7 Packing tips for a move across the country

Depositphotos_73413557_m-2015

My son told me he would be moving across the country to start a new job.  He would be leaving in 2 weeks.  Can you help pack Mom?  Long distant moves on a budget require a lot of planning before the packing begins.  Some of you may be moving for a job or for schooling.  Take a deep breath and relax.

If you are not hiring a moving company

This move involved selling anything and everything people were interested in buying.  Put your ads for the things you are selling on Kijiji or Craigslist.   Don’t forget about neighbourhood swap and selling sites on Facebook.  You may have multiple sites in your area and it makes scheduling pickups so much easier when you know that they are in your neighbourhood. But don’t forget the most important source for your sales.  Tell your friends and family and ask them to tell their friends, family and co-workers.  One of my readers shared, “do an Internet Garage Sale where you made a list of items with prices, emailed it to everyone you know, and asked them to share it with others. We  were able to sell quite a few of our larger and more valuable items that way.” Don’t be shy.

Smaller items need to be sold too

You may need to sell clothing, jewelry or home decor items.  Take them to consignment stores. Leave the information for picking up the cash with a friend or relative. They can e-transfer it to you.

Determine what you will take, store and ship. 

Moving out

In this case he was driving a car across the country.  He would be staying with relatives until he found an apartment.  He knew of a few people who would be flying out to see him in the next few months.  With this information the packing began.  For each item, it had to be decided if it would be packed:

  • in the car
  • in a suitcase for someone to bring next month
  • in a suitcase for someone to bring the following month
  • in a suitcase for someone to bring later
  • in a box because there were items that he might want when he had an apartment
  • in a plastic bin and stored

You never know what you might want shipped 

Knowing what is in every box makes it easy to find what you need

Knowing what is in every box makes it easy to find what you need

As boxes and bins were packed someone was in charge of keeping an inventory of what went in each box and bin and labeling the container with a corresponding number to the list.  We used google docs so later in the week when more things were packed or removed from boxes the list could be changed and a new list doesn’t have to be emailed to anyone.  You don’t have to worry if you are using the most up to date list.  The reason to do an inventory is so you can find items that might be shipped later.  The hope is that the whole box will be shipped but more likely he will decide on certain items and they might be packed in a number of different boxes.

Food

We started by going through the cupboards and anything that was unopened and not expired was donated to the food bank.  This can be done early in the packing session and it is an easy way to start.  No difficult decisions need to be made.  Some food can be used during the 2 weeks, some disposed of and then find a friend who will be happy to take your food.

Donate

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

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

As time moved on he found things he didn’t want or need, couldn’t sell or give away or give back to people.  Donate these items to charity.  It is easy to think no one wants them and start putting them in the garbage but most things can be donated.  It takes just as much time to put them in a garbage bag as in a box or bag to go to a charity.  You will probably be eating out so you can take them to the charity on the way to dinner.

You’re finally finished

You are probably tired and overwhelmed and overstressed.  Just take a big breath.  You did a great job, you are about to start a new adventure.  Focus on that.  Don’t focus on the stuff.  Enjoy the trip and the time off before the new jobs begin.

Guide

Here is a link to a moving guide, How to pack for a move: a complete checklist  It has checklists for premoving, packing list, packing the truck, questions to ask the mover,

What is your advice about moving across the country in a car, on a plane or on a train?

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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The organization diet: cut the clutter & improve your life

If you enjoy informatics you will enjoy this blog.  Cut the clutter a little each day.  Some tasks feel overwhelming.  Begin by dividing them into bite-size pieces. Start with the piece that is easiest to tackle, build your confidence and continue on your daily diet making small changes that you can sustain.

My guest blogger this is Tom Happ is President of Closet Works based out of Elmhurst, IL which for the past 32 years serves the Chicagoland area with customized Closet and Storage Solutions. With a team of over 100 staff, each Solution is Designed, Fabricated and Installed to optimize the storage for every room within the home.

