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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Virtual organizing with Mind over Clutter

Book a 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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Understand how sleep cycles and time management can improve your productivity

Man in blue shirt with a coffee cup in each hand  sleeping on one of the cups on a brown desk

Most people need more sleep than they realize

Some people say they don’t need very much sleep.  Recently a super sleep gene was found.  Only about 5% of people have it.  It allows their body to cycle through the REM and non REM sleep cycles more quickly so the person feels more rested in a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately, about 30% of people report only needing 4 hours of sleep a night.  So about 25% of those people would benefit from more sleep. Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He publishes a newsletter, Taylor Time Newsletter.  The August edition has a great article on sleep and time management.

by Harold Taylor Work Smarter is more about Timing then Technology

What are sleep cycles?

When we sleep, we do so in approximately 90-minute cycles throughout the night, each cycle consisting of five stages – four stages of non-REM sleep (about 75% to 80% of our sleep time) and one stage of REM sleep (about 20% to 25% of our sleep time.)

The first REM stage begins about 90 minutes into our sleep and then the cycle begins again about every 90 minutes until we wake up.

Scheduling your worktime and projects

What most people don’t realize is that these 90-minute “sleep cycles” run through the entire day. We obviously don’t sleep during the day if we have slept sufficiently during the night, but the cycles become waves of high and low energy and are referred to as ultradian rhythms.  Our internal clocks are critical to our personal performance as well as our health and well-being. Our body has many internal “clocks,” each operating independently but in constant communication with one another.

In a few of my books and articles and all of my seminars, I talk about scheduling projects in 90-minute segments.I recommend that people find their high energy time in the morning and start working on their top priority items for about 90 minutes Click To Tweet

I have always known that I was more productive working in sixty or ninety-minute chunks of time, and I suggested all kinds of reasons for it – such as it was the maximum amount of time I could work without having to be interrupted or even interrupting myself. But I never knew until recently that ultradian waves of high and low alertness had actually been identified. One study of young violinists back in 1993 revealed that the best violinists all practiced the same way – in the morning in three segments of no more than 90 minutes with a break between each segment. The same thing was noticed among other musicians as well as athletes, chess players and writers.

I recommend that people find their high energy time in the morning and start working on their top priority items for about 90 minutes. Then take a break of about 15 or 20 minutes before starting the next task. Following the second 90-minute work session there should be a break of at least an hour before resuming. (This could be lunch and a brief walk.) It will take time to get into the right pattern. You have to listen to your body to determine the best start time and the actual duration of your high-alertness cycle.

Breaks are important too

You don’t necessarily have to take a coffee break, go for a walk or do stretches during your breaks as long as you switch to a different type of task. There are three basic types of activity – mental, physical and emotional. If you have been working on a mental task requiring intense concentration such as writing a business proposal, a switch to cleaning your work area, filing or checking messages on Twitter or Facebook for twenty minutes might be just as relaxing to the mind as a twenty-minute chat at the coffee center.

Use your natural body rhythms to be more efficient

The problem is that people have been fighting their natural body rhythms by feeding it coffee and other stimulants and therefore developing inefficient working habits. They have likewise short-circuited their natural sleep cycles with late nights, artificial lighting and stimulating electronics.

Contact www.taylorintime.com to subscribe to his newsletter

Virtual organizing allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home.

Book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment to help develop your productivity. 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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Use colour coding to organize your office space

Visual people find organizing to be more effective using different colours to represent different categories.  Other people find having too many colours to be visual clutter and distracting.  Colour can be used to motivate, grab your attention or calm your work space. My guest blogger Jessica Pyykkonen from Quill.com explains how to use colour to organize your workspace with this  infographic.

Color code your way to an organized workspace with office productsInfographic by Quill

Color code your way to an organized workspace with office productsWhen the workspace becomes chaotic, color may offer a solution. Adapting a color-coded system will organize your office and make it easier to track and access information. Read about the psychological properties of colors, plus strategies to organize by color.
Color code your way to an organized workspace with office products
  1. Psychological properties of colors

    Before applying a color-coded system to the office, learn the meaning behind popular colors to help dictate which hues to use and when.

