functionally organized, clutter-free storage area will enable you to find anything you need with ease, and you’ll save time and enjoy peace of mind. You can ask friends to lend you a helping hand or hire a professional junk removal company. Depending on the size of your storage unit inventory, you should plan accordingly on how much time you will need to get the job done. You can book a full day in your calendar to dedicate to decluttering your unit. Challenge yourself, commit and stay on task. The reward is a feeling of ease and relief once you see it through, and ultimately, effortless access to your needed items.

Decluttering a depot is a daunting task, so asking friends or hiring professional services can be of great help.

A woman in a uniform with cleaning supplies

 

Find creative ways to sort out items

Although decluttering can be a challenging task, with a good plan and a mindful approach, everything is achievable. Give yourself a little pep talk on the importance of organizing your space for some healthy motivation. Since the purpose of a storage unit is to keep your items, their safety and easy access to them can impact your mood. Hoarding or not even knowing what things you possess can lead you to feel overburdened. Use your master inventory list to determine what is relevant for keeping and what’s worth parting from. Divide your excess items into groups, and decide what to toss, donate or sell. For a smooth and efficient decluttering project, take out the items you intend to dispose of first. Subsequently, it’ll be much easier to deal with things you plan to sell or donate. With that being done, you’re one step away from fruitfully organizing your storage unit for frequent access.

Divide your items into categories to efficiently declutter and organize your storage unit.

Boxes stacked on shelves in a storage unit

 

A neatly organized storage unit

If you run a business, frequent access to your storage unit is a given. As a matter of fact, even if you use it to store items other than office inventory, an organized storage space will help you feel more in control of your life. Once you’ve carried out the decluttering project, you may have noticed how relaxed you feel. With no junk to obstruct your way, you’ll be able to organize your storage unit neatly and have everything you need on hand, without having to waste precious time and energy searching through the mounds. In your recently created clean storage space, stack and group your boxes from the least needed at the back to the ones you need more frequently accessed toward the unit’s front entrance. Allow some space in between rows of boxes to create aisles for easy navigation. Last but not least, label the boxes according to their contents, and make sure the tags are facing outward and are easy to read. This is the most efficient method for organizing your storage unit for frequent access, which will make the chaotic mess and clutter, and the anxiety that comes along with it, a thing of the past.

Share your tips for keeping a storage unit organized. 

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. 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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How to organize a yard sale

Yard sales are an excellent way to meet people, make some money and have fun.  There are many ways to organize a yard sale.  Timing of the sale is important to the success of the sale.  You need to be flexible about pricing if you want to have less stuff at the end of the day.  Let’s start with the easiest way to prepare for a yard sale. 

This way takes less time and energy to set up.

Get a number of boxes or bins to collect your items.  Mark each container with a price $1.00 $2:00 $0.25 $0.50 $5.00 etc.  As you are collecting your items for the sale decide how much you will sell the item for  and put the objects of the same price into the same box.    You are pricing items as you sort them so there is less work to do later. Using boxes means you don’t need to price every item individually with a sticker. Many charities will not take items leftover from a yard sale.  Part of the reason is they would need to remove all of the stickers.

Have separate display areas /tables for each price grouping.    Place a sign on the front of each of the tables explaining everything on this table costs _______.  You are finished and ready to have a great day.

This way will help you to have less stuff at the end of the day

Group your items into batches.  For example a set of dishes, all the hand tools, groups of 10 books, baby clothing of the same size, CDs DVDs.   The person needs to buy the entire batch not just part of it.  This way helps you to move more items on each purchase.   They buy 10 CDs for $5.00  instead of 1 for $0.50.  Place batches of items in boxes or see-through bags.

This way makes sure you get the correct price for the item

If you want to use tags the easiest way is to:

  • use one tag colour per price group.
  • red for $10.00, blue for $5.00 etc.
  • place a colour-coded sticker on each item and when the person buys it, you know exactly what to charge.
  • Make a sign explaining that each colour represents a specific price

If you want to do more work you can price items individually.

  • Place a sticker on the item and write on it the cost of the item.
  • This is good for large items that you will be priced higher.

In special circumstances, tags are very helpful if:

  •  the garage sale is for multiple families you can assign each group their own colour and you know which cash box to put the money in.
  • multiple family members are selling items at the same sale you can assign each person their own colour and you know which cash box to put the money in.

You will need to remove the stickers after the sale before you can donate items.

How much should it sell for?

Pricing

If your goal is to sell stuff so you have less at the end of day price items:

  • 50% of the original price for brand new or barely used items
  • 25% – 30% of the original price for the older items
  • You can always ask them to make you an offer.  You might get more than you expected or less.

If you have more expensive items to sell do your research to determine a fair price for the article.

Sometimes a yard sale seems like a great way to make money.  Make sure you are the type of person who likes to barter and is not offended when people tell you that something is not worth the value you have placed on it.

If you will be offended and not make a sale, a yard sale is not for you.

To ensure you get the sale by having change.

Make sure to never leave the money unattended. Keep the money in a waist pouch so it can’t be stolen.

Change

  • have $25 in change
  • $20 in $1, $4 in quarters, $1 in dimes and nickels
  • If you don’t have change people will not buy from you.

Timeline for preparing for a yard sale

It takes time to set up and clean up from a yard sale.