Graphic created by Closet Works.

Contact Closet Works or Julie Stobbe for help with planning your organization diet. 

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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8 ways to organize a vacation in 2020, enjoy them all

2020 has been an unusual year. 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.  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 our health, motivation, relationships, job performance, and perspective and give us the break we need to return to our 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 2020.

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 love doing,  want to try for the first time and that are not part of your normal routines. 

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.

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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How to organize your shopping

Now that some of the restrictions on your life are eased and stores are opening do you want to shop?  With fewer activities available to participate in, do you find that shopping is away to pass your time?    Especially during these difficult times, it is easy to use retail therapy as a way to temporarily feel better. Shop with a purpose and a list.  This will help you to only buy what you need, stay within your budget and keep the clutter under control.

A girl in a shopping aisle with an armfull of junk food.

If you find that you spend too much time or money shopping, here are some ideas from “Don’t Agonize Organize your Office” by Diane A Hatcher.

Buying for the Wrong Reasons                                                                                           

  • It was on sale
  • Too good a bargain to pass up
  • I may find a use for it someday
  • Someone else I know may need it one day
  • It feels good to shop

How to Buy

  • Shop for things you need not want
  • Shop for things that fit into the space you have
  • What am I going to use it for?
  • Where am I going to put it?
  • When you buy something new, give 2 things away.

Whenever you buy, make a plan first. 

Signs can encourage to purchase items, so follow your plan not their plan

What habits have you set for yourself so you don’t buy unnecessary items?

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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10 Easy Ways to Find More Space in Your Home

My guest blogger this month is Laura McHolm, an organizational, moving and storage expert, and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award-winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.

Many believe that to lead a more organized and inspired life, the clutter around you must be cleared. It’s simple: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too.

A clean and balanced home is actually a launching pad for many other goals and resolutions. So if you’re already starting to fail at some of your other 2020 resolutions, try this home resolution instead: find more space in your home by clearing out the clutter! Follow these ten tips and I promise you it will inspire you to complete your other resolutions and lead you to a more organized and happier year!

Pantries

Create room by removing the large and awkward food packaging. Purchase clear, air-tight containers, take the box of your food item, and cut out the product name, nutritional facts and expiration date. Tape them to the inside of your clear container and then seal the food.

Pantry Shelves

Arrange the food on your shelves to help keep your resolutions. Make “first choice” shelves for the food that you want to stay on that diet. Make shelves that are for the kids snacks or foods that you’re just not going to have on a regular basis anymore… You get the idea –some shelves are just for the once a week treat. Some are for every day.

Pantry Storage

If you like to buy in bulk, put the bulk of your paper goods in another location, perhaps a closet or the garage, and place only what you need in your pantry— restock as needed. Tape a note to the shelf stating the location of the extra supplies.  When you use the last item it will remind you of the location where more are stored.

In the Kitchen

When storing pots, pans and other durable items, stack them on their sides like files. This simple step not only creates more room, it also allows you to see exactly what you need. Caddies or sorters from a shelf or container store have great tools for vertical organizing. Have all this in mind in when planning your next kitchen remodeling.

It’s simple: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too. Click To Tweet

Dressers

Place clothing in drawers vertically (not the traditional horizontal piles) because it not only maximizes space, it allows you to find items more quickly. You can purchase wooden planks or plastic planks to use as dividers. This way you can see all of your clothes at once when you open the drawer.

Closets

If your shoes don’t have a place they end up in a pile taking up valuable space. Place shoes and accessories in clear plastic containers so you can see everything and tape their photo to the inside of their container with photo facing out. This little step gives you triple duty: more space, you can find it easier and better still you can put it away in the exact same spot for next time that hot date rolls around…

Our Shoe Box, Container Store

Organize by Color

Organize your closet and drawers dark to light. It can be a great way to find out that you really have way too many black blouses… and you can keep your resolution of being a kinder gentler you by donating the extras!

