Get your life reorganized

Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

Being organized is not about being perfect. 

Anyone can learn to be more organized.  It is a set of skills that can be taught.  Organization creates efficiency and effectiveness, making your life and surroundings perform optimally for you.  When you start organizing remember these tips:

  • Accept your limitations on time, space, energy and money
  • Be consistent,  do a little at a time on an on-going basis
  • Acknowledge your successes.  Success breeds success motivating you to do more.
  • Take it one day at a time

How do I decide where to start?

I tell my clients:

  • to start with the space that is bothering them the most.
  • sometimes you may need to start in an area of your home that you  are going to use for storage.  Organizing that space first will give you more places to store items that need to be removed from other rooms.

How do I start?

Get some boxes and bags for :

  • garbage
  • recycling
  • things to go to other rooms – put them in a container and take them after you are done working in the space your are organizing.  If you leave the room you might never return
  • things to be returned to other people – put them in a container and return them to the correct owner after you organizing time is over.
  • don’t buy organizing products – wait until you know what you are storing, where you are storing it, and how much you have to store.  Then you can the best container to hold the items.

How to I get the room looking nice?

There are 5 steps to follow:

Step 1 Sort 

Sort everything in the room into categories.  The categories depend on what is in the room.  You might have:

  • electronics
  • books
  • tools
  • computer items
  • dishes
  • food categories
  • cosmetics
  • paper supplies

Figure out the categories of things you have in your room  and sort the things you can see and then work in the drawers and cupboards

Step 2 Part with items

Part with items you no longer need  and donate them to charity

Step 3 Assign a home

Find the best place to store the  item , close to where you use them and so you access them easily. Things you don’t use very often can be stored further away and in less accessible places.

Step 4 Containers

Now is the time to get the right container to store the items.  Anything can be a container:

  • boxes
  • wine boxes cut in half
  • magazine holders
  • jars
  • tins
  • plastic bins
  • bags

 Step 5 Evaluate

Use your system and then see:

How do I remember all this?

Easy it spells SPACE

S – sort

P– Part with items

A – Assign a home

C – Containerize

E – Evaluate

If you need some help with your organizing book a 50 minute break through organizing session .  Click on the link to book your complimentary appointment, and speak with me to get helpful tips to get you unstuck. Organizing Break Through session 

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

Is Marie Kondo’s question, “does it spark joy”, the right question for you?

Most of us keep more than we will ever need.  This costs valuable storage space, makes retrieval of the items we actually need more difficult and adds to the stress of daily living.  The famous Japanese organizer Marie Kondo tells you to ask if the object sparks joy for you.  If it does keep it, if not donate it.  Sometimes that question doesn’t solve the dilemma if you should keep something or donate it.  The following questions might be more helpful when you ‘re making those decisions.

For Paper:

  • Are there any tax or legal reasons for keeping this?
  • Can I easily get a copy elsewhere?
  • Does someone else have this information?
    .
  • Can I identify a situation in which I would ever refer to this information?
  • Is it still relevant to my life?
  • What are the implications if I didn’t have this?
  • Shred papers that contain personal information.

For belongings:

  • Is it out of style, the wrong size or colour or mismatched?
  • Does it still work?  Do I have all the parts?
  • When was the last time I used this item and when would I need to  use it in the foreseeable future?
  • If  it is something I use rarely, could I borrow one from someone else?
  • Do I use it often enough to make it worth  the cost to store it?
  • Do I have more than one? Do I need more than one?
  • Has the collection outgrown the space or the container originally allocated to storing it?  Has the collector outgrown the collection?
  • Is it the best of the best?

Swedish Death Cleaning

A third way to decide what to keep and what to donate is conveyed in the Swedish Death Cleaning method.  Ask yourself:

Give yourself permission to let go of things. Don’t let the fear of making a mistake cause you to keep things you don’t need, love or use.

Tell us how you decide what to keep and what to let go

POC Gold Leaf MemberJulie 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?

Organizing your approach to handling e-mail

Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He produces a monthly newsletter.  Here is one of his articles.  I hope you enjoy it.

Harold Taylor of Taylor in Time

Managing E-mail

Do you respond to a lot more email messages than you originate? Are you deleting emails unanswered or unread? Are you spending so much time reacting to email that you don’t have time for creativity, relaxation and renewal? If so, calculate your “Reactive Ratio.”

Reactive Ratio

Count the total number of email messages you receive during a day. Include spam, egroup messages and newsletters whether you still read them or not. Divide the total number of incoming email messages by the number that you send during the day. The resulting ratio should be as low as possible.

You can easily calculate this ratio if you don’t delete or move anything until the end of the day – even those that you have answered. The next morning, quickly count the total number of emails received the previous day as well as those sent the same day.