    • Red: Associated with energy and power, red is an intense color. Since it quickly grabs the eye, use it to alert coworkers of something urgent.
    • Orange: Less aggressive than red, orange is still an eye-catching, dominating color. A hue closer to the shade of gold can mean luxury, wisdom, or wealth. Use it to label new or long-term projects that focus on the future or improving your business.
    • Yellow: Also a great attention grabber, yellow signifies happiness, hope, and positivity and is commonly used for important items that cannot be ignored. Use for production tasks or to communicate new ideas.
    • Green: A symbol of growth and fertility, green symbolizes stability and healing power. Use it for financial tasks and environmental initiatives.
    • Blue: As a calming color, blue represents loyalty, intelligence, and focus. It’s also a trusting color. Use it for brainstorming, presenting, and networking.
    • Purple: A combination of blue and red, purple is a creative color that symbolizes royalty and luxury. It’s great for creative tasks.
    • Pink: A playful color, pink is full of compassion. It’s a loving, intimate, and feminine color. Save it for personal labels and special occasions.
    • White: Associated with purity, white signifies success and perfection. Use it to signify simplicity and cleanliness.
    • Black: A formal color, black can be prestigious or authoritative. Use it to make other colors stand out and for formal events.
  2. Organizing files by color

    When it’s necessary to save every piece of paper that touches your desk, it can be easy to misplace important information in a pile of white. To file papers you may need to reference later, create a color-coded system with folders.

    Divide documents into categories—invoices, tax documents, office guidelines, etc.—and choose a color to represent each category. Use folders or tabs in each designated color to organize the categories. For file cabinets, choose an assortment of colored hanging folders, which are sturdy enough to hold most documents.

    When passing documents between teams, it’s a good idea to assign colors to departments or tasks. Colored file folders help distinguish which documents need to head to the HR department or be reviewed by the financial team. If using plain manila folders, stick colored labels or tabs on each folder.

    Multiple projects can be assigned a color and organized in three-ring binders. Maintain the color-coded system inside the binder to separate budget and creative documents.

    If it’s time to archive documents, use storage bins in the color-coded system to quickly identify what is inside.Colour psychology is the study of hues to determine the effects on human behaviour. It can be applied to many things in life like office organizing and productivity. Click To Tweet

  3. Color code your calendar

    A calendar filled with back-to-back meetings can be overwhelming and ineffective. Ease the stress by assigning colors to events—both work and personal—to get a better understanding of your day-to-day activities. Visualizing the events can help control how much time you allocate to each activity or project.

    To categorize meetings, choose colors based on their psychological properties. Most calendar apps allow users to assign colors, but if you prefer traditional day planners, use sticky notes or colored pencils to categorize.

    • Red: Wednesday 11 a.m.—”Final Spreadsheet due”
    • Blue: Tuesday 3 p.m. — “Brainstorm Session w/ PR”
    • Green: Thursday 10 a.m. — “Budget Meeting”
    • Yellow: Tuesday 9 a.m. — “Credit Card Bill Due”Wednesday 1 p.m. — “Order File Folders”
    • Purple: Monday 2 p.m. — “Present Sales Pitch”Thursday 1 p.m. — “Review Mock-Ups”
    • Pink: Friday 5 p.m. — “Happy Hour”
  4. Take notes in color

    Writing notes on paper is a great concept—until those notes get lost among other notes and are never read again. Take the color-coded calendar a step further by using the same colored pen to take notes. Color coding can also stimulate different parts of your brain and allow you to see connections previously overlooked.

    In a budget meeting? Use a green pen to jot down notes. If a creative idea comes to mind that you don’t want to forget to bring up during a weekly brainstorm, use purple. When you flip back through your note pages, the system will allow you to quickly find what you’re looking for. But avoid too much color—if everything is highlighted, it’s difficult to tell what takes priority.

  5. Color code your inbox

    If hundreds of unread emails leave you overwhelmed, assign colors to senders or subjects to quickly identify what needs attention. Many email systems have settings to adjust how emails are displayed in your inbox. Assign automatic colors to specific people, such as your manager, so those emails will stand out.

    Messages can also be coded by subject line. If you’re working on a specific project, assigning that project name a color will separate it from everyday emails.

Conclusion

Color coding is meant to make your work life easier. Assign colors before you start a new project and limit the amount to avoid confusion. You shouldn’t have to spend time deciphering your color code!

How do you use colour coding to keep yourself 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 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 – https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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Virtual Organizing – who, why, where, what

Who would use virtual organizing services?

For clients who:

  • wish to do the “hands-on “organizing themselves
  • are uncertain about someone coming into their home,
  • want a cost-effective way to get organized
  • need to manage their organizing appointments to fit a complex schedule
  • need support to stay focused

Why would I offer this service?

Virtual organizing allows me to:

  • spend less time driving and more time organizing  providing support to my clients through prearranged online meetings
  • have clients all around the world
  • keep working with clients that move away
  • do organizing while coaching, teaching, supporting and mentoring clients

What would a virtual organizing session look like

There are probably as many ways to do virtual organizing as there are organizers.  Here are my 2 formats.

Format 1 for the DIYers = 3 conversations, a plan, follow up support

To keep the process simple, only one room will be discussed at a time.