Kids’ Rooms

Purchase bed raisers for under-the-bed storage. Make sure they are sturdy and the bed can’t be knocked off the raisers during a game of hide and seek.  You can also purchase under the bed drawers. You can store everything from shoes, laundry basket, books and any bulky items that might otherwise clutter their room.

A Baby’s Closet

Is there room to add another bar? Take advantage of the fact that baby clothing is smaller and if you can, add an additional bar to hang the clothing to maximize space. You can purchase pre-made closet organizers that you can customize to make the most out of baby’s closet.

Neatfreak Hanging Expandable Bar

The best trick to more space in your home, less is more! So if you find you have extra things laying around, throw a reverse housewarming party! You’ll be starting a new party trend. Set aside your unwanted items and instead of having your friends bring a housewarming gift, they are to pick one of your items and take it home with them. This is a great way to reunite with friends, find your unwanted things a good home, and de-clutter all at the same time!

Originally posted on porch.com 

If you need help implementing these suggestions book a complimentary 30-minute virtual appointment.  

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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Spring Clearing A B Cs

Yes, you read it correctly, spring clearing, not spring cleaning.  I attended a conference in London, England offered by the  Association of Professional Declutterers and  Organizers. (APDO).  This is where I first heard about spring clearing.  The idea made so much sense to me.  We no longer have to do the seasonal cleaning.  Our homes are much cleaner because of high-efficiency furnaces, paved roads, washing machines, vacuum cleaners.  Long gone are days of mud floors, dirt roads, open fires to heat your home and brooms for sweeping.

Activities

Clearing is a process that involves clearing out things you no longer need, use or want.  It is also more than that.  Clearing is about examining schedules, activities and commitments   Activities change with the seasons and that affects your schedule.  Some of those activities you may not be interested in anymore.  Clear them from your life and try something new. Revise your schedule to suit your new interests.

Commitments

There might be a lot of commitments in your life.  You might be volunteering, doing things out of guilt, involved in things that are no longer a priority in your life. Look at all the commitments and clear the ones that no longer interest you, you have outgrown or can be shared or delegated to someone else. Use your time in a way that allows you to you feel, fulfilled, passionate about the cause and excited to contribute.

Spring clearing involves clearing out things you no longer need, use or want. Also clear out schedules, activities and commitments that no longer suit your life. Click To Tweet

Possessions 

Clear items that you no longer need, use or want.  Decide how much is enough and start to let go of the excess.  Make contributions to charities, sell items, donate them to worthy causes.  Don’t pass things on to other people unless they want them.  Check first before you drop something off. Recycle broken, damaged or very old items.  Keep as much as you can out of the landfill.

Download your Spring Clearing Guide

Here is a sheet to help you with your Spring or Fall Clearing, download it and use it as your guide.
Spring Clearing 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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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10 Tips to keep your entranceway clear of clutter

Controlling the clutter at the entrance to your home can be a nightmare. With many people using the same area and all having different organizing styles clutter can develop.  Together decide on what will be stored near the doorway and how it will be stored.  When everyone knows the plan, everyone can participate in keeping the entranceway clutter-free.

1. A place for coats

Place hooks low enough that everyone can hang up his or her own coats, sweaters, and jackets.

2. A spot for bags and backpacks

Establish a space that can be reached without help for each person’s backpack or gym bag.  This could be a shelf, cupboard or hook.

Entranceway organzing

Organizing Backpacks

3. Use vertical space

Have enough space near the entrance for shoes that are used regularly.  Buy stackable shoe racks and use vertical space efficiently.  Footwear worn occasionally should be stored elsewhere and brought out as needed.