If the ratio is high, take action by cancelling newsletters that you seldom read, get off groups you don’t participate in, place spam filters at higher levels, and get off mailing lists. Consider using a different email address for purchases to avoid spam. Question whether all incoming messages require a reply. For instance, don’t thank people for thanking you. Consider adding “No reply necessary” to many of your outgoing messages. And investigate apps such as “unroll.me.”

Control Outgoing Email

Your outgoing messages also consume time and generate incoming messages. So question whether a quick phone call is better. Don’t copy people who have no need for the information.Decide whether a quick phone call is more productive than sending an email. Click To Tweet

Reduce the Total Time Spent on Emailing

Even more important than your “Reactive Ratio” is the total time you spend on email each day. Keep messages brief. Use text replacement software for longer & repetitive replies such as instructions or directions. Allocate specific times to check and respond to email. This could be one hour late morning and one hour late afternoon. If you can get by with less time, so much the better. But don’t fragment your day by checking email every few minutes or every hour.

Click here to sign up for his newsletter 

Share a hack that helps you to control the amount of time you spend on email. 

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

10 Tips to help you get organized

10 Quick Tips to you get organized

Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

1. Set aside a specific time and stick to your plan.  Schedule blocks of time  from 15 minutes to two hours until the project is done.

2. Set the mood to keep your spirits up.

3. Take care of your body by eating well and drinking and drinking lots of water.

4. Start small, one area at a time, “inch by inch things are a cinch”

5. Put items in their proper place, like with like.

6. Stay focused, work in one area at a times and don’t leave the room.

7. Open mail daily.

8. File papers weekly.

9. Put new things away the day you receive them.

10. Purchase things only if you know what you will use it for and where you are going to put it.

Schedule blocks of time from 15 minutes to two hours until your organizing project is done. Click To Tweet

 

Need some more tips download the booklet Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms ( top right corner)and join my newsletter list. 

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Is procrastination stopping you from getting organized?

Why don’t I want to do it now?

Is it boring?

  • Do it anyway and consider the consequence if you don’t do it.

Overwhelming?

  • Break it into smaller parts and do one or several parts at a time

Do I only have small blocks of time available but want to do everything from start to finish?

  • Change your mindset and make it a positive idea.  Small blocks of time mean you only need to do a small amount of work

Am I tired?

  • Be aware of your circadian rhythms.  Each of us peaks at different hours of the day.  Before and after lunch is usually a good time to catch up on mundane activities

Do I fear failing or that it won’t turn out perfectly?

  • Fear of losing things,
  • forgetting things
  • not finishing things or
  • doing the wrong thing can generate a lack of action.

How to be Successful

1.If you are easily distracted keep only one project on your desk at a time.

2. Give yourself a time span to complete a project and don’t let your mind wonder from the task.  Set a timer.  When it goes off you change what you are doing or take a break and come back to the same task.

3. Try setting small goals and giving your self rewards, a coffee, a walk, 15 minutes on Facebook, call a friend etc

4. Think of how you will feel when the task is completed, pride, relief, satisfaction

There are more great ideas in a book titled  “Don’t Agonize Organize Your Office”By Diane A Hatcher

Join  Organizing Mind and Space to help you become intentional about getting things done. 

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Organizing a person with hoarding disorder.

What are the causes of hoarding disorder?

Pile of misc items stored in an unorganized fashion in a room

 

Here is a good article on hoarding.  Why do people like to live with so much stuff?  There is no one easy answer.  Some people feel it is part of a mental wellness issue and hoarding has been added to to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  Others feel it is a learned trait because they see it in families.  Since people notice hoarding running in families they think it is a genetic trait.    A person with hoarding disorder once said to me, when the place was decluttered,”it feels like all my friends are gone.” Applying feeling of love and security to  inanimate objects may also account for keeping stuff.

What is hoarding disorder?

Hoarding is not about being messy. Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items regardless of the actual value of the items. Rooms and spaces become so cluttered that they cannot be used of their intended purpose.  A person with a hoarding disorder won’t be able to sit at their table to eat, might not be able to sleep in their, may not be able to sit on their couch etc because they are filled with stuff.  Hoarding is a very complex issue. Seek out information and help to guide you through the process of letting go of things.

Hoarding is not about being messy. Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them Click To Tweet

Where can I find some information?

You can download a Clutter Hoarding Scale from the Institute of Challenging Disorganization site (ICD).  This association has many resources that the public can access.  Go to https://www.challengingdisorganization.org/  Here is another  link to the article http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/conditions/hoarding-living-with-the-overwhelming-need-for-stuff/article4395448

If you find yourself in this situation please contact me at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Organizing your photos, how many do you have?