The process consists of:

  1. After you contact me, I book an intake conversation over the phone, Skype or e-mail to describe the process.  You can send me photos or a video so I understand your situation clearly and to use them as reference. It  is about 15 minutes long
  2. I book a Virtual Appointment using Zoom or Skype, Face Time, Google Hangout, Facebook to see the room and discuss your organizing goals. It is about 45 minutes in length.
  3. I develop a step by step plan and send it to you so you have your customized organizing plan to follow.
  4. After you have had time to read the plan, I book a virtual question and answer session to allow you to clarify the plan and establish a timeline for the project. It is about 15 minutes long.

Once a timeline has been established for the project one of two follow up options may be selected.

Support Option A This works well for people who manage their time well and are motivated to get the job done. 

You will work on the project and e-mail pictures or set up a Skype call as needed to help:

  • solve problems,
  • clarify the next step,
  • receive storage suggestions.
  • receive donation and recycling information.

 Support Option B This works well for people who are easily distracted or procrastinate in getting the space organized.

  • You will e-mail the day and time they will be working on the job.
  • I will e-mail, Skype, text or call each hour to see what assistance you need in order to successfully complete the work scheduled for that day.

In Format 1 most of my time is spent on the process of building the customized plan.  Most of your time is spent on implementing the customized organizing plan. Some time is spent on supporting the work sessions.

Format 2 for the person who doesn’t want to work alone = This process is very similar to working with an organizer in person

  1. After you contact me, I book an intake conversation over the phone, Skype or e-mail to describe the process.   You can send me photos or a video so I understand your situation clearly and to use them as reference. It takes about 15 minutes
  2. I book a Virtual Appointment using Zoom or  Skype, Face Time, Google Hangouts, Facebook to see the room and discuss your organizing goals and begin organizing. You will have the computer /tablet in the room with you while you are working. I will be teaching you skills, keeping you focused and supporting you. I will help you with the process of sorting, reducing, establishing a space to store things, containers to use and discussing the next steps.  The sessions may include: where to donate items, how to sell items and where to recycle items.  The session will be between 2-3 hours.
  3. We decide on the next appointment time and continue working with the client until the job is completed.

In Format 2 most of the time is spent together getting the space organized. Virtual organizing allows an organizer to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring. Click To Tweet

To book a complimentary 30 minute virtual assessment use this link   or contact me directly at julie@mindoverclutter.ca 

For more information check my Virtual Organizing Services on my website 

POC Gold Leaf crestJulie 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 organizing your laundry routine

No matter how beautiful and organized your laundry area looks, if you don’t have a routine for getting laundry to the washer, into the dry and back to bedrooms you will still have a problem.  These tips will help you establish a routine that will work in your household.

Collect the laundry

1. Keep a central collection area for your laundry close to where people change.  The main bathroom, near the bedrooms, is often a good choice. Keep three hampers – one each for light, medium and dark-coloured clothing. Make sure everyone knows to empty pockets, because no one else is going to check. You may prefer to have each person have their own bin in their room.

Have everyone in the family sort their laundry and put it in the hamper.

2. Keep a stain remover nearby so that everyone can treat the stains on their own clothing.  Children may need help with the most difficult, like blood.  Use shampoo without conditioner on grease stains. Once stains are treated, fold the clothing to prevent stain remover from touching the hamper. Remember to place clothing in the correct laundry hamper.

Schedule time

3. Establish a day when the laundry will be washed.  Clothing will need to be in the hamper and someone will bring it to the laundry room. You may need to establish a day or time for each member  to do their own laundry.

Set timers

4.  As you’re placing clothing into the washer or dryer set a time on your phone, stove, clock so you remember to switch the clothing to the dryer or take it out of the dryer.  It is easy to forget that the washer or dryer has completed the cycle if it isn’t near where you are working.  Then time passes and you didn’t get much laundry done that day, the clothing in the dryer is very wrinkled  or the damp clothing has an unpleasant oder.Setting up routines makes it easier to accomplish tasks taking less energy and time to complete them Click To Tweet

Organize an area 

5.   Have a table or space available so you can fold and pile items as they are removed from the dryer. Making piles of clothing allows people to come and pick up their clothes and put them away.  If you have small children in the home place their piles of clothing on their bed, pants, tops, underware, socks etc and help them to learn to put it away in the correct spot.  It is a skill that will last them a life time.

6. Have a place to hang up clothes – a line, door hooks or a free-standing wire rack.  Don’t spend your time folding clothes that get unfolded once they reach the bedroom.  Hang them up straight out of the dryer.

7. Establish a laundry supply shelf or cupboard.  Be sure to have a variety of supplies available so you can easily handle any stain – detergent, bleach, shampoo, stain remover, a bar of laundry soap – and quick hand-washing items.  Include a basin so you can conveniently soak or hand wash items.

For tips and articles to help you organize your mind and space  join Julie’s Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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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On-line Lifestyle Organizing Coaching leading professionals From Clutter to Freedom
Residential Organizing Services for the Region of Niagara, Hamilton, Halton-Peel and Surrounding Area