4. Use the inside of doors

Have a place for seasonal hats, gloves and scarves.  A hanging shoe organizer is ideal for this purpose.  Put regularly-worn hats, scarves and pairs of gloves into the pockets, where you can easily see each item and quickly select what you need.   Storing hats, mitts and scarves directly with a jacket also helps to keep everything together. During the warmer months put sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses and hats in the pockets

Use a shoe organizer for hats baseball caps gloves sunglasses

Use a shoe organizer for hats baseball caps gloves sunglasses

5. Have a collection basket

Have a basket to collect mail, newspapers, schoolwork as you come in the door.  It will keep all the paperwork in one place and you can easily take the basket to your work area to sort it and deal with items quickly.

Samsill Pop,n Store Container

6. Collect garbage and recycling

Do you need a garbage can and recycling bin near the entranceway?  Some people do and some people don’t. It helps to keep the area clean.  Garbage from the car, a backpack,  gym bag or snack can be easily tidied up and not left lying around.  I saw this wastebasket with  4 compartments on one of my trips.

7. Protect your personal property

It is tempting to store keys, phones and purses near the door.  Don’t do it.  Find a more secure location for those items so no one picks them up and walks away with them when you’re distracted.

8. Have multi-use furniture

It is nice to have a place a person can sit to put on their shoes or boots. Have a stool that also has storage space.  It can be a good place to put a blanket for sitting outside when it gets cool, cushions for chairs, small toys for children or pet supplies.

Nebel Foldable 15″ Tufted Square Storage Ottoman

9. Re-purpose furniture 

Add a deacon’s bench, buffet, or dresser that is sitting around your home.  Place it by your entranceway to provide additional storage with no additional cost.

Mickelsen Entryway Hall Tree with Bench

Use verticle spaces in your entranceway to get more storage space. Click To Tweet

10. Declutter often

Declutter your entranceway often.  Place items back in their correct storage place, let go of items you no longer need, store off season items way from the entrance and remove garbage and recycling.

Book a virtual organizing appointment and work with Julie to get your entranceway working well for you. Click here for more information  about Virtual organizing services 

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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Organize your office to be more active

With more people working from home, it is a good time to look at your office design. When I started organizing in 2006 I learned about organizing efficient offices so you didn’t waste time away from your desk. Starting in 2014 new research was telling us to organize offices to help you be active.  Stand up, sit less and move more. Click To Tweet

Even the most well-designed office can make you feel chained to your desk.  Make sure that you can get up and take a walk occasionally, or maybe move to a secondary location where you get a little work done without sitting in the same place all day.

Organize an Active Workstation

 

Move more, Sit less

An active office has a standing area, sitting desk and whiteboard

Stand up Sit less Move more

An active office is defined “as a workplace design concept that proposes an integrated supportive environment, which aims at the reduction of sedentary behaviors and promotion of  physically active work processes that are characterized by regular changes between different work-related tasks, workstations, and working postures.”  Try adding to your traditional desk, elements such as active seats, standing desks, and whiteboards to help you get moving.

Products that make your office active

 

Use an exercise ball as your chair.  You constantly contract and release muscle tension to help your balance.  This muscle contraction helps you to be more active and less sedentary.

Invest in a sit stand desk.  They are very economical and allow you to transition from sitting to standing as you change the type of work you are doing.  It is the transition from sitting to standing and standing to sitting every 30 minutes that give you the health benefits associated with an active office design.

Make a larger investment and buy a treadmill desk.  It allows you to walk while working.

There are many more products you can use in your office.

Health benefits of an active office design

Studies are showing that it is transitioning from one position to another that is good for your health; it activates muscle contraction and circulation.

Studies suggest that transitions between sitting and standing be made every 30 minutes.

This is a link to a great article http://mi-lab.org/files/2012/02/ActiveOffice-final.pdf 

If you need a virtual presentation on this topic for your staff that is working from home, contact 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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Organizing your new normal

These times of living with the pandemic have shown us that material possessions are not as important as we thought. Having lots of possessions is not creating happiness and contentment.  It is a good time to examine what parts of your life bring you satisfaction while staying at home.