Quick Tip: Estimating Photos from APPO

Association of Personal Photo Organizers www.appo.org

No need to count every photo in the box, especially if you are working with hundreds of printed photos for a job. Instead, use a ruler or a scale. Did you know 1 inch of printed photos stacked is about 100 photos? If you are estimating a shoebox packed full of printed photos, get your ruler out and measure the length of the box for a reasonable estimate of quantity. And 1000 photos weigh between 6 and 7 lbs, so set the tub of  photos on a scale instead!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Quick Tip: Sorting Photos

Instead of trying to sort photos chronologically sort them by topics.  Photos tell stories. By sorting using topics you will get stories on vacations, cars you’ve owned, children’s lives, pets, flowers, scenery etc.  Pick any topics that suit your life and start making piles.  As you’re sorting, get rid of ones that are out of focus, duplicates, one you don’t recognize the people or setting.

Share how  you store your photos?

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Organizing your goals for the new year.

When you hire me, I don’t come to your office or home with the Mind over Clutter organizing system, install it and then leave.  I come and see what is working for you and how you do things so I can find solutions that work for you, how you think, feel and your lifestyle. I want you to accomplish your organizing project so you meets your goals.

January is usually the time for goal setting and so I want to present three ways of setting goals.

Pick one  area and improve it

I am a person who is motivated by a fear of failure, I don’t want to fail, so I am a cautious. My system of setting goals is to look at my business or life and see where I think it could be improved, what types of skills I need to improve so my business or life will improve.  I pick one thing and then work on it all year to get better at it.  For example I didn’t like social media so I decided to start working at becoming better at it and setting up a system that works for my day and philosophy about the importance of social media.  I picked a platform, got good at it and continued to add more and more platforms. I organized workshops on Twitter and Google+, I listened to webinars.   A vague plan works for me because  I am self motivated,  I am not a procrastinator.  I read an interesting article by Ravi Venkatesan about the importance of  learning new things, “What skill will you acquire this year? What new activity will you start? Perhaps learning to play a new instrument, going on an adventure or taking on a new role- anything that causes you to move out of your comfort zone and allow new neural connections to form” would be a good new year’s goal.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

Set goals that you can attain

That  vague framework of deciding what you want to do to improve your business or life  would not for everyone.  We are all different.  So there is a goal setting system called SMART.  You pick a specific goal, with measurable outcomes, that are  achievable, realistic and timely.  When you use this system of goal setting it gives you a step by step plan to follow.  For example with my social media goal, if it had been a SMART goal, would be something like

I will learn how to post on Facebook,

S (specific) – I will post 3 times a week, one original content, one a picture, one comment on someone else’s post

M(measureable) – Did I post 3 times/week?

A (achievable)  – I have that much time in my week

R(realistic) – If I only have to do it 3 times a week I will not become frustrated and stop

T(timely)- I have 3 mornings a week when I can do these post. Tues, Thurs and Sat

This will work for some people who like to have a step by step plan and follow it.  It can cause problems if  people stop following the plan they may give up and not start again or some people may feel like it is too rigid.

Turn desire into intention

Be intentional about your plan

I read an article that reveals a simple trick that doubles the chance for success of obtaining goals.  Earlier I commented on what motivates me.  Sometimes we say, I need to motivate myself to get working on….,  In this article it says motivation is not the key to reaching your goals it is intention .

A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology divided 248 adult into 3 groups exercise groups.

  • Group  1 had to record how often they exercised during a 3 week period
  • Group 2 where told “ most young adults who have stuck to a regular exercise program have found it to be very effective in reducing their chances of developing coronary heart disease. ” ( motivation to exercise) and had to record how often they exercise during a 3 week period
  • Group 3  recorded when and where they would exercise (intention to exercise), they were given the same motivation as group 2  and they recorded  how often they exercised during a 3 week period

Results

  • Control group 1 38% exercised at least once per week
  • The motivated group 2 35% exercised at least once per week
  • The intentional group 3 91% exercised at least once per week

We all have some level of desire or will power or motivation but what turns desire into action is a written plan for implementation.  When you have a goal to do something, record when and how you will do that behaviour or activity. It will be the  environment that triggers you to do your new behaviour or activity and not motivation or will power.

These are just 3 systems

  • Having an all encompassing vision or
  • Setting SMART goals or
  • Intentionally deciding  when you will do something and blocking off time

that can help you establish new behaviours to accomplish a goal for 2019.  Pick the one that works for you.

Set goals to help you move out of your comfort zone, learn new skills and grow. Click To Tweet

Want help in 2019 to get your Mind and Space Organized, join my facebook group full of free tips 

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

 TwitterFacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Organizing my continuing education, take a fresh approach to conferences

I support continuing education for everyone in whatever field you are interested in.  I know that you agree because you are reading blogs to learn more about organizing and to improve your skills.  I continue to do that too.