  • sort, clean, price                      1 – 2 days
  • advertising                                2 hrs
  • arrange and display wares    4 hrs
  • get change                                 1 hr
  • tag sale itself                             1 or 2 days
  • take unsold items to charity  3 hrs

Advertising

Advertising is a big part of the success of the sale.  There are lots of Facebook sites, Kijiji and Craigslist where you can advertise for free.  You may also have a local paper where you can place an ad.  Put up signs to let people know where the yard sale is located especially if you are not on welled travelled streets with lots of cars and foot traffic.

Pick your date wisely.  Spring and fall are the best times of the year.  Long weekends are times when people travel.  Weekends are usually better than weekdays.  If you can do it with a number of families from your street at the same time you will get better results.

Is a Yard Sale for You?

Yard sales can be a fun way to get rid of your clutter, make some money and meet people if the weather is good.  If you feel you don’t have the time, energy, a good location, great items for sale or don’t like bartering you may want to donate your items to a charity and spend the day doing something else.

How will you organize your yard sale?  Maybe I didn’t mention your favourite way.  Either way, leave me a comment.

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. 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. 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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Organizing a Move? Six Moving Tips from Award-winning Moving Company Bob the Mover

Thanks to my guest blogger Bob the Mover for sharing moving tips.

Moving is generally centered around leaving your old home for a new one.

Unfortunately, organizing a move is a long and arduous task involving packing, cleaning, loading, and unloading your belongings. It often can take longer than expected to get through this process.

From time to time, people can get careless after finishing packing; simply assuming their job is done. This leads to simple mistakes that can damage your home.

Whether looking to do it yourself or hire a professional, the tips we give you today will help your move go smoothly.

Without further adieu, let’s get into our top six tips for moving.

1: Choose a Professional Moving Company

First and foremost; the simplest way to have a smooth move is to hire a qualified, professional, and licensed moving company. They’re aware of all the problems and hiccups that are involved in the moving process.

Doing things yourself may lead to careless errors or broken items. The truth is if you break your own items there’s no insurance involved to protect you.

A professional mover is available for all your moving needs and will take care of all your questions and concerns; as well as several you may not even know to exist.

2: Clean Before the Unload

This will help you break down the move into several parts. Preparing your bathroom and bedroom before you unload will let you rest when you’re done.

Check for any pests before dropping your belongings inside the house.

3: Arrange Plans for Unloading

What are you moving and where is it going? Your simple question may have a complex answer.

Can your 10-foot-tall dresser fit up your 8-foot-tall stairs?

Think clearly about your items with sharp edges and where they need to go. Is there enough room or will it scratch your walls?

Where are your entrances? Can your house be accessed through the garage or do you have a separate basement entrance? These are simple things that can help minimize the risk involved in moving.

4: Use Floor Coverings

One of the easiest things to break during a move is your flooring. Carpet, hardwood, tile, and other types of flooring all come with their own pitfalls. Floor coverings will save you from stains, scratches, tears, or other types of damage.

Check with your Professional mover to see if they provide floor coverings for the a move. If going the DIY route, be sure to purchase some sort of floor coverings to avoid damage.

5: Keep the Kids and Pets at Bay

Once you’ve got a lot of the smaller details taken care of, you’re ready to start your move. One way to make things easier for your movers, or yourself, is to keep your kids and pets in a separate area.

A secondary location is preferable if you’ve got a babysitter. An anxious animal may dig up the flooring at your new place. Kids likewise may make a mess or a lot of noise. This will allow the move to go smoothly.

If keeping them at the new location—try to keep them isolated to an area with entertainment available and very little foot traffic.

6: Make Sure You’ve Done Safety Checks

Does your new place have a security system in place? Do all your locks work? Do your windows close tightly? These are all potential risks that can lead to theft.

While it may not be at the forefront of your mind, it’s something to consider as being newly moved makes you an easier target.

Don’t forget to change your locks—the previous owners may have spare keys or given spare keys to their relatives in the past and forgot about it. Changing your locks ensures you’re the only one with a copy of your house key.

Bob the Mover

If you’re looking for a St Catharines moving company, Bob the Mover services the entire Niagara region with the utmost professionalism. Bob the Mover is the 2020 Diamond award-winning reader’s choice best moving company in both the St Catharines ON  and Niagara Falls ON  regions. Find out more details here (link: https://bobmoveshouses.com/st-catharines-movers/.

Need help with timelines for your move?  Work with me to help you get your packing and preparations done on time for your move. in-person or virtually. 

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. 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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9 Tips for organizing your work space

Some people’s workspace is for studying, some people are working from home, some are attending school virtually.   My guest blogger this month is the Custom Writing Team.

According to recent studies, it can take up to twenty minutes to get focused again after getting distracted. Finding and organizing the perfect working/studying space may be the best solution for you.

Proper arrangement of stationery, a comfortable chair and desk, and the absence of clutter and distractions may significantly boost your productivity. Even the colour of your walls and accessories impact the learning process too!

To help you organize your workspace, we have prepared nine great tips, outlined in the infographic below. Check it out and make your room comfortable and inspiring!

 


Infographic by Custom-Writing.Org 

According to recent studies, it can take up to twenty minutes to get focused again after getting distracted. Click To Tweet

Did Custom-Writing miss anything? Comment on what you would add as tip number 10.

If you need help creating, redesigning or organizing your work/study space contact julie@mindoverclutter.ca  

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. 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. 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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