Routines

More time is being spent at home and fewer activities take you away from your house.  Everyone can help with work around the house.  Things can get done quickly if everyone knows the routines.

Meal preparation takes time and is a constant consideration. How have you handled this task?

Consider what will work for you:

  • Giving everyone 1 meal/week to make.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, older children can help younger children.
  • Give everyone some responsibility for the meal – meal preparation, meal preparation assistant, cleaning up the food from the table, putting leftovers away, doing the dishes.  Rotate the jobs each day or week.

Keeping the house clean with everyone home all day takes more time.  Consider:

  •  A quick clean up after supper, tidying things up to their correct place, sweep/mop/vacuum the major travelled and used spaces.
  • Set up a cleaning schedule so everyone has a job to do to get the home cleaned.  Divide up dusting, washing floors, vacuuming, wiping down surfaces.  Pick a day when it needs to be done and they can pick the best time to do it.

There may be less dirty clothing around the home since people are inside more and doing less.  It is a  good time to establish a laundry routine.  Consider what is best for you:

  • Doing one load a day
  • Teaching everyone to do their own laundry
  • Setting one day to do  laundry

Now is a good time to evaluate what new routines are working well, which ones need to be revised and what needs to be established to keep the home working well.  When the pandemic is over keep reinforcing the newly established routines for the new times ahead.

Possessions

Shopping is down, clothing store sales dropped 78.8%.  Electronics and appliances declined 60.6% furniture and home furnishing sales dropped 58.7% and sporting goods 38%. Source 

Homes are filled with many things.  This time is a good opportunity for exploring some of the things you own and seeing if they add value to your life.  It will help you know what you need and what you don’t need anymore.

Explore new activities to fill your time.  Introduce health and wellness activities, learn new skills and participate in outdoor activities that can replace shopping.  The pandemic is reinforcing that having an overabundance of stuff doesn’t bring contentment. It is possible to live without shopping.  Think about how you will control what comes into your home after the pandemic is over. Do you have a new normal? What if everything you wanted isn't what you want now? Click To Tweet

Priorities

I wasn’t sure what to call this section. It could be titled time management, relationships or activities.  Before the pandemic would you focus on:

  • meeting deadlines over playtime
  • being perfect over enjoyment
  • an advancement over vacation time
  • answering text messages over your sanity

During the pandemic, it is possible to have time for things other than work.  Learn how to balance all the priorities, relationships and activities you have experienced. Don’t let all this learning about the type of life you want to have to get swept out of your reach when life changes again after the pandemic is over.

Do you have a new normal?

What if everything you ever wanted isn’t what you actually want?

In 2010, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus  both abandoned the majority of their material possessions and created TheMinimalists.com. In 2011, they walked away from successful six-figure careers to live more intentionally. Then, in 2012, they moved to Montana and started writing a book  Everything That Remains .  Remember to minimize once you’re finished—pass it on, donate it, or sell it.

Everything That Remains, photo by Spyr Media

Everything That remains 

Minimalism is all about living with less. This includes less financial burdens such as debt and unnecessary expenses. … For many minimalists, the philosophy is about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than worldly possessions.

In the comments share what the pandemic has taught 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 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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Quarantine Relief: When Cleaning and Organizing Become an Escape

With spring arriving people are beginning to think about cleaning and freshening up their homes.  I enjoy organizing but cleaning? My guest blogger, Magda  Rae, Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Cash Cow,  loves cleaning and is here to help us get a fresh start.

Due to the self-isolation protocols necessitated by the COVID-19 coronavirus, millions of people are spending more time at home than they are used to. Some have enjoyed the freedom and an opportunity to relax, while others are quickly becoming restless and are looking to stay productive.

If you are searching for a way to escape the frustration of quarantine and keep busy amid the pandemic, cleaning your home could provide the perfect solution. A good spring clean will give you a great feeling of accomplishment, while also helping your family to stay safe at a time when hygiene has become crucial! Cleaning even has plenty of proven benefits for your general health, which is important when you need to keep your immune system healthy. Here is how to get stuck in and perform the home deep-clean of a lifetime.