This year I attended 3 conferences.Conferences help you to expand your horizons, learn new information, meet new people, travel to new places and improve your skill set. Click To Tweet

Association of Professional Declutterers and Organizers Conference

This is the professional organization in Britain.  It was held in London England in March.  I had a chance to learn from and share ideas with Professional Organizers from Scotland, Wales, Dubai, United States and the Netherlands.  I enjoyed the sessions on Minimalism, Chronic Disorganization,  learning about the brain- executive function system, making videos with your cellphone and becoming a better speaker.  Not so enjoyable but very necessary was a session on the new information privacy policies in Europe which also affect us in Canada. At the conference they were organizing their yearly Spring Clearing Week.  I really liked the idea of Spring Clearing instead of Spring Cleaning  and started using this term in my information.   We really don’t do a big spring cleaning anymore because our houses, furnaces, air quality and society are much cleaner. In the past it was important to clean thoroughly after being shut inside with fireplaces burning, dirt floors, wooden walls, unpaved streets.  Now it is important to take control of the clutter that develops as we move from season to season changing clothing and activities. Clutter affects our well-being so remember to do spring and fall clearing.  Lastly, the food was delicious and networking fantastic.

Association of Russian Professional Organizer Conference

Association of Russian Professional Organizers

I was contacted to be a surprise North American speaker for their conference in April.  We connected over Skype and they interviewed me about how I operate my business and how the industry of Professional Organizing runs in Canada. Russia is a big country.  To give you a feel for the size, it has 10 time zones, Canada has 5 time zones.  There were 84 participants from many parts of Russia and Japan.  It was a fun experience and so rewarding to see their smiles and hear their gasps when I was introduced.   The conference organizer would ask a question in Russian, the interpreter asked it to me in English, I answered in English, the interpreter translated to Russian and then the audience laughed.  They run their businesses very similarly to the way most organizers in North American setup their businesses.  They have the same difficulties as we do  marketing effectively and  getting clients.  I was so excited to learn from their enthusiasm, joy and dedication.

Professional Organizers in Canada Conference

This year the conference was in Kelowna, British Columbia in November. The theme was Renew and Recharge. Many of the presentations built on each other.  We started with a session about dealing with fears that hold you back from taking the next step.  Write down your fears, determine how to overcome them and what steps you will take.  This theme continued in a marketing session and a session on Minimalism about taking steps to change your lifestyle.  In a session on bullet journaling one of the things that was touched on was about how to reflect on success and failures.  It was a interesting thread that carried through a number of sessions, accidentally.  This year I went to conference as a presenter for the first time.  It was nerve racking but rewarding and fun.  I talked about how to make your office  more productive, creative, inspired and healthy but making small changes to the workplace environment.  Make conscious decisions about the type of lighting, paint colour , room temperature, drinking water, having plants in your office. Stop multitasking, use music to help you focus on tasks, identify productivity pit-stops, things that draw your attention away from the task you are doing.  Apply good ergonomic design concepts in your office, get enough sleep, change you working position every 30 minutes from standing to sitting, change the type of task you are doing to avoid repetitive strain injuries  and change the location of where you are working because your posture will change and that causes you to use different muscle groups. The food was fantastic and it was fun to start each morning with a yoga class.

Take a fresh approach to conferences

A common thread in my conference experience is great people, food and information. But going to conferences in your professional field may start to feel unproductive after a number of years. I took a fresh approach this year.  Focus on the participants and share ideas and learn from each other. Watch how other people network and improve your networking skills.   Look at presentations with a new eye and learn how to improve your presentations and speaking style. Conquer a fear, become one of the presenters at your national conference.  It will help you grow in knowledge and expertise. Combine your conference experience with travel.  I enjoyed traveling on the tube and exploring London, England and seeing the Harry Potter movie set.  Kelowna is a lovely town to walk around, hike up a local mountain or go on a wine tour. Expand your horizons learn new information, meet new people, travel to new places and improve your skill set.

Tell me about your conference 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 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

 Twitter FacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

Give the Gift of Time

Looking for a Gift of Time to give this Holiday Season?

MindoverClutter.ca has 3 hour packages designed to help with any number of tasks in the home and office. Considering purchasing an:

Gift a gift of time to someone who is busy

Gift a gift of time to someone who is busy

  • Income Tax Receipt Organizing Package
  • Holiday Cleanup Package
  • Streamlining Your Office Package.
  • Organizing for the New Year

Packages can be designed to fit the individual needs of the person receiving the gift.  Purchase your introductory gift package in 2018 for $150.00. Contact julie@mindoverclutter.ca to purchase your clutter free gift of time.

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 Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer

 

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