The Health Benefits of Cleaning

Photo by Samantha Gades, Unsplash

Interestingly, spring cleaning also has several science-backed benefits for your mental and physical well being. According to a Scottish health survey, the practice can reduce stress and anxiety by up to 20%, as long as you spend at least 20 minutes cleaning. Clutter can also add to your stress and lower work productivity, but science says that a clean and neat desk can actually make you more productive in the long run.

Dust and pet dander can aggravate allergies and hay fever, but cleaning can help to reduce symptoms of asthma and chest tightness. A study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin has also revealed that cleaning your home can improve your mood and even alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. Clearly, now is an excellent time to get out the scrubbing brush and the vacuum cleaner.Cleaning your home can improve your mood and even alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. Click To Tweet

Taking Advantage of the Extra Time

Photo by Volha Flaxeco, Unsplash

The current pandemic has presented the perfect conditions for a proper deep clean of your home. Many of us are now in unique positions where we have far fewer daily obligations to worry about than usual. This means that you can really get stuck in, move furniture around, and spread out as you clean. Now is the perfect time to get stuck into those jobs that you have been putting off for years!

You can begin by sweeping your walkways, patio, exterior windows, light fittings and patio furniture. From there, you can move on to washing the interior windows of your home, cleaning out cupboards and pantries, and deep-cleaning appliances and sinks. These are all easy tasks that you could rope your children into to keep them busy as well.

Making a List

Photo by Andy Fitzsimon, Unsplash

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning, why not make a list for yourself? Write down a wishlist of all the things you would like to clean and tidy up, starting with those tasks that are a top priority for you. Many experts find that cleaning bit by bit is more effective than doing the whole house at once. Take your time, and begin with the rooms or areas of your home that need the most attention.

You could also devise a calendar for cleaning to help keep your routine organized. For example, Mondays could be bathroom cleaning days, Wednesdays could be dedicated to vacuuming, and Saturdays could be laundry days. This is a fantastic way to incentivize children to chip in with the cleaning too. If they do all of the weekly chores on the calendar you set out for them, you could offer them a treat or extend their leisure time as a reward. There is no better time to teach your children about the value of teamwork and cleanliness, so we recommend making the most of it.

Take Inspiration from Marie Kondo

Photo by Nathan Fertig, Unsplash

Is your home feeling unnecessarily cluttered? Perhaps it’s time to assess whether or not your possessions are functional, useful, or bring you joy. Marie Kondo’s famous technique includes picking up an item and deciding whether or not having it in your life brings you happiness. If not, put it aside to sell, donate to charity, or pass on to someone who will appreciate it. You may well find that if you sell your unwanted vintage jewelry, appliances, books and other items that you no longer use, you’ll pocket a sizable sum of money.

Again, you can also get your kids involved in this process. Many people think that children would want to hold onto everything they own, but Marie Kondo says that this simply isn’t the case a lot of the time. Remember, things don’t have to be in poor condition for you to pass them along to a new home. Charity stores are always grateful for goods in near-new condition!

Keep Cleaning Fun

Cleaning can be a fantastic escape, especially during lockdown. However, for some, this can be an arduous task – so make it fun! Put on your favorite music, rope in your family, and dance or sing as you work. Remember not to work yourself too hard, and to take regular breaks as you see fit.

You can also take before and after photographs of your efforts to incentivize yourself and show off on social media. Some people have even taken to making TikToks of their cleaning work to show the world just how powerful a deep clean can be!

A Good Way to Get Through Tough Times

No matter what your approach may be, the trick to enjoying cleaning and using it as an escape is to make it an enjoyable and rewarding activity that you can look back on with pride.

Need help with your cleaning and organizing project? Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment. https://mindoverclutter.as.me/virtualorganizingassessment

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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